Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Ron Paul is surging in the Republican presidential race. Just not among Republicans. The Texas congressman is leading some polls in Iowa and is in a tie for second in New Hampshire. A candidacy once dismissed as sideshow is now being taken very seriously; the front page of Monday's Des Moines Register featured a huge spread under the headline "COULD RON PAUL WIN?" Given Paul's views on the Fed, the gold standard and social issues, not to mention his isolationist foreign policy, the polls have left some politicos wondering whether Republican voters have somehow swerved off the rails. But there's another question that should be asked first: Who are Ron Paul's supporters? Are they, in fact, Republicans? In an analysis accompanying his most recent survey in Iowa, pollster Scott Rasmussen noted, "Romney leads, with Gingrich in second, among those who consider themselves Republicans. Paul has a wide lead among non-Republicans who are likely to participate in the caucus." The same is true in New Hampshire. A poll released Monday by the Boston Globe and the University of New Hampshire shows Paul leading among Democrats and independents who plan to vote in the January 10 primary. But among Republicans, Paul is a distant third -- 33 points behind leader Mitt Romney. In South Carolina, "Paul's support is higher among those who usually don't vote in GOP primary elections," notes David Woodard, who runs the Palmetto Poll at Clemson University. In a hotly-contested Republican race, it appears that only about half of Paul's supporters are Republicans. In Iowa, according to Rasmussen, just 51 percent of Paul supporters consider themselves Republicans. In New Hampshire, the number is 56 percent, according to Andrew Smith, head of the University of New Hampshire poll. The same New Hampshire survey found that 87 percent of the people who support Romney consider themselves Republicans. For Newt Gingrich, it's 85 percent.So who is supporting Paul? In New Hampshire, Paul is the choice of just 13 percent of Republicans, according to the new poll, while he is the favorite of 36 percent of independents and 26 percent of Democrats who intend to vote in the primary. Paul leads in both non-Republican categories. "Paul is doing the best job of getting those people who aren't really Republicans but say they're going to vote in the Republican primary," explains Smith. Among that group are libertarians, dissatisfied independents and Democrats who are "trying to throw a monkey wrench in the campaign by voting for someone who is more philosophically extreme," says Smith. Paul tops the field when pollsters ask Republicans which candidate they are certain not to support. "When you ask people which candidate they are least likely to vote for, Ron Paul is pretty high, because most Republicans here really don't want to vote for him," says Smith. "His support is not coming, by and large, from Republican voters." What's true in New Hampshire is also the case in South Carolina, where Paul is 28 points behind Gingrich in the most recent Palmetto Poll. "The economic positions of libertarians are popular here, but Paul's positions on gay marriage, abortion, illegal immigration, and national defense are all antithetical to South Carolina's conservative culture," says Woodard. "About 13 percent of the GOP primary electorate are military veterans, and they don't want to bring everyone home. We have a strong pro-life network, and it is knit into the Republican Party at its roots, and the amendment declaring marriage to be something between a man and a woman won with over 70 percent of the vote in South Carolina." Non-Republicans are sure to vote in all three early GOP contests. Iowa requires that caucus participants be registered Republicans, but anyone can show up on caucus night, register, and vote. In New Hampshire, so-called "undeclared" voters of any stripe can participate in the GOP primary. And South Carolina's GOP contest is open to all. Wherever Paul's final total, it will reflect lots of non-Republican votes. Of course, next November's general election is open, too, and the Republican nominee will needs significant non-GOP support. But if Paul were the nominee, he would likely lose lots of Republicans, along with independents, and all of the Democrats who cast mischief votes on his behalf. Even his own supporters don't view him as having the best chance to beat Barack Obama. There will be a lot written in coming weeks about Paul's role in the Republican Party. It's important to remember that a large part of his support isn't coming from Republicans.
Tea Party Express Boosts Michele Bachmann
The Tea Party Express today offered its “support” to Rep. Michele Bachmann, but the leading conservative activist group stopped short of officially endorsing the Minnesotan in her long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The Sacramento, Calif.-based Tea Party Express said in a statement that while it has not endorsed any candidate, it remains committed to backing the conservative candidate best-positioned to beat President Barrack Obama in 2012. The group advocated for a competitive primary, beginning with the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 and including all of the states that follow, to jump-start that process. Therefore, they said they did not want Bachmann, or any other candidates, prematurely pushed out of the primary.“While the Tea Party Express has not endorsed a presidential candidate at this time, Michele Bachmann garners strong Tea Party support because of her work and commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C.,” Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said. “Let’s let the voters in Iowa choose the leading candidates to go forward from the many excellent candidates we have.” Kremer continued, “The Tea Party Express is committed to finding and endorsing the strongest conservative candidate to take on President Barack Obama next year. In order to develop the best candidate, we must allow for a competitive process in Iowa and the early primary and other caucus states. Let’s let the voters in Iowa choose the leading candidates to go forward from the many excellent candidates we have.”
Gingrich, Romney and Climate Policy
Jay Bookman’s (Atlanta Journal Constitution ) December 4 column “U-turn is GOP pair’s best pal” decries presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich having to recant global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels to satisfy Republican primary voters. Present government policies are to replace our abundant, economical fossil fuels with renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, ethanol from corn, battery-powered cars, etc. All of these energy sources are uneconomical, impractical, and unreliable as shown by recent bankruptcies of companies such as Evergreen Solar, Spectra Watt, Solyndra, Southwest Georgia Ethanol, etc.Present energy policies are adding to the national debt, destroying creation of high-paying jobs, and causing energy inflation. Most Republican voters will not vote for a Republican candidate that allows these policies to continue.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Bachmann's Debate Performance Could Boost Campaign
Since the start of her campaign, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been clear that Iowa would be critical to her success. She went into Saturday night's GOP debate at Drake University in Des Moines in fourth or fifth place in most Iowa polls. After going on the attack against front runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney she might have boosted her standing in the state just three weeks before the Iowa Caucuses.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Bachmann: Former Cain Backers Moving Her Way
GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says many people who had supported Herman Cain in the race are getting behind her candidacy. With Cain now out of the race, Bachmann says Republican voters see her as the tea party candidate and the "most consistent conservative" in the contest.The Minnesota congresswoman tells reporters that Cain's supporters considered him as an outsider and that her conservative positions are most reflective of his. Cain abandoned his White House bid on Saturday under the weight of sexual misconduct allegations.