While some conservative bloggers have tried to make a case for libertarians voting for Mitt Romney, they haven’t really been able to connect because they fail to understand where we’re coming from in our perspective on politics and public policy. However, Liz Mair, a libertarian who works as a political consultant and strategist, explains that she is voting for Romney, despite reservations about some of his policies:
Riding the strength of the Tea Party movement and voter angst, Republicans won 62 seats in the 2010 mid-term election, taking control of the House in an election that was viewed as a referendum on the first-half of President Barack Obama’s term. And even though it looks like they will fail to take control of the Senate this year, Aaron Blake, who writes at The Fix over at the Washington Post, reports that Republicans may actually increase their already sizeable majority in the House of Representatives:
The Fix now projects that the 2012 race for the House is likely to be close to a draw, and there is even a fair chance that Republicans will add to their biggest majority in six decades on Tuesday.
In recent weeks, as Mitt Romney has gained a few points in the presidential race, a similar but slight shift has been happening at the House level: The generic ballot has tightened.
While Democrats had built a modest advantage on the generic ballot (a measure of whether people prefer a generic Republican or a generic Democrat) when President Obama built some momentum in September, that advantage is basically gone now.
In part because of this, Democrats have seen their candidates in conservative-leaning districts suffer. Friday, we are moving several red-district Democrats into more vulnerable ratings, including Reps. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) and Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.).
And because those seats have shifted, it is no longer a foregone conclusion that Democrats will gain seats this year.
With six days left to go until the election, national polls continue to show a tight race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Each campaign is working hard, despite a lull due to Hurricane Sandy, to reach out to voters who remain on the fence.
But which campaign has momentum in their corner? Romney’s seen a surge in polls in recent weeks, but he has some numbers on his side. According to a Gallup poll released on Monday, Romney has a 7-point advantage over Obama in early voting. Additionally, a survey released yesterday by NPR found that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats.
So what are Republicans relying on to win? According to the Washington Examiner, Republicans believe that Democrats are spending their resources turning out their most reliable voters, leaving election day to focus on everyone else:
Since coming on the scene in 2009, the Tea Party movement has been maligned or misrepresented by an unsympathetic media. They fawned over Occupy Wall Street, but they quickly fizzled out. But the Tea Party is still around and still having an influence on American politics through backing anti-establishment candidates in Republican primaries.
This is what the movement has become used to since its inception. But in his column at Politico, Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s the Morning Joe, used his column yesterday to rip the media’s treatment of the Tea Party movement:
“Why is the tea party destroying the Republican Party?”
That’s a leading question that I have been asked repeatedly from media pundits and Democratic politicians over the past three years. Over that time, Democratic politicians and media pundits have almost universally accused the tea party of bringing ruin to the Grand Old Party. According to this skewed narrative, Republican leaders were once bipartisan, rational and almost worthy of getting invitations to Georgetown cocktail parties. Now, they are Manchurian candidates held captive by the right-wing beasts whose only goal is to infect the minds of real-life Nick Brodys who dominate the U.S. House.
Sometimes, mainstream publications and Democratic leaders even go so far as to say kind things about Ronald Reagan as a way to attack the tea party. They speak glowingly of Reagan and contrast him with the barbarians who now run the Republican Party. This, of course, conveniently overlooks the nasty attacks Reagan has endured at the hands of those who now cynically praise the 40th president.
It comes as no surprise that Utah will line up solidly in the Republican column this year because, well, they do pretty much every four years. This year perhaps even more so since the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, is a Mormon and spent a significant amount of time in the state salvaging the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Mia Love, who is running against Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), is hoping to be the beneficiary of Romney’s popularity in the state. In a new ad from her campaign, a voter picks up the phone to hear Mitt Romney’s voice urging them to support Love.
Romney says, “Mia is the only candidate in the race that will fight to reign in reckless spending and to lower taxes,” adding, “I’ll hope you’ll join me in support Mia in the upcoming election so that Utah’s voice can help lead this country back to an economic recovery.”
Here’s the ad:
Despite not being their ideal candidate, Republicans became excited once Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan’s two budgets — the “Roadmap for America’s Future” and the “Path to Prosperity” — became rallying points for conservative activists and many in the Tea Party movement. It should be noted that FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth supported other alternatives because they didn’t feel that Ryan’s proposals didn’t balance the budget quickly enough.
While he has been able to cast himself as a budget cutter and small government advocate, Ryan’s voting record tells a different story. Back in May, I noted some of Ryan’s big government leanings, including his votes for Medicare Part D, TARP, and the auto bailout.
Earlier this month, Ben Swann, a Cininnati-based report, sat down with Ryan and went over some of the votes over his career in Congress, putting the GOP vice presidential nominee on the defensive for supporting big government.
On Medicare Part D, Ryan explains that the program came under cost projections, but Swann notes that the program has added over $9 trillion in unfunded liabilities to an already broken program.
Swann also shows video of the debate on TARP, where Ryan explains, “[T]his bill offends my principles, but I’m gonna vote for this bill in order to preserve my principles.” That’s no different than what George W. Bush said after TARP was passed, that he “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”
While most observers are focused on only one race in Massachusetts — the Senate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, there is another race that is starting to gain some attention. Richard Tisei, a Republican, is taking on Rep. John Tierney (D) in MA-06 in what is looking like a pickup for the House GOP.
Tisei, who served in the Massachusetts legislature from 1985 to 2011, ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 as part of a ticket with Charlie Baker, the GOP nominee for Governor. Tisei is an anomaly for a Republican in that he is openly gay, first coming out in 2009. In an interview with The Hill back in July, Tisei explained that he considers himself to be “a ‘live and let live Republican’ — the government should get out of your bedroom, off your back and out of your wallet,” adding that most his views are libertarian in nature.
Social issues aside, Tisei is also a fiscal conservative, though not entirely perfect. In its election issue, Reason magazine named Tisei as a “libertarian(ish) candidate,” noting that he “led the charge to lower the state income tax” and that he signed the “Massachusetts equivalent of [Grover] Norquist’s [tax] pledge.” However, Reason noted that Tisei voted for RomneyCare, which would later serve as the blueprint for ObamaCare. Tisei told The Hill that he will vote to repeal ObamaCare.
On Friday, Chris Barron, co-founder of GOProud and an occasional contributor here at United Liberty, made some news by switching his support for president from Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee, to Mitt Romney. Writing at The Blaze, Barron explained why he decided to support the Republican ticket:
There is a time for idealism and a time for realism, and for me, the time for realism is now. I endorsed former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson back in December of 2011, when he was still seeking the Republican nomination for President. I continued to support him even after he left the Republican Party and became the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President. Indeed, I am a DC elector for Gary Johnson. On Tuesday November 6th, however, I will not be casting my vote for Gary Johnson – instead I will be casting it for Mitt Romney.
I still believe strongly that Gary Johnson would make the best President of the three candidates running, however, it is time to recognize he will not be President. The next President will either be Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and without hesitation I can say that Mitt Romney will be a vastly better President than Barack Obama.
While Mitt Romney is not perfect, the truth is that America simply cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama. On Obama’s watch, real unemployment is almost 15%, real wages have declined, the size and scope of government has grown, and we are staring at an unprecedented fiscal crisis in the form of a $16 trillion debt.
We are 47 days away from Election Day. Republicans are trying to excite voters over Mitt Romney, desperately hoping to bring an end to Barack Obama’s political career. And while anything is still possible, it’s not looking good for Romney, who is trailing Obama in 9 of 10 swing states.
And, sure, you can say that’s one specific poll or that it’s a Politico link, a site that doesn’t typically favor the right. But that fact remains – no matter what the polls say – that the Romney campaign isn’t doing well at all lately.
And now, on top of that frustration, a GOP takeover of the Senate, once thought to be highly probable, is in jeopardy.
We should be focusing our efforts where they’ll have the most impact, and given the outlook of the presidential election, it may be time to shift our focus to the Senate.
Of course, I’m not saying we should just concede the presidential election. If you’re in a swing state, it makes sense to focus some time on the presidential election, but if you’re in a decidedly red (or blue) state, time spent helping Senate candidates may be a better choice.
And, yes, we could also argue that Republican activists in non-swing states could be making calls for Romney to voters in swing states just as easily as they could make calls for Senate candidates, but some of these Senate races are closer than the presidential election.
And if Obama is going to be re-elected, which seems likely at this point, Republicans need to have control of the Senate.
Mitt Romney has found himself in a bit of trouble. He spoke at a fundraiser where he claimed 47% of all Americans did not pay taxes and felt entitled to government handouts. This rhetoric has been seized upon by the Obama campaign and its allies to portray Romney as elitist and out of touch. However the image of Romney the elitist is only a small part of the problem he faces. Romney’s overall problem is that he is running a campaign that ultimately stands for nothing and does a terrible job reaching out to ordinary voters.
Even though the economy is in terrible shape with virtually nonexistent growth and unemployment hovering around 8%, Obama has consistently maintained the lead in both the national polls and in the important battleground states. You would think that in terrible economic conditions any challenger would be running stronger against Obama. However, that just hasn’t been the case this year. The American people may not like Obama’s job performance, but right now they do not see Mitt Romney as a viable alternative. They just don’t like the man. He comes off as cold and arrogant to many voters. Winning votes is essentially a sales job and people only buy things from people they like.