Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ames Straw Poll Results

The results are in! Romney wins, but not nearly by the margin many had predicted. After all the money he spent on the straw poll, he only got 31.5% of the total.

The real suprise of the poll was the strength of the Huckabee number. Huckabee, former governor of this state, got over 18% of the votes. This is much more than expected. It should help him raise more money, his Achilles' heel, and could label him as the true conservative alternative to the left-of-Republican center frontrunners. In edging out Brownback, he could really send that campaign, his chief rival for evangelical votes, into a tailspin. Or not...after all, even though it was a mild surprise for Huck to beat Brownback, the true margin between them was a little less than 400 votes.

To highlight the Republican faithful's disappointment with their choices, it is worth mentioning that turnout at the Ames poll was sharply down from the last such event in 2000.

Other takes:

RCP: Win for Romney and Huckabee, neutral for Brownback, Tommy Thompson to withdraw. (Does it matter?)


Andrew Sullivan: Big Day for Huckabee

My predictions were close-ish:

Switch the 2 and the 3 and the 4 and the 5 and I was right...

Busch on pole for Busch Race at the Glen

Kurt Busch on pole, Newman third


Friday, August 10, 2007

Qualifying Rained Out at the Glen

Hence, owner's points determines the field. Another pole for Jeff Gordon. This makes five total. Whoopee! You think at the end of the year anyone is going to point out that Rainbow Bright got 60% of his poles by leading the points on rainy Fridays? I doubt it.

So, a lot of the road course ringers will not be racing on Sunday.

The field.

ESPN on the Washout.

Ames Straw Poll

The most vaunted fundraiser in the world is tomorrow! 20,000 Republicans will converge on Ames, Iowa for their quadrennial straw poll. Mitt Romney, of Obama like ego, has spent millions of dollars buying supporters for the event and is widely expected to finish first. Romney and the others who finish well will be showered with millions in free television time by the chattering classes, making this the most out-of-proportion event in American politics. (Even more than Melissa Ethridge confronting Hillary Clinton. She felt "thrown under the bus" by Bill Clinton. Who cares? You think maybe Hillary sympathizes, you self-important heifer?) Here are my predictions on the finishing order in the straw poll:

1. Romney
2. Brownback
3. Huckabee
4. Paul
5. Tancredo

Guiliani and McCain are not competing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Watkins Glen Picks

My Picks for the Centurion Boats at the Glen Nextel Cup race to be held on Sunday:

20- Stewart- winner- The jackass in the orange car has three wins at Watkins Glen, and nearly beat Kevin Harvick last year. He will get his fourth win here on Sunday.

7- Robby Gordon- Lunatic, but good at road courses. He is better at the Glen than at Infineon. He will get a top ten. Parenthetical note: after acting like an absolute psychotic last weekend in Canada, he is trying to play nice. He has given his Villeneuve rival Marcos Ambrose a ride for the race.

24- Jeff Gordon- He has four wins at the Glen. He has not been contending for wins in the last couple of months, but has been in the top ten (and usually top five) every single week. He'll be there.

12- Newman- Ryan has been pretty good in the Finger Lakes...15.0 average finish and three top tens in five starts. Could be a great day for the 12 team. They need it.

42- Montoya- Juan Pablo will follow up his Infineon win with a stong finish at the Glen.

48- Johnson- not a good road racer, but he seems to usually (not always) eke out good finishes. His 15.2 average finish at WG is not that bad.

8- Earnhardt- He has three top tens at WG in 7 starts. Currently on the outside of the chase looking in, he needs to do well. I predict he will get a top ten, but will probably be closer to tenth than first.

29-Harvick- Last year's winner. He will be strong again. Kevin Harvick has become a really good road course racer.

60- Said- Boris Said will be in the top 10 this weekend. He lives for these races, and is the most popular road courser out there. He is also, by the way, a native New Yorker. ***see below

2- Ku Busch- I will go out on a limb (with fingers crossed) and hope that he proves me right. He is better at Infineon than WG, but he could turn in a top ten. He has two in six starts. He needs it now worse than ever. He's looking at historical performance at this track and realizes that it is a greater liklihood than not that Earnhardt will take the 12th spot away from him again this weekend. He is hungry and doesn't want that to happen.

UPDATE 8/10/07: Scratch my Said pick. Qualifying was rained out. Field set by top 43 in owners' points. Said almost would have certainly qualified well, but since he rarely is in Cup races, he will not be in the show.

Top 10 substitute pick: 11 - Hamlin - 10th last year at this race. Could repeat that performance.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Obama Ad Up in Iowa...

and, I'll admit, it's pretty good.


Somone has a Healthy Ego

Mitt Romney, defending his sons' not enlisting in the military:

"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I'd be a great president."

Wednesday NASCAR Roundup's ever amusing Power Rankings are out today. -LINK-

Anyone remember Jeremy Mayfield? Who was in the Chase two years back to back and left Evernham in a spectacularly ugly fashion last summer? He's fired. (again)

Lots of chatter these days about the potention for hazardous explosions in the Gibbs garage next year.

Entry List for Watkins Glen.

Quinnipac Polls: Hillary, Guiliani ahead

Quinnipac released interesting state polls today for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. They show large Hillary and Guiliana leads in their respective fights for the nominations of their parties.


There is at least a decent chance that due to SC moving its primary up, the Iowa caucuses will take place in December 2007. I think that this would be great. One way of combatting the inordinate influence of IA and NH would be to space out the primaries, stopping a domino effect. I know most people don't like a protracted nomination fight.

I think the nation has debate fatigue. According to Drudge, less than 1 million people watched the AFL-CIO debate last night.

In a particular blow to the Edwards campaign, the AFL-CIO will not endorse a candidate in the primary election.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The AFL-CIO Forum: "I'm your girl!"

My favorite clip of the night: Hillary Clinton finally makes the point that she has the most experience fighting the Republican filth machine. Clip here.

There was a lot of piling on of Obama. He was really, really on defense vis-a-vis the Pakistan debate. Edwards was shrill, I thought. Chuck Todd thought so too.


I am sure that the spinmeisters will change peoples' viewpoints, but as of now, it seems to me that nothing changed tonight in the fight for the Democratic nomination.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Poll Update

CNN / USA Today / Gallup new poll out this evening. Hillary +22%. (48% support...)

RCP average: Clinton +17.4

Obama camp has put out this humiliating missive reassuring supporters that their candidate is still relevant.

GOP numbers: Guiliani rebounding nationally. (Romney still seems to lead by a good amount in IA and NH.) Kyle Busch to Gibbs

According to a source cited on, Kyle Busch is headed to Gibbs where he will unseat J.J. Yeley in the historic #18 Interstate Batteries car.

Article here.

UPDATE: It's (seemingly) official. Kyle Busch informed Ray Evernham and Richard Childress today that he is indeed going to Joe Gibbs Racing. Two other interesting likely changes are noted in this Jayski post:

1. Joe Gibbs Racing is apparently probably trading in their Chevys for Toyotas. That's huge.
2. The current driver of the #18, J.J. Yeley, is going to the #21 Little Debbie or (whatever it is now) car owned by the Woods Bros.

Reaction to Busch's Pocono Win

USA Today's wrap of the Pennsylvania 500.

Sports Illustrated

Yahoo! Sports

Jeff Gordon has nice things to say.

Unseats Earnhardt in chase standings. Magic shock, my ass. More like "magic unexplained debris caution." Right when Jr. needed it. How convenient...

Monday Wrap

Interesting details about the evolution of the Clinton / Obama relationship. From the New York Times. Apparently, she doesn't "very much like Barack."

New week, another new high for Hillary in the Rasmussen tracking poll. Rasmussen analysis: Hillary will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee.

More on the controversy about Hillary's poor choice of words vis-a-vis lobbyists at the Yearly Kos convention. From My DD. Her point is well taken, but it did seem like she was defending lobbyists. However, overall, her reception at Yearly Kos, while chilly, was not as bad as it could have been. For a group of liberal bloggers not to throw rotten vegetables at Hillary! as she enters a room is a good day for her.

The Fix's wrap on the GOP's Iowa debate yesterday. I think that Romney is a little nutty, but his "Dr. Strangelove / Jane Fonda" comment about Obama was particularly cutting. Even a stopped clock is right once in a while...

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Kurt Busch had the most successful run in Pocono Speedway history today, leading a track-high 175 laps out of 200 possible. His car was absolutely dominant. Kurt won the race with a 4 second + margin. His teammate, Ryan Newman, placed 7th.

Busch edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. out of the Chase, with 5 races to go. Junior did place an unexpectedly high 2nd, so the margin between Busch at 12th and Junior at 13th is only 8 points. A mid-race shock issue threatened to turn the race into a watershed that left Junior many points behind Busch, but a good pit move under caution vaulted the weaker 8 car back into contention. Also running in the top ten were Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin, and Casey Mears.

Busch dominant at Pocono, overtakes Junior in points -

Kurt Busch dominates

Full Pennsylvania 500 Results

Standing as of Pocono

Congratulations to Kurt Busch, the #2 team, and to Penske Racing South for their tremendous win at Long Pond, Pennsylvania!