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

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

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

I am right!

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

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

Second, FOX seems to be rooting for anybody but GMR. I think that is true, but so are all the other MSM outlets. Why is that?
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Mitt Romney Interviewed by Mike Huckabee

Gov. Huckabee asked Gov. Romney about healthcare, abortion, and more…

Mitt Romney on Obamacare vs. Romneycare


Would Mitt Romney Be a Pro-Life President?


What Separates Romney from the Rest of the Pack?


It sure is nice to see two rivals seemingly on the same page and both committed to the same goal. It was a tough, but very fair interview that probably gave a lot of voters some insight into Gov. Romney that they didn’t have before. What did you think of the interview?

CNN/Tea Party Pres. Debate: Favorable Reviews for Mitt Romney

GOP presidential candidates appear on stage at the CNN/Tea Party debate last night in Tamp, FL. 9/12/11 (photo by David and Holloway/CNN)

What a night for Mitt Romney at the GOP CNN/Tea Party debate in Tampa, Florida! He more than held his own and by some early accounts – won – in a crowd that clearly had a likin’ for Rick Perry (although Perry faded in the last half; the crowd didn’t like his gardasil vaccine mandate and he received boo’s on his immigration stance.)

The reviews…

The Weekly Standard – Fred Barnes (my favorite article)

Romney’s Win

If a debate more than four months before the first vote is cast can influence the outcome of a presidential nomination race, the debate last night among eight Republicans should aid Mitt Romney’s candidacy. Seldom has there been as clear a winner.

Romney was crisp and succinct, prepared and focused, and aggressive in going after his chief rival for the GOP presidential nomination, Texas governor Rick Perry, when he needed to be. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, showed once again that he’s a far better candidate now than he was four years ago.

He did well in these instances, among others: spelling out the differences between the health care plan he championed in Massachusetts and Obamacare; explaining the problem with the Fair Tax is that it gives short shrift to the middle class; pointing out the built-in advantages Perry has in Texas in governing successfully; and refraining from boasting, except to say that “if America needs a turnaround, that’s what I do.”

Romney challenged Perry on Social Security at the outset of the debate, which was held in Florida and billed as a collaboration of CNN and various Tea Party organizations. It was Tea Party people who asked the questions, mostly better ones than a panel of reporters or pundits would probably have asked.

The first question was on Social Security, which Perry has called a Ponzi scheme and a failure. Romney has suggested Perry’s view makes him unelectable.

When Perry didn’t back down from those comments, Romney jumped in with questions, and host Wolf Blitzer let him proceed. Romney asked Perry about his recent book in which he said Social Security is unconstitutional and might be better run by the states.

Perry didn’t have a ready answer, or at least not a persuasive one. Nor did he offer the one thing that I expected from him in the debate: a Perry plan for fixing Social Security’s looming insolvency. [...]
[...]
Back to Romney. The candidates were asked what they’d bring to the White House – what thing. Romney gave the best answer after repeating the Winston Churchill quotation that America always does the right thing after trying everything else first. He said he’d bring the bust of Churchill, sent away by President Obama, back to the White House.

The Daily Beast - Howard Kurtz

[…] Romney seized control of the tempo in what may have been his strongest performance so far. He seemed at ease taking the fight to Perry and got the better of their heated exchanges. The former Massachusetts governor was clearly trying to position himself as the reassuring grownup on stage and Perry as the fearmonger.

Let’s unpack their verbal clash and see what it tells us about each man and his strategy.

Perry tried to clean up his mess from last week’s MSNBC debate, when he attacked Social Security as a Ponzi scheme without suggesting how he might fix it. This time he offered those near retirement age a “slam-dunk guarantee” they’d get their benefits before hailing his own “courage” in criticizing the ailing system.

Romney didn’t miss a beat, calling Perry’s Ponzi language “over the top” and “frightful” before delivering his strongest punch: that the Texan had called Social Security unconstitutional and “not something the federal government ought to be involved in.”

The Fix (The Washington Post) – Chris Cillizza

WINNERS

Mitt Romney: Four debates. Four times Romney has wound up in the winner’s circle. It’s not a coincidence. Romney proved yet again that he is the best debater in this field with another solid performance in which he effectively downplayed his liabilities on health care and accentuated his strengths on jobs and the economy. Romney played more offense than he has in previous debates, taking the fight to Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Social Security. He also got a major assist from Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), both of whom relentlessly bashed Perry. But that’s how debates work. Romney also, smartly, ignored the tea party audience in the hall — who occasionally booed him — and focused his messaging on the much broader audience of people watching the debate on CNN.

More good reading after the fold…

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Help Romney in this FOX News GOP Poll

Someone at Fox wasn’t happy that we were winning the old poll by so much so they started a new one. Let’s just go ahead and win this one too! You can only vote once in the first poll so make sure to send this link to as many Mitt supporters as you can!

Calling all 22,000 Facebook fans… calling all 22,000 Facebook fans…
Romney trails in this FOX News poll by 3400 votes… Let’s see if we can make up the difference!

the original poll


Note: This poll originated at FOX News. I’ve embedded it here to help give Romney a push.
~Nate G.

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%

Both Mitt Romney and Meg Whitman Win Big in Early California Poll

Meg Whitman and Mitt RomneyRecent polling from Magellan Strategies indicates that both Governor Mitt Romney and Meg Whitman , former CEO of eBay.com, are in early pole position for their relative offices, or potential office I should say in the case of Governor Romney. California has a closed primary, meaning only registered Republicans can vote in the primary. As such the Magellan poll only included those who are registered GOP.

California is rich with GOP delegates with approx. 170 that get to vote in the RNC convention. Of those McCain received 158 delegates in the 2008 primary, while Romney earned 12, with 42% of the vote and 35%, respectively.

The results for Magellan’s early 2012 Presidential preference poll:

31% Romney
18% Palin
13% Huckabee
12% Gingrich
08% Paul
03% Other
03% Pawlenty
12% Undecided

That is a very healthy margin for Romney, and there could very well be similar results in February 2012, bringing a vast majority of those 170 delegates into Romney’s camp. Interesting enough the results included cross-tabs which showed the results among social conservatives to be very similar to those of the state-wide poll: 30% Romney ; 20% Palin ; 17% Huckabee. This disputes claims that Romney can’t do well among SoCons, and being a strong SoCon myself I find great satisfaction in that.

Now for the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial nominee poll results:

63% Meg Whitman !!!
12% Steve Poizner
04% Other
21% Undecided

Much could happen before the June 8 primary elections, but I think Whitman is almost a definite winner with nearly 2/3 of the entire vote. Meg Whitman as Governor would be an extraordinary benefit to the State of California with her extensive economic expertise as a business leader, but I can’t overlook the fact that it will also be a huge boon to Romney with Whitman in the Governorship.

Good Luck Whitman 2010 and Go Mitt 2012!!

~Nate Gunderson

Results of the full survey found here. HT GOP12.com

Romney Discusses Huckabee and Pardons on Larry King

From GOPToast:

This is a short clip (still looking for video of the entire interview from last night) but it’s not hard to once again see why Mitt Romney is lightyears ahead of the other 2012 contenders. Others candidates, if asked by Larry King to discuss the downfall of their opponents, very likely would’ve torn into those opponents. Romney though quickly brushes aside King’s window to take shots at Huckabee and moves on, offering facts about his own personal record.

Update: Here is the full video. Portion about Huckabee is at about 8:00.

Romney in the News

Mitt’s interview on CNN:

(HT: NYforMitt)

Romney Builds Political Capital While Biding Time on 2012 Run:

(CNN Politics)

Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) — For a moment, you might think Mitt Romney was still running for office if you look at his travel schedule crisscrossing the country.

Since February, he has attended nine events for senatorial candidates, appeared at more than a dozen rallies or fundraisers for those running for governor this year or next, and spoken at almost two dozen meetings of Republican Party groups or conservative organizations. And he has finished a new book.

“This is a pivotal time in the history of our country,” Romney said at his political action committee’s office.

As the Republican Party searches for ways to rebound from its recent losses and leaders who can be turned to, Romney clearly is trying to position himself to be one of them.

Editorial: Governor Romney, Welcome Back!:

(The Jacksonville Observer)

North East Florida Republicans gave a warm welcome to their number one 2008 Presidential primary favorite, Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney delivered an energized keynote speech downtown at the Hyatt honoring dedicated community leader, Tom Petway.

Romney’s speech was principled, impassioned and conservative to the core. He spoke about the dire effects of big government spending and taxpayer funded bailouts crippling an already frail economy, versus limited government which spurs economic growth and empowers Americans to pursue greater opportunities.

Since 2008, Romney has formed a P.A.C., “Free and Strong America.” He travels the country speaking to prestigious “Think Tanks” espousing time tested principles that will turn this country around; as well as backing Republican candidates running for statewide and national office.

Though the 2012 election may seem a long way off, people are looking to the future for hope. In several of the latest polls, former governor Mitt Romney is the front runner for the Republican nomination. It’s time to start paying attention to what he has to say.

Governor Romney, welcome back to Jacksonville, we’re glad you came.

Romney to Speak at Reagan Ranch:

(CNN Political Ticker)

(CNN) – Mitt Romney is heading to Reagan country.

The former Massachusetts governor is scheduled to speak this Friday to the Young America’s Foundation at the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. Romney is expected to be the dinner banquet speaker for the foundation’s West Coast Leadership Conference, which consists of young conservatives from 44 colleges and universities across 12 states.

“Young people provide much of the energy in the conservative movement, and if we are going to be successful as a party we need to harness that energy and put it work on behalf of the principles we all believe in – more freedom, lower taxes and limited government,” says Romney Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.

Surprise! Huckabee Still Resents Romney:

(Politico: Mike Huckabee Ambivalent About White House Run)

What’s more, [Huckabee] is vastly outworking all of his potential rivals — even the ones who, as he noted, don’t have to work for a living and don’t need to work for a living. Like, just for instance, Romney, who merits 15 entries in the index of Huckabee’s recent campaign memoir, now out in paperback. (“Romney, Mitt: disrespectful attitude of; … flip-flopping on issues; … Iowa concession, lack of; … as left of center; … negative ads.”)

He compares Romney’s attempt to prove himself more conservative than his rivals to “the Kristen Wiig character on ‘Saturday Night Live’ — ‘I’ve been there, too; I’ve been there six times.’”

~Nate Gunderson

Romney’s PAC Raises Impressive $322K in September

The Free and Strong America PAC filed its FEC financial disclosures yesterday for the month of September showing the PAC is keeping a very swift pace in its fundraising and doing very well in the invisible primary. Last month’s total came to $322,677, while expenditures summed up at $190,878. The PAC filings show the group spent significant money to extend it’s fundraising efforts, and in turn was able to raise much more also.

September’s total is a considerable jump from August which capped at $216,000, and is also over the monthly average for the year which stands at $293,000 per month, the yearly total being $2,641,000.

Romney’s PAC continues to set the standard in fundraising amongst potential 2012 GOP nomination candidates, though it is difficult quantify the differences as Palin and Huckabee opted to file bi-annually (Romney files monthly), and Tim Pawlenty’s newly organized Freedom First PAC has not made any filings yet. One can potentially say that Palin’s numbers are not accurate also since she also has a defense fund that people contribute to that draws from her PAC totals.

Totals at this year’s midway point:
Romney: $1,908,000
Palin: $733,000
Huckabee: $304,000

~Nate Gunderson

Rasmussen Poll: Huckabee Wins the Day with 29%

Rasmussen published a GOP presidential nomination poll yesterday with Governor Mike Huckabee in the lead (29%), Romney behind 5% in second (24%). with Palin in a more distant third (17%). This is indeed good news for Mike Huckabee and fans, but I would caution them, and anyone else, not to become too invested in polls like this so far out. Much can and will change. And yes I would be saying the same thing even if Romney were in the top spot in the poll right now. The only thing one gains from winning polls this early in the game is a big target on their back and negative publicity from opposing parties or factions.

In early 2006 Rasmussen did a similar poll for the 2008 GOP nomination. The results: Rudy 24%, Condi Rice 18%, and McCain at 17%. Well, we all know who ended up winning. But in the interim Rudy, McCain, Romney and Huckabee all took turns leading in the national polls. Two of those were not even on the radar in the 2006 poll (Romney and Huckabee). It’s possible that Pawlenty, and perhaps even Santorum, could make such a run and we’ll be looking at an entirely different field in 2011. I recall that Romney was at single digits for all of 2006 and the early part of 2007, and was constantly being poked-fun at as “the single digit candidate”. For that reason I caution all to watch out if Pawlenty’s campaign gains traction. I still believe Romney has the advantage at this point, but the competitors are not as far behind as they were before.

huckabee-pollThere are many other tangibles and intangibles that factor into how well a candidate is preparing for a distant election besides the national polls: PAC fundraising performance, media appearances, Op-Eds, speeches, authoring books, PAC organization strength, campaigning for and making alliances with fellow candidates for GOP offices, etc. Having a TV show with millions of weekly viewers, plus a radio show, is certainly helping in Huckabee’s case, as is evident from the poll. They are an advantageous luxury the others won’t be able to have. The shows I’m sure are a great net positive, but there are some minor downsides as well: less free time to raise funds for the PAC and campaign on the behalf of others.

Congrats to Huckabee, the victor of the day.

The results from Rasmussen:

2012: GOP Primary Election

Huckabee

29%

Romney

24%

Palin

18%

Gingrich

14%

Pawlenty

4%

Some other candidate

6%

Not sure

7%

These numbers reflect an improvement for Huckabee since July when the three candidates were virtually even. Huckabee’s gain appears to be Palin’s loss as Romney’s support has barely changed.

The numbers for Huckabee and Romney look even stronger when GOP voters were asked which candidate they would least like to see get the nomination. Pawlenty came on top in that category with 28%. Palin was second at 21% while 20% named Gingrich. Romney and Huckabee were in the single digits with 9% and 8% respectively.

Huckabee and Romney are viewed favorably by 78% of Republican voters, Palin by 75%. Gingrich earns favorably reviews from 69% while Pawlenty is less well known and gets a positive assessment from 45% of Republicans.

Republican voters are very confident their nominee could be the next President of the United States. Eighty-one percent (81%) of the GOP faithful say that it’s at least somewhat likely the Republican nominee will defeat Barack Obama in 2012. Fifty percent (50%) say it’s Very Likely.

~Nate Gunderson

UPDATE: Some interesting head-to-head match-ups plus favorables/unfavorables are posted at Race42012.com.