Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm based in North Carolina, brings us the latest numbers in the Republican presidential primary, which show that the attention Donald Trump received over the birther issue was short-lived.
- Mike Huckabee: 19%
- Mitt Romney: 18%
- Newt Gingrich: 13%
- Sarah Palin: 12%
- Ron Paul: 8%
- Donald Trump: 8%
- Michele Bachmann: 7%
- Tim Pawlenty: 5%
- Other/Undecided: 11%
But if Trump opts not to run, which is likely considering how dumb he has looked in the last two weeks, here is how the field looks:
- Mitt Romney: 21%
- Mike Huckabee: 20%
- Newt Gingrich: 15%
- Sarah Palin: 14%
- Ron Paul: 8%
- Michele Bachmann: 7%
- Tim Pawlenty: 6%
- Other/Undecided: 9%
Tax Hike Mike and Sarah Palin have not announced plans to run at this point. It’s unlikely Palin will since she hasn’t made any sort of move showing a national organization or setting up potential campaign structures in early primary states. But the tax hike-loving former Governor of Arkansas is rumored to still be considering a bid.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, will announce his bid for the Republican nomination for president at some point tomorrow:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) will announce his candidacy for president Wednesday, spokesman Rick Tyler said Monday.
After an Associated Press report that Gingrich would make a 2012 bid official via social media Wednesday, Tyler confirmed it on Twitter.
Tyler said Fox News host Sean Hannity will have the first interview with Gingrich as a declared presidential candidate ahead of the former House Speaker’s speech to the Georgia GOP convention on Friday.
If you’re looking for Republican that has enabled big government, then Gingrich is right up your alley. In Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, Stephen Slivinski offers insight into the slide that eventually led to the spending spree of George W. Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress. Silvinski gives example after example of how Newt Gingrich sold out of political expedency and threatened members of his own caucus if they didn’t vote how he wanted.
Like Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Jon Huntsman (R-UT) has a past of saying nice things about cap-and-trade and a carbon tax. In fact, Huntsman chided Republicans for not supporting cap-and-trade, a job-killing proposal that died in Congress last year.
Here is Huntsman in his own words:
H/T: James Pethokoukis
CNN reports that less than 50% of Republican voters are less than thrilled with their potential candidates for 2012, which is hardly surprising. Conversations with Republican voters have revealed the same thing to me. This could be a potential problem come November of that year, but there’s a possibility that there’s a silver lining for libertarians.
You see, the lack of a true front runner means that there are a lot of votes still out there. Without a candidate to rally behind, Republicans can take a look at the field with a more open mind. In a GOP that is starting to see benefits from a Tea Party movement that often shuns social issues, instead focusing on fiscal matters.
The door is open, at least for the time being. However, it’s essential that libertarian leaning candidates to make the most of it. They will need to make their cases clearly and coherently, but also understand that winning elections means not just using statistics, but emotions. Far to many people vote with their hearts, not their heads. However, that’s grounds for another post at another time.
For now, let’s take a look at the pathetic field the GOP has so far and it’s less than inspiring. Donald Trump is the only one I want to last the whole way, and that’s purely for entertainment value, not any real grasp of policy. After all, the man who believes Obama wasn’t born in this country thinks that there might be a right to privacy. Might. Let’s look at the rest of the field.
Sarah Palin - Enough said.
Mike Huckabee - Oh yeah. Raise my taxes. Please. What I really want is socialism with a religious flare instead of Obama’s socialism with a populist flare.
Mitt Romney - Well, we already have ObamaCare, so his worst screw up in Massachusetts won’t be replicated.
Newt Gingrich - See Sarah Palin
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has announced the formation of an exploratory commitee for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Among the themes Pawlenty discusses in the video are creating jobs, limiting government and reforming entitlements:
“This is our country. Our founding fathers created it, Americans embraced it, Ronald Reagan personified it, and Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. And that’s why today, I’m announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States,” Pawlenty declared in the two-minute video.
The Republican ex-governor invokes his hard-luck upbringing in the video. “At a young age, I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship, and the face of job loss,” he says. “Over the last year, I’ve traveled to nearly every state in the country and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling—I lived it.”
Here is the video of his announcement, which was released on his Facebook page yesterday afternoon:
Given his all but certain entrance in the Republican presidential primary, you’d think that Newt Gingrich would be shifting to the right on economic issues. He’s not. In fact, he recently told a reporter during a press conference that he doesn’t regret expanding Medicare, an entitlement already projected to have trillions in unfunded liabilities over the several decades, by supporting and lobbying for passage of prescription drug benefit - Medicare Part D - in 2003:
At a press conference on Friday, CNSNews.com asked Gingrich, “You were a prominent supporter of the Medicare prescription drug plan that President Bush signed into law in 2003. The Medicare trustees now say that plan is $7.2 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next 75 years. Do you regret your support for the plan looking back?”
“No,” said Gingrich. “I think that we—I mean, I am for dramatic reform of Medicare. I chaired the Medicare reform task force which saved it in 1996 when the trustees said it was going to go broke, and we passed changes which enabled them to say that we had postponed any problem for well over a decade.
Here is the video with Gingrich’s full comments:
I’ve heard some doozies when it comes to excuses for messing around on your wife, but Newt Gingrich’s latest about how “passionately I felt about this country” take excuses to a whole new – and somewhat disturbing – new level. His full comment, courtesy of Hot Air:
There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.
Now, I can understand one’s “passion for their country” leading them to do things with Girls named America, Glory, or anything else that could be argued as a patriotic name (and I guess women born in 1976 count as well), but he didn’t. He, like so many other politicians, craved power and the trappings of power. That includes women who didn’t care he was married.
In fairness to Gingrich, as Hot Air points out, Trump has used a similar line of reasoning – that working hard lead to his indiscretions – and it’s just as ridiculous as Gingrich spouting that crap. Trump, despite not having sought political office, still craves power. This isn’t unusual and can be channeled towards accomplishing great things. However, it also comes with the same potential pitfalls.
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.
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.
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: