The Other McCain

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Nate Silver Wonders: Will N.H. Primary Move to December Backfire for Romney?

Posted on | October 13, 2011 | 23 Comments

Yesterday’s news that New Hampshire may move its primary to as early as Dec. 6 (!) was presumed to be good news for Mitt Romney, who has made the Granite State his must-win for 2012. But by a series of complex calculations, Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight comes to the conclusion that a December primary for New Hampshire might be bad for Romney.

Like I said, it’s complex, but the basic idea is that by pulling Mitt’s sure winner out of the normal sequence, the December date would rob Romney of the perception of momentum heading into Nevada, South Carolina and Florida.

The front-loading scramble set off by Florida’s decision to jump from March to January has set in motion a chain-reaction of consequences and we don’t know what the ultimate result will be except . . .

Hit the freaking tip jar! Serious thanks to readers who have already contributed to the Shoe Leather Fund, because this front-loading has completely wrecked my plans for the campaign trail.

Before those treacherous bastards in Florida started this mess, the Iowa caucuses were scheduled for Feb. 6 — nearly four months away. That would have given me more than 100 days to raise travel money. Now Iowa’s tentatively slated for Jan. 3, meaning I’ve lost five weeks, and will probably have to leave for Des Moines the day after Christmas (Monday, Dec. 26) just to get in a week of coverage before the caucuses.

After that, it’s not yet clear, because if Nevada will move its caucuses from Jan. 14 to Jan. 17 (or later), New Hampshire could hold its primary Jan. 10. But if New Hampshire goes either Dec. 6 or Dec. 13, then I might have to leave Nov. 28 (the Monday after Thanksgiving) to get a complete week on the ground up there.

A full-speed trainwreck looms ahead, perhaps less than six weeks away, and meanwhile I’ve got to pay back Smitty for covering our trip to Vegas for the big debate Tuesday. And so I’m now rattling the tip jar like an epileptic on methamphetamine, because if I don’t have some kind of reserve built up by the time this whole thing kicks off, I might end up stranded next January in South Carolina with no way to make it to Florida, where I aim to wreak vengeance on the worthless RINO-hugging GOP Establishment sons of bitches who inflicted this catastrophe on me.



  • Joe

    I thought the moved up primaries helped Cain more. 

    Who is surging?  The candidate surging favors earlier primaries to keep the momentum building. 

    But Christmas on the road still sucks for you. 

  • McGehee

    I think if this stuff continues the winners will be those who went long on torch and pitchfork futures, among others. Me, I’m pouring my money into tar, feathers and rails.

  • William Perry

    I wonder what would happen if all primaries were held on the same day.

  • Dan Gillen

    the bad GOP Primary system is getting progressively worse.  so if they break it beyond repair will they scrap this mess and institute something better?  or will it even matter by then because it will be to late?  as they say on Ace’s site we are so boned.  

  • Bob Belvedere

    I hope it implodes.  After all, it is the creation of the first American Progressive movement [you can find the details here].

  • Dan Gillen

    reminds me of the brilliant idea of making senators elected by popular vote.  the progressive movement… a century of fail.

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  • Finrod Felagund

    Convincing 50 state governments and who knows how many other territories, districts, and misc to change to some new system would be tougher than herding cats, unfortunately.

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  • Joe

    The old way was by State Legislatures?  Go back and look at the history, it was rife with corruption and problems.  Yes it was promoted by progressives of the time but the progressives then were not the same as the progessives now (regardless of what Glenn Beck would believe). 

    And let’s say it was abolished and it went back to the old way.  Would we really have a much different Senate than we have now?  Most states would compromise and pick one Dem and one Republican.  The liberal states would be all Dem.  The conservative states all Republican. 

    I am not against gettng rid of the 17th amendment.  But I doubt it would have that much impact. 

    Now the 19th amendment?  Does Stacy want to start stumping for getting rid of that? 

  • Bob Belvedere


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  • ThePaganTemple

    It would be defeating the purpose of having primaries, which is by having candidates battle it out for the votes of all the different states. A lot of people that promote that are the same people that want to do away with the electoral college, just another means of lessening the influence of the smaller states and eventually doing away with the electoral college all together. Which was also meant to make sure the small states had some influence over the election.

  • Serfer62

    Here are the ingrediants for a 3rd party
    ORomney POTUS
    Boehner Speaker
    McConnell Majority Leader
    will guarantee a 3 party as the GOP will have become Kommiecrats II

  • Anonymous

    Brass and lead here. These boys have found my last nerve and are dancing the fandango all over it….

  • Quartermaster

    The progressives started out mildly, but we quickly ended up with Wilson after T. Roosevelt. Then we got FDR and the slope has gotten steeper and slippier as time has gone by.

    Lincoln, OTOH, teh first progressive Prez, was anything but mild. All else was possible because of his refounding the country.

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  • Adjoran

    “Surging” is a very relative term.  4-8 weeks ago, Perry was the one who would have been thought to benefit.  8 weeks from now, who knows who will be the Flavor of the Week?

  • Adjoran

    Me too.  If it turns out later I need some gold, I can always trade some lead for it.

  • Adjoran

    I think the accelerated schedule hurts Perry and Cain the most.  Perry needs the time to repair the damage he’s done to himself with poor debate performances.  The man is very good on the stump and could come back, especially in the “First Four” small states with their emphasis on retail politices.  Cain needs the time to raise money and build an organization.  He has a skeleton staff and isn’t even in most states yet.  Earlier primaries means he has to spend most of his time in those states, where he already has some organization.

    So from the aspect of inconveniencing his main rivals, the early schedule probably helps Romney somewhat – but that could be said of any frontrunner in any circumstance that doesn’t directly hurt him.

    It is obvious the Party’s rules and penalties are insufficient to persuade states to follow the agreed process.  The Party needs to be tougher and adopt a rule that no delegates awarded by primary or caucus before X date will be SEATED.  Don’t take away their first-ballot vote, they know the nominee will restore that in a conciliatory gesture at the convention.  Take away their whole trip.  No credentials.  The state just loses that many delegates, period.

    We can’t be spineless like Obama towards Iran, it only invites attacks.

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