With less than a week to go before the Iowa caucus, the latest polls out of the Hawkeye State from CNN and Public Policy Polling show Ron Paul and Mitt Romney fighting for the top and Newt Gingrich falling.
The more shocking of the two polls is from CNN, who hasn’t conducted a survey in Iowa since earlier this month. As you can see below, both Paul and Romney have added modest support since the last poll (in parentesis to the side) while Gingrich has fallen substantially. But the wrinkle in that Santorum’s support has jumped by double-digits (remember what I wrote about him on Monday…don’t underestimate him).
- Mitt Romney: 25% (+5)
- Ron Paul: 22% (+5)
- Rick Santorum: 16% (+11)
- Newt Gingrich: 14% (-19)
- Rick Perry: 11% (+2)
- Michele Bachmann: 9% (+2)
- Jon Huntsman: 1% (—)
- None/No opinion: 2%
Public Policy Polling (PPP) also released polling on Tuesday, which I somehow overlooked, showing Paul still on top with Romney trailing him. PPP’s last poll from Iowa came out just before Christmas. You can also see that the uptick in Santorum’s support isn’t present as it is in the CNN poll.
Opposition to ObamaCare has been among the themes in the race for the Republican nomination. The conservative and Tea Party base of the GOP electorate is firmly against the individual mandate and other aspects of the law. And, unsurprisingly, every candidate is pledging to repeal it.
Mitt Romney has received some criticism, however, since his Massachusetts plan served as the blueprint for ObamaCare. Conservative voters have been weary of his candidacy because of this, and justifably so.
But Romney can no longer claim a monopoly on this as comments by Newt Gingrich made back in 2006 showing that he was fond on RomneyCare have recently been brought to light:
Newt Gingrich voiced enthusiasm for Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law when it was passed five years ago, the same plan he has been denouncing over the past few months as he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination.
“The health bill that Governor Romney signed into law this month has tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system,” said an April 2006 newsletter published by Gingrich’s former consulting company, the Center for Health Transformation.
The two-page “Newt Notes” analysis, found online by The Wall Street Journal even though it no longer appears on the center’s website, continued, “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans.”
The earlier bullish comments about the Romney health care plan are another potential embarrassment for Gingrich, who is leading Romney in most national polls for the GOP nomination.
Earlier this month it seemed as though Newt Gingrich was rolling. Herman Cain’s exit forced conservative voters to look for yet another “anti-Romney,” which led them to settle on Gingrich. There were three things that could hurt Gingrich’s campaign moving keeping them momentum; 1) his past record and statements 2) his arrogance and 3) lack of campaign organization.
The first two have certainly played part, though his record has been a more glaring problem than his arrogance as campaigns have pounded his relentlessly for backing big government. But the lack of campaign organization is just embarassing. Just last week, Gingrich was booted from the ballot in Virginia because he failed to turn in the proper amount of signatures (Rick Perry also failed to meet the requirements):
The Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday that Gingrich and Perry failed to submit 10,000 signatures of registered voters required to get their names on the ballot for the March 6 primary.
“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the party announced on Twitter.
The rejection is a significant setback for the Gingrich campaign since he is leading the polls in Virginia among likely Republican voters and is seen as a strong contender for the nomination.
Perry’s campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, and Gingrich’s campaign said it submitted 11,050 signatures. State party officials spent Friday night validating the signatures.
Just an interesting side note as this whole newsletter thing heats up (and, as I’ve already stated, Ron Paul needs to ditch Lew Rockwell and come totally clean), a new CNN/ORC poll shows that among the Republican candidates, Ron Paul has the highest amount of support from nonwhites (in a match-up against Barack Obama.) The report is here [PDF], but let me just extract the most interesting data for you:
As you can see, none of them is even close to Barack Obama in this demographic category, none. I’m also not sure what to make of it, to be honest. It is, however, an interesting datapoint to take note of during this exceptionally crazy nomination battle.
We have another poll coming out of Iowa. This one comes from Rasmussen Reports, a GOP-leaning firm. If you’re a Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich supporter, then you’re not going to like the results.
While the previous three polls out of the state — from Iowa State University, Public Policy Polling, and Insider Advantage — showed Paul with a anywhere from a 3-6 point lead, Rasmussen shows Romney building on his lead from the survey they conducted last week.
- Mitt Romney: 25% (+2)
- Ron Paul: 20% (+2)
- Newt Gingrich: 17% (-3)
- Rick Perry: 10% (—)
- Rick Santorum: 10% (+4)
- Michele Bachmann: 6% (-3)
- Jon Huntsman: 4% (-1)
- Other/Not sure: 9%
That’s not to say I don’t believe Rasmussen, but it looks like most are conceeding that Paul will win the Iowa caucus; though his chances for winning the nomination are still very low. The problem for Romney is that a Paul win in Iowa could have influence on the New Hampshire primary, where he needs to do will in order to not worry about South Carolina.
And let’s keep in mind that Iowa is a caucus state, which is different from a traditional primary. Campaign organization is key here, and we know that Romney is investing a lot of resources there — but he isn’t giving up on it either. Gingrich, from what I’ve heard, is struggling to build a solid team. And we shouldn’t underestimate Santorum, though we all want to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish ahead of Gingrich.
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.
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.
As we approach the Iowa caucus, we’re seeing several new polls released that show Newt Gingrich’s lead over Mitt Romney has completely evaporated. Take the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll showing both at 30%, with Ron Paul following well behind them in third:
- Mitt Romney: 30%
- Newt Gingrich: 30%
- Ron Paul: 15%
- Rick Perry: 7%
- Michele Bachmann: 7%
- Rick Santorum: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 3%
- None/No opinion: 5%
The Hill has some important takeaways from the poll, including that 36% of Republican voters could still change their minds before they cast their ballot:
The poll shows Romney might still be winning the electability argument, as 38 percent believed that of all the candidates, Romney “has the best chance to defeat Barack Obama in the general election,” compared to Gingrich’s 28 percent. However, Gingrich wins 43 percent compared to Romney’s 23 percent when voters were asked who “has the best experience to be president.”
Healthcare — and likely his support of the individual mandate in Massachusetts — still seems to be the major obstacle for Romney to overcome with voters, as 36 percent named it a “major reason to oppose” him as the nominee.
In an attempt to fire up conservatives as his poll numbers fall, Newt Gingrich told reporters this past weekend he would ignore decisions he disagreed with, notes the Los Angeles Times:
Newt Gingrich says as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief, and he would press for impeaching judges or even abolishing certain courts if he disagreed with their rulings.
“I’m fed up with elitist judges” who seek to impose their “radically un-American” views, Gingrich said Saturday in a conference call with reporters.
In recent weeks, the Republican presidential contender has been telling conservative audiences he is determined to expose the myth of “judicial supremacy” and restrain judges to a more limited role in American government. “The courts have become grotesquely dictatorial and far too powerful,” he said in Thursday’s Iowa debate.
As a historian, Gingrich said he knows President Thomas Jefferson abolished some judgeships, and President Abraham Lincoln made clear he did not accept the Dred Scott decision denying that former slaves could be citizens.
Relying on those precedents, Gingrich said that if he were in the White House, he would not feel compelled to always follow the Supreme Court’s decisions on constitutional questions. As an example, he cited the court’s 5-4 decision in 2008 that prisoners held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had a right to challenge their detention before a judge.
“That was clearly an overreach by the court,” Gingrich said Saturday. The president as commander in chief has the power to control prisoners during wartime, making the court’s decision “null and void,” he said.
Hello! From the commission itself:
Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged six former top executives of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) with securities fraud, alleging they knew and approved of misleading statements claiming the companies had minimal holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including subprime loans.
- SEC complaint vs. Freddie Mac executives
- SEC complaint vs. Fannie Mae executives
- Non-Prosecution Agreement - Freddie Mac
- Non-Prosecution Agreement - Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each entered into a Non-Prosecution Agreement with the Commission in which each company agreed to accept responsibility for its conduct and not dispute, contest, or contradict the contents of an agreed-upon Statement of Facts without admitting nor denying liability. Each also agreed to cooperate with the Commission’s litigation against the former executives. In entering into these Agreements, the Commission considered the unique circumstances presented by the companies’ current status, including the financial support provided to the companies by the U.S. Treasury, the role of the Federal Housing Finance Agency as conservator of each company, and the costs that may be imposed on U.S. taxpayers.
With Gary Johnson all but having officially announced that he will seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President, Public Policy Polling included him in a poll of voters in his home state. The result? While short of Obama by a distant 21%, Johnson trails Mitt Romney by a mere 4%.
Americans are more fed up than ever with the 2 main political parties right now so we also looked to see how Gary Johnson might do in his home state running as a Libertarian and the answer is pretty darn well. In a 3 way contest with Obama and Romney he gets 23% with Obama at 44% and Romney at 27%. And in a 3 way with Gingrich, Johnson gets 20% to 45% for Obama and 28% for Gingrich.
What’s interesting about Johnson’s support is that he’s pulling a fair amount from both sides. His supporters in the match up with Obama and Romney go just 47-33 for Romney in a head to head contest. And his supporters against Obama and Gingrich actually vote for Obama 47-40 in a head to head. So Johnson’s pulling from across the spectrum. Just because he’s doing that in New Mexico doesn’t really say anything about his ability to do it on a broader scale but it shows that with folks who are familiar with his message he has support across the spectrum.