January 28, 2015

Poll Watch: Rasmussen 2016 Democratic Nomination Survey

  • Hillary Clinton 59% (62%) {70%} [77%] (63%)
  • Elizabeth Warren 12% (17%)
  • Joe Biden 6% (7%) {10%} [11%] (12%)
  • Bernie Sanders 4%
  • Jim Webb 3% (2%)
  • Martin O’Malley 2% (2%)
  • Some other candidate 5%
  • Undecided 9%

Survey of 648 likely Democratic voters was conducted January 18-19, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 20-21, 2014 are in parentheses. Results from the poll conducted November 7-8, 2013 are in curly brackets. Results from the poll conducted September 16-17, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 1-2, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 6:45 pm. Filed under 2016, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Poll Watch

Poll Watch: Townhall/Gravis Marketing (R) South Carolina 2016 Republican Primary Survey

  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Jeb Bush 16%
  • Scott Walker 9%
  • Mike Huckabee 8%
  • Ted Cruz 8%
  • Marco Rubio 7% 
  • Rand Paul 7% 
  • Chris Christie 5%
  • Rick Santorum 4%
  • Rick Perry 4%
  • Undecided 12%

If Mitt Romney does not run:

  • Jeb Bush 18% [22%] (16.0%)
  • Mike Huckabee 11% [19%] (15.8%)
  • Scott Walker 11% [5%] (2.3%)
  • Ted Cruz 9% [8%] (11.1%)
  • Marco Rubio 9% [6%] (7.2%) 
  • Chris Christie 8% [12%] (16.6%)
  • Rand Paul 8% [8%] (9.7%)
  • Rick Perry 5%
  • Rick Santorum 4% [2%] (2.8%)
  • Undecided 17% [19%] (18.5%)

Survey of 831 likely GOP primary voters was conducted January 21-22, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted March 6-7, 2014 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted November 30 – December 2, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 12:58 pm. Filed under 2016, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Poll Watch, Republican Party

Poll Watch: Rasmussen 2016 Republican Nomination Survey

Rasmussen 2016 GOP Nomination Poll

  • Mitt Romney 24%
  • Jeb Bush 13% {18%} [12%] (16%)
  • Ben Carson 12%
  • Scott Walker 11% {20%} [5%] (6%)
  • Chris Christie 7% {15%} [22%] (21%)
  • Rand Paul 7% {13%} [20%] (15%)
  • Marco Rubio 5% [16%] (18%)
  • Rick Perry 5%
  • Some other candidate 4%
  • Undecided 12%

Survey of 787 likely Republican voters was conducted January 18-19, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted November 20-21, 2014 are in curly brackets.  Results from the poll conducted November 7-8, 2013 are in square brackets. Results from the poll conducted August 1-2, 2013 are in parentheses.

-Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 10:15 am. Filed under 2016, Mitt Romney, Poll Watch, Republican Party

January 27, 2015

Charlie Cook’s Brackets

Since we had some fun yesterday with placing our bets in Vegas, let’s try doing brackets today. Charlie Cook, in the National Journal, divided the Republican field into four groups – the Establishment, Conservative Governors, the Tea Party, and Social Conservatives.

As always, things aren’t this simple — there are Governors in all four groups, for example – but still, it’s an interesting and different way to look at the field. It will probably help clarify things if you read Cook’s article (it’s short) to see how he defined each bracket.

I’ve created a graphic to help in visualizing the brackets (sorry that some of the lines/boxes are not quite lined up, this was my first time using this software).

Bracket

If you don’t agree with the bracket your guy/gal is in, complain to Charlie. I used his categories, with two exceptions – Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson. Cook said he didn’t know where to categorize them, and I can see why. I early on would have said Jindal belonged very much in the Conservative Gov group, but his recent speech in Iowa indicated (to me, at least) that he’s going more for the SoCon vote, so I put him there. Carson could easily go into either the Tea Party or SoCon brackets, but I somewhat arbitrarily put him into the SoCons – he evens out the numbers there, and I figure he’s not a factor anyway.

Cook seems to have included everybody who has made any noise at all about running (except George Pataki and, as noted below, Marco Rubio*), so there are a lot more people here than I hope we ever see on a debate stage, but I guess that will do no harm for this exercise – just ignore those you think will not run, or will not be a factor if they do.

Today’s assignment, class, is to choose the likely winner (please – not just your favorite!) for each bracket. Herewith mine:

Establishment: Carly Fiorina apparently did quite well in Iowa, but I can’t see her as more than (maybe) a VP possibility. Chris Christie I’ll eliminate on the basis of his unfavorables problem detailed a few posts below. I think Mitt Romney’s staleness and stiffness is less of a handicap than Jeb Bush’s name and contempt for conservatives. Marco Rubio (see footnote) could be the darkhorse winner here, if Bush doesn’t freeze him out of money and staff. Still, I’ll cautiously go with … Winner: Mitt Romney.

Conservative Governors: There might very well be a Midwest Regional already going on as a preliminary round in this bracket. If so, Scott Walker may have frozen out Rick Snyder (who I never thought was running anyway), John Kasich, and Mike Pence. The latter two could be making preparatory moves behind the scenes for all we know, but Walker looks to be way out front of them at this point. I think it comes down to Walker and too-much-baggage Rick Perry. Winner: Scott Walker.

Tea Party: This is the most heterodox bracket, which is perhaps fitting, since the Tea Party is a heterodox movement. I think Cook was fair in assembling this group and saying it is for people who are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. I’ll also note that in most tournaments there are tough and easy brackets, and this is the easy bracket in this one. Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump are probably not going to run, and if they do, they’re going nowhere. Ted Cruz will shoot himself in the foot at some point. Winner: Rand Paul.

Social Conservatives: Rick Santorum is already showing his weakness with Mike Huckabee as an alternative. He may be forced to withdraw early, if not I expect him to be eliminated in Iowa. Ben Carson, as I wrote earlier, is unlikely to be a factor. Jindal v. Huckabee could be interesting – Jindal, I think has the ability to draw votes from other brackets, but Huckabee has his vaunted charm and deep, deep SoCon roots. A close call, but … Winner: Mike Huckabee.

 

* I didn’t notice Rubio’s omission until after I had created the brackets. So please visualize his name among the Establishment bracket, where I think he fits most easily.

Romney Now Calling Utah Home

According to the Washington Post, Mitt Romney’s primary residence is in Utah, and he has recently registered to vote there.

After losing two straight presidential races, Mitt Romney packed up his home in Massachusetts and journeyed west to Utah, building a mansion here in the foothills of the Wasatch Range that has served as his sanctuary from defeat.

Here in the Salt Lake Valley, first settled by his Mormon ancestors, residents look past Romney’s electoral shortcomings and revere him as a savior for rescuing the 2002 Olympics. Romney won his highest 2012 vote margin in Utah — 73 percent to President Obama’s 25 percent. This is also where Romney has been pondering a potential third campaign, calling out to friends and past supporters and praying with his wife, Ann.

“He feels very at home here,” said John Miller, a close friend in Utah who has been talking with Romney throughout his recent deliberations. “This is a very prayerful thing. .?.?. In the end, it’s really a decision between he and Ann and their belief system, their God. That’s the authentic Mitt.”

There is always the possibility that all this talk about running for President is but a feint, and his real goal is running against Mike Lee in 2016 for the Senate. It is something to consider. Mitt is extremely well-liked in Utah having saved the 2002 Olympics.

by @ 1:55 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney

Race 4 2016 Roundup

It’s only January, 2015, and already the 2016 presidential race seems to be charging forward.

On the upswing today is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. On the heels of his supremely successful address to conservatives attending the Iowa Freedom Summit, the governor now plans to jumpstart his own PAC, aptly named, “Our American Revival.” Gov. Walker continues to impress me in his ability to use a conservative tone and language without doing so in a way that seems confrontational to those voters not fully aligned with the grassroots base and its perception of things. The use of the word, “revival,” for example, has a religious connotation, but the entire focus of Walker’s PAC and Walker’s message so far has been on freedom, and on limiting and reforming government. Like Bush in 2000, Walker seems to understand how to appeal to social conservatives without actually putting forth the kinds of policies that those in the middle may view as nanny state policies from the Right.

Speaking of the Bushes, the country’s current populist mood is giving the Left an opportunity to paint former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as a charisma-free dauphin being crowned by the establishment. From The New York Times today:

Moments after Jeb Bush delivered what many in the audience described as an unremarkable talk at a conference in Washington, Rupert Murdoch turned to his seatmate, Valerie Jarrett, the White House adviser, to gush over its content and tone.

Mr. Murdoch was pleased that Mr. Bush, the former governor of Florida, had listed the economic benefits of overhauling the nation’s immigration system, confiding in Ms. Jarrett that Mr. Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, had said all the right things on the fraught issue, according to three people with firsthand knowledge of the conversation.

Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media are already attempting to frame Mr. Bush as a candidate who has more in common with the establishments of both parties than with the broad swaths of middle class Americans on the ground, who may have different priorities, concerns, or viewpoints than those held and parroted by the ruling classes in Washington and New York. Mr. Bush’s challenge will be to overcome the notion that he is an out of touch Aristocrat whose policies would further drive down middle class wages, instead of lifting them.

by @ 1:44 pm. Filed under Jeb Bush, Scott Walker

Walker Forms Committee

The Washington Post reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose speech to activists in Iowa last weekend drew strong reviews, has taken the first formal step toward a presidential candidacy in 2016, establishing a committee that will help spread his message and underwrite his activities as he seeks to build his political and fundraising networks in the months ahead.

Walker filed papers to set up the committee, called “Our American Revival,” and a new Web site for the organization was scheduled to go live later Tuesday. The steps come after a busy weekend of pre-presidential events that included his address at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a later appearance at a gathering in California hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers and a stopover in Denver for additional fundraising.

Walker’s steps come at a time when other prospective candidates are making similar moves in what has quickly become the largest prospective field of Republican candidates and the most wide open nomination contest in the modern history of the party.

Slowly but surely the field begins to take shape.

by @ 1:35 pm. Filed under Scott Walker

Christie is in Serious Trouble

Harry Enten published the following chart on Five Thirty-eight blog:

enten-datalab-christiescatter

Note the close correlation between name recognition and net favorability? It is practically a straight line graph.

But notice how far below the line Chris Christie is. The article goes on to say (emphasis added):

Christie is 25 percentage points off the pace. … Given his high name recognition, you would expect him to have a net favorable rating of +45 percentage points.

Christie’s net favorable rating is more than two standard deviations below what we’d expect from a candidate like him.

Certainly the race has barely began, and you never know what might happen, but it is obvious that Governor Christie has a very long, steep hill to climb if he hopes to win the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Let’s hope for his sake that none of his big money backers read Five Thirty-eight blog.

January 26, 2015

How Much Establishment Support Does Mitt Romney Have?

There’s some interesting commentary on this video (sorry that I’m too inept to embed it), in which a Fox News Special Report panel places early bets on the Republican field – the premise being that each has $100 to allocate among the candidates at a hypothetical Vegas betting window. If you click the link, I think you’ll find it at least entertaining. For what it’s worth (which is approximately zero), the totals placed by the three panelists added up thus:

Scott Walker $85

Jeb Bush $70

Marco Rubio $70

Ted Cruz $10

The Field $50

It was interesting that nobody put a dime on Mitt Romney, who is leading all the polls (for what that is worth at this stage, which is again, in my opinion, approximately zero).

Romney’s non-support was of course picked up on and was the subject of the closing remarks, which could be summarized as:

“On Capitol Hill, few are for him, and there’s no enthusiasm elsewhere, other than from his loyalists/former staff.”

That, to me, is the most interesting part of this – I had been presuming that Romney and Bush would pretty much split the bulk of the party Establishment, with a some going to Chris Christie (also notable by his absence in the betting), and maybe slivers to Rubio and Walker.

IF this is true, the question, which I present for your comments, becomes: Is Mitt Romney the sort of candidate who can run without substantial Establishment backing? The corollary question is: IF he’s pretty much bereft of support on Capitol Hill, as alleged, will he even run?

by @ 2:34 pm. Filed under 2016, Mitt Romney, Republican Party

Trouble in Paradise, Obama/Clinton Tensions Rise

It would appear that all is not rosy between Barack Obama and his presumptive successor, Hilary Clinton. The Hill reports:

New tensions are emerging in the relationship between allies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

At issue is the fate of the political equivalent of gold dust — the enormous email list, comprised of many millions of supporters and donors, that the Obama team has compiled over the course of his two presidential campaigns.

The Clinton camp would dearly love to get its hands on the list, but there is no promise as yet that the president’s aides will comply.

It’s really quite simple. Knowledge is power, and Obama doesn’t want to give up any power even if it might help the Democrats keep the White House and maybe even take back Congress after he is gone. It’s all about Barry. That’s pretty much been his story from the beginning. Why would anyone expect him to change now?

If he continues to horde the list, fellow Democrats must come to him to use it. That means a continual influence in the party. In other words, they would still have to bow and scrape to him (or so he hopes).

by @ 10:07 am. Filed under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton

Cruz, Paul, and Rubio Debate Foreign Policy

National Review reports:

An economic policy panel discussion sponsored by a Koch-backed free market group turned into a foreign policy debate between Senator Rand Paul (R.Ky.), Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Senator Ted Cruz (R. Texas)

“I’m kinda surrounded on this one,” Paul cracked as ABC’s Jonathan Karl opened up a conversation about President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba, which Cruz and Rubio oppose.

Paul suggested that Richard Nixon’s decision to open up China “has made us less likely to go to war and while China is still an oppress regime they’re less oppressive probably than they were in the 70s.”

Rubio, seated next to Paul, reminded the audience that “there is no contemporary example of where an economic opening by itself made a democratic opening.” As for China, he said that the U.S. economic gestures toward the regime had made it “the richest tyranny in all of human history.” Rubio concluded by faulting Obama for making those concessions to Cuba without getting anything in return.

There was much more to the discussion. The linked article makes a good read.

by @ 9:30 am. Filed under Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

Another Shoe Drops for Christie

Chris Christie has formed his leadership PAC, “Leadership Matters for America”. NBC News reports:

Christie filed paperwork late Friday with the FEC to form the “Leadership Matters for America” political action committee. Christie is staffing up and plans several political trips in February. Christie aides say the Governor has not made a final decision about a White House run at this time.

“There is a vehicle now for donors to get involved,” an aide said.

This PAC isn’t the same as a presidential campaign committee, but it would allow Christie to raise funds, travel the country and support other candidates. Aides say this “gives a more formal structure” to his political operation and his major donors. Christie’s Iowa trip this weekend to speak at the Freedom Summit fell under this new PAC.

by @ 9:24 am. Filed under Chris Christie

January 25, 2015

Scott Walker Making a Run at All Three Legs of the Stool

I spent a good chunk of the morning clearing out space on my DVR and I came across Governor Scott Walker’s appearance on Fox News as a guest on The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly.

As Bob Hovic outlined this morning, Governor Walker’s speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit certainly had the makings of the beginning of a presidential campaign. Yet his appearance on The Kelly File was an even bigger hint of things to come because the governor was on to discuss…..wait for it…..the crises in the Middle East as regards Al Qaeda, ISIS and the recent collapse of the pro-American Yemeni government.

Now, I might be in the minority here, but when I’m looking for expert analysis on the military and geopolitical goings-on in the most complex region of the world, I seek out the views of a governor from the American Midwest.

Snark aside, and, for the record I like the Dairy State Governor, his appearance on The Kelly File was a clear signal he intends to run for president, especially considering the subject matter of the interview. Governors usually do not appear on cable news shows to discuss foreign policy matters, especially when, as in Walker’s case, the governor is not a former member of Congress, nor a former State or Defense Department official and has never served in the military.

As he did in his speech in Iowa, Walker handled himself well in his appearance with Kelly and it was clear he had been prepped on the subject matter at hand.

Governor Walker’s mere appearance on Fox News – a network watched religiously by many on the right – to discuss matters of foreign policy was a hint in and of itself that he is heavily considering a run. During the course of the interview, Walker hit all the right points one would expect a Republican presidential candidate to hit– he criticized the Obama Administration’s lack of leadership, he used the term “Radical Islamic Terrorists,” he said the Administration’s handling of Iran and Israel sends mixed messages to our closest ally in the region (Israel).

Walker, deftly I might add, made mention of President Reagan (a must for any candidate) and subtly compared Regan’s handling of the Air Traffic Controllers strike as something of a show of force to the USSR about the new president’s seriousness. The obvious implication was that Walker stared down the unions in Wisconsin just as he, as president, would not be afraid to confront the terrorists.

Walker is smartly positioning himself as a conservative candidate who can be acceptable to just about all segments of the base, even if he is not everyone’s first choice. On economic and fiscal issues, he can point to his record governing a blue state in a conservative fashion. Walker’s tenure in Wisconsin has been further to the right than the tenures of another pair of blue state governors – Mitt Romney and Chris Christie – and did so in almost as unfriendly of territory.

By staking out some ground as a hawk on defense matters, or at least defense matters pertaining to the Middle East – but doing so in a manner that looks and sounds reasonable, he can put to rest the concerns of “defcons” who might question a Midwestern governor’s foreign policy chops. He does not have to be John Bolton to get the hawks’ votes.

As an Evangelical Christian, Walker has a natural appeal with “socons” who are large in number in both Iowa and South Carolina. He might not use the same vernacular as other darlings of the religious right like Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum, but speaks the language well-enough that these voters can get on board with him. He also checks all the right boxes on the socon issues.

In addition to appealing to all three legs of the conservative stool from an ideological standpoint, Walker has executive experience as a governor (a sitting governor mind you, not a governor who was last in office ten-plus ears ago). Also working in his favor relative to the other establishment favorites, Jeb Bush and Romney, is that he a fresh face, not someone who has run and lost for president before and is not part of a dynastic political family.

The one criticism of Governor Walker, and it is a valid one, is his rather bland and dry personality. He will not wow voters with fire-and-brimstone type speeches that we are likely to see from Cruz, he is not as charismatic and affable as either Christie or Marco Rubio. However, after electing a president largely because of his ability to give a rousing speech (and suffering the disastrous results) voters, both in the primary and general elections, might not have a problem electing a president who has a bland personality if he can be seen as competent and reasonable. And one must remember that his most likely opponent in the general election – Hillary Clinton – is not exactly a dynamic personality herself.

I think Governor Walker has a chance to be something of a breakout candidate. I would not say he is the odds-on favorite to win the nomination, but he is quickly ascending the ranks to the first tier of contenders.

What say you?  Have at it in the comments section.

by @ 4:51 pm. Filed under 2016, Scott Walker

Left-Wing Populists Win in Greece

I’ve posted a couple times previously on the rise of populist parties in Europe, which is semi-off-topic for this blog, because … well because it’s both important and interesting, and because I see it as very similar to developments here (the Tea Party and Occupy, and a broader-based feeling among many that the average person has been forgotten).

The populist parties in Europe are of both the right and left, and in a few cases fascist. But they have in common a desire to do away with rule by the Elite. As an item posted yesterday in Weekend Miscellany said:

Political earthquakes could be in store for Europe in 2015, according to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the BBC’s Democracy Day.

It says the rising appeal of populist parties could see some winning elections and mainstream parties forced into previously unthinkable alliances.

Europe’s “crisis of democracy” is a gap between elites and voters, EIU says.

Today, it appears that the first of maybe several shoes has fallen, as a leftist-populist party, Syriza, appears to have won the election there. Per AP:

Official results from 17.6 percent of polling stations counted showed Syriza with 35 percent and Samaras’ New Democracy with 29.3 percent. An exit poll on state-run Nerit TV projected Syriza as winning with between 36 and 38 percent, compared to ND with 26-28 percent.

Earlier projections had given Syriza 146-158 seats in parliament, and New Democracy 65-75 seats.

151 seats would give Syriza a majority in parliament. Even if they fall a few seats short, there are communist and socialist parties that would likely ally with them. The consequences of this sort of revolt, if it spreads as EIU speculates it might, would be enormous for the European Union, and therefore for the US.

I think it also offers a lesson for the 2016 election in the US, the subject of this blog. Assuming the Democrats go ahead with their coronation of Hillary Clinton, they will be extremely vulnerable to an attack by the Republican candidate based on appeals to small business, blue-collar workers, suburbanites, soft libertarians, socons, and others who feel oppressed by big government and/or tired of condescension and contempt from the media, urban elites, and establishment politicians.

Clinton and the Democrats will be vulnerable, that is, unless the Republicans nominate a candidate equally old and establishment-based and incapable of running a credible populist campaign.

by @ 3:44 pm. Filed under Hillary Clinton, International

Looking More and More Like Walker’s In

Periodically, there has been doubt expressed here that Scott Walker would enter the presidential race. I’ve never been certain of it myself, and I’m still not, but the signs are increasingly pointed that way.

The most obvious sign is today’s yesterday’s speech in Iowa, which I thought was very good (others disagree), you can decide for yourself here). Good, bad, or mediocre, though, it was clearly, to me, a presidential campaign speech (if nothing else, note his comment near the end that he plans to return to Iowa often). He also committed this week to a March speech in New Hampshire.

As he continues to gear up for a likely Republican presidential bid, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is planning his first trip to New Hampshire of the 2016 campaign season.

On March 14, Walker will be the keynote speaker at an event that is being hosted by the New Hampshire Republican Party in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

“We have enacted bold, successful reforms in Wisconsin and we have a great story to tell,” Walker said in a statement announcing his visit. “I look forward to sharing our common sense conservative message with grassroots activists, and I thank the New Hampshire GOP for this exciting opportunity.”

This Time article is a week old and may already have been referenced here (I was mostly computerless then), but it discusses his recent speech at the Republican National Committee meeting:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker left little doubt Thursday that he is planning to run for the White House in 2016.

Speaking to the Republican National Committee (RNC) at its winter meeting in San Diego, the union-busting Midwesterner cast himself as a “new, fresh leader,” laying out a clear rationale for his candidacy as a blue-state governor with a proven record of reforming government.

“I look at our country, and I’m worried about our country the same way that I was worried about my state back in 2009,” Walker said when discussing his two sons, craftily referencing the year he decided to launch his first campaign for the governorship.

In addition, here’s a Des Moines Register item saying that Walker has signed on Joni Ernst’s top strategist, David Polyansky:

Polyansky, a Texan who played senior roles in two Iowa presidential campaigns and was the top strategist in Republican Joni Ernst’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate this past fall, will be Team Walker’s senior adviser in Iowa, sources told The Des Moines Register Thursday.

The news was confirmed by both Polyansky and Rick Wiley, who is set to manage Walker’s campaign if he opts to run.

Seven years ago, Polyansky helped orchestrate former Baptist minister Mike Huckabee’s victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, but for the 2016 cycle, he’s jumping on board with Walker, a pastor’s son known for winning three campaigns in four years in a blue state, and for confrontational government reforms.

The ‘invisible primary’, as has been noted here often, is about assembling a heavyweight team and lining up donors. It appears that Walker is succeeding in at least half that effort. We’ll see about the money game.

by @ 10:00 am. Filed under Scott Walker

January 24, 2015

Iowa Freedom Summit Open Thread

The Iowa Freedom Summit is taking place in Des Moines today and features several 2016 GOP hopefuls. I will post links to the speeches as the become available as well as reactions. The Des Moines Register has a live feed of the event here. Consider this an open thread. Note: Longtime R4’16 reader Joe Hanna is contributing coverage to this event.

Speeches:

Scott Walker

Dr. Ben Carson

Donald Trump

Rick Santorum

Ted Cruz

Carly Fiorina

Mike Huckabee

Rick Perry

Chris Christie

UPDATE: National JournalScott Walker Scores Standing Ovation In Iowa – The Wisconsin governor proves he can connect with these important primary voters.”

Further updates beneath the fold.

by @ 3:08 pm. Filed under 2016, Iowa Caucuses

Zogby Poll: GOP Presidential Race

A number of people have linked to this poll in the comments, so I thought I would go ahead and give it its own thread.

This is a Zogby poll, which is not exactly considered the gold standard of polls. To begin with, it is an on-line poll. That means it is not a random sample. The people participating signed themselves up to do so. Second, it attempts to take a snapshot of the entire nation using a sample of only 223 likely Republican primary voters — a very small number four or five times smaller than any reputable polling firm uses. As it is, they claim a MOE of 6.6% which means Rand Paul could be in first place for all we know.

Anyway, here it is:

  • Romney 16%
  • Bush 13%
  • Rubio 13%
  • Christie 11%
  • Huckabee 9%
  • Walker 6%
  • Jindahl (sic) 4%
  • Paul 3%
  • Perry 3%
  • Cruz 3%
  • Haley 0%
  • Portman 0%
  • Martinez 0%
  • Santorum 0%

As I said, it’s Zogby, so take it with a grain of salt. About the only thing that can be said is once again Romney’s in first place, Bush is in second, and Santorum is at or near dead last.

Weekend Miscellany

Sorry about the absence — I’ve been mostly computerless for the past couple weeks. Anyway, the same (lack of) rules apply. Add your own miscellany in the comments.

 

The Most Forgotten Presidents

A recent survey of college students says that the six most remembered presidents are the most recent four, plus Washington and Lincoln. Not a surprise. The most forgotten?

Pierce 4%
Fillmore 4%
Arthur 6%
Harding 7%
WH Harrison 8%
B Harrison 8%

Apparently we shouldn’t castigate ignorant students of today too much, since the report says that the results are similar to previous studies.

 

European populists

A few weeks ago, we had a Miscellany item about the rise of populist parties, of both left and right, across Europe. Here’s a BBC report on the subject:

Political earthquakes could be in store for Europe in 2015, according to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the BBC’s Democracy Day.

It says the rising appeal of populist parties could see some winning elections and mainstream parties forced into previously unthinkable alliances.

Europe’s “crisis of democracy” is a gap between elites and voters, EIU says.

Sounds sorta like the US, doesn’t it?

The first test of the proposition will come in just a few days, in Greece:

A snap general election takes place there on 25 January, triggered by parliament’s failure to choose a new president in December.

Opinion polls suggest that the far left, populist Syriza could emerge as the strongest party. If it did and was able to form a government, the EIU says this would send shock waves through the European Union and act as a catalyst for political upheaval elsewhere.

“The election of a Syriza government would be highly destabilising, both domestically and regionally. It would almost certainly trigger a crisis in the relationship between Greece and its international creditors, as debt write-offs form one of the core planks of its policy platform,” the EIU says.

The UK will hold elections in May, and it will be interesting to see how UKIP does there.

 

Voter Participation

In the same BBC article mentioned above, there is a graph on voter participation rates. We in the US are often lectured by our Elites that we should be more like those good Europeans, who vote at much higher levels. Passing laws to make voting easier is a favorite pastime of such folks.

It’s interesting to see, therefore, that what has been happening is that most developed countries are becoming more like the US in terms of participation in elections:

voting percentage

 

A Useful Tool for Political Junkies

I came across this browser plug-in and have installed it myself. The idea is that it highlights the names of politicians in articles one is reading. Hovering over the highlighted name will bring up a pop-up showing that politician’s contributors (per Opensecrets.org).

As I said, I’ve installed it (I use Google Chrome) and it works pretty well (it misses a significant number of names). Still, it’s a useful tool, and probably will be refined over time.

 

More College Rape Nonsense

You’d think after the University of Virginia story blew up in their faces, the people pushing the idea that there is a ‘rape culture’ on US college campuses would be a bit more careful. You’d think it, but you’d be wrong.

The latest thing that has been all over the internet is that one-third of male college students would commit rape, as long as they could call it something else. According to Newsweek (yes, they’re still in business):

Nearly one-third of college men admit they might rape a woman if they could get away with it, a new study on campus sexual assault claims. Of those men, however, far fewer will admit this if the word rape is actually used during the course of questioning.

Sounds pretty bad, except that it is based on a single study, at the University of North Dakota, which consisted of 86 students who filled out a questionnaire. Projecting the attitudes of the roughly 7.5 million US male college students based on a sample of 86 would be pretty dubious in any case – the margin of error would be quite large – but these weren’t even a random sample:

Eighty-six male college students received extra credit for their participation.

Oh well, as long as it advances the narrative, right?

It seems to be a common practice of advocates for a cause, to overstate the prevalence of a problem in an effort to lure supporters to their side. Unfortunately, they often go so far overboard, as in this instance, that they instead make themselves look absurd, and trivialize their cause.

Hey, we get it — rape is a serious issue, however often it happens, on-campus or off. You don’t need to do bogus surveys and phony ‘news’ stories to convince folks.

by @ 11:23 am. Filed under Misc.

Jeb Bush’s Speaks to the National Automobile Dealers Association

Last night Jeb Bush made his first major address since announcing he was seriously looking into running for President. He spoke to the National Automobile Dealers Association in their annual convention in San Francisco.  The Washington Post reports:

[T]he Republican former Florida governor spoke confidently and in significant detail about the broad range of issues beginning to shape the campaign for the White House. Bush signaled he would offer the country the “adult conversations” he said are lacking in Washington and would focus on people who have been left out of the economic revival.

Bush was sharply critical of Washington — not only of President Obama but also of the Republican-controlled Congress — saying there were too many “academic and political hacks” with “hard-core ideology” who are running the country without making progress.

“They’re basically Maytag repairmen,” he said. “Nothing gets done.” Bush added, “It is time to challenge every aspect of how government works — how it taxes, how it regulates, how it spends — to open up economic opportunity for all.”

The LA Times added:

“Just a lot of reasons to be angry or grumpy and negative and then react to the overreach,” the former Florida governor told a gathering of the nation’s auto dealers in San Francisco after delivering a long and scathing assessment of President Obama’s time in office, both domestically and on the world stage.

But, he went on, “we’re not going to win votes as Republicans unless we can lay out a hopeful, optimistic message that’s based in reality, that’s grounded in a set of policies that are real, that people believe can actually happen. Hope and a positive agenda wins out over anger and reaction every day of the week.”

He was asked at one point about his meeting with Mitt Romney the day before. He replied:

“We talked about the Patriots. We talked a little bit about politics, not as much as you might imagine. We talked about the future of the country. We talked about the need for a more engaged foreign policy..?.?.The awkward side of this, about running and such, we put aside.”

All in all not a bad speech. It is a strong start for a campaign for the Oval Office.

 

by @ 9:10 am. Filed under Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

Texans Apparently Like to Run For President

How many Texans does it take to run for President? Five apparently.

In the maneuvering preceding the upcoming GOP race for the top, five people with Texas roots have been busy. They are:

  • Rick Perry, the outgoing Governor of Texas.
  • Ted Cruz, the state’s junior Senator.
  • Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida but born and raised in the Lone Star State.
  • Rand Paul, Senator from Tennessee Kentucky but born and raised in the Houston area. His father was a former Texas Congressman.
  • Carly Fiorina, former head of Hewlett Packard who had an unsuccessful 2010 run for California Senator and the only woman (so far) in the field. She was born in Austin, but raised elsewhere.

Yee-haw!

 

by @ 8:44 am. Filed under Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz

January 23, 2015

***>> Public Service Announcement <<*** (*Updated)

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*Update

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by @ 6:26 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

Palin Is Interested In the 2016 Presidential Race “Of Course”

ABC News reports:

Just before she heads to Iowa for the first major conservative showcase of the 2016 election cycle, Sarah Palin said “of course” she’s interested in the 2016 presidential election.

“Yeah, I mean, of course, when you have a servant’s heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested,” Palin told ABC News’ Neal Karlinsky while serving wild boar chili to the homeless in Las Vegas Thursday.

When asked again if she could be “possibly” interested in a presidential campaign, she answered, “We definitely had enough of seeing that — America has had enough of seeing that — sign on the Oval Office door saying, ‘No Girls Allowed.’ I know that.”

While serving up bowls to those gathered in line, the former Alaska governor clarified, “It doesn’t necessarily have to be me, though, but no, America is definitely ready for real change.

“It doesn’t have to be myself, but yes … happy to drive that competition, because competition will make everyone better and produce more and be more candid regarding their solutions they will offer this country. I am very interested in that competitive process and, again, not necessarily me.”

She IS right; America is ready for a change.  The question is, to what? The candidate who can best articulate that change we are ready for will be our next President.

 

by @ 3:18 pm. Filed under Sarah Palin

Hot Air Poll

The Conservative blog, HotAir recently polled its members on the nascent 2016 GOP presidential primary race. The results are as follows:

  • Scott Walker 25% (682 votes)
  • Ted Cruz 25% (671 votes)
  • Mitt Romney 20% (542 votes)
  • Ben Carson 8% (209 votes)
  • Rand Paul 5% (146 votes)
  • Rick Perry 5% (132 votes)
  • Bobby Jindal 3% (77 votes)
  • Marco Rubio 2% (52 votes)
  • John Kasich 1% (36 votes)
  • Jeb Bush 1% (35 votes)
  • Mike Pence 1% (28 votes)
  • Mike Huckabee 1% (25 votes)
  • Chris Christie 0% (11 votes)
  • Rick Santorum 0% (4 votes)
  • —-
  • Other 3% (85 votes)

Some observations:

  • These guys eat, drink, sleep, and breath politics so blaming “Name Recognition” for any of the results just doesn’t cut it.
  • Walker and Cruz came in far stronger here than anywhere else. The HotAir crowd really likes these guys.
  • Romney finishes in a very strong third place. He is only five ppts off the leaders. This is rather unexpected given the makeup of the HotAir readership.
  • No one else broke double digits.
  • Jeb Bush, who is supposed to be Romney’s main competition for the nomination, is way down the list barely registering a weak 1%.
  • Chris Christie, the other supposed big competitor in the Establishment wing is so far down in the mud that he registers a mere 0%.
  • Rick Santorum, as he often does in almost any poll, anywhere, shows up dead last. Nobody drags bottom like Rick.

 

Romney Inner Circle To Meet Today

Things are moving fast. Yesterday Mitt met with Jeb in Salt Lake. Today, Mitt is meeting with his inner circle in Boston. The National Review has the story:

The meeting will include members of the former Massachusetts governor’s inner circle: his son Tagg; top aides Spencer Zwick and Matt Waldrip; longtime confidante Beth Myers; political consultant Eric Fehrnstrom; longtime pal Bob White; and adviser Ron Kaufman.

[M]any of Romney’s famously loyal donors … don’t want a repeat of 2012. … “It’s been incredibly impressive how many of the large contributors remain solidly committed to Mitt and are prepared to support him in the race,” says one top Romney donor. “What they’re looking for is a political strategy that leads to victory in the general election and they’d like to see a strategy that introduces the real Mitt Romney, the Mitt Romney that they know, to the American voters.”

It’s been two weeks since the word went out that Mitt was seriously considering running again. That’s two weeks for the impact of the idea to sink in, two weeks to gauge reaction, and two weeks to identify the key strengths and weaknesses that may affect a potential run.

I’m predicting that this is the last true bail-point, the last chance for Mitt to call off a possible run with little or no damage. If he calls it off today, nobody would hold it against him. But if he doesn’t, the momentum behind the run will be nigh impossible to stop. He will be fully committed.

I suspect it’s fish or cut bait time for Mitt.

 

by @ 12:52 pm. Filed under Mitt Romney

Poll Watch: Rest of Rasmussen’s National GOP Presidential Poll

Rasmussen released partial results yesterday for their latest 2016 GOP Presidential Poll. Here are the rest of the results:

Horse Race Fav Unfav Never Heard Not Sure Support Certain Support Uncertain
Romney 24 77 20 1 2 31 27
Bush 13 64 28 3 5 20 14
Carson 12 51 16 26 7 21 11
Walker 11 52 17 23 8 9 15
Christie 7 53 36 6 5 6 6
Paul 7 57 27 7 9 5 10
Perry 5 54 29 10 7 3 7
Rubio 5 58 22 11 8 21 11
Other 4
Not Sure 12

How Certain are you of your vote:

  • Certain: 30%
  • Uncertain: 70%

Some observations:

  • Mitt Romney is currently enjoying a double digit lead over his closest competitor
  • Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Scott Walker are battling it out for second place.
  • Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio are down in the noise.
  • With a 30/70 ratio of vote certainty, nobody has this race sewn up.

 

Christie Moves to Save Atlantic City

NJ.com reports:

ATLANTIC CITY — Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he’s signed an executive order to install an emergency management team in Atlantic City to help dig financially strapped gambling resort out of “an enormous hole.”

Christie tapped Kevin Lavin, a corporate finance attorney who specializes in helping troubled companies, to overhaul the daily operations and finances of the city, which has seen four casinos close and more than 8,000 people lose their jobs over the last year.

The Republican governor also named Kevyn Orr, a former corporate bankruptcy lawyer who led Detroit through the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history last year, as a special counsel to Lavin.

“I can’t wait any longer,” Christie said while making the announcement at the third summit he has held in Atlantic City with casino executives, business leaders, union leaders, and state and local officials to search for ways to revive the city. “We need more aggressive action. It’s time to confront the dire circumstances with which we are confronted.”

The move comes as Christie considers whether to launch a bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for president and could have implications for his campaign.

They also had this to say in a separate story:

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of an emergency manager to oversee Atlantic City gives the appearance of a take-charge leader doing everything he can to help a desperate city.

“When you have a leader that takes action, that’s what people want,” said Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson. “They want action. And he gave them action. There’s no more pussyfooting around. This is what we’re going to do. And we’re going to bring in people who understand what to do.”

But the move also underscores a big risk to Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects: That he could be selling his management skills to the country while an iconic American city spirals out of control under his watch, with thousands of jobs lost and hulking empty towers left behind as city residents complain of skyrocketing property tax bills.

Yes, there is certainly a great deal of risk here for Christie. If he should fail, it could easily mean the end of any hope he might have of winning the Presidency. But if his efforts succeed, it will give him a lot of cred for being a problem-fixer. Considering the mess that Obama will be leaving his successor, that can only be a plus.

by @ 10:36 am. Filed under Chris Christie

Our Laws Should Come From God, Not Man, Says Huckabee

Raw Story reports:

During an appearance on the Christian Life Today program, Huckabee told televangelist James Robinson that he was considering a 2016 presidential bid because the country needed to become a “God-centered nation that understands that our laws do not come from man, they come from God.”

“It’s the natural law of God,” the former Arkansas governor said, adding that he was not calling for a theocracy.

The big problem with that is that somebody has to decide what God wants to put into law. And who gets to decide that? Are we going back to “the divine right of kings”?

*sigh* First Huckabee began a one-man crusade against Beyoncé and accused the Obamas of being poor parents. Now this.  That’s two gaffes in less than two weeks.

What is going on? Huckabee wasn’t nearly this bad in 2008. Now he seems to be putting his foot in his mouth an awful lot. What happened?

If this keeps up, perhaps he needs to reconsider his presidential ambitions. It’s not like he has nowhere else to go. I’m sure Fox would be more than happy to take him back if he asked.

 

by @ 10:11 am. Filed under Mike Huckabee

Jindal Jumps on Jittery Congress Junking Abortion Bill

In case you missed it, Congress tabled a bill yesterday that would have banned late-term abortions. It was scuttled primarily through the efforts of GOP Congresswomen. That has caused quite an uproar in So-con circles as you can imagine.

Bobby Jindal was not impressed. Newsmax reports:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was unhappy that House Republicans didn’t take a vote on a bill banning most late-term abortions on Thursday.

“I hope they don’t continue to disappoint us because voters outside of D.C. are looking for a big change, not incremental changes,” Jindal said Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

House Republicans did pass another bill later in the day, but Jindal wanted them to pass a bill that banned most abortions after 20 weeks. That bill failed to gain the support of several Republican women because its exception for rape and incest required the crime to have been reported to police.

 

by @ 9:37 am. Filed under Bobby Jindal

Marco Making Meaningful Moves

It seems Marco Rubio is starting to get serious about running. ABC News reports:

Sen. Marco Rubio has begun taking concrete steps toward launching a presidential bid, asking his top advisors to prepare for a campaign, signing on a leading Republican fundraiser, and planning extensive travel to early-voting states in the coming weeks, ABC News has learned.

“He has told us to proceed as if he is running for president,” a senior Rubio advisor tells ABC News.

Leading the effort to raise the $50 million or more he’ll need to run in the Republican primaries will be Anna Rogers, currently the finance director for American Crossroads, the conservative group started by Karl Rove that raised more than $200 million to help elect Republicans over the past two elections.

Rogers will begin working at Rubio’s political action committee on February 1 and would become the finance director of Rubio’s presidential campaign.

Rubio, 43, will gather on Friday and Saturday at the Delano Hotel in Miami with 300 supporters and major donors to his Reclaim America PAC to discuss his political future.

 

by @ 7:48 am. Filed under Marco Rubio

Romney and Bush Meeting No Big Deal

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Two of the Republican Party’s top presidential talents met privately in Utah on Thursday, raising speculation they may have cut some sort of political deal. But those close to Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush said instead it was simply a cordial, political conversation between friends and potential rivals.

“It has absolutely no strategic implications. Period,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a close adviser to Romney. “I think it is two people who know each other, who like each other, who have common interests and who realize they may be in an awkward place soon.”

Bush hopped a Delta flight from Washington, D.C., to Salt Lake City International Airport, where a KUTV reporter talked to him. The former Florida governor said the meeting wouldn’t be uncomfortable.

“Nah, not at all,” Bush said. “I respect him a lot. I admire him a lot. He is a great American. I look forward to seeing him.”

Asked what they would talk about, Bush said: “The future.”

After the meeting at an undisclosed location, possibly one of Romney’s two homes in the state, Bush aides wouldn’t shed any light on what was said.

“Governor Bush enjoyed visiting with Governor Romney and has great respect for him,” offered Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell.

The Deseret News reported:

Thursday’s private meeting in Utah between potential 2016 presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush shouldn’t be seen as any sort of showdown, one of Romney’s top advisers said.

“There’s none of that,” said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who headed the transition team that would have prepared Romney to take over the White House had he defeated President Barack Obama in 2012.

“There are two men who have known each other a long time and like each other, and they want to make sure there’s good communications between the two of them,” Leavitt said. “And absolutely nothing beyond that.”

So much for Allahpundit’s “RINO Yalta”. Both of the parties involved are playing down the importance of the meeting, and nobody appears to be changing the trajectory of their pre-campaign campaign. It is an unusual move to be sure, but it is nice to see two potential competitors being nice to each other. It shows a fair amount of class.

by @ 12:01 am. Filed under Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney

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