It’s the “Who Would You Want As VP to Mitt Romney” Poll

To be honest, speculating and debating about what would be the best combo of President and VP is not really my cup of tea. All I know is that I want Romney on top of the ticket, and his VP pick would be his choice. BUT… since Pres./VP combos seems to be the greatest topic of discussion and interest on our Facebook posts I’ve decided to through this poll out there to give our readers some meat to chew on. Even so, I will still be interested to see the results.

[poll id=”9″]

Have at it!

Note: I left Dr. Paul off intentionally to avoid having the poll over run. This is meant to be a poll of who Romney supporters would want as VP. If you really want Paul as VP please indicate that in the comments.

~Nate G.

HUGE Early Lead in New Hampshire for Mitt Romney

Romney, PPP, poll

No matter who ends up running in in 2012, I will be very surprised if Romney doesn’t win New Hampshire this time around.


PPP surveyed 642 New Hampshire Republican primary voters from April 17th to 18th: If the Republican candidates for President in 2012 were Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum who would you vote for?

39% Mitt Romney
13 Sarah Palin
11 Newt Gingrich
11 Mike Huckabee
07 Ron Paul
03 Tim Pawlenty
01 Haley Barbour
01 Rick Santorum
13 Undecided

Poll Source: Public Policy Polling, April 21, 2010 (PDF Press Release)

~Nate G.

(H/T Frank)

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.

2012 Preview? Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty Team Up In Minnesota

Is it possible that the Republicans meeting in New Orleans for the SRLC are geographically challenged? Former congressman Vin Weber seemed to think that might be the case. A U.S. representative during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies, Weber noted that although fellow conservatives were having a get together on the correct river, they were on the wrong end of it. The reason? Two high profile GOP members, and possible 2012 presidential candidates, were in his home state of Minnesota on Friday night to give their thoughts about the current issues and political climate facing this country.

Governor Tim Pawlenty gave a brief, but warm welcome to Mitt Romney at the sold-out Freedom Foundation of Minnesota event in Bloomington. I was fortunate enough to be among the audience members who witnessed these two stars of the Republican Party. Mitt did not disappoint, as he once again displayed his superior knowledge of the challenges facing our nation and how to solve them applying conservative principles. Here is a summary of the evening’s events, as observed from table 26 in the Sofitel ballroom:

Pawlenty shared how he and Romney had enjoyed the opportunity to work together after their respective victories in 2002. The Minnesota Governor praised Romney as being an effective leader, but more than that, “a great person.” He then took time to criticize the current administration and the unprecedented growth of government that has taken place over the past year. A more charismatic-than-usual Pawlenty, exhorted audience members to be “constitutional conservatives.” There was no mention of MassCare during Pawlenty’s talk as he appeared to be positioning himself for a possible vp spot in 2012.

Mitt received a standing ovation as he made his way to the podium and then regaled the audience with stories of people who had mistaken him for John Kerry and even Barack Obama. These instances of mistaken identity had the crowd roaring with laughter. Mitt was clearly at ease behind the podium, even without a teleprompter (take note Mr. President).

Romney hit on several key points from his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, beginning with the culture of the United States. This culture of hard work and free enterprise, which has led us to the unprecedented prosperity we enjoy, is now under attack from politicians in Washington D.C. He expounded on how the Obama administration and congress are killing the economic engine of our great country with the laws they have passed and policies they support. The former Massachusetts Governor spoke about how President Obama has alienated our allies and appeased our enemies, thus making us weaker and more exposed to international threats.

Mitt also recalled stories from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which he rescued from financial disaster. He told the story of speed skater Derek Parra, a gold medal winner and one of eight athletes chosen to carry in the United States flag. Parra’s highlight of the Olympics was not winning the gold medal however. Instead, it was carrying in the flag which had flown over the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. A breeze had lifted up the flag and Parra thought it must have been the spirits of those who had died on that terrible day. It was a story which brought tears to the eyes of many of the audience members.

Governor Romney ended on an optimistic note, declaring that we can overcome the many challenges we now face. He closed by saying that the United States is truly “the hope of the earth.” The 400 or so people in the room gave him a rousing standing ovation and many headed into the hallway to get their copies of No Apology signed by Mitt.

I was extremely impressed with the Governor’s substance and delivery, as were those around me. He once again managed to come across as presidential, yet quite personable at the same time. It was just further proof that I am supporting the right man!

On Saturday morning, Governor Romney went to The Bookcase in Wayzata, Minnesota for an hour and half long book signing. I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer for this event and it ended up being a fantastic experience. This was put together last minute and word had not really gotten out to people, but nearly 200 still showed up to have their books and rally signs signed by Mitt. Those I spoke with were excited about a possible 2012 run and the opportunity to support him again. State Senator Gen Olson and state Representative Connie Doepke also came to offer their support. There were even a couple of Democrats who showed up! Mitt had a wonderful rapport with all of the folks who came through the line and was kind enough to sign my book and take a picture with me at the end of the session. Did I shake the hand of the next President of the United States? I certainly hope so. No matter what happens in the future, it was an experience I will never forget.

Governor Romney and myself

~Update by Ross

As SRLC Participants Attend Soirees… Spotlight Shines on Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty

While southerly SRLC participants attended soirees last night, the spotlight was shining on two potential Republican presidential candidates who stood side-by-side on a fundraising stage far to the north. Donors were happy to pay between $30 and $5,000 to see Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty join together to benefit Minnesota’s Freedom Foundation. (Both men became members of the same freshman class of governors when they were elected governors in 2002.)  As part of his book signing tour for No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney was in the Twin Cities to share his ideas for strengthening America. The sold-out event was held in the Sofitel Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota yesterday evening.

Fundraiser Unites Potential GOP Rivals

The setting was ripe for political fireworks.

But these rivals are buddies, and what the audience got was testimony to their mutual admiration and high-minded speeches about their political ideals, not hot campaign rhetoric.

Romney and Pawlenty spoke to about 500 people who paid $30 to $5,000 a plate to attend a fundraising dinner for the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a Minneapolis-based conservative think tank founded in 2008.

Introducing the guest speaker as “my friend, Governor Romney,” Pawlenty called him a wise and effective leader. “He is not only a great leader, he’s a great person,” the governor said.

Romney responded in kind, saying that getting to know Pawlenty and his wife, Mary, was “one of the highlights of my career. … You are so lucky to have Tim Pawlenty as your governor.”

Romney is on a national tour to promote his best-selling new book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.” He devoted most of his 22-minute speech to the book’s themes.

It delivers a stinging attack on President Barack Obama’s policies. The title refers to what Romney called the president’s “apology tour around the world” shortly after he was elected.

“He went to Europe and said we’ve been arrogant, dismissive,

derisive,” he said. “He went on Arabic TV and said we’ve dictated to other nations.
“No, Mr. President, we have freed other nations,” he said.

Romney said Obama’s tax increases on job providers, cap-and-trade policy that raises energy prices and support of “card check” plan that would “force unions into every company” have “terrorized and terrified the private sector.”

Romney, who was governor from 2003 to 2007 and sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, said the Democratic health care plan that Obama recently signed into law was an “outrageous grab of power.”

[…] Romney leveled his harshest criticism at Obama for his handling of the economy and running up the national debt.

“Washington is smothering the American dream, and we must not let them do it,” he said.

In his 12-minute introductory speech, Pawlenty hit on similar themes. He said the country now owns two car companies and one of the nation’s largest insurance companies while controlling 80 percent of the mortgages, most of the health care system and a wide swath of the banking system.

It’s time for Americans to say, “We’ve had enough. Knock it off. Stop it,” he said.

[…] While Palin is the darling of passionate “tea party” conservatives, Romney’s speech attracted the suit-and-tie crowd, suggesting he’s a favorite of the GOP’s economically conservative establishment.

Romney and Pawlenty, who also spoke at the Bachmann rally, are the two Republicans most actively laying foundations for a run in 2012.

Romney is widely considered the early front-runner in that race.

(emphasis mine)

UPDATE: While Mitt was preparing for his mid-day book signing today, Evangelicals for Mitt were working the crowds for Mitt at SRLC. Carl Cameron (FOX News) reported on EFM again this morning and mentioned that Romney pamphlets, tchotchkes, and trinkets were being handed out by this grassroots evangelical group. Cameron then delightedly showed the EFM pink piggy bank with a Romney slogan printed on the side.

Here’s a video peek at some of the goings-on this morning. See EFM at .46.

Gov Tim Pawlenty to Attend Gov Mitt Romney’s Book Signing

T-Paw RomneyWhile Mitt Romney continues to impress Americans during the first week of his whirlwind book signing tour for No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, a date in April is worth noting. On April 9, 2010, Romney will address the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota and sign copies of his new book. Present on the same stage will be a Republican notable who some say could be a potential 2012 presidential rival and who has recently been critical of Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan. Neither men have declared intentions to run for the highest office in the land, but both are giving indications of that possibility. Will Gov Tim Pawlenty have a copy of Romney’s new book tucked under his arm? If so, I’m sure Gov Romney will be happy to cordially sign it for him.

Freedom Foundation:

Former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney will visit the Twin Cities on April 9, 2010 to speak at a dinner sponsored by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) and sign copies of his newly released book. Joining Governor Romney for the event will be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. The title of Governor Romney’s book is also the topic of his remarks: No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

“The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota is both honored and excited to host two of our country’s most influential and important conservative leaders,” said Annette Meeks, CEO of the Freedom Foundation. “Governor Romney has been and continues to be one of the most powerful voices advancing free market policy alternatives. We’re planning an exciting evening where Minnesotans will hear Romney’s public policy ideas first hand.

“We are equally excited that Governor Tim Pawlenty will be joining us on April 9th. While Pawlenty’s public policy leadership is no secret to Minnesota conservatives, this will be the first major event where these two American leaders will appear on the same stage – a spectacular opportunity for the Freedom Foundation to highlight two dynamic American leaders.”

The event will be held at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington, beginning with a private reception and dinner. A dessert reception will precede remarks by the two governors with a book signing by Governor Romney to occur at the end of the evening. Registration details can be found at and tickets must be purchased in advance for all events.

Mitt Romney for President 2012

The Invisible Primary – Comparing PAC Fundraising Reports for 2009

(Note: This is this my own analysis of things as I see it. I do not represent Romney’s PAC in any way, nor have any connection to them. But I am available for hire should they ever call on me. No, I kid.)

With the last bit of fundraising data in (the total number of donors to Romney’s PAC), we can now make a proper evaluation of the fundraising abilities of the 4 most-likely-to-run GOP candidates and their respective PAC’s. One major problem is that there are so many uncommon denominators in the results that there is no easy indication of a clear winner, nor of a clear loser.

First let’s look at the raw numbers. Before anyone gets too excited about it, you should recall that T-Paw’s PAC was only in operation in the fourth quarter, plus other variables that I will explain.

Party Affiliation2008 absentee ballot requests2012 absentee ballot requestsCurrent 2012 requests as a % of 2008 totalsEstimated 2012 totals as a percentage of 2008 totals

(*** Disbursed=expenditures COH= Cash on hand $ to Cand.= money given to GOP campaigns for office)

Review of performance:

Mitt Romney Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC, is the most cut and dry scenario we have of the four. His PAC was intact for the entire year. He didn’t have distraction or obligations that others did. The numbers here tell the most of the story. He raised money very well, and he notably spent more also. The story here that is not told in the numbers is even though most of the would-be GOP nominees gave about 2% to other GOP candidates for office, Romney’s impact on behalf of other GOP candidates can arguably claim to be the highest as he has had time and means to hold many fundraisers for them. A fundraiser bringing $200,000 (as some did) is of lot more value than the max $5000 his PAC can contribute directly to them. A few of the unseen benefits of Romney expenditures include items of great reward: freedom to travel as necessary to endorse, raise funds, do media appearances and speeches, and otherwise keep his name and face out there. Plus he is able to maintain he excellent campaign team through to the next election cycle, which is virtually the same team that helped propel Senator Scott Brown to victory.
Mitt Romney’s Grade: a (solid) B+ Romney raised the most (from the highest number of donors) and has the most cash on hand, but with his network and relative freedom that would be expected. Expectations are the only reason I don’t score him higher.


Sarah Palin SarahPAC didn’t quite pull in as much as the FSA-PAC, or from as many donors, be she certainly didn’t focus on it much because of a number of factors: SarahPAC didn’t form until a couple months into year (she was still Governor of AK at the beginning of ’09), she focused some fundraising efforts on her legal funds rather than her PAC, and much focus of the year went to writing and touring for her new book. Even so she has a healthy amount of cash on hand that she’ll be able to disperse of more liberally (to conservatives) as we go throughout 2010. Also her star power is a huge asset at this time. She may not have raised as much, but it won’t matter as she can use some of her own new found wealth to more than compensate for a relatively small difference in total number of dollars raised.
Sarah Palin’s Grade: B- With a little more focus on her PAC she should be able rival Romney’s numbers. The decision to focus on that is hers to make. With her new contract with FOX News, I’m not sure if that will happen. But then again the net benefit of being on FOX may be more than any funds she can raise… unless her contract brings her to the point of over exposure. I believe there is some risk in that.


Tim Pawlenty T-Paw and his Freedom First PAC got a much later start than the rest but it has impressed with his good-sized catch. The high average dollars per donor shows that he does have at least some ties and connections that will be vital should he decide to run (I’m sure he has already decided.) Even so, one should not make that mistake of thinking that since he only had 1 quarter to raise funds that $1.3 Million x 4 = $5.2 Million for the year. Certainly as some donors begin to max out ($5000 max contribution) that rate cannot be continue to be sustained. One way to be certain is to see where we are at the end of June 2010, where it will be easier to compare apples to apples. One other item that limits his current freedom is that he is still a sitting Governor whereas the others are merely former Governors and are free to move about.
Tim Pawlenty’s Grade: A- Sometimes it’s not how much you’ve raised, but how you did compared to expectations. I expected some, but not that much, especially given his lower name recognition.


Mike Huckabee HuckPAC is a little harder to grade than the others for the reason that- yes, he’s got some boots on the ground, but does that make up for the relatively low fundraising? Huckabee also has a distraction with his show on FOX. That kind of weekly exposure should be a boon to name recognition, which it is as evidenced by him being right at the top of most polls, but it all needs to transfer into some increased ability to raise funds. Huckabee did great on meager funds in the 2008 election, and it may turn out similar for him in the 2010 primary, but such a plan would not work in the general election. Raising more funds will be a must for him at some point in the future.
Mike Huckabee’s Grade C+ In comparison to the amount that T-Paw raised in one quarter, and to Romney’s 3 times average dollars per donor, the fundraising is unimpressive. BUT… 16,000 donors is a very good number. I would think to give a lower grade otherwise.


Newt Gingrich: Newt? Hey, he doesn’t have a PAC. Yes, but many are quick to point out that his 527 (American Solutions for Winning the Future) raised $6.4 Million. That’s more than the others put together! … Yes, but a 527 group is a totally different animal. It does not have the $5000 donation limit that PAC’s have. They are also limited in that they cannot directly support (or oppose) candidates for office …. just for clarification.
Newt’s Gingrich’s grade N/A Apples to apples… Besides my guess is that he will only tease and hint at running, but will not enter the fray.

Result: Yes, in my opinion the winner by a slight degree is T-Paw, mostly because of the ever present “expectations”. Time will tell if his fundraising is sustainable. If it is, welcome to the top-tier.

~Nate Gunderson

One other note: we should see the low percentages of money given to other campaigns go up as we get closer to the 2010 elections. The year 2009 was more of a ‘fill up the treasure chest’ type of a year.

FEC filings (for you data geeks): Free and Strong America PAC, SarahPAC, Freedom First PAC, HuckPAC

GOP Insiders: Romney Most Likely to Win 2012 Nomination

Interesting results from GOP insiders point to Romney as ‘most likely to win the party’s WH nomination.’


In a survey of 109 party leaders, political professionals and pundits, Palin finished 5th on the list of candidates most likely to win the party’s ’12 WH nomination. Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) was the overwhelming choice of the Voters were asked to rank 5 candidates in the order of likeliness to capture the GOP nod.

Check out those results!

The results:
Likely To Win WH’12 Nomination (First place votes)
Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney 81 (62%)
MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty 46 (9%)
Sen. John Thune 38 (12%)
MS Gov. Haley Barbour 28 (6%)
IN Gov. Mitch Daniels 25
Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin 25

Rounding out the top 10: Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee, ex-FL Gov. Jeb Bush, LA Gov. Bobby Jindal. Candidates other than Romney, Pawlenty, Thune and Barbour split the remaining 11% of first-place votes.

Meanwhile, Dem insiders too think Romney is the most likely candidate to run against Pres. Obama next year. The results, from interviews with 111 Dem insiders:

Likely To Win WH’12 Nomination
Romney 29%
Thune 15
Pawlenty 13
Daniels 11
Gingrich 6

Good news for our man, Mitt!

Update by Nate: Here is the link to the actual survey question and methodology by Nation Journal. (Click here) There’s a lot of interesting info there for the over curious. Here’s the methology:

All 127 Republicans among National Journal’s Political Insiders were asked to name and rank the top five contenders for their party’s 2012 presidential nomination; 109 participated. In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 5 points, a second-place vote 4 points, and so on. The Insiders Index reflects the percentage of points that each contender received out of the maximum possible. For example, Mitt Romney scored an Index rating of 81, meaning he received 81 percent of the possible 545 points, the number he would have had if all 109 participants had ranked him first.

Behind the rankings:
Percent of first-place votes
Romney 62%
Thune 12%
Pawlenty 9%
Barbour 6%
Others 11%

Percent of second-place votes
Pawlenty 22%
Romney 18%
Thune 15%
Barbour 13%
Palin 9%
Daniels 8%
Gingrich 6%
Others 9%

Also of note, the names of all those who participated in the poll…
Click here to continue reading

Romney Best To Resuscitate America

2CAMV7EKGCATGHGU9CA8MTHF3CAN8FJ0CCAK7XMQICAHSHQTRCAGXI7QICA18OR2DCA14YC94CAX3W72SCAEVBI6OCA2EGKEWCAQGGAYECAXFAM19CAI2LFMRCAIABVAYCAWRYLQ7CAU3E8OECANVSVU1As a battered 2009 gasps its last breaths, Mark McKinnon of Daily Beast renown offers his opinion on who can best resuscitate America when 2012 limps around:

The way things are going, maybe we should go ahead and hold the 2012 elections after all—instead of just reappointing Obama president by acclamation. As we head into 2010, it seems increasingly likely that the 2012 presidential contest will at least be competitive. President Obama’s favorable ratings are now consistently below 50 percent; no candidate has been elected president with a favorable of 47 percent or lower and the Rasmussen Poll this week has him at 44. He has yet to pass any signature legislation on the big issues on which he campaigned, and he now has Afghanistan strapped to his back like a political refrigerator.

Correspondingly, we’re seeing a lot of activity among prospective GOP players. By this time next year, the field will be largely set. What is most interesting, comparing the list today with the one a year ago, is who has fallen off it or otherwise lost altitude. Mark Sanford and John Ensign, once bright lights, have been doomed by the ancient curse of infidelity. Jon Huntsman got detailed to China. Bobby Jindal gave a painful speech which reminded voters of Kenneth from 30 Rock. And Mike Huckabee’s chances took a serious blow when a prisoner he freed as Arkansas governor allegedly shot and killed four policemen before being gunned down himself.

So where does that leave the field today heading into next year? Who’s up and who’s down? Four candidates who started the year on the list are off (Sanford, Ensign, Jindal and Huntsman), replaced by newcomers: Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Joe Scarborough, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry.

1. Mitt Romney
Republicans historically like an orderly process—handing the baton to the candidate who has patiently waited his or her turn in line. That guy, this time around, is Romney. He has been plodding and dutiful. He is tanned. He’s rested. He’s rich. And he appears ready for another round. There’s a great deal to be said for having been through the gauntlet before. He now has the experience and knowledge to navigate the treacherous and tricky waters of a Republican primary contest. He knows economics, has built businesses and created jobs both in the private and public sector, and he established health care reform in Massachusetts. And if he runs his race like he did the last month of the last campaign, true to who he really is, he should be the nominee.

Others (listed in order) are:  2) Sarah Palin  3) Tim Pawlenty  4) John Thune  5) Mike Huckabee  6) Joe Scarborough  7) Hayley Barbour  8) Newt Gingrich  9) Mitch Daniels  10) Rick Perry

22a5597df53a8174For more details and to see who is on the WATCH list go here.

Give Romney the defibrillator, America!

(High-five to Luke.) 

Our Fourth Day of Christmas video is featured today because the artist is listed on Romney’s Facebook page as one of his musical favorites. So, Mitt – this one’s for you! Here is Alan Jackson singing Let It Be Christmas:

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Mitt Romney News in Review: Travel, Agenda and Polls

Romney makes visits to 10 states on behalf of GOP candidates in October

Romney makes visits to 10 states on behalf of GOP candidates in October

We have several Romney news items to catch up on which I’ll encapsulate into this post. First, via the monthly PAC newsletter, we see that Mitt Romney made trips to help fellow GOP-ers in ten states, including Virginia and New Jersey for the newly elected Governors Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, respectively. Other state visited by Governor Romney in October include: California, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. This rigorous October schedule follows an equally busy schedule had in September. So much for a peaceful retirement and riding off into the sunset. Remember that these travels and endorsements that help keep Romney in the forefront of potential 2012 candidates are made possible by your contributions to the Free and Strong America PAC.

Our other news is likely to make you want to contribute to the link above as well: Mike Huckabee is seen making headway and leading in most recent polls for the GOP 2012 nomination. The most recent was released today by USA Today/Gallup where Huckabee edged Romney by Republican voters when asked which possible 2012 contenders they would seriously consider supporting. The graph below has the results.


Other recent polls and power rankings:

  • After several months atop The Fix’s Rankings, Romney slips to third behind Palin and Pawlenty, and just ahead of Huckabee in 4th.
  • Huckabee edges Romney by 1 point in recent polls by Public Policy Polling (PPP)
  • a mid-October poll by Rasmussen had these results: Huckabee 29%, Romney 24%, Palin 18%

It would be foolish to place a lot of stock in these numbers so far out, but it is of interest at least to see where candidates stand today. Huckabee made a funny and fitting statement when asked about his thoughts on the Gallup poll: “It’s like speculating who’s going to be the best actor next year when we don’t even know what the movies are.” If Huckabee does enter the 2012 race it may be later than most because he want to continue his benefit from the 1.5 million viewers on his FOX talk show as long as possible. The minute he announces any sort of campaign he would have to leave the program. Romney on the other hand continues to keep a low public profile while interjecting only on key issues and continuing to build support for and from GOPers all across the nation. Be sure to read Thomas Alan’s post called And This is How You Build a Narrative.

~Nate Gunderson