Monday, October 22, 2007

United Church of Christ

United Church of Christ, originally uploaded by StarrGazr.

by John Adams
Saturday Oct 20th, 2007 8:17 PM

Anti-war voters throughout Iowa and New Hampshire are acknowledging the inevitability of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. “I’ve never seen anything like it!” says Richard Stanton of the California based POLLS’R’US, “Every major poll across the country is indicating the same outcome for the Democratic presidential primary race! Zogby, USA Today/Gallup, Harris, CNN, ABC/Post, you name them, Hillary Clinton wins them by a comfortable margin over Obama and Edwards. The race is going to be over before Super Tuesday even happens!”

Major pollsters across the country have been predicting for some time that the Democratic primary race would be a blowout, while the Republican contest would be the real horse race. “The Republican field is still wide open”, says Stanton. “Guiliani, Romney, Thompson and McCain are all viable, and then there’s the surprise anti-war candidate, Ron Paul.”

Stanton points to some underlying polling data which suggests over a quarter of Republican voters are unhappy with the Iraq war. “The numbers are pretty steady”, according to Stanton. “The pro-war candidates are splitting the pro-war vote, while nearly all the anti-war Republicans are supporting Ron Paul. The methods being used by the major pollsters seems to drop this data completely out of the mix. It’s not being fully reflected in their polls. Ron Paul could be the next Iowa/New Hampshire surprise.”

Anti-war voters in Iowa and New Hampshire seem to be getting the same message. They are turning their sites toward impacting the Republican caucus/primary races in their respective states. “I would have preferred Kucinich. He would have ended the war immediately!” says Barb McClintock of Iowans Against the Iraq War. “But, I’m not going to waste my vote. I’m going to register as a Republican and vote against the pro-war Republicans in their caucus, then I’ll be voting for Hillary in the general election. I have lots of friends who are doing the same thing.”

Bill Moore, a New Hampshire shop owner, says he’s been a staunch Democrat all his life. “I’ve been voting Democratic since John Kennedy ran in 1960! And, I’m so mad about this war I could spit!” Bill says he doesn’t follow the polls very much. “I have a feel for these things and I think Ron Paul could win this state! There’s a bit of Libertarian in all of us up here, Democrat and Republican alike. Besides, I like the idea of throwing a wrench into the Republican pro-war machine!” Bill laughs.

He might just have his way. Ron Paul has finished first in 17 of 36 Republican straw polls around the country, and in second or third place in another 12, far exceeding any other candidate. Successful fundraising, through the internet, has placed him in a solid position to compete with pro-war candidates through Super Tuesday, according to many campaign analysts.

Richard Stanton says Paul may have another distinct advantage over his pro-war rivals. “He’s definitely an underdog, but that can be a big plus. Thompson, Guiliani and the rest need to win Iowa or New Hampshire outright. It’s expected. But, if Ron Paul were to only come in a strong second or third, then he’s off and running, because it would be a huge surprise. The longer the pro-war candidates all stay in the race, the better he will do. Even if he doesn’t win the nomination, I could see him taking the anti-war message straight to the podium of the Republican convention. I’m sure that would make the anti-war folks very happy!” Stanton said.

Can Ron Paul pull it off? The majority of voters ages 18-30 seem to think so, and their media of choice is cyberspace. The internet is awash with Congressman Paul’s supporters. Meetup, one of the internet’s most successful e-forums, reports Paul supporters out number their nearest Democratic and Republican rivals by more than thirteen to one. I spoke with a number of them and the war was always high on their list of issues. They also wanted to remind everyone to register as a Republican and vote for Ron Paul in the caucuses/primaries.

I don’t know who’s correct, the pollsters or the cyber-gurus, and I can’t predict how the races will turn out. But, in the world of boring, big money presidential politics, it’s nice to think that a Cinderella can still make it to the ball.

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