2012 GOP nomination

Paul Ryan explains why he passed on a presidential bid

Given the speculation a couple of weeks ago, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently explained in an interview with the MacIver Institute why he decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president, despite pressure from many in his party to do so.

The bottomline is he thinks his calling is to stay in Congress:

Perry leads in South Carolina

Someone pointed out not too long ago that history shows that whoever won the Iowa caucus and South Carolina primary has traditionally gone on to win the Republican presidential nomination. According to polling in the Hawkeye State, Rick Perry is holding a small lead there over Mitt Romney. But a new poll from Public Policy Policy out of South Carolina shows Perry running away with the state:

  • Rick Perry: 36%
  • Mitt Romney: 13%
  • Sarah Palin: 10%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Newt Gingrich: 7%
  • Ron Paul: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Other/Not sure: 7%

And without Palin in the race:

  • Rick Perry: 36%
  • Mitt Romney: 16%
  • Michele Bachmann: 13%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Ron Paul: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Other/Not sure: 7%

While Romney would best Bachmann, 45% to 40%, in a head-to-head match up, Perry would beat him decisively, 59% to 28%. That’s certainly an ominous sign for Romney in a crucial early primary state.

Another poll shows Perry with a double-digit lead over Romney

Three polls last week showed that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has come on strong since announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. The latest poll from CNN only drives that fact home:

  • Rick Perry: 32%
  • Mitt Romney: 18%
  • Michele Bachmann: 12%
  • Newt Gingrich: 7%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Herman Cain: 3%
  • Gary Johnson: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Rick Santorum: 1%
  • Thad CcCotter: 1%
  • Other: 4%
  • None/No opinion: 10%

Here are the numbers with Giuliani or Palin:

  • Rick Perry: 27%
  • Mitt Romney: 14%
  • Sarah Palin: 10%
  • Michele Bachmann: 9%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 6%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Herman Cain: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Rick Santorum: 1%
  • Other: 3%
  • None/No opinion: 8%

Interestingly, Gary Johnson polls higher than Huntsman and Santorum and is tied with Cain. Unforunately, he still is unlikely to be included in Politico’s debate next week.

For sake of keeping it simple, we’ll confine commentary to the poll without Giuliani or Palin. Perry has jumped by 14 points while Romney has seen a 7 point drop in him numbers from the poll released by CNN earlier this month. Bachmann hasn’t moved at all. Ron Paul’s support dropped by more than half, from 14% to 6%; suggesting that Perry is, perhaps, taking support from him.

There’s not much else to take from this than we haven’t already said in the last week. In fact, it feels like we’re suffering from polling overload at this point.

George Pataki not running for president

You may have heard that former New York Gov. George Pataki was going to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination tomorrow in Iowa (his campaign website leaked yesterday). It turns out, he’s not:

Pataki, who had been flirting with a White House bid for months, was scheduled to appear this weekend in the key early voting state of Iowa.

Speculation was that the former three-term governor would announce his candidacy Saturday at the Polk County Republican fundraiser.

But the source said that Pataki, who seriously considered running, has decided instead to forgo a run for the GOP nomination.

In a statement released Friday Pataki said, “I remain committed to the advancement of real, politically viable reforms to entitlements and rolling back the size and cost of the federal government. At this time, I will continue to do this as the leader of No American Debt and not as a candidate for president. Throughout the coming months I will remain active in this important discussion and support the candidate who offers the vision, the ideas and the leadership to bring an end to America’s debt crisis.”

Why he would have run is beyond me, unless he wanted to raise his profile.

New national numbers released in GOP presidential race

Polls have been flying out like crazy since Rick Perry got into the race for the Republican nomination for president. Gallup and Public Policy Polling have released numbers pairing several different Republicans against President Barack Obama. We also got our first look at post-Ames numbers out of Iowa.

Rasmussen was the first to post numbers showing that Perry had jumped ahead of Romney, but one poll isn’t definitive. But Gallup and Public Policy Polling released new national numbers yesterday in the Republican field showing that Rick Perry is, for all intents and purposes, the new frontrunner.

Here’s the poll from Gallup:

  • Rick Perry: 29%
  • Mitt Romney: 17%
  • Ron Paul: 13%
  • Michele Bachmann: 10%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Newt Gingrich: 4%
  • Rick Santorum: 3%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 2%
  • No preference: 17%

Public Policy Polling has somewhat different results. Unlike Gallup, they show Bachmann in the top three and Paul in the middle of the pack.

  • Rick Perry: 33%
  • Mitt Romney: 20%
  • Michele Bachmann: 16%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Other/Not sure: 5%

And if Palin runs:

Why Paul needs to win the GOP primary

Yes, by now you know that I like Ron Paul.  First and foremost, I’m actually pulling for Gary Johnson, but Johnson just hasn’t gotten any traction yet while Paul has it.  With that laid out, there’s a very good reason why Republicans need to take a look around and recognize that not only can Ron Paul be their nominee, that’s actually a good thing for the GOP.

First, we must understand that while polling shows Democrats overwhelmingly supporting President Obama at this point, he’s not particularly beloved by his base right now.  They see a lot of what he’s done as caving, they see a lack of leadership, and they’re generally not happy with him as a president.  The primary reason they’re going to head out next November is to keep the GOP nominee from winning.

Now, take Ron Paul.  I spoke with a couple of die hard Democrats after Paul appeared on Piers Morgan’s show.  One, who had lost a beloved dance teacher to a self administered abortion, was slightly alarmed that Paul was pro-life.  However, as he also deferred it to the state level, she was able to move on with it.  That was the whole of their difficulties with Paul as a candidate.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hardly a large sample group, but it doesn’t really have to be.  A Ron Paul presidency doesn’t terrify many Democrats like a Romney, Perry, or Bachmann presidency does.  This is important, since I pointed out that Democrats are far more likely to come out to vote against the GOP nominee than to vote for Obama.

Rick Perry leads in first post-Ames poll out of Iowa

The first post-Ames numbers were released yesterday via Public Policy Polling. Consequently, this also the first poll out of Iowa since Rick Perry formally got in the race for the GOP nomination.

As you could have probably guessed, Perry has overtaken Michele Bachmann as the favorite in the state while Mitt Romney comes in a close second (all three of them are within the poll’s margin of error).

  • Rick Perry: 22%
  • Mitt Romney: 19%
  • Michele Bachmann: 18%
  • Ron Paul: 16%
  • Herman Cain: 7%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 5%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Other/Not sure: 5%

And with Palin in the race:

  • Rick Perry: 21%
  • Mitt Romney: 18%
  • Michele Bachmann: 15%
  • Ron Paul: 12%
  • Sarah Palin: 10%
  • Newt Gingrich: 7%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 5%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Other/Not sure: 4%

The poll should serve as a shot of reality for Bachmann. Yeah, she won the Ames Straw Poll, but her support was soft. And while I heard Erick Erickson say yesterday that Romney was diverting resources to Iowa, this poll really makes me doubt that (or at leas the wisdom in doing so).

Perry and Bachmann have essentially the same base - conservatives and tea partyers - and they, according to this poll, make up 40% of the GOP’s base in Iowa. These are voters that were already skeptical of Romney and are unlikely to suddenly support him if their candidate were to drop out. Add in Cain and at least some of Paul’s supporters (I presume that a significant number of them would back Johnson or another conservative candidate or just not vote), and the conservative/tea party vote is well over 50%.

Paul Ryan rules out bid for GOP nomination

Despite speculation - largely due to the folks at The Weekly Standard - that he was considering a bid for the GOP nomination for president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) put the rumors to rest yesterday:

GOP congressman Paul Ryan said Monday he has ruled out running for president in 2012, amid another round of political speculation about his potential interest in the campaign.

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation.  While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President,” Ryan said in a statement.
The House budget chairman from Janesville has been urged to jump into the race by some GOP insiders dissatisfied with the current field, which is led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota. Ryan’s fans within the party see him as a skilled, swing-state politician who can make the party’s best case for attacking the federal debt and overhauling entitlement programs. At the same time, some Democrats have argued that the Medicare changes he’s proposing would be a huge liability for a GOP ticket.

“I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation,” said Ryan in the statement.

In an earlier interview this summer with the Journal Sentinel, Ryan cited at least two reasons for not running: his family (he has three young children) and wanting to see through, in Congress, the debate he started there with his controversial House budget plan, which makes sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

Rasmussen: Palin trails Obama by 17 points

As talk of Sarah Palin running for the GOP nomination once again heats up (as seems to be the case every few months), Rasmussen brings us a poll that should remind Republicans why that would probably be a really bad idea.

Barack Obama v. Sarah Palin

  • Obama: 50%
  • Palin: 33%
  • Other: 15%
  • Not sure: 2%

Palin is expected to announce her plans after Labor Day. A few months ago, I thought all of this was for show, but now I’m not so sure. She still has dedicated supporters, so you’d have to think that she’d be a “serious” contender for the GOP nomination.

Paul does well in New Hampshire poll

Ron Paul, despite the near media blackout against him, continues to put up fairly solid numbers in various polls.  His showing in the Ames straw poll was all fine and good, but the Ames doesn’t necessarily speak for Iowa.  However, he’s making a respectable showing in a poll from the New Hampshire Journal.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains in a commanding position in the first-in-the-nation primary state while Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes a strong first showing in the latest NH Journal survey conducted by Magellan Strategies.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann appears not to have experienced a bump from her victory at the Ames, IA straw poll conducted last weekend. In fact 84% of respondents said the Ames straw poll results have no impact on their decision to support a candidate.

On the ballot Romney remains in a strong position. He leads all candidates with 36% of the vote. However, Perry, making his first appearance in the NH Journal poll, debuts with a strong 18%. Ron Paul continues to impress despite relatively little media attention with 14%. And Bachmann earns 10%. All other candidates were in single digits.

The idea of Paul doing well in New Hampshire isn’t exactly a huge shock.  This is one of the most libertarian leaning states in the nation, the site for the Free State Project, so a libertarian candidate doing well isn’t exactly surprising.  However, for him to do it with so little media exposure, now that is pretty sweet.

It’s a shame that Gary Johnson isn’t making as big of a splash, but he has a few factors working against him, namely that so few folks even know who he is or what he stands for.

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