by John Hawkins | January 10, 2008 9:53 am
I can guarantee you that there were a lot of Republicans at the RNC, NRCC, & NRSC sighing with relief when Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire. That’s because they DESPERATELY want Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee.
Why? Because the Republican base isn’t energized and because we’re probably heading towards a nominee who doesn’t inspire the base either.
Barack Obama? Republicans don’t want him as President, but, at least for the moment, they don’t loathe him. Hillary? Conservatives despise her and they will donate money, turn out to vote, and volunteer if that’s what it takes to stop her from becoming President.
Imagine the nightmare the GOP will face is Hillary loses to Barack: the base is dispirited and isn’t donating a lot of money. Moreover, with Fred not doing particularly well, none of the candidates who look most likely to win, John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee excite conservatives at all. So then, if on top of that, you have Barack Obama as the nominee, a guy conservatives dislike less than most of the Democrats running, then the Republican party can be expected to be completely apathetic in 2008.
Put another way, the GOP is angling to reverse of scenario that occurred in the 2004 election, where the Democrats had an uninspiring candidate, but they worked hard and turned out because they hated the candidate on the other side. If the GOP doesn’t even have that going for them, they’re going to have trouble competing.
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