October 2, 2014

Poll Watch: Gravis Marketing/Human Events (R) Iowa 2016 Presidential Survey

  • Jeb Bush (R) 41%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 41%
  • Uncertain 18%
  • Paul Ryan (R) 44%
  • Hillary Clinton (D) 44%
  • Uncertain 13%

Survey of 522 likely voters was conducted September 29-30, 2014.  The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Party ID: 32% Democrat; 32% Republican; 35% Independent/Other.

Data compilation and analysis courtesy of The Argo Journal

by @ 5:53 pm. Filed under 2016, Hillary Clinton, Jim DeMint, Paul Ryan, Poll Watch

December 6, 2012

Bombshell: Jim DeMint Leaving U.S. Senate to Head Heritage Foundation

Whoa… All I can say is that you should read Erick Erickson’s post over at Redstate here.

by @ 9:43 am. Filed under Conservatism, Jim DeMint, Republican Party

February 25, 2012

A Libertarian Republican’s Thoughts on Romney-Paul 2012

Since it became increasingly clear, following my candidate (and employer) Gary Johnson’s decision to drop out and run third party, and my second choice Ron Paul’s failure to gain traction after his very-respectable-but-just-not-energizing-enough finishes in the Iowa and New Hampshire contests, that a libertarian would not be representing the Republican Party in the general election, my sense of disappointment, frustration, and burn-out has compelled me to take something of a slight break from politics for a month or two. (I’m sure you were all enormously grieved by my absence.) A lot of libertarians in the GOP have been, and are currently, going through this phase right now. One thing that may be snapping a lot of us out of our funk, however, is the chilling surge in popularity of Rick Santorum–quite possibly one of the most overtly anti-libertarian candidates ever to come within reach of the GOP presidential nomination.

January 12, 2012

A De Facto DeMint Endorsement?

CNN has the scoop:

A group of loyalists to South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint – including a top fundraiser for Rick Perry – will publicly endorse Mitt Romney’s presidential bid on Thursday, a source confirmed to CNN.

Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Barry Wynn, Columbia businessman and fundraiser Peter Brown, and Columbia attorney Kevin Hall will announce their support for Romney Thursday.

Wynn’s move to Romney is striking. The Spartanburg financial adviser is a member of Perry’s finance team and traveled to Texas in August to meet privately with the governor before he announced his bid.

All three Republican heavyweights, who are longtime DeMint advisers, are part of an informal group of South Carolina GOP power brokers that dubbed itself the “keep your powder dry caucus” this summer to express their discontent with the current GOP field.

Full story here.

by @ 10:42 am. Filed under Endorsements, Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney

June 29, 2011

Poll Watch: Suffolk University Horse Race New Hampshire Poll

Suffolk University has released their latest New Hampshire Poll. They polled 400 New Hampshire residents who claimed to be at least 50/50 likely to vote in the upcoming Presidential primary.  Here are the top lines. Here are the crosstabs.

Three of their questions were as follows:

  1. If the Republican Primary for President of the United States were held today … for whom will you vote or toward whom would you LEAN at this time?
  2. If your first choice for the Republican Presidential nominee dropped out of the race, who would you vote for instead, for whom will you vote or toward whom would you LEAN at this time?
  3. Despite who you’re personally voting for, who do you expect the next president will be – Barack Obama or one of the Republican candidates?

Here are the results:

(Horse Race) 1st Choice 2nd Choice President
Obama N/A N/A 24
Romney 36 14 27
Bachmann 11 12 7
Paul 8 4 2
Giuliani 5 6 1
Huntsman 4 3 0
Palin 4 5 2
Cain 2 2 0
Gingrich 2 3 1
Perry 2 2 1
Pawlenty 2 6 1
Pataki 1 0
Santorum 1 4 2
Bolton 0 0
DeMint 0
Johnson 1
Roemer 0
Undecided 21 38 34


April 29, 2011

Breaking: AFP Live Event ***Updated***

The Americans For Prosperity Foundation of New Hampshire is having a “Presidential Forum” starting tonight at 8:00PM EST. Participating are:

  • Bachmann
  • Cain
  • DeMint
  • Pawlenty
  • Romney
  • Santorum

It is supposedly being carried online at CSPAN here.

I do not know the format. I presume each worthy will be given ‘x’ number of minutes to say their piece.

h/t BOSMAN @ RightSpeak

*** Update***

Here is a link to the CSPAN recording of the event.


April 19, 2011

Lastest Washington Post Poll: Obama in Trouble

The Washington Post, in conjunction with ABC News has just released a new poll. It shows President Obama continuing his slow sinking in the polls since January.

Obama’s job approval/disapproval rating is pegged at 47/50 — the worst this year for both numbers.

His handling of the economy is 42/57, again the worst this year.  It’s the worse since September of last year.

In the poll, they asked all the leaning Republicans whom they would vote for if the GOP primary was held today. They made it open ended. They did not provide any names. Here are the results they got:

Mitt Romney 16
Donald Trump 8
Mike Huckabee 6
Sarah Palin 5
Ron Paul 2
Newt Gingrich 2
Tim Pawlenty 1
Mitch Daniels 1
Mike Pence 1
Michelle Bachmann 1
Haley Barbour 1
Chris Christie 1
Rick Santorum
Jon Huntsman
Jim DeMint
Other 5
None 12
Any 4
No Opinion 33


They asked everyone the  “vs. Obama” question for a number of top GOP 2012 hopefuls. The results are as follows:

Obama Hopeful Margin
Mitt Romney 49 45 -4
Mike Huckabee 50 44 -6
Donald Trump 52 40 -12
Michele Bachmann 51 39 -12
Newt Gingrich 54 39 -15
Tim Pawlenty 53 38 -15
Sarah Palin 55 38 -17


This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone April 14-17, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including users of both conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

Here are the main things I take away from this poll:

  1. No mention of Herman Cain.
  2. Romney is the only one that broke double digits.
  3. Trump seems to be fading already.
  4. We see the usual two man race between Romney and Huckabee
  5. Sarah Palin continues to be well off the pace.
  6. Pawlenty is still struggling to gain traction.


Mitt Romney 16
Donald Trump 8
Mike Huckabee 6
Sarah Palin 5
Ron Paul 2
Newt Gingrich 2
Tim Pawlenty 1
Mitch Daniels 1
Mike Pence 1
Michelle Bachmann 1
Haley Barbour 1
Chris Christie 1
Rick Santorum
Jon Huntsman
Jim DeMint
Other 5
None 12
Any 4
No Opinion 33

March 29, 2011

Could the 2012 Primaries Surprise Us Less Than We Think?

Chris Cillizza, of the Washington Post, apparently thinks so; in an article today, he tamped down speculation, fueled most recently by Sen. Jim DeMint, that the eventual 2012 Republican nominee could enter the race late:

Let’s start with governors, the ranks of which DeMint suggested might produce a new crop of national candidates.

Of the 25 Republican governors, 20 of them were elected or appointed in 2009 and 2010. That relative newness makes it difficult — rhetorically and organizationally — for any of the 20 to quickly pivot to a presidential race.

The obvious exception to that rule is New Jersey’s Chris Christie who, in less than two years on the job, has emerged as a straight-talking superstar for Republicans nationally.

…It still seems an unlikely prospect, however. One plugged-in Republican operative suggested that there is a “10 percent” chance that Christie runs.

Beyond Christie, the only other potential candidate who could immediately step into the race with a real following is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who endeared himself to Republicans nationwide with his stand-off against organized labor earlier this year. But having just weathered that traumatic political moment, it’s hard to imagine Walker moving into the presidential field.

Other newly-elected governors with bright futures at the national level — South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Nevada’s Brian Sandoval, New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett — seem content to let their stars rise more slowly.

So, if you assume that none of the newest governors will run, you are left with five people: Govs. Rick Perry (Texas), Mitch Daniels (Ind.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Dave Heineman (Neb.) and Butch Otter (Idaho) — all of whom were elected in 2007 or earlier.

Neither Heineman nor Otter have any sort of national profile. Jindal is actively running for a second term this November, making it impossible for him to simultaneously put the pieces of a presidential bid together. Perry is intriguing but might struggle with being viewed as the second coming of George W. Bush. Plus, Perry’s 2010 campaign manager Rob Johnson and longtime political consigliere Dave Carney have signed on with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, moves that suggest the Texas governor isn’t likely to be a surprise late entrant into the race.

Cillizza proceeds to discuss the notion of Daniels running, an exercise tossed about often on this site and, thus, one I won’t re-hash. The author then mentions the list, which pretty much begins and ends with Rand/Ron Paul and Michele Bachman, of possibilities from the Senate and House. He concludes with the following:

Viewed broadly then, the 2012 field appears unlikely to be considerably affected by a last-minute candidacy. Christie is the true wildcard and would almost certainly re-shape the race if he ran. But, it’s hard to find anyone in Republican circles who put the odds on such a bid at anything short of long.

A Daniels candidacy would make the race interesting but wouldn’t exactly be the sort of “new cast” member to which DeMint was referring.

In Cillizza’s mind, the layout of the 2012 race has begun to come into view, and those who drag their feet risk losing out on precious staff talent, fundraising dollars, and media exposure.

His analysis certainly challenges a significant deal of conventional wisdom, which states that the apparent lack of a clear frontrunner leaves the race wide open. If Mr. Cillizza has, indeed, read the tea leaves correctly, it seems to bode well for candidates like Romney, Pawlenty, and Bachmann; the former two have taken some of the most significant steps toward building campaign organizations, Pawlenty has a real opportunity to attract the anyone-but-Romney vote, and Bachmann will presumably take much of the Tea Party/anti-establishment vote.

March 25, 2011

BREAKING…ISH: DeMint Will Not Run in 2012

Jim DeMint, through a Senate Conservatives Fund proxy, definitely stated that he was not running for President in 2012. Senate Conservatives Fund spokesman Matt Hoskins said, “[DeMint]’s said all along that he isn’t running for President and his role in the primary is to encourage the candidates to embrace conservative principles.”

It’s not entirely unexpected, but it is a definitive response. This begs the question – who will the conservative, South Carolinan endorse in 2012? In 2008, DeMint endorsed Romney.

by @ 2:57 pm. Filed under Jim DeMint

March 7, 2011

Whom do Pacific Northwest GOP Activists like? Mitch Daniels

The state Republican parties of Oregon and Washington state have had their annual meetings. During that time, they followed the time-honored tradition of holding a Presidential Straw Poll among the party’s most active activists. As the Oregonian Magazine says, “Straw polls of party activists usually have little impact on the presidential nominating process, but they do offer a sense of who is exciting interest among those likely to get involved in campaigns.” So take the results with a grain of salt.

Here they are:

(Oregon 3-6)
Daniels 29%
Romney 23%
Palin 18%
Huckabee 10%
Gingrich 6%
Paul 5%
Pawlenty 4%
Barbour 3%
Trump 2%
Obama 0%
(Washington 1/31)
Daniels 31%
Romney 14%
Pawlenty 13%
Christie 9%
Thune 8%
Jindal 5%
Ryan 3%
Gingrich 3%
DeMint 3%
Palin 3%
Barbour 2%
Huckabee 2%
Pence 1%
Huntsman 1%
Bachmann 1%
Paul 1%


March 6, 2011

If Daniels Doesn’t Run, Pawlenty Will Be The Nominee

As fortune favors the bold, I am about to make a rather bold prediction, given that the first presidential primaries of 2012 are at least 11 months out. Based on the shape of the presidential field, the shape of the electorate, and the “narrative” of the 2011-2012 election cycle, I predict that absent a Mitch Daniels run, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota will be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

First, let’s examine the narrative of the current cycle. The U.S. economy is in the gutter. The economy hasn’t truly been “booming” since the 1990s, and real growth hasn’t reached most middle class households in a long time. Structural changes to the economy have created a now-defunct housing bubble, and a probably soon-to-burst higher education bubble, and the dearth of economic growth has led to a collapse in private sector profits and in public sector revenue, resulting in reductions in pensions and benefits. The unemployment rate is hovering at or around 9 percent. The underemployment rate is probably higher. The collapse of Social Security and Medicare is imminent. While most Americans don’t have doctorates in economics, the average citizen just sort of knows in his or her gut that something is wrong, and that the solution is to somehow move around the tectonic plates of economic and fiscal policy in order to right the ship before it plummets to the bottom of the sea.

It’s not rocket science to figure out that in this environment, John Bolton doesn’t win the GOP presidential nomination. That is to say, the nominee will be someone who at least loosely fits the narrative of the cycle, someone who has demonstrated the courage and the skill to move around the economic and fiscal tectonic plates at some level of government, despite the resistance from entrenched interests and demagogues. A candidate who has been able to cut spending, hold down the growth of government, challenge the public sector unions, and implement policies conducive to job growth will ultimately win the nomination. Also, given the continued unpopularity of ObamaCare, a candidate who can be trusted to work to roll back ObamaCare, and perhaps replace it with a conservative version of health care reform, will tend to rise to the top as well. Candidates who seem as if they would be unable to take the heat when attempting to take on the “hard things” that will have to be done in Washington in 2013 and beyond will not fare well. Nor will those who have not demonstrated the smarts to do those “hard things.” And nor will those who are deemed sympathetic to ObamaCare.

That’s the narrative of the coming election cycle, but that narrative is useless without applying it to the actual GOP presidential field. And just as important as those who probably will be running is the list of candidates who have taken themselves out of contention. Gov. Christie is a man who absolutely fits the narrative of this cycle. He has also done everything he can to take himself out of the race, including suggesting that he’s not ready to be president. Paul Ryan is another man who fits the narrative. He has also given Shermanesque statements that he won’t run. Gov. Walker and Gov. Kasich both fit the narrative as well, yet both are in the midst of their first legislative sessions as governor and would be laughed out of the race by the media. Meanwhile, Mike Pence, while never having run a state, nor designed a Ryan-esque roadmap, is a strong and articulate voice for conservatism, and could potentially have morphed into the sort of candidate who fits this year’s narrative. He’s opted out of the race though. Gov. Jindal is another public official who could probably morph into the right sort of candidate for this year given his smarts, but again, he’s not running. The same logic applies to Jeb Bush.

Once you narrow the GOP presidential field down to the folks who actually seem to be running, you’re left with very few candidates who actually fit the narrative. First, there’s a group of candidates who seemingly have the courage to do the hard things, but who have not demonstrated the ability to, or even an interest in, actually governing, a process that requires deal-making, compromise, and being something other than a purist. This group consists of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Sharron Angle, Rick Santorum, and if he runs, Jim DeMint. I suspect that these candidates will end up doing very poorly once the race is underway, forcing the candidates to actually spell out what they would do to right our economic and fiscal ship. Then there is a group of candidates who will essentially be vetoed by the base given concerns of apostasy. Mitt Romney is in this group, due to the seeming similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare. So is Jon Huntsman, the cap-and-tradin’ former Obama appointee. I am a big fan of former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, but the reality is that a social liberal and foreign policy dove just isn’t going to win the GOP nomination. And while I’m convinced Mike Huckabee will not run, it’s possible that the 2008 campaign against him by Drudge and the talk radio types has left a bitter taste in the mouths of fiscal conservatives in a way that will deny him the nomination.

That leaves four possible nominees: Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitch Daniels. At this point, one really has to understand the mood of the GOP electorate in order to determine in which direction primary voters will head. Polls suggest that by and large the GOP electorate wants a candidate who can beat Obama. Like the 1988 Democratic electorate, it doesn’t want to nominate Jesse Jackson and go down in a blaze of purist glory, but neither is the base ready to be “Sister Souljah’d” by a Bill Clinton. What the base really wants is someone who comes across the way Michael Dukakis did initially to the Democratic base of 1988: a smart, inventive public official who would be electable but who had also demonstrated loyalty to all of the factions of the base.

Those considerations knock Newt out of contention, given the increasingly erratic former Speaker’s poor poll numbers against Obama, and his seemingly bipolar politics, shifting from a believer in man-made global warming to a supporter of impeachment of the president. Gov. Barbour, a good governor who is probably running at the wrong time, is also nixed due to his lobbyist past, which wouldn’t play well during a cycle in which special interests are the baddies, as well as his Old South demeanor, which would hurt the ticket as it attempts to unseat the first Black American president. That leaves Gov. Daniels and Gov. Pawlenty competing for the prize.

What’s interesting is that if Daniels runs, he has the potential to really mix things up, as he could totally displace Pawlenty, or displace him just enough to throw this whole analysis out the window and allow Mitt Romney (or whoever) to slip through to the nomination. But what if Daniels doesn’t run? I would say the chances of a Daniels run are less than 50 percent at this point given that his wife is cool to the subject (and given that every married man I’ve ever known says that once married, you pretty much do what your wife tells you to do). In that event, Pawlenty stands alone as the candidate who is actually running for president, who fits the narrative of the election cycle, and who fits the requirements of the GOP base as someone who is electable but remains loyal to the various factions of his party’s base. And all of that leads me to the conclusion that, if Daniels takes a knee on 2012, Gov. Pawlenty will be the GOP nominee.

February 7, 2011

CPAC 2011: Boycott Deters Few Potential Presidential Candidates

President Ronald Reagan at CPAC

President Ronald Reagan at CPAC

Various factions are developing among GOP groups over whether the American Conservative Union (ACU), headed by David Keene, should have accepted a “homosexual rights” group (GOProud) to be a co-sponsor of its annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which begins February 10th. Several groups are boycotting the event, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, The American Principles Project, and the American Family Association. In addition, politicians Mike Huckabee and Jim DeMint have declined invitations. Past keynote speakers have included Ann Coulter, President Ronald Reagan (14 years in a row!) and Glenn Beck.

Last year, shouting matches erupted when speakers Alexander McCobin and Ryan Sorba squared off on the issue. This year, Matt Drudge sidekick Andrew Breitbart, never one to avoid trouble, is hosting a bash to thank CPAC for inviting GOProud.

Other potential presidential candidates who plan to attend this year include Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. The complete list of confirmed speakers is below.

Sarah Palin will not be appearing, but she did not use the words GOProud, homosexual, or gay when asked whether she was going to CPAC by David Brody of CBN. She said she doesn’t have time, not that she is boycotting it:

“Well, I’ve never attended a CPAC conference ever so I was a little taken aback this go around when I couldn’t make it to this one either and then there was a speculation well I either agree or disagree with some of the groups or issues that CPAC is discussing. It really is a matter of time for me. But when it comes to and David, perhaps what it is that you’re suggesting in the question is should the GOP, should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with? And I say no, it’s like you being on a panel shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues. I look at participation in an event like CPAC or any other event, along, or kind of in that same vein as the more information that people have the better.”

Based on last years comments, it is doubtful that Mike Huckabee will be attending: “CPAC has becoming increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years, one of the reasons I didn’t go this year.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Fox News that they would not participate again this year because of its leftward drift, not only because of the inclusion of GOProud, but also its possible connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, through its founder’s son, Suhail Khan, and ACU board member. This issue was raised by by Frank Gaffney (according to World Net Daily News).

An American Principles Project press release praising Jim DeMint for boycotting the event said inviting GOProud is “fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith.”

Crossposted at Caffeinated Thoughts

Here is the list of confirmed speakers:

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Gov. Haley Barbour

Hon. John Bolton

Andrew Breitbart

Arthur Brooks

Herman Cain

Ann Coulter

Gov. Mitch Daniels

Hon. Newt Gingrich

David Horowitz

Wayne LaPierre

Sen. Mike Lee

Sen. Mitch McConnell

Rep. Ron Paul

Sen. Rand Paul

Hon. Tim Pawlenty

Gov. Rick Perry

Hon. Mitt Romney

Hon. Donald Rumsfeld

Rep. Paul Ryan

Hon. Rick Santorum

Phyllis Schlafly

Sen. John Thune

Rep. Allen West

by @ 3:45 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin

February 4, 2011

National Journal’s 2012 Presidential Power Rankings

National Journal has come out with their latest Power Rankings for the 2012 GOP Presidential Race.  They graded each hopeful on four items:

  • Money: How much do they have? How much can they raise?
  • Campaign infrastructure: Do they have the ability to assemble a competitive and competent staff, both at the national and state levels?
  • Strengths: What issue(s) can the candidate truly hang their hat on? Is there a specific area of expertise they can sell to voters? Do they have a strong track record on one particular issue?
  • Weaknesses: Every candidate has one — heck, most candidates have plenty — and the reality is that eventually they will have to address them. This will be easier for some contenders than others: Explaining away one vote for bad legislation is far easier than justifying a major moral lapse or some fatally flawed executive decision. At the end of the day, some candidates will have weaknesses, and others will have albatrosses. It’s the latter group who should be worried.

The results are as follows:

Last Ranking Change
1 Mitt Romney 1 0
2 Tim Pawlenty 2 0
3 Mike Huckabee 5 2
4 John Thune 3 -1
5 Mitch Daniels 9 4
6 Haley Barbour 4 -2
7 Newt Gingrich 7 0
8 Sarah Palin 6 -2
9 Jon Huntsman new N/A
10 Rick Santorum 13 3
11 Jim DeMint 14 3
12 Michele Bachmann new N/A
13 Ron Paul 15 2
14 Herman Cain new N/A
15 Rudy Giuliani new N/A

A few items are worth noting:

  • Romney is on top in spite of recent polling being less than ideal.  Their comments on Mitt: “Romney remains the front-runner largely because no one has challenged him head-on. In fact, he’s barely been heard from in the last few months, save for a few newspaper op-eds.” Romney’s less-is-more strategy appears to be working.  He certainly seems to be enjoying the less amount pressure this time around and appears in no hurry to announce.
  • Huntsman starts out in the top ten, which is appropriate for the amount of buzz he has been generating as of late.
  • Sarah Palin continues to sink lower and lower.   There is still a lot of time left, but the clock is ticking.
  • I’m not sure I would place Pawlenty at #2, but he is working the hardest of any candidate as of right now.  In my experience, that usually means more than just about anything else you can name.
  • Their comments on Huckabee are revealing:  “If Huckabee runs, he can win Iowa, compete in South Carolina, and put together a coalition of social conservatives that no one else can match. But he’s not showing a lot of leg. We hear from activists on the ground that Huckabee has no presence in early-primary states, a troubling sign when even Sarah Palin is trolling for support.” That is pretty much how I see things for Mike at this point in time, as well.

So this is how the field appears one year from the first race, the Iowa Caucus.   There is still plenty of time for someone obscure to catch fire, for some to consolidate their present leads, for others to turn things around, and for still others currently enjoying the limelight to slowly but surely fade away.

It’s going to be an interesting, highly entertaining year.

February 3, 2011

Poll Watch: PPP South Carolina 2012 Hopefuls vs. Obama

PPP has released their latest poll in the important primary state of South Carolina. To the question, “If the candidates for President next year were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican xxxxxxxx, who would you vote for?”, the replies are as follows:

Obama Hopeful Margin over Obama Undecided
Gingrich 44 43 -1 12
Huckabee 43 49 6 8
Palin 47 41 -6 12
Romney 42 49 7 9
DeMint 45 47 2 8

As can be readily seen, Romney and Huckabee fare best against the President in the Palmetto State. Palin is bringing up the rear — double digits behind the leaders.

February 2, 2011

Of Vanity and Unity (Or: Technocrats, Theocrats, and Tea Partiers)

So Jon Huntsman is resigning from his post as Ambassador to China, in a move largely assumed to mean he will throw his hat in the ring for the 2012 GOP nomination. I can understand his calculation – after all, the GOP field clearly lacked a 60-something white LDS guy with private sector experience and fiscal bona fides who was more moderate on social issues.

Meanwhile, Jim DeMint is traveling to Iowa to explore the idea of running for President because the GOP field lacks a conservative enough candidate for the Tea Party boy hero. How anyone can look at a potential field which includes Romney, Daniels, Pawlenty, Thune, Santorum and Palin (and possibly Bachmann) and conclude there are no conservatives running is beyond me.

On the other hand, Rudy Giuliani is considering getting in the race because by his calculation, no moderates are running.


Of course, all of these reasons are simply excuses in an attempt to hide one of the uglier character traits is takes to run for President: vanity. As someone once famously noted, anyone who wants to be President is either an egomaniac or crazy. Unfortunately, the thought that you and your ideas are the best hope for an entire country is the groundwork upon which every serious candidate necessarily bases their campaign. (And don’t tell me about “draft” movements that are largely ego-stroking exercises in their own right.)

By all measurable assumptions, the 2012 GOP field will be the largest in history. It makes sense, I guess. You have an embattled President who appears vulnerable (but who will be much less so by the time November 2012 rolls around, I believe). His policies and legislative goals seem to be tailor made for giving the opposition a reason to be passionate and fired up. And so many who have been standing in the wings of the party for a while now look at 2012 as their best chance… (also understanding that if they lose this year they can run again in 2016 and take advantage of the GOP’s widely debated “next-in-line” tendencies).

But that means a slew of people lining up, who all imagine their name replacing Obi-Wan’s in Princess Leia’s famous plea.

Part of me welcomes the huge crowd. Especially if it is comprised of grown-ups such as Daniels, Romney, Pawlenty, and Thune who can speak intelligently and substantively about the issues. We can show the GOP as the mature party of answers and solutions with a deep bench.

But part of me is concerned that a wide open primary with well over a dozen candidates will just devolve into a sniping fest as we knock holes in one another’s armor, leaving the eventual candidate bruised and battered heading into combat with Obama.

The threat is real, as the GOP field is already – before it is even formed – splintering into three factions: the technocrats, the theocrats, and the tea partiers. There is some overlap in each faction, but the 2012 nomination will largely be a fight among these three groups for the identity of the Republican Party. It’s not difficult to place all of the candidates into one of these three categories and then watch as the GOP feuds away against itself. Will we hitch our wagons to a solutions-oriented, pragmatic-based technocrat like Romney, Daniels, Pawlenty, or Hunstman? A morality-driven, Jesus-loving theocrat like Huckabee or Santorum? A government-despising, tax-hating tea partier like DeMint, Palin, or Bachmann?

I have to imagine Obama and his re-election team smiling as the circular firing squad of vanity begins lining up.

But this is a debate and a fight which we must have. Although they share some aspects, this division runs more deeply than the fiscal/social/defense three-way splintering of the GOP in Reagan’s day. Reagan was able to successfully unite those three factions into an electoral majority, but the GOP sects we find ourselves with today may very well have irreconcilable differences. In the 80s, the split in the GOP was over what issues were more important. The split today is about foundational, philosophical differences in how to approach problems.

Technocrats desire the government to base decisions on research and logical solutions. If that happens to lead to more moderate conclusions on some issues, so be it. They see it as getting results. Theocrats desire the government to base their decisions on upholding societal morals and faith principles. If that happens to make them more inflexible on the issues, so be it. They view it as having a moral compass. And Tea Partiers desire the government to base decisions on a philosophy of limiting itself and leaving the issues instead to private citizens to deal with. If that happens to set them outside the mainstream of America, so be it. They see it as returning to America’s legacy.

This is the reason why the technocrats will pay some lip service to the tea partiers, but will never fully embrace the movement. They don’t see it as being ultimately pragmatic or helpful in solving problems. Likewise, tea partiers will always view technocrats with an eye of suspicion, frequently trotting out arguments about “purity”. Theocrats are more likely to embrace the tea partiers, but only insofar as the Tea Party embraces the fact that we are a “Christian” nation and need to return to our religious roots along with our fiscal roots. Theocrats have little use, or respect, for technocrats, although a couple of the technocrats are soft-spoken representatives of the evangelical faith and will warily wade into the shallow end of the theocratic pool.

When we talk about the different wings of the party or party unity or any of those sorts of things, we’ve got to realize this isn’t our parents’ Republican Party any longer. We’ve got a different three-way split in the party now, and we would do well to view things through this lens.

So the question before us in 2012 is about much more than individual candidates. It is about the future direction of the Republican Party. If our candidate ends up winning what is sure to be a close race in 2012, he or she will be – for better or worse – the de facto face of the GOP. What will we become?

(For whatever it’s worth, I find myself squarely in the technocratic camp. I would be very pleased to see Romney, Daniels, or Pawlenty get the nomination, in that order. Also, note that the terms “technocrats” and “theocrats” are hyperbolic rhetoric, as obviously no one in either camp are pure technocrats or theocrats. Nobody wants a government run entirely by scientists, and nobody wants to turn America into a theocracy. They are merely useful hyperbolic descriptions of the division within the GOP.)

January 29, 2011

Saturday Roundup

According to a report by South Carolina edition of The State Column, Sen. Jim DeMint is giving serious consideration to entering the presidential race. DeMint would seek to capitalize on the perceived “conservative void” in the Republican 2012 presidential field that many were hoping would be filled by Rep. Mike Pence:

South Carolina U.S. Senator Jim DeMint is reportedly considering a run for president in 2012.

The South Carolina Republican, who ruled out the possibility of a run, is said to be reconsidering his decision in light of Rep. Mike Pence’s official withdrawal from the race.

Mr. DeMint, who raised his national profile during the 2010 mid-term election, continues to build his base amongst those in the Tea Party movement and in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

A DeMint presidential run would likely complicate plans for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, both of whom are considered the front-runners of the 2012 Republican Party presidential primary (neither have officially announced their candidacy).

Those most likely to be directly impacted by a DeMint run include former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who would compete with DeMint for supporters and financing

Sen. DeMint will travel to Iowa on March 26 to address a conservative forum organized by Rep. Steve King.

In other news, Rudy Giuliani will travel to New Hampshire on March 18th to keynote the Manchester City Republican Committee’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner fund-raiser:

RUDY’S RETURN. The Granite Status has learned that Rudy Giuliani is planning a return visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state in mid-March.

Sources say the former New York City mayor is slated to keynote the Manchester City Republican Committee’s Lincoln-Reagan Dinner fund-raiser on March 18. The event is slated to be held at the Executive Court banquet facility.

Although he finished fourth in the 2008 first-in-the-nation presidential primary, Giuliani built a dedicated following in the state and he returned to help the state’s GOP ticket during the 2010 mid-term election.

He has not deterred speculation that he’s considering running again in 2012.

This visit, in addition to his statements from last week that there is an opening in the Republican presidential field for a “moderate” candidate to exploit will do little to quell the speculation that Hizzoner is “all in” for another presidential run.

And finally, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman encouraged former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to run for president in remarks given to a Cincinnati area Republican group this morning:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said Saturday that he hopes former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) runs for president in 2012.

Portman, speaking at a Cincinnati-area pancake breakfast where Pawlenty was the guest, stopped short of endorsing the likely presidential candidate, but encouraged Pawlenty to run.

“You know, I am not endorsing anyone, but I am happy to introduce any candidate who comes here to people like you,” Portman said, according to Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Howard Wilkinson. “But I hope Tim Pawlenty will run because he has a great record and a great message.”

Portman may be new to the Senate, but his opinion carries some weight in Republican circles. He’s a former U.S. Trade Representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Bush administration, and before that, served in the House.

The import of Portman’s statement are aided by his status as a Republican representing a state, Ohio, that’s a key bellwether in presidential elections.

Finally, consider this your Saturday Open Thread.

by @ 2:31 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint, Rudy Giuliani, Tim Pawlenty

January 27, 2011

DeMint to Iowa

Tea Party icon and staunch conservative South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint will be heading to Iowa:

TheIowaRepublican.com has confirmed that South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint will soon visit the Hawkeye State.  Sen. DeMint is scheduled to travel to the home of the First-In-The-Nation caucus on Saturday, March 26th.

Now, DeMint advisers are also hinting at a run:

“I think that you can read into it that he sees he has a role in the process and he sees he hasn’t completely shut the door,” said one DeMint adviser asked about the Iowa foray.

by @ 11:13 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint

January 24, 2011

CPAC 2011 – DeMint, Bachmann, Palin, and GOProud

CPAC is one of the largest, conservative political action conferences. It’s straw poll has been an important gauge for Presidential ground-game and support among grass-roots voters. This year, a number of groups including the American Family Association and the Heritage Foundation are boycotting the event. Why? GOProud will be there this year. Here’s the summary from GOProud about their agenda:

GOProud represents gay conservatives and their allies. GOProud is committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy. GOProud promotes our traditional conservative agenda by influencing politics and policy at the federal level.

In effect, GOProud is similar to the Log Cabin Republicans only, recently, they’ve become much more prominent especially with Andrew Brietbart joining their Advisory Board. Due to their involvement, the aforementioned conservative groups have decided to boycott CPAC this year. Conservative US Senator Jim DeMint, who was supposed to be speaking at the event, has also decided to boycott the event. His spokesman said, “With leading conservatives organizations not participating this year, Senator DeMint will not be attending. He hopes to attend a unified CPAC next year.” As with the leading conservative organizations, GOProud’s involvement appears to be the reason behind his lack of attendance.

What’s interesting, however, is that with all this boycotting – certain conservative potential 2012 contenders are still attending and giving keynote addresses. SarahPAC is co-sponsoring one of the receptions at CPAC. Herman Cain will be speaking and Michele Bachmann will be providing the opening keynote speech to the event. Now all this begs the question – what does one have to gain from boycotting CPAC this year? You will gain the attention of the media, perhaps. You’ll also gain the attention of those who are staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and support Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, but polling is showing that DADT is a losing issue. In the end, attending can only help those who potentially are running for President in 2012 as it shows the average American, who support DADT repeal and are pretty evenly divided on same-sex marriage, that you’re more closely aligned with the middle on this particular issue.

My thoughts? It only hurts a potential 2012 candidate to avoid this conference. The who’s who of insiders will be there and a lot of feet on the ground conservatives will also be in attendance. In addition to that, the reason of “boycotting CPAC on account of GOProud” makes a person come across as petty. Just because a group you don’t support is in attendance, doesn’t mean you can’t be there as well. Seriously – Santorum is still attending and he is one of the most staunchly anti-same-sex marriage candidates I’ve seen. Without working with GOProud and other groups with heterodox views on specific issues, conservatives could alienate voters and, in the end, diminish their chances in 2012. Only if working together can we progress forward and do that which we all want to see happen – Obama defeated and the GOP recapture more seats in the US Senate. Just some thoughts.

-Matt Newman is a conservative blogger from Maryland who blogs Old Line Elephant and Tweets far too often.

by @ 11:12 am. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin

January 11, 2011

Townhall.com’s January Straw Poll

Townhall.com has a Presidential preference straw poll for its readers. You can vote here. Here are the candidates:

  • Former Governor Sarah Palin
  • Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
  • Governor Haley Barbour
  • Former Governor Mitt Romney
  • Governor Tim Pawlenty
  • Former Governor Mike Huckabee
  • US Senator Jim DeMint
  • Representative Ron Paul
  • Former US Senator Rick Santorum
  • Governor Mitch Daniels
  • Former UN Ambassador John Bolton
  • US Senator John Thune
  • Radio Talk Show Host Herman Cain
  • Governor Chris Christie
  • Former Governor Gary Johnson
  • Other

Who’s your favorite? Consider this an open thread to discuss who you’re liking this early in the campaign cycle.

December 29, 2010

Poll Watch: CNN/Opinion Research Political Survey on Barack Obama and Congress

CNN/Opinion Research Political Survey on Barack Obama and Congress

Apart from whether you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president, what do you think of Obama as a person? Would you say you approve of him or disapprove of him?

  • Approve 73%
  • Disapprove 22%

Among Democrats

  • Approve 94%
  • Disapprove 5%

Among Republicans

  • Approve 42%
  • Disapprove 49%

Among Independents

  • Approve 73%
  • Disapprove 21%

In general, do you hope that Barack Obama’s policies will succeed or do you hope that his policies will fail?

  • Succeed 61%
  • Fail 27%

Among Democrats

  • Succeed 89%
  • Fail 5%

Among Republicans

  • Succeed 27%
  • Fail 61%

Among Independents

  • Succeed 59%
  • Fail 27%

And in general, do you think it is more likely that Obama’s policies will succeed or more likely that his policies will fail?

  • Succeed 44%
  • Fail 47%

Among Democrats

  • Succeed 68%
  • Fail 22%

Among Republicans

  • Succeed 18%
  • Fail 72%

Among Independents

  • Succeed 39%
  • Fail 53%

Thinking about the major issues facing the country today, who do you have the most confidence in — Barack Obama, or the Republicans in Congress, or the Democrats in Congress?

  • Republicans in Congress 40%
  • Barack Obama 35%
  • Democrats in Congress 15%

Among Democrats

  • Barack Obama 60%
  • Democrats in Congress 30%
  • Republicans in Congress 5%

Among Republicans

  • Republicans in Congress 91%
  • Barack Obama 6%
  • Democrats in Congress 0%

Among Independents

  • Republicans in Congress 41%
  • Barack Obama 31%
  • Democrats in Congress 12%

Do you think it will be good for the country or bad for the country that the Republican party will be in control of the U.S. House?

  • Good for country 51%
  • Bad for country 42%

Among Democrats

  • Good for country 17%
  • Bad for country 76%

Among Republicans

  • Good for country 98%
  • Bad for country 1%

Among Independents

  • Good for country 54%
  • Bad for country 37%

Do you think the Republicans will do a better job running the U.S. House than the Democrats did, a worse job than the Democrats, or won’t there be much difference?

  • Better 26%
  • Worse 22%
  • No difference 52%

Among Democrats

  • Better 3%
  • Worse 48%
  • No difference 47%

Among Republicans

  • Better 68%
  • Worse 0%
  • No difference 31%

Among Independents

  • Better 22%
  • Worse 14%
  • No difference 64%

Favorable / Unfavorable {Net}

  • John Boehner 36% / 24% {+12%}
  • Mitch McConnell 32% / 25% {+7%}
  • Harry Reid 33% / 33% {0%}
  • Jim DeMint 14% / 16% {-2%}
  • Nancy Pelosi 34% / 51% {-17%}

Among Democrats

  • Harry Reid 60% / 10% {+50%}
  • Nancy Pelosi 60% / 29% {+31%}
  • Jim DeMint 5% / 24% {-19%}
  • John Boehner 19% / 41% {-22%}
  • Mitch McConnell 14% / 44% {-30%}

Among Republicans

  • John Boehner 64% / 8% {+56%}
  • Mitch McConnell 54% / 6% {+48%}
  • Jim DeMint 24% / 9% {+15%}
  • Harry Reid 6% / 64% {-58%}
  • Nancy Pelosi 12% / 83% {-71%}

Among Independents

  • John Boehner 35% / 20% {+15%}
  • Mitch McConnell 35% / 20% {+15%}
  • Jim DeMint 15% / 14% {+1%}
  • Harry Reid 27% / 35% {-8%}
  • Nancy Pelosi 27% / 52% {-25%}

Survey of 1,008 adults was conducted December 17-19, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.

by @ 9:12 pm. Filed under Barack Obama, Jim DeMint, Poll Watch

December 17, 2010

Friday’s Line From The Fix

Those of you R4’08 veterans out there will remember the debates sparked by Chris Cillizza’s Friday columns in the Washington Post entitled “The Line”. They became a weekly virtual water cooler moment as everyone argued why their candidate of choice deserved a higher ranking, or why others were ranked too high on the list.

Well, Cillizza is back in form for the 2012 campaign, and even at this (very) early juncture in the campaign (before anyone has even announced!), he is firing up The Line once again. Here’s this week’s version:

1. Romney
2. Palin
3. Gingrich
4. Pawlenty
5. Huckabee
6. Barbour
7. Thune
8. Daniels
9. Pence
10. DeMint

See the reasoning after the fold, and have fun in the comments…

December 16, 2010

December 14, 2010


Step 1: Go to DeMintRubio.com
Step 2: Notice how it redirects you to Jim DeMint’s US Senate reelection website.
Step 3: Think to youself – is this a potential ticket in 2012?

I know that during the 2010 election cycle, DeMint was a big supporter of Marco Rubio’s candidacy. He was one of the earliest supporters of Rubio, back when Charlie Crist was still a Republican and it looked like he would sweep the primary. Could DeMint be planning something we don’t know about? Or is it a leftover from the 2010 election cycle?

There used to be a donation site to help donate to Rubio through DeMint’s PAC that was based on DeMintRubio.com, if I remember correctly. Why does he still have the domain name active and redirecting to his website? Wishful thinking or just a coincidence? I’m assuming the latter, but feel free to let the speculation abound.

As for me, I could think of much worse we could do than DeMint-Rubio in 2012.


Matt Newman blogs at Old Line Elephant

by @ 10:14 pm. Filed under 2010, 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint, Veep Watch

December 9, 2010

Draft Jim DeMint?

The draft movements have already begun to take form for candidates – some formal, some less so. Draft Jim DeMint is a more formal organization – with organizers in over 25 states. Here’s the site’s goal:

This site has been created to serve as a rally point for citizens interested in drafting US Sen. Jim DeMint for President in 2012. We are not affiliated with the Jim DeMint for Sentate campaign or his senatorial staff. This is an independent movement to energize the presidential primary electorate and to show our support for Jim DeMint. Through our combined effort we hope and pray that Sen. DeMint will seriously consider seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

One of our goals at DraftJimDeMint.com is to allow our community to decide how we should grow. We are very much interested in hearing from you and any feedback you may have. Please contact us if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions.

God Bless,
Draft Jim DeMint

It’s interesting to see who’s getting the base excited enough to generate independent draft movements. It’ll be more interesting to see where these groups go in the coming months.

Matt Newman blogs at Old Line Elephant

by @ 8:32 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint

February 11, 2010

Will Romney Ditch the South?

The following was written by my brother Aaron and is duplicated here by permission.
One of the first reviews of Mitt Romney’s new book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness came out yesterday from a fellow named David Bernstein from The Boston Phoenix. As it was (and still is) one of the only reviews of Mitt’s newest publication to hit the web, I found it to be quite insightful.

That said, the analytical tone Bernstein uses is rather tendentious and the picture he attempts to paint for Mitt’s future, especially with regards to the conservative south, is as abstract as a Picasso:

Mitt Romney painted by Picasso

A critique of Bernstien’s misleading review and a more accurate synopsis of Mitt Romney’s future involvement in the South is provided by Mathew Continetti in his piece: Romney and the South:

[Bernstein] makes the questionable claim that “Romney is going to try to win without” Christian conservatives. And that means “skipping the South.”

Really? Religious conservatives make up a significant portion of the GOP electorate; winning the nomination without them is clearly a next-to-impossible task (McCain squeaked through because at first the religious conservatives split their vote among the various candidates). The South, moreover, is the geographic base of the Republican party — could a politician win the nomination with the Northeast, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mountain States? Maybe, but he or she would have to sweep all those regions, which seems unlikely.

Mitt Romney and Jim DemintRomney is no dope; he understands how important the South is both in the Republican primary and in the general election.

Bernstein bases his claim on two pieces of evidence: (a) “Romney’s PAC has started ignoring southern pols” and (b) “most revealing is Romney’s decision not to attend this year’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) in April in New Orleans.”

Let’s look at these in reverse order. A spokesman for Romney’s Free and Strong America political action committee tells me the governor isn’t attending the SRLC because of a scheduling conflict. “The reason Mitt Romney is not attending the SRLC is because of conflicts with his book tour,” says Eric Fehrnstrom. “The book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, comes out March 2 and he’s on the road promoting it the entire month of March and half of April. During the SRLC, he’ll be in Philadelphia (World Affairs Council speech), New Hampshire (St. Anselm’s Institute of Politics speech and remarks to Politics and Eggs breakfast), Boston (Ford Hall Forum speech) and Minneapolis (book signing, Freedom Foundation speech).”

Nor does missing one conference signify rejection of an entire constituency. Sarah Palin made a highly publicized decision to skip next week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Does that mean she thinks she can win the nomination without conservative support? Hardly. The same rule applies to Romney.

Despite Bernstein’s assertion to the contrary, Romney seems also to be paying attention to “Southern pols.” In 2009 he campaigned and fundraised for South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, the Georgia House Republican Caucus, and the Duval County, Florida, GOP. This month, he’s scheduled to appear at a joint fundraiser for Georgia congressmen Westmoreland, Gingrey, and Price, and another for Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack. Romney’s book tour (the full schedule hasn’t been released) will also take him through a variety of Southern locales.

Since losing the 2008 primary to John McCain, Romney has been expanding his political network. That expansion has not been limited to a particular area. Listen to him and his advisers: Romney will compete in the South.

Will southern Republicans vote for him? Now, that’s an entirely different question…

Does this group have a web presence yet?
Rednecks for Romney

~Aaron G.

by @ 1:45 pm. Filed under 2012 Misc., Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney

January 21, 2010

Huckabee, Palin, Steele & Other GOP Leaders Join Virtual March for Life

Americans United for Life Action has put together a Virtual March for Life for those who can’t attend the March for Life in Washington, DC. Over 50,000 have signed up to participate over the last few days and the number continues to swell:

Notable leaders can be seen on this page. The list includes:

  • Andrew Breitbart Breitbart.com / BigGovernment.com
  • Rep. Eric Cantor Member of Congress, VA-07
  • Rep. John Carter Member of Congress, TX-31
  • Sen. Jim DeMint United States Senator, SC
  • Rep. Trent Franks Member of Congress, AZ-02
  • Governor Mike Huckabee Former Governor of Arkansas
  • Joe The Plumber Commentator & Correspondent
  • Rep. Jim Jordan Member of Congress, OH-04
  • Lars Larson Nationally syndicated radio talk show host
  • Rep. Robert E. Latta Member of Congress, OH-05
  • Sen. John McCain United States Senator, AZ
  • Governor Sarah Palin Former Governor of Alaska
  • Father Frank Pavone Priests for Life
  • Rep. Mike Pence Member of Congress, IN-06
  • Tony Perkins Family Research Council
  • Gov. Rick Perry Governor of Texas
  • Rep. Tom Price Member of Congress, GA-06
  • Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers Member of Congress, WA-05
  • Marco Rubio U.S. Senate Candidate, FL
  • Rep. John Shimkus Member of Congress, IL-20
  • Jill Stanek Journalist and Nurse
  • Michael Steele Chairman, Republican National Committee
  • Charmaine Yoest President & CEO, Americans United for Life
by @ 6:28 pm. Filed under Jim DeMint, Michael Steele, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin

January 1, 2010

Likelihood Rankings: Q1 2010

As always, I’m ranking the likelihood of a candidate running for President, not their probability of winning:

Likely Candidates:

1) Tim Pawlenty: 78% (+5):

Everything looks full speed ahead for Pawlenty.

2) Mike Huckabee-67% (-3):

I don’t think the Maurice Clemmons matter had much of an effect on whether he would run. However, the number should be dialed back slightly because of the rise in Sarah Palin’s popularity.  My general view is if Palin runs, Huckabee won’t, and I think his recent talk confirms that.

3) Mitt Romney-66% (-2)

Romney has been keeping a low profile this quarter and with good reason: The Senate health care bill is shaping up to be too much like Romneycare. While, I think Romney will make a 2012 run, I can’t help but dial back his chances a little bit because he didn’t become a success in business without a good healthy dose of pragmatism.

Unlikely Candidates

4) Sarah Palin 41% (+3)

This was a fairly good quarter for Palin with the successful release of “Going Rogue.” and some media appearances that allowed her to get a bit of a bounce back in her image. My concern with Palin has been the “want to” factor and I still don’t think that’s going to be there.

5) Gary Johnson-40% (+2)

A little bit of re-emergence for Johnson as well as some net buzz behind his potential candidacy lead to an upgrade.

6) John Thune and 6) Haley Barbour-38% (-2)

Nothing makes me think either of these two oft-mentioned potential candidates will actually pull the trigger.

8: Rick Santorum-33% (+3)

Santorum continued to make some noises, but I’m doubtful of the money being there for him. His best shot would be a Palin-Free/Huckabee-free field.  I don’t see him putting his family through the ordeal of a Presidential run if there’s no chance.

9) Jon Huntsman-29% (NC)

10) Newt Gingrich-28% (-4)

Someone who pedantically lectures the base is either not too smart or not planning on running for President.

11) Mike Pence -18% (-2)

I think Pence is more likely to run for Governor. Plus a HuckPAC  endorsement that Pence received for re-election could be the start of Pence and Huckabee working together.

12) Mitch Daniels-15% (-2)

13) Bobby Jindal-14% (-2)

14) John Cornyn-13% (-1)

Cornyn realizing that it was a bad idea for the NRSC to stick its nose into primaries was too little too late.

15) Jim DeMint-9% (-2)

16) Charlie Crist-7% (-5)

Winning the Senate Primary looks dicey, let alone getting “Good Time” Charlie nominated for President.

17) Jeb Bush-6% (-2)

Chances are greater of me getting a tongue ring and the Cubs winning the World Series on the same day candidates…

18) Ron Paul-4% (-1)

Chances reduced slightly because of Gary Johnson talk.

19) Tom Ridge-3% (-1), 19) Rudy Giuliani-3% (-6), 19) David Petraeus-3% ()

Ridge has done nothing to indicate running. As for Rudy Giuliani, if his consulting for Brazil’s 2016 Olympics makes a Senatorial run out of the question, that’d seem to go for a Presidential run, too. As for Petraeus, there’s little reason to think he will run.

Dropping off our list: Mark Sanford, who ought to have had the decency to resign from office, but who there is simply no conceivable chance he’ll run for PResident.

December 17, 2009

Mark McKinnon’s 2012 GOP Rankings

Mark McKinnon, a columnist at The Daily Beast, gave this as his current rankings of the possible 2012 GOP hopefuls:

  1. Mitt Romney: He’s next in line.
  2. Sarah Palin: Conservatives love her. Huckabee’s implosion leaves her in second place.
  3. Tim Pawlenty: Doing everything right.
  4. John Thune: The Bob McDonnell of the 2012 GOP field.
  5. Mike Huckabee: The Clemmons affair really hurt him in the law-and-order GOP.
  6. Joe Scarborough: Morning Joe is young, articulate, and telegenic. He has core republican bona fides—but is also enough centrist ideas to appeal to moderates and young voters.
  7. Haley Barbour: Smart enough to outfox Obama
  8. Newt Gingrich: Generates talk but not likely to run.
  9. Mitch Daniels: An extraordinarily successful and effective governor in Indiana, a state that has been recently more blue than red.
  10. Rick Perry: He’s already the longest-serving governor in Texas history and has the best conservative record of any contender.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Rick Santorum
  • Mike Pence
  • Ron Paul
  • Eric Cantor
  • Jeb Bush
  • Jim DeMint

Note: These are my summations of McKinnon’s comments. They do not necessarily represent my thoughts.

December 9, 2009

Poll Watch: PPP (D) South Carolina Senatorial Survey

PPP (D) South Carolina Senatorial Survey

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Lindsey Graham’s job performance?

  • Approve 43%
  • Disapprove 35%

Among Democrats

  • Approve 38%
  • Disapprove 36%

Among Republicans

  • Approve 46%
  • Disapprove 34%

Among Independents

  • Approve 42%
  • Disapprove 36%

Among Moderates

  • Approve 45%
  • Disapprove 32%

Among Conservatives

  • Approve 42%
  • Disapprove 37%

Do you think that Lindsey Graham is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

  • Too liberal 29%
  • Too conservative 23%
  • About right 49%

Among Republicans

  • Too liberal 41%
  • Too conservative 9%
  • About right 50%

Among Independents

  • Too liberal 31%
  • Too conservative 16%
  • About right 53%

Among Moderates

  • Too liberal 18%
  • Too conservative 28%
  • About right 54%

Among Conservatives

  • Too liberal 44%
  • Too conservative 9%
  • About right 47%

Do you approve or disapprove of Senator Jim DeMint’s job performance?

  • Approve 44%
  • Disapprove 29%

Among Democrats

  • Approve 22%
  • Disapprove 43%

Among Republicans

  • Approve 62%
  • Disapprove 16%

Among Independents

  • Approve 45%
  • Disapprove 31%

Among Moderates

  • Approve 31%
  • Disapprove 39%

Among Conservatives

  • Approve 62%
  • Disapprove 15%

Do you think that Jim DeMint is too liberal, too conservative, or about right?

  • Too liberal 12%
  • Too conservative 32%
  • About right 56%

Among Republicans

  • Too liberal 10%
  • Too conservative 12%
  • About right 78%

Among Independents

  • Too liberal 8%
  • Too conservative 37%
  • About right 56%

Among Moderates

  • Too liberal 15%
  • Too conservative 46%
  • About right 39%

Among Conservatives

  • Too liberal 11%
  • Too conservative 12%
  • About right 77%


by @ 1:59 am. Filed under 2010, 2012 Misc., Barack Obama, Jim DeMint, Poll Watch

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