Luntz and Hannity Do Large ‘Focus Group’ on 2012 Prospects

frank luntz focus groupsLog this away in the interesting-but-not-scientific file…

On Wednesday Frank Luntz joined Sean Hannity for his show in Atlanta. Luntz asked the audience of several hundred people to cheer when he said the name of the person that they would want for the GOP 2012 nomination. The “voting” is done in the first two minutes of this video. Some of the crowd responses were very interesting to me…

Who received the loudest cheers?

Who under performed?

Who’s name was almost left off the list completely? :)

~Nate G.

Romney’s PAC Leads 1st Quarter Fundraising

The first quarter fundraising results are in and the first gold medal for the invisible primary goes to Mitt Romney! In fact, his PAC brings in more in the time period than Pawlenty’s, Palin’s and Huckabee’s respective PACs combined.

I have been curious to see how this quarter’s results would turn out since there were so many asterisks involved with last years results. Last year there were a number of factors that skewed the outcome (though Romney still led) that is just wasn’t possible to compare apples to apples. BUT this quarter, all the PAC’s are established and the playing field is level.

Without further ado, the results:

1st Quarter Fundraising by PAC

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Note: my numbers do not show that Mitt’s PAC also raised an additional $157,000 from their affiliate state-based PACs of the same name. That puts Mitt’s actual total at $1.6 million. I’ll include that in my numbers next time around.

My analysis:

  • Romney is far and away the leader in fundraising, but the others do have some limitations with their responsibilities for their respective jobs and public office. In any case I think Romney would still lead. An important reason to address this is that powerful fundraising will be vital in the general election.
  • Not shown in the results is the fact that Romney brought in a HUGE $950,000 in March alone, boosting his quarter total. Two possible reasons for this boost could be his constant touring through the month on his book tour as well as his “Repeal the Bill” campaign. Though he has not had any official fundraisers (that I know of) in March, his public profile was raised substantially during the period which could have resulted in more contributions. In all he did 27 Official Book Tour events in March as well as dozens of media appearances and interviews.
  • Romney disbursed far more than any candidate in the quarter, again due to his extremely busy travel schedule etc., for his book tour in March. He also has a much larger political organization to support. The good side to this is that if he decides to announce next year for office the transition will be easy because the team will be in place.
  • Though Romney’s burn rate is the highest, he still has more cash on hand than the other PACs, and still took in more than was distributed for the overall period. That’s what the money is there for – to be used.
  • Romney’s total contributions to other candidates for federal office is the highest – all of which was given in the month of May as part of his “Repeal the Bill” campaign.
  • Pawlenty impresses me with his ability to out raise Palin and Huckabee, especially given their much higher name recognition.
  • Palin’s PAC has announced that they will focus more on fundraising this quarter so look for better numbers from her next time around.
  • Huckabee’s percentage of funds given to other candidates is noble, but he is still needs to find some way to boost his overall fundraising numbers. He may get lot done on little fundraising for the primaries, but that is not going to work for the general election, should he win the nomination. One can argue that it is not as necessary for him to raise funds now and he can do so when the primaries start, but the other candidates will his the ground running with their networks leaving Huckabee in a game of catch-up. The time to build those networks is now.

That’s it. Let me know what you think. For the analysis I did for last years numbers you can see the post I did on Feb. 5th by clicking here.

Good work Romney and congratulations to the Free and Strong America PAC!

~Nate Gunderson

Source(Full FEC filings): Romney , Pawlenty , Palin , Huckabee

UPDATE: The Free and Strong America Releases a list of federal candidates they supported financially this quarter. You can find the press release by clicking here.

Palin Open to 2012 Alliance with Romney to Unseat Obama

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was Tea-Partying in at the Boston Commons yesterday and someone threw out the inevitable question about joining forces with Romney in 2012 (she was in Massachusetts after all). Palin’s reply? “Sounds pretty good.”

Of course I’d dismiss this as an offhand comment or chalk it up to maintaining politeness. But what I find interesting is that she later repeated the sentiment to the Boston Herald saying that she was “serious” about the idea. The story from Boston Herald:

Palin Speaks at Tea Party in Boston

Conservative superstar Sarah Palin opened the door yesterday to joining forces with Mitt Romney for a 2012 White House run – a hot ticket that has some Republicans licking their chops at the prospect of unseating President Obama.

“Sounds pretty good,” Palin declared at yesterday’s Tea Party Express rally on the Common when asked about pairing up with the former Bay State governor – giving the idea a big thumbs-up as she left the stage after her headline speech.

Last night, as Palin stopped for cannoli at Mike’s Pastry in the North End, she said she was “serious” about the idea.

“I have a lot of respect for Mitt,” she told the Herald.

Asked who would be on top of the ticket, Palin roared, “Ha! I haven’t even thought that far ahead yet.”

Indeed, Palin said she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run in 2012 – with or without Romney.

Romney, a presumptive 2012 Republican presidential contender who recently embarked on a nationwide book tour, has not ruled out an alliance with Palin, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate.

“Mitt Romney respects Sarah Palin and he appreciates the contributions she makes to the party,” said Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom. “But his immediate focus is on helping Republicans win back the Congress in 2010.”

No, I don’t think Palin is staying up at night wondering how she can team-up with Mitt, in fact I’m sure it’s far from her mind. But perhaps she’s sincere in being open to the idea. Obviously, Sarah is not my first pick for the GOP nominee, but I do have respect for her. I’m not sure whether I’d be for this “alliance”, but it is (of course) an interesting notion that will surely propagate a lot of discussion with opinions ranging all over the spectrum.

~Nate Gunderson

Mitt Romney Seen as GOP Leader, Best 2012 Contender in New Poll

Clarus Research Group
From the Clarus Research Group: (source – pdf)

If the next presidential election were held today, and the two candidates were Democrat Barack Obama and Republican __________, for whom would you vote? (asked of 1050 registered voters)
45 Obama, 41 Romney
47 Obama, 39 Huckabee
49 Obama, 37 Jeb Bush
48 Obama, 36 Gingrich
52 Obama, 34 Palin


If the following candidates were seeking the next Republican Presidential nomination, which ONE would now most likely favor… (ROTATE NAMES)? (asked of 415 Republicans and Republican leaning independents)
29 Romney
19 Huckabee
18 Palin
13 Gingrich
8 Jeb Bush
1 Thune
1 Daniels
2 Other
10 unsure


Of the following possible Republican presidential nominees, which ONE do you think would have the best chance to beat Barack Obama in the general election… (ROTATE NAMES)? (asked of 415 Republicans and Republican leaning independents)
42 Romney
14 Huckabee
11 Palin
10 Gingrich
8 Jeb Bush
2 Thune
1 Daniels
15 unsure


Which ONE of the following do you regard as the major spokesperson for the Republican Party today –(ROTATE NAMES)? (asked of 415 Republicans and Republican leaning independents)
14 Romney
14 McCain
10 Gingrich
9 Beck
9 Limbaugh
8 George W. Bush
6 Palin
5 Boehner
5 Hannity
4 Cheney
3 McConnell
2 Steele
1 Other (volunteered)
12 Not sure/No answer


My thoughts: Romney is within margin or error with Obama, leads 2012 hopeful, is clearly seen as the most electable in a general, AND is viewed as the party spokesman for the Republican party….. It is looking very good for Romney in 2012.

~Nate G.

Lifenews adds a bit of their own analysis

Also released today was a PPP poll showing Mitt in the early lead in Ohio and Wisconsin

7:00 PM Update: New CNN Opinion Research Poll
Please give me your best guess — if Barack Obama decides to run for re-election, do you think he
will win the presidential election in 2012, or do you think he will lose?
Will win 44%
Will lose 54%
No opinion 2%

Which candidate you would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for President in the year 2012?
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 22%
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin 18%
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 17%
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich 8%
Texas Congressman Ron Paul 8%
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty 5%
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum 5%
Indiana Congressman Mike Pence 4%
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour 1%
Someone else (vol.) 8%
None/ No one (vol.) 2%
No opinion 3%

Will Mitt Romney Run for President in 2012?

A 12 year old asks Mitt Romney the BIG question before a crowd of 4400. I’ve seen Mitt answer this question to media at least 2 dozen times, but this answer is my favorite.

The golden quote:

I can’t tell you what will happen; but I can tell you that there will be somebody who runs in the Republican party who can get this country right again. I want to commit that I will either be that person, or I will be working my tail off for that person, and I want you to as well because we’ve got to take back America.

This kind of attitude and dedication to party unity and victory is exactly what I like to see in a prospective candidate. It reminds me of Romney’s support for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. Mitt did (I believe) some 43 public events on their behalf. One McCain staffer reported that they were very pleased with Mitt’s hard work and that he didn’t refuse a single assignment they asked him to do.

~Nate G.

Mitt Romney Tops the PPP GOP Nominee Poll

Romney, PPP, poll

Public Policy Polling asks 614 Republican Primary voters: If the Republican candidates for President in 2012 were Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney who would you support?

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What I find interesting:

  • Romney is right in the mix with all conservatives and GOP, but is far ahead of the pack with moderates and independents, which bodes very well for the general election and electability.
  • Every poll I see shows that Romney consistency outperforms with men, but lacks with women.
  • Palin does very poorly among independents at 3%. I would be very concerned about that if she goes to the general election.
  • That big goose-egg (or dash) for Romney with the young crowd has to be a concern. Expanding online campaign to be more ‘hip’ is a must.
  • Palin at 60% with 18-29? I have now idea why that would be so extraordinarily high.
  • Romney continues to dominate the Northeast while Huckabee continues his reign in the South

What think you?

~Nate G.

Poll Source: Public Policy Polling, March 19, 2010 (PDF Press Release)

Is using words like Mittmentum and Romtastic?

Well, the answer is yes. And I’ve got a screen capture to prove it: on Romney

We posted the same two stories here today that are mentioned in the picture above:
Romtastic: Guess what book is going to top the March 21st New York Times best-seller list?
Mittmentum: Romney Garners 31% Lead Over Huckabee, Palin in Early Florida Poll

Hot Air‘s use of these words are a little surprising to me as they don’t frequently blog about Romney, let alone report good news about him. The author of these two posts, Allahpundit, as well as most of his readers are clearly leaning towards the Palin camp. In fact one of those starts off as a positive post (only after mentioning the book won’t sell more than Sarah’s) then quickly turns to pointing Romney’s branding faults (or something.)

Anyway, my point was not to talk down, but to show the magnitude of the good news for Mitt as evidenced by his two appearances there. In fact, I should clarify: I’m a daily visitor to because it is a great site. Allahpundit is a great writer who’s full of insight and wit. I just sometimes weary of the “All Sarah, all the time” environment. But then again they are a business, and I’m sure posts about her bring in the visitors, so I don’t blame them.

I’m just glad to see a little more coverage of Romney there.

~Nate Gunderson

Romney Garners 31% Lead Over Huckabee, Palin in Early Florida Poll

Yes, of course it is very early to place huge stock in such polls, but we can’t help but be drawn to any early indication of what might possibly happen in 2012. With that in mind I present the results of the Public Policy Polling‘s survey of Florida Republican primary voters:

If the Republican candidates for President in 2012 were Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney who would you vote for?
52% Mitt Romney
21% Mike Huckabee
18% Sarah Palin
14% Undecided

I don’t think I need to remind our readers how important of state Florida in the primary schedules with it’s 57 winner-takes-all delegates. Cross-tabs from the survey show that results are basically the same whether the polled Republicans were of conservative, moderate, or liberal ideology.

Not to be excluded from the report is the great news that Romney also holds large lead in an identical poll Colorado. This one isn’t quite headline news as Romney overwhelmingly won Colorado in the 2008 primary caucus. The results for Colorado PPP poll:

44% Mitt Romney
25% Sarah Palin
17% Mike Huckabee
14% Undecided

For full results of the Florida and Colorado polls, including cross-tabs, click here.

Other recent polls:
PPP Texas:
32% Mitt Romney
29% Mike Huckabee
23% Sarah Palin
15% Undecided

PPP New Mexico:
33% Mitt Romney
32% Sarah Palin
18% Mike Huckabee
17% Undecided

For full results of the Feb. 26 Texas and New Mexico polls, including cross-tabs, click here.

Magellan Strategies California,
31% Romney
18% Palin
13% Huckabee
12% Gingrich
08% Paul
03% Other
03% Pawlenty
12% Undecided

For full results of the March 4 California poll, including cross-tabs, click here.

Mitt ’12!

~Nate Gunderson

(HT to BOSMAN, one of our readers for the story.)

Mitt Ramping Up for 2012?

Allahpundit poses this question over at Hot Air. He bases this question on a blog posting by Ben Smith over at Politico indicating that Matt Rhodes, one of Mitt’s top staffers from the 2008 team, has taken over the Executive Director spot at Mitt’s Free and Strong America PAC.

I think most of us have been anticipating Mitt running again in 2012 (hence this blog). This development serves to reinforce our sense of anticipation. I am very excited about this prospect as I continue to believe that Mitt would be a great President, and that we need him now more than ever.

What I am not excited about, however, is the intra-party strife which will certainly arise from the primary season. By contrast, Allah is licking his chops over the possibility of a Mitt vs. Sarah vs. Huck cage match:

Just from the perspective of blogworthy content, I’m thrilled. A Huck vs. Palin race would be fascinating, but having Mitt in the mix all but guarantees a “centrist elites vs. populist conservatives” storyline for the nomination. Can’t. Wait.

Centrist?! The emerging meme of Mitt as some squishy “Obama in GOP clothing” centrist has been showing up more and more frequently. Having spent most of the 2008 primary season on the front lines of the blogosphere debunking false accusations and willful misrepresentations, I am dreading the coming onslaught from the mainstream media and whomever the primary opponents will ultimately be. Not because it is not a worthy cause, but rather, fighting these battles cause a type of pain akin to hitting your head against a wall over and over again with nothing to show for it (at least that’s what it feels like sometimes).

There will be plenty of time to make our case and debunk the myths. For now, let’s steel ourselves for what we know is coming. The time isn’t quite here yet, but it looks like it may be coming and we’re one step closer today.

Romney Leads Gallup’s Open Ended Survey

(H/T: Race42012)

Gallup PollGallup: Just off the top of your head, which Republican would you most like to see as the party’s candidate for president in the 2012 election?

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents: Romney!

OK, so everyone didn’t shout ‘Romney!’ in unison, but he did win the largest percentage. It is interesting to me that this was an open-ended question and no answers were suggested to respondents. One commenter at Race42012 makes an excellent observation:

This is best a measurement of the awareness of registered voters, where almost 2/3rds either don’t know or don’t have a clue. Of the 1/3rd who “may” be listening, Romney receives 44% and Palin 34%. No one else garners as much as 10%.

Also of note from the Gallup report is a little tidbit that speaks volumes of Romney’s electability in both the primary and general elections:

Whereas conservative (15%) and moderate or liberal (14%) Republicans are about equally likely to mention Romney as their preferred nominee, Palin is much more likely to be mentioned by conservatives (14%) than by moderates and liberals (3%). Conservatives generally outnumber moderates and liberals by about 2 to 1 within the Republican Party.

And lastly:

At this point, Romney and Palin can be considered the early front-runners for the GOP nomination, a position that has proven advantageous in most past Republican nomination campaigns.

My last thought: Did anyone notice Scott Brown’s name up there in 4th place above some who may actually run for office. This brings two thoughts to mind. One, very little people are actually paying attention this early in the game as Scott Brown will certainly not be running in 2012, nor will McCain (#3) for that matter. Two, as much as I like Scott Brown, isn’t it extremely premature to judge his qualification for the top office? Don’t many of us Republicans complain that Obama was an unknown entity when he began to run just two years into his first term as Senator? Let’s give him some time to prove his meddle, and not give into the mania of the day.

~Nate Gunderson