2008 White House "Power Rankings" - Republican Candidates

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Mavs Man, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Note: They typically update the two parties on alternating weeks. They'll do the Democrats next week. I'm not posting their latest one since it's over a month old, but you can find it here.

    White House 2008 rankings: The Republicans
    A bi-weekly rating of the presidential candidates

    National Journal
    Updated: 1:38 p.m. CT Sept 11, 2007


    WASHINGTON - We're back after what was, as usual, a politically eventful August. We're starting our weekly presidential rankings with the Republicans and will alternate weekly until... well, until we think we ought to rank both sides more frequently. Right now, both primary campaigns change like aircraft carriers, so every two weeks makes the most sense for each side.

    In all seriousness, though, isn't it time everyone ranked six and below here called it quits? It's over; these second- and third-tier candidates gave it a good go in the first eight months of this year, but it's not happening. Is there really an Appalachian State in here that we're overlooking? We don't think so.

    Note: Democrats and Republican rankings will be updated on alternating weeks. Click here for the latest Democratic rankings.

    These rankings are ordered by likelihood of winning the Republican Party primary and are based on a number of factors, including organization, money, buzz and polling.


    1. Rudy Giuliani
    Former New York City mayor Last Ranking: 1
    One half of your rankings team will have a column later this week (check your local MSNBC listings!) that argues Giuliani is actually in a stronger position than Clinton. The calendar is a problem for Clinton, but it's turned into an asset for Giuliani. He has his expectations bar in a great place right now in Iowa and New Hampshire, where second-place finishes will be "victories." Also, he has a delegate path that could get him the lead before Feb. 5 (thank you, Florida), when momentum will be everything. We still want to see how he handles sustained negative attacks. In fact, we're surprised by how little Giuliani has come under attack. He's been allowed to "live" too long by his foes, and now they are going to see how hard it will be to knock Rudy off his front-runner perch.

    2. Mitt Romney
    Former Massachusetts governor Last Ranking: 2
    So what's Act 2? The campaign seems to be getting its "winning Iowa, winning New Hampshire" momentum now, meaning Romney needs to prepare to have his actual victories in these states overlooked a bit. Is that fair? No, but it may be the reality he's living in. He ought to be glad that South Carolina is looking like the best place for him to prove his mettle, rather than a state like Florida. But the big worry for the campaign has to be the entire field ganging up on him. Is Romney to the GOP establishment what Howard Dean was to the Democrats? The way Dem forces combined to destroy Dean in Iowa, will GOP forces do the same? The level of venom the field has collectively for Romney has surprised us. He needs to change that tone or discredit more of his challengers.

    3. Fred Thompson
    Former Tennessee senator Last Ranking: 3
    You know that exhausted feeling you get sitting on the runway, wondering if the pilot is going to go back to the gate? And then the flight takes off, and you have that sense of relief mixed with anger? That's what we're sensing from the conservative grassroots regarding Thompson's entrance. It may have taken a while, but the campaign team that's FINALLY in place is good and very capable of pulling this off; he has no more organizational excuses. He's the comforting choice that conservatives can park themselves with should the Romney or Giuliani campaigns prove to be bridges too far. But running to be everyone's second choice (which we sense Thompson doing) usually means that you aren't in control of your own chances. Thompson doesn't win this nomination without Rudy and Romney both self-destructing. Possible? Yes, but it's starting to look less likely.

    4. John McCain
    Arizona senator Last Ranking: 4
    McCain and Huckabee are running similar campaigns. They hope their "straight talk" or "aw, shucks" personalities take them further than the scraps of money both have raised. The two are also becoming the superior debaters in the field. Both are positioned to be players in this fight. Realistically, both seem well-poised to be on the VP short list, at a minimum. And the two also have one other thing in common: a mutual disrespect for Romney. Could these two borderline first/second-tier candidates be the one-two punch that catapults either Giuliani or Thompson in a potential one-on-one with Romney?

    4. Mike Huckabee
    Former Arkansas governor Last Ranking: 7
    See McCain.

    6. Sam Brownback
    Kansas senator Last Ranking: 5
    We're surprised Brownback's still in the race after he went (nearly) all in trying to finish second at the Ames Straw poll. There was always going to be room for either Brownback or Huckabee in the top tier. Huckabee made it mostly because of charisma; he just has more of it than Brownback. Huckabee could sell a pig a pork sandwich. Brownback doesn't have that "it" thing.

    7. Ron Paul
    Texas congressman Last Ranking: 6
    Up until the last debate, Paul was the charming, though ideologically odd, gadfly candidate. But he turned very angry in that last debate and we're starting to wonder if his schtick is wearing thin. Still, some Republicans are worried about Paul jumping ship and going third party, siphoning enough votes in places that like their libertarians (think those Rocky Mountain states) to toss the election to the Democrats. So don't be surprised if Paul gets some kid-glove treatment by the GOP establishment.

    8. Tom Tancredo
    Colorado Congressman Last Ranking: 8
    His Pat Buchanan impersonation is still weak, and since all of the top-tier candidates (sans McCain) are adopting Tancredo's immigration rhetoric, the Colorado congressman ought to declare "mission accomplished" and go work on getting elected to the U.S. Senate in Colorado (or maybe simply make sure he can still get re-elected).

    9. Duncan Hunter
    California Congressman Last Ranking: 10
    We're pretty sure he's gathered up a big enough donor list to hand to his son, who's running for daddy's San Diego House seat.

    10. Alan Keyes
    Former asst. secretary of state Last Ranking: --
    You do realize Keyes paid the $5K filing fee for the West Virginia GOP Internet primary, right? Remember when Keyes was the Internet voting darling in '96 and '00? Could he finally have found a venue to win a few delegates? Could it be he's finally making sense?

    Copyright 2007 by National Journal Group Inc.
  2. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

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    It's going to be interesting to see how a certain conservative faction copes with the Rep nomination of Rudy. And then how strongly they support him in the subsequent Rudy V Hillary contest. I've heard many express that they wouldn't vote for him if he was running against Satan. We'll see.
  3. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    I'm 90% sure Keyes is running.

    I know his right-hand woman and she pretty much told me so yesterday.

    It's really mystifying to me why he thinks he needs to be in this race. I guess he just craves the attention.

  4. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    I am a charter member of this "certain conservative faction" of which you speak... and there's no way I'll vote for Rudy next November, even against Hillary who may, in fact, be worse than Satan. :p:
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Sometimes you have to hold your nose and vote for "lesser of two evils"
    All too many conservatives sat out in 92 and look what happened.
  6. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    I agree. Too many Dems couldn't get behind Gore or Kerry so we have suffered through 8 years of a bumbling gimptard.

    At some point you have to vote for the best available option. Refusing to vote is futile.
  7. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I like Huckabee and McCain out of those guys ...... the rest seem like con artist or crazy people.
  8. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

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    You aren't serious, are you? Don't tell me you will vote for a third party candidate because you know that every vote will be needed to keep another Clinton out of the WH.

    Just out of curiosity, if there was just one deal breaker in the Giuliani candidacy which one would it be for you? His abortion stance? His perceived gun-grabbing tendencies? Illegal immigration tolerance? Overall social liberalism? His cross-dressing? Other?
  9. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    I assume you're being facetious here since one vote won't possibly make a bit of difference in a Presidential election.

    Once you get past a local school board election, your single vote ceases to have any real practical impact and is far more important from a principled/philosophical standpoint.

    I don't think I could stomach going through four years knowing I cast a vote for Rudy Giuliani.

    His extreme pro-abortion position would have to be the tops. I know there are several Republicans with various degrees of pro-choice views, but Rudy is hard-core pro-abortion from all I can tell.

    The other views you mention don't thrill me either, but abortion is the line I refuse to cross.
  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    Pro-abortion? Does he advocate tax deductions for people who have abortions or something?
  11. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    fixed it for ya.
  12. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Yeah, pretty much.


    Good luck getting the government to pay for any other kind of elective procedure.
  13. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    I can't watch the video at the moment, but here's some further information on his position, based on past comments (can't really base it on legislation or votes):


    15 Feb. 2007

    Former New York City Mayor and possible Republican presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani in recent weeks has "distanc[ed] himself from a position favoring abortion rights that he espoused" during his mayoral campaigns and "highlighted a different element of his thinking on the abortion debate," the New York Times reports.

    Giuliani in recent talks with conservative media outlets and voters in South Carolina said he would appoint "strict constructionist" judges to the Supreme Court -- a term that abortion-rights advocates say is "code among conservatives for those who seek to overturn or limit" Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that effectively barred state abortion bans -- the Times reports. Giuliani said he would nominate judges like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, who he believes would restrict Roe.

    In a recent interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Giuliani said that a law (S 3) being reviewed by the Supreme Court that bans so-called "partial-birth abortion" should be upheld. Giuliani in 2000 when asked by NBC News' "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert if he supported President Clinton's veto of a law that would have banned partial-birth abortion said, "I would vote to preserve the option for women. I think the better thing for America to do is to leave that choice to the woman because it affects her probably more than anyone else." Giuliani also told Hannity that he supports parental notification requirements for minors seeking abortion with a judicial bypass provision.

    On a 1997 candidate questionnaire from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League of New York he answered "yes" to the question: Would you oppose legislation "requiring a minor to obtain permission from a parent or from a court before obtaining an abortion." Giuliani's campaign aides say that he has not changed his position on abortion and that his stance on partial-birth abortion has been mischaracterized. "[A]bortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against," Giuliani said during the Hannity interview, adding, "I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that" (Rivera, New York Times, 2/10).
  14. Rocky

    Rocky New Member

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    No, actually not this time. I was thinking big picture here, trying to get a handle on the thought process of the contingent- to which you admit to be a member- who wouldn't support RG under any circumstance. So when I say 'you' I mean it in a much broader sense. And in that sense this group's voting power is indeed significant within the party, as you know.

    Still, it will be interesting to see what happens when it really matters (election day).
  15. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    So he supports public funding for the procedure. Thanks for the clarification.
  16. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Many many social conservatives feel the way I do, and no amount of Rudy-waffling will sway them on the issue. He has no credibility on social issues, and that's not about to change during the course of this election.

    If those issues are your top concern, I don't see how you vote for Rudy. He's just as bad, if not worse than, Hillary on many of those core issues.

    However... I know a lot of conservatives who will vote for him because:

    1) they hate Hillary so much and the social issues aren't their primary concern.

    2) the war is their #1 issue, and they're convinced Rudy will be the toughest on terror/Islam and that he'll be the most effective when it comes to pushing the military effort.

    So the fact that the conservative bloc is not of a single mind on this, plus the fact that Rudy appeals to moderate swing voters, may be enough to offset the defection of social conservatives.

    It'll be interesting to see.
  17. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    It's not just the public funding Sasquatch... its the fact that, if given a chance to support a policy that would reduce abortions or a policy that would increase the number of abortions, Rudy always chooses the option that would increase abortions.

    That is why I differentiate him from other, more moderate politicians on the issue of life and why I call him Pro-Abortion.

    He is on the extreme of this issue, plain and simple.
  18. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    You make it sound as if he's gleefully rubbing his hands together relishing the fact that his policies will result in more abortions.

    I respect the argument against public funding for abortions but your characterization of Giuliani's position seems a bit harsh.

    While it's likely that the result will be more abortions might he be motivated out of a desire to prevent poor women who are determined to terminate their pregnancies from doing it themselves by giving them a safer option? I'm not sure I would characterize that as "pro-abortion" which implies that he's out there trying to convince people to abort their pregnancies as part of some American Cultural Revolution.
  19. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    You know, I've never understood this line of thinking from pro-choicers.

    If you think that abortion isn't the taking of a human life, then why shouldn't you be happy when a person has one?

    If someone has another medical "procedure" (as you call it) aren't you happy for them if it goes successfully? If someone has a tumor successfully removed, wouldn't you be pleased for them and call it a good thing?

    So if Rudy thinks abortions should be a constitutionally-protected and taxpayer-funded medical procedure, why shouldn't he be happy every time a woman has one safely and successfully?

    But no, he would vehemently deny being happy about someone having an abortion (he actually claims to "hate" abortion) as do most other pro-choice politicians. I wonder why? Is it because deep-down he knows what abortion really is?

    And just out of curiosity... if poor women suddenly started giving themselves "back-alley" nose-jobs because they couldn't afford professional ones, would you suggest that we should start publicly funding them to make the procedure safer for them?
  20. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods Zone Supporter

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    An abortion is not a nose job. It's not a cosmetic procedure that people enter into lightly. I know people who have had abortions and while they believe it was the best decision for them at the time, they are scarred psychologically from the event and have to bear the burden of their decision for the rest of their lives. So I reject a characterization that trivializes what for many is a heart wrenching decision.

    Having said that, we are not going to agree on this issue, as you have your convictions and I have mine. I believe that the ultimate decision should be left to the individual while society should make every effort to make the decision to abort the fetus unnecessary by establishing a living wage instead of a minimum wage, universal medical insurance, accessible and affordable child care, and realistic sex education. Being pro-life should entail much more than judging people and criminalizing their actions; it should be about creating an environment that truly values life in utero and afterwards. That means, among other things, no assault weapons, no pre-emptive war, no trading with nations and corporations that allow child labor, no death penalty, and no profiteering on people's health.

    There is a consensus on this issue if the extremists on either side will ever loosen their stranglehold on the debate. Most people are pro-choice, don't support government funding for abortions, and believe that late-term abortions should be illegal.

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