Republican Party

Conservatives beginning to criticize Palin’s games

The question of whether or not Sarah Palin will run for the Republican nomination is weighing on the minds of many conservatives and party observers, but it looks like they’re running out of patience. Leon Wolf, who I’d echoes much over what I’ve heard from Republicans over the last few months, explains over at RedState why Sarah Palin needs to get over herself:

On May 13, 2011, rumors had been swirling around the possible impending announcement of a Presidential candidate who would shake up the entire GOP field. Recent polls had shown this candidate leading Barack Obama in head-to-head matchups, and the GOP electorate was primed for a candidate who would be seen as a palatable alternative to Mitt Romney. Operatives said to be close to the candidate began whispering that the next day, in a nationally televised appearance, the candidate would officially declare for the Presidency. At the appointed time, with national ratings soaring, Mike Huckabee announced on his FoxNews program that… he would not be running for President.

MA Senate: Scott Brown leads Democrats

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who won a special election early last year to fill the seat left vacant by Ted Kennedy, is leading all of his potential Democratic opponents (including Elizabeth Warren, who has close ties to President Barack Obama) in prospective general election matchups, according to a poll released by WBUR.

Scott Brown v. Elizabeth Warren

  • Brown: 44%
  • Warren: 35%
  • Other: 2%
  • Undecided: 18%

Scott Brown v. Bob Massie

  • Brown: 45%
  • Massie: 29%
  • Other: 3%
  • Undecided: 22%

Scott Brown v. Setti Warren

  • Brown: 46%
  • Warren: 28%
  • Other: 3%
  • Undecided: 23%

Scott Brown v. Alan Khazei

  • Brown: 45%
  • Khazei: 30%
  • Other: 2%
  • Undecided: 21%

In most cases we’d say an incumbent under 50% in a bid for re-election was in trouble; but we’re talking Massachusetts about here. It’s not exactly fertile ground for Republicans. All in all, this is good news for Brown and Republicans. His favorability rating is at 54% and his unfavorables are very low. But his potential Democratic oppoents have relatively low name ID.

Republicans need to hold on to this seat to take control of the Senate, which they seem to be poised to do. But keep an eye on Elizabeth Warren, she is going to make it an interesting race.

Why isn’t Paul a serious candidate?

Over and over again, I get told that Ron Paul isn’t a serious candidate.  After all, he’s Ron Paul.  However, Jason posted yesterday showing a recent Rasmussen poll of Iowa of voters likely to take part in the Iowa Caucus that clearly shows Paul is among the so-called top tier of candidates:

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of those likely to participate in the Iowa GOP Caucus shows that Perry is the first choice for 29%. Essentially tied for second are Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at 18% and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 17%. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picks up 14% of the vote, and nobody else currently reaches the five percent (5%) mark. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

With the margin of error at on +/- 3%, Paul is clearly holding his own against everyone but Rick Perry.  However, historically, front runner status this early isn’t always an indication of later victory.  He wouldn’t be the first candidate to crash and burn later in the race.  A lot of Perry’s polling comes from being the “shiny and new” candidate, though a fair amount also comes from being a very charismatic governor.  While those drawn to his charisma aren’t likely to back down in the near future, the “shiny and new” crowd are likely to jump ship later.

GOP candidates: What they are and what they ain’t

Ronald Reagan was said to have “Redefined the Republican Party”. Where that party is now… well, that’s anybody’s guess.

One reason libertarians are seen as pompous is because they actually have the answers that lead to less government. To reduced spending, and to individual liberty. This fact was illustrated in glaring truth at the Republican debate in Iowa when candidate Rick Santorum pointed to how Islamic countries treat gays as a reason to continue war. Santorum is a staunch Social Conservative and does not support gay marriage.

One has to wonder what exactly the boundaries are in order for someone to be a Republican. Especially those running for office.

Taxes: If there is a consistent issue in the party, I suppose it’s low taxes. Bush 41 famously broke his promise of “No new taxes” though.

Spending: This might have the widest array of stances as any subject. The Republican controlled congress, senate and held presidency of 2000-2006 certainly didn’t seem to cut anything. More recently, the TEA party seems to be hell bent on limited spending – but in almost every direction you look, elected Republicans seem to offer little resistance to any new spending measures.

Gay Marriage: This issue is divided within the party, from the religious base clearly in opposition to small “l” libertarians ranging from non federal intervention to all out support.

Abortion: Another basic non issue, but clearly a divide. Seems like a large majority are pro life, but a few exist in the other direction.

Romney, Perry tied among California Republicans

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are tied in California, according to a new poll from the Los Angeles Times, with Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann in a virtual tie for third.

  • Mitt Romney: 22%
  • Rick Perry: 22%
  • Ron Paul: 11%
  • Michele Bachmann: 10%
  • Newt Gingrich: 6%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • John Huntsman: 1%
  • Rick Santorum: 1%
  • Thad McCotter: 0%
  • Other: 1%

This is the first poll from the Los Angeles Times in the race, but a field poll released back in June show Romney leading the pack. The two names closest to him were Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin, neither of whom have declared their intentions for 2012. Perry, obviously, wasn’t in the race at that time.

But California seems far from being in play for Republicans. A “generic Republican” manages to grab 37% against President Obama in the poll, but Romney doesn’t the best out of the candidates they paired with him.

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

  • Obama: 54%
  • Romney: 35%
  • Other: 2%

Barack Obama v. Michele Bachmann

  • Obama: 57%
  • Bachmann: 31%
  • Other: 2%

Barack Obama v. Rick Perry

  • Obama: 56%
  • Perry: 32%
  • Other: 2%

WI Senate: Club for Growth endorses Mark Neumann

Mark Neumann’s nascent bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin just got a boost from the Club for Growth, a DC-based organization that advocates for free markets:

Club for Growth PAC today announced that it is endorsing former Congressman Mark Neumann for the United States Senate seat currently held by retiring Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI):

“The Club for Growth PAC proudly endorses Mark Neumann for the United States Senate,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “In Congress, he fought members of his own party on spending, received straight As from the National Taxpayers Union, and was a leader in the fight for limited government and economic freedom. Club members and Wisconsin Republicans looking for a fiscal conservative and pro-growth champion to send to Washington have a perfect candidate in Mark Neumann.”

Neumann, who served in Congress from 1995 to 1999, is expected to go up against former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who has been the target of criticism from the Club for Growth due to his support of ObamaCare and other statist economic policies. Wisconsin House Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald has also jumped into the race, which is expected to help Thompson.

The National Journal notes that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who serves as one of the voices of the tea party movement in Congress and got involved in several primaries last year, is also likely to support Neumann.

Paul Ryan explains why he passed on a presidential bid

Given the speculation a couple of weeks ago, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently explained in an interview with the MacIver Institute why he decided not to seek the Republican nomination for president, despite pressure from many in his party to do so.

The bottomline is he thinks his calling is to stay in Congress: interviews Gary Johnson

Even though he has been excluded from debates with other GOP hopefuls, despite being tied with or polling ahead of three other candidates in a recent poll that have been invited to participate, former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is still campaign and spreading the message of limited government and free markets. caught up with Johnson recently at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas to discuss what he’d do as president, including balancing the federal budget by cutting spending by 43% spending (yes, Congress spends that much more than they take in):

Perry leads in South Carolina

Someone pointed out not too long ago that history shows that whoever won the Iowa caucus and South Carolina primary has traditionally gone on to win the Republican presidential nomination. According to polling in the Hawkeye State, Rick Perry is holding a small lead there over Mitt Romney. But a new poll from Public Policy Policy out of South Carolina shows Perry running away with the state:

  • Rick Perry: 36%
  • Mitt Romney: 13%
  • Sarah Palin: 10%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Michele Bachmann: 7%
  • Newt Gingrich: 7%
  • Ron Paul: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Other/Not sure: 7%

And without Palin in the race:

  • Rick Perry: 36%
  • Mitt Romney: 16%
  • Michele Bachmann: 13%
  • Herman Cain: 9%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Ron Paul: 5%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 2%
  • Other/Not sure: 7%

While Romney would best Bachmann, 45% to 40%, in a head-to-head match up, Perry would beat him decisively, 59% to 28%. That’s certainly an ominous sign for Romney in a crucial early primary state.

George Pataki not running for president

You may have heard that former New York Gov. George Pataki was going to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination tomorrow in Iowa (his campaign website leaked yesterday). It turns out, he’s not:

Pataki, who had been flirting with a White House bid for months, was scheduled to appear this weekend in the key early voting state of Iowa.

Speculation was that the former three-term governor would announce his candidacy Saturday at the Polk County Republican fundraiser.

But the source said that Pataki, who seriously considered running, has decided instead to forgo a run for the GOP nomination.

In a statement released Friday Pataki said, “I remain committed to the advancement of real, politically viable reforms to entitlements and rolling back the size and cost of the federal government. At this time, I will continue to do this as the leader of No American Debt and not as a candidate for president. Throughout the coming months I will remain active in this important discussion and support the candidate who offers the vision, the ideas and the leadership to bring an end to America’s debt crisis.”

Why he would have run is beyond me, unless he wanted to raise his profile.

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