Oval Office Thunderdome: Bringing the Crazy Might Work

I’ve written a couple of times before about how delegate math in the Republican presidential nominating process makes it harder for a right wing candidate to win the nomination than a candidate who is perceived as moderate. For example, on Super Tuesday in 2008, John McCain locked up the nomination. Much of that was due to victories in New York and California, which awarded him 250 delegates. Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee’s total haul from five victories that day was about 150 delegates. The lesson was that, as a Republican, ignoring New York, California, and other states that reliably vote Democratic in the general election can be sound strategy in the fall, but ignoring these states in the primaries will cost a candidate the nomination. But, this theory largely relies on scheduling. What would happen if the GOP primaries in Democratic-leaning states were pushed to later in the schedule? Next year, we will all find out. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: Bringing the Crazy Might Work”

Oval Office Thunderdome: George Pataki Has a Shot

Former Governor of New York George Pataki has announced that he is running for the 2016 Republican nomination for president. He joins a pretty crowded field (the Wikipedia page on the GOP candidates is fascinating). His name recognition isn’t great, and it’s been nine years since he last held public office. At first glance, there isn’t a lot to separate Pataki from all the other candidates whose polling hovers in the low single digits. But there is one big thing. He’s not an arch conservative. He hasn’t spent the entire Obama administration blasting anything and everything the president has done, nor has he spent much time pandering to the nut job base of the Republican Party. He hasn’t pegged gay marriage to natural disasters, called the Constitution the word of God, or questioned whether or not the military is going to invade Texas. In short, he doesn’t have nearly as much baggage as someone like Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: George Pataki Has a Shot”