Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

McCain vs. Giuliani

Part of McCain’s surge is his dawning awareness that he must take Rudy out early if he’s to have any chance at all for the nomination. The truth may be that if both he and Rudy poll fairly well in New Hampshire the real winner will be Romney.

So: Maybe the main threat to Rudy hanging on until Febrary 5 against the early Romney victories is a resurgent McCain. A "secret weapon" Rudy may have against being blown out early by Romney is Huck doing well in or winning Iowa. Both Huck and Obama threaten Rudy’s Iowa’s momentum. An Obama victory there would take most of the attention away from the Republican result. But an Obama Iowa victory would also make the Democratic contest in New Hampshire irresistable for independents--most of whom would otherwise vote for Giuliani and McCain. So, on balance, an Obama victory in Iowa might well be fatal for both Rudy and John.


Maybe the worst thing that could happen for "national security" voters is the persistence of the McCain surge; its effect would mainly be to undermine Giuliani. The worse thing that could happen for "social conservatives" is the persistence of the Huckabee surge; its effect would mainly be to undermine Romney. This analysis, of coruse, makes no sense to anyone who really believes that John and/or Huck have decent chances of actually being nominated. But it’s still hard to deny at this point that Rudy and Mitt are better bets.

Discussions - 17 Comments

I suppose nobody here at noleftturns (i.e we'll support Nixon rather than Ashbrook because it's more prudent) noticed the latest Rasmussen poll that has Huckabee performing better against Clinton than Giuliani.

Looking over at Rasmussen, I don't see a poll saying that. Do you have a link?

I also would love to see that study.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows Senator Hillary Clinton earning 46% of the vote while Huckabee attracts 43%.

That is better than Giulinai, though not McCain.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Election 2008 shows Arizona Senator John McCain (R) leading New York Senator Hillary Clinton (D) by just two percentage points, 47% to 45% (see crosstabs). While the “lead” is statistically insignificant, it’s the first time since May that McCain has had any advantage over Clinton.


After a recent tightening of her match-ups with two leading GOP contenders, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton now enjoys a modest advantage over each. Clinton leads former Mayor Rudy Giuliani 48% to 42% in the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Election 2008

Mind you, these polls are pretty much meaningless.

Sure John I agree they are meaningless. However, about 1/2 of Giuliani supporters that I talk to cite electability as the number one reason and the campaign thumps its chest about like polls.

Thanks Lucas, I forgot the doubt level here, and the bias that allows people to look at something and still not see it.

1/2 of Giuliani supporters that I talk to cite electability as the number one reason

They are annoying, no question.

Here's a great post by Hugh Hewitt about voting for Huckabee in the primary.

Vote for Huckabee, get Giuliani. Ugh.

Maybe the worst thing that could happen for "national security" voters is the persistence of the McCain surge; its effect would mainly be to undermine Giuliani.

What a bizarre comment. It suggests that Giuliani is better on national security than McCain, or the other candidates.

Not to deny that this fable is out there in the land, but it has no basis in fact.

While McCain was being a strong advocate for the surge, Giuliani was hemming and hawing.

Hewitt's argument is too clever by half, going so far as to say that if Huckabee does well, it is not a measure of his political appeal but rather a gauge of how well Giuliani's Iowa supporters (and McCain's) have cast stealth votes for Huckabee, "inflating his numbers (and momentum, just as happened at the straw poll in the fall) and perhaps wounding Romney." That's rich: the better Huckabee does in Iowa, the better Giuliani and McCain's forces have sabotaged Romney's efforts to become THE conservative candidate for the GOP! Back on planet Earth, the many millions Romney has spent communicating his potential to GOP voters has produced a ceiling in the low teens in national polls, while Huckabee's poll #s keep going up--despite spending far fewer $$. That said, polls still have no constitutional standing and hence should not dictate how voters should weigh the various pros/cons of the candidates before they vote. I've donated to the Huckabee campaign and am circulating petitions for his candidacy for the Virginia primary on Lincoln's 199th birthday (Feb. 12, 2008).

Lucas Morel

As a Huckabee supporter, what would you say is the case for him?

Here's his campaign webpage: Mike Huckabee on the Issues.

No candidate is more solidy pro-life (i.e., anti-abortion), pro-family (e.g., anti-homosexual marriage), pro-gun rights (i.e., robust understanding of the 2nd Amendment, both as a statement against the potential for domestic tyranny and a defense of the sporting and hunting aspects of gun ownership), pro-Israel (as Huckabee states, "our staunch ally in the War on Terror, the only fully-functioning democracy in the Middle East, and our greatest friend in that region"), and willing to think out loud about the problem with our current IRS policy of taxation (i.e., he favors replacing the IRS with a national consumption or sales tax called the FairTax--contra the current progressive tax system; see FairTax.org). He also firmly supports defending the U.S.A. against global terrorists and endorses a stronger border to protect against illegal immigration and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Do I agree with all of his signature proposals? No. For example, I'm not sure what he intends by promoting "free trade" that is "fair trade." And I do not think he has listened carefully enough to our libertarian friends on the subject of pollution credits. Nevertheless, on balance, he possesses both the ideas and character that make him the most trustworthy candidate to be the next president of the United States. The term of office for the president of the U.S., the mode of appointment, and the discretion that is inherent and built into the federal constitution's executive branch make good character a key expectation of its occupant, which is a big reason why I support Huckabee.

I do not see how any principled conservative can dismiss him out of hand after reading his campaign website and watching him during the debates thus far. If you already have a dog in this hunt, declare yourself and then let me know why your pick has the better of mine. BTW: John, how about a last name before you reply to my post?

Sorry, I've been posting here for ages under plain old "John". It would confuse the heck out of everyone if I started using a new handle.

I'm supporting Duncan Hunter or Fred Thompson at present.

They are better on the immigration issue. Huckabee seems to be a Bush clone on that subject, so that rules him out for me.

As for your list of Huck's attributes ("No candidate is more solidy pro-life .."), I think that overstates matters. McCain is solid on life/abortion issues. So are Hunter and Tancredo. Likewise for the 2nd Amdt.


He also firmly supports defending the U.S.A. against global terrorists and endorses a stronger border to protect against illegal immigration and opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Looking at his web site, he does say that. Glad to see he is saying that now. But in Jan 2007 he said this;

What does make sense is a revision of our laws, one giving those here illegally a process through which they pay a reasonable fine in admission of their guilt for the past infraction of violating our border laws and agree to adhere to a pathway toward legal status and citizenship. In exchange, our government gains the capacity to know who is here, why they are here, where they are, and whether they carry a communicable disease.

And in the past he has said things like this;

“We respect those who want to provide a better life for their children and grandchildren. For decades, we treated our state's African-American population poorly. The Hispanic influx gives us a second chance to prove what kind of people we really are.”

So I'm pleased he is shifting, but cautious.

Lucas Morel

Looking at Huckabee on immigration, it seems to me that the message in the video on his page has a distinctly different message than what is written there. I don't know which is his real position.

There's just something about the guy which makes me think "not a war-time president". He seems like a real nice guy - I like his sense of humor a lot - but for me ISSUE #1 is the War on Terror: who do I trust to be my Commander-in-Chief? For me it comes down to Rudy and Romney every time. Rudy's got that piss-and-vinegar attitude, Romney's got that cool, collected businessman's ability to run a well-oiled (and deadly) beauracracy. Then there's Huckabee, a former Baptist pastor. Hmmm . . .

Here's a link to an unflattering piece by an Arkansas writer who was less-than-satisfied with Huckabee's governorship.

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