As of today, I am unbelieveably accurate in my predictions of possibilities as to where we are today and I just feel I need to point it out. So here it is a blow by blow of my predictions back in December and how they've turned out to date... for all those doubters out there.
First you'll see the quote from my original December post and then my updates as of today.
Like my friend Jay, I too have let this pre-election season slide much more than I did in 2003. I like Jay was well into a Howard Dean candidacy by this point back then and working like crazy to get him votes.Unlike Jay, I've put my eggs into a basket. The Obama basket to be precise. As in 2003, I am going with my heart. The candidate who speaks most loudly for me and who gives me hope...Obama has proven his ability to instill an abundance of hope to millions of Americans in this race.
Like Jay, the race will be decided long before I get to cast my vote... or will it?Wisconsin proved to be a crucial state in the momentum phase of a crazy primary season.
A brokered convention is one in which no clear candidate comes out of the primaries with a resounding victory. This for the first time in decades is a real possibility for both Republicans and Democrats.This is great. I called this on both sides. On the Republican side, Huckabee cannot win the nomination, but as of today (and something the media just does NOT want to say out loud) he could still keep McCain from getting over the top and force a convention fight. You gotta love this stuff. Obama and Clinton are fighting it out still with superdelegates potentially deciding in a brokered convention.
Both party voters are completely split or undecided about their candidates and for two completely different reasons.The Republicans don't like ANY of their choices and Democrats like ALL of their choices.Republicans STILL don't like their potential nominee and are terrified to push Huck any farther cause he has ZERO chance in a general. Dems still like BOTH candidates and are still undecided until election days all over the country.
Interesting scenario to think about that the parties have set themselves.Consider these facts:The primaries for both parties are nearly over by the end of January.Any of the candidates who come out of Iowa with a victory have won nothing in the American public's eyes.Okay here I was wrong. Nobody's perfect. In my own defense though, I never in a million years would have thought the potential even existed for Iowa dems (hey they are totally cool as I found out going door to door as a Dean Stormer in '04) would have voted for Obama. Never even crossed my mind as a possibility, so I'm taking a mulligan on this one...
Iowa changed everything. By voting for Obama in the heartland, Iowans made a statement that has resonated ever since. They stood up with their neighbors, friends work colleagues, etc and said, yeah, we'll vote for a black man and the entire world stopped and looked. Whites all over the country who though he could never win in all white states said, "Oh YES HE CAN!" and African Americans said, "Hey if all white Iowa will vote for him I will too!" This is over simplified and maybe even a bit assumptive, and even something I could get blasted for, but clearly something happened in Iowa that FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED the American political landscape.
The margins will be slim regardless of who wins and most likely on both sides of the political spectrum split among at least 3 candidates.The winner in primaries doesn't get all the votes like in Presidential elections, so say in Iowa its right about a 20% split with one candidate getting a few more delegates than the others.NO ONE HAS OR WILL WIN IN IOWA with less than 35% of the delegates committed to them... The chance in that is slim to none...Then we go to New Hampshire and let's say the same thing happens there...This is a critical point to make because the next few states will go through the same exercise with delegates split three ways and a virtual tie as to the winner going into the first SuperTuesday.
I was dead on here huh... almost spooky...
So let's say we go into Super Tuesday with all 3 candidates split pretty evenly and still no real winner has emerged. Then, on Super Tuesday, the public won't see a real leader for either party and the delegates in states all over the country could end up splitting regionally, demographically, etc to the point where several candidates emerge winning a few states and here's where it gets fun.Then we go into another Super Tuesday with everyone still split and several candidates having enough delegates to continue on to the post insanity primaries in states like... you guessed it Wisconsin... in mid-February.Here too... it even surprises me how accurate I was...
Winning a big important swing state like Wisconsin will be a huge feather in this scenario and hold onto your seats we will have an Iowa in a 2 week period of time that will make your head spin.All this to say, that the cache of winning Wisconsin could be important, but it also seems very likely to me that both parties end up with several candidates who all hold enough power to hold off the potential nominee until the convention actually happens...So NOW it's late February, either or neither party has a nominee and guess what...
Okay so here we are in late February with no real clear nominee. Texas and Ohio have the final say in this. Again, the delegate count is nearly tied with Obama winning more states and Clinton having more superdelegates and holding the FL-MI wildcard... What happens next???
They've moved the conventions to be as late as is possible in late July and early August (they used to be in the spring years ago when brokered conventions were more common).Insanely that means that either party could go FIVE MONTHS without a clear candidate!!!!!
I've actually heard pundits say this on CNN or MSNBC lately (like in the last week or so...) as if it was a NOVEL idea. No dudes, I thought of it MONTHS ago. Ha Ha. Where's my paycheck?
Go into a messy convention and have the delegates go berserk behind the scenes for days. A REAL CONVENTION not just for show and a campaign tool, but a real knock down drag out like the good old days... But that means something else... Whomever comes out of the meelee has ONLY THREE MONTHS to convince the entire country they should be President!!!The changing of the primary schedule coupled with the changing of the convention schedule was no accident. It was designed to give candidates as much time as possible to spend down their campaign coffers (and make a second ask for the fall) before the fall general election (and a new campaign finance period) begins.I'm meerly pointing out that the cleaverness of the calendar switching could in a very tight and undecided race such as this one backfire on both parties enormously.So yes, holy crap there's an election soon, my friend Jay, but like you, I plan on sitting this one out to some extent and watching the fireworks with glee.I LOVE POLITICS!!!So finally, the prediction and the potential issues around where both parties find themselves today. We shall see in the next few weeks/months how this last part plays out. I'm really excited about it all! It's like having the Superbowl every week!
Seriously, where's my paycheck???