2012 GOP nomination

Johnson to seek #Libertarian Party Nod

Hooray! From Politico:

 

Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned.

The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire, will make the announcement at a press conference in Santa Fe on Dec. 28. Libertarian state directors will be informed of Johnson’s plans on a conference call Tuesday night, a Johnson campaign source told POLITICO.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70727.html#ixzz1h7yo7kvh

 

Good.

The Republican Party, although it has paid lip service to the notion of limited government and free markets for decades, has completely turned its back on such things. And that, as we have seen, has led the GOP to make a mockery of itself, and while it may win some temporary victories in 2012, long term, it does not bode well. The only other one in the race who has any sense is Ron Paul (and maybe John Huntsman), but as we seen from this circus, both the GOP Establishment and much of the base simply has no clue what’s happening.

Gary is making a good choice getting out of the GOP. It’s a sinking ship, and unless they get it back on real limited government principles and jettison the religious conservative wing, it’s going to go all the way to the bottom. I suspect many voters and perhaps even politicians will follow Gary—maybe not today, and maybe not necessarily into the Libertarian Party, but they will in the future.

Gary Johnson to seek LP nomination?

It might be too good to be true. From the Daily Caller:

 

Long excluded from the Republican presidential debates, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is now seriously considering a third party run for president in 2012.

Johnson, should he decide to run as third party candidate, could act as a spoiler by siphoning away much-needed votes from the GOP nominee. Veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone, a Johnson supporter, told The Daily Caller earlier this month that such an effort would “pose a great danger for the Republicans” if they nominate a candidate like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

 

This is one of the reasons why I think we desperately need to switch to approval voting. Anytime anyone thinks of making an independent or third party run in order to get around the deliberately unfair system, others chime in “But ooooohhhh noooo! That’ll be a spoiler! The other guy who we really don’t want to win will win! You can’t do that! Besides, you’d just waste your vote!”

Baloney. Voting is about choosing the person who best fits your views. There is no such thing as a “wasted vote,” unless you vote for someone who you really don’t agree with. If I voted for, say, Newt Gingrich (which I won’t), I would wasting my vote. This is the fundamental axiom of democracy. It fails when we all engage in tactical voting.

Then, of coures, there’s the GOP’s utter stupidity:

 

Romney leads in Florida and Iowa

With Rick Perry’s campaign imploding, new polling out of Florida and Iowa shows Mitt Romney’s momentum continuing to build since the debate last week as he has taken the lead in both states.

The poll out of Florida, conducted by Public Policy Polling, was conducted between September 22nd, the date of the last GOP debate, to the 26th, so it includes a lot of post-debate opinions. Here are the results:

  • Mitt Romney: 30%
  • Rick Perry: 24%
  • Newt Gingrich: 10%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 7%
  • Michele Bachmann: 6%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: 1%
  • Other: 9%

The poll out of Iowa is from the American Research Group, which hasn’t polled there since July (before Perry got in the race). The last three polls out of Iowa, however, have showed Perry with a lead. This poll was taken between September 22-27.

  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Michele Bachmann: 15%
  • Rick Perry: 14%
  • Ron Paul: 12%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 6%
  • Undecided: 15%

Bachmann is hanging her entire campaign on Iowa. If she doesn’t win there in the caucuses, she’s done. I’m mean, she’s done anyway, but can’t reasonable justify staying in the race at that point. It’s bad enough for Perry that he’s not leading here in this poll, but he’s in a statistical tie for runner up. If Romney takes Florida, Iowa and, New Hampshire…it’s game over. He’s your nominee.

SHOCKING NEWS: I agree with Karl Rove on something

Karl Rove and I rarely agree on anything.  We just don’t.  However, a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is a rare example where we do.  You see, I’ve said for a while that Mitt Romeny’s, and then Rick Perry’s, lead in the polls at this point are fairly meaningless.  Frontrunners at this point usually fizzle and burn out long before the nomination is complete.

On this, Karl Rove not only agrees, but provides the numbers to back us both up.

As Republicans gather in Florida for Thursday’s Fox News-Google presidential debate in Orlando, the contest remains very fluid, raising the stakes (and hopes) for all nine candidates.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry now leading with 28%, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 20%. No other candidate is in double digits.

At this point four years ago, Rudy Giuliani led the GOP field with 28%, trailed by former Sen. Fred Thompson at 23% and John McCain at 15%, with everyone else in single digits. When the dust finally cleared, neither Messrs. Giuliani nor Thompson was a serious contender—and Govs. Romney and Mike Huckabee pressed Mr. McCain hard before he prevailed. All of which means the 2012 Republican sweepstakes is far from over.

Now, I suspect Rove and I have very different candidates in mind to take the nomination.  The fact that his op-ed didn’t even mention Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, but offered advice to Michele Bachmann, clearly shows it.  Like I said earlier, it’s not like Rove and I agree on much.

Romney catching up to Perry

The race for the Republican presidential nomination is beginning to get interesting as the gap in the polls between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney begins to close, according to the latest numbers from Gallup.

  • Rick Perry: 31%
  • Mitt Romney: 24%
  • Ron Paul: 13%
  • Michele Bachmann: 5%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Herman Cain: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 4%
  • No opinion: 10%

Perry did pick up two points from last the Gallup survey in the race. But Romney gained substantially, jumping from 17% to 24% in just a few weeks. While he’s still in third overall, Ron Paul is held steady. Michele Bachmann, continuing the trend irrelevance in the race, fell sharply from 10% in late August to 5%.

It’s bad news for Perry because he is beginning to fall back to earth. Moreover, Perry lost ground in a potential head-to-head matchup with President Barack Obama (he was tied last month) while Romney remained steady.

Barack Obama v. Rick Perry

  • Obama: 50%
  • Perry: 45%
  • Other: 3%
  • No opinion: 2%

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

Jeff Flake endorses Mitt Romney

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that I’m a big fan of Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is running for U.S. Senate in 2012. He has been solid on fiscal issues and free trade and voted to repeal the military’s outdated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and until his recent vote to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act, he’d been very good on privacy issues.

Unfortunately, Flake’s endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential nomination is a big let down. Here is his brief statement on the endorsement:

“Mitt Romney has the experience and vision to get our country on the right path again. Whether it was his time as governor or as a successful businessman, Mitt Romney has shown that he has the economic knowledge to create the environment for businesses to start hiring again.”

The problems with Romney begin with health care, which may be a big issue during the 2012 election. Nominating Romney, due to the job-killing health care plan he pushed in Massachusetts, effectively takes that issue off the table.

Romney also seems to have no core or real principles. He’ll say whatever he thinks voters want to hear. Yeah, he does the best against Barack Obama in general election matchups, but does Jeff Flake really know what he’s getting with Romney?

Barry Manilow on Ron Paul: “I think he’s solid”

In my house, Barry Manilow is a punchline.  What can I say, I’m not a fan of his stuff.  I often quip about how unjust life is that we lost Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix, but Barry Manilow is still making music.  However, comments he made to the Daily Caller have just boosted the man out of the punchline category…at least if it comes to politics.

Grammy award-winning musician Barry Manilow told The Daily Caller that he agrees with “just about everything” 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul says, calling him a “solid” contender for the highest office in the land.

“I like him. I like what he says, I do. I like what he says. I think he’s solid,” said Manilow, who confirmed to TheDC in an interview at the Capitol on Thursday that he contributed to Paul’s last campaign for president.

“I agree with just about everything he says. What can I tell you?” Manilow added.

I’ve commented previously about how someone like Ron Paul actually reaches across the typical right/left boundaries. Granted, we don’t really know what Manilow’s political preferences are at the moment, but since he was in Washington to talk about increasing spending on medical research, I think it’s safe to say that Manilow isn’t a libertarian.

Perry’s lead holds steady, Bachmann drops to fifth

Public Policy Polling, the Democratic-leaning firm, has new numbers in the race for the Republican nomination for president. As you may have guessed, Rick Perry still has a solid lead over Mitt Romney, but there is bad news for Michele Bachmann:

  • Rick Perry: 31%
  • Mitt Romney: 18%
  • Ron Paul: 11%
  • Newt Gingrich: 10%
  • Michele Bachmann: 9%
  • Herman Cain: 8%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Other/Not sure: 8%

Perry and Romney are actually down by 2 points from the last Public Policy Polling survey in the race of announced candidates (ie. excluding Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan). Paul is up 5 points. Bachmann dropped by 7 points and has been surpassed by Gingrich, who may do a decent job in debate; but his share of the vote to his name recognition is small.

If other polls show a similar fall for Bachmann, she’s going to have a hard time justifying her campaign’s existence; not that this would discourage her from continuing along. However, this is more evidence that her thunder as been stolen as other, more electable candidates have entered the race.

Separately, Public Policy Polling notes that Perry is up big in the states of North Carolina and West Virginia, both of which will hold their primary on May 8th.

North Carolina

CNN Poll: Perry stays steady, holds 11 point lead over Romney

Just before last night’s debate in Tampa, Florida, CNN released the latest numbers in the race for the Republican nomination. It’s no surprise that Rick Perry is still the frontrunner, though he didn’t gain any ground from the previous CNN poll in August. Mitt Romney, however, picked up a few points:

  • Rick Perry: 32%
  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Ron Paul: 13%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Newt Gingrich: 7%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Other: 2%
  • None/No opinion: 7%

Romney is up 3 points over last month. The numbers in August showing Ron Paul at 6% prove to be an anomly as he is at 13% in this poll and back in third; behind Perry and Romney. Cain also came up by 3 points over the previous poll. Bachmann fell off by 5 points from August, once again showing her decline.

CNN also measured Palin’s presence in the race. But honestly, until she gets in the race, who cares anymore? She’s a non-factor until then and I’m tired of talking about her.

The number that stood out the most, especially when he is being pounded by other candidates on Social Security, is that Rick Perry is considered to be the most electable in the field. When asked “[w]hich Republican candidate do you think has the best chance of beating Barack Obama in the general election next November?” Perry nabs 42% of responses. Romney, who does the best against Obama in most polls, takes 26%.

Rick Perry: Punching Bag

So, in case you missed it, there was a debate Wednesday night.  It seems that everyone’s favorite target, predictably, was front runner Rick Perry.  When you’re the frontrunner, that’s just what’s going to happen.  While much of the attention was on Mitt Romney’s back and forth throughout the debate, there were some points worth discussing.

For one, Michele Bachmann’s campaign has been centered around her desire to repeal ObamaCare.  Not a bad plank to have, at least in the GOP primary.  Bachmann took issue with both Perry’s and Romney’s comments that they would issue an executive order to deal with ObamaCare.  As reported on The Hill:

Bachmann reiterated her promise to repeal Obama’s healthcare law, a centerpiece of her campaign, and said that Romney and Perry’s promises to sign executive orders upon taking office to dismantle the law were inadequate.

“With all due respect to the governors, issuing an executive order will not overturn this massive law,” she said.

On this, she’s 100% correct.  An executive order is an easy fix, but it’s not the right one.  An executive order can be over turned with…wait for it…another executive order.  That’s all it would take.  The next Democratic president would put ObamaCare in place with a stroke of his pen.  And that’s assuming that the executive order doesn’t get blocked by Congress who can overturn executive orders within a certain period of time.

Another interesting point was when Ron Paul took aim at Perry’s past as a Democrat.  Again, from The Hill:

 


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