National Journal ranks the presidential candidates with a random formula

Granted, this is a little old, but there is something telling about this National Journal Presidential horse-race rankings page.

Which is that it is completely wrong.

And wrong based on a sort of beltway-insider assumption of how that famed second debate worked out, and the dominate narrative the beltway-insider media took out and ran with.

Rudy Giuliani is placed neatly at number one, because “thrown a softball by Ron Paul, Guiliani hit a grand slam”.  Okay.  Noteworthy is that the rest of the entry on Giuliani dresses him down on how he’s not showing up terribly well in the polls for those first two states of Iowa and New Hampshire.  Actually his poll numbers have slid greatly.  Not that that is the final arbiter of these things, but seriously now, despite what some articles of late that have appeared in the New Republic and the Weekly Standard, the Republican Party’s politics have not gotten away from those cultural issues of Abortion and the like.  And it appears that Rudy’s choice to run full frontal forward as Pro-Choice, and really that would be what I myself would advise him to do — has pulled him down in the polls.  Thus his “grand slam” cannot possibly be a grand slam.  He “wins”, and he falters downward.

Mitt Romney is now supposedly the front runner.  Whoopie Kayack.  It is the conventional belt-way wisdom now, and this arbiter of conventional belt-way wisdom failed to lead the pace on that bit of conventional belt-way wisdom, leaving him at #3.  So the National Journal failed in their task of pegging these horse races.  Incidentally, surely we can all agree at this point that John McCain is #3, and perhaps even… #4.
My final note deriding this National Journal horse-race pegging concerns Ron Paul, left with that derisive note “Please quit emailing us.”  I don’t particularly care that the National Journal stuck him last — they can do what they want to.  It is questionable to immediately leave him behind Tommy Thompson and Jim Gilmore as a matter of course, which seems to be what the National Journal has decided to do.  But I do have to wonder — why the down arrow?  Certainly Ron Paul raised his profile somewhat with that debate.  Certainly he gained supporters.

If you flick over to the Democratic page, you see a bit of the same dynamic.  The positions for the Democrat seem to be in freeze-frame, but… why does it posit that John Edwards had a “difficult month”?  He leads the polls in Iowa.  I think I would go ahead and leave Chris Dodd there at #5, for the strange reasons that the National Journal have provided — and despite that “zero support in Iowa” incongruence which goes against everything that the National Journal seems to stand for.  But we see that beltway insider bias working with both Dodd and Biden up above Kucinich, and even at this point goddamned Mike Gravel.  It is all entirely arbitrary, but I can tell you who Kucinich’s supporters are and I cannot tell you who Dodd’s or Biden’s supporters are.  (Well, Dodd has Ned Lamont, but beyond that… ?)

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