Thursday, January 10, 2008

"I'll take Mitt to block..." Never Mind!

IMPORTANT UPDATE! Per Smitty (who I trust implicitly about state-level politics) points out that while this might be a wrench in the works nationally, if Romney ends up somehow getting the nomination, there will be serious blowback here in Michigan. Romney is obviously well-connected into the GOP machine here, and if he heads up the national ticket, it will motivate the state GOP and their voters. Democrats only control one chamber of Michigan's legislature right now—narrowly, and only since the last election. Smitty's worried this will flip the House back and build on the GOP's Senate lead. It's definitely a risk not worth taking. So, back to the somewhat less-satisfying "uncommitted" to block Hillary...

UPDATE 2: Took this back over to Daily Kos. It's crazy how fast shit moves over there...

UPDATE 3: Kos is being a prick. He's got a fourth front-page post on this, and hasn't addressed anybody's concerns. It's now getting play in the MSM, and taking off online. I'm with Smitty on this being a bad idea for Michigan, but I just think it's a mistake to throw the most well-financed Republican anything but an anchor when he's drowning...this has blowback written all over it.

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[Original post]:

An interesting strategy for Michigan voters via Kos...
Next Tuesday, January 15th, Michigan will hold its primary. Michigan Democrats should vote for Mitt Romney, because if Mitt wins, Democrats win. How so?

For Michigan Democrats, the Democratic primary is meaningless since the DNC stripped the state of all its delegates (at least temporarily) for violating party rules. Hillary Clinton is alone on the ballot.

But on the GOP side, this primary will be fiercely contested. John McCain is currently enjoying the afterglow of media love since his New Hamsphire victory, while Iowa winner Mike Huckabee is poised to do well in South Carolina.

Meanwhile, poor Mitt Romney, who’s suffered back-to-back losses in the last week, desperately needs to win Michigan in order to keep his campaign afloat. Bottom line, if Romney loses Michigan, he's out. If he wins, he stays in.

And we want Romney in, because the more Republican candidates we have fighting it out, trashing each other with negative ads and spending tons of money, the better it is for us. We want Mitt to stay in the race, and to do that, we need him to win in Michigan.

I'm intrigued. I fully intended to vote "uncommited" on Tuesday, and urge others to do the same, but this might actually be a more valuable/useful way to use my vote. Thoughts? Especially you, Smitty...

In theory hurting McCain is a good thing, as I feel he is the GOP's strongest candidate, but who the hell knows? This could backfire...but without looking at it as helping or hurting particular guys, I agree with Kos' assessment that keeping the field open on the other side is to our beneft, no matter who emerges.

27 comments:

Smitty said...

There is nobody in the Michigan Dem party establishment espousing that strategy. The reason is, in their own admission, selfish. They acknowledged that it makes some sense on a larger sale. But in Michigan politics, Romney is the worst we can expect. He polls the best and will run the best.

By way of example, every single Oakland County and Kent County Republican State Rep and Senator (except 1...long story) has endorsed Romney. Part of why Saul Anuzis wanted to change the primary was for Romney. If he wins here, the Republican base is absolutely energized and turns out like mad for the "native son." Some EPIC MRA polls substantiate that Michigan Independents may choose to go his way if he wins too.

On the national scene, that may not make a bit of difference; Romney may still lose to whatever Dem. But on the state level, and again why the party and unions admit that they don't advocate for this strategy for selfish reasons, enough Republicans turn out in Michigan to jeopardize the Dems' slim control of the House (43 of our 110 Reps are term-limited and the Republicans could take the swing seats if they turn out enough) and definitely jeopardize the 7 heavily-targeted House Dems. It also may mean the Republicans not only maintain their hold on the State Senate but also gain an extra seat.

Romney is Michigan Dems' nightmare, even if that makes no difference nationally. That's why the unions and the party are still urging you to vote "uncommitted." Plus, it'll cover for their tactical error with the whole moving-the-primary thing...

The benefit to Michigan in terms of voting "uncommitted" is that we send totally...uncommitted delegates to the convention. The party will eventually seat the Dem delegates...they kinda have to. This means that if it is very close between Obama and Clinton, or Clinton and Edwards or whatthefuckever, Michigan's uncommitted votes become the most important votes. Good for Michigan.

S.W. Anderson said...

Yeah, Kos has an interesting strategy there. Sounds like something Rove might think up — not a compliment.

So, the proposition is that we have to destroy the village to save the village? Sorry, but I've seen that movie before and it was a nightmare.

Dirty, anything-to-win politics is wrecking our democracy. I hope for Democrats to fix things, not add to the destruction. Maybe I'm naive, but I think they have enough to offer and enough on the ball that they don't need to resort to GOP-grade tactics.

From what smitty says, it sounds as though Michigan Dems have good reasons to vote uncommitted. I hope they stick to doing just that.

Smitty said...

UPDATE: A few Michigan Dems have launched "Democrats for Huckabee." The founding member of the group (who is a pretty annoyingly maverick Dem) said he likes Huckabee because he reminds him of Gomer Pyle.

steves said...

"Maybe I'm naive, but I think they have enough to offer and enough on the ball that they don't need to resort to GOP-grade tactics."

I think it is somewhat naive to think that this tactic is exclusive to the GOP. For crying out loud, this ill advised tactic is being touted by some on the left, or are you suggesting that only the right plays dirty?

Smitty, does Romney poll better than the other Republican candidates? It isn't as if the Romney family is all that big in MI today.

Mr Furious said...

I'm willing to take Smitty's word for it, steves. Naturally I don't like ANY of the GOP options, but if Mitt is the guy who could fuck things up even worse for Michigan by putting the GOP back in Lansing (even if he gets his ass kicked in Nov.), it's not worth the chance of keeping him around.

While the Michigan primary might not really be do-or-die for Romney, the voters in Michigan certainly shouldn't do anything to help him along...

Smitty said...

Romney polls better than McCain, though Romney got really worried with McCain's success and having, as he puts it, "two silvers...but I'd rather have two golds..." The MI GOP machine is in full Romney swing right now, and the state campaign manager for Romney is a huge MI GOP loyalist. Romney is putting all his eggs in the Michigan basket and he plans to win it against McCain...who has won here before.

Yeah, the Romney family is not that big steves. Only the entire Oakland and Kent County Republican caucuses support him and the fucking building the currnt Governor works in....is called the Romney Building. Not big at all.

Smitty said...

And huge thanks for all the love, Mr. F. I'm truly flattered, as any more I have been turning to your blog for national political opinion and discussion.

Mr Furious said...

Yo, Smitty! I'm fightin' the good fight over a Kos right now! Join me!

Smitty said...

Argh! I'm trying but I can't find where or how to leave a damn comment and I have to create a new account...

Mr Furious said...

LOL! I had to dig out my old "password notebook" to remember how to login! Been a lonnng time since I stomped around over there.

Kinda exhilarating though, the comments pour in...

I think you have to login before commenting is even an option.

Smitty said...

Sucks. Says I have to wait 24 hours to post a comment.

Smitty said...

So, who are you on Kos, and how's it going?

Mr Furious said...

I'm me (Mr. Furious). I added a link to the Kos post (check the update).

I feel like I'm making good points, and so are many others. Several admitted this angle never occurred to any of them, so kudos to you, my man.

steves said...

I am familiar with history of Romney. Is his support based on that some like what he has to say or that he is from Michigan? My assertion was based on the fact that he hasn't lived here since 1971, so I doubt the home state appeal would be as big as it would be for someone that had lived here more recently. No one under 50 is going to remember his dad being governor.

"and the fucking building the currnt Governor works in....is called the Romney Building. Not big at all."

Which translates to how many votes? Every gov't building in this state is named after someone and some have all sorts of stuff named after them. Over vacation, I took a dump at the G. Mennen Williams rest area.

I think him being from Michigan would have helped him more if he had lived in Michigan during the last 36 years. I am not saying it won't help him at all, but I haven't even seen him make such a big deal of his Michigan roots. If anything, most conservatives I know view him as some kind of east coast guy. Do you view him as a Michigan man?

One thing that he has been doing is spending money like crazy in this state. I can't check my e-mail without sifting through 50 e-mails from his campaign.

Smitty, I respect your opinion, but stranger things have happened and things don't always turn out the way we think. Do you really believe he will motivate MI voters that much more than any candidate? If he has that much appeal here, then he should have no problem winning. Will that have more of an effect than voters going for whomever they believe can fix the economy?

steves said...

According to a poll from Thursday, McCain leads Romney 29% to 20%.

"Romney does best in the central area of the state and among female voters,” continued Johnson. “He needs to make stronger inroads among male voters and also among older voters to overtake McCain. Giuliani appears to be a non-factor although had he made a run for it, could have perhaps positioned himself to finish in the top three."

Based on NH, polling data can certainly not be an accurate predictor of what really happens.

Smitty said...

The poll you're referring to, steves, is from Rossman. Kelly's methodology is not...the most strict.

My point about the building being named after Mitt's dad is not that it translates into votes. It's that it indicates how entrenched the name still is. Item by item, Mitt is entrenched in Michiagn GOP politics. Jason McBride, his campaign manager, was handed to the campaign by the MI GOP party. McBride wins races for Republicans...that's been his job since I met him a decade ago. And on an on, the evidence sacks up that if Romney wins, the GOP turns out in droves in November in Michigan.

This has even more implications than losing targeted Dem seats, losing some of the new seats vacated by term limits and setting the Senate up in 2 years for a wider margin. There are a number of ballot initiatives very important to core Democatic issues that are in jeopardy. Health care coverage o the nearly universal sort could fail. Stem cells could fail. Part-time elgislature could pass. Right-to-work could pass. Etc.

The Dems really really really don't want Mitt to win. Crossover gets the Democrats lots more of one thing: nothing.

I know, too, that poll don't mean everything. But they help. When they fail is when a candidate gets cocky because of them.

but I haven't even seen him make such a big deal of his Michigan roots

He is. An so is the Press Machine. You can't hear or see references to Mitt in the media in Michigan that don't say "native son" or "favorite son." He's playing-up the angle.

I'm just saying what I see from inside the Michigan political circle...and that' that Mitt is bad for the Dems statewide. McCain isn't. McCain might make Indys vote for him at the top of the ticket...but still vote Dem further down the line. Romney won't. Romnay is all Republican, at least according to political onventional wisdom in Michigan. The unions and the Dem party are really really against this srategy.

Mr Furious said...

Fantastic work, Smitty. I added this latest bit to my Kos diary. Thanks for really doing the work on this one. Or at least the "convincing."

steves said...

"but I haven't even seen him make such a big deal of his Michigan roots"

Oops, I meant to say the media.

I am sure you are right. It doesn't surprise me that he still has plenty of connections and is popular with the party. How do you think voters will react to his "roots?" Personally, I have always thought that if he was such a Michigan guy he would still live here or at least have summer home here (or does he?). Romney seems like he will say anything to win. He has been trying to portray himself as some kind of Reagan conservative, while his record does not support that. Not that there is anyting wrong with being a moderate, but show some damn consistency. I wonder what he would be like if he got the nomination? He may then try to show that he is more of a centrist.

Doesn't conventional wisdom say that the party that does well nationally in an election year also does well at the state level? Do you think that Romney would have that much more of an effect?

I am still not sure what I will do in the Primary (I know I don't have that much time). I don't want to uncommitted and have that help Obama down the road. OTOH, if it helpes Edwards, I am fine with that. I want to like a republican candidate, but they just haven't put out anyone I can get behind. McCain has some interesting ideas, but he is just kind of ehh.

BTW, I hate ballot initiatives, but that is a whole other topic.

Smitty said...

Doesn't conventional wisdom say that the party that does well nationally in an election year also does well at the state level?

Not necessarily. 2 years ago, yes. But there was the whole stretch in the Clinton years when Michigan voted for Clinton, Stabenow, and a majority-Dem congressional delegation at the top of the ticket, and then Engler and a majority Repubican State Senate and House further down.

Part of the reason there is that the national Dem party did a great job but the state-level party was no match for the GOP's GOTV and the Engler borg.

Do you think that Romney would have that much more of an effect

Yup. It's who that same GOP GOTV is looking at. McC has plenty of support among MI Republicans, but not to the level that the "establihment" is giving Romney.

Smitty said...

ANd thanks, Mr. F. This one has been a riot! I am bummed I still can't post on Kos yet...maybe it'll turn on later tonight.

angie said...

ah shit. this was totally my plan (even signed up on facebook). now you gave me somethng to think about. Read you over at kos, you have me 99% convinced. But now I will have to decide how to vote in the dem primary. You know there's a part of me that loves Hillary. But I am just not sure. Maybe I will give the little pencil to nate and see who he picks :-)

This is too damn confusing.

Nice diary at Kos though.

steves said...

Smitty, I am still not entirely convinced of your long term predictions on Mitt, but you were right about about what is happening in the primary in Michigan.

I would think the economy might help the Republicans gain control. I wonder if people will want a change and blame some of the problems on the people currently in power. Obviously, there are plenty of Republicans that share that blame and it also depends on them having decent candidates. I think they could of done better if they had someone that was more likeable than DeVos.

Smitty said...

I am still not entirely convinced of your long term predictions on Mitt

Not just mine. Lots of Lansing political trolls and rock-dwellers agree.

Mr. F., I can't thank you enough for all the amazing work you have done with this post. I've been telling the Dem politicos to check it out (both here and over at Kos). Your work was timely and fabulous. This post and its subsequent mayhem was a riot!

Mr Furious said...

Ang-

The safe bet is to vote "uncommitted." For a couple reasons...

1. The delegates will be "uncommitted." If you are unsure about supporting Hillary versus Obama, you are selecting delegates that most closely match your position/indecision.

2. Hillary has an unfair advantage at this point by being the only candidate on the ballot, and frankly, doesn't deserve the win. It is NOT indicative of the wishes of the voters for her to get 60%.

3. Because I said so. ;-)

Mr Furious said...

Thanks Smitty. As I mentioned, I credit you with the heavy lifting.

I bloviate, you convinced.

steves said...

Smitty, it isn't you. I trust that you know what you are talking about, especially on this subject. It is more related to my skepticism on any kind of prediction, whether it be political, sports, or whatever. With politics, a lot can happen.

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