Republican Party

Chris Christie is not running

It certainly seemed that  Chris Christie was reconsidering running for the Republican nomination for president and would make final decision by mid-week, but the word out of Trenton today is that he will not run

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, most likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race.

Christie has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference in his state’s capital, where he’s expected to announce that he will not seek the presidency. Two sources said he has started informing people of his decision in advance of his Trenton press conference.

“He is not running,” said a fundraiser informed of the decision. “Mary Pat and the gov just called tier one [donor] group to say he was out.”

There was skepticism that Christie could pull together an effective team quickly enough given that the first primary is scheduled for January 21st, a decision made just yesterday by the South Carolina Republican Party in reaction to a move by Florida to hold their primary on January 31st. Byron York explained the obstacles in front of Christie, including his inexperience:

Obama holds small leads in Ohio and Pennsylvania

New polls out of Ohio and Pennsylvania, both could be crucial to Republicans in 2012, show President Barack Obama with small leads over prospective Republican opponents, including Rick Perry and Mitt Romney:

President Obama holds extremely narrow leads over Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in Pennsylvania and Ohio, two large swing states he won in 2008, according to new polls from Quinnipiac University.

In Ohio, Obama leads Romney by 44 percent to 42, and leads Perry by 44 percent to 41. In Pennsylvania, Obama leads Romney by 45 percent to 43 and has a 46 percent to 40 percent lead over Perry.
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Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 points and Ohio by five points in 2008.

Ohio is particularly important since the eventual winner of the presidential race has carried the state since 1896. According to the poll, 51% of voters in Ohio don’t believe that Obama deserves re-election and 52% disapprove of his job performance.

Many believe Pennsylvania is ripe for the GOP due to the success they had during last year’s mid-terms and Obama’s 54% disapproval rating. Like Ohio, 51% of Keystone State voters don’t believe Obama deserves re-election.

If the economy gets worse or stays the same, it means that Republicans would likely pick up both states, depending on the nominee, as most undecided voters break against an incumbent.

POLL: Who is your pick for the GOP nomination?

We’ve been meaning to run a poll here for sometime on the Republican nomination, but I haven’t gotten around to putting it together. But since I’m short on content this morning thanks to an incredibly busy evening last night, I figured this would be the perfect chance for it.

Below is our poll of the nine candidates Republican candidates that participated in the most recent debate. In other words, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie aren’t included since they haven’t confirmed anything at this point.

Perry not all that?

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.

CNN poll: Romney slightly closes the gap with Perry

We can begin to assess the damage that Rick Perry has done to himself thanks to CNN releasing the first post-debate numbers. The poll (we’re going with the numbers that exclude Sarah Palin), conducted between September 23-25, shows Perry’s dropping by two points over the last couple of weeks; from 32% to 30%. Mitt Romney only picked up a point, but has narrowed the lead to single-digits.

  • Rick Perry: 30%
  • Mitt Romney: 22%
  • Newt Gingrich: 11%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Ron Paul: 7%
  • Michele Bachmann: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 3%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 3%
  • None/No opinion: 8%

Perry’s lead over Romney is slightly narrowed even more — 28% to 21% — if you include Palin. But back to the numbers above. Gingrich sees a four point jump from the last CNN poll, despite done better than 8% since mid-July. Cain gained three points. Ron Paul dropped by six points, which is bad news. Bachmann, as you’ve probably noticed, is now in the bottom tier of GOP candidates; though she is still within the margin of error of Paul and Cain.

The poll also shows President Barack Obama’s approval rating at 45%, while 52% disapprove. Interestingly, 62% of respondents to the poll believe that Romney “has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have.” That’s better than Obama, who grabs 58% of voters on that question. Another 52% disagree with Obama on the issues that matter most to them, 46% agree with that assessment.

ICYMI: Fox News-Google Republican Debate

In case you mussed it, here is the video of last night’s Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News/Google, which was probably the best I’ve watched thus far:

Here are a few quick observations. While I’m not his biggest fan, Mitt Romney did very well. Rick Perry was unprepared and bombed. Gary Johnson was able to introduce himself, had the line of the night, and is reaping the rewards this morning. Last night was, by far, Ron Paul’s best performance in a debate. Michele Bachmann doesn’t matter anymore. Newt Gingrich is still a master of rhetoric. Herman Cain is good at giving sound bytes, but soft on substance. Jon Huntsman was marginalized. Rick Santorum bombed a question on DADT from a gay soldier, but really took an unprepared Perry to task on immigration (and I say this as someone that favors increased immigration and despises both Santorum).

Perry leads in Florida, Romney does better against Obama

The latest Quinnipiac poll out of Florida, taken prior to last night’s date and the first since Rick Perry entered the race, shows the Texas Governor with a slight lead over Mitt Romney.

Here’s how the field stacks up in Florida right now:

  • Rick Perry: 31%
  • Mitt Romney: 22%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 8%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Other: 1%
  • WV/DK/NA: 14%

The poll also shows Barack Obama’s numbers falling off significantly, leaving Republicans with an opportunity to pick up a much needed state:

Obama’s approval rating in the state continues to slide, falling below 40 percent. Now, just 39 percent of all Florida voters approve of the job Obama is doing, while 57 percent disapprove. In early August, Obama’s approval rating in the state stood at 44 percent.

A majority of voters now feel that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, his worst score on that measure. Only 41 percent of voters feel he does deserve to be re-elected, including just 39 percent of independents.

Even though he is leading among Republicans in Florida, Perry trails Obama in a potential head-to-head matchup in the state (as you can see below). That doesn’t help ease concerns that he is unelectable, even though Obama’s numbers are lagging so badly. Romney on the other hand has a 7 point lead over Obama.

Barack Obama v. Rick Perry

  • Obama: 44%
  • Perry: 42%
  • Other: 2%
  • WV/DK/NA: 12%

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

Rick Perry on Obama: “President Zero”

Rick Perry campaign released this new ad yesterday, just a day before the next Republican debate in Orlando. If the video looks familiar, it’s because it was apparently produced by the same guy that did Tim Pawlenty’s epic ad that hit Barack Obama on his lack of leadership and the state of the economy.

Perry’s ad takes it to Obama over the economy, repeating media accounts of rampant unemployment. It closes with Perry giving part of his stump speech, in which he sounds very Reaganesque:

Fox News will include Gary Johnson in Thursday’s debate

Gary Johnson, a former two-term Governor of New Mexico, has a lot to bring to the table in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Up until this point, however, he’s only been allowed to participate in one debate despite polling on the same level as Jon Huntsman, who has been included in every debate since entering the race.

But Fox News has confirmed that Johnson will take the stage along side eight other candidates on Thursday evening in Orlando:

The Republican presidential field may be headed toward a two-man race between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, but don’t tell that to Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico.

Mr. Johnson is also a candidate for the White House, but he’s dropped off the national radar since being excluded from several televised debates.

But his standing in several national polls has finally cracked 1 percent, the standard by which Fox News Channel has decided to include presidential hopefuls in Thursday night’s contest in Orlando, Fla.

And so Mr. Johnson, a libertarian who favors the legalization of marijuana and is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will stand on the stage with the other eight Republican candidates. A spokeswoman for Fox News confirmed the decision Tuesday evening.

About damned time. Let’s hope CNN and MSNBC follow suit.

Romney catching up to Perry

The race for the Republican presidential nomination is beginning to get interesting as the gap in the polls between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney begins to close, according to the latest numbers from Gallup.

  • Rick Perry: 31%
  • Mitt Romney: 24%
  • Ron Paul: 13%
  • Michele Bachmann: 5%
  • Newt Gingrich: 5%
  • Herman Cain: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 2%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 4%
  • No opinion: 10%

Perry did pick up two points from last the Gallup survey in the race. But Romney gained substantially, jumping from 17% to 24% in just a few weeks. While he’s still in third overall, Ron Paul is held steady. Michele Bachmann, continuing the trend irrelevance in the race, fell sharply from 10% in late August to 5%.

It’s bad news for Perry because he is beginning to fall back to earth. Moreover, Perry lost ground in a potential head-to-head matchup with President Barack Obama (he was tied last month) while Romney remained steady.

Barack Obama v. Rick Perry

  • Obama: 50%
  • Perry: 45%
  • Other: 3%
  • No opinion: 2%

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney


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