Does the Florida Fallout Affect Georgia?

First, some thoughts on Florida. This was truly a huge win for John McCain. That cannot be overstated. Not only does the Florida win put him ahead of Mitt Romney in the delegate count, but it keeps the momentum of his South Carolina win alive. Moreover, it is almost a certainty that Rudy Giuliani will endorse McCain prior to Tuesday, adding even more positive energy to a campaign that is seeming more and more like an inevitability. The mainstream media has all but coronated McCain as the Republican nominee.

Going into Florida, my gut feeling was that McCain would win the primary but would go on to lose the nomination to Mitt Romney. It seemed liked the anti-McCain sentiment was reaching a fever pitch, particularly among conservative commentators and, for the most part, blog readers and contributors. In my opinion, had there been one more week of campaigning in Florida, Mitt Romney would have pulled off the win. John McCain should be grateful to at least two people: Mike Huckabee for siphoning evangelical votes from Romney, and Governor Crist for the last-minute endorsement.

Unlike some, I don’t think that McCain’s victory in Florida means an end to the “conservative” stranglehold on the Republican Party. And despite already being ahead in California and New York, I don’t think it’s time to declare Romney dead. Just as the importance of McCain’s Florida victory cannot be overstated, neither can the importance of just how much the “establishment” of the Republican Party despises John McCain. Rush Limbaugh claims to be on the brink of sitting the election out if McCain gets the nomination; And although Sean Hannity prefaces everything he says about McCain with, “He’s a war hero,” it’s clear that Hannity is no McCain supporter either.

My question is how exactly does this McCain victory help him in Georgia and nationally? Is it going to help with what some describe as “picking up steam” here in the Peach State? What about the slew of Georgia legislators who jumped ship to the Romney camp? Does this mean they’ll be working overtime to steal some support away from Mike Huckabee? Exit polling in Florida showed Romney beating Huckabee among evangelicals, after all. Could Georgia swing toward Romney or will it stay with Tax Hike Mike? Or will McCain’s momentum be too much to handle?

In other Georgia-related news, certain influential political bloggers are understandably bitter because their particular candidate of choice happened to be lazier than whale feces and unable to pick up more delegates than the “fringe” candidate. Any time those bloggers are ready to support the real conservative choice hands down, I’ll make sure I have a tin foil hat ready in your size.

45 comments

  1. Chris says:

    I could see certain party elders making calls right now to the super tuesday opinion leaders to suck support from Tax Hike Mike to Romney, but I’m not sure that will help a whole lot with voting already open and the media and punditists talking about McCain-mentum.

    I think at this point the nomination is McCain’s to lose. Ideally, Romney & McCain should strike a deal to make Romney the running-mate. Romney can then save the money he’d blow in the primary to make up for the GOP’s fundraising disadvantage.

    Or, he should funnel some of that to pro-HRC groups. 🙂

  2. StevePerkins says:

    What about the slew of Georgia legislators who jumped ship to the Romney camp? Does this mean they’ll be working overtime to steal some support away from Mike Huckabee?

    Do legislators actually DO anything with their endorsements other than simply making them? From what I can tell, a legislator’s endorsement is nothing more than a reflection of who they think the front-runner is… or who the people in their district back if they hate the front-runner. I’ve never seen any indication that legislators endorse Presidential candidates based on conviction, and I’ve never seen then do any work to bring others’ over to their side.

    The whole thing seems to mostly be a cosmetic exercise to show how the legislator is “in touch” with his district. Hell, my Congressman (John Linder) has endorsed half the field at one point or another in this race… and may very well end up with the same candidate he started with. As the old Bob Dylan song goes, he’s just a weatherman telling us which way the wind blows.

  3. Icarus says:

    “particularly among conservative commentators and, for the most part, blog readers and contributors”

    The problem using “us” as the basis for objective analysis is that most of “us” forget that we’re not the average voter.

    We’re into politics. We blog this stuff year round. Most voters, including very normal, intelligent people, don’t really care, and don’t pay attention until the last minute.

    I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone this past week literally telling people who Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are. These are mostly college educated successful professionals (including at least one Tech grad, Bill).

    And these “average/normal/real” people aren’t hung up on pure ideology or party allegiance. They know what they generally want out of a candidate, and beyond that, the labels don’t really mean that much.

    A lot of us on the conservative side of the isle are whining and moaning because someone that isn’t the second coming of Ronald Reagan has been picked as our nominee. These same people forget that Reagan won by building a coalition with “Reagan Democrats”.

    If we want to spend another 40 years as the minority party, I’d suggest we carry out our threat to sit home and not vote for a Republican candidate until he meets 100% of the expectations of conservatives. Of course, that will never happen.

    Each person will have to make up their own mind how to vote on Tuesday. But most of our friends and neighbors will then go back to their “normal” lives, and won’t think much about this again until late October.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Perhaps its time the “establishment Republicans” got handed a defeat. After all, they gave us 8 years of “compassionate socialism” with Bush.

    By the way, quoting what Hannity and Limbaugh says makes me think even more that McCain should take it. Those 2 knuckleheads have been nothing but lapdogs for the Bush Administration.

  5. StevePerkins says:

    Funny post, Jace. I emailed Erick this morning to ask about his plans for the Super Bowl game this Sunday, and he replied saying that he’ll be cheering for Bret Favre to cover the spread. I just don’t know about this guy…

  6. drjay says:

    i think enthusiastic endorsments can be helpful–i think guv crist helped in fla–these endorsements are esp. useful if they come w/ access to local organization and voter lists and donor lists and personal pleas from said endorser to their key supporters for money and votes–but the ones that just hold a hasty press con and end up w/ their name on a website are probably not that important a all…

  7. Icarus says:

    “Do legislators actually DO anything with their endorsements other than simply making them?”

    From my experience Steve, the answer is “it depends on the legislator”.

    Some just use it as an opportunity to get their own name in the paper. But a lot of these folks do have a bit of their own organization, and these resources – consultants, grass-roots, direct mail lists, fundraising sources – are often loaned to the candidate who has been endorsed.

    Most of what happens after these endorsements, if it happens, isn’t clearly visible. But with some electeds, it’s worth a lot more than others.

  8. Jace Walden says:

    Bill,

    I completely agree. Hearing just how much the “conservative” “establishment” (Rush and Hannity) hate McCain almost makes me want to switch from Paul to McCain.

    McCain has actually grown on me as of late. If he wins the nomination…he might be the ONLY Republican other than Ron Paul that I would even consider voting for. I’m not totally sold on him yet though. I guess we’ll see.

  9. midgajim says:

    Just thought I’d add that both my wife and my mother–both die-hard Repubs–say they’d sooner vote for Obama than McCain. I’m too much of a party guy to do that, but he’s dead last on my list of favs.

  10. IndyInjun says:

    “Most voters, including very normal, intelligent people, don’t really care, and don’t pay attention until the last minute.”

    Agreed, but “intelligent” folks DO pay attention, otherwise they are not intelligent.

    MOST voters are neither informed nor intelligent.

    “If we want to spend another 40 years as the minority party, I’d suggest we carry out our threat to sit home and not vote for a Republican candidate until he meets 100% of the expectations of conservatives.”

    I spent 32 years using this stated philosophy, but the GOP is now so far removed from any conservative principles that I won’t play that game anymore. If the most lamentable political party since the days of the founders spends 40 years in exile, so be it. They can destroy the USA with your vote. They don’t have mine anymore.

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Upon careful consideration over the past 48 hours, there is a really good chance I will be voting for McCain.

    Why? Not because of “momentum” or the Florida trounce of Romney.

    More because of why the trounce of Romney occured. And, I believe that Floridian Republicans can recognize the same thing that I see: McCain, for all of his faults, is not a liar. Romney is (how many flip-flopping positions can one person take in the span of 3 years?).

    MOST thinking Republicans (i.e., the non-establishment Republicans) really don’t like liars in their midst. They’ve had the Liar Bush as their establishment candidate for 8 years. They’re sick of him and his ilk.

    Therefore, they gravitate towards McCain.

    The fact that all of the “establishment” legislators in this state have jumped on Romney also tell me that Romney is the wrong choice.

  12. eburke says:

    Bill,
    Some of us in Middle Georgia were conservative before it became fashionable. I helped campaign for republicans in 76 and 80 in Middle Georgia. It is time that you country club republicans quit looking down your noses on the average joe, conservative, limited government, christian who really want thier government small and to be left alone for the most part.

  13. Bill Simon says:

    Burke,

    I’m sorry…WHICH part of my statement looked down my nose to “average joe?”

    AND, do let me know what this “christian” government you would like is all about.

  14. eburke says:

    It sounded like you were disparaging the folks in Mid-Georgia who may not in the establishment but many are very conservative and elected Republicans for their Mayor back when Atlanta was electing Maynard Jackson.

    I didn’t say anything about a “christian” government but the Christians support limited government.

    Middle Georgia has had elected Republicans for far longer than the last decade.

  15. StevePerkins says:

    Bill… I grew up in South Georgia, and moved to Atlanta only after I graduated college. Whether they’re right or wrong, I can sum up the outlook and perspectives of Middle-to-South Georgians in two sentence fragments:

    (1) “Atlanta conservative” == “country-club Republican”

    (2) “anything that anyone from Atlanta says at all” == “looking down their noses at us”

    I’ve had to hear so much of this ignorant crap at family reunions over the past decade… (2) eventually became a self-fulfilling prophesy.

  16. drjay says:

    i really do not mean this to be contraversial or disparaging to eburke who i do not know but middle ga has always been conservative yes but reall yhad to be dragged kicking and screaming into electing gop’s and there are still way more dem sheriffs and commisioners in counties like telfair and dodge and montgomery than gop’s–and for federal office it was not until 94 that gop’s other than callaway in the 60’s and a couple of metro guys represented our fair state iin congress…the same is true over in my part of the state as well so it is not a criticism just a historical observation…

  17. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I’m a New England Republican who despises Romney, what does that make me? And don’t say a RINO or Democrat….grrrrrrrr
    😉

  18. Jace Walden says:

    Loyalty,

    The Patriots will win by 20 points or more. If you say that you agree with that, then I won’t call you anything other than a “great American.”

  19. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Jace, Don’t jinx them! I think we’ll win too, but probably by 10 or 14. But I’d take the over.

  20. Carpe Forem says:

    In the analysis of McCain’s wins in SC and FL, one thing I’m not hearing is how much of a role did the members and veterans of the Air Force and Navy make? I would think a lot. I don’t think they’ll make a significant contribution in the other Super Tuesday states. Momentum may be with McCain, but I don’t believe it is as insurmountable as the pundits are making out.
    Paul has more momentum in GA than McCain does.

  21. drjay says:

    well the ron paul blimp did fly over last week–there is no telling what those blimp guys are doing to our brain waves w/ their fancy flying machine to turn us all into ronulans…

  22. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    There’s a Ron Paul blimp? For real? I missed it. I bet it’s filled with a lot of hot air.
    Lame joke, I know.

  23. Still Looking says:

    “By the way, quoting what Hannity and Limbaugh says makes me think even more that McCain should take it. Those 2 knuckleheads have been nothing but lapdogs for the Bush Administration.”

    Might as well recognize Fox News as another “lap dog for Bush”. CNN has been kicking their butts in election coverage. Not only is it better, but their ratings are exceeding Fox for coverage of NH and SC. The Democratic debates (not to be found on Fox) are drawing very high ratings. High ratings will also come to CNN from the two Calif debates this week.

    Fox also did their best to ignore Ron Paul and prop up Rudy. They kicked Paul off the NH debate and hyped “America’s Mayor” for months. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH47iuMTuC8

    O’Reily is so desparate to get a Democrat on his show he had to be restrained by a secret service agent.

    Fox has been successful in aligning and identifying themselves with the GOP. Now that fewer people identify with the GOP and Bush, Fox is losing audience.

  24. GOPeach says:

    McCain’s the candidate of amnesty for illegal aliens.

    McCain supports embryonic stem-cell research.

    McCain has said “I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade”.

    McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts, and refuses to sign the “No New Taxes” pledge.

    McCain supports legislation that would increase taxes on energy.

    McCain was the ring-leader of the Senate “Gang of 14”, which kept the then Senate Republican leadership from ending the ability of Democrats to filibuster Bush’s judicial nominees.

    McCain supports legislation to grant due-process rights to terrorists.

    McCain sponsored the inept legislation which restricts free-speech rights of those involved
    in the political process, (the McCain/Feingold bill)

    McCain called evangelical-conservatives an “evil influence” on the Republican Party.

    McCain – member of the Keating 5 that caused a bipartisan scandal during the S&L meltdown.

    McCain had a recall election ran against him by the conservatives in Arizona.

    McCain blocked the investigation into whether Viet Nam and the Soviets were still holding over 600 of our missing POWs in 1990

  25. Bill Simon says:

    Still Looking,

    I dropped watching FOX News Channel (O’Reilly, Hannity, et al.) years ago.

    I hate having to spend one moment watching suffering suck-up sychophants of the Bush Administration.

  26. Bull Moose says:

    I gave up on FOX a long time ago.

    Rush and Hannity are just loud mouths. They have been complicit in the incompetence of the GOP that ran us into the minority party.

    Calling Mitt Romney a conservative is like saying Peach Pundit is the Gospel. Both aren’t true.

    McCain is a real American Hero and will make an excellent nominee and President. I hope that you guys will come on board!

  27. midgajim says:

    (Not that anyone will ever read this but)

    Bill – No – I’ve lived down here and been a Republican since the cradle. Some of us saw the light long, long before the others did. I credit my parents and 5th grade teacher. Would be curious to know: you seem bitter towards most things Republican. What keeps you hanging around?

    drjay – My wife thinks Obama is too naive and unschooled to be very harmful but fears McCain at the switch. My mom believes McCain to be a backstabber and closet lib. Me? I’m a party guy, but he’s last on my list. I’ll just hold my nose.

  28. GOPeach says:

    Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) successive wins in South Carolina and Florida mean he clearly is the front-runner.

    Everything is in his favor in the high population states, and he could come close to wrapping up the nomination because of winner-take-all Republican rules. Time is growing short for the right wing of the GOP to stop McCain or even wrest concessions from him.

    VOTE HUCKABEE !!!!

  29. SamTeasley says:

    Mitt Romney has run a strong campaign, but seemingly has failed to connect with the voters. He is now 0-4 in contested races where he was not a native son. I am sure that Romney is a good and decent man, but I believe that he has missed his opportunity to connect and I ask GOP voters to consider someone else.

    I hope that they will take a look at Mike Huckabee and give him an opportunity to represent their views on February 5th.

    I have spent 2-3 days with Governor Huckabee and I have found him to be an authentic man who not only holds conservative views, but has a deep affection for people. In every event where I have been with him, he stops to talk to people, whether they be a donor, a volunteer, or a security guard – from everything that I can tell, he seems to be no “respecter of persons.”

    I find this deeply refreshing in a candidate. I have been to a number of political events where the politician talking to me seemed to be looking past me to find the more important person to talk to – I am sure that many of you have to.

  30. griftdrift says:

    “I didn’t say anything about a “christian” government but the Christians support limited government.”

    Except in my bedroom or doctor’s office.

  31. GOPeach says:

    HUCKABEE the ONLY “CATHOLIC” ON THE BALLOT…

    -When this exercise is done fairly and without prejudice, many Catholics will be surprised to discover that the presidential candidate whose viewpoints seem most “in sync” with the Church’s guidance is none other than the most devout Evangelical in the race: Mike Huckabee.

    Huckabee has advertised himself during this presidential election as a “Christian [that is, Evangelical Christian] leader,” whose faith “not only informs me, it defines me.”

    Then how could he be the most “Catholic” candidate on the ballot?

    If this comes as a shock to many Catholics, it probably says more about our lack of knowledge of our own heritage of social teaching, and more about our ignorance of the depth and breadth of American Evangelicalism, than it does about Gov. Huckabee himself.

    http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=26620

  32. Jason Pye says:

    Sam,

    You’re being duped. It is not too hard to look at his record and see that he has masked himself.

    He is a tax-and-spend liberal, who has done nothing but lie about his record.

  33. GOPeach says:

    I am a Republican because:

    I believe the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored. ( EVEN IF THEY ARE A CHRISTIAN)

    I believe in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

    I believe that free enterprise and the encouragement of individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

    I believe government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn. ( MIKE FAIR TAX HUCKABEE WILL MAKE THIS HAPPEN! )

    I believe the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least. ( AMEN )

    I believe the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people. ( LIKE LOCAL ELECTIONS SEATS THAT ARE OFTEN IGNORED)

    I believe Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times. ( FAIR TAX … MIKE HUCKABEE …. HELLO!!!!)

    I believe Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world. ( HONOR IN IRAQ)

    Finally, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.

    VOTE FOR MIKE HUCKABEE!!!!

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