If we are to believe Count Novakula
anyway. He's been looking at the problem of the Right's dissatisfaction with their top three candidates, and who seems to be the solution that's being pushed? You're not going to believe it.
New York-based political consultant Kieran Mahoney's survey of probable Republican participants in the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses showed this support for the "big three" candidates: John McCain, 20.5 percent; Rudy Giuliani, 16.3 percent; Mitt Romney, 3.5 percent. Astonishingly, they all trailed James Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, who had 31 percent.
How could that be? Because it was not a legitimate survey but a "push poll," normally a clandestine effort to rig the results by telling respondents negative things about some of the candidates. But Mahoney makes no secret that the voters he sampled were told of liberal deviations by McCain, Giuliani and Romney, as well as true-blue conservatism by Gilmore, who is Mahoney's client.
Mahoney is trying to prove a point widely accepted in Republican ranks. None of the three front-line candidates is a natural fit for the nation's right-of-center party. Without question, there is a void. The question is whether Gilmore or anyone else can fill it.
Now, this push pull was done on Gilmore's behalf, but it's still scary. Gilmore was the most incompetent Virginia governor in my memory (which goes back to Wilder at least), and he managed to wreck the finances of the state during the largest economic expansion in history. He was like a preview of George Bush's financial strategery, that is, cut taxes now, let my successor deal with the shortfalls. Thankfully Mark Warner turned the state around.
That Gilmore thinks he's a serious contender, when even the Bush administration found him too incompetent for their taste, is a bad sign. That a push poll can put him over McCain and Giuliani is a really
bad sign. After all, it will be the wingers that must be appeased to win the primary, and a total screw-up like Gilmore might be able to rally the base against the so-called moderates.
Labels: 2008 presidential race, idiots