As President Barack Obama continues to move to the center as he begins to launch his bid for re-election, polling indicates that he leads potential Republican opponents - though he is still vulnerable:
Republican chances of taking down Obama are going to depend a lot on the type of candidate the party puts forward. Tested against a generic Republican we find Obama tied at 47%. When you ask about a couple more specific types of GOP candidates though the numbers move in different directions. Against a generic moderate Republican candidate Obama actually trails by 2 points at 46-44. But when you ask voters whether they’d go for Obama or a Tea Party conservative Republican he leads by 4 points at 49-45.
There’s a particularly large difference in how independents lean depending on the type of nominee the GOP ends up going with- they prefer a moderate Republican over Obama by 7 points, but they prefer Obama over a Tea Party style GOPer by 5 points. There’s no doubt Republican chances of defeating Obama will be best with a centrist. Whether the party base is really going to be willing to sacrifice some ideological purity to get that candidate is another question.
He may be tied with a generic Republican but Obama leads against all of the named candidates in this poll. He has a 3 point advantage over Mike Huckabee at 47-44, a 5 point one over Mitt Romney at 46-41, a 9 point one over Newt Gingrich at 49-40, a 9 point one also over Ron Paul at 48-39, a 12 point one over Sarah Palin at 52-40, a 14 point one over Jeb Bush at 50-36, and a 14 point one over Donald Trump at 48-34.
Part of the problem is nearly every candidate is viewed negatively by voters. If only “Generic Republican” could run in 2012.
For the second year in a row, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) won the CPAC presidential straw poll. According to organizers of CPAC, more than 11,000 people attended this year’s conference, with 3,742 of them casting ballots in the straw poll (also a record number).
- Ron Paul: 30%
- Mitt Romney: 23%
- Gary Johnson: 6%
- Chris Christie: 6%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Tim Pawlenty: 4%
- Michele Bachmann: 4%
- Mitch Daniels: 4%
- Sarah Palin: 3%
- Herman Cain: 2%
- Mike Huckabee: 2%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- John Thune: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Haley Barbour: 1%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 1%
Other highlights from the straw poll:
Despite some strong signs of support in New Hampshire and holding a slight lead among Republicans nationally, Mitt Romney is trailing Tax Hike Mike Huckabee in an early poll of likely participants in the Iowa caucuses, according to a survey released yesterday by Strategic National.
Here are the results:
- Mike Huckabee: 27.56%
- Mitt Romney: 18.54%
- Sarah Palin: 12.44%
- Newt Gingrich: 12.20%
- Tim Pawlenty: 4.39%
- Michele Bachmann: 3.66%
- John Thune: 1.95%
- Rick Santorum: 0.98%
- Haley Barbour: 0.24%
- Other/Undecided: 18.05%
It looks like Rep. Michele Bachmann’s visit to Iowa has gotten her some attention, but it’s unlikely to get any real traction for a serious presidential bid. And though he did poorly in this poll, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is making plans to visit South Carolina Republicans to discuss a presidential bid.
On the heels of the first straw poll for 2012, Rasmussen is out with new polling in the 2012 Republican primary for president that shows Mitt Romney will a small lead over Sarah Palin and Tax Hike Mike Huckabee in a limited field of seven possible candidates.
- Mitt Romney: 24%
- Sarah Palin: 19%
- Mike Huckabee: 17%
- Newt Gingrich: 11%
- Tim Pawlenty: 6%
- Ron Paul: 4%
- Mitch Daniels: 3%
- Other: 6%
- Not sure: 10%
None of this means anything right now. We’re going to spend the next several months going over the faults of each candidates, why they can win or why they can’t. But Rasmussen, with it’s Republican-leaning bent, gives us a good idea of what GOP voters are thinking right now.
Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.
Over the weekend in New Hampshire, the state’s Republican Party along with WMUR and ABC News conducted a presidential straw poll a year in advance of the primary; with Mitt Romney winning big:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the first presidential straw poll of the 2012 cycle, kicking off New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary election race.
Romney won with 35 percent, beating second-place finisher Ron Paul by 24 points in the WMUR-ABC News straw poll of members of the state Republican Party. In third place was former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who won 8 percent—just one point ahead of Sarah Palin, who drew 7 percent.
Because Romney has such high name recognition here and has a home in Wolfeboro, N.H., he was widely expected to win—and observers here were far more interested in who would come in second and third.
Only three candidates—Romney, Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum—have spent significant amounts of time on the ground in the state over the past few months. At today’s convention, Pawlenty staffed a table to promote his new book while Santorum consultant and longtime New Hampshire operative Mike Biundo had a table and worked the crowd.
Romney, who is adding staff in preparation for his bid, has the money to build an influential campaign in the state. He is also focusing more on economic issues, which is a smart move in New Hampshire. For a social conservative like Santorum, who has spent a lot of time in the state, or Huckabee, New Hampshire represents a significant challenge; where as Iowa may be more welcoming.
Here are the full results of the straw poll:
Over at the Washington Examiner, Mark Hemingway reminds us that Tax Hike Mike Huckabee believes in a very active nanny-state as the likely-candidate for president is defending First Lady Michelle Obama’s support of regulations to combat childhood obesity:
Just as a reminder, Mike Huckabee is no conservative when it comes to using the federal government to regulate what we eat. Here’s what he wrote on page 64 of his book, From Hope to Higher Ground:
There are those who believe that America cannot break or shake its addiction to fried, sugary or over-salted foods. These people believe that we are incapable of shifting our unhealthy culture, which is making us fatter, unhealthier, and more likely to die prematurely. History shows that we can, in fact, help Americans to change, not by force-feeding them government restrictions or requirements but by first changing the attitudes and atmosphere in which we live. Eventually, having shifted public opinion, we can solidify the attitude and atmospheric changes with government actions that define the will of the majority.
Emphasis added. I don’t know how one can say that we shouldn’t “force-feed” restrictions and then claim we need “government actions that define the will of the majority” in the same breath. Either way, I think Huck’s thinking here about the role of goverment is awfully muddled and certainly won’t instill confidence among conservatives.
Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party are planning a debate in Greenville on May 5, 2011 (and another in 2012):
FOX News and the South Carolina Republican Party have jointly announced that they will present two presidential debates, which are expected to attract the top 2012 Republican contenders for President of the United States. The debates are currently scheduled to be presented live and exclusively on FOX News Channel (FNC), FOX News Radio, FOX News Mobile and FOXNews.com.
The initial debate will take place on May 5, 2011 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The second debate will be held in 2012 prior to the South Carolina primary at a location to be determined.
CNN is planning a debate for June 7, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire:
The New Hampshire Union Leader, WMUR-TV, and CNN are once again teaming up to present a Republican Presidential primary debate in America’s first primary state. The debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Manchester, which will make it the first debate in the “First in the Nation” primary state of New Hampshire.
Information on the location and exact time of the New Hampshire debate will be forthcoming. The three news organizations have a long history of working together to host presidential debates in the state, most recently in 2007.
Over at Slate, Dave Weigel catches Tax Hike Mike Huckabee telling an outright lie about his past support of cap-and-trade:
In a recent internet post, a contributor makes the claim that I supported cap-and-trade in late 2007 while running for President. To put it simply, that’s just not true. If companies chose to participate voluntarily as part of their corporate policy, then fine. But I was clear that we could not force U.S. businesses to do what their Chinese counterparts refused to - and doing so would have been a serious job killer.
This isn’t what he said in 2007. At an October 13 appearance at the Clean Air Cool Planet conference in Manchester, NH, Huckabee was clear: He wanted the House to pass measures passed by the Senate that would raise standards for emissions.
I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade.
I posted on this a year ago, including the video:
While Tax Hike Mike Huckabee matches the brand of intrusive, big spending and big government “compassionate” conservatism that he and his son pushed while in office, George H.W. Bush has named Mitt Romney as his favorite for 2012:
Asked by King who his personal favorite in 2012 is, Bush said, “Well, I mentioned [my son] Jeb, but he’s not going to try. So, I don’t. I don’t really. If you asked me, who will the nominee be, I couldn’t tell you. We like Mitt Romney. We know him well and like him very much.”
The informal endorsement comes three weeks after the midterm elections in which Republicans, partly on the backs of conservative Tea Party activists, took back control of the House and picked up six Senate seats and seven governorships. Their wins sparked talk that the party stands a good chance of defeating President Obama in 2012.
King asked Bush if Romney is “keeping with the Bush political stance,” as in being “middle of the road.”
“Don’t want to kill him off,” Bush replied before calling him a “reasonable guy” and a “conservative fellow.”
Of course, Barbara Bush’s humorous comment about Sarah Palin are what everyone has taken from this interview with Larry King.