Miss the Iowa GOP Debate? Watch Entire Debate Here

Thanks Ross for finding these. The entire debate is split into 8 parts, all embedded below.

PART 1 of 8

..more after the fold…
Click here to continue reading

Who Won the Fox News Ames, Iowa GOP Debate?

Fox News is already reporting that Romney may have increased his front-runner status after this debate. US News has proclaimed Mitt the winner and the sometimes hostile Hot Air is reporting that Mitt did the best as well.

The eight leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination met last night for a debate that largely produced two winners and reports usually list Mitt and a different candidate. I think Mitt’s impressive performance earlier in the day carried over into the debate a bit. No one wanted to go after Mitt too tough after seeing the way Mitt handled it earlier.

If this report wasn’t enough to show who Team Obama fears, just look at what David Axelrod was up to last night. Their attacks tell us all we need to know. Hey, it looks like we agree with Team Obama on something… Mitt won the debate ;)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UPDATEMittRomney.com has some commentary on the debate.

Time Magazine grades the debate

Finally, make sure to check out some more reaction to the debate here and here.

Mitt Romney Central: Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa

Chat party for Romney supporters!

Best of luck to Governor Romney tonight! (Debate is live on FOX News at 9PM ET.)

(Thanks to the many people who joined the chat for an enjoyable debate. The chatbox has been returned to the sidebar, or you can view it full page in the chatroom.)

One of the best moments of the debate

Some Predictions and an Opportunity to Make Your Voice Heard

Romney Wins Ames 2007

Romney Wins Ames 2007

Gov. Romney is taking part in at least three events in Iowa today leading up to the Fox News/Iowa GOP debate tomorrow. Mitt is attending a house party hosted by Nick Van Patten and Tommy and Jessica Ghrist in Des Moines. He is also hosting a business roundtable at Vermeer Corporation at 1210 East Vermeer Road, Pella, Iowa at noon, and Mitt is speaking at a Polk County Republicans Fundraiser at 6020 SW McKinley Ave., Des Moines, Iowa at 5:30 tonight. Tomorrow, Mitt will stop in at the Iowa State Fair before attending a nationally televised debate at the campus of Iowa State University.

However, Mitt will be in New Hampshire on Saturday during the Ames straw poll which is consistent with his pledge not to compete in any straw polls. He is focusing all of his resources on highlighting the failures of President Obama and not on fighting fellow republicans. Knowing that no resources have been devoted to the Ames straw poll and that the Ames straw poll is widely recognized as being a fundraiser for the Iowa GOP (Mitt’s F&SA PAC and campaigns have donated generously to the Iowa GOP the last several years) in which the most amount of money/organization almost always wins the day, here are my predictions for the Ames straw poll:

1. Bachmann (My guess is undecideds will break her way to try to make sure Ron Paul doesn’t win)
2. Paul (his supporters have literally been organizing for this for years and a lot of resources are being devoted)
3. Pawlenty (Easily spending the most amount of money, but the enthusiasm gap should put Paul and Bachmann over the top)
4. Santorum (nobody has done more events in Iowa this year)
5. Cain (Usually does spectacular in straw polls he speaks at, but lack of resources and manpower will hurt him)
6. Perry (will be penalized for upstaging the poll by his announcement of intentions in South Carolina during the Ames poll)
7. Romney (7th is perhaps a bit optimistic all things considered, but his debate performance and 2008 campaign should help a bit. Not paying for any supporters tickets will hurt a ton.)
8. Gingrich (will this be the final nail in his campaign coffin?)
9. Palin (write in ballots only)
10. Johnson (maybe the end of his campaign as well)
11. McCotter (not in the debate)
12. Roemer
13. Huntsman (has completely written off Iowa and has virtually no base in Iowa)
14. others

Who will win Thursday’s debate (based on media and social network buzz)?

1. Romney
2. Bachmann
3. Pawlenty
4. Paul

What will Rick Perry Announce on Saturday?
That he’s running for President

Who will drop out within a week or two of the Ames straw poll?

Herman Cain and Gary Johnson

Out of everyone who hasn’t announced yet, who actually will?

Rick Perry only

Make your predictions about this or anything else you can think of in the comment section. Hopefully we get enough comments to put together results before the end of the debate tomorrow. Stop by during the debate (8 PM EST- 10) for a live chat tomorrow.

UPDATE Sarah Palin is reportedly bringing her bus tour to Ames in time for the straw poll. How much will that affect her straw poll results?

Watch an impressive new video showcasing how President Obama has failed America below the fold Click here to continue reading

PPP: GOP’s Best Bet to Defeat Obama is Mitt Romney

Public Policy Polling asks “Does the GOP need Romney to win?”

PPP research in Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, Michigan, and North Carolina reveals the answer…

A broad theme has been emerging in our state by state Presidential polling over the last couple months: if the Republicans nominate Mitt Romney it’s a toss up. And if they nominate anyone else it’s 2008 all over again. Our newest Nevada numbers very much reinforce that trend.

Barack Obama took the Silver State by 12 points in his first run. But if he had to stand for reelection today he’d be in a very competitive race against Romney, leading only 47-46 in the state. Pit him against any of the other Republicans there though and the numbers look pretty similar to last time- 9 point advantages over Herman Cain and Rick Perry at 48-39 and 49-40 respectively, a 10 point lead over Michele Bachmann at 50-40, and a 12 point advantage over Sarah Palin at 51-39.

Over the last month we’ve had similar findings in:

Pennsylvania, where Obama is tied with Romney but leads all other Republicans by at least 7 points.

New Hampshire, where Romney leads Obama by 2 points but all other Republicans trails Obama by at least 7.

Virginia, where Obama leads Romney by 4 but has at least a 9 point advantage over all the rest of the GOP hopefuls.

Michigan, where Obama has a 5 point advantage over Romney but at least a 15 point lead over everyone else.

North Carolina, where the disparity between Romney and the rest of the Republicans isn’t quite as great. Obama and Romney are tied while Obama leads all the others by at least 3 points.

Taken all together it makes you ask the question: do Republicans have to nominate Romney to defeat Obama next year?
Obama’s holding his ground against everyone but Romney in Nevada because voters there find the whole GOP field even more unpalatable than him. Romney comes close to breaking even on favorability at 38/43 but the rest of the Republicans are quite unpopular- a -9 spread for Cain at 24/33, a -12 for Perry at 24/36, a -21 for Bachmann at 30/51, and a -28 for Palin at 32/60.

(emphasis added)

Read complete details here.

Considering ALL the media exposure Obama receives and that Romney, as the presumptive front runner, is taking hits from all sides, and that The Gov is just now shifting his presidential campaign into higher gear, our man Mitt is doing pretty darn well against our bully pulpit President.

H/t Lori
► Jayde Wyatt

Money & Social Media: Romney Campaign Leads

OhMyGov! is a website that monitors the interconnection between media mentions and social media activity. Their analysis reveals that the Romney campaign is the most financially supported and in the best social media position at this point in the 2012 GOP presidential race:

Romney Leads GOP Race for Money and Social Media

First, as always, we concentrate on the money. According to his Federal Election Committee quarterly report for the period March – June 2011, the former Massachusetts Governor has over $18.3 million in donations to his credit. That puts him second only to President Obama in terms of money raised, and far ahead of the rest of the GOP field. Just for some perspective, Romney raised nearly half (46%) of all the money donated to major Republican candidates in the last quarter. No other candidate raised more than $4.5 million, putting Romney in an enviable financial position.

[…] According to OhMyGov, Romney accounts for nearly 45% of the Facebook audience for Republican candidates, and ranks highly on Twitter as well.

With more than a million Facebook fans, Romney is in a class by himself in the GOP field. The second most popular Facebook candidate is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has almost 620,000 fewer fans than Romney. […]

It is not only the size of Romney’s share of the Facebook pie that is impressive, but the rate at which he’s picked up followers. During the 2nd quarter of 2011, Romney gained Facebook fans at an intimidating rate (188,000+), far ahead of rivals Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Hunstman. […]

Surprised at who has the most Twitter followers?

So what can we glean from these numbers? Are Tea Party favorites like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann hot on the heels of establishment pick Mitt Romney? No, they probably aren’t. What one can begin to assume from these numbers however is that while some may go to Twitter for quick blurbs and sound-bites from entertaining characters (do you really think all of Sarah Palin’s followers actually like Sarah Palin?), they go to Facebook for news and updates on people they are legitimately interested in or support. Mitt Romney’s relative Facebook popularity is matched only by his undeniable financial support, a combination most candidates would take over 10,000 new Twitter followers any day.

(emphasis, italics added)

For further details, click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Race for the White House: Which Way to the Romney Campaign?

stampede: noun – A mass movement of people at a common impulse…

Today we enjoy the creativity of fellow Romney supporter Mike Sage as he artistically illustrates the meaning of stampede:

Mike is the resident genius at AmericaNeedsMitt.com:

Mitt Romney 2012.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Polls First in Quinnipiac, Public Policy Polling, Sunshine State News, Reuters

Yes, it’s early, the GOP presidential race hasn’t cemented yet, but we still like to keep tabs on public sentiment. Here’s the sweet poll picture for Governor Romney today…

Quinnipiac July 13, 2011:

Gov. Mitt Romney remains ahead of the GOP presidential pack as U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has zoomed into second place,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “With almost a dozen candidates and most of them not very well known, even to GOP activists, Gov. Romney’s lead remains. Gov. Rick Perry, who is still a maybe candidate, breaks into double-digits and runs fourth, an indication that he could be a serious contender should he run.”

“The question about Rep. Bachmann is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power? Perhaps more than any of the other GOP contenders, Bachmann’s fortunes may depend on whether Governors Palin or Perry get into the race. All three of them are likely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party constituency.”

Preferences of those polled:

Mitt Romney – 25 %
Michele Bachmann – 14%
Sarah Palin – 12 %
Rick Perry – 10 %
Herman Cain – 6 %
Ron Paul – 5 %
Newt Gingrich – 5 %
Tim Pawlenty – 3 %

At 1% or less:
Rick Santorum
Jon Huntsman
Thaddeus McCotter

Independents prefer Romney over Obama by 42% to 40.

Public Policy Polling (Utah) July 13, 2011:

From PPP blog

It’s a good thing for Jon Huntsman that his home state of Utah isn’t a terribly important one to the Republican Presidential nomination process. A plurality of GOP primary voters there have an unfavorable opinion of him and he gets absolutely crushed by Mitt Romney in the state.
Asked to choose directly between Romney and Huntsman 82% of respondents pick Romney to only 14% who side with Huntsman. […] He’s the Republican candidate that Democrats love and filling that niche won’t win you a lot of primaries.

Mitt Romney – 63%
Jon Huntsman – 10%
Michele Bachman – 6%
Sarah Palin – 5%
Herman Cai – 4%
Rick Perry – 4%
Ron Paul – 4%
Newt Gingrich – 3%
Tim Pawlenty – 1%

Sunshine State News Poll (Florida) July 12, 2011:

Mitt Romney Ahead of President Obama

A Sunshine State News Poll released Tuesday shows Mr. Romney leading President Obama in Florida, the first poll to show Mr. Obama trailing the former Massachusetts Republican.

According to the latest poll, Mr. Romney leads Mr. Obama 46 percent to 42 percent. The poll comes less than one week after a jobs report shows that nation’s unemployment rate rising to 9.2 percent.

The survey of 1,000 likely Florida voters shows 54 percent disapprove of President Obama, while 38 percent approve. That result tracks with Florida voters’ sour view of the economy, with 56 percent saying it has worsened in the past year.

The poll finds Mr. Romney winning among Republicans 74 to 14 percent, while Democrats are supporting Mr. Obama 71 to 20 percent. Mr. Romney leads among independent voters with 42 to 38 percent support.

UPDATE from Reuters July 13, 2011:

Republican Mitt Romney easily leads rival Michele Bachmann in a head-to-head matchup of the two top declared candidates for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has a 40 percent to 23 percent lead over Bachmann among Republicans and independents. Among independents only, Romney’s lead was 10 percentage points.

For further details on all polls, click on TITLE links.

(emphasis added to all quoted articles)

► Jayde Wyatt

Sen Jim DeMint: Romney’s Religion Non-Issue, Disappointed in Bachmann

The sticker on Senator Jim DeMint's lapel and the expression on his face reveals his support for Mitt Romney. (2008)

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a man who could rightfully be dubbed The Tea Party Senator, issued solid words of wisdom yesterday…

Mitt Romney’s religion is ‘not an issue’:

The Hill

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) Mormon faith won’t be an issue for him in the Republican presidential primary, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) argued Wednesday.

DeMint, the conservative icon who endorsed Romney in 2008 but hasn’t decided whether to do so again in 2012, said that Romney’s religion might not be the hindrance it has been traditionally considered to be.

“The religion is not an issue,” DeMint said on MSNBC. “[…] I think what Americans are looking for right now is a person with principle, but courage.”
As for DeMint’s support, he’s still keeping his powder dry when it comes to Romney or any other candidate. The South Carolina conservative said Romney “could” still win his endorsement, but that he’s keeping a close eye on how the presidential candidates handle the upcoming fight over raising the debt limit.

“I’m keeping an open mind,” he said. “I’m not endorsing anyone right now because I want to see what they want to do on the debt limit.”

It’s good to hear Senator DeMint keep the door open after saying this a few months ago.

Romney will sign the ‘Cut, Cap, & Balance’ pledge to cut federal spending and balance the budget. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum also support the pledge. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Michele Bachmann both declined support.

Bachmann has balked. DeMint is disappointed:

“I am disappointed,” DeMint said Wednesday on CNN’s “American Morning.” “We have to stop spending more than we’re bringing in.”
The Minnesota congresswoman argues it doesn’t go far enough to bring down the deficit.

DeMint, a South Carolina kingmaker and early supporter of the tea party movement, has said a commitment to the pledge is necessary in order to win his support, which could prove valuable in the early voting state of South Carolina and within his larger conservative following.

(emphasis added)

DeMint was a fervent supporter of Governor Romney during the last presidential primaries. Read his letter profusely endorsing The Gov here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Donors Believe In Mitt Romney, Give $18.25 Million

Second quarter fundraising numbers are in for Mitt Romney; he raised a healthy, hefty

$18.25 million:

Romney reports raising $18.25M in Q2

Republican Mitt Romney plans to report raising $18.25 million during the second quarter for his presidential campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor said in a statement today that he had raised that sum between April 1 and June 30, and still had $12.6 million on hand.

While he has yet to release the report due to the Federal Election Commission by mid-month, Romney’s statement said he had received donations from all 50 state and Washington, DC.

Voters are responding to Mitt Romney’s message that President Obama’s policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington,” said Romney for President National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick. “Our fund-raising for the second quarter represents the strong support Mitt Romney has across the country.”

Some reports on Romney’s numbers – compared to an equivalent period during his last presidential race – paint him as falling short. Kevin Madden, an informal adviser who served as spokesman in Romney’s 2008 campaign, explains:

It’s a challenging time to raise money, given the economy. This campaign season also got off to a much slower start for the candidates, as well as donors. But you are wrong that it’s “small potatoes.”

The total from 2007 included a personal donation. This total does not. It’s all money raised from donors and it’s also all primary money. The cash-on-hand total is also emblematic of a much more efficient operation than the one in 2007. The burn rate was higher back then.

Also, that $12.6 million cash-on-hand added to the $12 million being reported by a super PAC means that there’s a total reserve of around $25 million in the bank aimed at helping his primary bid. They are in a much stronger position financial position right now than the one we we found ourselves in when I was on the 2008 campaign.

The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

Mr. Romney’s campaign said all of the money raised was for the primary campaign from donors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, meaning it is available for use now, not in the general election. The campaign has $12.6 million in cash on hand.

That dwarfs the $4 million figures already announced by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty,former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, so far the closest rivals in the money race. In Mr. Huntsman’s case, about half came from his own deep pockets.
Still, Mr. Huntsman’s campaign tried to exploit what it saw as disappointing numbers after far larger goals were hyped by some Romney fund-raisers this spring, then walked back by campaign aides.

The Romney team has been straight about the Q2 numbers, saying for some time now that they expected The Gov’s totals to be between $15-20 million.

Newt Gingrich scraped up $2 million but his campaign is already in debt. Michele Bachmann will release her numbers on July 15th – the date when reports of campaign contributions and expenses over the past three months must be submitted to the Federal Elections Commission. Details on fundraising for other GOP candidates may be found here.

Obama is expected to bring in around $60 million for this quarter, but that isn’t an exact indicator of strength. Liberals are raising money for one candidate, whereas right now, GOP candidates are splitting the dough.

As it stands now (we await reports from Santorum and Bachmann), when the figures are all added up, Romney’s Q2 dollars are more than triple that of any one of his Republican competitors.

It’s imperative that each of us continue to budget in donations for Governor Romney.

(emphasis added to all referenced articles)

► Jayde Wyatt