Day: May 8, 2009

An Early Assessment of the 2012 GOP Presidential Race

Larry Sabato, the Presidential scholar at the University of Virginia, has come out with an early assessment of the 2012 Presidential race.

Expecting no challenge to President Obama for the Democratic nomination, he focuses on possible GOP candidates.  His conclusion is that the early front runner is Mitt Romney, but he also sees Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Mark Sanford as likely challengers.  He also mentions Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman.  Notice that all candidates mentioned by Sabato except for Newt Gingrich are or have been governors, and that four of them are Southerners, which seems the only strong base of the Republican party at this time.  It is quite a commentary that not one member of the Republican party in the House or Senate is on this list.

It seems to me that new blood is needed if the GOP is to have any chance to challenge President Obama in a serious way.   Certainly, at this point, it would seem likely that Obama will have an overwhelming advantage for reelection, but if Jon Huntsman or Tim Pawlenty were to emerge, it could be an interesting race.  However,  Huntsman as a Mormon and a moderate to boot will have problems, and Pawlenty is in the middle of the Minnesota Senate debacle and will soon be likely to make enemies whether he agrees or disagrees to sign the document certifying Al Franken, the Democrat,  as the winner of the Senate race over former Senator Norm Coleman.   Everyone else on this list has major negatives,  and even these two governors will have major challenges convincing the members of their party and the party leaders that they should be the nominee, let alone the country at large willing to vote to put them in the Oval Office.

Of course, a nominee could emerge who is not even being considered right now, and that is the excitement and the mystery of American politics, that one can never know three years ahead what the future shall be as far as the Oval Office is concerned!  So the next Presidential race has begun with this Sabato assessment and the move of Mitt Romney to New Hampshire!

Projections for 2030 Population: What States Would Gain and Lose Congressional Representation in the Future?

Studies of the projected population growth in the next two decades has led to the following conclusions.

Ten states would gain seats in the House and therefore have more electoral votes for President, while nineteen would lose such seats and power in Presidential elections.  Florida, Texas and Arizona would gain dramatically,  with the acquisition of nine, eight and five seats each.  California, after losing a seat in 2010, would gain three new seats by 2030, and North Carolina and Nevada would have two more seats each.  Georgia, Virginia, Oregon and Washington State would each gain one seat.

At the same time, six states would lose multiple seats:  New York six, Pennsylvania four, Ohio four, Illinois three, and Massachusetts and Michigan two each.  So therefore 21 seats would be lost by these six large states.  Additionally, the following states would lose one seat each:  Alabama, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

This is a very interesting and fascinating look at what MIGHT happen politically in the next generation!

Projected Census Figures and Reapportionment in the House of Representatives in 2012

Assuming census estimates turn out to be true just eleven months from now,  there will be a switch of 13 House seats from some states to others, confirming further the trend since 1950 of a population boom in the Sunbelt  (South and West), and a relative population decline percentage wise in the Rust Belt  (Northeast and Midwest).

The big winner would be Texas with four seats,  followed by Arizona with a two seat gain.  Also gaining one seat each would be Florida, Georgia,  South Carolina and North Carolina in the South;  and Nevada, Utah, and Oregon in the West.

A surprise is that California seemingly will lose one seat, after decades of constant and rapid growth.  Louisiana would also lose,  partially but not totally due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina.  These are the only Western and Southern states that would lose seats in the House and in electoral votes.  The others are states in the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts,  each losing one seat;  and in the Midwest,  two seats lost in Ohio, and one each in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri.

So altogether,  if trends stay as they are now, nine states would gain seats and twelve states would lose seats.  It should not hurt the Democrats, however, as younger and Hispanic voters are major backers of the Democrats and will have a growing influence in many of the states that are gaining congressional seats.

Mitt Romney Obviously A Presidential Candidate in 2012!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney,  who fell short in the 2008 GOP Presidential nomination battle, has unofficially declared for President in 2012 by his decision to sell his homes in Utah and Massachusetts and move full time to New Hampshire, where he will live permanently.

New Hampshire, being the first primary in 2012, will now have as a full time resident a former neighboring governor who will have the ability to campaign nonstop in order to hold off all competitors who might dare to challenge him in the state which has had a greater effect on presidential nominations than any other, despite its small population and lack of representative mix of different classifications of voters.

It almost sounds as if Romney is saying to all opponents:  Don’t waste your time!  I have the money and the campaign organization needed to get a big edge in New Hampshire,  so forget about running and concede the nomination to me!

That scenario is unlikely for sure.  But at the same time, if I had to make a projection  ahead three years,  I would say that Romney DOES seemingly have the lead right now with maybe newcomer and moderate Governor Jon Huntsman, a fellow Mormon, as the major competitor for Romney in 2012.

Amazing that the presidential campaigns begin earlier and earlier and earlier . .. . . 🙂

Obama to Make Speech to Muslim World from Egypt

President Obama promised during his campaign last year that he would make a major speech to the Muslim world from a Muslim nation early in his administration. 

That promise will be fulfilled soon in Egypt, which is probably the best choice, as it is a major power in the Middle East and a friend of the United States. 

Obama’s intention is to open up a dialogue with the Muslim world in order to lower the tension and stress between the Western world and the religion of Islam.  This  is a very important move by Obama early in his term, hopefully leading to a better relationship and less likelihood of support for terrorism in Muslim nations.

It must be understood that there has been much manipulation of the issue of Islamic terrorism, which certainly exists and is a real threat, but is not generally accepted by a majority of Muslims in the Middle East or Asia or Africa.    Osama Bin Laden does not represent the entire Muslim world, and it is important that we make overtures of friendship and willingness to have dialogue with the majority of Muslims who are moderates.

The Democratic Dominance: Long Term?

James Carville,  the Clinton campaign adviser and political commentator, has just written a new book that asserts the likelihood of a Democratic dominance in political office for the next FORTY years!

That is an astounding prediction, and must be accepted with skepticism,  particularly since just a few years ago,  after George W. Bush won his second term,  the projections were that the Republicans would become the dominant party for the next half century!

Suddenly, the failing Iraq war,  Hurricane Katrina, and the economic collapse destroyed the GOP majority and put the party in danger of being marginalized,  as many now see it.  So we must be cautious in making such predictions.

However, it must be pointed out that new polls indicate that every age group now has a Democratic majority,  and with the fact that people 18-29 have become heavily Democratic,  it may mean that indeed the Democrats will have an edge electorally for a long time, as they had as a result of the Great Depression and the victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1932 to 1994 in Congress and to 1968 in the Presidency.