Bubblehead's Early Take On The 2008 Election
Given that the upcoming Presidential election has generated unprecedented attention this early in the election cycle, I thought I'd look into my crystal ball and see what I think might happen in the next 20 months.
The most important development is that all candidates will be aware of the existence of The Daily Show even at the beginning of the campaign, so we'll miss out on a lot of humor opportunities.
More seriously, it's pretty clear that the Democratic nominee will be either Sen. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Sen. Barack Obama, or Al Gore. I don't really expect Al Gore to run, but I do expect him to continue refusing to officially say he's not running, which will tend to keep some money from the other candidate's coffers in 2007 -- he's that much of an egomaniac. Seeing that Sen. Clinton has been the most moderate of the bunch, I'm thinking that the Democrats are missing out on a pretty good chance of winning the election by not rallying behind an electable candidate, like Gov. Bill Richardson.
The Republican nominee will be one of these three: Sen. John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, or Mitt Romney. The evangelicals will shoot themselves in the foot by continuing to agitate for candidates who have no chance of winning, until the eventual nominee will realize he doesn't need them to win -- this will actually help the Republican candidate, as moderates will be more likely to vote for someone the evangelicals can't stand. The thing is, they should like Gov. Romney; they just can't get around their "Mormons aren't really Christians" bias. (One good side effect of this campaign will be that as people ask questions about Romney's religion, they'll begin to realize that us Mormons really aren't that much different than anyone else -- just ask any of my wives.)
Going out on a limb here, I think it'll be a Clinton/Edwards ticket for the Dems vs. a McCain/Giuliani Republican slate. (As much as I'd like to see a McCain/Lieberman "national unity" ticket, just because it would tick off the Kos Kids and DUmmies so much, I don't think it'll happen -- I could see Sen. Lieberman being offered SecDef if McCain wins, though; this has the added benefit, for Republicans, of turning his Senate seat over to the GOP.) McCain should win the general election by about 5% in the popular vote, and should hold all the 2004 Bush states, plus Pennsylvania.
As usual, I reserve the right to change my predictions as new information becomes available.