Welcome to United Liberty’s Super Tuesday Live Blog. We’ll be getting started around 6:30pm or so. But before you join in on the conversation, here are some links to read on things to look for this evening.
Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver lays out the various scenarios that could unfold tonight, including delegate projections for all four candidates. Politico has a list of 10 things to watch for tonight, including Ohio, where a win could help Romney put the race to bed much quicker. CNN only gives three things for us to watch, but one of them (voter turnout) could obviously be a game-changer.
Watch returns come in:
With just a couple of days to go until the South Carolina Republican primary, we’re seeing some movement of the anti-Romney vote in the state back to Newt Gingrich as Rick Santorum falls back to earth.
This is reflected in several surveys, but to show you the numbers, here is a look at the last four polls out of South Carolina conducted by Rasmussen, who has done the most frequent polling in the state.
|1/18||31%||33% ||11% ||15% ||2%|
|1/12||28%||28% ||16%||16% ||6% |
What is exactly is happening to cause this second Gingrich surge? While Romney benefited from a fractured conservative base and many Republican voters accepting the “inevitably” of his nomination, recent strong debate performances and questions about Santorum’s fiscal conservatism and electability are bringing anti-Romney vote back into a one camp.
Gingrich will no doubt be aided by Perry’s withdrawal and endorsement even though his numbers weren’t all that great. The fiasco in Iowa, a state that Santorum seems to have now won — though some ballots have been lost, has showed us that every vote matters in this election. As I noted earlier, Perry’s supporters may just be what pushes Gingrich over the top in South Carolina.
Things are really starting to get out of hand with the primary process in America. Now, Florida is apparently going to move it’s GOP primary to Jan. 31st, 2012, as reported by The Washington Examiner:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or New Year’s at least, for the start of the presidential primary season.
The primary election calendar, scheduled to start in February, may move up to early January, with candidates campaigning through the holidays if Florida officials on Friday approve moving the Sunshine State’s Republican presidential primary to Jan. 31.
Florida’s anticipated move would mean that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada would likely move their presidential primaries and caucuses from February to early January because Republican Party rules require those four states to go first.
“We may be watching lots of campaign ads along with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ during the holiday season,” said University of Florida political science professor Stephen Craig. “Not the sort of thing that’s likely to make already frustrated voters feel more positively about the political process.”
No, it isn’t.
I’m not going to be one to belittle the political process, or say that we put too much emphasis on it. Right now, we have major problems facing our country, and we need to actually wake up, as a people, focus on this, and deal with it. That means we have to elect sensible grown-ups to office, which means we have to emphasize the political process. But there is something known as overkill.
I’ve never been excited about Rick Perry. Apparently, more and more Republicans are starting to feel the same way. Perry’s frontrunner status is tenous, as all front runner status’ are this far out from the general election, and now many Republicans are questioning his strength as a candidate.
Republicans in early voting states, once excited about the Texas governor’s presidential bid, are openly questioning the strength of his candidacy. High expectations have been met by the sudden national scrutiny that comes with the front-runner bull’s-eye.
Perry is leading national polls, but he is also facing intensifying criticism from the right and left. Some Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire are expressing doubts, especially after debates in which rivals raised questions about his record on immigration, public health and Social Security retirement benefits.
The campaign dismisses the criticism. After all, supporters say, he entered the presidential race just six weeks ago.
Things looked rosier then. Perry arrived to great fanfare and seemed poised to steal significant support from his top rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Many influential Republican activists saw Perry, with his executive experience and good jobs record, as an attractive alternative to Romney, who has struggled to win over conservatives who make up a sizeable portion of the party base.
Since then, the Texan has campaigned repeatedly in New Hampshire and Iowa, states that host the nation’s first presidential voting contests in roughly four months.
President Obama has been taking a beating lately. His approval rating is pretty dismal. Unfortunately, as is clear from things that have only recently transpired, things ain’t exactly getting better.
You see, while Obama has held his own against a variety of GOP challengers in head to head polls, Rasmussen found that he has a 64% disapproval rating among undecided voters. Let’s face it folks, Democrats aren’t likely to abandon Obama and Republicans aren’t exactly lining up to jump ship for bluer waters. The battle is for the hearts and minds of the undecideds, and on that battleground Obama is clearly getting his butt kicked.
This comes amid news that left wing crusader and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nadar is pushing for a primary challenger to hit Obama from the left. From the Washington Times:
“What we are looking at now is the dullest presidential campaign since Walter Mondale — and that’s saying something, believe me,” Mr. Nader told The Washington Times.
The group’s call has been endorsed by more than 45 other liberal leaders. They want to recruit six candidates who bring expertise ranging from poverty to the military.
Mr. Nader said the intent is not to defeat Mr. Obama but to make him focus on issues that might get lost in a purely Obama-versus-GOP discussion.
A primary challenge would definitely hurt Obama. As it is now, he can campaign against GOP talking points while the GOP is busy fighting itself to pick who will challenge him next November. Having to battle with the left wing of his own party would put him in the position of having to argue left wing policy. For the record, there are a lot of folks who aren’t crazy about left wing policy at the moment.
With a recent poll showing a tight race in his bid for re-election against Rep. Jason Chaffetz in a likely primary match up, Sen. Orrin Hatch has scored an endorsement from Sean Hannity, the prominent conservative talk show host:
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has won a high-profile re-election endorsement that will surely help him with Tea Party voters in his state: Fox News commentator Sean Hannity on Tuesday endorsed the Republican Senator on his radio show.
“I’m not sure if Clarence Thomas would be on the bench today but for you,” Hannity said, according to audio released by the Hatch campaign.
“I don’t think guys like John Roberts and Sam Alito would be there either,” he continued. “All the times you have been fighting for these Balanced Budgets over the years … what you’ve done for the Supreme Court which is impacting this country literally now for generations and decades … is why I’ve endorsed you for your race in the Senate.”
Mark Levin also endorsed Hatch backed in June.
Just a note to our friends in Wisconsin, some of you will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote in the party primaries in tomorrow’s special election, which is a result of the budget battle involving reforms to public-sector collective bargaining agreements that took place earlier this year. Those reforms were passed and upheld by the state’s Supreme Court last month.
It’s worth noting that none of the incumbent Republican senators that were recalled, a result of Big Labor petitioning, have opponents in the primary. However, the Democrats running do. And since Wisconsin has an open primary, you can crossover and vote for Democrats running against the candidates that are more interested in doing the bidding of labor unions than the people of Wisconsin.
Here are the pro-Wisconsin Democrats:
- SD-2: Otto Junkerman
- SD-8: Gladys Huber
- SD-10: Isaac Weix
- SD-14: Rol Church
- SD-18: John Buckstaff
- SD-32: James Smith
Please take some time to vote tomorrow (or today, depending on when you’re reading this post).
While California’s presidential primary isn’t until Super Tuesday (February 7, 2012), new survey conducted by Field Poll shed some light where Republicans voters in the Golden State are going at this early point in the game (full results are available here):
- Mitt Romney: 25%
- Rudy Giuliani: 17%
- Sarah Palin: 10%
- Ron Paul: 7%
- Newt Gingrich: 6%
- Herman Cain: 6%
- Rick Perry: 5%
- Michele Bachmann: 4%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Gary Johnson: <0.5%
- Other/Undecided: 14%
Field Poll also ran the numbers under the scenario that Giuliani sits the race out. It’s worth noting that Romney receives a slight boost, as does Palin (who hasn’t decided on a bid for the GOP nomination).
- Mitt Romney: 30%
- Sarah Palin: 12%
- Ron Paul: 8%
- Newt Gingrich: 8%
- Herman Cain: 7%
- Rick Perry: 6%
- Michele Bachmann: 5%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Gary Johnson: <0.5%
- Other/Undecided: 14%
Among the contenders, Giuliani and Romney are the only candidates viewed favorably by GOP voters, 46/37 and 38/34, respectively. The poll also shows that whoever wins the nomination will have a long road to haul to picking up the state’s 55 electoral votes as 49% support President Barack Obama’s re-election bid, while 40% do not.
From yesterday’s CNN American Morning: