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Cochise
12-10-2007, 09:57 AM
Five Paths to the Republican Presidential Nomination
Monday, December 10, 2007


For months, Rasmussen Reports has used words like fluid, murky, and muddled to describe the state of the race for the Republicans Presidential nomination. Those words still apply today.

There are five candidates for the Republican nomination polling in double-digits nationally and all five could conceivably wind up as the party’s nominee. As we noted last week (and many times before), it is easier to develop a plausible explanation as to why each of the leading candidates won’t win the nomination than to show how they will win the prize. Still, one of them will become the party nominee. This week, Rasmussen Reports looks at a possible path to victory for each.


Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani has been the national frontrunner virtually all year. Much like the childhood game “King of the Hill”, many challengers have tried to push the former New York City Mayor from his perch atop the polls but Giuliani has somehow held his ground. He is not, however, a dominant frontrunner and has consistently trailed in the important early voting states. Additionally, two-thirds of Likely Republican Primary voters see him as politically moderate or liberal. That’s not a positive for a party that leans in the conservative direction.

Giuliani’s clearest path to victory is to hope that no one develops momentum in the early voting states. Then, America’s Mayor would be favored to come out on top in most of the big states holding their primaries on February 5. At that point, he’d start pointing out the delegate count while those who didn’t fare so well begin dropping out of the race.

Ideally for Giuliani, each of the other leading candidates would enjoy some victories and defeats leading up to the February 5 Super-Tuesday event. It would also help Giuliani if McCain dropped out of the race before the other leading candidates. The worst news for Giuliani would be to have Thompson drop out following an impressive early showing by Huckabee.

While the short-term danger for Giuliani is that someone will develop momentum in the early states, the long-term danger is that several candidates might be viable on and after February 5. The longer a large number of candidates remain viable, the tougher it will be for any one candidate to wrap up a majority of the delegates. Through it all, Giuliani still retains one important asset--he is still viewed by Republicans as their most electable candidate.

Mike Huckabee: Despite his leads in Iowa and South Carolina, and his strong showing in Michigan many pundits dismiss Huckabee’s chances of winning the nomination. Some cite his lack of money and organization, others his background as a Baptist Preacher, and still others his lack of foreign policy experience. As with all of the GOP candidates, Huckabee is more likely to lose the nomination than to win it, but he has a shot.

If Huckabee succeeds, it will be partly because he saw the same opening that Fred Thompson saw and could do what Thompson did not--close the sale. It will also be partly because he successfully executed Mitt Romney’s game plan of winning the early states to build momentum.

For Huckabee to win the nomination, he will have to survive two very challenging periods in the next month. The first has already begun. As the former Arkansas Governor surged in the polls, other campaigns, interest groups, and media organizations have begun digging deeper into his record. They will throw everything they have at him knowing that Huckabee’s numbers can go down as quickly as they went up. This is particularly true since Huckabee is essentially unknown to the vast majority of Americans. New information could change their assessment of him very quickly.

If Huckabee is left standing after this first challenge--and if he manages to win in Iowa--he will immediately face his second period of peril. The bass-guitar playing candidate will have to show he’s not a one-hit wonder. That will mean expanding his appeal and his campaign organization in a way that converts his momentum into other victories.

Mitt Romney: Romney has two possible paths to the nomination. The first is to follow his long-established game plan--win in Iowa and New Hampshire to build momentum heading into other primaries.

While Romney is struggling in Iowa at the moment, he still has a very real chance of winning those caucuses. Huckabee could wither under the increased scrutiny he is facing. Or, even if Candidate Huckabee keeps his smile and his stride, it is possible that Campaign Huckabee will be unable to provide the organization needed to win in Iowa. In either case, a victory for Romney in Iowa now would be even more valuable than it was before Huck-a-mania took hold of the race.

Romney continues to poll well in New Hampshire and he would likely win that state going away with a victory in Iowa. Whether that would be enough to propel him to the nomination is not clear. But, it would give him a credible opportunity and might lead more quickly to a one-on-one match between Romney and Giuliani.

On the other hand, if Romney loses Iowa, his early state strategy would be in tatters. In that scenario, it is easy to envision the former Massachusetts Governor losing several other states along the way to February 5 (think South Carolina). He would need to quickly develop Plan B. But, it’s available to him--as a largely self-funding candidate, Romney would still possess the financial resources to compete on Super Tuesday. If nobody else has grabbed hold of the race by then, Romney’s dream might still find life.

John McCain: McCain can win only by waiting for others to lose. He can help himself with a strong showing in New Hampshire and by finding a way to stay in the game. Right now, there is a growing chance the Republican race won’t be decided on February 5. The longer it continues without a winner, the better McCain’s chances become.

Fred Thompson: It must be frustrating for Thompson’s team to watch Mike Huckabee grab the opportunity they envisioned for the former Senator from Tennessee. For Thompson to win the nomination, the candidate himself will have to come alive and Huckabee’s campaign will have to crumble. If Huckabee does decline, Thompson is the most likely beneficiary (but that depends upon voters continuing to perceive him as a viable candidate).

We’ll know more in a month, but the Republican race still remains very wide open. In the end, it will be supremely ironic if the Republican Nomination is still in play after February 5. All those state legislators who rushed their state Primaries forward to have more influence on the nomination will have to squirm a bit as they watch other states steal the spotlight and the influence.

Rasmussen Reports conducts national telephone surveys on the Presidential race every night and releases updated data from our Presidential Tracking Poll by noon each day. Those results are based upon a four-day rolling average and provide a quick update on the race.

In addition to the daily tracking poll, Rasmussen Reports provides weekly results to provide a longer-term overview of the race. These updates are based upon nightly telephone surveys. Results are reported based upon interviews conducted on the seven days up to and including the night before posting.

For the seven days ending December 9, 2007 show that Mike Huckabee earns 21% of the vote while Rudy Giuliani attracts 20%. Mitt Romney is at 13% while John McCain and Fred Thompson are each the preferred candidate for 11%. Ron Paul’s support for the week is at 6%, Tom Tancredo is at 2%, Duncan Hunter earns 1% and 16% are undecided.

The seven day results typically include interviews with more than 1,000 Likely Republican Primary Voters. This includes both Republicans and those independents likely to vote in a Republicans Primary. In some state primaries, independent voters are allowed to participate in party primaries while in others they are excluded. The margin of sampling error for the weekly update is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Updates prior to July 16 were based upon four days of polling conducted the Monday through Thursday preceding release.

Rasmussen Reports continuously updates general election match-ups and other key stats for all Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates.

patteeu
12-10-2007, 10:10 AM
He left out Ron Paul's path to the nomination (pictured below):

http://www.fastenerspecialties.com/Jokes/dead_end.jpg

recxjake
12-10-2007, 10:47 AM
About as clear as it gets... good reveiw

Dallas Chief
12-10-2007, 03:01 PM
He left out Ron Paul's path to the nomination (pictured below):

http://www.fastenerspecialties.com/Jokes/dead_end.jpg
ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL
Why are you always trying to start trouble around here???

patteeu
12-10-2007, 03:16 PM
ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL
Why are you always trying to start trouble around here???

Someone's got to do it. If we didn't have anyone fighting back the waves of Ron Paul worshipers, they'd choke out all the other activity here. They're worse than tribbles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble_(Star_Trek)). ;)

KILLER_CLOWN
12-10-2007, 03:21 PM
Someone's got to do it. If we didn't have anyone fighting back the waves of Ron Paul worshipers, they'd choke out all the other activity here. They're worse than tribbles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble_(Star_Trek)). ;)

That is correct "WAVES" of Paul supporters, i guess your backpeddling from the dead end sign? We Thank You for your support! :)

patteeu
12-10-2007, 04:22 PM
That is correct "WAVES" of Paul supporters, i guess your backpeddling from the dead end sign? We Thank You for your support! :)

I'm afraid that "waves" in the ChiefsPlanet politics forum amount to something less than ripples in US electoral politics.

banyon
12-10-2007, 04:31 PM
Someone's got to do it. If we didn't have anyone fighting back the waves of Ron Paul worshipers, they'd choke out all the other activity here. They're worse than tribbles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribble_(Star_Trek)). ;)

I try to do my part too. Together we can defeat the Paultards and RULE THE GALAXY :)

http://images.google.com/url?q=http://geminitao.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/darth.jpg&usg=AFQjCNE0x6vY29Mcl8g8GncAIJArGPI_YA

patteeu
12-10-2007, 04:49 PM
I try to do my part too. Together we can defeat the Paultards and RULE THE GALAXY :)


LMAO Excellent. Victory is assured.

Cochise
12-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Hey damnit. Don't I get to be in on this? :sulk:

patteeu
12-10-2007, 05:40 PM
Hey damnit. Don't I get to be in on this? :sulk:

There's always room for another Rontagonist. :thumb:

Afterall, you're the guy who posted this softball thread for someone to make post #2. I was just the guy who got here first.

Cochise
12-10-2007, 08:02 PM
New poll shows Ronhovah surging!

Dallas Chief
12-10-2007, 10:43 PM
New poll shows Ronhovah surging!
Paultards! Rontagonists! Ronhovah! If I new how to rep you guys I would... ROFL