Carol Platt Liebau: Keeping the Faith

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Keeping the Faith

Josh Trevino slices and dices the numbers, then concludes that there's hope for Romney.

As Trevino notes looking at the CNN exit polls, Giuliani voters' second choice is almost an even split between Romney and McCain -- so his endorsement may not mean the huge bump for McCain that might otherwise have been expected.

What I noticed looking at that graph also is that -- contrary to the assumption that Huckabee is taking conservatives from Romney -- the second choice of Huckabee voters is actually McCain! So Rudy's dropping out of the race seems to be much less trouble for Romney than if Huckabee did. (Then again, Huckabee no doubt is problem for Romney in the south next Tuesday.)

Given that Huckabee and McCain don't seem to have all that much in common (except a willingness to tolerte taxes, that is), it's interesting that Huckabee's voters would prefer McCain -- who seems uncomfortable, if not more, with the social issues that motivate many Huckabee voters. Given that they're enthusiastic about Huckabee's ability to serve as Commander-in-Chief, Huckabee voters can't be basing their second choice on simply their confidence in McCain's experience in military matters.

It doesn't seem consistent with my experience with Republicans, but no doubt the numbers are going to raise the question of whether many Huckabee voters are simply uncomfortable with the thought of a Mormon in the White House.


Blogger Greg said...

I became a Romney supporter early in this race. But I have to admit he's struggling to close the deal.

Florida was the first competitive Republican-only primary. It was supposed to be here that McCain's lack of support with conservatives was supposed to become glaringly evident. With Rudy fading, Romney should have been able to win Florida.

Having said that, Romney is not necessarily that far off from his best-case scenario at the onset of his campaign. He was the unknown. He had planned to compete and win in the early primary states to gain publicity and name recongition in order to put himself on a competitive footing with the supposedly prohibitive favorite, Rudy.

Well, things didn't work out that way. Romney didn't sweep the early primaries. But Rudy did not maintain his front-runner status either. So what we have now is Romney with better name recognition in a competitive position with (though trailing) the current front runner, McCain. And McCain is hardly a prohibitive front runner.

Who knows? Maybe super Tuesday will produce convincing wins for Romney.

But even if they don't and McCain wins the Republican Primary, I will (almost) gladly support him in the general election. After all, as I've said many times before, my number one issue is the war against Islamic Fascism. McCain scores well with me on that issue. Other issues, though important, pale in comparison in my book.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Joshua Trevino said...

You raise good points, Carol. As one of the Huckabee voters who prefers McCain to Romney, I'll have to address them -- hopefully later this evening.

In brief, though, I suspect that Huckabee voters who break for McCain do so because they value the latter's perceived authenticity -- especially versus Romney, who has serious problems in that sphere.

11:41 AM  

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