January 8, 2010

National Journal Magazine’s Political Insiders’ Poll

  6:03 pm

This has been tangentially mentioned. Here it is in all its glory:

National Journal Magazine polled a number of “political insiders” on both sides of the aisle on the 2012 Presidential Election. Since Barack Obama is the presumptive Democrat candidate, the poll centered on the possible Republican candidate. Here are the results:

To the Democrats (111 votes):

Q: Who would be the Republicans’ strongest presidential nominee in 2012?
1. Mitt Romney 29 percent
2. John Thune 15 percent
3. Tim Pawlenty 13 percent
4. Mitch Daniels 11 percent
5. Newt Gingrich 6 percent
6. Haley Barbour 5 percent
6. Jeb Bush 5 percent
8. Mike Huckabee 3 percent
8. Bobby Jindal 3 percent
8. Sarah Palin 3 percent

Also receiving votes: Dick Cheney, 2 percent; Michael Bloomberg, Eric Cantor, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Colin Powell, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, no one, 1 percent each.

To the Republicans (109 votes):Q: Please rank the top five candidates, 1 through 5, in terms of who you think is most likely to capture the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Rank/Candidate/Insiders Index*
1. Mitt Romney 81
2. Tim Pawlenty 46
3. John Thune 38
4. Haley Barbour 28
5. Mitch Daniels 25
5. Sarah Palin 25
7. Newt Gingrich 14
7. Mike Huckabee 14
9. Jeb Bush 6
10. Bobby Jindal 5

*METHODOLOGY: All 127 Republicans among National Journal’s Political Insiders were asked to name and rank the top five contenders for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination; 109 participated. In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote 4 points, and so on. The Insiders Index reflects the percentage of points that each contender received out of the maximum possible. For example, Mitt Romney scored an Index rating of 81, meaning he received 81 percent of the possible 545 points, the number he would have had if all 109 participants had ranked him first.

My analysis:

The first thing that leaps out at me is the questions. It is not, “Whom would you vote for”, or ,”Whom would you like to see”? The question to the Democrats was, “Whom would be the strongest opponent”? The question to the Republicans was, “Who is the most likely to obtain the nomination”? Note the difference? None of this “favorables” touchy-feely stuff.

The second thing that strikes me is the term “political insiders”. The grass roots like to sneer at them, but it has long been my experience that the middle layers of any organization are the ones who really run things. They are the ones that make things work in spite of the ravings from the top. The top determine policy. The middle actually sees that it gets done in spite of the top echelon in many cases. So don’t blame them for the policy screw-ups during the Bush years.

These are not part-time political junkies. These are the guys whose very jobs and careers depend up their political judgment. If outsiders such as us call a political shot wrong, we lose face. If they call a political shot wrong, they lose their jobs.

The final thing that strikes me is that I pretty much agree with them. As I see it now, the two people most likely to win the nomination are Pawlenty and Romney. They are the ones making the right moves in order to lay a foundation for a successful run. Huckabee and Palin are acting more like celebrities than candidates. If they are truly going to run, I see them making the same mistakes now that ultimately cost Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson the nomination last time.



by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

This is Great News! For Sarah Palin! (Really)

by Nate Silver



I'm happy to see that Mitch Daniels scored as high as he did. He topped Huckabee in both and tied Palin in the one of our 'insiders'. At the very, very least he should be at the top of the list for VP candidates if he doesn't run himself.


Palin Knows Exactly What She’s Doing

by Taylor Marsh



Im sure the same political insiders influenced McCain's choice in running mates. Quit trying to pretend she so far out of the GOP loop when its inconvenient that she remain in it.


Tommy Boy,

I believe that is what is known as "Shooting the messenger", correct?


I wonder if Thune has seen this and what might be going through his mind.


One of the main statistics not posted here is that 62% of the 109 republican respondants voted Romney with a 1st place vote. That's pretty awesome my friends.



No, my understanding is most of them tried to influence McCain to pick Romney. In fact, didn't a poll at the convention before the Palin announcement have Romney in the lead for VP?


Palin and supporters can wish until the cows come home that this is positive for Palin, but it's devestating, unless she is going third party, of course.


Tommy Boy,

Either that or "sour grapes". One of the two.

Or maybe both.


"Palin and supporters can wish until the cows come home that this is positive for Palin, but it’s devestating, unless she is going third party, of course."

Oh, I wouldn't say it was devastating. It is only bad if she was running. Since I doubt she is, it can hardly be called devastating.



I believe that "shooting the messenger" is claiming that a scientific poll is inaccurate. Given that this poll isn't scientific, there is no possible way to "shoot the messanger" in what I perceive to be the common usage of the term.

In any event, I am not even claiming this unscientific poll is inaccurate.


Here is great news!

Hate to post here, but we have not had a good Scott Brown posting in a while. First, look at the new issue ad running in Mass supporting Brown. they are spending $400k on it (a huge amount for 2 weeks in one state)...

Next, look at the quote from PPP on their most recent poll...


We may actually win this one!!!!!!


"These are the guys whose very jobs and careers depend up their political judgment. If outsiders such as us call a political shot wrong, we lose face. If they call a political shot wrong, they lose their jobs."


Romeny cool aid anyone.

this poll means nothing but we already know the establishment folks are not palin fans.


Tommy. Now you are sounding like those Romneyians that cast aspersions at the polls that show him behind Huckabee and/or Palin.


Do a poll of real voters and you get palin #1.


I like the top 4, all serious people who can talk policy and priorities without sounding like angry children, all solidly in the Party. Let's drain the pool of the personality driven candidates and focus on issues, solutions, policies, etc., the kind of approach that draws independents in, makes Republicanism responsible and intelligent, and makes winning more likely. Bully!


Face it Romney bots Conservatives don't want Romney. he is a fake, and threw conservatives under the bus to win in MA.

Palin will chew him up in the first debate (watch her 2006 debates).


#14 MarK, where am I casting aspersions as to the accuracy of this unscientific poll? It's probably completely accurate.


Actually, AK, I rather suspect that if "real voters" were polled as to the most likely Republican nominee, I rather suspect it wouldn't be Sarah Palin.


I just want a damn rassmusm poll.


Note how seriously the Democrats in the top poll are taking Sarah Palin. 3% of those who voted think she would be the toughest competition for them in 2012.

This isn't some amorphous poll of "adults" or "registered voters" either, this is a poll of specific people who are named registering their opinion that Governor Palin would be somewhere between the #8 or #10 toughest opponent for Barack Obama (unless he loses in a Primary, of course).




In what way is this poll unscientific?


all the real polls show romeny in the 20% range. Palin's book tour has boosted her standing to something like this

Palin 33%

Romeny 26%

Huckabee 21%

Bank on it in the next poll.



Do you always put up this much resistance to something you don't want to hear?



It's not a sample of randomly-selected Republicans.


Obviously, this "insiders" poll has been wrong before. At this time in the last election cycle (before 2008), they were predicting George Allen would win.

So once again we have a poll to argue over and hopefully no one gets their feelings too badly hurt or makes a huge fuss over this... it's just not meaningful enough to be worth it.

I do very much agree with marK that if Governors Huckabee and Palin are getting ready to run, they're each doing it very, very unconventionally and are unlikely to have the support network in place to propel them to victory.


Good analysis, Mark.

Romney has been busy helping others in '09 and will continue to do so in '10. In 2012, those that he helped will in turn offer their assistance to him. In 2008, I failed to see the importance of a candidate that had "paid their dues" and didn’t understand why McCain got so many of the critical endorsements. Romney simply hadn't done enough for others. He had money but that couldn't buy him good will. In the end, McCain had the goodwill from Senators and Governors to be repaid and it made all the difference.

I think Romney has addressed that weakness nicely. We'll see if it pays off. If Meg Whitman wins in California, she will be the sitting Governor of that state and its 55 electoral votes. She will surely back Romney in the primary giving him a certain boost. Romney’s aid to her now could be critical to his campaign later.

In 2008, Charlie Crist's late endorsement changed the dynamics of the race in Florida and swung it to McCain which gave him the momentum going into Super Tuesday. It could be argued that Crist helped McCain clinch the nomination so the value of laying the groundwork and establishing goodwill among other politicians cannot be underestimated.

Romney is making the right moves and as you correctly state, Huck and Palin seem more intent on being celebrities. Even if they are garnering crowds and TV ratings now, that may not prove to be the winning formula once the race actually starts.


Tommy Boy,

Of course it isn't. It doesn't claim to be. It is a sample of Republican "insiders". It is what it is.


#22 and #25

The very fact that it is an "Insiders' Poll" indicates it is not scientific. It is a poll of Insiders.


#28 Then why are you asking how it's unscientific?


Palin's tea party raises eyebrows


Sarah Palin’s plan to deliver the keynote address — for a fee — at next month’s first-ever National Tea Party Convention is getting renewed attention in light of her rejection Thursday of an invitation to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

The decision to blow off CPAC — traditionally seen as the year’s must-attend event for the conservative establishment — in favor of a little-known convention is prompting some soul-searching among CPAC supporters, and is being interpreted as a calculated play by the former Alaska governor to cast herself as the potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate of the high-energy, anti-establishment tea party movement.

But it’s also renewed questions about her political judgment and brought scrutiny on the Tea Party Convention, which kicks off two weeks before CPAC’s Feb. 18 start date and has cast itself to some degree as a more homegrown, grass-roots alternative to the traditional conservative conference.

“It’s a missed opportunity for her, for sure,” said GOP operative Brad Blakeman. “CPAC is an established mainstay of conservatism that those seeking to be active in 2010, 2012 and beyond should take advantage of to be seen and heard, while the tea parties are a manifestation of frustration that is loosely organized and hasn’t proven itself at the polls.”

Palin has committed to speaking at April’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, considered a must-attend for prospective candidates for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Still, the CPAC snub, combined with the tea party commitment, were clearly intended to send a message, asserted Erick Erickson, founder of the influential conservative blog RedState.com, which is owned by a publishing firm that is co-sponsoring CPAC. “I get why she did it,” he said. “It is a purposeful decision on her part to try to claim a segment of the conservative movement as her own.”

Though he said it has caused some conservatives to question whether CPAC is losing relevance as new conservative activists affiliate more with the tea party movement than with establishment conservative and Republican groups, Erickson predicted that CPAC is “going to draw a lot more people and a wider range of both conservative voices and conservative age groups” than the Tea Party convention.

In 2009, CPAC, which is held in Washington and includes a presidential straw poll, drew an estimated 9,000 attendees, while the National Tea Party Convention, set to begin Feb. 4 in Nashville, had 600 tickets, some of which are still available.

“She could have done both,” Erickson said, “but I think she should be doing CPAC because she would have a more expanded reach. The people surrounding the governor need to go some good discernment as to who are her friends and who want to ride her coattails to greater personal success.”

Palin’s representatives confirmed Friday that she is still planning to attend the Tea Party Convention, but they ignored questions about whether it part of a broader effort to position her within the conservative movement.

The Tea Party Convention is being organized by Tea Party Nation, a for-profit company that runs a social networking website for activists, but is not considered a leading group in the tea party movement. It’s paying for Palin’s fee (reported to be in the low six figures) and other overhead by selling tickets (at $560 a pop) and by offering sponsorships, in some cases for $50,000 each.

Tea Party Nation is hoping to turn a profit from its convention so that it can “funnel money back into conservative causes” through a 527 group it plans to set up to get involved in campaigns, according to Judson Phillips, the group’s president.

Though he wouldn’t comment on Palin’s CPAC snub, he previously told POLITICO that his group’s ability to land Palin to keynote the convention demonstrates “that the tea party movement is having an impact in politics and that she recognizes its impact and that she wants to be a part of it. It’s going to be a hugely important event for her and for us in the tea party movement.”

But some Tea Party activists and organizers have questioned whether Tea Party Nation can pull off a successful convention, and also whether its plans are consistent with the goals of the grassroots movement, which exploded onto the scene last year when conservatives mobilized in opposition to the ambitious big-spending initiatives backed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

Anthony Shreeve, an East Tennessee local tea party organizer who resigned from the convention’s steering committee after a disagreement over its finances, blasted the steep ticket price and expressed concerns that Palin might compromise herself by attending.

“She thinks she’s coming to endorse the tea party movement, but most tea party people won’t be there because they can’t afford it,” he said. “The tea party movement is a grass-roots movement; it’s not a business,” he added, asserting the convention “could potentially harm the movement, because it’s a premature national initiative that doesn’t have the support of the majority of we the people.”

And a tea party source familiar with the convention’s fundraising and planning efforts questioned whether it was wise to prominently feature Palin at an event purporting to be driven by grass-roots activists.

Plus, the source said the convention’s sponsorship requests exceeded the norm for such an event, adding, “I understand completely asking sponsors to chip in, but 50 grand is just way beyond.”

Sarah Palin as the Pivot for the ‘New’ GOP


GOP Backs Romney


Is the GOP splitting apart at the seams?



Real voters aren't like us geeks on this or any other political site. They don't pay attention until it's time. And geeks like us aren't like the people who actually took this poll, people whose livelihood and attention is focused on this stuff all the time, and who have a greater stake in positive outcomes than we do. As a casual observer, they seem to have preferred smart over personality, and I'm right there with 'em! I cannot abide stupid populism that sounds like a cross between grumpy grandpas and two-year-olds before nap time. I want my Party to be articulate, confident, cheerful, wise, forward thinking, market oriented, problem solving, and I want candidates who can convince the country to join and follow. That's who wins, and governs well.

Poor American Voter

Congratulations Romney, the long dream of rombots here has finally come true after many months of denial... You are number 1 this time and we won't argue with that, we just hope that your comrades here WOULD do the same if somebody else is number 1.



Just like all the polls of "real voters" last time gave the nomination to Rudy Giuliani walking away.

Polls are interesting snapshots in time. That is all they are.


It doesn't claim to be representative of the electorate at large. It only claims to be representative of "insiders". So why can't it be a scientific poll of insiders?


haha TB... It doesn't purport to be! It is what is says a poll of insider Republicans and Democrats. That does not make it unscientific. No one is claiming it represents what the general electorate would vote in the same percentages. But, it does well represent what the insider view of the situation is.


Romney: "I'd govern like Clinton."



33 Mitt Romney has been number one in many polls during 2009. Were you asleep?


Laugh all you want but the insiders sure know much more than us.


Glad to see fresh faces like Pawlenty, Thune and Daniels doing so well. Believe the mood of the grassroots is not going to allow for a traditional transition to the next-in-line. Don't believe an electorate enraged over healtcare will turn to a past governor known for his state healthcare plan and I am definitely not a Palin fan.

Poor American Voter

But come to think of it... this is not even a scientific poll. If intelligent and patriotic Thunder's fair mindedness is put to use, this is a complete joke for him and his fellow rombots just like when he considered scientific polls as a joke because Huckabee or Palin leads.


24. no I just hate the moronic GOP "insiders"

Palin Has everything needed to Crush the charisma politics of obama.

people who don't understand this are just stupid.

Palins :

neutralizes Obama's Grassroots Following

neutralizes Obama's Media Dominance

neutralizes Obama's Chariamsa

neutralizes Obama's Fundraising

neutralizes Obama's Big Crowds

neutralizes Obama's race card

neutralizes Obama's Speeches

they are equal in qualifications

and she is a conservative!

all palin needs is time, thats it, and by 2012 it's all hers.

mark my words.



See #29.


42. Where do I put the mark, again?


Hey Obamacare fan.

Clinton was actually quite popular as a President, and rather unpopular as someone who couldn't keep his pants zipped (or keep his mouth from telling lies).

His 2nd term with the Republicans in control of Congress was, I think, a good example of how one should Govern the country giving consideration to both Conservatives and Liberals. Contrast that with President Obama, who wants Conservatives to sit down and shut up because they lost in 2006 and 2008.

If you had to choose between the two Governing styles, which one would you prefer for our country? Judging from your name, you prefer HillaryCare, so I think you are on board with what Mitt is saying.


ICYMI...Here is the list of National Journal's "Insiders":

Democratic Political Insiders

Jill Alper, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery, Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Terry McAuliffe, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett, Sarah Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Mike Veon, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders

Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Charlie Crist, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Barry Jackson, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris Lacivita, Jim Lake, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Eric Tanenblatt, Sara Taylor, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.


I think what's distorting the poll is the fact that it's questionable whether Huck or Palin are actually going to run. Look again how the poll questions are worded. Some of those polled are responding under the assumption that they aren't running in the end and that affects their answer, regardless of their opinion of them.

If either had indicated to this point that there's a reasonable possibility they'd run, they'd certainly be higher up in the poll.


All that is great, AK, but she isn't running.


Insiders saying - "Ha ha grass roots!"

and "It's sure getting pretty smoky in here (cough, cough), who wants another cigar?"



#47. Exactly


#43 - it depends on what it purports to be. Nobody is claiming it represents all voters. It represents insiders, and for that group, there is nothing showing it to be non-scientific. As a matter of fact since over 200 people are polled on a very small total population, it is probable that it would have a very small margin of error for that population polled.



Please explain to me why a poll of insiders cannot be a scientific poll of insiders.

Obamacare! Romney

Wow, look at me... I can take a poll and turn it into a smoke-filled room. Just look at how small they make me feel by filling out a ballot. Look how big, bad and important these people are and how hard they laugh at me and other "little people."

I am SMRT!


45. WOW! Holy Mittney! Not Clintonlike?


In 2006, these some "insiders" -- who treasure their reputation and upon whom we should place such emphasis -- declared Hillary the "inevitable" nominee -- and George Allen in the Romney slot.

The very fact that they are "insiders" suggests they most likely never take a walk "on the outside" -- i.e., they haven't a clue as to how everyday, non-blogging, non-political people think and vote. Many times it doesn't matter. This time it will. The last thing you want to be is an "establishment/insider" candidate when the very people who are angry and most likely to turn out want nothing to do with "politics as usual."

This poll means as much today as it did in 2006 -- and has as much merit as "President Hillary Clinton" and/or "President George Allen."


On The Road With The Palin Campaign

CBS News' Scott Conroy Looks Back At Covering The Palin Campaign


The following excerpt is adapted from the book "Sarah From Alaska" (PublicAffairs) by CBS News digital journalist Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, who were both embedded reporters traveling with the 2008 Republican vice presidential campaign.

The events described took place on Election Night at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, where John McCain had decided at the last moment to preclude Sarah Palin from delivering the concession speech that had been written for her. Palin initially fought to give her speech anyway but gave up when she realized that her now former running mate's mind was made up. The following events, which took place just after McCain addressed the somber crowd at the Biltmore, encapsulate the internal drama and infighting that defined the McCain/Palin campaign as it came to its inglorious end.

Back in the suite, Todd [Palin] broke out a bottle of champagne and poured a glass for everyone in the room. After excusing herself to change clothes, [Sarah Palin] reemerged to toast the "friendships and memories made" on the campaign trail. But after everyone took a sip, she couldn't help but wonder aloud, "What just happened?"

She asked the Bush campaign veterans if election night was always so dysfunctional. They reminded her that on election night in 2000 and 2004, the outcome had still been in doubt when most Americans had gone to bed, so they didn't have anything with which to compare it.

"There was no closure," Palin said.

As Todd Palin and [senior Palin adviser Jason] Recher began to plan the trip back home the next day, the governor retired to another room in the suite to call in to an election night party in Alaska. When she returned, Recher told her he was going to attend the party that members of the campaign advance staff were throwing in the courtyard.

"Should I go with you?" Palin asked. Recher explained that it was probably best that she didn't. The booze had been flowing for a while now, and the alcohol combined with the intense emotions of the day gave the event the potential to get a little rowdy.

Recher had been at the party for all of five minutes when Piper, the governor's precocious seven-year-old daughter, snuck up behind him. "My mom is looking for you," she said. "She wants to go on stage and take a picture."

Recher didn't have time to think twice about how the governor had ignored his advice. Palin was following not far behind Piper with two or three dozen members of her extended family in tow. Traveling staffers would soon receive messages on their BlackBerries about the group photo plan and make their way to the outdoor stage. Recher's instincts still told him it was not a good idea. There were still a lot of TV cameras in the area. Even though McCain had already left, his aides were likely to see this as an attempt by Palin to have the last word.

"Let's find another area not on the stage," Recher suggested. "The press is still set up, and there are a ton of cameras. They'll likely turn live to cover this."

The group assembled backstage as a kind of compromise. But that didn't feel festive enough to Palin. "I want to go on stage and take a picture with my family," she said.

"All the press is there," Recher recalls reminding her.

"My loyalty is to my family at this point, and I want to do it."

Kris Perry stepped in to try to convince her boss and close friend that Recher was right, but Palin had made up her mind. "I flew them all the way out here," she said. "It's the least I can do."

Recher surrendered and began to assemble the family and some staffers on stage. As startled members of the media looked on, the now former candidate joined the group and began to smile and wave. But the press weren't the only ones who were surprised. Some of McCain's aides could barely believe their eyes as they saw the young rock star of the Republican ticket apparently trying to upstage the venerable senator one last time.

Senior McCain aide Carla Eudy had already left the Biltmore to attend a downcast late dinner at Morton's steakhouse. She received a frantic phone call from [director of advance] Davis White, who told her that it looked as though Palin was about to give her speech after all. Eudy told him in no uncertain terms that Palin's apparent final act of rebellion was unacceptable.

She immediately called [McCain campaign senior strategist] Steve Schmidt, who did not hesitate to issue his last order of the campaign. "Take the set down," he told Eudy. "Unplug it."

Eudy forwarded the message back to Davis White.

"What is going on?" White demanded of Recher. "Is she going to give remarks?"

Recher explained that Palin merely wanted to take pictures with her family, but to White, it sounded like a dubious cover story. Acting on the instructions that had filtered down from Schmidt, White put in a call to the soundboard operator and told him to bring the lights down and cut the sound.

"Come on, this is ridiculous," Recher remembers saying to White.

"We pay for this stuff," White replied.

The lights went down, but the effect was minimal, and no one seemed to notice that the stage had become dimmer as Palin waved and posed for pictures with her family.

When she found out what was happening, an incensed Carla Eudy called Recher to express her displeasure. "You never had control of her," she said, according to Recher. "Get control of her! Get her ass off stage!"

Recher was not in the mood for yet another argument with the McCain team. "The campaign ended tonight, and so did you," he said before hanging up the phone.

Palin did not give a speech as she continued to pose for pictures with her family. Nonetheless, she had succeeded in punctuating the night on her own terms. She would save her next big move for another day.


#52 Is this poll really a random sample of "insiders?" The question is if National Journal specifically reached out to people who it considered to be insiders. If the answer is yes, then that alone renders the sample of "insiders" not a random sample of "insiders."

The next question is can you really have a random sample of "insiders" considering that it strikes me as a self-selected group, as opposed to a group such as "grandmothers."


Hey, AK, in your little list of how Palin neutralizes Obama I don't see a single one that mentions ability, knowledge, qualifications or experience. Romney has all of those and that is what people are looking for in a President. They are not looking for someone that can be a bigger rock star.


53. it's

s m a r t,

my insiderfan. 😉



how the heck do you pull out a smoke-filled room from people filling out a poll that is made public? Methinks you are a wee bit paranoid...


Obamaguy, if you are attempting to be funny, you're having a really bad day.


Palin Inaccurate says McCain Strategist

In an upcoming 60 Minutes report, the McCain campaign's political strategist Steve Schmidt slammed Sarah Palin for being inaccurate during the 2008 presidential election.

Watch CBS News Videos Online


61. Grumpy Illinoisguy says "Get off my lawn!!!"


62: ewww



In 2006, these some “insiders” — who treasure their reputation and upon whom we should place such emphasis — declared Hillary the “inevitable” nominee — and George Allen in the Romney slot.

Yes. So nobody should be either writing acceptance speeches nor slitting their wrists just yet.




Ooops... didn't realize 53 had posted. I wasn't quite finished with that when I pushed something by accident and my post disappeared.

I was just aping you! Hopefully, no hard feelings. :)

And I'm no more an insider fan than I am an outsider fan. It's just a silly poll. You're the one who is turning it into a conspiracy by folks in a back-room filled with smoke.



Political Insiders Poll

by James A. Barnes and Peter Bell

Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010

See how prominent political bloggers responded to these questions.

Q: Who would be the Republicans' strongest presidential nominee in 2012?

Democrats (111 votes)


1. Mitt Romney 29 percent

2. John Thune 15 percent

3. Tim Pawlenty 13 percent

4. Mitch Daniels 11 percent

5. Newt Gingrich 6 percent

6. Haley Barbour 5 percent

6. Jeb Bush 5 percent

8. Mike Huckabee 3 percent

8. Bobby Jindal 3 percent

8. Sarah Palin 3 percent

Also receiving votes: Dick Cheney, 2 percent; Michael Bloomberg, Eric Cantor, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Colin Powell, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, no one, 1 percent each.


"He can raise money, has something of a national base, has been around the presidential block, can talk about the economy, looks good on TV, and handles himself well."

"The challenge for Romney will be to find his own voice rather than adopting the rhetoric of the fringe elements of his party."

"Romney can present a moderate look with economic credentials and a 'fix-it' attitude."

"He can run as an outsider, which will likely be compelling in 2012."

"A little early, but it needs to be a Mitt Romney type -- non-D.C. [candidate] who lets Obama be the issue. At this point, the public is going to vote against Obama as they voted against Bush."

"The 2012 elections are likely to be about leadership, competence, and the economy. And Romney, at this moment, is the strongest candidate."


"Sen. Thune will be a fresh and good-looking face on the national GOP stage in 2012."

"Don't think he'll be the nominee, but he is by far the scariest Republican of all: smart, hard-right but smooth edges, movie-star looks, great on TV. Yikes!"

"Telegenic, smart, pragmatic, and already a giant killer, [having defeated then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom] Daschle."


"Executive experience, Midwest swing state, minimal psycho factor."

"He is conservative and looks and sounds reasonable enough not to scare off the moderates. I know that Thune is the flavor of the month, but do people really think a former lobbyist can win the presidency?"

"Democrats would have a tough time against a moderate, non-D.C. politician, governor from Minnesota throughout the Upper Midwest, Rust Belt, and probably the Northwest."


"Budget-cutting technocrat governors may be in vogue. And he hails from an Obama state."

"A huge success story to tell."

"While being a bit charismatically challenged, his record of fiscal responsibility (turning a deficit into a surplus), bipartisanship, pragmatism would be the best counter to President Obama."


"He has new and creative ideas, even if they are also scary and misguided."


"Is the smartest politician in the potential field. Haley is not a matinee idol, but he is thinner than [William Howard] Taft and better looking than John Quincy Adams."

"He is wicked smart and has a solid record of achievement as governor."


"In a couple years, there will be fonder memories of GWB among nonideological voters."


"He is likable, which is an important quality for any candidate, but especially important for the Republican presidential candidate."


"No one will be as good at appealing to the populist anger as Sarah."

Q: Please rank the top five candidates, 1 through 5, in terms of who you think is most likely to capture the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Republicans (109 votes)

Rank/Candidate/Insiders Index*

1. Mitt Romney 81

2. Tim Pawlenty 46

3. John Thune 38

4. Haley Barbour 28

5. Mitch Daniels 25

5. Sarah Palin 25

7. Newt Gingrich 14

7. Mike Huckabee 14

9. Jeb Bush 6

10. Bobby Jindal 5

*METHODOLOGY: All 127 Republicans among National Journal's Political Insiders were asked to name and rank the top five contenders for their party's 2012 presidential nomination; 109 participated. In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote 4 points, and so on. The Insiders Index reflects the percentage of points that each contender received out of the maximum possible. For example, Mitt Romney scored an Index rating of 81, meaning he received 81 percent of the possible 545 points, the number he would have had if all 109 participants had ranked him first.


"In a downturn, trading a community organizer for a businessman may seem like a no-brainer."

"Actively making the rounds raising money for others and about to launch a new book, but can he energize a Republican base that was slow to warm to him the last time out?"

"Issues are lining up for him -- economy, health care."

"Starting the race with the name ID he earned in 2008 will be the difference in 2012."

"Romney has primogeniture, very important to Republican primary voters."

"His business background, savvy campaigning, strong organization, and fundraising will all be huge assets. He needs to be comfortable with who he is. Is he the former governor of Massachusetts or the national candidate in 2008?"

"Lessons learned and a previously built operation will give Romney a huge advantage."

"Needs to decide who is he. But if he can do so successfully, can run and win."

"Will have another $100 million, but probably does not improve his outcome."

"Romney continues to have numerous problems that haven't gone away, not the least of which is the similarity between Massachusetts health care and the [national] economy."

"Mitt will run a near-perfect race. He will learn from his mistakes and hire the best vision possible."


"A fresh face and a solid conservative record. Best of a weak field. Fewest negatives."

"Proven competent governor, conservative from a moderate state, bland may be what people are looking for by 2012."

"A blue-collar guy from a blue state, and a personable, nonthreatening conservative to boot."

"Solid and will be a lot of folks' No. 2, but the excitement meter really doesn't tick too much."

"Smart, likable guy who has started to assemble a good team. Might just not be his time."

"Plausible but ultimately doesn't cut it. Is moving right so fast it's making Romney's head spin."


"We're done with 60-year-old-plus candidates for a while. We need somebody who can compete with Obama intellectually and visually."

"The fresh face. Solid political credentials with base that still remembers win over [then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom] Daschle. Continues to build on his policy bona fides."

"We may need our own fresh face, one who can appeal to independents and who doesn't have a lot of scary votes on social issues in his background."

"Unlikely he wants to run, but a smart party would figure out he is their best shot at actually winning."

"Has the right temperament, but is he driven enough?"

"Thune is about to become the flavor of the month, and we'll see how he holds up. Like Barbour, he's a former lobbyist."

"If the top tier flames out early, this is where people will head."


"Shrewdest, toughest, wittiest, most competent GOP leader: If he wants it, he knows how to get it."

"Is the best natural politician in the party, and has a large and loyal following of local party leaders."

"The pick of Republican political professionals, but fear of nominating another white Southern governor works against him."

"Great record as governor, and a savvy strategist."

"The best pol of the group. Not sure that he'll run or that he can win, but, oh, what a campaign that would be!"


"Great record as governor in difficult economic circumstances."

"The plus: proven champ at cutting fiscal deficits. The minus: hasn't axed his personality deficit."

"The anti-Obama: kind of dull, not afraid to make tough decisions, fiscally responsible."

"The smartest kid in the class with more national experience than Jindal."

"Daniels is the strong-record candidate but lacks any ideological edge."

"If he actually begins to show interest, great potential."


"She's made a series of smart political moves the last few months, after a series of colossally dumb ones the six months prior. Book tour has been a huge plus, so the question is: Which Palin will emerge?"

"Iconic, but missteps are inevitable."

"Party's most exciting candidate, but can she draw anyone who isn't already sold?"

"Now being rehabilitated and increasingly attractive, but Republicans will want someone who can win."

"If she can convert her star power into a solid candidacy and good organization, she has a chance."

"An insurgency could lift her to the nomination -- and certain defeat in the general."

"Is the 15 minutes over yet? Still hard to see how she gets past 20 percent in the primary and 30 percent in the general."


"If he decides to run -- and that is a big 'if' -- Newt will run the most policy-oriented effort in recent memory, but will fall short."

"He might outthink his way to a path toward victory."

"Not without baggage, but is the most articulate defender of GOP vision."


"He has a 'happy warrior' quality and an appealingly quirky personality."

"Charismatic, hard right, and fits the social conservative story line."

"Another well-liked Republican who cannot win a general election."


"Bush would be the best candidate, except for his last name."


"Successful governor, solid conservative with a smile, and our best face for 21st-century America right now."

Behind the Rankings

Percent of first-place votes

Ronmey 62%

Thune 12%

Pawlenty 9%

Barbour 6%

Others 11%

Percent of second-place votes

Pawlenty 22%

Romney 18%

Thune 15%

Barbour 13%

Palin 9%

Daniels 8%

Gingrich 6%

Others 9%

Mitt's the man!


Honest question...

Was EACH insiders ballot made public or is it a GROUP thing?



GROUP thing, to my knowledge. So we don't know how each one voted... but we know how the group voted and we know who was in the group.


Tommy Boy and friends....You guys are confused about what a scientific poll is. A scientific poll is one that uses acceptable methods to take a statistical sampling of a group and make assumptions about trends for the entire group.

In the case of this poll, nearly all of the members of the specific group gave their "data" and, therefore, statistical methods were not needed to make assumptions about a larger group.

The data itself shows the results.

Therefore, this is an accurate poll of the opinions of the named group unless they lied when giving their answers.

So Palinistas....start your argument that the Democrats all lied to try and knock the real competition...Pain....out of contention....(Not like far-right conservatives ever listen to anything Dems say in the first place...)

...and that "insiders" are the "hated establishment" (less than human, not real people, phones, fakes, whatever term you want to use to dismiss them) and therefore their opinions don't count.

You know, actually, this "insiders," and the "outsiders," the people who live in the country and those that live in the city, those that live on the coast and those that live on the prairie those that are blue collar and those that are white collar are all real Americans.

They all have their own opinion about things, and just become some peoples opinions differ doesn't make them "not real people."

If you want the Republican Party and conservative principles to win, then you are going to have to start being a little diplomatic and using solid logic to get converts to the cause.

If all you want to do is associate with people who wear the same ball cap and drink the same brand of beer....well, then, enjoy your echo chamber and watching your "club" lose election after election as all the "not real people" out vote you every cycle.


67. I don't see any public names after those comments ???

Cigar, anyone? 😉


56 actually paints Sarah in a better light.

How petty that they wouldn't let her take pics (or even a speech at a party).



Read my post at 57. Is it clear that this group was randomly surveyed? And is it possible to randomly survey a group as amorphous as "insiders?"


TB, I normally respect your opinion about polls, and agree with them. It's true that we don't know whether or not the insiders were selected at random, but you were claiming that it was not scientific. We were not claiming that it was, just that you did not know. As to whether or not a poll of insiders could be scientific, if done properly, absolutely! Any population can be polled. I spent the last 5 years of my life doing statistical analysis and problem solving in a very large major corporations. The statistical application certainly applies here. As I said before, in all likelihood, the margin of error is even much smaller than normal because of the fact that the percentage polled is a larger than normal number compared to the overall population.


Rudy Giuliani Criticizes Terror Trial

The former NYC mayor says the suspect should be tried as an enemy combatant.


Giuliani Comments on GMA Prompt Debate


Rudy Giuliani: "You Wanna Know If I Forgot About September 11th?"



#37.....I'm a busy guy, but I'll waste my time to reply to this.

That is neither what Gov. Romney said nor what he meant, so...

1. You are trying to deceive people, which reflects poorly on your character, or

2. You have trouble understanding standard English, which reflects poorly on your comprehension and thus your judgement.

Take your pick


#75 Let's unpack this argument:

Argument #1: This poll is not a scientific poll of Republicans but rather a scientific poll of Republican insiders.

Counter: If these insiders were not randomly selected among the wide world of "insiders," the poll itself cannot be scientific because not randomly surveying the wide world of insiders would not be "an acceptable method[] to take a statistical sampling."

Question on top of the counter: Is it even possible to poll among the wide world of "insiders." IG says yes. I'm skeptical.


What about a poll of Republican and Democrat Political Outsiders?


After seeing the means by which this was conducted, some of the statistical verbage I used in 75 is not applicable. It is even more accurate than I was stating, because nearly the whole population was used.


It does my heart good to see Palin and Huck mucking out the bilge in this poll.


78 - TB - If you look at the explanation, they used the total population of a predetermined group they use as political insiders. Of that group, they used all of them, nearly all of them choosing to participate. So, for that particular group of insiders, it is almost perfectly accurate. The only deviation would be for those few that did not choose to participate. But since nearly the whole population was used, the margin of error would be extremely small.



It is a poll of those people listed. If you know who they are, then you now have a good understanding of how that group feels. If you do not know who they are (I don't even recognize 90% of the names), then this poll means even less to you.

If, on the other hand, you can trust National Journal (Online) to have tried to get the most representative sample of "Insiders" then the poll gets more credence.

I'm repeating myself, but I think it is worth it.

It's just a silly poll. Take it or leave it, but don't try and dismiss it as strong-arm politics or as completely meaningless, because it is neither of those things. It represents the feelings of that named group at this point in time, as marK has said. Since other journalists are already commenting on it (thank you, Aron Goldman for all the links), the poll certainly has meaning.


#74.....Tommy Boy, you miss the point. A random survey is necessary when you are using a small group to makes assumptions about a much larger group. You want it to be random to try to simulate the actual make up of the entire group because when using just a small group to extrapolate the actual make up of a much larger group, even a little bias in the small group will cause large error in the assumptions about the larger group.

In the case of the Republicans for this poll, the total group membership was 127 people out of which 109 responded. That is an 86% coverage of the entire group. That is so high that a "random sample" is meaningless unless you want to argue that the 18 people who did not respond were purposely left out because they supported a certain person.

If these results were supposed to represent the opinions of all Republican voters, then you would have a point. But it's not. It's what it says it is.....a poll of 127 Rep. Insiders and however many Dem insiders.


#82 "predetermined group"

That's the key phrase isn't it? Doesn't the fact that it's a "predetermined group" eliminate the ability to characterize the poll as a "scientific poll of insiders."


#85..This is why I don't come here much anymore. I don't like these silly games.

Why are you being so silly about this?

It was a poll of 127 named people. 109 responded.

It is about the stated opinions of the 109 people who responed.

Nothing more, nothig less.

Aren't there more important things to do/discuss than to play these kinds of games........good grief


TB - I don't see anywhere that it purports to represent all insiders. If it did, you would have a point. Even then, unless, there was something intentional about the selection of this group of insiders intended to help or hurt one candidate or another, it would in all likelihood be pretty darned representive, even if not totally random. My understanding is that this is a group they use for other things also. I could be wrong though.



So are you arguing that because the world of Americans who would identify themselves as Republican insiders is small, a random sample (or a sample where the people aren't preidentified as insiders by the National Journal is unnecessary) for the a poll of self-identified insiders to be scientific?


Jerald, I'm glad you came by.


TB - Jerald was arguing that it doesn't purport to be anything more than representing that group of 109 people. Of that particular group, there is no margin of error at all.


#90 Okay fine. That does strike me a little bit of a walkback from what I perceived to be a claim that it's a scientific poll of insiders.

Jerald, come back anytime.

But about whether there are more important things to discuss than whether or not a poll is scientific...not really in my opinion.


TB, for this to represent all insiders, it would depend upon by what manner they were chosen. If something simulating randomness, it would have a pretty small MOE.


Tommy Boy

Take a break and take a Statistics course. If you take a poll, based on sampling, there is error, the degree of which, as well as the format used, reflecting scientific or non-scientific procedure. If you poll the whole population, all the " Insiders", then there is no error and "scientific" is meaningless....UNLESS you believe that the whole Republican party is inferred from the sample. All this survey did was ask what these people believed. It did not claim to infer what the country as a whole or the GOP believes. Bloggers do this , of course, which determines the scientific basis , or lack thereof of the data.


What I find most interesting is that not a single one of this particular group felt Palin had the best chance of being the nominee. Also, for Huckabee to do even worse on the 5,4,3,2,1 voting is pretty tell telling that he burned a lot of bridges last year with his conduct. They don't forget.


AKReport Says:

January 8th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

24. no I just hate the moronic GOP “insiders”

Palin Has everything needed to Crush the charisma politics of obama.

people who don’t understand this are just stupid.

they are equal in qualifications

AFter we find out that Obama was in over his head, this is going to be your slogan? Good luck.


Tommy Boy......I should apologize....My disappointment is not aimed only at you....similar games are being played by supporters of all stripes and it just reminds me of the kids in grade school arguing over who the best major league pitcher is or what model of car is the hottest or baddest.

Best wishes


George Allen is not Romney, so the fact that Allen was the fav so far out is meaningless. He could have done very well if he hadn't been so stupid. Frankly, I'm glad he messed up so early because otherwise he would have sunk us like a stone had he won the nomination. As it was, he was responsible for the loss of the senate.

Romney isn't likely to mess up.


Well, I'm tickled pink today. I'm begining to think the stupid party has a shot, after all.



Allen's problem was that he had to run for reelection in 2006. He wouldn't have said that stupid macaca thing if he wasn't up in that year. If he had sought reelection in 2004 for instance, he probably would have won since VA went red and it was a Republican year. If that had happened, he could habe been a strong contender, maybe even have kept Huckabee and Thompson from being factors in 2008.


I'm also very happy to see Daniels polling so high. I hope he re-considers and decides to run. He would also make a great VP. He's a far better candidate than Pawlenty.



If George Allen was not smart enough to refrain making a really stupid, unnecessary comment, knowing the guy was watching his every move, well then he does not deserve our support, don't you think?



Everyone says stupid stuff now and then; it's human nature. Allen was just dumb enough to say it during his reelection campaign and have it caught on film.

Also, I'm curious as to why you want Daniels to run? Won't his fiscal conservatism and relatively moderate approach pull votes away from Romney?


Martha, you would be happy to see Daniels run...up until the time that he starts threatening Romney. Then you'd start dumping on him.


#93 Craigs,

Clever ad-hominem hit at the beginning (though I am generally a proponent of ad-hominem attacks) but your assertion seems to be that since "whole" population of insiders was polled, then there was no need for the poll to be scientific, random, etc.

However, I doubt that the 108 people who responded to this survey are the only 108 people in the country who would identify themselves as Republican insiders and thus, the poll was not of the "whole" population of insiders if I am understanding your argument correctly.


I'd like to know who these people are beyond just the fact that someone considers them "insiders". Happy for them to be polled--would just like to put it in context.


If we continue to listen to these "insiders" THEN our country is headed for a disaster of biblical proportion...



106. Thanks for the reminder--I remember being especially concerned about the dogs and cats living together. Am not hoping for a repeat.


Personally, I'm not crazy about Daniel's running precisely because of what Jonathan is saying. I don't think Daniel's can get the nomination (not enough name ID), but I do believe he could hurt Mitt because they pretty much are going after the same voters.

Another reason is that I don't want too many people on the debating stage this time. I would like to see no more than 6. That way everybody gets ample time to shine and/or mess up.


Hamaca, I assume you saw a listing of all of the people polled above in this thread? I only know about 15-20% of the Republicans and even fewer of the Democrats.


77. It's called video proof.

NOW get back to work!!! 😉


DanL, you have such little faith in me. :-)

I would like to see some better candidates than Huck, Palin, and Pawlenty run. Daniels is my kind of candidate - I can't help but like him. That's all.



For the debates, they need to limit who can get in. That debate before Iowa where even Alan Keyes got in was ridiculous. You should either have to have been elected to federal or statewide office (Governor, Senator or Congressman) or to those polling 5% or more. That way, only candidates who have a realistic shot can be on teh stage.


Also, Dan - there's just not much material on Daniels for me to use. He seems to be a very competent and decent guy.


112. Agreed.


Agreed, but even that criteria could put quite a number. I would like to see only those polling 5% or more, period, regardless of offices held.



Just as long as Ron Paul doesn't get to blather on about the Trilateral Commission or the evil Fed, the debates will be fine.


109. Yes, I had seen that. I'm looking for titles, roles, documentation... I recognized even fewer than you.


I guess we could wiki them one at a time.


Let's take this thread to a 300-count

before the real polling begins. :)


What are the qualifications to be an 'insider' anyways. I'm a Republican, I spend most of my time inside, doesn't that count? :)


Here, I'll do my part...

Palin beats Huckabee beats Pawlenty beats Daniels beats Thune beats Romney beats Obama beats me.


You must be inside the loop.

Or just looped. ; )


118. If they were party leadership, I would have thought the names would be more recognizable. Could they be congressional staff, lobbyists, other pollsters, the press, D.C. residents...?


Actually, Race42012 hasn't done a preference poll in a long time, why not have one here? Our answers can surely be as good as these mysterious insiders.



I actually do recognize around half of the names just skimming the list (I read a lot of bs from Democrats/liberal websites so the names do ring a bell).

These are mostly the strategists/lobbyists types that give advice to candidates and politicians. Though it appears as if we have one or two pollsters (Lombardo and Winston).


Many insiders are concerned that Mitt Romney may have an electoral glass jaw. The establishment is hedging its bets with Pawlenty. However, what we have here is the same mentality that gave us Bob Dole and John McCain. The electability argument is about to get discredited in 2010 with the victories of Rubio and Toomey and others as well as ample evidence of the passion and energy of the Tea Party Movement that will back Governor Palin. It's like Reagan in 1980 all over again or Goldwater vs. Rockefeller - its Movement Conservatism vs. technocrats.


Allen could well have won if he didn't implode.

Does anyone really think that Mitt is a racist!

ps movement conservatives never win because primary voters are actually pretty moderate and have voted in previous primaries.


Thanks TB. Interesting. So would these insiders also be equated with the "establishment"? Or is the term "establishment" reserved for more of the leadership and politicians?


129 heh heh, I just think anyone who would allow themselves to be publically identified as an insider is party to the establishment.



Of course she does Tommy Boy. She quit her job none other than to make money off of a book deal. As much of a scum as Levi is, I believed him when he said that Sarah would talk about how nice it would be to quit everything and take advantage of the money opportunity, especially after she quit her job then did indeed go on this book tour.

Wake up man.


The Tea Party movement is gas without an engine. It can make some large popping noises, but it can't really go anywhere, do anything, fixing nothing. Grown-ups are building the Party and focusing on policies, crafting careful arguments to address and fix problems. Demolition politicians appeal to the know-it-all grumps and the shallow, tantrum-throwing emotional wave riders. I like the grown-ups who are interested in governing. Exciting personality can be a plus, but usually in politics it's a crutch that substitutes for substance. Not my kind of tea.


"Many insiders are concerned that Mitt Romney may have an electoral glass jaw. The establishment is hedging its bets with Pawlenty."

Really, show me a link please! What evidence do you have for that other than a personal opinion?



Seriously, what is he basing this on? The "insider" poll is right above his nose at the top of this post!


If by "electoral glass jaw" it is meant that Romney is vulnerable, I can't entirely disagree. But that's not a reflection on him as much as it's a reflection on the electoral people.


135, Yes Hamaca,

Mitt has enormous strengths but also some severe vulnerabilities for this coming cycle (bailout, mandates, establishment). He is also a cautious candidate and may opt to go for a possible open election in 2016 which would give him four more years to organize and prepare.


I like Mitt but we need to think long and hard before we hand the nomination to someone who immediately cedes his home State's electoral votes. That is not always a recipe for success.


Not a chance JA; he'll go in 2012! Four more years of Obama will be way too much damage for our country.


Don't bet for a minute that Mitt cedes Massachusetts. I won't cede it. Pawlenty cedes his state according to polls. Should he not run either?


A Mitt/TPaw ticket could become the first ticket since Wilson/Marshall to lose both the home States of the Pres and Veep nominee.


...and still win the Presidency I might add - as I think that any of our candidates from first tier to third will win in a walk. Obama was the weakest Presidential candidate probably in history and in 2010 he will be even weaker and easier to beat.


Interestingly enough, from the information given, Mitt received nearly all of his points from 1st and 2nd placings. He only got 21 points from the remaining 21 voters not giving him a 1st or 2nd.


Obviously, this poll doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the state of the GOP right now. It is a little surprising that Huckabee and Sarah are as low as they are, but the ordinal rankings simply reflect the amount of respect that those at the top have for the various potential candidates.

Poor American Voter

Vote of the elitists! ELITISTS! How many of the voters were and are currently under ROmney's payroll???!????!????


Who let the dogs out? whoof whoof!


"DanL Says:

January 8th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

It does my heart good to see Palin and Huck mucking out the bilge in this poll."

DanL -- if I wanted to be crude, I could suggest that the only way Romney wins a poll these days is to have one manufactured by "insider cohorts." I could remind you that Huckabee has a media blitz every Thursday thru Sunday, including obviously but not limited to a one-hour program in which he completely controls the content and is recast four times each weekend for an aggregate of 3.5 million viewers as per Neilsen (vs. the Fox & Friends/Greta interviews for Romney this week). I could also remind you -- although you would dismiss it since it doesn't say the things you want to hear -- that in the last PPP poll (after being brutally savaged over the Clemmens issues and having successfully combated those issues), Huckabee was in a virtual tie with Obama.

But I think it makes the most sense to repeat the obvious -- for those looking for logic and keen analysis: At this point, no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- has more than 60% of the voting electorate in their hip pocket. No one has any more than one-third -- and one-third is approximately what each of Huckabee, Palin and Romney currently enjoy. So, if you sincerely believe that this poll (with all its past track records and its "purified air" view of politics) suggests Romney is any closer to the nomination than he was before -- than it is certainly lucky for you that your candidate is a more clever political strategist than many of his supporters.

Poor Americn Voter

# Illinoisguy Says:

January 9th, 2010 at 12:04 am

"Who let the dogs out? whoof whoof!"


-Prepare your fire extinguisher Illinoisgay you liberal male b*tch will get burned soon.

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