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Delphi
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I've said all along that on paper at least, this guy has to be the conservative's conservative. Now, if Mlipsky sees this he will remind everyone that as a liberal I have no "creds" on this issue so I'll save him the trouble and agree that I could be missing something. But look at his wiki entry and it's hard to argue with this notion. Plus he has a son in Iraq and was instrumental in getting a partial wall built along the Mexican border at a time when this is one of, if not the, most passionate issue among rank and file GOP voters. The obvious knocks against him as a potential nominee have been name recognition and fundraising - and both are still hurdles.

I wonder though if he isn't picking up some steam as the immigration issue has advanced from a simmer to a low boil. As background, over the last few months he has done extremely well in several state straw polls. First he won in Arizona [1], beating a local fellow named John McCain. Then in SC [2] he finished a close third with Giuliani and McCain (164-162-158 ). Most recently he won in Texas [3] in a poll where the frontrunners didn't attend but you could still vote for them (and some did). Now these are not the most scientific things, but as a measure what the movers and shakers in the party who bother to show up think, they could be a bellweather for how regular voters view him once they get familiar with him (assuming he reaches the critical mass to get to them). Note also that even though these look like small samples, at roughly 1,000 voters they rival in statistical power (if not in careful demographic representation) the Fox/CBS/WaPo/Gallup/USAT polls we all routinely react to in trading here.

Despite these straw polls however, he was still polling as an asterisk nationally until recently. I had honestly written him off for awhile. But now there may be some indication that the regular folks are starting to like what they see. They are famously underwhelmed with the current candidates, and Hunter does have a solid anti-abortion voting record -- so he could even end up the "compromise" candidate that the hawks, evangelicals and business folks can all live with. I watch these polls and from time to time see him blip up to 1 or 2 in a single one, but never across the board. But now, in the 3 most recent polls listed at pollingreport.com [4], he's trending upward (see below). He's no Mike Huckabee yet, and this could be noise still, but he might be someone to watch -- especially with the facetime he has gotten this week due to the southern CA fires. Stay tuned.

Fox: 3% (up from 1)
LA Times: 2 (up from 1)
CNN: 3 (up from 1)

[1] http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/01/16/news/top_stories/1_03_321_15_07.txt
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0121mccain0120.html

[2]
http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/blogs/politicalticker/2007/03/mccain-wins-spartanburg-straw-poll.html

[3] http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/090207dntexstrawpoll.90d12f3f.html

[4] http://pollingreport.com/wh08rep.htm
Tozikio
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Joined: September 22, 2007 23:58:21 UTC
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I think Hunter simply probed a few soft spots in the campaign trail for publicity, while the real contenders were elsewhere. Illegal immigration is a hot button that all the candidates are willing to press, I don't see a lot of leverage there.

To me the only guesswork, is whether he will drop out before Tancredo.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at October 26, 2007 02:44:41 UTC

Delphi
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Tozikio wrote: Illegal immigration is a hot button that all the candidates are willing to press, I don't see a lot of leverage there.


Actually from here it doesn't sound like they are pressing those buttons much, perhaps because most of them have supported the "amnesty" approach to some degree or another in order to pander to the rich donors. And even if some of them do venture to give it lip service, to my knowledge he's the only candidate who's actually produced anything concrete (literally) to deal with the situation.

It seems surreal to me. I hear all this squawking about the "illegals invading" - yet the only candidates who are talking tough about it (Tancredo and Paul as well) are still in the low single digits. It must be because I'm a liberal and am used to being surrounded by rational behavior. Maybe this is normal on the Republican side. (There, that'll give Mlipsky a formal invite to the conversation!)
Dessalines
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Illegal immigration works better as a "stick it to the Democrats" issue for Republicans. It only really appeals to a small, but vocal, segment of the working class (both left and right). A wall and deport candidate will be perceived as unelectable, and will be unappealing to those with money to donate.

Additionally, hispanics tend to be conservative on many key issues. Going too far to the right on immigration alienates hispanic voters. The Republican party is making an effort to appeal to hispanic voters. Being hard on abortion but moderate on immigration garners more votes. Turning out the core conservatives won't work anymore. It took eight years, but they finally figured it out.

Maybe when someone starts to fall, they'll make a stink over immigration? Until then, serious candidates have the general election to think about. . .
andywend
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Delphi:

You're absolutely right here. Duncan Hunter is a conservative's conservative and would make a fantastic president.

I got an email a while back which asked 11 different questions to determine which candidate is most in line with one's views.

Duncan Hunter came out on top easily with Fred Thompson a clear 2nd. The bottom 2 were Dennis Kuninch and Christopher Dodd. I would imagine if you answered the 11 questions, the results would be the exact opposite.

Delphi, just to make one thing clear. Just because we have completely opposite political views, doesn't mean I think you are a bad person. It only means that I disagree with you politically.

I realize that the republicans have gotten quite SOFT on illegal immigration but that doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist. Whether we like it or not, hispanics are making up a larger and larger percentage of voters and it won't be too long when they will be the group deciding our elections.

The republicans are wasting their time going after the black vote and as long as blacks hand over their votes to the democrats, they will never get adequate representation from the federal government. If they showed the slightest bit of willingness to vote republican as a group, I think the party would bend over backwards to fight for them.

The hispanics control the future of the republican party (and the democratic party for that matter) and the republicans have decided to vigorously fight for their votes.

The federal government (under both parties) has proven to be ineffective in properly managing social security, education, etc. If the democrats get their wish and the government completely takes over medicine, it will be an absolute disaster.

The quality of medical care under the current system is the best in the world and socializing the system will wind up destroying it. Instead, the democrats should concentrate on trying to get all these uninsured people access to this great medical care system currently in place in the U.S.

I appreciate the invite to the conversation and hope all is well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at October 26, 2007 06:49:55 UTC

Delphi
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Andywend, thanks for your thoughts. I don't actually take biting disagreement here too personally (hence the invitation to Mlipsky, unofficial attack dog of the right here, to dive into this one). One nice thing about this forum is that no matter our often wildly divergent political views, we all share a riveted fascination with futures markets. Since accurate conract appraisal requires dispassionate objectivity and inclusion of all available information and perspectives, there's that incentive to have civil, all-engaging discussion.

So in that spirit (!) I'll decline to bite too much into your comments here on health care delivery - except to say that I expect we will always have a thriving private health care industry that exists on top of a basic safety-net level universal coverage (however that ends up implemented, as I'm certain it will be).

It's my take too (Dessalines and Andywend) that immigration presents both parties with a difficultly-navigated minefield. Your posts though make me wonder if I'm not sufficiently appreciating the interest the GOP has in avoiding alienating Hispanic citizens on this issue. I'm well aware they trend Democrat at the ballot box (except for Cuban-Americans), but are on the whole socially conservative, but maybe had a blind spot to the tightrope act the GOP was playing with them on getting tough on their cultural cousins who are flouting the law to get here. More specifically, I guess I have assumed that dealing with the ire on this issue coming from the "anglo" working class GOP rank and file dwarfed that concern (of alienating potentially swing-voting hispanics). I take it you think this segment which is up in arms about this is small enough not to be a significant driving factor in policy, or even enduring rhetoric? I confess I'm not familiar enough with the hard numbers (of who cares fervently about this issue, by voting preference). It would be useful to see this kind of info. But at least from anecdotal observance, they seem like a hugely vocal contingent on the internet - and from my personal experience, in public.

I agree with the nexus Dessalines points to between the big donors and the tack the party is going to take on this issue. Still I don't see why a Tancredo or a Hunter can't make better hay out of this by talking it up non-stop. Remember that these long-shot candidates (like Dodd and Richardson from the other side) have everything to gain by going for broke and tacking further away from the middle in order to stay in the game longer. I guess they are trying but the money issue means that no one will hear it.

Still, if the constituency is large and motivated enough (which I thought it was), why aren't they actively seeking out these second-tier candidates and at least finding them on the internet, if not on their TVs? Nearly everyone has some web access, even if it's the local library. I guess that's the thing I don't get. The Tancredo/Hunter/Paul trio is pretty "pure" on this issue, but their polling total is in single digits. I could swear that even the portion of the GOP primary voters for whom this is a viable "single issue" would be twice that much, easily. Clearly I'm still missing something.
CaliforniaArchitect
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Delphi, it looks like Huckabee is picking up the traction that you said would be set up for Hunter, probably due to the social conservatives such as James Dobson. But they haven't really endorsed him. And Huckabee's immigration stance is in no way pushing the "hot button".

With Thompson declining, I think there might be some upward potential for Hunter but his numbers just don't move. It's almost like there's a block of 20 points looking to land on the right flank with nowhere to go.

Maybe we should suggest a contract for a third party right wing candidate?





Tozikio
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From the Thompson thread:
I do get the impression that Duncan Hunter is basically being himself. Maybe that's why he isn't moving. He does seem to fit the Reaganite mold the best. That really has me wondering.


Duncan Hunter raises a lot of unpleasant questions about China ... the trade imbalance, and their increasing military reach. It probably does not sit well with the many business factions in the Republican party that rely on cheap imports from China.
CaliforniaArchitect
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Delphi wrote: ... More specifically, I guess I have assumed that dealing with the ire on this issue coming from the "anglo" working class GOP rank and file dwarfed that concern (of alienating potentially swing-voting hispanics). I take it you think this segment which is up in arms about this is small enough not to be a significant driving factor in policy, or even enduring rhetoric? I confess I'm not familiar enough with the hard numbers (of who cares fervently about this issue, by voting preference). It would be useful to see this kind of info. But at least from anecdotal observance, they seem like a hugely vocal contingent on the internet - and from my personal experience, in public.

I agree with the nexus Dessalines points to between the big donors and the tack the party is going to take on this issue. Still I don't see why a Tancredo or a Hunter can't make better hay out of this by talking it up non-stop. Remember that these long-shot candidates (like Dodd and Richardson from the other side) have everything to gain by going for broke and tacking further away from the middle in order to stay in the game longer. I guess they are trying but the money issue means that no one will hear it.

Still, if the constituency is large and motivated enough (which I thought it was), why aren't they actively seeking out these second-tier candidates and at least finding them on the internet, if not on their TVs? Nearly everyone has some web access, even if it's the local library. I guess that's the thing I don't get. The Tancredo/Hunter/Paul trio is pretty "pure" on this issue, but their polling total is in single digits. I could swear that even the portion of the GOP primary voters for whom this is a viable "single issue" would be twice that much, easily. Clearly I'm still missing something.


I'm missing it as well. When the Dobson faction of 50 "evangelical leaders" met about a month ago, the 2 candidates that had the most support were Huckabee and Hunter, the 2 Hu-Hus.

They are both right wing conservative christians but one is a hawk on immigration and the other is a dove. Huckabee promptly climbed a few points in the polls and here on Intrade, but Hunter has stayed put firmly below 1%. It just doesn't make any sense that Hunter got no traction except that the big donors are firmly against Hunter because of immigration, China trade, maybe 1 or 2 other items.

With that much of a disparity between what the big-money guys in the party want and what the rank&file want, the republican party's chances this time around are very slim. As a republican, it pains me to write that. The smart money, unfortunately, goes into the Hillary camp.
GAW838
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Nobody thinks Hunter is viable. He is little known outside southern California and has no compelling story to get him national media attention. Congressmen, even chairs of powerful committees, rarely gain much traction in Presidential campaigns and Hunter is no exception.

Its possible he could have become a contender with better fundraising, but most of his hope for that was undermined by his announcing he wouldn't run for reelection and thus hampering his ability to squeeze the defense industry for contributions.

It's not gonna happen, and it's not a big mystery; Let's move on.
Delphi
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To me this just underscores how pathetically dependent this country is on their TV sets to tell them what to do, think and want. I keep thinking the advent of the internet would finally be the great "equalizer", where a candidate would no longer need millions to keep his face in front of viewers 24/7, since they can find him on the internet, and then (if his message resonates), word of mouth takes it from there. But I'm wrong. We are still a country of passive, mental-slavery-seeking drones.

I guess this is the thought process that goes on with these (98% of) people:

"Well, I like what this guy Hunter/Huckabee/Nader/Whomever is saying, but he's not on my TV set every night, so he must not be an option for me. I'll stick with this Classic Coke that they're telling me to drink. They say it's the most popular beverage, so it must be the appropriate one."
Delphi
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GAW838, I agree it's probably not going to happen for Hunter, but just to sum up, my argument was a very simple one. Hunter has actually gotten a modicum of facetime on mainstream TV - he goes on FoxNews and Meet the Press, etc. once in awhile. Given that he and maybe Tancredo are the only ones talking "tough" on illegal immigration, I just don't get why people didn't perk up after these news appearances, possibly go check them out on the internet, and then bring up their names when the guys at work are grousing about the "damn illegals" problem over their lunchboxes.

Instead, you've got the corporate-owned frontrunners who are all pro-amnesty (in one form or another) cruising to big leads. I'm not really complaining, I just don't get it - at all. It doesn't come close to adding up. The rank and file is up in arms over illegal immigration, except... that they aren't. I'm just wondering which information I'm getting is faulty.
GAW838
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I'm not sure it's that simple. It's not that people (by which I mean the primary voting masses) know all about Duncan Hunter and won't vote him bc he's not on TV. It's that they are basically pretty lazy when it comes to politics and mostly consider info that gets thrust upon them by news coverage and advertising. They don't spend a lot of time browsing candidate websites. Do you really expect them to?

This does give the media a sort of gatekeeping power. The get to decide who's viable, allowing those candidates to increase their name ID and fundraising and thus reinforcing the impression that they're viable. Sometimes this has bad effects and doesn't produce the best top tier (who really thinks John Edwards is more qualified than Joe Biden) but it does serve an arguably necessary function of narrowing the choices to something that is manageable to the average voter.

The criteria that are used to determine who gets in the top tier may be flawed, but some sort of criteria are necessary and I don't think Duncan Hunter would make the bar under most other conceivable systems.

If you want to rage against the perverse incentives endemic to American politics, I don't think the failure of Duncan Hunter's (really he's running) Presidential bid is the best poster child.
ko
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GAW838 wrote: Nobody thinks Hunter is viable. ....
Its possible he could have become a contender with better fundraising, but most of his hope for that was undermined by his announcing he wouldn't run for reelection and thus hampering his ability to squeeze the defense industry for contributions.

It's not gonna happen, and it's not a big mystery; Let's move on.


Thanks for the analysis. That's interesting about squeezing the defense industry. It strikes me as a bit of a double-edged sword, trying to squeeze those guys. Maybe what we have here is a truly honest candidate. No wonder why he's going nowhere.


The part that doesn't make sense is your very first statement -- nobody thinks he's viable. He's a 13-term congressman who came in during the Reagan Revolution, and supposedly that's what the Republican party is all about today. But, looking at Hunter's dismal numbers proves that the Republican party is seeking/moving/going/craving a centrist approach, with the 4 biggest frontronners all having various flaws when you view them through the prism of the current republican party platform. That means the entire platform is up for grabs, the entire election (from the republican standpoint) is up for grabs, and the whole party is being redefined as we speak. They are in no shape to win an election.

Sun Tsu and Patton both said, "Most battles are won before they begin." This battle is already in the hands of Hillary. All of her would-be opponents have easily perceived blind spots, and the army that opposes her is running around bleeding rather than fighting back.
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ko
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Delphi wrote: To me this just underscores how pathetically dependent this country is on their TV sets to tell them what to do, think and want. I keep thinking the advent of the internet would finally be the great "equalizer", where a candidate would no longer need millions to keep his face in front of viewers 24/7, since they can find him on the internet, and then (if his message resonates), word of mouth takes it from there. But I'm wrong. We are still a country of passive, mental-slavery-seeking drones.


Yes, you've got something there. TV is a very lazy information tool. The internet is still intimidating to millions of Americans. And TV is Free. So, the main stream media still holds sway in a big way. Dan Rather can put out "fake but accurate" portrayals of a sitting president, and millions of sheep think nothing of it.


Delphi wrote: I guess this is the thought process that goes on with these (98% of) people:

"Well, I like what this guy Hunter/Huckabee/Nader/Whomever is saying, but he's not on my TV set every night, so he must not be an option for me. I'll stick with this Classic Coke that they're telling me to drink. They say it's the most popular beverage, so it must be the appropriate one."


Sadly, I agree with you and it is a depressing commentary on the current state of American intellect. Yes, name recognition is a powerful thing. 99% of the inhabitants of the planet have heard of Coke, and 92% have tried it. That's a tremendous reach. The internet is in its infancy and to rely upon as the primary means of support is like relying on a child. They don't know enough to be formidable, but they can surprise you.
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People don't over-react like they used to. ~AlfonzoBSwanzo
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