Republican Party

Tommy Thompson bailed out dog tracks?

Just a couple of days after knocking Tommy Thompson on his record - including his support for ObamaCare, the Club for Growth released a web ad calling out the former Wisconsin Governor for bailing out dog tracks:

New national numbers released in GOP presidential race

Polls have been flying out like crazy since Rick Perry got into the race for the Republican nomination for president. Gallup and Public Policy Polling have released numbers pairing several different Republicans against President Barack Obama. We also got our first look at post-Ames numbers out of Iowa.

Rasmussen was the first to post numbers showing that Perry had jumped ahead of Romney, but one poll isn’t definitive. But Gallup and Public Policy Polling released new national numbers yesterday in the Republican field showing that Rick Perry is, for all intents and purposes, the new frontrunner.

Here’s the poll from Gallup:

  • Rick Perry: 29%
  • Mitt Romney: 17%
  • Ron Paul: 13%
  • Michele Bachmann: 10%
  • Herman Cain: 4%
  • Newt Gingrich: 4%
  • Rick Santorum: 3%
  • Jon Huntsman: 1%
  • Other: 2%
  • No preference: 17%

Public Policy Polling has somewhat different results. Unlike Gallup, they show Bachmann in the top three and Paul in the middle of the pack.

  • Rick Perry: 33%
  • Mitt Romney: 20%
  • Michele Bachmann: 16%
  • Newt Gingrich: 8%
  • Herman Cain: 6%
  • Ron Paul: 6%
  • Rick Santorum: 4%
  • Jon Huntsman: 3%
  • Other/Not sure: 5%

And if Palin runs:

Tommy Thompson isn’t going to have an easy primary

It looks as though Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin and DHHS Secretary in the Bush Administration, is about to enter the race for the Senate seat being left vacant by Herb Kohl. But Stu Rothenberg recently noted, after review a Club for Growth-sponsored poll, that Thompson may have a rough go of it in the GOP primary:

[W]hile Thompson would seem to be a formidable contender, a closer look suggests he won’t have an easy time winning the GOP nomination against a well-funded primary opponent.

A new Club for Growth poll shows how much of a challenge Thompson will face.

The club has already made it clear it doesn’t like Thompson (though it has no preferred alternative at the moment), so the fact that its survey raises questions about his ability to win his party’s nomination isn’t surprising. But dismissing the group’s poll would be a serious mistake.

The survey was conducted by Jon Lerner of Basswood Research, who conducts much of the Club for Growth’s polling. Lerner is highly regarded by political insiders, many of whom have found his surveys to be accurate and his analysis devoid of ideology or wishful thinking.

The July 26-27 survey of 500 respondents “with a history of voting in GOP primary elections” found Thompson with good name recognition (his “hard” name identification was 86 percent, meaning those respondents not only knew his name but had an opinion about him) and a “favorable” rating of 68 percent.

Rasmussen: Palin trails Obama by 17 points

As talk of Sarah Palin running for the GOP nomination once again heats up (as seems to be the case every few months), Rasmussen brings us a poll that should remind Republicans why that would probably be a really bad idea.

Barack Obama v. Sarah Palin

  • Obama: 50%
  • Palin: 33%
  • Other: 15%
  • Not sure: 2%

Palin is expected to announce her plans after Labor Day. A few months ago, I thought all of this was for show, but now I’m not so sure. She still has dedicated supporters, so you’d have to think that she’d be a “serious” contender for the GOP nomination.

Poll shows potential GOP opponents within striking distance of Obama

According to new numbers released yesterday by Gallup, President Barack Obama is facing a tough bid for re-election as the four leading candidates for the Republican nomination are either leading, tied or within a few points. The numbers are good, but context, as Dave Weigel advises, is important.

Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney

  • Obama: 46%
  • Romney: 48%
  • Other/Don’t know: 6%

Barack Obama v. Rick Perry

  • Obama: 47%
  • Perry: 47%
  • Other/Don’t know: 6%

Barack Obama v. Ron Paul

  • Obama: 47%
  • Paul: 45%
  • Other/Don’t know: 8%

Barack Obama v. Michele Bachmann

  • Obama: 48%
  • Bachmann: 44%
  • Other/Don’t know: 7%

Interestingly, the numbers matchup with election forecasting showing that Obama would get 48% of the vote on election, as James Pethokoukis notes:

Janeane Garofalo thinks black folks can’t think for themselves

Janeane Garofalo doesn’t think Herman Cain is a bonafide conservative.  The actress and activist alleges that he’s either being paid to run, or is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.  After all, he’s a black man.

Garofalo also said successful businessman Herman Cain is either being paid to run or is suffering from Stockholm syndrome because he is a “person of color” running as a Republican in the party’s presidential primary.

“[He’s] in this presidential race because he deflects the racism that is inherent in the Republican party, the conservative movement, the Tea Party certainly. [In] the last 30 years the Republican party has been moving more and more to the right, but also race-baiting more. Gay-baiting more. Religion-baiting more,” Garofalo said.


“He’s a businessman,” she said sarcastically. “Who ever pays him. And there may be a touch of Stockholm syndrome. There may be a touch of Stockholm syndrome in there because anytime I see a person of color or a female in the Republican party or the conservative movement or the Tea Party, I wonder how they could be trying to curry with the oppressors. Is it Stockholm syndrome or does somebody pay them?”

Just curious Janeane, but what inherent racism is that?  That a black man shouldn’t think for himself?  That a black man can’t decide his own positions and find that the Democratic Party is a poor match for him?

Garofalo also trotted out her conspiracy theories that clearly mark her as an outright freaking lunatic.

Garofalo also had some conspiracy theories as to who may be putting Cain up to this.

Here We Go: Perry and Romney start taking shots at each other

It’s pretty safe to say that we can get used to Rick Perry and Mitt Romney knocking each other throughout the rest of the Republican primary for president:

Contours of how Mitt Romney and Rick Perry will campaign against each other emerged on Monday, as each questioned the economic record of the other.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, speaking in New Hampshire, stressed his record in the private sector as his primary qualification to win the Republican presidential nomination.

“I’m not going to need a primer on the economy if I’m lucky enough to be elected president,” he said at a town hall in New Hampshire that was streamed online.
Economic management is the proverbial feather in the cap for both Romney and Perry. The Texas governor boasts of one of the best job creation records in his state amid a tough economic environment, though his detractors say those numbers aren’t as rosy as they seem.

Perry got a question on Romney’s comments from reporters on the ground at the Iowa State Fair, where the Texan was campaigning.

“Take a look at his record when he was governor. Take a look at my record,” Perry responded, according to a New York Times reporter.

Perry, who points to his record in Texas, also lobbed some shots at President Barack Obama while he was on the stump in Iowa, telling him to reduce regulations on business and free the economy. All of that sounds nice, but the biggest problem for Perry is proving to Republican voters that he can compete, not just with Mitt Romney, but Obama as well.

Where does Ron Paul go from here?

Libertarian-leaning Republican candidate Ron Paul finished just second to Michele Bachmann in the Ames Straw Poll.  The Ames poll is one of the biggest straw polls out there, and Paul has done well at most of them.  So what does this mean for Paul?  Well, he’s well positioned to make a splash in the GOP convention, that’s for sure.

To start with, there’s been some speculation that Paul may actually win in Iowa.  An early Iowa win in and of itself doesn’t mean a whole lot.  However, this builds momentum going into New Hampshire.  You know, “live free or die” New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is one of the most libertarian-leaning states out there, even if you don’t count the Free State folks that have moved there.  A strong showing in Iowa would position Paul well for a great showing in New Hampshire.

Now, let’s say that Paul managed to win one of those states and finish strongly in the other.  If that were to happen, it would become more difficult for mainstream media to discount Paul’s candidacy like they have been to some extent, and like they did four years ago.

The truth is Paul’s message has always been economics that are extremely popular right now, meaning they can’t hit him with a flip-flop charge.  They can’t hit him on a lot of things that will come back to haunt some of the other candidates right now.  His consistency through the years, coupled with a media that can no longer ignore him, may bode very, very well for the Texas congressman.

Bachmann thinks she can win over independents

Fresh off her win in Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll, Michelle Bachmann is pretty confident.  In a story over at The Hill, she claims that she can win over independents, which are often considered to be essential for any presidential win.  She even claims that Democrats are crossing the line to vote for her.

“We had people here yesterday who are independents and Democrats,” Bachmann said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday.

“There isn’t an event that I have where I don’t have somebody who comes up to me and says, Michele, I am a Democrat. I voted for Barack Obama. I’m not going to vote for him, I’m going to vote for you.”

Sure they are.

First, I do want to congratulate Bachmann on her Ames win.  It’s a great first step.  However, I find it pretty hard to believe that any Democrat has found much of anything in Bachmann’s platform to support.  Oh, some folks might have said that to her, but they weren’t exactly telling the truth.

Michelle Bachmann is a hard social conservative.  That’s not a criticism, but a fact.  She had typical Republican stances on the economy.  About the only thing her and a Democrat have in common is how impressed they both are with Mitt Romney’s hair.  Admit it folks, that hair is PHENOMENAL!  But that’s it.

Ron Paul and the Ames Straw Poll

So who’s going to win the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday? That’s a good question. Candidates generally bus in supporters to cast ballots, which is why Mitt Romney not winning there in 2007 was such a big deal, especially since he dropped over $1 million on the state.

Gov. Terry Branstad predicts that whoever wins on Saturday will go on to win the Iowa caucuses in February. That’s not always the rule, but it certainly does show that a candidate can be a formidable opponent. With a few of the candidates (Romney and Jon Huntsman, and Pawlenty has pulled his ads) not competiting there, it has paved the way for Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul to gain momentum.

The National Review has already labeled Ron Paul as the candidate to beat, but Philip Klein predicts that he’ll win on Saturday:

Michael Barone has a persuasive piece on why Rep. Michele Bachmann’s adept political touch in Iowa makes her the front-runner to win the Ames Straw Poll. But I’ve been assuming that Rep. Ron Paul’s rabid fan base, which has propelled him into first in many straw polls this year, will put him over the top on Saturday.

Chris Cillizza has argued that Paul’s success in straw polls is due to the fact that they usually have very small turnout, whereas Ames is quite large by straw poll standards. He notes that in 2007, Paul finished fifth, with 1,305 votes in Ames.

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