Plan Your Attack
The first thing it means is that potential runner-up candidates for each side now have a favorite to lock on to in order to plan their strategy: Knowing who you need to beat tells you what to do between now and 2016.
For example, Marco Rubio now knows that to compete with Chris Christie on immigration he needs to pass a bill extending college tuition benefits to illegal immigrants brought to the country as young children and then use the list of names to round them up and dump them in the pacific.
Joe Biden is using voodoo to give Hillary cancer.
Prepare Your Sabotage
For everyone but the candidates it's now time to align your guns on the other guys (or just shore-up your weak flanks). To this end the New York Times has created a giant story about an attack some place in Libya or somewhere in order to remind everyone who'd forgotten about it that Clinton was responsible. Total smear-job.
At the same time, the right wing news outlet Politico has fabricated a story about Christie closing a bridge or something in order to make him look like some kind of bully. Ridiculous. They tried the same thing with Romney about that gay guy's hair. Remember that?
Agonize Over Electability
Of course the real, actual takeaway from this polling is this: Screw You, The Base. That goes for both parties. The term 'electability' is a euphemism for "You guys are crazy," or, in 'Internet' "You guys is cray-cray."
Choose whichever one makes you wince less.
When anyone is talking about why, for example, Hillary Clinton is more electable than, say, Elizabeth Warren (the darling of the left), what they are really saying is this: "your only think your fruity candidate has a chance of winning because you are a completely delusional wing-nut."
They're just blaming 'the masses.'
The wing-nut, of course, thinks their candidate is Jackie Robinson--and if allowed to 'play' despite 'racism' will go down in the history books as a champion.
The conservative base of the Republican Party takes no responsibility for the party’s 2012 defeat. It takes no responsibility for the 2008 loss, either. In its telling, the base was too slow to pick its champion. Its vote was split, coalescing too late behind one candidate—Huckabee in 2008, Santorum in 2012. So the Republican establishment force-fed it two “electable” candidates named John McCain and Mitt Romney. This is the ur-myth of the modern GOP ...Their candidate is not Jackie Robinson.
While it's way, way too early to tell who will be on the ballot--much less who will be a favorite--we can see that the state of play today favors more moderate more centrist candidates with either explicit bi-partisan appeal (That's Christie. Ted Cruz, for example, sure isn't reaching across any aisles) or some sense of history / gravitas (Christie is a governor and Hillary was Secretary of State).
A Couple Of Thoughts
A few things went through The Omnivore's head after reading the polling. These are:
- Christie allegedly had "too much drama" (according to the book Double Down) to be selected as Romney's VP. We'll get to see if any of this is real or not when when he actually runs. He'll be trimmer (stomach surgery) and certainly will be careful for the next three years. The Bridge scandal will be old news by then (so will most everything else).
- Scott Walker is keeping his powder dry. You're going to see Santorum and Huckabee running to Iowa to give speeches. You'll see Cruz pull another publicity stunt somewhere in the next three years. Marco Rubio will cage fight Bobby Jindal in an attempt to get both their profiles up. Walker ain't gonna do anything until Feb of 2016 when he throws his hat in the ring. That's smart.
- Rick Perry may well be back. We'll see if he can survive the wave of late-night comedy attacks he'll have to endure. Probably yes--but with a stronger field (two other governors, and no Cain or Bachmann), his star won't shine as brightly.
- The professional left will feel they HAVE to do something about Hillary. She isn't nearly liberal enough and hasn't groveled about her Gulf-War vote. She isn't likely to. It will be interesting to see who they field (if, indeed, they can get anyone off the ground) to try to stand against her. If I were Rosanne Barr I'd be shopping around.
- Here you can read Scott Rasmussen, back when he still worked for Rasmussen polls (August 2013), writing that neither Hillary nor Christie will be the nominee for their parties in 2016. Is this prescient or is it another Romney-Landslide prediction (note: The Omnivore did assume fat-prejudice would be enough to sink Christie--but (a) he's had stomach surgery and (b) it doesn't seem to be ... go figure).