The dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination have dramatically changed now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has entered the race. According to a new poll from Rasmussen, Perry has overtaken Mitt Romney as the frontrunner.
- Rick Perry: 29%
- Mitt Romney: 18%
- Michele Bachmann: 13%
- Ron Paul: 9%
- Herman Cain: 6%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Rick Santorum: 1%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Thad McCotter: 0%
Perry’s support, if you hadn’t guessed already, is coming from Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. That’s not surprising given that they are essentially going after the same conservative/tea party base. Romney’s numbers have, as Philip Klein notes, fallen off substantially in the last couple of months:
The former Massachusetts governor was at 33 percent in the poll in mid-June, and has thus lost 15 points since then. The quick embrace of Perry suggests Republican primary voters don’t want Romney to be their nominee if they can help it.
Ron Paul is having a much more successful run for president this time around, but it would be hard to see that if you only focused on the mainstream media reports. After Michele Bachmann’s win in the Ames Straw Poll, she suddenly became a power in the GOP primary. However, Paul finished less than one percent behind her and he’s chopped liver?
Roger Simon at Politico has noticed. Unlike we libertarian-leaning bloggers who have Paul’s back – even if we support a candidate like Johnson – Simon doesn’t really seem to have a dog in his fight. In a piece about the blackout, he describes his views as:
I am far from a Libertarian. I believe big government is swell as long as it does big things to help the common good.
However, he also says he can tell when someone is getting shafted. That someone is Ron Paul.
The truth is that Paul doesn’t fit neatly into anyone’s box. The left doesn’t love him because he has ideas about gold, killing the Fed, and free markets in general. The right doesn’t like him because he wants to legalize drugs and end the wars. He’s not on anyone’s Christmas card list if you look at things from a right/left standpoint.
However, most people aren’t left or right. They’re something else.
The media is shutting Paul out because they don’t see him as a viable candidate. Of course, it’s not really their place to determine who is a viable candidate, now is it? That’s for the American people to decide.
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.
Congress pushed for an audit of the Federal Reserve. They wanted to know what was going on behind closed doors. The Fed wasn’t crazy about that, but the lost on that one. The result? Well, how about over $16 trillion in bailouts that the American public didn’t know a damned thing about for starters?
That’s right folks, $16 trillion was “loaned” out at 0% interest to corporations and national banks throughout the world. It hasn’t been paid back. So what’s the big deal? Here’s an analysis of what we’re talking about:
To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.
Keep in mind that the Federal Reserve isn’t exactly a private bank. It’s a semi-private bank that’s in charge of massive amounts of the United States economy. In addition to acting as a bank, loaning money to other banks that permits them to loan it to us, it also lists the following as among it’s function.
The Federal Reserve has responsibility for supervising and regulating the following segments of the banking industry to ensure safe and sound banking practices and compliance with banking laws:
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.
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.
With the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday and candidates trying to gain ground, it looks Rick Perry will finally announce his president bid on Saturday in South Carolina; and he’ll enter the race as new polling from CNN shows him in striking distance of Mitt Romney.
The poll also shows Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin, neither of whom have announced, and Ron Paul are not far behind Perry and Romney. But what about Michele Bachmann? She may be driving some of the narrative in the race, but her numbers have dropped from 12% last month to 7% in August.
Here are the full results:
- Mitt Romney: 17%
- Rick Perry: 15%
- Rudy Giuliani: 12%
- Sarah Palin: 12%
- Ron Paul: 12%
- Michele Bachmann: 7%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Herman Cain: 4%
- Jon Huntsman: 4%
- Tim Pawlenty: 2%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- Other: 2%
- None/No one/No opinion: 6%
CNN also weighed the field under the assumption that Giuliani and Palin don’t get in the race, and as you can see, Romney adds some separation between he and Perry. But Paul isn’t all that far behind.
Unsurprisingly, neoconservatives are resisting defense spending cuts as part of the Super Committee. If you caught the GOP debate last night, you heard Newt Gingrich demagogue this by erroneously claiming that President Barack Obama is “gutting our military.” Neoconservatives have dishonestly tried using Adam Smith to gain tea party support for spending the most on defense since World War II. But at least some tea party leaders are urging the Super Committee to consider defense spending cuts:
Groups affiliated with the conservative grassroots movement say defense cuts should be on the table as the supercommittee tries to compile at least $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.
The pressure from Tea Party groups could put pressure on establishment Republicans named to the supercommittee, who may wish to protect the Pentagon from severe cuts.
“Nothing should be sacred, and everything needs to be evaluated and cut as much as it can be,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.
Tea Party activists say defense programs should come under the same knife as any other taxpayer-funded programs, and that massive national security budgets were not exempt from their definition of “big government.”
“The liberty movement is about the fundamental limitation of government, and that doesn’t have departmental boundaries with regards to this principle,” said Chris Littleton, co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council.
If you bothered to watch the GOP debate last night, you caught the most entertaining show yet as candidates sparred over each others record and on certain issues. There were plently of questions about credibility and viability, most of which were entirely valid. But if you were looking for a serious discussion on the real issues the country faces, including dealing with entitlements, you were no doubt disappointed.
Here is the debate, in case you missed it:
As far as winners go, I’d say that Mitt Romney could be considered a winner since he came out unscathed, not because he offered impressive knowledge of the issues or gave a dominating performance. Michele Bachmann probably should be considered a winner as well because the sparring with Tim Pawlenty probably helped her more than it hurt her.I don’t know why any candidate would purposefully pick a fight with her and keep at it like that. It only endures her more to her base.
Who are the losers? Anyone that watched and Newt Gingrich, who spent part of the evening complaining petulant 10 year-old that the questions were unfair.
With the Ames Straw Poll this weekend, the most important date in the campaign at this point, candidates are feverishly fighting for position in Iowa. The latest from poll Rasmussen out of the Hawkeye State shows three candidates, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul within 6 points of each other and Rick Perry, who will finally announce that he is running on Saturday, isn’t far behind.
- Michele Bachmann: 22%
- Mitt Romney: 21%
- Ron Paul: 16%
- Rick Perry: 12%
- Tim Pawlenty: 11%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Herman Cain: 4%
- Jon Huntsman: 2%
- Other: 7%
Pawlenty is downplaying the significance of the straw poll, that is if a “credible” candidate doesn’t win; clearly a shot at Bachmann and Paul. Nevermind that he is flirting with Huntsman and Santorum for the least likely to win the nomination, that is if you pay attention to the national polling. Even Paul, for example, has a good chance of winning, it shouldn’t been passed off as a fluke; as David Boaz notes in response to George Will:
Rasmussen Reports reported new numbers in the race for the Republican presidential nomination this week, which like most other polls show Mitt Romney holding a small lead. However, Rick Perry, who is expected to enter the race some time this month, has pulled ahead of Michele Bachmann.
- Mitt Romney: 22%
- Rick Perry: 18%
- Michele Bachmann: 16%
- Ron Paul: 10%
- Herman Cain: 9%
- Newt Gingrich: 6%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 2%
- Other: 4%
- Undecided: 9%
Rasmussen notes that Perry has a small advantage over Bachmann with the tea party, taking 28% over the movement’s support to her 22%. According to the poll, the tea party makes up 39% of the GOP’s electorate - a higher number than most other firms have showed in their data sets. Among non-tea party voters, Romney brings in 29%. Perry is the closest to him with 13%.
What if the race were just between Romney, Perry and Bachmann? According to Rasmussen, Romney would hold a slight lead (he’d also lead each candidate in head-to-head matchups, though it would be very close):
- Mitt Romney: 34%
- Michele Bachmann: 27%
- Rick Perry: 26%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 8%
So, there you go. I’ve been saying it for awhile now, but once Perry gets in this race, I really do expect him to be Romney’s biggest roadblock toward the nomination.