November 30, 2011

Sensing Opportunity, Bachmann Goes on the Attack

Something that got lost in the shuffle of the Gingrich surge and Romney slide over the past couple of days is a smaller, but still remarkable story: the Bachmann resurgence.

In one Iowa poll released yesterday, Bachmann doubled her support from 5% back up to 10%. In another, she increased her support to 13% — good enough for second place in the Hawkeye State. Who is she trailing now in Iowa? Newt Gingrich in both polls and Mitt Romney in one.

And so, sensing her opportunity to build on these new, remarkably strong numbers in Iowa, Bachmann is going on the attack. She began by attacking Newt over his position on illegal immigration – a position which Bachmann characterizes as amounting to amnesty – by doing press releases about it and bringing it up in interviews. Then yesterday on CNN, she really unloaded on the former Speaker in an interview with Wolf Blitzer:

[Gingrich’s] position would be inconsistent because he signed a letter which was published in the Wall Street Journal in 2004 saying that he did in fact support President Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform – which was commonly known as amnesty, because what it would do was make legal 11 million illegal workers in the United States. He was also in support of the federal DREAM Act, which would provide taxpayer subsidies for college tuition for the children of illegal aliens. That’s just a fact; it’s just on record. He may have a different position today, but even as recently as the last debate he said he in fact favored making legal, illegal workers. Those are two different positions, and he’ll have to reconcile those.

But again, those aren’t the only times he’s had inconsistent positions. He came out in favor of entering into Libya and the no-fly zone, and he also came out later saying he was not in favor of Libya. He said he was not in favor of TARP and then he was in favor of TARP. He was sitting on the couch with Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying we needed to do something about global warming, now he’s not so sure. He was also the father of the individual health care mandate – and admitted as much on stage when he was questioned by [Mitt Romney] – and it’s highly doubtful to think that our Republican nominee could have championed the individual healthcare mandate, could have taken millions of dollars to advance that mandate, and then think that they were going to actively work to repeal Obamacare.

And he also took $1.8 million to offer influence in Washington, DC on behalf of Freddie Mac — all while I was fighting Freddie Mac and trying to put them into receivership, which is bankruptcy. So there’s been a lot of inconsistencies.

Boom goes the dynamite. That would be about the “everything and the kitchen sink argument” against Gingrich at this point [without mentioning the Speaker’s messy personal life or 84 ethics violations brought against him]. It’s a line of attack that Bachmann had clearly rehearsed, and one she will be eager repeat over and over again as she travels across Iowa.

She has an advantage that the other candidates don’t, as well – she is focused solely on Iowa while Romney, Gingrich, Perry, and others are campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida. Because of that, and perhaps because of the collapse of Perry and Cain, she is enjoying those higher poll numbers in the state and for the first time in months sees a potential path to victory. Gingrich is the clear frontrunner right now, so her cross hairs are focused squarely on his back.

All of this would be great news for Mitt Romney as well, who Bachmann has been very friendly with on the campaign trail thus far. Romney clearly needs Gingrich to be knocked down a few rungs on the ladder, but can’t afford to get his hands too dirty in the process. Having Bachmann with a vested interest in seeing the Speaker collapse as well is a boon for the Romney campaign.

Except that Bachmann isn’t shying away from attacking Romney now, either. Now that a path to victory in Iowa has presented itself, Bachmann appears to be in it to win it for real — and when Wolf asked her, “Who is the bigger flip-flopper, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich?” she followed up that blistering critique of Gingrich with this one of Romney:

I think both of them have a lot to answer for to the voters for being on both sides of the issues. Governor Romney has also advocated for mandating that every citizen in the state of Massachusetts also purchase health insurance, which is exactly the same as Obamacare and was a pattern for Obamacare. He’s been on both sides of the abortion issue; he was for abortion, he was against abortion. He was for same-sex marriage, and in fact I believe he signed 189 marriage licenses for same-sex couples and then came out against it. And so on issue after issue after issue, Governor Romney has been on both sides – and Speaker Gingrich has to answer for that as well.

With just 33 days remaining before the Iowa caucuses, the gloves are coming off. While the spotlight is on Gingrich and Romney, Bachmann is flying under the radar in Iowa. Her poll numbers are rising, and she is making a push for a surprisingly strong finish in the state.

by @ 10:12 am. Filed under Iowa Watch, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich

November 27, 2011

Index of Republican Economic Plans

The thought came to me the other day that our Race42012 community might include some folks who want an easy way to find all of our candidates’ economic plans. Well, here are links to each of the major candidates’ plans:

Michele Bachmann

Herman Cain

Newt Gingrich

Jon Huntsman

Gary Johnson

Ron Paul

Rick Perry

Mitt Romney

Rick Santorum

So here they all are. As always, I urge folks to read and look at the plans of the candidates. Ill-informed votes don’t do anyone any good.

November 21, 2011

Comedy Gold

The latest topic of analysis around the blogosphere (including here at Race) is the new “Romney Unleashed” sketch on SNL — how it differed compared to caricatures of other candidates, what it means to Romney’s electability, and other such issues. Why? Because in all good humor lies a kernel of truth. Oftentimes, humor is a powerful way to get a point across.

I follow comedian Andy Borowitz on Twitter. He is liberal. Waaay liberal, as a matter of fact. I don’t line up with his politics at all. But when it comes to humor, the guy’s got a gift. He’s not only funny, he’s influential – clocking in at over 133,000 followers and constantly on the Top Tweets board… which is why I find it interesting to watch how he jokes about the current crop of GOP candidates.

Here’s a sampling of the jokes he’s tweeted throughout this campaign:

Rick Perry

  • BREAKING: Rick Perry requests that future debates be multiple choice
  • Rick Perry: If I’m elected, China will not steal my intellectual property because I don’t have any.
  • CIA says indecipherable chatter appears to be Rick Perry
  • Rick Perry is a Texas governor for people who found Bush too cerebral.
  • #GOPDebate Trivia: Tonight at the Reagan Library is Rick Perry’s first debate, and also his first visit to a library.
  • POLL: Rick Perry Leading Among Voters Who Describe Themselves as Unable to Tie Shoes

Michele Bachmann

  • #GOPDebate Preview – Michele Bachmann: “It’s great to be in New Hampshire, home of the Boston Tea Party.”
  • Obama: “This isn’t class warfare, it’s math.” Bachmann: “Those are fighting words – I mean the math part.”
  • As we go from Palin to Bachmann to Perry, I now understand why the Republicans don’t believe in evolution.
  • #GOPDebate: Bachmann will announce that if elected she will cancel the agreement between nouns and verbs.
  • Asked if she would recognize Palestine, Michele Bachmann said, “You mean like on a map?”

Herman Cain

  • Most people put more thought into Facebook status updates than Herman Cain has put into running for President.
  • Herman Cain has prepared less to be President than the average person prepares to be interviewed for a job at Kinko’s.
  • God has told both Michele Bachman and Herman Cain to run for President, which proves that God loves comedians.
  • Cain: “I have never heard of Fannie Mae and did not touch her inappropriately.”
  • BREAKING: Cain Announces New Economic Plan; Would Pay Every Woman in Country to Keep Quiet

It is quite revealing, then, that the best he could come up with for Mitt Romney were these:

  • Romney: “As President I would tap into the massive reserves of oil currently stored in my hair.”
  • Mitt Romney is totally qualified to be President, which in Tea Party logic totally disqualifies him.
  • Mitt Romney is like when there’s nothing on TV and you just watch the Weather Channel.
  • Every day, Mitt Romney must wake up smiling with this thought: “My main opponent is a pizza guy named Herman.”
  • Romney: “I’m not worried about poor people. They have cardboard boxes to live in.”

Again, just as we saw with the SNL sketches, there is a measurable difference in the flaws of all the other candidates in comparison to Mitt Romney. Romney gets attacked as dull, and with class warfare lines. And that’s about it. Even a liberal comedian like Andy Borowitz who takes joy in how unqualified all the GOP candidates are stops to take note that Romney is “totally qualified” to be President.

Romney gives no fodder to the comedians, which must drive them nuts. But from my perspective – I started following politics in 1999 – I’m looking forward to having someone lead and represent the GOP who doesn’t make me wince every time they open their mouth.

by @ 5:00 pm. Filed under Culture, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry

November 20, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – November 20, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average Pew Research FOX News CNN / ORC PPP
Date 11/9 – 11/15 11/9 – 11/14 11/13 – 11/15 11/11 – 11/13 11/10 – 11/13
Gingrich 22.25 16 23 22 28
Romney 21.75 23 22 24 18
Cain 19.00 22 15 14 25
Perry 8.25 8 7 12 6
Paul 7.25 8 8 8 5
Bachmann 5.50 5 6 6 5
Huntsman 2.50 1 3 3 3
Santorum 2.00 2 2 3 1
Johnson 0.75 0.5 1


2o12 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average Rasmussen ISU / Gazette / KCRG The Polling Company Bloomberg / Selzer & Co.
Date 11/1 – 11/15 11/15 – 11/15 11/1 – 11/13 11/11 – 11/13 11/10 – 11/12
Cain 19.38 13 24.5 20 20
Gingrich 18.20 32 4.8 19 17
Romney 16.83 19 16.3 14 18
Paul 14.85 10 20.4 10 19
Bachmann 7.15 6 7.6 10 5
Perry 6.48 6 7.9 5 7
Santorum 4.18 5 4.7 4 3
Huntsman 1.25 2 0 2 1
Johnson 1.00 1


2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average NH Journal / Magellan Strategies Bloomberg / Selzer Rasmussen
Date 10/26 – 11/16 11/15 – 11/16 11/10 – 11/12 10/26 – 10/26
Romney 36.50 28.5 40 41
Gingrich 15.37 27.1 11 8
Paul 14.53 15.6 17 11
Cain 11.60 9.8 8 17
Huntsman 7.30 7.9 7 7
Perry 2.90 1.7 3 4
Bachmann 2.33 2 2 3
Santorum 1.65 1.3 1 1


New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

November 17, 2011


I said early on I didn’t want a safe choice for 2012. Well, now that unsafe choice has gotten to the point where I can no longer stand behind him. It’s not just the claims, it’s the fact that Cain has been unable to run a functional campaign. Cain’s draw was that he was an outsider who was going to surround himself with the right people. The way he’s run his campaign has shown that he’s unable or unwilling to surround himself with the right people. So, what of the other candidates? As the title of the post implies, I’m undecided and let me tell you why.

Bachmann – Michele is pretty good on fiscal issues, but comes across as a kook. Why? Well, when you imply 9-9-9 is the sign of the devil, you’ve pretty much made yourself written off.

Huntsman – Huntsman has a pretty solid platform. He has a solid tenure as Governor, but governed as far to the left as was possible in the state of Utah. Other problems? He keeps poking conservatives in the eye with specifically targeted comments (ex “I believe in science”) and the fact that he was running for President (or planning to) while serving as Ambassador to China is upsetting to me. I’ve discussed this at length before. This bugs me, seriously. I could vote for him in the general, but I won’t in the primary.

Johnson – Gary Johnson has an excellent record as governor. He founded a 1 man company that turned into the biggest construction firm in New Mexico, which is far more impressive than the experience of a lot of different candidates. That said, he’s pro-choice, he’s known as the “pot” candidate, and is unable to raise money. At all. Johnson can’t get the nomination because no one has given him the chance and he’s unable to raise any funds.

Mitt – Romney has an incredible ground game, is focused on Obama, a decent campaigner, and has the same type of business experience I loved in Herman Cain. The problem? Inconsistent on fiscal issues and Masscare. Both of which led me to not vote for him in 2008, and it’s part of the reason I’m still undecided on him now. Also, I frankly don’t know if I can trust him. He comes across as disingenuous to me and in the debates came across as condescending. Then again, Obama’s always condescending. So, I could still vote for him, but again – undecided.

Newt – Newt is a fascinating candidate. Great debater, former Speaker of the House who helped lead the country in the right direction (pun intended) on fiscal issues and led to serious national reform. But he’s on his third wife with a history of infidelity and he’s been inconsistent historically on fiscal issues. He’s a brain power is unmatched, but as I said – inconsistent on fiscal issues. So, I could vote for him – but still undecided.

Paul – I will not vote for Ron Paul in the primary. Ever. Even if he’s the only one left in the primary. In that case, I would write in George H.W. Bush.

Perry – Perry has some great experience. He was a pretty solid Governor of Texas. 40% of the jobs created in the US in the past 2 years were created in Texas – that’s hard to overlook. That said, Perry is a terrible debater which could be awful against Obama in the general election. Also, there’s the Texas DREAM Act, which as a strong opponent of it here in Maryland who supported the effort to put it on the ballot / overturn it – this is a problem. Deal breaker? No, but an issue for me. Again, I’m undecided on Perry in the primary – but of course would vote for him in the general election.

Santorum – I actually don’t mind Rick Santorum. But, he couldn’t win reelection in Pennsylvania. He comes across angry and agitated in every single debate. He is inconsistent on fiscal issues. And, frankly, his active campaigning for future turncoat Arlen Specter is disappointing. Honestly, Santorum has very little money and does not have a clear path to the nomination. Also, his name is a filthy expression online that will be tough to combat should he get the nomination.

So, I’m back to being undecided. If the primary were held today, I’m not sure who I’d vote for when I got into the voting booth. Maybe Newt. Maybe Rick Perry. Maybe Romney – I’m not sure. What I do know is that I’m waiting to be wowed by the candidates.


-Matt Newman is a conservative blogger from Maryland who blogs at Old Line ElephantPundit Leagueand Tweets far too often.


November 13, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – November 13, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average CBS News McClatchy / Marist NBC / WSJ USA Today / Gallup
Date 11/2 – 11/10 11/6 – 11/10 11/8 – 11/10 11/2 – 11/5 11/2 – 11/6
Romney 21.75 15 23 28 21
Cain 20.75 18 17 27 21
Gingrich 14.75 15 19 13 12
Perry 9.25 8 8 10 11
Paul 8.25 5 10 10 8
Bachmann 4.00 4 5 4 3
Santorum 1.75 2 1 2 2
Huntsman 0.88 1 1 0.5 1


2012 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average Insider Advantage We Ask America 2012 Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 11/3 – 11/8 11/8 – 11/8 11/6 – 11/6 11/3 – 11/3
Cain 25.10 23.3 22 30
Romney 16.23 18.7 15 15
Gingrich 14.83 14.5 18 12
Paul 10.47 11.4 11 9
Bachmann 8.13 5.4 11 8
Perry 6.27 8.8 4 6
Santorum 3.20 3.4 3
Huntsman 2.00 2 2


2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average Rasmussen CNN / ORC Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 10/16 – 10/26 10/26 – 10/26 10/20 – 10/25 10/16 – 10/16
Romney 39.93 41 40 38.8
Cain 18.07 17 13 24.2
Paul 11.37 11 12 11.1
Gingrich 6.07 8 5 5.2
Huntsman 5.83 7 6 4.5
Bachmann 3.47 3 2 5.4
Perry 3.27 4 4 1.8
Santorum 1.00 1 1


New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

Intrade Musings — Is Gingrich the Last Great Hope of the ABR Crowd?

I missed the debate last night. I was obligated to be somewhere else. In such situations, I’ve found that Intrade to be as good as any other source for scoring a debate. There is very little spin. Personal biases and prejudices are balanced out. All that is left is the desire to make a buck on what you really, honestly think is going to happen.

Here are how things currently stand on Intrade as to who will win the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination:

Candidate % Chance
Romney 70.7
Gingrich 13.2
Perry 4.1
Cain 3.5
Paul 3.3
Huntsman 3.1
All others combined 2.1

“All others combined” includes everyone who can’t even crack 1%.

Here it is in graphical form:

Here is the pie chart I made just five weeks ago dated October 6th. (The year typo was in the original):

Contrasting the two charts we can see that Romney isn’t going away on Intrade. In fact, he is gathering steam. He is almost up to three out of every four Intrade traders betting that he is going to be the nominee. The only real difference from a month ago is Perry was the then great hope of the not-Romney crowd, followed by Cain. Gingrich didn’t even make the top five overall.

Now Gingrich is the only not-Romney that is scoring in double digits. Perry, Cain, Paul, and Huntsman are all polling within 1% of each other. The four of them are closely clustered around an average score of 3.5.


November 7, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – November 6, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average WaPo / ABC Rasmussen Quinnipiac FOX News
Date 10/23 – 11/3 10/31 – 11/3 11/2 – 11/2 10/25 – 10/31 10/23 – 10/25
Cain 25.75 23 26 30 24
Romney 22.50 24 23 23 20
Gingrich 12.00 12 14 10 12
Perry 9.75 13 8 8 10
Paul 7.75 8 7 7 9
Bachmann 3.25 4 2 4 3
Santorum 1.50 1 1 1 3
Huntsman 1.38 1 2 2 0.5


2012 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average Newsmax / Insider Advantage Des Moines Register CNN / ORC
Date 10/20 – 11/3 11/3 – 11/3 10/23 – 10/26 10/20 – 10/25
Cain 24.67 30 23 21
Romney 20.33 15 22 24
Paul 11.00 9 12 12
Gingrich 9.67 12 7 10
Perry 7.67 6 7 10
Bachmann 7.33 8 8 6
Santorum 3.50 5 2
Huntsman 1.33 2 1 1


2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average Rasmussen CNN / ORC Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 10/16 – 10/26 10/26 – 10/26 10/20 – 10/25 10/16 – 10/16
Romney 39.93 41 40 38.8
Cain 18.07 17 13 24.2
Paul 11.37 11 12 11.1
Gingrich 6.07 8 5 5.2
Huntsman 5.83 7 6 4.5
Bachmann 3.47 3 2 5.4
Perry 3.27 4 4 1.8
Santorum 1.00 1 1


New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

November 1, 2011


We are now just 2 months away from the first votes being cast in the Iowa Caucuses and the race for 2012 has finally taken shape with it’s final field of candidates. Due to the shrinking field of contenders the Power Rankings will now shift to a Top 8 instead of Top 10.

Gov. Romney has solidified his status as the frontrunner and likely nominee for the GOP, so much so that the Obama Administration, still a year out from the election, is already launching a negative campaign against the former Massachusetts governor.  Romeny’s slow and steady approach has paid off as other candidates have risen and fallen around him over the past several months.  Romney’s destruction of Perry in the debates and Cain’s disturbing sexual harassment allegations have helped put Romney in his strongest position of the cycle. The question now is will Romney be tempted to go for the Iowa knockout or maintain his New Hampshire first strategy?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s decline has continued, despite his attempts to appear more energized in the last presidential debate.  Perry’s team has gone through a makeover with a number of national campaign veterans brought in to take the reigns from Perry’s faltering Texas staff.  The biggest acquisition was former Bush campaign manager Joe Allbaugh.  At this point Perry still has the resources to be a top contender, but his absurd New Hampshire speech and flirtation with birtherism still underscore the fact that Joe Allbaugh’s new job won’t be easy.

Georgia Businessman Herman Cain was riding high in the polls for most of the month before his campaign was rocked by a sexual harassment scandal.  The incident stemming from his time as the head of the National Restaurant Association has damaged Cain, not because of the allegations themselves which still seem to lack a smoking gun, but rather due to the incredible disorganization of his campaign’s response.  This week has highlighted why many continue to take Perry more seriously than Cain, as his operation seems to be amateurish at best and incompetent at worst.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul remains the only other contender raising serious money and building a legitimate organization.  Though it is still hard to see how Paul expands on his base, his large small donor list and impressive money bombs will make him a factor in the early states, and may surprise and confound the conventional wisdom.

The rest of the field continues to lack a number of qualities to be taken seriously, either due to money, organization, polls, or policy heft.  Rep. Michele Bachmann’s slide has hastened, as her team continues to hemorrhage staff and suffer dreadful process stories about her disorganization in the process. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is enjoying a bump in the polls due to his debate performances, but he lacks any serious organization in the early states and has seen his campaign fall into massive debt. Sen. Santorum’s fundraising has been abysmal, yet he has still managed to put together a respectable Iowa team on a shoestring budget.  Jon Huntsman has moved his campaign to New Hampshire in a desperate final salvo to save his sinking campaign which currently resides at 0% in a number of polls. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s campaign was so unserious and disorganized that he nearly forgot to file his paperwork to qualify for the ballot in New Hampshire.

On to the rankings:

1. Mitt Romney
2. Rick Perry
3. Herman Cain
4. Ron Paul
5. Newt Gingrich
6. Rick Santorum
7. Michele Bachmann
8. Jon Huntsman

VP Watch: 1. Marco Rubio 2. Bob McDonnell 3. Rob Portman 4. Chris Christie 5. John Thune

October 30, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – October 30, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average FOX News CBS / NYT AP / GFK CNN / ORC
Date 10/13 – 10/25 10/23 – 10/25 10/19 – 10/24 10/13 – 10/17 10/14 – 10/16
Cain 25.00 24 25 26 25
Romney 24.25 20 21 30 26
Perry 10.50 10 6 13 13
Gingrich 9.25 12 10 7 8
Paul 8.50 9 8 8 9
Bachmann 3.75 3 2 4 6
Santorum 2.00 3 1 2 2
Huntsman 1.13 0.5 1 2 1


2012 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average Des Moines Register CNN / ORC Rasmussen University of Iowa Hawkeye
Date 10/12 – 10/26 10/23 – 10/26 10/20 – 10/25 10/19 – 10/19 10/12 – 10/19
Cain 27.25 23 21 28 37
Romney 23.50 22 24 21 27
Paul 11.38 12 12 10 11.5
Gingrich 8.43 7 10 9 7.7
Perry 7.48 7 10 7 5.9
Bachmann 6.48 8 6 8 3.9
Santorum 3.53 5 2 4 3.1
Huntsman 1.30 1 1 2 1.2


2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average Rasmussen CNN / ORC Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 10/12 – 10/25 10/26 – 10/26 10/20 – 10/25 10/16 – 10/16
Romney 39.93 41 40 38.8
Cain 18.07 17 13 24.2
Paul 11.37 11 12 11.1
Gingrich 6.07 8 5 5.2
Huntsman 5.83 7 6 4.5
Bachmann 3.47 3 2 5.4
Perry 3.27 4 4 1.8
Santorum 1.00 1 1


New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

October 27, 2011

Bachmann Hires Eric Woolsen to Head Iowa Campaign

A very nice “get” for Bachmann:

Iowa Republican strategist Eric Woolson, formerly of Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign, was named Thursday as Michele Bachmann’s state campaign manager.

Woolson takes over at a critical time for the Minnesota Republican, who has seen her entire New Hampshire staff quit in recent days as she doubles down on her native Iowa, where she now has a full-time professional staff of 10.

Woolson also brings a needed dose of credibility, having managed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s winning Iowa caucus campaign in 2008. He did so working off a similar playbook: relying on a wave of evangelical fervor to beat Mitt Romney, who was the odds-on favorite at that point in the 2008 GOP nomination.

Woolson has been doing Iowa press for Bachmann since September. Now he will be positioned to give some added strategic heft to a campaign that has been floundering since she won the Iowa straw poll in Ames – which knocked Pawlenty out of the race.

Woolson also brings valuable connections to her campaign, having worked for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, as well as for Sioux City Republican Bob Vander Plaats’ gubernatorial campaign, Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ congressional campaign, and U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s re-election campaign. He was later press secretary for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad’s first administration.

Read the full story here.

by @ 3:32 pm. Filed under Iowa Caucuses, Michele Bachmann

October 23, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – October 23, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average AP / GFK CNN / ORC Rasmussen
Date 10/12 – 10/17 10/13 – 10/17 10/14 – 10/16 10/12 – 10/12
Romney 28.33 30 26 29
Cain 26.67 26 25 29
Perry 11.67 13 13 9
Gingrich 8.33 7 8 10
Paul 7.33 8 9 5
Bachmann 4.67 4 6 4
Santorum 2.00 2 2 2
Huntsman 1.67 2 1 2


2012 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average Rasmussen University of Iowa Hawkeye Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 10/12 – 10/19 10/19 – 10/19 10/12 – 10/19 10/16 – 10/16
Cain 30.47 28 37 26.4
Romney 22.03 21 27 18.1
Paul 10.37 10 11.5 9.6
Gingrich 9.60 9 7.7 12.1
Bachmann 7.63 8 3.9 11
Perry 6.23 7 5.9 5.8
Santorum 3.55 4 3.1
Huntsman 1.37 2 1.2 0.9


2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average Newsmax / Insider Advantage Magellan Strategies NBC / Marist Harvard / St. Anselm Mason – Dixon
Date 10/2 – 10/16 10/16 – 10/16 10/12 – 10/13 10/3 – 10/5 10/2 – 10/6 10/2 – 10/6
Romney 39.96 38.8 41 43 38 39
Cain 18.24 24.2 20 12 20 15
Paul 10.82 11.1 10 14 13 6
Gingrich 5.64 5.2 6 3 5 9
Huntsman 4.70 4.5 6 5 4 4
Perry 4.16 1.8 2 7 4 6
Bachmann 3.68 5.4 4 2 3 4
Santorum 1.25 2 1 1 1
Johnson 0.88 1 1 1 0.5


New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

10/19/2011 10/17/2011 10/13/2011
Poll Average AP / GFK CNN / ORC Rasmussen
Date 10/6 – 10/17 10/13 – 10/17 10/14 – 10/16 10/12 – 10/12
Romney 28.33 30 26 29
Cain 26.67 26 25 29
Perry 11.67 13 13 9
Gingrich 8.33 7 8 10
Paul 7.33 8 9 5
Bachmann 4.67 4 6 4
Santorum 2.00 2 2 2
Huntsman 1.67 2 1 2

October 21, 2011

Bachmann’s New Hampshire Team Quits

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s entire paid New Hampshire staff has resigned due to frustration with the campaign and a lack of commitment to the state.  While never a good sign, Bachmann has always been focused on Iowa and South Carolina with little attention given to New Hampshire.

by @ 10:54 am. Filed under Michele Bachmann

October 16, 2011

Race42012 National/IA/NH Polling Averages – October 16, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average Rasmussen PPP NBC / WSJ Reuters / Ipsos WaPo / Bloomberg Gallup Newsmax / Insider Advantage
Date 9/22 – 10/10 10/12 – 10/12 10/7 – 10/10 10/6 – 10/10 10/6 – 10/10 10/6 – 10/9 10/3 – 10/7 10/4 – 10/5
Romney 23.57 29 22 23 23 24 20 24
Cain 23.57 29 30 27 19 16 18 26
Perry 13.00 9 14 16 10 13 15 14
Gingrich 8.36 10 15 8 7 3 7 8.5
Paul 7.87 5 5 11 13 6 8 7.1
Bachmann 4.53 4 5 5 5 4 5 3.7
Huntsman 1.83 2 2 3 2 0 2
Santorum 1.60 2 1 1 1 3



2012 Iowa Republican Caucus

Poll Average PPP NBC / Marist American Research Group
Date 9/22 – 10/10 10/7 – 10/10 10/3 – 10/5 9/22 – 9/27
Romney 22.00 22 23 21
Cain 17.33 30 16 6
Paul 11.33 10 12 12
Bachmann 11.00 8 10 15
Perry 11.00 9 10 14
Gingrich 6.67 8 4 8
Santorum 3.00 5 2 2
Huntsman 1.00 1 1 1
Johnson 0.83 1 1 0.5



2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary

Poll Average Magellan Strategies NBC / Marist Harvard / St. Anselm
Date 9/22 – 10/10 10/12 – 10/13 10/3 – 10/5 10/2 – 10/6
Romney 40.67 41 43 38
Cain 17.33 20 12 20
Paul 12.33 10 14 13
Huntsman 5.00 6 5 4
Gingrich 4.67 6 3 5
Perry 4.33 2 7 4
Bachmann 3.00 4 2 3
Santorum 1.33 2 1 1
Johnson 1.00 1 1 1

New Hampshire – Not Displaying Romney

October 15, 2011

Bachmann Spending More Than She’s Raising

In the third quarter, Michele Bachmann raised $4.1 million, she spent $6.1 million. This is a 150% burn rate for Bachmann and is unsustainable for the long term. Politico has more on the subject here. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Michele Bachmann spent $2 million more than she raised in the third quarter and her fundraising efforts are lagging far behind several frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination.


Bachmann raised $4.1 million between July and September, but spent more than $6.1 million, according to her campaign filings. Her fundraising was split between the $3.9 million raised for her official presidential committee, and another $200,000 for her congressional committee, which is now raising cash for her presidential campaign.

Bachmann’s fundraising efforts pale in comparison to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, who raked in $17.2 million and $14.2 million in the third quarter, respectively.

Her fundraising pace hasn’t picked up since the second quarter, when the congresswoman raised $4.2 million. In the second quarter, Bachmann raised $2 million in three weeks and made a $2 million transfer from her congressional committee.


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

by @ 8:54 pm. Filed under Michele Bachmann

October 12, 2011

My Post-Economics Debate Thoughts

Last night Bloomberg and the Washington Post held a debate only on economics. I watched the entire debate and decided to put together my thoughts. First, the debate overall was meh. The questions ranged from the okay to asinine. Many of them were so incredibly biased to sound more like Democratic talking points than serious questions about the economy. When our candidates are asked, “Do you think we should arrest people on Wall Street?” we need better moderators. Personally, I’d prefer we had a debate with moderators like Hugh Hewitt, Erick Erickson, and Kavon Nikrad. Why? They’re conservatives who know about the issues asking questions to Republicans about the GOP primary. I think the three of them as moderators would be a solid choice, but fat chance that happening. So, I digress.

To make this easier, I’ll go through each candidate individually:

Michele Bachmann – Bachmann had a so-so performance. She went from a great answer at the start, to insinuating that 9-9-9 was the mark of the beast. It was not funny and fell flat. She’s trying to regain footing going after Cain, but then again – everyone was going after Cain. Bottom line was that her performance will not provide her with any momentum. She didn’t stand out, she was just kind of there. Which is disappointing – cause her first debate performance was stand out.

Herman Cain – One of my followers on Twitter last night dubbed the debate “The 9-9-9 Debate.” He’s right. Much of the time was spent on the pro’s and con’s of 9-9-9. While Cain made some good points, he needs to provide us with his numbers. If he says it’s revenue neutral, the media will want him to prove it. He says he had a study done – just provide it to the public. Simple as that. Overall, I think Can did fine. Considering he was under attack for a good chunk of the debate, Cain handled himself well. He had some good answers to some awful questions. He was a little too on point / schtick-y at times, but all-in-all this debate doesn’t do substantial damage to his campaign. That said – his answer regarding TARP was not good. He needed to just say, “I was wrong on TARP…” and move on. I don’t think Cain’s ready to admit that he was wrong on even considering supporting TARP in the first place. Him and Romney are in the same boat on this question.

Newt Gingrich – Newt is an excellent debater. Period. This debate was no different. For some reason, though, Newt can not get any traction in polling. Excellent debate performances are not enough for Newt. He’s also great at calling out the moderators for their bias. Newt would be an excellent VP choice for any candidate on the stage, or an excellent choice for a high level cabinet / advisory role. Newt just does not seem to ever have momentum in his favor.

Jon Huntsman – Besides a few awkward to awful jokes, Huntsman was not bad. He’s focusing more on his record as Governor of Utah, which is a pretty good record. He did not stand out, which Huntsman needs to start doing if he wants to gain any traction. That said – if we’re including Jon Huntsman in this debate, we need to include Gary Johnson. They poll the same nationally in most national polls, if Huntsman’s included so should Johnson.

Ron Paul – Ron Paul is a big ball of talking points about auditing the Fed and loving the Constitution. He does not need specifics to make his supporters happy, he just needs to keep up the rhetoric. Ron Paul will not be the nominee.

Rick Perry – Perry had a better debate performance than last time. That said, it still was not a great performance. This debate did nothing to slow the recent drop in support Perry has seen in recent polling. In fact, it does nothing to really help Perry. Perry had a few solid answers and did a bit better at focusing nationally as opposed to on how awesome Texas is. Perry did promise an economic and environmental plan coming soon – I look forward to seeing that.

Mitt Romney – Romney did well. He seemed more relaxed in this debate setting; which is odd, considering everyone was ready to pounce on him and Cain throughout the debate. He handled the circular firing squad from his fellow competitors well. Romney continues to defend Masscare and TARP, which will not go over well with the more conservative voters in the primary. He, like Cain, just needs to say that TARP was a bad idea and move on. But, they won’t. I know that many Republicans wanted to be supportive of our President when he proposed TARP, but Bush was wrong – and we need to be ready to say that now. Again, I think Romney did well.

Rick Santorum – Santorum had some decent answers, but to me he just came across as too aggressive and angry. I felt the same way after the last debate. It’s not endearing and his comment under his breath that “You won’t be President forever…” following Cain’s defense of 9-9-9 was petty and childish.

Winners: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain – Both solidified their position as frontrunners in the eyes of their fellow competitors. They were treated as such. Bloomberg TV – How many of you watched Bloomberg TV before this debate? Me either. Newt Gingrich – He clearly was the best debater in the bunch, but he just can’t generate any momentum.

Losers: Rick Perry – He didn’t win this debate and he needed to, to help stave some of the loss of support.

Who do you think won that debate?


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

October 11, 2011

Michele Bachmann – A Campaign in Trouble

Robert Costa has a great article over at NRO entitled: “Behind Bachmann’s Slide — Why the tea-party star has dimmed.” It begins as follows:

On August 13, as dusk settled upon Iowa State University, Michele Bachmann hopped onto a makeshift stepstool beside her bus. Her supporters crowded close, pressing against a flimsy rope. Bachmann, clad in an ivory-colored suit and pearls, raised both arms. Gray-haired retirees, teenage volunteers, and sign-toting pastors cheered their champion, the winner of the Ames straw poll. “Now it’s on to all 50 states,” she told them, her right hand punching the air.

Two months later, Bachmann’s late-summer dream has largely evaporated, and her presidential campaign — even in Iowa — is tottering. Senior advisers have departed, her cash has dwindled, and her poll numbers have dipped. The tea-party star has dimmed.

Here’s one pointed excerpt (emphasis added):

After Rollins left in early September, Bachmann headed to Tampa for another debate and tore into Perry’s vaccination policy, which she claimed damaged “little girls” by testing them for HPV (human papillomavirus). In a Today show interview the following day, she reported that after the debate, a mother “told me that her little daughter took the vaccine” and “suffered from mental retardation thereafter.” Her comments were widely criticized for inflaming the issue. She earned plaudits for slamming Perry on crony capitalism, “but like with so much she does, she took a good thing too far, and made a mess of it,” as one source puts it.

If you enjoy “inside baseball” stuff, you’ll love this article.

by @ 7:14 pm. Filed under Iowa Watch, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry

Bachmann Closes Virginia Campaign Office

Politico reports:

Michele Bachmann, who has had a staff contraction in recent weeks, has also closed her campaign offices in Old Town, Virginia, sources told POLITICO.

Clearly the Bachmann campaign is reeling. While I’m not so sure that Ed Rollins was doing his candidate much good at the time of departure, she’s lost serious steam. Bachmann does have a case to stick around through at least the next few debates, and maybe through Iowa, where despite her recent fall she remains in double digits according to the latest polling. But her promise to stick around until New Hampshire deserves some thought.

At some point, a candidate has to do some soul-searching, particularly if the candidate is a sitting officeholder who holds a seat in Congresss. Is her campaign really the best way she can contribute to the national debate? To quote that great political strategist Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,” and Bachmann is getting pretty close to folding time.

by @ 11:44 am. Filed under Michele Bachmann

Marist Poll: Romney leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire

MSNBC is reporting the latest Marist Poll for both Iowa and New Hampshire showing Mitt Romney on top in both states. The full raw data is not available yet, but here are the numbers reported so far in the article.

First the horse race numbers:

For Iowa:

  • Romney: 23
  • Cain: 20
  • Paul: 11
  • Perry: 10
  • Bachmann: 10
  • Undecided: 16

For New Hampshire:

  • Romney: 44
  • Cain: 13
  • Paul: 13
  • Perry: 6
  • Huntsman: 5
  • Undecided: 11

The vs. Obama numbers are as follows:


October 9, 2011

Race42012 Polling Averages and Line Chart – October 9, 2011

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

Poll Average Newsmax / Insider Advantage ABC / WaPo CBS News Quinnipiac Pew FOX News
Date 9/22 – 10/5 10/4 – 10/5 9/29 – 10/2 9/28 – 10/2 9/27 – 10/3 9/22 – 10/4 9/25 – 9/27
Romney 22.17 24 25 17 22 22 23
Cain 17.83 26 17 17 17 13 17
Perry 15.50 14 17 12 14 17 19
Gingrich 8.75 8.5 9 8 8 8 11
Paul 7.85 7.1 9 7 6 12 6
Bachmann 4.45 3.7 7 4 3 6 3
Santorum 2.60 2 3 3 2 3
Huntsman 1.80 1 2 1 1 4
Johnson 0.50 0.5

October 7, 2011

Poll Watch:Pew

Pew has released their latest poll on the 2012 national race. Here are the horse race numbers with some crosstabs:

All GOP Tea Party Yes Tea Party No A Lot of Thought Less Thought
Romney 22 17 25 23 22
Perry 17 18 17 19 15
Cain 13 23 6 20 9
Paul 12 13 11 11 13
Gingrich 8 9 7 8 7
Bachmann 6 7 6 3 8
Santorum 2 3 2 2 2
Huntsman 1 1 2 2 1
Other 1 1 1 1 1
None/DK 17 9 23 11 21


October 6, 2011

Romney Cracks 60% on Intrade

As I have previously stated, I don’t normally pay much attention to Intrade. I view it as perhaps one notch above a straw poll. I still feel that way. However, this piece of news does merit notice. Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the GOP nomination has just broken the 60% barrier on Intrade.

The current standings are:

  • Mitt Romney – 60.0%
  • Rick Perry – 19.6%
  • Herman Cain – 7.2%
  • Jon Huntsman – 3.9%
  • Ron Paul – 2.3%
  • Newt Gingrich – 2.0%
  • Michele Bachmann – 1.4%
  • Rudy Giuliani – 1.2%

All the rest are below 1%

My how Bachmann has fallen. From a high of over 18% back in July to less than a tenth of that today. The campaign of the winner of the Iowa Straw Poll continues to die a slow, lingering death. Perhaps she should put it out of its misery.

Huntsman hasn’t been doing that much better. From a high of around 18% back at the end of May, he’s lost 80% of his value with no upturn in sight. It is now approximately 90 days left before the voting starts. He’s running out of time to make an impact.

Here’s the data in graphical form:

It would appear that the only person with even a half serious threat to Mitt Romney is Rick Perry, and it’s not even a half of a threat. It’s actually a bit less than a third. The others aren’t even worth mentioning at this point in time.

Things can change quickly, however. Remember Perry was riding high scarcely a month ago. It’s been all downhill for him ever since. There are two debates coming up in the next two weeks. We will see if Perry can reverse course. If not, well at least he’ll have a great time spending that 15 million bucks he’s got in the bank on a losing campaign. I can think of worse things to be doing.

Jon Huntsman Wins a Poll!

In a bit of news that is sure to warm the cockles of MWS’s* heart, the word is out that Jon Huntsman has won a poll. His total more than doubles Mitt Romney score, who came in second. In fact, his score was better than the next five people combined. That is quite the decisive victory for the former Utah Governor.:

Which ONE of the following people do you think is most qualified to be president?

  • Jon Huntsman — 49
  • Mitt Romney — 22
  • Rudy Giuliani — 10
  • Ron Paul — 9
  • Chris Christie — 3
  • Newt Gingrich — 3
  • Herman Cain — 2
  • Sarah Palin — 1
  • Rick Perry — 1
  • Rick Santorum — 0
  • Michele Bachmann — 0

Where did Huntsman make his breakthrough? It was in the straw poll taken during the “Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011″ put on by the Democracy Corps/The Campaign for America’s Future people this week.


October 3, 2011

More Difficulties for the Bachmann Campaign

Things are not looking good for the winner of the Ames, IA, straw poll. From the AP:

More top aides to Republican Michele Bachmann are quitting her presidential campaign, raising questions about the viability of her White House bid.

The major departures are pollster Ed Goeas and senior adviser Andy Parrish.

Bachmann’s deputy press secretary also transferred back to the congressional office. So has her scheduler.

Last month, Bachmann’s campaign manager and his deputy stepped down within weeks of her Iowa GOP straw poll victory.

This was in the LATimes yesterday:

Bachmann has dropped in the polls here [Iowa], as she has nationally. Top advisors have left or been forced out. Reports of lackluster fundraising were bolstered by her campaign’s plea to supporters last week for “emergency” contributions. 

At an event in Cedar Rapids, aides handed out leftover brochures asking for support at the straw poll, more than a month ago.

Recent events have drawn low turnouts. And she continues to make gaffes.

Remember, this is in Iowa, her must-win state, the state in which she has placed all her marbles. If she can’t turn this thing around soon, she won’t last long.

FEC filings are due out in less than two weeks. An anemic fundraising report could spell doom for her chances.

That makes next week’s debate one of critical importance for her. It represents what might be her last chance of turning this thing around. Barring a real knock-em-dead performance, she might not last until Thanksgiving.

by @ 6:38 pm. Filed under Iowa Watch, Michele Bachmann, Straw Polls

September 30, 2011


At the beginning of the month Texas Gov. Rick Perry seemed to be picking up unstoppable momentum on his way to the top of the GOP field.  But after 3 poor debate performances, serious questions over the his previous positions, and charges of crony capitalism have stalled Perry’s rise.  In some states, the governor has even seen a drop in his support, a fact best symbolized by his stunning loss in the Florida P5 straw poll.  Despite his rocky month, Gov. Perry is still on pace for a solid first quarter of fundraising and enjoys considerable strengths among evangelicals, southerners, and Tea Party supporters.

Gov. Perry’s stumbles have allowed Gov. Mitt Romney to regain the top spot in the field, a spot he seemed destined to lose just a few weeks ago.  Romney’s second run for the presidency is easily his better effort.  His team has been extremely disciplined and the candidate has performed better than he ever has in the past.  With uncertainty clouding Perry’s campaign, Romney has once again emerged as the candidate who can claim both competency and electability.  However, a tougher challenge for Romney will be the possible entry of Gov. Chris Christie into the race.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has spent much of the past year denying any interest at all in running for president.  But in the past few weeks Christie’s calculations seemed to have shifted, as scores of GOP leaders and donors have pleaded with the governor to enter the race.  After a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, during which supporters openly begged him to toss his hat in the ring, Christie appears to have reconsidered his long-standing refusal to run.  Should Christie ultimately take the plunge, he will be greeted with a ready-made campaign and a donor rolodex that has been dormant for much of the campaign cycle.  It is easy to see how Christie could become the new frontrunner, however, Romney’s organization and Perry’s evangelical strength combined with an earlier primary calender will make the governor’s path more difficult than some realize.

Sarah Palin has sent several mixed signals lately about a potential run for president.  First, her PAC sent out an email to supports suggesting they gear up for a soon-to-be-announced campaign.  Then the former governor contradicted this notion on Fox News, once again questioning whether she needs ‘a title’ to make a difference.  Palin has also stated that her previous self-imposed deadline of September 30 no longer stands, and that she could take until the end of October to make a decision.  The question becomes how much longer will her supporters tolerate being strung along month to month?

Herman Cain was seemingly near the end of his campaign when he shocked the country with a huge upset win in the Florida P5 straw poll.  Gov. Rick Perry had set his site on the straw poll and committed resources to winning it, only to be blown out by a surging Cain.  Cain has also thrilled the base with his debating style and his catchy 9-9-9 plan.  Tea Partiers dissatisfied with the crashing campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann and the still stumbling Perry seem to be shifting heavily to the Hermanator.

Ron Paul has had another solid quarter of fundraising combined with mixed debate performances.  His followers are out in force and are keeping him within the top 3 or 4 in most polls, though room for growth for Paul is difficult to see.  Gov. Jon Huntsman closed up shop in Florida and moved his floundering campaign to New Hampshire where he will stay camped out for the next several weeks in the hopes of securing a McCain-like upset.  Rick Santorum, along with Mr. Cain, is beginning to pick off supporters of the collapsing Bachmann and the stalling Perry.  He has criticized the rest of the field more forcefully and effectively in the debates than the other contenders and may find an opening in Iowa. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich continues to dazzle in debates with little to show for it.  Aside from his debate performances, Gingrich’s campaign is a flop and is already in debt.  Rep. Thaddeus McCotter was apparently also running for president, but dropped out and endorsed Mitt Romney.  Gary Johnson finally got back into the debates, but likely for the last time now that the benchmarks for qualification will begin to be harder for him to reach.

On to the rankings:

  1. Mitt Romney
  2. Rick Perry
  3. Chris Christie
  4. Herman Cain
  5. Ron Paul
  6. Sarah Palin
  7. Rick Santorum
  8. Jon Huntsman
  9. Michele Bachmann
  10. Newt Gingrich

VP Watch: 1. Marco Rubio  2. Bob McDonnell  3. Rob Portman  4. Paul Ryan  5. Susana Martinez


September 29, 2011

Romney to Announce $11-13 Million For Q3

From the Boston Globe:

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is on pace to raise between $11 million and $13 million for the latest fund-raising quarter, a haul that would be much lower than the $18.2 million haul he brought in during the previous three months, according to a source familiar with the campaign’s finances.

Romney’s strong performance in a trio of recent debates had helped his fund-raising by motivating his existing supporters, but it was not enough to move some of the fence-sitters over to his camp, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the campaign has not publicly released its numbers yet…

Romney aides have predicted that his top campaign rival – Texas Governor Rick Perry – will raise more than he will, even though Perry has been in the race for only six weeks.

It’s difficult to compare with the 2007-08 race since this time around the campaign began so late. But in 2007, Romney raised $21, $14, and $10 million in the first three quarters of the year. In 2011 there are no Q1 figures, but Romney raised $18 and $13 million in Q2 and Q3, respectively.

The Globe also notes Ron Paul is expected to announce around $5 million, and Bachmann has said she will not announce anything until the reports are filed with the FEC on October 15. Based on previous reports, Perry is expected to announce raising somewhere between $10 and $20 million, and it is almost certain now that Perry will report more than Romney. The question now is: will it matter?

by @ 2:17 pm. Filed under Fundraising, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul

September 26, 2011

Poll Analysis: First Major Horserace Poll Post Debate

From CNN:

(Sep. 23-25) (Sep. 9-11) (Aug. 24-25) (Aug 5-7) (July 18-20)
Perry 28% 30% 30% 16% 15%
Romney 21% 18% 17% 19% 19%
Gingrich 10% 5% 6% 6% 4%
Cain 7% 5% 3% 4% 6%
Palin 7% 15% 12% 16% 15%
Paul 7% 12% 6% 12% 10%
Bachmann 4% 4% 10% 7% 12%
Santorum 3% 2% 1% 2% 2%
Huntsman 1% 2% 1% 5% 1%
Someone else 3% 2% 6% 6% 5%
None/ No one 4% 4% 6% 5% 9%
No opinion 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%

From 447 Adult Republicans MOE: +/- 4.5

From this poll, it would appear that Perry’s last debate performance was not the killer that everyone assumed. He only fell back two points. Romney only gained three points. That’s only a net gain for Romney of a measly five points. That is hardly earth shattering. Cain, the one that everyone has been buzzing about all weekend only gained two points and remains in mid-single digits.

Palin dropped more than half her support from the last poll. Paul dropped nearly as much. Huntsman is still down in the noise.

The best result has to be for Newt Gingrich who doubled his support to 10%. That is two and a half times the points pickup that Cain had.

The Turn-Around Kid?

As the presidential debate season continues, it is becoming clearer that Governor Rick Perry’s sudden rise in the polls after the Iowa Straw Poll has been a “bubble.” Once again, former Governor Mitt Romney seems about to take the lead in the polls, even as he already leads in many vital state polls. More importantly, he has seemed strong in the debate confrontations with Mr. Perry, and maintained the stage presence of someone in charge. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who herself enjoyed a brief “bubble” rise in the polls lading up to her win of the Iowa Straw Poll, has faded not only in public opinion surveys, but in the public policy arena as well. The departure of Ed Rollins from an active role in her campaign was an ominous sign.

The debates have also produced two other winners. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to be the most impressive GOP debater, producing some of the warmest and most positive responses from debate live audiences. His reputation as the brightest candidate has been reinforced, but his desire to be “the comeback kid of 2012? is hindered by earlier campaign mistakes, weak campaign funding, and a bias (unfounded) that he is either too old or a figure from the past. Herman Cain has injected a vivid personality into the debates, and his business experience has enabled him to make many cogent comments that do not have the usual “political” veneer. But Mr. Cain has a small campaign organization and little money to transform his positive debate persona into a major candidacy.

One more time, we hear rumors of former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska or current Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey entering the contest, but it is late in the game. It might be possible, as I have suggested, for Mr. Christie to become a force in the campaign, provided he had the campaign funds and the time to spend introducing himself to voters nationally, but time is running out as we approach the Iowa caucus early next year, and the end of the most important part of the debate season.

This leaves us with the perception that Mr. Romney is beginning to pull away for the nomination. Of course, until we have actual voter results in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida, any judgment remains speculative. But the fact remains that Mr. Romney has so far seemed to run an almost flawless early campaign. Even in 2008, when he was the runner-up to John McCain, Mr. Romney looked the part, but now in 2011, he more and more sounds the part. He has handled the challenges of Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry with self-confidence and aplomb. He is very well-funded, and so far is easily winning the contest of endorsements from Republican officials across the nation. His rivals, when they challenged him in the debates, have found him to be a quick and tough opponent.

So what are the Mr Romney’s real drawbacks at the stage of the nominating campaign? They appear to be the same drawbacks that plagued him in 2008, and at the outset of the 2012 campaign. His seemingly more moderate record as governor of Massachusetts has not excited the increasingly conservative (and Tea Party) Republican base. But that base produced the Bachmann and Perry “bubbles,” and most Republicans of all political stripes seem to place the highest priority in defeating President Obama’s re-election. Mr. Romney’s Mormon religion has often been cited as a political problem, especially in the South, but again, most conservatives are unlikely to vote for Mr. Obama over Mr. Romney. Then there is danger that if Mr. Romney were nominated, a third party conservative would run and dilute his vote. The dilution, in that case, might happen, but the result would be the re-election of Barack Obama, a result few if any conservatives want. Finally, some consider Mr. Romney’s long business experience to be primarily limited to “turnaround ” situations, and not to the general management of government.

This latter criticism could be, however, Mr. Romney’ greatest strength. As the United States economy continue to sink, as unemployment remains high and chronic, as American power and influence continues to wane around the world, it might seem that a “turn-around” expert is just what the country needs.

In January, 1992, Governor Bill Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination seemed stalled. He had been the frontrunner, but many in his party thought he had too many political drawbacks to successfully challenge incumbent President George H.W. Bush. After the New Hampshire primary, however, Mr. Clinton asserted he was the “comeback kid,” and the rest in history.

If indeed Mr. Romney holds off the challenge of Mr. Perry, after doing the same to Mrs. Bachmann’s challenge, he would have made his own comeback. Much would take place between then and election day, and anything can happen, but as matters are going now, there may be a powerful appeal that could be made for a leader in 2012 who would turn America’s problems around.


-Please visit Mr. Casselman’s personal site, The Prairie Editor Blog.

September 25, 2011

Herman Cain’s Moment

The results from Presidency 5 have shocked the political world. Businessman Herman Cain, who was once thought to be on the verge of dropping out of the race, roared back to life with his victory in Orlando. This win will help propel Cain back into the Republican consciousness. And it couldn’t come at a better time for him.

Rick Perry’s recent troubles have been discussed long and often here so I won’t go into them again but suffice to say, it’s been a rough time for the Texas Governor. Conservatives have started to feel that Perry that he’s not the White Knight that they wanted. However, the other candidate thought to be challenging Perry for the right, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, has seen her campaign collapse. Ever since Perry jumped into the race, Bachmann has struggled to regain her momentum. Her flop over the vaccine issue, her lackluster debate performances and her last place showing at the Presidency 5 Straw Poll all appear to show a campaign that is nearing the end of the line.

Which brings us back to Herman Cain. The defeat of Perry and the collapse of Bachmann are creating an opening on the right of the GOP. Conservative unease with Perry and Bachmann is causing many conservative and Tea Party Republicans to look for an alternative. Cain’s oratorical skills, his 9-9-9 plan, and even his lack of a record to attack are making him an appealing choice for many Republicans. To those who dismiss the thought of Cain making an impact in the race, remember that the GOP does have a spot in its heart for non-elected outsiders, and they can become serious, strong contenders (see Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes).

As we wait to see if the last two undecided holdouts of Christie and Palin to make their choice, there is a festering unease on the right. Dissatisfaction with Perry, distrust of Romney, and Bachmann’s fading effort have left an opening for one of the lower-tier candidates to step up and become the anti-Perry, anti-Romney candidate. And if he seizes the opportunity that Florida has provided him, it might be Herman Cain.

Romney Takes Michigan Straw Poll

The Michigan GOP held it’s Mackinac Island conference this weekend. While there, they held a quick straw poll. 681 votes were cast. Here are the results:

  • Romney — 51
  • Perry — 17
  • Cain — 9
  • Paul — 8
  • Bachmann — 4
  • Gingrich — 4
  • Santorum — 3
  • Huntsman — 2

The only real surprise for me here is the poor showing of fellow mid-westerner Michele Bachman. You would think that she would have broken five percent at least.

Both Romney and Perry worked the conference. They each addressed the crowd last night. Romney, as usual, focused his energy on defeating Obama and denounced the President’s leadership. Perry, as befitting one who is no longer the frontrunner, took subtle digs at Romney during his remarks.

One anecdote from the conference as reported in the National Journal:

Romney seized home field advantage in his remarks Saturday night. He charmed the crowd with inside references to Michigan (“I like people who, when you ask them where you’re from, they hold up their hand”) and an endearing moment with his wife, Ann. As the Romneys stood side by side during Mrs. Romney’s brief remarks, members of the audience began tapping their wine glasses with silverware, a wedding tradition that calls for a kiss from the bride and groom.

Romney at first looked puzzled then said, “Oh!” – and gave his wife a quick kiss.

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