Sunday, February 03, 2008

Top Ozarks Republicans Still Undecided


Many Republican leaders around the Ozarks remain undecided about which candidate to vote for just hours before Tuesday's Missouri primary, according to a KY3 Political Notebook survey.

A series of interviews with party activists and G.O.P. county chairs around the Ozarks found a significant amount of Republican leaders still shifting between the remaining three viable candidates to nominate.

"Obviously it's down to a 2-man race," said Barry County chair David Cole, referring to Mitt Romney and John McCain. "But I haven't decided yet."

While some are still sorting through candidate characteristics and sifting through issues, others are searching for a new candidate to support after their favorite pick dropped out.

Springfield Committeewoman Leigh Anne Garren was a Rudy Giuliani supporter. Now she said she is "going back and forth" between Romney and McCain. "I just don't know," she said. "I was so thrown off when Rudy got out," she added. As for Giuliani's endorsement of McCain, Garren said it won't have an impact on her ultimate decision.

Lawrence County Chair Sherri George is also trying to decide between Romney and McCain. She said she's finding many Lawrence County Republicans are still undecided. "I'm still just as confused as the first day," George said, with a laugh.

"I want a businessman, which Mitt Romney brings. But I like the good characteristics of John McCain, and his history," she said.

"I'm not 100% even now," said Christian County chair Ed Merritt. Merritt said he likes McCain on defense, Romney on fiscal issues and Mike Huckabee on social issues, but is still "trying to find the one who has more than one thing."

Cedar County Chair Barbara Bobbett said she leaned towards Mitt Romney months ago, but no longer. "I like him when he started out," said Bobbett about Romney. "The more I see him, the less I like him," she added.

So now, Bobbett has narrowed it down between McCain and Huckabee. "There's a lot of apathy out there," Bobbett said of Republicans she has talked with. "I just don't look for us to have a huge turnout Tuesday."

Stone County Chair Thomas Martin, who also pins himself as undecided, said his Republican committee is split. "I think this has been a very unique year for Republicans," Martin said. "None of them have stepped out and taken a commanding lead."

The survey revealed that the electability argument may be hurting Huckabee late in the game. Several party people ruled out voting for Huckabee just because they don't think he can win.

"I don't know if Huckabee is electable. He is probably not going to be one of the ones I vote for. The other two, I think can win the presidency." Merritt said.

Don't tell that to Dallas County Chair Charles Matthews. "Huckabee has the good conservative values this country needs. He's my man," Matthews said. But even he admits his man is a longshot. "He's got a shot, it's not a good shot," he added. When asked if he bought into the argument that a vote for Huckabee is a wasted vote or a vote for McCain, Matthews replied, "It might be, but I'm sticking with Huck."

So with no clear favorite, some are turning to strategy to help make up their minds. "I'm trying to decide who the Democratic candidate is going to be -- and then decide who can beat that," George said.

Merritt said the best thing to happen to Republicans is if the Democrats nominate Senator Hillary Clinton. "If Hillary wins, she will be the uniter for the Republican party," Merritt said.


Levi Felton said...

The quotes that I read from people throughout the News-Leader and at least this one blog entry make me nauseous. People obviously do not care about the country. They don't care about the problems that this country is facing. They, instead, show through their comments that they want to vote for a winner. Like a country full of fair-weather football fans, they don't want to have "wasted" their vote on a politician that lost. Nevermind the fact that the voter sees him as the best man for the job. Best man or not, let's just assume that he can't be elected and fail to vote for the best man for the job based on a highly accepted lie.
What keeps this country on the downslope that it has been on is the lack of voter turn out. The lack of voter turn out is a direct result of lack of political education in today's school systems. The lack of political education was puposefully designed by the Department of Education. The Department of Education is just part of the machine that has been built to enable the rich to get richer and the poor to continue paying for the rich to do so.
This country is the best country in the world and it was made that way by the indoctrination of the Constitution. Since the fifties, this country has steadily taken away power from the people and given it to big business. This once great country will fall like they all have throughout history. And looking back at the cause, the ignorant will still claim that their vote would have been wasted.

Sarah Jo said...

Hey, David, just wanted to know that I love your blog!

I also wanted to leave you this link. The Barna Group issued a press release this morning about its latest study. Apparently born-again voters no longer favor Republican candidates, according to the study.

Thought you of all people (and maybe other blog readers) would fine that interesting. Have a great day!