Rep. Ron Paul rarely makes news, and his candidacy is frequently ignored by Beltway reporters. But headlines, his aides say, are overrated. In fact, the Texas Republican’s low-key autumn was strategic. As Paul’s competitors stumbled and sparred, he amassed a small fortune for his campaign and built a strong ground operation. And with January fast approaching, his team is ready to surprise the political world and sweep the Iowa caucuses.
“This was a movement when he first started running in 2008,” says Trygve Olson, a senior Paul adviser. “Now it’s turned into a highly professionalized campaign, but the energy from that last run is still there, and at the heart of what’s keeping up his momentum.”
The latest polls back up that confidence. In the influential Des Moines Register poll published over the weekend, Paul placed second. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, captured 25 percent of likely Iowa GOP voters, but Paul garnered 18 percent, two points ahead of Mitt Romney, who in 2008 placed second in the caucuses.
If Paul wins Iowa, the upset could upend what many politicos say is a two-man race between Gingrich and Romney. According to state GOP insiders, a Paul victory is a real possibility. In background conversations, many say Paul is much stronger than outside observers believe, with deep and wide support among a frustrated electorate. With Herman Cain’s departure from the race, operatives see Paul potentially collecting a quarter of caucus attendees.
The emergence of Newt Gingrich as frontrunner for the Republican nomination is without doubt very odd. Many pundits thought that Gingrich’s campaign dead in the water after making some incredibly dumb comments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan. We were all wrong, apparently.
It’s not like the conservative base has embraced Gingrich. After all, Herman Cain excited the base at the beginning of the race. But that eventually moved to Michele Bachmann, who had her brief time in the limelight and won the Ames Straw Poll in mid-August. But after Rick Perry jumped in the race, Bachmann became a distant memory. After Perry proved himself to be an incapable debator and gaffe-prone, where did the support go? Not Gingrich, but back to the inexperienced and unproven Cain.
But now with Cain tapering off again, it’s Gingrich — not Rick Santorum or Ron Paul — who is reaping the benefits. Why? As I noted recently, it’s because GOP voters remember him and respect him as a some sort of intellectual conservative (laughable, I know, given all the statist policies he’s supported).
The reason conservatives aren’t flocking to Paul are sort of obvious, though I don’t expect his average supporter to grasp them. Paul isn’t a neo-conservative, so he doesn’t appeal to warmongers defense-minded GOP voters. While he is personally opposed to gay marriage, he is also a defender of the Tenth Amendment and opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment. And let’s face it, he doesn’t come off as that great of a debator. Sure, his ideas are sound on paper and in practice, I believe. But when it comes articulating them, he just isn’t that great.
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted the GOP Presidential Power Rankings. Honestly, I needed a break from the race. But with the first votes being cast on January 3rd in Iowa, we need to crank it up again.
- We are now less than a year away from the 2012 Presidential Election; 364 days to be exact (November 6, 2012).
- The latest numbers from Gallup show Obama and Romney tied. However, he leads Perry and Cain both nationally and in “swing states.”
- A generic Republican beats Obama on key issues in swing states.
- Jim Pethokoukis notes a recent election forcast model showing that the odds of Obama being re-elected are declining.
- Whoever wins the GOP primary will, along with Obama, face a skeptical electorate.
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) will not endorse in the GOP primary.
It’s been another interesting week in the battle for the Republican nomination for president. Rick Perry continues his free fall as Herman Cain benefits from a substantial amount of press coming off his straw poll win in Florida. Of course, Romney stands to benefit from this as he hasn’t had much of a tea party appeal.
In this latest version of our Power Rankings, Cain and Newt Gingrich are moved up, Bachmann drops down into the bottom tier. And while may disagree with this, Romney moves back to the top.
The following was submitted by Nick Nottleman, a reader and concerned American.
The 2000 Presidential Election pitted George W. Bush against then Vice President Al Gore. Ralph Nader from the Green Party received 2.74 % of the popular vote and no other candidate received more than .5% of the popular vote. But the two main characters in this play were George W. Bush and Al Gore. Or were they?
While the Internet bubble was definitely bursting, the country was for the most part in decent shape. The military had been downsized considerably and for the first time in many years, there was a surplus in the Federal Budget. The Story’s villain was “The Clinton” and his sidekick, the “Blue Gobbler.” There to report it all, the likes of Rush Limbaugh and several reporters at Fox News.
In the 2012 election, the same strategy seems to be being deployed. An article at the Daily Caller quotes a Rasmussen poll:
A generic Republican presidential candidate would beat Barack Obama by a five-point margin if the election were held today, according to a poll released Tuesday by Rasmussen.
The as-yet-unnamed Republican candidate leads Obama 47 percent to 42 percent. This is the fourth consecutive week that Rasmussen’s polling has found a generic Republican candidate with a lead.
And Rasmussen is not alone.
Wait a second… you mean to say anyone with an (R) behind their name beats President Obama?
Because the general consensus being built is that any Republican would be a better president. On a semi-sane day, I might actually agree with that premise, but I prefer life out on the fringe. You know, where things like realizing THAT IS EXACTLY HOW WE ENDED UP WITH George W. Bush happens!
A round of new polling released on Sunday shows that Republican candidates have the edge in enough Senate races to take the majority in the upper chamber in the 2014 mid-term election and then some.
The poll was conducted by YouGov in coordination with CBS News and The New York Times finds that Republicans would win the eight Senate seats, handing them a 53-seat majority. The Upshot notes that, based on the new round of polling, Republicans have a 60 percent chance of taking control of the chamber.
Here’s a look at the most relevant races:
Today in Liberty: MSNBC mocks Hillary Clinton’s “dead broke” comments, veterans disapprove of Bergdahl-Taliban deal
“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” — Alexis de Tocqueville
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe mocks Clinton’s Romney moment: In an interview with Good Morning America on Monday Hillary Clinton said that her family left the White House “not only dead broke, but in debt” and defended the millions she and former President Bill Clinton have made in speaking fees. “[W]e had to pay off all our debts,” she said, “which was, you know, he had to make double the money because of obviously taxes and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.” Oh, the hardship of poverty: “How can we afford our $1.7 million and $2.85 million homes in New York and Washington!?” MSNBC’s Morning Joe had some fun with Clinton’s tone deaf, Romney-like comments this morning. Here’s a taste.
Most political conventional wisdom pegs young voters and the not-yet-of-age as definitively liberal and probably tied to the Democratic Party for life. The saying goes that once a generation votes for the same party three times in a row, they’re lifelong adherents. The youth vote has gone to Obama and the Democrats in two successive presidential elections, but the all-important third may be elusive, for surprising ideological reasons.
Young voters have been one of the driving forces behind the recent surge in support for marriage equality and drug decriminalization, of course. But their party affiliation isn’t determinant there. Sixty-nine percent of voters under 29 support same-sex marriage, but 61% of young Republican voters do as well, and only 18% of them say gay couples raising children is bad for society. Sixty-one percent of voters under 29 also support legalization of marijuana.
This poll doesn’t have the same partisan generational breakdown as the marriage poll, but I would guess the ratio is similar, with a slight majority of young Republican voters opposing marijuana prohibition.
Support for gun control has also fallen the most among Millenial generation voters than other generations in just the last few years, from 59% in 2009 to 49% this year.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has a good feeling about the upcoming mid-term election. Before he dropped in on the quarterly Republican National Committee meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, the Kentucky senator told Fox News that he believes a Republican wave election building due to voter dissatisfaction with Obamacare.
“I sense a wave election coming on,” Paul told America’s Newsroom host Martha McCallum. “I think the American public are unhappy about not being told the truth. We were told that we could keep our doctor, but now we’re told, you know what, if you get cancer or you need to go to MD Anderson, or you get cancer and you need to go to Sloan-Kettering, or you need to go to Harvard or deaconess, you’re told you can’t go.”
By almost all accounts, Michelle Nunn is going to make the U.S. Senate race in Georgia very interesting. The daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) has outraised her potential Republican opponents and the most recent poll out of the Peach State found that she’s statistically tied with most of them.
How has Nunn managed to make this red-leaning state competitive? Our friends at Peach Pundit offer an example. In their morning email, they explain that Nunn, a Democrat, doesn’t mention her party very often. In fact, in her first ad of the cycle, her campaign plays up stereotypical Republican themes: