Posts Tagged ‘Iowa Caucuses’

Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Oh My!

by Jason Whitman on Monday, January 23rd, 2012

This is article 506 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The last 48 hours in presidential primary politics has been unprecedented. From the Iowa Republican Party’s announcement that Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa Caucuses to the Gingrich blowout in South Carolina, the inevitability of a Mitt Romney nomination have evaporated. Whereas the discussion on Friday centered on the Romney Juggernaut winning the first three primary states, Romney’s campaign now finds itself with a 1 and 3 record; the same as the other serious candidates.

 

The final results in South Carolina:

  • Newt Gingrich – 40.4%
  • Mitt Romney – 27.8%
  • Rick Santorum – 17%
  • Ron Paul – 13%
  • Rick Perry – 0.4%
  • Other – 1.4%

The campaigns are now headed to Florida, a state whose seeming importance had diminished following the loss of  half their delegates when they moved their primary forward. That is no longer the case. Florida will be the first real test of Gingrich’s campaign vs. Romney’s. It is unlikely Santorum will have the resources on the ground or the money to effect the outcome in his favor, and Ron Paul is moving on to the caucus states where he has a chance.

Latest RCP avg in Florida:

  • Mitt Romney – 38.4%
  • Newt Gingrich – 23.7%
  • Rick Santorum – 14.4%
  • Ron Paul – 9.6%

This is a real primary race now. It is fair to say that the testing of each candidate and a longer primary process will produce a nominee better prepared to take on the Obama machine.

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Gingrich Surging in South Carolina

by Donald Douglas on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is article 491 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

Mitt Romney still enjoys a huge lead in the Palmetto State, but Newt Gingrich has momentum.

See: “CNN/Time Poll: Race for South Carolina tightening” (via Memeorandum).

And Los Angeles Times provides the spin, “New poll: Gingrich gains on Romney in South Carolina.”

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Mitt Romney still holds a double-digit lead in South Carolina ahead of the state’s potentially decisive Republican primary, but Newt Gingrich has narrowed the gap some, according to a new CNN/Time poll.

Romney has the support of 33% of likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina, good for a 10-point advantage over Gingrich. That’s down, however, from an 18-point lead Romney held over Rick Santorum in a poll earlier this month.

Santorum is now down to 16% in the new poll, followed by Ron Paul at 13% and Rick Perry at 6%.

For Romney, a win in South Carolina on Saturday could essentially end the GOP nominating race. He’s already won the New Hampshire primary, and was the presumed victor in the Iowa caucuses a week earlier. The Iowa Republican Party will announce its final certified caucus results on Thursday.

More at the link.

And also at Los Angeles Times, “As Gingrich gains, Romney stays on the attack.”

I’ll be surprised if Gingrich continues to surge. The primary is Saturday and there’s not much time to close the gap. The Speaker has pledged to stay in the race, but as the Times notes, another win for Romney will pretty much sew things up, regardless of what the Iowa GOP announces. Florida votes January 31 and Romney could clinch by then. I can’t recall any candidate wrapping up a nomination that quickly, but I’ll double check to be sure.

BONUS: Click the image above, which links to Gingrich’s interview with Charlie Rose on CBS the other day. Gingrich speaks truth to power on the administration’s failures in the black community and I can’t say enough how much I hope Romney picks up the ball on that heading into the fall campaign. I’m confident Americans will reject the left’s race-baiting and see what this debate is all about: the Democrats’ failure to make a dent in the crisis of the black community in America. The only way the left can even attempt to defend themselves is by manufacturing racist “dog whistles” and hoping people fall in line like zombies. It’s a morally bankrupt and stupid strategy, and they need to be called out for it over and over again. Bravo to Newt on that.

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Perry Drops Out, Endorses Gingrich; Santorum Apparently Wins Iowa

by Doug Powers on Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is article 488 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

A campaign that at first seemed to have so much momentum and financial backing progressively waned and has culminated in Rick Perry leaving the race and endorsing Newt Gingrich:

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday and endorse Newt Gingrich, two campaign officials confirmed, a decision that could influence the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

The announcement from Mr. Perry was expected to inject fresh momentum into Mr. Gingrich’s efforts to emerge as the leading alternative to Mitt Romney. It was unclear whether Mr. Perry would campaign with Mr. Gingrich in the final two days of the primary campaign here.

Perry got in the race because he saw what everybody else did months ahead of the Iowa caucuses: He had large leads in “hypothetical” polls that included him in the mix of already declared candidates. But we saw first-hand the difference between hypothetical campaigns and actual campaigns, and Perry never really gained any traction.

I did think that Perry’s ads were among the best though:

*****

I just listened to Perry’s “suspending my campaign” speech. He endorsed Gingrich and said that as a Christian he believes in the idea of forgiveness — an apparent reference to the Marianne Gingrich interview that will be played ad nauseum for the next several days. It’s a media feeding frenzy at this point. I wish the MSM had given even ten percent of the attention to Obama’s background as they’re giving Romney and Gingrich. It’s not that they’re reporting these things that’s troublesome — it’s that the media’s playing field isn’t close to level.

In other news, it appears that Rick Santorum was the winner in Iowa, though it won’t equate to a surge in Santorum support in South Carolina.

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The Huckabee Campaign That Might-Have Been

by Michael Medved on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

This is article 486 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

Mike Huckabee, affable host at this weekend’s Republican debate in South Carolina, occasionally (and effortlessly) upstaged the five presidential candidates who participated. The former Arkansas governor remains such a comfortable, self-assured media presence that many conservatives yearn for him to play a more prominent role in the party’s national leadership. Huckabee ruled out a second White House bid more than eight months ago but his continuing popularity as a host on FOX News and hero to religious conservatives raises delicate questions about the candidacy that might-have-been.

Could Huckabee have unified Evangelical Christian voters to keep control of the party firmly in the hands of social conservatives? Would he have enlivened the race with an easy-going style and populist appeal sorely lacking in the present GOP field? And given his obvious strengths as a candidate and the much-discussed weaknesses of the current crop of contenders, why did he make the fateful decision last May to shun the race?

Each of these questions deserves serious attention as a means to clear away confusion concerning the past, present and future state of presidential politics within the Republican Party.

1. Had Mike Huckabee become a candidate in 2012 would he have unified Christian conservative voters behind his campaign? No way; he failed to achieve anything close to such unanimity last time and, if anything, Evangelical opinion has become even more fractured. Victory in the Iowa Caucuses (with 35 percent of the overall vote) represented the high point of Huckabee’s 2008 campaign and even there the long-time Baptist pastor carried only a minority of Evangelical Christian voters. Exit polls show that 46 percent of self-described “born again” or Evangelical caucus participants backed Huckabee with the rest split among Fred Thompson, John McCain, Ron Paul and, yes, Mitt Romney (who finished second to Huckabee among Evangelicals with 19 percent). Christian conservatives have never represented anything like a monolithic voting bloc in Iowa or anywhere else; they are broadly divided by economic status, education levels, personal temperament and ideological emphasis. The anti-Mormon prejudice widely imputed to Born Again believers by the mainstream media didn’t prevent Evangelicals in New Hampshire (some 26 percent of all voters in the GOP primary) from giving a plurality of their support to Romney. Even in 1988, when televangelist Pat Robertson made an all-out appeal to religiously motivated voters in Iowa, he drew only 25 percent of caucus goers, with national front-runners Bob Dole and George H. W. Bush (neither of who had ever been known for fiery religious fervor) more than doubling his total in the Hawkeye State. More recently, Iowans gave the great bulk of their support in the 2012 Caucuses to two Catholics and a Mormon (Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney) while the two candidates who most strenuously emphasized born again faith (Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann) earned a paltry 15 percent combined. Despite long-standing liberal assumptions that Evangelicals vote like glassy-eyed fanatics for the most strident positions on a cluster of polarizing social issues, real life Christian conservatives make their political choices according to a combination of factors (including economic and fiscal attitudes, national security concerns, and qualifications of the candidates, as well as cultural values).

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Independent and Undecided Voters are now Cleared for Landing

by Rev. Michael Bresciani on Friday, January 13th, 2012

This is article 474 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

Confusion.JPG

Estimates run around 40 percent for independent voters in this election cycle. Many answers are offered for why this phenomenon is so prevalent right now in the nation, but few are viewing it as a possibility of a growing sense of confusion and uncertainty.

Barack Obama has been castigated in the media for proclaiming that Americans may have gotten “lazy” in the last few years, so, where would someone come in who calls us wishy washy and confused? Unlike Barack Obama, I am sure that I love America, I will salute the flag and I don’t think we were ever a Muslim nation, nor do we want to be. I’ll take my chances with the people of this nation.

The Iowa caucuses may be the quintessential example of what happens when voters are uncertain. That may be completely understandable, unless for some reason, there is cause to believe, that it is more than uncertainty, but confusion itself, which may have caused the voters to flip from one front runner to the next in a matter of days in some cases.

The most common offering used to explain the rise in independent voters is that the republicans have moved too far to the right. Upon examining the newly invigorated platform of the right toward dealing with both abortion and the nearly half billion dollars of tax payers money used to pay for abortions in 2011 and paid to Planned Parenthood and others –  perhaps it is the right time to move more to the right.

Defense of DOMA shouldn’t be considered a move to the right because it is already the law of the land. Enforcing the law is, what is right, not merely a move to the right. If standing against the proliferation of the gay agenda in our system of education is a move to the right we may want to consider how many times California has had to challenge the states new laws that mandate requiring that gay history be taught in the public schools and gay marriage laws.

If people in the Golden State won’t let it stand without a fight, it being the most liberal state in the nation, where does that put the rest of us? This is hardly a move to the right, but once again, it is more of a movement for what is right.

Most analysts are saying that it’s coming down to a choice between electability and morality. In the language of the analysts and pundits that translates as, economy and jobs – vs. – doing what is moral and right.

The days when that would not even be a question, may have long passed, but that speaks more to the people than the candidates. It is what gives rise to the idea that independent voters will not, rather than, cannot, be nailed down on a moral issue.

American Thinker recently published an article by prolific writer, Bruce Walker entitled, The Left’s Heart of Darkness, in which he said, “Conservatives sometimes get too distracted by dollars and deficits and debt. These matter, of course — they matter a great deal in political life.

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Bachmann to Hold News Conference at 11 a.m. EST; Perry Cancels South Carolina Events; Update: Bachmann out, Perry heads to S.C., Gingrich schemes

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This is article 439 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections


Source: yfrog

Updated…

**Written by Doug Powers

The first post-Iowa casualty?

After a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses over night, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday, the campaign announced on Wednesday morning.

Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in August, won only 5 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s caucus. After the results, she cancelled her trip to South Carolina, where she would have campaigned to win the state’s primary on Jan. 21, Fox News reported.

On Monday Bachmann said she had no intention of dropping out no matter what the outcome in Iowa.

Additionally, Rick Perry has canceled events scheduled today in South Carolina and will return to Texas to “reassess” his campaign.

In other campaign news, John McCain will endorse Romney in New Hampshire, my friends. Fantastic.

***

UPDATE:

As Bachmann makes her announcement that she has decided to “step aside” and looks “forward to the next chapter in God’s plan,” Perry tweets a picture of himself in running clothes and announces he’s hanging on:

“And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State…Here we come South Carolina!!!”

***

Meanwhile, Newt floats a collab with Santorum.

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Mitt Romney Wins Iowa Caucuses

by Donald Douglas on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This is article 437 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

At Los Angeles Times, “Mitt Romney nabs 8-vote win in Iowa.” And from the New York Times, “Romney Wins Iowa Caucus by 8 Votes“:

DES MOINES — Mitt Romney’s quest to swiftly lock down the Republican presidential nomination with a commanding finish in the Iowa caucuses was undercut on Tuesday night by the surging candidacy of Rick Santorum, who fought him to a draw on a shoestring budget by winning over conservatives who remain skeptical of Mr. Romney.

In the first Republican contest of the season, the two candidates were separated much of the night by only a sliver of votes, with Mr. Romney being declared the winner by eight ballots early Wednesday morning. But the outcome offered Mr. Santorum a chance to emerge as the alternative to Mr. Romney as the race moves to New Hampshire and South Carolina without Gov. Rick Perry, who announced that he was returning to Texas to assess his candidacy.

“Being here in Iowa has made me a better candidate,” Mr. Santorum said, arriving at a caucus in Clive, where he urged Republicans to vote their conscience. “Don’t sell America short. Don’t put someone out there from Iowa who isn’t capable of doing what America needs done.”

The Iowa caucuses did not deliver a clean answer to what type of candidate Republicans intend to rally behind to try to defeat President Obama and win back the White House. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney, whose views represent the polar sides of the party, each had 24.6 percent.

“Onto New Hampshire, let’s get that job done!” Mr. Romney told supporters at a late-night rally, when he was five votes shy of Mr. Santorum. “Come visit us there, we’ve got some work ahead.”

The last time the Iowa caucuses produced such a close outcome was in 1980, when George Bush beat Ronald Reagan by two percentage points.

Right.

See previously, “GOP 2012 May Be Closest in History of Iowa Caucuses.”

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Iowa-bashing snobs and sore losers

by Michelle Malkin on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

This is article 435 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

As we wait for election results to come in tonight, enjoy my reflections on the snobs and sore losers exposed by the Iowa caucus process.

Update: Results thread is here. Gingrich was true to sore-loser form, blaming super PACS and negative ads for his 4th place finish.

***

Iowa-bashing snobs and sore losers
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2012

The Iowa caucuses may not have much predictive value, but they did a wonderful job of unmasking both elitist whingers on the Left and incompetent whiners on the Right.

As they do every presidential election cycle, progressives of pallor wore their indelible disdain for middle America on their sleeves. Pale-faced University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom launched a 6,000-word jeremiad, littered with factual errors, against his home state’s residents. The abridged version: Raaaaaaaacists! Hicks! Christians! Argggh!

In the safe harbors of The Atlantic just a few weeks before Tuesday’s electoral event, Bloom sneered: “Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die.” The rest are “[a]n assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that the sun will come out tomorrow.” One of the poison-tongued prof’s own former journalism students, Kirsten Scharnberg Hampton, took him to task for citing faulty demographic statistics, derisively stereotyping hunters, and falsely accusing a local newspaper of “splashing” the headline “He Is Risen” across its front page (it was a small, boxed quotation marking Easter Sunday).

But the damage was done; the bait dangled. And at the overwhelmingly white NBC Nightly News on Sunday, Andrea Mitchell swallowed the Iowa-bashing chum whole – then dutifully regurgitated the attack on the state as “Too white, too evangelical, too rural.” She was quick to slip in a “critics say” disclaimer, of course. But let’s not kid ourselves about the network’s prejudices.

This is the same news organization that attempted to conduct Islamophobia stings at NASCAR races to expose how racist racing fans supposedly were; whose Meet the Press host David Gregory smeared GOP leaders as “Grand Wizards” in November; and whose execs were forced to apology last month for MSNBC goons who falsely linked GOP candidate Mitt Romney to the Ku Klux Klan.

One local Hawkeye State veteran journalist, David Yepsen, tried to correct the coastal myth of the redneck- hick-outlier Iowa voter by politely pointing out Barack Obama’s triumph in the 2008 Democratic caucuses at the hands of yes, mostly white voters. Moreover, over the last four presidential election seasons, the Iowa popular vote has “closely tracked national preferences.”

Census statistics show that the majority of Iowans are urban, not rural; the median age is 38 (nationally, it’s 36.7); and out of a population of 3 million people statewide, some 90,000 are farming families. But snobs and demagogues on both sides of the aisle eschewed the facts and indulged in racial and class warfare instead. The Hispanic News website issued a clarion call: “In Diverse & Urban Nation, Time to Kick Iowa White, Racist Farmers to Curb.” GOP strategist Roger Stone, who spearheaded the bungled bid to turn statist, pro-bailout, eminent-domain abuser Donald Trump into a Tea Party/GOP “Mr. Everyman” candidate, also jumped ugly.

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Obama’s War on U.S. Energy

by Alan Caruba on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

This is article 117 of 263 in the topic energy

The Iowa caucuses tell us that the campaign season is now upon us. While we focus on the Republican candidates, there will likely only be one Democratic candidate for president. If you still need a reason to defeat Obama in 2012 consider his administration’s intense effort to deprive America of the energy it needs to function and compete in the world.

If a foreign nation had launched an attack on America to destroy its coal-fired plants, to shut down its coal mines, and to thwart its ability to drill for oil and natural gas, we would be at war with it.

Obama is at war with America. Between the waste of billions squandered on “Green” energy and the attacks on all aspects of the energy industries in America, the one reason to defeat Obama is your ability to turn on the lights, turn on your computer, and ensure that American business and industry has the energy necessary to exist and compete.

Just try to imagine what your life would be without adequate, reliable electricity.

As a Wall Street Journal editorial recently warned, “Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission convened a conference on the wave of Environmental Protection Agency rules that are designed to force dozens of coal-fired power plants to shut down…despite warnings from expert after expert, including some of its own, the FERC Commissioners refuse to do anything about this looming threat to electric reliability.”

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) warned that “Environmental regulations are shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next one to five years.”

The editorial noted that “For the first time in U.S. history, net coal capacity is in decline. On top of 38 gigawatts of generation that is already being run below normal levels or slated for early retirement, NERC predicts another 36 to 59 gigawatts will come offline by 2018, depending on the ‘scope and timing’ of EPA demands. That could mean nearly a quarter of all coal-fired capacity.”

It is coal-fired plants that currently provide fifty percent of all the electricity generated in America! The EPA is feverishly trying to force a quarter of that capacity offline. Why? Because the EPA claims that these plants are “polluting” the air. The air in America has never been cleaner. The EPA demand for cleaner air is a bludgeon being used to deprive America of its ability to function.

America has more than 497 billion short tons of recoverable coal (not counting Alaska) or nearly three times as much as Russia, which has the world’s second largest reserve. According to the Institute for Energy Research, “America’s recoverable coal resources are bigger than the five largest non-North American countries’ reserves combined,” i.e., Russia, China, Australia, India and the Ukraine.

The Obama administration  delayed the proposed Canadian Keystone XL pipeline that would provide more oil for America’s needs. It imposed an illegal moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. While China drills for oil off the coast of Cuba, access to offshore oil is restricted on both the East and West coasts of America and, of course, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Art Laffer endorses Newt Gingrich

by John Lott on Sunday, January 1st, 2012

This is article 430 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

If you liked George W. Bush on taxes, vote for Romney, who has basically recycled Bush’s team of economic advisors. If you want to make America competitive on taxes, Laffer is right about Newt. From today’s WSJ’s Political Diary:

Newt Gingrich, who has been sliding in the polls in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses next week, won an enthusiastic endorsement Thursday from iconic supply-side economist Arthur Laffer.

“I think if Newt is president, you are going to see economic growth beyond what you have ever seen,” said Mr. Laffer during a campaign appearance with the former House speaker in Storm Lake, Iowa. Mr. Laffer, an adviser to President Reagan, said that Mr. Gingrich understands “Reagan economics . . . the economics we did in the 1980s.”

“This man does understand, fundamentally and deeply, that if you tax people who work, and you pay people who don’t work, don’t be surprised if you find a lot of people not working,” said Mr. Laffer. “I have never heard of a poor person spending himself or herself to prosperity. It doesn’t work.” . . .

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