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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 25, 2007 / 13 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Handicapping the GOP's presidential horse race

By Jonathan V. Last


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As I sat watching the last Republican debate, the following occurred to me:

Hillary Rodham Clinton could carry 40 states.

When you do the math, that's probably an overreaction. Not by much, though. For a number of reasons (the war, the housing market, the unpopularity of President Bush, the Senate seats up for grabs), the best-case scenario for the Democrats is a broad-realignment election in which the nominee carries 35 or more states. The best-case scenario for Republicans: a narrow popular victory accompanied by a favorable Electoral College split, along the lines of the 2004 election.

So which lucky Republican will get to try to pull an ace from this stacked deck? By the end of January we'll know almost for sure; today we know enough to divine the rough contours of the race. Let's start at the top and work our way down.

Rudy Giuliani leads the pack, according to most polls. Rasmussen Reports, which surveys likely Republican primary voters, has him on top with 29 percent and has shown very little fluctuation in his support this year. He began 2007 at 28 percent. Since then, Rasmussen has put him only as high as 37 percent and not below 22 percent. Giuliani has raised enough money to be comfortable and hasn't been afraid to spend it, burning through just more than $30 million to date.

In one sense, Giuliani's position defies explanation. He's not conservative by any traditional measure, and his Manhattan cultural reality couldn't be more different from that of mainstream America. To his credit, Giuliani was an exceptional mayor who deserves all sorts of praise for turning New York City around. But the uncomfortable truth is that had George W. Bush not spent seven minutes reading "My Pet Goat" and then flown from bunker to bunker on 9/11, people probably wouldn't have been so captivated by Giuliani's impressive but largely symbolic performance that day. The Giuliani mystique is built around that fact: He already has stood in loco presidentis, and people liked what they saw.

Fred Thompson is running a close second. Rasmussen has him consistently around 23 percent nationally, from a standing start in March. His support hovered in the mid-teens until June, when he officially formed his exploratory committee after dithering since March. After that, his numbers shot up, edging him past Giuliani for a moment. Now that he's actively campaigning and participating in the debates, his stock should show some more volatility. Voters will render judgment on the candidate, rather than the idea of the guy behind Door #2. The former Tennessee senator is short on money, but at this stage, the message and the messenger matter more.

Speaking of money: Mitt Romney has raised more - $62.8 million - than any other Republican. (He's given $17.4 million of his own money to his campaign.) He's also spent more - $53.6 million - than any other Republican. To put this gusher of cash into perspective, the eight other candidates in the field have combined to spend just $78.6 million.

And what does the former Massachusetts governor have to show for his money? Well, even though he's been running for president since late 2003, Romney is sitting, nationally, in a distant third place. These numbers have been slow to move: Romney began the year with 8 percent support and now sits at 13 percent in Rasmussen polls. That's about $10 million per point, for those of you keeping score at home. He's closing in on Bloomberg territory.

What Romney's money has bought him is a serious presence in Iowa, where he typically polls around 25 percent, 10 points ahead of both Giuliani and Thompson. The Romney theory of victory is that he buys his way to a blowout win in Iowa, then slingshots to a first-place finish in New Hampshire (where he currently holds a slight lead over Giuliani), and then leverages his national numbers with these two victories, helping him through Super Tuesday.

Howard Dean and Steve Forbes can testify that money goes only so far. At some point, Romney's spending will be subject to the law of diminishing returns; if he expects to have any chance, he has to catch fire at some time with actual voters. Herein lies the problem: Gov. Mitt Romney is an incredibly attractive, interesting politician who blends affability with policy-wonk intelligence. The Mitt Romney running for president today is a strange creature who promises to move "In God We Trust" from the back of our currency to the front and insists he was against abortion before he was for it. The gentleman running as Mitt Romney looks and sounds like an android created by James Dobson and Grover Norquist after they'd gotten hopped up on Dr Pepper and Pixie Stix. And that Mitt Romney has zero chance of winning the nomination.

Which brings us to the third tier, with John McCain and Mike Huckabee, who are anti-Romneys. McCain has spent $28.6 million to have his poll numbers fall by half. Huckabee has spent almost no money (just $1.7 million) to rise from anonymity to 8 percent nationally - with a new Rasmussen poll putting him at 18 percent in Iowa. With Sam Brownback out of the race, Huckabee should see a further bump. He isn't going to win the nomination; but Huckabee has done a good job establishing himself as a likable, serious conservative.

As for McCain, the campaign has probably passed him by. Two bits of history to consider, however, before writing him off for good: In October 1999, McCain sat a bit lower in the polls than he does today. George W. Bush was the overwhelming favorite, with support in the high 60s and low 70s. In the end, McCain gave Bush all he could handle. In October 2003, Howard Dean led a crowded field with support of about 16 percent. John Kerry, who had at one time been the front-runner, sat at 8 percent in the polls. By December, Dean had pushed his lead to the 30s and Kerry had fallen to 4 percent.

We all know how that ended.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jonathan V. Last is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.


Previously:

10/11/07 Germany's Turks provide a lesson on immigration
09/13/07 British battle can offer us a perspective on casualties
09/12/07 Alas, GOP seems set to take hit in Senate
08/30/07 Europeans have supplanted backbones with capitulation
08/24/07 Politics holds the key to ensuring a healthy growth in population
08/17/07 Finessing the Democratic center
08/10/07 Woohoo! Satire seeing a revival
07/31/07 Historical model: For Obama, it's Carter
07/26/07 Baseball, apple pie, a 2nd chance
07/24/07 Harry Potter and the alchemy theory
07/06/07 Life is hard — and often short. The perils of professional wrestling
06/21/07 After Bush: Gingrich and others worry that his shortcomings could have a far-reaching effect on the GOP
03/09/07 Why the British outclass us in acting
01/23/07 Romney: Seriously great, but with baggage
12/23/06 When truth is transpicuous
12/05/06 A realistic plan: Split the country in two
11/08/06 We could easily pull out of Korea and let China have regional hegemony. But would it be the right thing?
10/24/06 The decline of revolution
10/18/06 Why the free market is king
08/07/06 Democracy, of itself, not solution to all problems
08/01/06 We get the movies we deserve
07/27/06 How long will U.S. empire last?


© 2006, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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