Electoral politics and the GOP VP

Realclearpolitics has some new numbers out and they show just how close this election is electorally. To me, these numbers suggest that McCain has to pick someone that will guarantee that Pennsylvania goes “Red” in November. There may be one or two “potentials” from that state that could help swing it into play for the Republicans. Without Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida going for McCain this election will be very hard to win for him. It also shows that a state like Colorado or Michigan might be the key as well, but if I were one of McCain’s strategists I wouldn’t count on it.

Some sort of New Mexico/Colorado/New Hampshire combo would work for McCain, but that might be harder to pull off than just going for the gold and picking a Pennsylvania favorite son. This is playing politics for keeps and if you are the underdog you have to be willing to make a more daring move than Obama did by picking a blowhard from Delaware. This one counts and needs to be decent enough to help erase Obama's inevitable post convention bounce.

Hopefully, McCain (unlike Hillary) has some people working for him that understand electoral and proportional concepts and strategies, not to mention the ability to count to 270.

Early reports are that McCain will announce his veep selection in PA on Friday and that it will NOT be Tom Ridge. Could it be John Kasich? He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and was a nine term congressman in Ohio. Such a move would also shore up support among conservatives and help with the economic policy perception of the McCain ticket. Though if I had to guess, I am going to say that McCain’s choice is going to be either Mitt Romney (probably the favorite according to “insiders”) or Sarah Palin which, of course, would not help very much with Pennsylvania. Palin is definitely a bold and tempting choice and an “outside the box” pick may not be a bad idea here, especially if he doesn’t follow my PA favorite son strategy. Then you almost have to go the unique, successful white woman route to generate some genuine interest and actually gain some momentum and ultimately some votes from your pick.

Minnesota governor Tom Pewlenty is a good friend of McCain and McCain feels very comfortable with him. If everything else stayed exactly the same and Pewlenty was able to bring Minnesota into Red State territory then McCain might just barely cross the victory line by a nose in what may turn out to be one of the closest electoral races in history. That also is one heck of a gamble and my uncanny political sixth sense tells me that this will probably not happen.

In my analysis Huckabee is out, so is Lieberman, Thompson, Guiliani, and LA governor Jendal. And the rumor mill Hillary talk is downright crazy. Other than that, I won’t make any more predictions and will wait and see just like everyone else.

This should be interesting. I can’t wait until Friday and we'll see how close my guesses were. At least the suspense will be over, as well as the Democratic National Convention. Both things tend to leave me a bit quesy.

Posted by David M. Huntwork at August 26, 2008 2:01 AM
Comment #259561

Despite the Dems and the allied main stream media’s desperation to see Romney as McCain’s Veep, Mitt is clearly out, with (1) Obama doubling down on the class warfare theme (McCain’s 7 houses) and (2) McCain doubling down with ads showing the hypocrisy of Biden attacking Obama in the primaries — Romney did way more than that contra McCain.

This leaves only Govs Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. Pro-abortion Ridge and Dem-Lieberman were never real considerations, despite relentless media goading. Pawlenty’s lackluster TV performances, coupled with Palin pizzazz, the primacy of oil drilling and the ticked off women/Hillary voters, does now portend a McCain/Palin checkmate on the Dems. This is so albeit the Dems and liberal media dare not mention Palin’s name, that is, everyone but…..

And if there’s any question as to Palin being uniquely positioned and able to more than nullify Biden in debate, see the excellent discussion at palinforvp.blogspot.com

Team McCain, well done!!!

Posted by: Ted at August 26, 2008 3:56 AM
Comment #259562

I happen to agree with it will probably be Palin. McCain’s behind and needs the women voters, particularly those still-disgruntled Clinton supporters.

Personally I hope that he’ll pick Romney, or (if he really wants Obama to win) Joe Liebermann. But while the Republicans may not be the brightest bunch when it comes to running the country, they DO know how to win elections - even without Diebold.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 26, 2008 4:22 AM
Comment #259567

I think the above comments reveal how weak the republican possibilites are here. John Kasich? He’s as dumb as a fence post. Romney? Isn’t he the one that McCain’s campaign suggested was a “phony”. (he is, example of some “straight talk” from the McCain campaign?)
The real people who could provide some spark to McCain’s efforts are no-touch people: Powell, Guiliani, Gingrich. I don’t know anything about Palin; is she someone who could step into the commander-in-chief’s role?

Posted by: Charles ross at August 26, 2008 9:57 AM
Comment #259570

If McCain wanted to knock it out of the park and win this election right now, all he has to do is make a phone call to Hillary Clinton and offer her the VP job. If she accepted, it would be the end of the election, IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 10:23 AM
Comment #259616

VEEP Debates Q&A

QUESTION: How will Sarah Palin do in a debate with Joe Biden?

ANSWER: How many men watching will be aware that Biden is in the room?

Posted by: Ted at August 26, 2008 5:27 PM
Comment #259650

The Dems did not think we’d be here now. No Biden bounce. Magical mystery tour in Europe did nothing. Charlie I think you need to reconsider weakness. Gallup has McCain ahead. Even Zogby is dead even … a proclaimed Democrat … nope seems like weakness is not an issue with the Reps. Seems like their message is strong enough to make its way through a biased media and through political spending the like we have never seen in our lifetimes.

Posted by: Honest at August 26, 2008 11:11 PM
Comment #259667

Theme song for the Sarah Palin VP intro at RNC next week:


Posted by: Ted at August 27, 2008 1:26 AM
Comment #259769

I think Minnesota has been moving more and more into the red column over the last 2 decades. If he doesn’t pick Romney, he should just pick someone from the largest state that he thinks he could get by putting a person on his ticket.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 27, 2008 4:23 PM
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