Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mr. Popularity

by Tom Bozzo

Based on the 2004 Wisconsin primary results, when the neighbors cast more votes for Dean and Kucinich (together) than John Kerry, I'd wondered if McCain would come in behind Edwards or some other recently-withdrawn Democrat. As it turns out, there were only 20 votes for Democrats other than Obama and Clinton in our ward (Madison ward 66), and McCain got 47. So with a theoretically contested Republican primary, McCain got fewer votes than George W. Bush running uncontested in the non-event '04. Well, Republican turnout was up a bit over '04, with 79 total votes cast.

McCain's victory speech was simply awful, in a delightful way, for its Reverse Mary Poppins framing of his candidacy: the stern granddad who'll administer the spoonful of medicine so that nobody goes around getting too hopeful. While the one gauzy McCain ad I'd caught before the election showed him strolling with Ronald Reagan, he's positioning himself more as a Republican Walter Mondale. Malaise forever! [*]

On the Democratic side, Obama's margin was wider than I'd expected, 890 to 270. Barkley Rosser was right about Dane County, which overall went for Obama 67%-31%. Now, Dane County's Deaniac, Edwardsite, and Kucinichian majority ended up uniting behind Kerry and then some in the general election, helping to overcome strong Republican turnout for Bush and make Kerry's margin a little less slim than Gore's. But I think Paul Soglin's right that Obama would not be as dependent on rolling up a huge margin in Dane County to offset our wingnutty neighbors to the east, and I doubt the Democratic nominee won't need our electoral votes.

[*] Which is unfair to Mondale, I know.

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"Malaise" was Carter. (I know, he was before your time.)

It would be nice if the Democratic nominee didn't need your electoral votes. The McCain campaign is shaping up to be a blend of the worst of the last week of GHWB ("Ozone Man") and Bob ("Hideo Nomo of the Brooklyn Dodgers") Dole.

Whether they can sustain that level of competence is anyone's guess, but I applaud their making it their goal.
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