Mitt Romney Surge Seen In California
"Experience Matters" Image Credit: GovMittRomney/YouTube
Conservative Republican’s may finally be able to send Arnold Schwarzenegger a message on how they feel about his liberal betrayal of the people who swept him into office.
Turnout may set primary record
Tight races, early election energize California's voters.
By Kevin Yamamura - Sacramento Bee - Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, February 5, 2008
With California poised to play a pivotal role in today's highly competitive Super Tuesday presidential contests, a record 8.9 million primary voters are projected to participate statewide, according to the Field Poll.
The election has energized voters because it is the first presidential primary since 1952 in which no incumbent or sitting vice president is running for the White House and neither major party has yet to settle on its nominee.
Republican turnout may be determined in large part by how successful candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are in spurring the party's conservative base to vote, DiCamillo said.
The projected 8.9 million voters would be a record for a California primary, but not for all elections – more voters have participated in past November presidential contests. Field Poll anticipates 38.8 percent of Californians eligible to vote will do so in this election, the highest percentage in a primary since 1980, when Republicans first nominated California favorite son Ronald Reagan.
The big turnout, a record number of absentee voters and recent changes in voting equipment will delay results, officials have said. The final tally of presidential delegates, based on outcomes in each congressional district, may not be known for days.
Candidates and their surrogates worked Monday to urge their supporters to vote – and to persuade the remaining high number of undecided voters to back them. Romney held an event late Monday in Long Beach. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had an event Monday for Sen. John McCain at a phone bank in Gardena.
In Sacramento, former President Clinton addressed a crowd of about 600 people at Cal Expo, urging supporters to persuade their friends to vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, particularly the 18 percent of likely Democratic voters who remained undecided as of Saturday.
"All the surveys show, actually, there are still a fair amount of undecided voters out there, people you could reach between now and tomorrow," he said.
The Field Poll predicts a record number of absentee voters, an estimated 4.1 million, which is expected to represent 46 percent of the electorate.
According to the Field projection, Democrats are expected to constitute 45 percent of likely voters, and Republicans will be 37 percent. Independents and third-party voters will make up the remaining 18 percent. Roughly half the independents will vote in the Democratic primary. They can't vote Republican because the GOP contest is a closed election.
Unlike her predecessors, Secretary of State Debra Bowen did not release turnout projections Monday. She declined to make a prediction because of the unusual factors surrounding this contest. Those factors include this being the earliest primary California has held and the fact the races remain wide open, spokeswoman Kate Folmar said.
About 2,000 supporters greeted Romney near the Long Beach airport to hear the candidate make an election eve pitch for votes in what appears to be a tightening California primary.
"California is huge," Romney told reporters after the rally. "There's something happening here in California that's big. People in California are really concentrating on this race with renewed attention. … I'm getting greater support in California than I had a week ago, and we wanted to come back and put an exclamation point on the kind of support I'm getting here in California."
Kathy Kirchhoff of Long Beach attended the Romney rally with her husband and two children, drawn to the event by polls showing the former Massachusetts governor narrowing the gap in California against McCain.
Statement released to the Laura Ingraham show via YouTube (click image). James C. Dobson, Ph.D., is founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization that produces his internationally syndicated radio programs, heard on over 3,000 radio facilities in North America and in twenty seven languages in approximately 4,130 additional facilities in over 160 other countries. Image Credit: Focus On The Family
Dr. James Dobson, evangelical leader from Colorado Springs, Colorado, has released a statement exclusively to be read on the Laura Ingraham radio talk show this morning.
The statement reads as follows:
“I’m deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.
“I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has at times sounded more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down. I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.
“But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should John McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I’m affiliated. They do reflect, however, my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country.”
UPDATE - February 6, 2008:
Super Tuesday did not deliver the strength of showing that Mitt Romney had hoped for. It did not help that in West Virginia the Huckabee forces were aided by the McCain camp on a second ballot buy-off and threw in with Huckabee to give him the 18 delegates. John McCain arranged for his delegates to vote for Huckabee by offering to give each of the delegates a Blackberry as a buy-off if they changed their vote. On the first ballot, Romney had outclassed the field by 9% but State Conventions allow for second and third ballots until over 50% for just one candidate is achieved.
McCain did well on Super Tuesday. It was speculated that McCain needed at least 600 delegates for him to claim anything more than just front runner status. The tally as it stands at the time of this update - McCain/613 - Romney/269 - Huckabee/190. The race is not over but special events, like a recognition of the conservative strength between Romney and Huckabee, will have to happen.
This just in - Republican "Pro-Choice" group endorses John McCain!
Boy, this sounds like an oxymoron - the Republicans want to have a "Big Tent" but isn't this a tent pole too far?
This excerpted from GOPUSA -
The Strange GOP Nominating Victory
By Tony Blankley - February 6, 2008
Assuming John McCain gets the GOP nomination, it will show how whimsical history can be. It would be the first time in living memory that a Republican presidential nomination went to a candidate who was not merely opposed by a majority of the party but was actively despised by about half its rank-and-file voters across the country -- and by many, if not most, of its congressional officeholders. After all, the McCain electoral surge was barely able to deliver a plurality of one-third of the Republican vote in a three-, four- or five-way split field. He has won fair and square, but he has driven the nomination process askew.
This result reminds me of a nursery rhyme: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."
In the current instance, the lost nail was a viable conservative candidate. And despite the crabby, orthodoxy-sniffing, slightly over-the-hill condition of the conservative Republican majority, it still could easily nominate its candidate. In fact, we had two strong conservative candidates, either of whom almost surely would have unified the party early, as George W. did in 2000. But through accidents of history, neither ran.
Consider the recently very popular, tall, attractive, smart, eloquent, conservative, successful two-term Republican governor of one of our most populous swing states -- married to a beautiful Hispanic woman, no less. In fact, he is the son of a former president. Unfortunately for him and the party, he is also the brother of the current president. If Jeb Bush's name were Jeb Smith, the former
Or consider the cheerful, handsome, solidly conservative
So, the mischievous gremlins and elves inside the wheel of history have served up John McCain to lead Ronald Reagan's party into November battle. McCain is both the finest war hero since Eisenhower to run for president and the one senior Republican who has gleefully put his thumb in the eyes of his fellow Republicans and conservatives for a decade and a half. He is the apostate leader of a party tending toward ossified orthodoxy.
Conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, worry (with good cause) that this fluke of Republican history might permanently deflect the course of the party away from conservatism. And indeed, we came to power in the party through, in part, a fluke of history. In the nomination fight of 1964 (in which I was a youth coordinator for Barry Goldwater in
We were losing the decisive California primary until a few days before the vote, when Nelson Rockefeller's new young second wife, "Happy" Murphy Rockefeller, gave birth to little Nelson Jr. -- reminding social conservatives of his previous, presumed adultery. Goldwater won by a thin 2 percent.
We went on to the Cow Palace Convention in
Would we conservatives have taken over the party if Goldwater had lost that
If we conservatives sit on our hands this November, as moderates did 44 years ago, will we marginalize ourselves within the party (as the old Romney moderates did)? Or will we be saving the party for the grand old cause? Let's watch McCain's next moves.