Mitt Romney

Romney maintains lead in Iowa

The first poll out of Iowa in over a month was released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm. It shows Mitt Romney holding a lead in two different scenarios; with with Sarah Palin running and the other with her sitting it out.

  • Mitt Romney: 21%
  • Sarah Palin: 15%
  • Herman Cain: 15%
  • Newt Gingrich: 12%
  • Michele Bachmann: 11%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 10%
  • Ron Paul: 8%
  • Jon Huntsman: 0%
  • Other/Undecided: 8%

Romney’s support has increased from 16% to 21% since the last time Public Policy Polling surveyed the field in Iowa. But Palin’s support increased as well, from 8% to 15%. She, however, is tied with Herman Cain for second in the field. Also, note that Huntsman’s support came in at 0%. Public Policy Polling explains that he received one vote in the survey. That’s not a good sign.

But if Palin decides to sit out the race, Romney’s support increases slightly. Gingrich and Bachmann put themselves in a statistical tie for second with Cain, who doesn’t receive much a bump with Palin’s absence.

  • Mitt Romney: 26%
  • Herman Cain: 16%
  • Newt Gingrich: 15%
  • Michele Bachmann: 14%
  • Ron Paul: 11%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 10%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other/Undecided: 8%

Cain is concentrating his efforts in the state to prove that he can compete, although some believe he isn’t showing much ability to raise the money nor the organization necessary to make a serious run for the nomination.

The Ames Straw Poll, which will measure a candidates strength in Iowa, will be held on Saturday, August 13th (that’s this summer). The Iowa caucuses will be held on Monday, February 6, 2012.

Pawlenty releases new campaign video

Republican hopeful Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota, has released a new video, which is geared towards the early caucus state of Iowa, to promote his campaign:

Like it or not, Iowa is going to be the focal point of Republican politics for the next several months. We’re going to try to follow all the news coming out. I know there is a poll, though from a Democratic firm, that should be released later today; if it hasn’t been already.

CNN shows Giuliani as a contender

On the heels of the recent Gallup poll in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, CNN put out numbers on Friday showing a different dynamic in the race; Rudy Giuliani, who is in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney:

  • Rudy Giuliani: 16%
  • Mitt Romney: 15%
  • Sarah Palin: 13%
  • Ron Paul: 12%
  • Herman Cain: 10%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Gary Johnson: 1%
  • Buddy Roemer: n/a
  • Someone else: 3%
  • None/No one: 5%
  • No opinion: 2%

Here is the field without Giuliani:

  • Romney: 19%
  • Palin: 15%
  • Paul: 13%
  • Cain: 11%
  • Gingrich: 11%
  • Bachmann: 7%
  • Pawlenty: 5%
  • Huntsman: 3%
  • Santorum: 2%
  • Johnson: 2%
  • Roemer: 1%
  • Someone else: 3%
  • None/No one: 6%
  • No opinion: 2%

And without Giuliani and Palin:

  • Romney: 21%
  • Paul: 15%
  • Cain: 13%
  • Gingrich: 12%
  • Bachmann: 9%
  • Pawlenty: 5%
  • Huntsman: 3%
  • Santorum: 3%
  • Johnson: 2%
  • Roemer: 1%
  • Someone else: 5%
  • None/No one: 9%
  • No opinion: 2%

Assuming Giuliani doesn’t run, Romney is still the frontrunner. However, Paul is making an impressive showing in these early polls. It’ll be interesting to see if he runs a similar strategy of picking up enough second and third place finishes in early primary states to earn enough delegates to be contender. It’s likely that Palin or Giuliani enter the race, but probably not both.

Santorum to announce in early June

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is expected to announce his entry into the race for President on June 5. has described Santorum as a “long-shot”, and that’s an understatement.  Like Newt Gingrich, Santorum has been out of office for a while.  That usually means a loss of name recognition, no recent experience to run on, and backers have an tendency to find new horses to put their money on.

However, the GOP field isn’t bristling with front-runners right now, so Santorum could step in and make a splash with strong showings in Iowa and/or New Hampshire.  A good showing there can mean the difference further on down the line.

That said, it’s unlike Santorum will make that splash.  I expect he’ll be out fairly quickly and return to private life.  However, I figure his campaign will have a much, much longer shot than Newt’s since Santorum isn’t know for being as gaff prone as Gingrich.

Oh, this will be a race to behold.  Anyone else going to pop some popcorn as we wait for the trainwreck election?  I know I am!

Gallup shows no clear frontrunner in GOP race, 1/4 undecided

The latest Gallup poll for the Republican presidential primary shows Mitt Romney, who will officially announce his campaign on June 2nd, and Sarah Palin, who until this week had showed nothing resembling a campaign, leading the pack of candidates.

The big surprise to some is the 8% that Herman Cain brings in. Some are saying that he should be taken seriously because of the 8% despite having relatively low name recognition. I’m not so sure about that. Cain has better than average name recognition among the grassroots and tea party voters; so while he will likely peak quickly and long before the nominee is decided.

No polls have been conducted in Iowa since April, and Cain wasn’t included; the only poll he was in showed him at 3%, but that was back in March. We’ll see how he does at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa later this summer. Since Cain seems to be focusing his efforts there, it’ll give us an idea of how he’ll do. We do know that his impact is limited in New Hampshire.

FreedomWorks to take on Romney?

While President Barack Obama’s team believes Mitt Romney is their biggest threat in 2012 (sorry, I just don’t see why they think that), the folks at FreedomWorks note that his lack of authencity and his health care plan that served as a blueprint for ObamaCare is leading tea party activists to reject his candidacy:

FreedomWorks is led by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Matt Kibbe, an economist and former Capitol Hill aide. More than 30 employees, as well as a fresh class of several interns, work out of spacious seventh floor offices near the U.S. Capitol. The group knows they cannot impose their will on the fiercely independent conservative organizers fueling the Tea Party. But they say the activist base is just as anti-Romney as they are.

Kibbe said in an interview that FreedomWorks has no plans at the moment to endorse an opponent of Romney’s in the primary. But others in the organization made clear they will devote considerable resources toward helping whoever emerges as the most viable Republican in the primary other than the putative front runner.

Brendan Steinhauser, who travels around the country meeting with activists as FreedomWorks’ top liaison to the grassroots, said most people he talks to are “definitely trying to stop Romney.”

Is Giuliani running for president? Maybe

Back in January, I mentioned in passing that Rudy Giuliani was considering another bid for the GOP presidential nomination despite performing poorly in 2008. But given the questions surrounding the Republican field, it appears that Giuliani is seriously considering it:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential campaign fizzled in 2008, is leaning toward another race for the White House, according to a close associate.  New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who has known Giuliani for more than 40 years, says the former mayor “is very close to saying he’s going to run.”

“If he were to make the decision today, he would run,” says King.

Speaking at a dinner with reporters in Washington, King, who was an enthusiastic Giuliani supporter in 2008, said the former mayor has been quietly lining up support and exploring strategy. Giuliani has also examined the mistakes his campaign made in ‘08, when he did not seriously compete in a contest until the Florida primary, by which time he was hopelessly behind in the race.

The recent CNN poll out of New Hampshire shows Guiliani tied with Newt Gingrich for third, behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, among Republican primary voters. But there are a lot of factors that Guiliani would need to consider before taking another plunge into electoral politics.

CNN Poll: Romney leads in New Hampshire

A new poll from CNN of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney, who served as Governor of nearby Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, with a significant lead; though we still have months to go before voters from the Granite State will cast their ballots in January.

Even though they include Mitch Daniels, who recently opted not to run for the GOP nod, here are the results of the poll:

  • Mitt Romney: 32%
  • Ron Paul: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 6%
  • Rudy Giuliani: 6%
  • Sarah Palin: 5%
  • Michele Bachmann: 4%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Mitch Daniels: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 4%
  • Tim Pawlenty: 4%
  • Rich Santorum: 2%
  • Gary Johnson: <1%
  • Other: 3%
  • No opinion: 17%

Of the names listed, an overwhelming 42% believe that Romney has the best shot at beating President Barack Obama next year. Guiliani and Pawlenty are tied for second at 4% in on particular question. Voters also chose Romney as the candidate has the best suited as far as experience and to handle the economy and budget.

It’s important to note that 43% of New Hampshire Republicans are either dissatisfied with the current GOP field. So again, we’re a long way off from voters making up their minds.

Mitch Daniels will not run for president

In a disappoint move for many looking for someone that could present a strong challenge to President Barack Obama, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president:

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said early Sunday that he would not become a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, telling supporters in an e-mail message that concerns from his family were the overriding factor in deciding to stay out of the race.

“In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one,” Mr. Daniels wrote. “The interests and wishes of my family is the most important consideration of all. If I have disappointed you, I will always be sorry.”

His announcement answers one of the most highly anticipated questions about the 2012 Republican campaign, but introduces new uncertainty into the race. He is the latest in a string of prominent Republicans to decline a presidential bid, leaving the field without a clear front-runner less than eight months before the first voting could begin.

It looks like those concerns about whether or not Daniels supported some form of a requirement to purchase health insurance are now moot. By the way, it looks like he didn’t support an individual mandate.

Gingrich’s bad week continues

As I noted yesterday, Newt Gingrich is having a rough go of it lately. On Sunday, he slammed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, even though he seemed to endorse it two weeks earlier. He also endorsed an requirement that would force Americans to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not. He says it’s not the same as the individual mandate in ObamaCare, but explain that to a voter.

The comments haven’t been well-received by the House GOP (after all, Gingrich threw them under the bus) and other Republican politicians - including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley -  and conservative talk shows hosts. If this conversation with an Iowa Republican is any indication, Gingrich has a lot of fences to mend:

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