...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 2591: Super-Trouper Tuesday


"Tonight the Super Trouper lights are going to blind me; but I won't feel blue; like I always do; 'cos somewhere in the crowd there's YOU!"

Never have ABBA written a truer word.

Tonight there was someone in the crowd for EVERYONE and all of them were TRUE BLUE, because it was the day when millions of Americans finally decided that the choice of candidates in the race for the White House would be… going on a bit.

It was the day that they were calling Super Duper Tuesday, so there's really only one thing to say… (run VT!)

Okay, maybe there IS more than one thing to say.

The outcomes in both races were far less cut and dried than everyone supposed going in.

My Fluffy Chum, Frank Luntz, among others had been predicting that Senator Oven-Chip would easily win among the Replutocrats, with Frankie first saying that he'd take more than half the states up for grabs and later raising that to 18 or 19. That didn't quite happen. In the end, Senator Over-Chip only won in 9 out of the 21 Replutocratic contests.

Among the Dumbocrats, there was much speculation that MTV's Barry O might steel a march on Hillary-Billary, and come out ahead. That didn't quite happen either. Instead, the honours were divided pretty evenly, with Senator Clinton doing better in terms of actual delegates, but Senator Barry getting a wider spread of states, and maintaining his SURGE.

This, in fact, has been MORE crucial in the days FOLLOWING Super Tuesday – unlike when he underperformed his team's predictions in New Hampshire – which have seen a RASH of states from Washington and Nebraska to Louisiana and on to Maine with the so-called beltway states to follow all plumping for the CHARISMATIC Senator from Illinois on the back of a wave of optimism.

But do not get carried away! These states had already been predicted to swing Barry-wards. Even so, the SCALE of his victories are certainly showing that the FORCE is with him. But it is the NEXT round, particularly in Texas, which will see if Hillary-Billary can make up lost ground or if the tide truly has swung towards her younger rival.

More worrying for the one-time First Lady should be the flow of FINANCES, and the news that she had to loan her own campaign $5million must be a bit embarrassing. When you are funding you own race for the White House you run the risk of looking like a VANITY PROJECT.

Of course, she's raised that money back and more in the days since Tuesday… though Barry O has raised even MORE STILL.

The MAGIC that seems to be with the Obama campaign is charming the birds from the air and more importantly the dollars from the wallets. And in a contest where both of them have already spent over $100million, that ability to wring more greenbacks out of the backers may be more decisive than the votes on the ground. Especially when the votes are as evenly split as they are.

Of course, the Dumbocrats have a PROPORTIONAL system that militates against knockout wins, because even coming second in California and New York means you can still gather a lot of delegates to the national convention where they decide the winner.

For the Replutocrats, because of the "winner steals all the biscuits" system that they use, Senator Oven-Chip has romped away in terms of delegate votes by winning those states (no doubt Hillary-Billary wishes she had the same advantage).

However, what is INTERESTING is to look at the split – and it is VERY split – of the Replutocratic votes behind the results.

In New York he got all 101 delegates with just 51% of the votes cast; in Illinois he got all 54 delegates with only 47% of the votes; in California he got 158 delegates with just 42% (Mitt Morony got a consolation prize of 12 delegates for 34% of the votes!); in Missouri he got all 58 delegates with JUST 33% of the vote (Mr Hucky-Mucky-Puppy got 32% of the vote and got nothing).

Even in his home state of Arizona, Senator Oven-Chip only managed to poll 48% of the votes. Sure, he won the 50 delegates and that's what COUNTS, but… he'd have lost his own senate seat.

The "winner takes all" results heavily disguise the fact that the MAJORITY of Replutocrats want a bonkers right-wing theocrat as their candidate. They just can't decide WHICH wingnut they prefer: in the Deep South, it's obviously deep-fried loon and evolution denier Mike Mucky-Puppy; in the rest of the middle of America, it's richer than Mammon, Mitt Morony. Only the coasts support Senator Oven-Chip and then hardly with any conviction. He might SAY that he appeals to the Conservatives, but the truth is he really doesn't.

If the religious right hadn't been split the Oven-Chip campaign would have been COOKED by now.

As it is, it was that gold-plated shyster Mr Morony who had to take an early bath (reputedly FURIOUS with the Mucky-Puppy campaign for spoiling his chances).

Mr Mucky-Puppy himself remains in the race, even though he's trailing a long way behind now. Significantly, he's picked up the 33 delegates from Kansas over the post-Super Tuesday weekend. It may not YET be somewhere over the rainbow, but the bluebirds are singing.

At this point, though, Senator Oven-Chip has 723 out of the 1,191 delegates that he needs to secure the role of punch-bag for the rest of the year. Why would Mr Mucky-Puppy, trailing with only a couple of hundred, be staying in the race?

Well, the aim has to be to secure enough delegates to make it impossible to ignore him and his crazy constituency. He probably wants to be Vice President, even though he says it's a job no one wants and has apparently been given the brush off by the Oven-Chip camp.

This doesn't stop Replutocrats thinking that McCain-Huckabee might be their dream ticket. McCain contributes strengths where Mucky-Puppy has weaknesses in Foreign Affairs and, er, Home Affairs. And where McCain has weaknesses, being a Washington insider, being a war-mongering maniac who would stay in Iraq for 10,000 years and being too close to the Monkey-in-Chief, Mucky-Puppy contributes… being a CRACK-BRAINED LOON.

Senator Oven-Chip would have to have a DEATH WISH to pick Mucky-Puppy. So no doubt that's who he'll end up saddled with.

To add to his woes, turnout has been HUGE. In the early primaries, it was remarked upon that turnout was UP for both Dumbocrats AND Repluotocrats. But on Super Tuesday, with Americans voting in record numbers, the word is that Dumbocrat voters outnumbered Replutocrats by more than 2 to 1. Which means even if Hillary-Billary's supporters don't turn out for Barry O (or vice versa) they can STILL win!

Mr God Bless Amnesia!

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