It’s been over 3 days now since Paul Ryan was tapped to be the VP running mate for Mitt Romney. We’ve seen media’s reactions, blogger reaction, and heard talk radio’s reaction. Now we want to know your thoughts on Ryan as the pick. Take the poll below and leave a comment below telling if you like the selection and how you think it might help/hurt Romney’s chance of winning in November. The floor is now yours – let’s hear it.
Did Governor Romney make the right choice in selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate?
Yes, absolutely the best choice! (84%, 1,336 Votes)
Excellent choice, but would'nt have been my first pick. (13%, 213 Votes)
Meh. Ryan is OK I guess. (1%, 11 Votes)
Not good, he should have picked better. (1%, 20 Votes)
Jayde published a piece yesterday that had a link to the Dick Morris “After Super Tuesday” Op-Ed in The Hill (it is worth a complete read). Here are a couple of the more salient snippets (written prior to ST):
Neither Santorum nor Gingrich nor Paul can win this nomination prior to the convention unless one of them gets two-thirds of the remaining delegates. That is not going to happen. It is very unlikely that even together Santorum and Gingrich can win two-thirds of the remaining delegates.
So the only way either man can win the Republican nomination is by triggering a deadlock, denying Romney a majority and fighting it out on the convention floor.
That would be OK if the convention were in early July. But it is to be held during the very last week of August. If the Republican Party does not have a nominee until Sept. 1 and we have to spend the next six months watching these candidates beating the living hell out of one another, you can kiss our chances of defeating Obama goodbye.
So the bottom line is that Santorum’s and Gingrich’s only path to the nomination is to create a situation that virtually guarantees an Obama victory. Is it worth it, at that price? Can Santorum or Gingrich credibly challenge my math? Can they really maintain that deadlock is good for our party and that it is OK not to have a nominee until Sept. 1? Are they seriously going to argue that another six months of candidate-bashing is not going to irreparably injure our fortunes in November?
Based on Morris’s simple logic and math, I would argue that by RS and NG deciding to slog it out in the race, they do not really have the best interest of the nation in mind at all. They have self-interest at their core. Dick Morris is right.
The Wall Street Journal had some outstanding analysis of ST results yesterday from the front page, its Election2012 section, and both sides of the Op-Ed pages. Following are from those articles.
Well, the final results aren’t final yet . . . but it’s clear that Romney won this important swing state’s caucus, and won it big. (Update . . . Romney did get just over 50%, but the entrance poll results have just been revised this morning, so much of what you see quoted below is somewhat off from what the linked poll says NOW. Sorry, I’m not going back and re-calculating things at this point).
He’s got 43% of the vote with 43% of precincts reporting, but the results of Clark County (Las Vegas) as not coming in as fast as expected. Don’t fret though Romney fans, Mitt will win a majority of the votes and I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere between 52-55% of the total vote when all is said and done. If things track as closely as they are in the entrance polls, Clark County should go for Mitt by over 60% (and they’ve nailed the non-Clark County…rest of NV…percentage at 43%, exactly how the real results have turned out)
Debunking the “Romney won Nevada because of the Mormon factor” myth:
Yes, Mitt dominated among LDS voters with 90% choosing Romney, BUT (and it’s a very big “but”), EVEN IF NOT A SINGLE MORMON WENT TO VOTE, ROMNEY WOULD HAVE WON THE STATE WITH A 42%-26% margin over Gingrich. Romney won Catholics 52%-19% over Newt and “White Evangelical/Born Again” by a solid margin of 46%-26% over the former Speaker.
Debunking the “See, the poor won’t vote for Romney” myth:
On CNN’s coverage tonight, the anchors/pundits seemed to be getting as much mileage as possible out of the fact that the only economic demographic that Romney did NOT win was those that make $30,000 or less (which were only 10% of the voters in NV last night). They were trying to tie this to Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment and even went on to conclude that this “underscores the fact that blue-collar workers, who you can’t win without their support, do not see that this is a guy that will fight for them.” SERIOUSLY?!?!? I realize that these pundits aren’t statisticians, but it’s pretty straightforward to figure out why he didn’t win this demographic. First off, he hardly “lost” this demographic. Paul and Newt both got 31%, and Mitt got 30%, a virtual 3 way tie for first. Secondly, the age of the voter is VERY determinative of income when looking at your youngest age group especially. Voters aged 18-29 were only 8% of the vote (quite similar to the 10% in that income of $30K or less), and Paul won that group 40% to 39% over Romney. Paul has been wining the young college-aged voters in almost every state . . . it’s his base and he’s definitely turning out this group of folks that do not typically vote in a GOP primary. Good for Paul. But these college kids are a HUGE portion of the “makes less than $30,000 year” group, and I don’t think anyone would consider college kids “the very poor,” they are just in a temporary low-income stage of their lives.
“Strong Moral Character;” Mitt good, Newt Very Very Bad:
In perhaps the most revealing entrance poll finding, those that felt a candidate having “Strong Moral Character” was their number one trait they sought in a President, Mitt got 54% of the vote … Newt got 1% of those voters. No, that is not a typo, ONE PERCENT (Paul got 32% and Santorum got 13%). Looks like Nevada voters are pretty good judges of character, eh? THIS IS WHY YOU’RE LOSING NEWT!! YOU BLAME MITT FOR YOUR LAGGING VOTE TALLIES, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR BUDDY!
Debunking the “Strong Conservatives and Tea Party voters don’t like Romney” myth:
Like New Hampshire and Florida, Romney, once again, won self-identified conservatives and supporters of the Tea Party in Nevada. This time though, he won A MAJORITY of these groups. Romney beat Newt 54%-21% among conservative voters and 50%-23% among Tea Party supporters. Yet I still see pundit after pundit say that Romney still has a lot of work to do to appeal to conservatives (while they “obviously” love Newt). CAN THEY NOT READ A POLL?!? Among “very conservative” voters he Mitt still won 49%-24% over Newt, and even beat him 39%-30% among those “strongly supportive of Tea Party.” Some narratives are hard to kill, but when a state in the Northeast (NH), Southeast (FL), and West (NV) all show Romney winning conservatives and Tea Party supporters I think it’s proof positive against that media meme. The real take-away/new-media-narrative should be that Newt has work to do to appeal to as many conservatives as Romney has been.
Odds and Ends:
The Economy was the number one (even by a majority) issue on voters minds, and Romney carried these voters by 62%. By an even larger margin, the candidate quality of “Can Defeat Obama” was number one, and Romney absolutely dominated here with 73% of the vote. WOW! ”Right Experience” was the top quality to only 15% of voters, but Romney cleaned up here too with 55% (Rick Santorum pulled in a whopping 1% here). Romney also continues to dominate the Suburbs winning with 69% there; historically this is a key demographic for winning a general election.
Newt and some liberals keeps saying that Mitt’s trying to suppress turnout in order to win. When we look at the field compared to 2008, however, I don’t think it’s any surprise that turnout is lower. Last time around there was much more diversity, and much more famous personalities in the field. You had a Pro-Choice candidate with strong personal appeal/popularity in Rudy Giuliani, War Hero John McCain, popular actor Fred Thompson, and folksy former pastor Mike Huckabee in addition to Mitt and Paul all in the race this far into the process. Substituting character-challenged Gingrich and personality/experience-challenged Rick Santorum in place of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee is beyond even comparing apples and oranges. They all had more money and organization that either Newt or Rick too and that is how turnout is driven. Like all of Newt’s complaints/excuses, this one rings hollow as well.
CONGRATS MITT AND NEVADA!! ANOTHER GREAT WIN FOR ROMNEY!!
With nothing better to do on a Friday night, I type….
Living in Orange County, CA (large Republican base), we have two major newspapers to choose from. The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times. The LA Times clearly has better overall journalism, though it definitely leans left.
This article in today’s Times, by David Horsey, came as a tip from one of MRC’s chatters whose call sign I missed. Thank you!
Some of the better quotes include,
Gingrich is not well-liked by many of the people he worked with in Congress. In fact, loathing may better characterize their feelings.
Now tell me, have you seen a better political cartoon than this one? SERIOUSLY!
By David Horsey / Los Angeles Times
Today, while at a business luncheon in Laguna Beach, I overheard four gentlemen involved in a lively political discussion while I too was so engaged. I heard one guy say, “You should have seen it last night! Romney was just pounding that snake Gingrich! It was beautiful!” My colleague and I smiled and continued our discussion of Gov. Romney while we enjoyed the ocean view on a spectacular day.
Ron Bonjean, a long-time aide to the Republican leadership, told CNN that folks on Capitol Hill are very nervous about Gingrich’s candidacy. “It sends a shiver down a lot of Republican spines,” Bonjean said. “You can actually feel the nervousness from Republicans around town that Gingrich could actually bring the craziness back of his speakership from the 1990s.”
The worry ranges from first-term members to veterans who served with Gingrich as he rose to power in the 1980s and ’90s. According to a report in Politico, freshman House Republicans could talk about little else on a bus ride back from their caucus retreat in Baltimore last week. They have seen the polling data indicating Gingrich is disliked by suburban women – even conservatives — and is broadly unpopular in the Northeast.
[...] Gingrich is proud to be a man of big ideas and bold rhetoric, and it was his intelligence and combativeness that was attractive to the 40% of Republican voters in South Carolina who cast their ballots for him. But Republican officials in Washington see his big ideas and bold talk as evidence of a boundless ego and unscrupulous character.
Now, those old colleagues are aiming the tough language at him – “erratic, abrasive, undisciplined, unreliable, unhinged, unethical, mired in scandal, consummate D.C. insider.”
“Frankly, Governor Romney in his career has created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinet combined, so he could actually talk about it.” — Newt Gingrich
INTRADE (1/27/12, 10pm, PST):
To win the Florida Primary — Romney: 91.1% / Gingrich: 6.9%
To win the Nevada Caucus — Romney: 92.7% / Gingrich: 3.6%
To be Republican 2012 Nominee — Romney: 87.5%
President Obama to be re-elected — 54.9%,
********************************************************************************* * * * * PELOSI: Gingrich as President: “THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN” (below fold) * * * *
Was there an important speech last night? I heard something about the POTUS speaking. Oh well, I missed that one.
Now that I think about Newt walking out onto the debate stage the other night, he actually walks like a duck! Do you remember that profile shot from behind the curtain, looking out toward the audience as Mr. Gingrich walked out? He sorta waddled.
In all seriousness . . .
Monday night, Gingrich told the us that he was merely acting as a concerned “citizen” in all these jobs he has had earning multi-millions of dollars. Right. Again, what do we know? We are all simply naive.
A number of sources yesterday checked into whether Mr. Gingrich used his influence inappropriately. Here is what we find from CNN‘s Truth Squad. You judge:
The New York Times also reported last month that the world’s largest insulin maker, Novo Nordisk, had hired Gingrich to help “position itself as a thought leader” to raise awareness about diabetes.
Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave told CNN last month that Gingrich called her at the height of the 2003 debate urging her to vote for the bill.
“Newt called me to vote yes,” said Musgrave, who is now director at the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List.
“He asked for a yes vote on a Medicare prescription drug benefit,” she said. “Dick Armey” — a former House majority leader — “called me and wanted a no. But I had already made up my mind to vote not to expand an entitlement that we were going to have to pay for down the road.”
Musgrave, who is neutral in the presidential race, said she was not sure if Gingrich was technically “lobbying” when he called her, because she did not know if he was working for anyone else at the time.
“All I know is he wanted a yes,” Musgrave said.
Musgrave was one of 19 House Republicans who voted against the plan, which passed 220-215.
Two other Republicans who served in Congress at the time, Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, told the Des Moines Register last month that they interpreted Gingrich’s actions as lobbying.
“He told us, ‘If you can’t pass this bill, you don’t deserve to govern as Republicans,’ ” Flake told the paper. “If that’s not lobbying, I don’t know what is.”
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the bill is projected to cost nearly $1 trillion from 2010 through 2020. The price tag for Medicare Part D was added to the nation’s deficit.
“It was a huge entitlement” that left the insurance and drug industries as big winners, said Uwe Reinhardt, a professor of health economics at Princeton.
Great video of Ann Coulter discussing Newt Gingrich and the South Carolina primary. Check it out:
When I listen to Gingrich in his debate performances, and I do mean “performances,” his answers always seem reminiscent of the Shakespeare line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
I, for one, was very confused and dumbfounded about the whole “standing ovation” thing that Newt accomplished in South Carolina. I truly felt that Gingrich’s answers weren’t that amazing. In fact, the answers were really quite average if you take just a moment to think about what he said. Often Newt dodged the question rather than answered it. Or he resorted to giving snarky, glib retorts rather than having a grown-up conversation about the issues. Hopefully Republican voters in Florida will see that many of Newt’s “great debate performances” are really just dodging the question in order to distract from his genuine flaws.
Following this past Christmas, reports surfaced of a meeting by prominent national evangelical leaders to be held in Texas sometime in January. You will recall this meeting involved over 150 people at a ranch outside Houston, January 15th. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to caucus and select one of the presidential candidates behind which all voters could unite — in effect, to choose the one “non-Romney” candidate that they thought could best defeat Romney. Fascinating!
As with any caucus, some were prepared to stand and persuade others to vote for the candidate they believed to be the best to select as the Republican nominee for President.
One of those leaders present that day, at the ranch outside Houston, was nationally known and highly respected Mark DeMoss, a prominent Evangelical. Mr. DeMoss stood for Governor Mitt Romney.
Though I have never met Mr. DeMoss and therefore do not know him, I can only imagine that his remarks to this body required a tremendous amount of courage, especially with the understanding that the vast majority of those present were intent on selecting a candidate they believed could best oppose, and therefore defeat Governor Romney! For this one act alone, I have tremendous admiration and respect for Mark DeMoss. I strongly believe that Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States — if so, I believe that history will hold Mark DeMoss out as a true American patriot in the stature of any this nation’s finest patriots of the past and present.
I am most grateful that Mr. DeMoss granted MittRomneyCentral.com the privilege of publishing his remarks to the group of 150+ Evangelicals exactly one week ago today. When I requested “an editorial” from Mr. DeMoss through our friend, John Schroeder of Article VI Blog, I never dreamed I would receive his remarks to the other evangelical leaders at the ranch that day.
Mark DeMoss’s speech that day is published below in its entirety — unedited.
Mark DeMoss founded The DeMoss Group in 1991, and since then he has served some of the world’s most prominent and effective Christian ministries and enterprises. Mark has been involved in shaping some of the largest Christian events and campaigns over the past decade while simultaneously overseeing the growth of his firm. He has extensive media relations experience with both religious and mainstream media and provides particular expertise to clients in crisis/issues management and communications. Mark provides primary public relations counsel and strategic planning for The DeMoss Group. His first book, The Little Red Book of Wisdom, was published in 2007.
Favorite DeMoss Group Core Value > We demonstrate uncommon integrity.
REMARKS to HOUSTON EVENT January 13-14, 2012
By Mark DeMoss
In the summer of 2006 I began a search for the perfect presidential candidate. I’m here to tell you: I still haven’t found him—or her.
But I would suggest, neither have you—because there simply is no such thing. Just as there’s no such thing as the perfect employee, teacher, or pastor. None of us can find another person—including a spouse—with whom we agree on everything.
However, I’ll tell you what I did find that summer of ‘06. I found one of the most remarkable men and families I have ever met or known in Mitt Romney, his wife Ann, and their five sons. Governor Romney was my choice for president in ’08, and he remains my choice today. I didn’t arrive at this decision lightly.
So how did I, as a conservative and an evangelical, land on Mitt Romney? After reading all I could find and talking to people who knew him, I went to see him and told him I’d like to help him. I also told him he couldn’t pay me—ever.
I have a three-part litmus test for choosing a presidential candidate:
1. He/she must share my values (not necessarily my faith or theology)
2. He/she must be competent to lead and govern should they actually get elected.
3. He/she must be capable of getting elected.
So let me talk for a few minutes about values, competence and electability.
First, while I am not interested in (nor worried about) giving platform to Mormon theology, I think this country would benefit from a good dose of Mormon values. Their overwhelming commitment to marriage, family, hard work, honesty, integrity, morality and character is something to be admired and modeled. Frankly, this church’s record in this area often outperforms ours in many ways. (I was reminded about this again just last weekend while watching one of our fallen evangelical leaders starring in ABC’s reality show Wife Swap.)
I’ve been in the Romney home numerous times. I’ve been with Mitt in offices, holding rooms, hotel rooms, restaurants, cars and planes all across this country and everything about him is real. I’ve gotten to know dozens of his friends, colleagues and advisors. I’ve even attended his church.
His marriage of 42 years is rock solid, and I’ll tell you this: I don’t worry about waking up one day to a headline about Mitt Romney like we have been saddened to hear about leaders among our own ranks like Gov. Mark Sanford, Sen. John Ensign, Sen. David Vitter, and countless pastors.
Gov. Romney has fought hard for values we care deeply about. For example, he immediately condemned the November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in his state, and then lobbied hard for a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage.
Keep in mind; Mitt had an 85% Democratic legislature in Massachusetts. This is an important point, which I think is either unknown or lost on many conservative critics. An 85% opposition legislature means bills and measures the governor proposed could be changed at will. It also means measures he vetoed could be overridden at will.
(By the way, Mitt cast 800 vetoes as governor of Massachusetts—that’s one veto every day-and-a-half for four years.)
Finally, it means he had to know how to work constructively with people on
the other side, which is something we could use more of today.
So when you hear Mitt Romney did something as governor you don’t like, take a minute to find out if he did it, or an 85% Democratic majority did it over his best efforts and objections. A fair and honest assessment of his record requires this.
Under his leadership, Massachusetts’ public schools began offering middle school classroom programs on abstinence from a faith-based organization.
As governor, Mitt Romney vetoed bills providing access to the “morning¬after pill” and for expansive, embryo-destroying stem cell research.
He staunchly defended the right of the Catholic Charities of Boston to refuse to allow homosexual couples to adopt children in its care, and filed a bill to protect such religious liberty.
National Review political reporter John Miller wrote that, “a good case can be made that Romney has fought harder for social conservatives than any other governor in America, and it is difficult to imagine his doing so in a more daunting environment.”
Listen to what one notable Republican had to say about Mitt Romney.
“In a few short days, Republicans from across this country will decide more than their party’s nominee. They will decide the very future of our party and the conservative coalition that Ronald Reagan built. Conservatives can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines in this election, and Governor Romney is the candidate who will stand up for the conservative principles that we hold dear. Governor Romney has a deep understanding of the important issues confronting our country today, and he is the clear conservative candidate that can go into the general election with a united Republican party.”
Who said this? Rick Santorum did when he endorsed and campaigned for Mitt just four years ago. Nothing in Mitt Romney’s record, speech, or life has changed since Sen. Santorum offered that endorsement, which, knowing the senator, I believe was offered seriously, genuinely, and as a matter of real conviction.
I have concluded that Mitt Romney’s values more closely resemble my own than any president in my lifetime.
Thanks to John Schroeder of Article VI Blog for connecting Mitt Romney Central with Timothy Dalrymple. The following open letter is another outstanding endorsement of Governor Romney as the candidate best suited to represent conservative values as our President of the United States. Tim’s three main arguments below are compelling, especially regarding Governor Romney’s moral leadership.
Timothy Dalrymple is the Director of Content for Patheos.com, the largest religion website in the country, and the managing editor of its Evangelical Portal. He earned his Ph.D. in modern western religious thought at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and contributes to Evangelicals for Mitt. Raised in non-denominational evangelical churches in California, Dalrymple has ministry experience in youth ministry, college ministry, prison chaplaincy, teaching apologetics, and leading overseas missions. Formerly of Boston, he is now a member of Perimeter Church in Johns Creek, Georgia. You can follow him at Philosophical Fragments or Facebook.
Dear Mitt Romney skeptics, and especially my fellow evangelicals,
Do you remember how it felt when the economy began to implode in those anxious, waning months of 2008? We were coming down to the wire in the election contest, and the candidates we had to choose between were Barack Obama and John McCain. Given the choices, of course, I supported McCain. I still think he would have made a far better President than Obama has proven to be.
But as the very foundations of the American economy were shaking and falling away beneath our feet, and we faced the very real possibility of a Second Great Depression, how desperately I wished that Mitt Romney had emerged from the primary as the champion of the GOP. The presiding President and his party took the heat for the financial crisis, and McCain worsened the situation when his actions and statements inspired no confidence in his stability and expertise on economic matters. The election turned in Obama’s favor when he gave the impression of solidity and strength in the economic crisis.
Romney, however, had something Obama couldn’t even begin to claim: a brilliantly successful career in the private sector, and a world of experience specifically in the financial sector, where our most intractable problems lay. Between McCain and Romney, Romney was touted by the conservative commentariat as the conservative option, and I remember feeling as though the liberal media, independents and even some Democrats who were able to vote in primaries had shoehorned John McCain onto the GOP ticket. If Romney had been at the top of the ticket instead, I still believe we would have avoided the lamentable Obama Presidency; compared to a business titan, Obama would have looked like the inexperienced pretender that he was, and he could not have stood up to Romney’s economic expertise in the debates.
Well, we’re still in the midst of an incredible mess as a country. Our financial house is in shambles. Tax reform, regulatory reform, streamlining government, changes to our energy and immigration policies, will all help. But the character of the American people, the moral substructure that provides the necessary, nurturing environment for our democratic free market, has also disintegrated. Our problem is not merely political; it is also cultural. I am convinced of this with every bone in my body: We need to rediscover the virtues of the free market, and we also need to rediscover the economic virtues. On the one hand, we need a President who understands how companies grow and flourish, who understands how the economy works and what provides the predictability and clarity and the space for innovation that the market demands; Romney’s experience in venture capital, properly understood, is one of his truest strengths, because the venture capitalist learns a great deal about what kinds of ventures succeed and what kinds of capital they need. On the other hand, we need someone whose personal integrity and whose socio-political principles will strengthen the family, enrich the workforce, and restore our collective commitment to responsibility and initiative, stewardship and thrift, diligence and creativity.
I’ve written responses to some common misconceptions about Romney and his candidacy – and a long, specifically evangelical case for Mitt can be found in this ebook. The purpose of this letter is simply to set forth, in broad outlines, why I think Romney’s the right guy at the right time for this country. The Presidency is a position of enormously important economic, global and moral leadership. In all three of those areas, I firmly believe that Mitt Romney is the leader we need. He also, not coincidentally, stands the best chance of defeating Barack Obama — and if there’s one thing conservatives agree upon right now, it’s the profound importance of installing new leadership. As the country staggers toward decline, we need someone who can pick us up, rally the American people behind a positive and hopeful vision, and deploy all of his intelligence and experience and skill to move us toward a better future. That’s Mitt.
Economic and Global Leadership
Those who know him personally attest, without exception, that Romney is an extraordinarily intelligent, boundlessly competent, and thoroughly hard-working man. He built a towering reputation in the business world, accomplished a near-miraculous turnaround of the Salt Lake City Olympics (which was mired in scandal and red ink and on the verge of collapsing), and took an extremely liberal state (Massachusetts) that was deeply in debt and restored it to fiscal health and a budget surplus in the course of four years.
In the business world, Romney specialized in turning around failing companies, and he did so with great success. Sometimes, yes, that means eliminating jobs — but in most cases you’re eliminating jobs in order to avoid eliminating a company in its entirety. You make companies more profitable, more competitive, and thus more sustainable. You eliminate jobs now so that you can keep paying the salaries of those who remain, and ideally add more jobs again later. In other words, sometimes the most pro-jobs thing you can do is cut one job and save the company that employs ninety-nine more.
Let’s do a little speculating ahead of the Iowa caucuses — just for the heck of it and for a little fun. I have noticed in the MRC chat room that many of you are political junkies, as am I. Even with Christmas this week, there has been a lot of political chatter. Following are some thoughts as to where I see it going for Iowa specifically and for the eventual nomination in general. I am certain some or many of you will disagree with me and if so, please provide your perspectives in the comments — just for fun. By the way, I have no inside information at all. My thoughts below are derived from the chatter I hear and read.
Where you see a percentage prefaced with “GOP:” this is the Intrade.com market level as of 12/26/11, 10:15pm, PST to the question, “Nominee to be Republican Presidential Nominee in 2012″ — A percentage prefaced with “Iowa:” this is the Intrade.com market level to the question, “Nominee to win the 2012 Iowa Caucus.” Seven candidates in alphabetical order:
Bachmann — Will finish 6th or 7th; No executive experience; Only two Presidents were elected from the House: Lincoln & Kennedy; Will drop out after Iowa for thin $$ and Org; In race to build name ID only; GOP: 1.4%. Gingrich — Will finish 4th, maybe 3rd; Never intended to run a serious campaign; He peaked at highest level in polls 12/13/11, never to hit those highs again in this race; Will remain in race out of sheer arrogant ambition; Will survive despite anemic fund raising; Could not qualify in home state of Virginia; GOP: 7.9%; Iowa: 11.1%. Huntsman — Last place (7th); In race only to build name ID; Never serious candidate based on lack of $$ and Org; Will drop out after New Hampshire; No longer shows in Intrade.com. Paul — Will finish 1st in Iowa (if so, Iowa will likely become marginalized/irrelevant in future elections); No executive experience; Only two Presidents were elected from the House: Lincoln & Kennedy; Has strongest Org next to Romney’s; Will run again for President in 2020 and maybe 2024 if still alive; Paul is no longer taken seriously, but his supporters are; GOP: 7.3%; Iowa: 49%. Perry — Will finish 5th in Iowa; Won’t be GOP nominee for perception he would never beat Obama in debate; Could not qualify on Virginia ballot; Will not easily cave since he has never lost an election (ego); Predict he will survive to at least South Carolina due to $$ and Org; Will languish at bottom despite $$. GOP: 2.1%. Romney — Will finish 2nd, maybe first if Iowa weather is good (Huckabee); Expectations were set low, so 2nd place is great, 1st place is grand-slam; Romney is only candidate that built political goodwill by raising money over last three years for many GOP candidates after his last presidential run, much the same way Reagan did after his first failed run for POTUS; Undecided Iowans (~50%) may coalesce behind Romney in order to be relevant (against Paul/Gingrich) and to back a sure winner; Positives too long to list here (for later post); GOP: 71.9%; Iowa: 34%. Santorum — Predict will finish 4th, maybe 3rd; Will be surprise in Iowa for hard work and official Evangelical backing; May even eclipse Gingrich; Will drop out after Iowa or NH; Strong Iowa finish will provide momentum into NH; Will need all the stars to align to raise $$ to then build Org; No longer shows in Intrade.com.
Estimates of voter turnout in Iowa, one week from today, range between 110,000 and 140,000 — tiny by any measure. Iowa seems to always provide some surprises, all the more reason for the hype leading up to the caucuses. Due to the surprise factor, all of my predictions above could be way off, but in the end, I think Iowans want to be taken seriously and most importantly, they want to be relevant in future elections. They pride themselves on really “knowing” each and every candidate.
Ultimately, I think Iowans cannot seriously think they will be found relevant if they give it to Ron Paul, knowing that he would allow Iran to obliterate Israel. I think Gingrich is simply too self-loving, untrustworthy, and immodest for Midwesterners to embrace in a big way. In many ways over the cycles, Iowa has been marginalized as a predictor of future Presidents. Realizing my bias, I think Iowans will want to regain their past reputation by choosing the very best candidate for POTUS and back Romney in the end.
If you disagree, how, why? Please leave a comment or two to inform us.
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln