7 Takeaways from Iowa – What the Results in Iowa Really Mean

1) History In the Making – With a victory in Iowa, Romney now stands to do what no non-incumbent Republican has ever done, win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Furthermore, Romney also stands to make history by being a nominee with by far the most business background of any previous nominee. If you have ever wanted to put a businessman in the White House, this is your chance. 

2) Romney Shows His Support is Strong Even in His “Weak” States - A few weeks ago, the general consensus among the political experts was that Romney would perform poorly in Iowa. Experts predicted that Romney would most likely get third place. Yet Romney didn’t just beat expectations, he won first place. I think it is remarkable that Romney won a state that he was never projected to do well in and didn’t even really compete in until the last few weeks of the race. Keep in mind that Rick Santorum practically lived in Iowa for the last year so he had plenty of time to build up his support. It was only when Romney noticed his numbers were surging and saw an opportunity that he decided to compete. A win “by a nose” is still a win, and it is much better than he was expected to do just a few weeks ago.

3) Exit polls from Iowa show that voters who believe the economy is the most important issue voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney. Also, voters who put a high premium on electability and being able to beat Obama also voted overwhelmingly for Romney.

4) Santorum’s near-victory in Iowa has breathed new life into his campaign - Candidates who do better than expected win more media attention, so that will help Santorum in the near future. The next step for Santorum is to try to rally the “non-Romney” factions of the Republican party, but many risks to his candidacy exist. Remember, Santorum is a totally unvetted national candidate. Until now, Santorum has not had to face the harsh scrutiny on his record and past statements that comes with being in the top tier. Already, revelations about his fondness for government spending through earmarks and other issues threaten to undermine his new-found support. Only time will tell if Santorum can defy the odds and keep his momentum going. (Personally, if history has taught us any lesson this year, I think Santorum is just another “bubble candidate” who happened to peak at just the right time but will eventually deflate under the glare of the spotlight and scrutiny of his record. But hey, I’m biased.)

5) “Old Newt” is Back – Newt Gingrich, after being way ahead in the polls just a few weeks ago, was disappointed by his poor showing in Iowa and therefore quickly returned to his old mannerisms by giving a concession speech that one CNN host called “one of the most ungracious moments in politics.” Rather than give the typical concession speech that is upbeat, positive, and congratulates the victors, Newt spent his speech criticizing Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Ari Fleischer of CNN said of the speech, “I have never heard an attack concession speech before . . . So Newt is throwing the gloves on the ice.” Newt has lost his momentum and is now taking things personally and resorting to being vindictive, angry, and destructive. As one writer from Reuters put it, Newt now seems to have allied with Obama by making it his primary goal to destroy Mitt Romney. 

6) Rick Perry is Essentially Finished – Anytime a candidate says in a concession speech that he is going to “reasses his campaign” as Perry did last night, your campaign is effectively over. After Herman Cain said the same thing, his numbers never stopped falling. People are not going to commit to a candidate who is unsure of whether or not he should stay in the race. 

7) The reputation of the Ames Straw Poll is ruined – Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last year but came in last place among her competitors in the state. The Straw Poll is supposed to allow candidates to show how well they will do in Iowa by having a mock vote several months before the actual vote. The Straw Poll is a huge fundraiser for the Iowa GOP as it costs the candidates millions of dollars to compete in the straw poll. However, after Ms. Bachmann, it’s reputation and effectiveness is now severely tarnished.

What do you think the Iowa Caucuses taught us? What do you feel like the narrative in the media is/should be after Iowa?

Major League Politics — To “The Show”

Governor Mitt Romney

I love this photograph! Has Mr. Gingrich ever looked that good? And the fact that Governor Romney is brighter makes it all the better.

I’m looking for your thoughts (in comments) to this question: In the history of the United States, has there ever been a Republican candidate, running for POTUS for his first term, to ever win both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary? If so, who are they? [I don't know]. I don’t think any Republican President ever won these first two states in his first election for President. If true, what kind of news would it be if GMR wins New Hampshire next Tuesday? I think that news should be HUGE! I bet the MSM gives it little coverage, if any.

Two days ago I stated, “The more [candidates] that attend the South Carolina barbeques, the better for Romney in my opinion. Romney will continue to rack up the endorsements to the detriment of all the others and they will all fight for the crumbs that fall from the Romney table. I say, go for it.”

Politico’s Martin reports yesterday much of the same, though some are saying the race may be near conclusion. This statement feels like the reporting of a Russian chess match!:

Because of the divided nature of the opposition and Romney’s organizational and financial advantages, GOP elites made the case Wednesday that there was no clear way he could be stopped.

Check mate?…No. Check?…No. And there certainly is no gloating warranted — ever. In fact, Governor Romney’s continued humility as he works hard to secure the support of conservative icons is most impressive — indeed. But to that quote above from Politico, does it get much better than that after one caucus win from a tiny state like Iowa? I don’t think so.

What excites me the most though is that I know for sure Governor Romney will never take anything for granted and his work ethic and integrity will never allow him to let up until he has secured all 1,150 delegates. The 2007-2008 “college try” schooled all of us in this important political journey.

The article continues,

A veteran House Republican who is ostensibly neutral said: “I sort of think it’s over, right?”

“South Carolina and Florida are the nails in the coffin, which is why the right is so mad — they see it coming but the dominoes are falling just right for Mitt as they did for [John] McCain,” said the House member. “The party establishment does not want this intra-warfare much longer so we can focus on just Obama rather than the oddballs on the stage that can’t even remember the DOE or EPA.”

Indeed, Perry’s move was akin to dumping a bucket of cold water on Santorum, who won a significant moral victory in losing to Romney by just eight votes in Iowa and has already raised $1 million since last night.

In announcing that he was going forward with his campaign and heading to South Carolina, Perry ensured that the crucial primary there later this month would feature a third conservative vying to be the Romney alternative — fracturing the vote of the party base.

The entire article shows how nasty big league politics can be. The article describes a planned meeting in Texas in which conspirators would “take down Romney” and the response of Gary Bauer (“a high-profile Christian conservative”) to that possibility:

Bauer said he’d withdraw from participating if it was intended to plot against the former Massachusetts governor.

(emphasis added)

Nice, huh? This is not the bush leagues folks. We are in the majors now — the playoffs heading to the World Series, but with far more serious implications for this nation and the world. Governor Romney will never let up.

Indeed, the race is far from over.

Was President Reagan thinking of Newt Gingrich here?:

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book. — Ronald Reagan

Governor Mitt Romney: “Going 2 and O” — Integrity Matters

As a serious amateur photographer, I love this image below. Every photo tells a story. This photograph was made last night in Iowa prior to the Edith and Carolyn moment on CNN and when Santorum was still showing at number one — does it get any better than this? By the way, CNN blew the socks off FOX for professional coverage last night; FOX failed.

A note to Michele Bachmann: You fought a great fight and in my opinion, your work ethic and determination were second to none and certainly as impressive as Santorum’s. He edged you out by getting all the preachers to tell their members to support him. We welcome all your supporters here with big hugs. And congratulations to Senator Santorum!

Stars

Three days ago, Greg Stapley posted this editorial on MRC. Greg is a friend; he is a businessman from Orange County, California and he wrote the following, new guest post while on vacation today (writing about GMR is cathartic!):

To get to the White House, you have to win twice.

There’s an old saying in presidential politics. It holds that in order to win the party’s nomination, candidates must “run to the right” in the primaries (or to the left if you’re a Dem). But to then win the general, the candidate must make a self-contorting and often-implausible leap “to the center.”

It’s a tacit acknowledgment of the power of moderates, independents and other swing voters in determining the winner of the ultimate prize: the Presidency.

It’s also a fundamentally dishonest tactic, but one that many jaded voters on both sides seem to accept. The end justifies the means, they reason.

The Left has just re-learned it the hard way. Sure, in the last election a lot of the then-newly-invigorated liberal base took Savior Obama at his word when he said he’d do things like close Guantánamo and end waterboarding.
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Romney: “Bachmann Tenacity & Leadership Inspires Millions”

Upon learning of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s decision to suspend her presidential bid today, Governor Mitt Romney issued the following statement:

“Ann and I salute Congresswoman Bachmann. She ran a campaign to advance the principles of limited government that I hold dear. Michele is a friend and a strong competitor. Her tenacity on the campaign trail and her fierce intelligence in the debates have left me no doubt that, as advertised, she does indeed have a titanium spine. Michele inspires millions of Americans by the way she has lived her life, raised her family and served her country. With leaders of her caliber coming up the ranks, the future of the Republican Party – and the future of the country – is bright.”

Bachmann’s heartfelt statement:

“Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside.” ~ Michele Bachmann

Congresswoman Bachmann’s work promoting Tea Party principles of smaller government and less taxation on Capitol Hill has been inspiring. She and Governor Romney share those views. I also appreciate the preparation, passion, and communication skills she exhibited during the debates. I have no doubt she will continue to be an important, fervent voice for the conservative cause.

Thank you Congresswoman, for your contribution to the GOP nominating process and your commitment to constitutional principles. We invite Congresswoman Bachmann’s supporters to join Governor Romney’s quest to unseat Barack Obama and restore America.

Convey well wishes to Congressman Bachmann here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Fan Created Romney Ad: Restore America

I always like to see supporters of Mitt Romney be creative and produce their own art, songs, and videos. The following video is an especially good one created by Darin Southam. It has many good clips that show a clear contrast between Obama and Romney, and it is set well to music. After watching it you’re gonna be pumped to help Mitt in anyway you can, so click here to make those calls to Iowa today.

Watch Mitt on Morning Joe and on Hannity below the fold. (more…)

Gingrich: From Headlines to a Footnote – Breaking News: Newt Announces he Will not Win Iowa + IOWA ANALYSIS

[To view my guesstimate as to tomorrow’s finish, click on the blue link below labeled CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING…]

Somebody in his campaign today must have mustered the courage to finally take Mr. Gingrich aside and tell him about this little website called Intrade (I believe that person still works for the campaign). Intrade has him winning Iowa at a probability of 0.9% today (margin of error?). And to be the Republican nominee? His “fall from grace” from almost 39.0% on December 13th to 5.4% today. So, Mr. Gingrich felt compelled today to inform the world he will not win Iowa. Thank you so much Newt for letting us know ahead of time! Good to know from you directly.

I am right!

Was it Newt’s Howard Dean moment here? Or was it all the news from around America revealing his carry-ons as we reported here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here? I think it comes down to his character and integrity issues. Pure and simple. And his inability and unwillingness to answer even the basics of his past and decisions. Stunning on his part.

I have to opine on the nonsense I hear from the MSM and others. First, GMR is not – I repeat – IS NOT capped at 25%! Enough of this. Any simpleton can see 25% is a floor! See how the perspective changes? But more importantly, this is the truth; not what they are reporting. Six other candidates make up 75% at an average of 12.5% each. Watch what happens to GMR’s floor when each candidate drops.

Second, FOX seems to be rooting for anybody but GMR. I think that is true, but so are all the other MSM outlets. Why is that?
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Iowa Voting Tomorrow: A Chance To Make History

The Republican race for president continues to be full of surprises. We now have confirmed that “this is the most volatile Republican nomination contest since pollsters first started tracking front-runners decades ago, a top polling firm says. The Republican front-runner has changed seven times since May, according to a Gallup report Monday.” 

But through it all, Romney is the only candidate to stay at or near the top the entire year. We have seen all the other candidates surge and fall in spectacular fashion. As one writer said “Mitt don’t need no surges.” 

Now, there is a virtual three-way tie that has emerged in Iowa with just one day left until voting. The race has come down to Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum where Santorum appears to be the new “flavor of the month” due to increasing poll numbers in the last week. 

If Mitt Romney can win the Iowa Caucuses, and then go on to win New Hampshire where he is widely expected to win, Romney will  make history by being the first Republican candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Furthermore, not only will Romney make history as the first Republican to win both states, but he will also make history by being the first candidate to be nominated who has been a businessman the majority of his life and not a career politician

Back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would almost guarantee Romney getting the Republican nomination and taking on Obama in the fall. Two quick victories would also nullify the claim that Romney is a “weak” frontrunner.

Democrats, in an attempt to slow down Mr. Romney’s momentum, descended on Iowa on Sunday night to set up an anti-Romney war room at a hotel in downtown Des Moines. There, they introduced a worker laid off in the early 1990s when his Indiana employer was bought by Mr. Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital. The fact that Democrats continue to single out Romney in their attacks goes to illustrate that Democrats most fear Romney in a general election against Obama.

With all eyes on Iowa, lets hope that Iowans do the right thing and make history tomorrow. Otherwise, Chris Christie has a message for Iowa saying:

“I want to tell you something really clearly. I’m in a good mood this morning. I’m feeling happy and upbeat. I love being with Mitt and Anne.

But let me tell you: you people disappoint me on Tuesday, you don’t do what you’re supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney, I will be back — Jersey style, people.

I will be back.“ 

And we certainly wouldn’t want that.

~Addendum from Ross
Watch some of Mitt’s grassroots rally in Davenport, Iowa below the fold. (more…)

New Hampshire Endorsements for Romney Keep Rollin’ In

Aug 24, 2011 - After listening to Mitt Romney speak at a town hall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire, retiree Lucie Opwal was so inspired she felt a smooch was in order.
(Photo/AP/Jim Cole)

Seven days after Iowa, the New Hampshire primary rushes in. The latest and greatest from The Granite State is… 15 more endorsements for Governor Romney:

Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today announced the support of 15 additional New Hampshire State Representatives. With today’s endorsements, Governor Romney now has the support of 73 New Hampshire State Representatives, 9 State Senators, 4 out of 5 Executive Councilors and 8 out of 10 Sheriffs.

“These endorsements are another indication of the building excitement and momentum for our campaign in the final days before the primary,” said Mitt Romney. “I am honored to have earned the support of these fiscally responsible New Hampshire legislators and look forward to campaigning with them across New Hampshire.”

Governor Romney is clearly the strongest and most qualified person to lead our party in 2012. He understands that Washington needs to live within its means by reining in reckless government spending,” said State Representative Herb Richardson (R-Lancaster). “He is the only candidate running a traditional grassroots campaign and taking the time to visit voters in every part of the state – including my hometown of Lancaster. He is earning every vote and putting in the hard work and effort that Granite Staters expect from presidential candidates.”

(emphasis added)

New Hampshire State Representatives Endorsing Governor Romney:

State Representative Mike McCarthy (R-Nashua)
State Representative Jon Richardson (R-Allenstown)
State Representative Robert Luther (R-Laconia)
State Representative Bob Haefner (R-Hudson)
State Representative David Lundgren (R-Londonderry)
State Representative Patrick Abrami (R-Stratham)
State Representative Glenn Ritter (R-Kensington)
State Representative Karen Hutchinson (R-Londonderry)
State Representative Bill Belvin (R-Amherst)
State Representative David Palfrey (R-Franklin)
State Representative Amy Perkins (R-Seabrook)
State Representative Gail Barry (R-Manchester)
State Representative Dennis Fields (R-Sanbornton)
State Representative Herb Richardson (R-Lancaster)
State Representative Harry Merrow (R-Ossipee)

Last week, four of the five Romney sons campaigned in New Hampshire for their Dad. From left: Tagg, Craig, Josh, Matt



► Jayde Wyatt


Gingrich’s “Repentance” would be Dismissed by Obama Team in Favor of Hypocrisy Angle

Mr. Gingrich is absolutely beside himself these days. You can just see it in his face and eyes in every TV interview. I predicted a couple of days ago that he will fall back into character before the caucuses tomorrow and lose his temper. I think it is right at the surface.

Seething


One would think that his scoring the endorsement of the founder and chairman of The American Family Association, the Reverend Donald Wildmon, would find Gingrich ecstatic! Come on! Rick Santorum did not get that endorsement. And obviously Wildmon did not think of the obvious example of family values: Governor Romney (and we are to believe that?). Mr. Gingrich should be shouting this endorsement from the rooftops, right? Why is he not?

Following is a guest editorial by Greg Stapley, a business executive from Orange County, California. This piece is outstanding as he argues why Gingrich’s past should trouble all conservatives, not just Christians:

In an interview with Newsmax that was reported on Friday, the Rev. Donald E. Wildmon urged Christian voters in Iowa to vote for Newt Gingrich. His rationale for this urgent plea? Wildmon said that other candidates in the race, including Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann, are all “good people,” but a vote for any of them will “divide the conservative vote” and ensure Mitt Romney’s victory.

Wildmon, scion of the American Family Association and other conservative organizations, has been on the political scene since the early 1960’s, fighting for traditional values. He carries some well-earned weight with traditionalists. This time, however, he has tossed out a real head-scratcher.

In a surprising leap of both logic and faith, Wildmon asserted that Gingrich “is the only candidate who can wrest the White House back from President Barack Obama.” He said this while simultaneously dismissing Newt’s much-publicized personal and marital issues.

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BIG Romney Endorsement from Independence Hall Tea Party PAC

The patriotic Independence Hall Tea Party, who on Aug 28, 2010, sent 28 bulging buses to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally in Washington D.C., has announced they are BACKING MITT ROMNEY.

And, what an endorsement it is!

Independence Hall Tea Party PAC Becomes First Tea Party To Endorse Mitt Romney; Predicts Romney Will Become 45th President of the United States

Philadelphia, PA (January 2, 2012) — The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, a tri-state (DE, NJ, PA) regional group, announced today that its 27-member Board of Delegates has voted overwhelmingly to endorse Mitt Romney for President.

The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC is the first Tea Party group in the nation to formally endorse Mitt Romney.

“Over the past several weeks, a consensus has been building among our Board of Delegates that Mr. Romney is the most electable Republican candidate,” said PAC President, Don Adams. “We, as a Tea Party PAC, have set winning the White House as our number one priority in 2012. We believe Mr. Romney is the one candidate who can win the Republican nomination and defeat President Barack Obama in November.

“Mr. Romney is the only Republican candidate who has consistently polled even or ahead of President Obama in national surveys. He puts a number of 2008 blue states in play, including Michigan and New Hampshire. He also appeals to large numbers of independent voters.”

Mr. Romney, a devoted family man, is an incredibly talented, well-rounded individual with in-depth knowledge and experience in both the private and public sectors of the economy,” said PAC New Jersey Vice President, Bill Green. “Ultimately, we believe Mr. Romney is a man of principle who, once elected, will lead our nation back to prosperity.”

PAC Delaware Vice President, Kevin Street, said, “His vision of a strong America, one built on the foundations of free enterprise and meritocracy, is most compatible with the principles of the Tea Party movement.

“Mr. Romney has stated time and again that he believes in a limited role for the Federal government–emphasizing that the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution delineates between the powers of the national government and that of the states.”

“Mr. Romney will pursue a policy of energy independence, lower taxes, and less government spending. He has promised to secure our borders and redirect our foreign policy,” added PAC Pennsylvania Vice President, Sean Carpenter. “Under his presidency, the United States will no longer prostrate itself before other nations. We believe in a strong America–an America that is respected for its economic vibrancy, its military strength, and its constitutional values.”

PAC Co-Founder, Teri Adams, said, “We realize that a number of fellow Tea Partiers are not yet where we are in supporting Mitt Romney for President–and we respect their varied positions.

However, we felt compelled to make an endorsement in light of a counter-productive effort to stop Mitt Romney among some disparate elements on the right–often based on a religious intolerance of Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith.

“We also think the notion that the Tea Party will support a 3rd party candidate after Mitt Romney becomes the Republican nominee, a notion most often advanced by the mainstream media, must be discredited,” Ms. Adams said.

It discounts the good sense of millions of Tea Party folks nationwide who have come to realize, or will eventually realize, that the only way to defeat President Obama, whose policies are an anathema to conservatism and the Tea Party Movement, is to rally around his strongest opponent–Mitt Romney–the man who, we believe, will become the next president of the United States.”

(emphasis added) Note: No other group sent more attendees to Beck’s rally.

THANK YOU, Independence Hall Tea Party PAC! This is a great lead-in to the Iowa caucuses tomorrow.

FYI: CNN is now tracking the # of tweets for each GOP candidate (include word ‘Romney’) and reporting results on a large interactive map throughout their IA caucus coverage. Also, polling shows 41% of Iowans are still undecided. Let’s spread this Tea Party endorsement, plus all positive Romney news, throughout Twitterverse, FB, email, comments on articles, and any other way you can think of. Go Mitt! Go Mittheads!

We all know Romney is ‘Mr. Fix-It’. Here’s further proof from (Housewife Info Junkie blog):
Today, in Iowa, the air vents needed repair on the Romney campaign bus. Mitt found the duct tape and fixed it.

Let’s get this guy in the White House!

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