Even though the race for the GOP presidential nomination is underway (though the field may not be entirely set), there hasn’t been many endorsements from members of Congress or high-profile Republicans. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who often represents the tea party in Washington, is wants candidates to sign before he’ll endorse:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) threatened to withhold his support for Republican presidential candidates unless they sign a pledge requiring fiscal reforms in exchange for raising the debt limit.
The pledge, crafted by several conservative groups, would have signatories vow to oppose raising the debt limit unless three conditions are met: 1. Substantial cuts in spending (Cut), 2. Enforceable spending caps (Cap), and 3. Congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment (Balance).
“I’m telling every presidential candidate, if your name isn’t on this list, don’t come see me,” DeMint said.
Support from the South Carolina senator will be especially coveted by White House contenders, both for the boost in a key primary state and because of his status as a conservative icon within the GOP. DeMint challenged House and Senate candidates to sign the pledge, too.
DeMint backed Romney four years ago, but he has since said that he won’t do so again unless the former Massachusetts Governor repudiates RomneyCare; which isn’t likely to happen.
There will be a few candidates willing to sign DeMint’s pledge, perhaps Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain or Ron Paul, but none of them stand much of a chance to win the nomination.
A new poll out of New Hampshire from Magellan Strategies and the NH Journal shows Mitt Romney way out in front with no one even close to him, despite the presence of Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul in the state:
- Mitt Romney: 42%
- Ron Paul: 10%
- Michele Bachmann: 10%
- Sarah Palin: 7%
- Rudy Giuliani: 6%
- Tim Pawlenty: 5%
- Herman Cain: 4%
- Newt Gingrich: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 3%
- Rick Santorum: 2%
- Undecided: 8%
The poll also shows that Granite State Republicans that watched the debate last week believe that Romney (39%) and Bachmann (28%) had the strongest performance. Only 14% are not satisfied with the field of candidates. However, 48% say they are “somewhat statisfied.”
You can see the full results below:
The Republican Leadership Conference was interesting by all accounts as many Republican presidential hopefuls, including some that haven’t announced, made addressed attendees. From what I read, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was well-accepted. Here were the themes from his speech:
“This administration in Washington that’s in power now clearly believes that government is not only the answer to every need, but it’s the most qualified to make the most central decisions for every American in every area,” Perry said. He called Obama’s approach to the economy “an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to every private sector job in this country.”
“I stand before you today as a disciplined, conservative Texan, a committed Republican and a proud American, united with you in the desire to restore our nation and revive the American dream,” he said.
“Our goal is to displace the entrenched powers in Washington, restore the rightful balance between the state and federal government,” Perry said.
Perry has used his party’s control of Texas’s legislature to advance a stridently conservative agenda he can use on the campaign trail. This year alone, Perry’s 11th in the governor’s mansion, he signed legislation to require plaintiffs who lose lawsuits against corporations to pay additional legal costs and a measure that requires voters to show identification when they show up at the ballot box — a proposal that earned him a standing ovation. The 2010 midterm elections, he said, were evidence that the GOP has a mandate for such aggressive legislation.
“We’ve got the wind at our back right now. Americans are waking up to the realities of their previous choices,” he said. “We must keep America moving back to preeminence because our values and conservative ideas are the world’s greatest hope.”
Quinnipiac released a poll yesterday from the Keystone State showing that former Sen. Rick Santorum doesn’t have homefield advantage against Mitt Romney:
[T]he Quinnipiac University survey of Keystone state voters released Wednesday also indicates that President Barack Obama’s re-election numbers are on the rise in the crucial battleground state. According to the poll, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the Republican field at 21 percent, followed by Santorum at 16 percent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 11 percent. No one else was in double digits and 17 percent are undecided.
Even though Pennsylvania voters are split down the middle on whether the approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance, he still leads Mitt Romney in a head-to-head matchup in the state:
- Obama: 47%
- Romney: 40%
- Other: 3%
- Wouldn’t vote: 4%
- Undecided: 6%
Santorum, who has no shot of winning the Republican nomination anyway, trails Obama by a wider margin, 49% to 38%. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), who easily defeated Santorum in 2006, seems to be a safe bet for re-election at this point; though we still have a long way to go until the 2012 election. And Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), a conservative that was elected last year, has an approval rating at 45%; only 28% disapprove.
Here are the results of the poll among Pennsylvania Republicans:
It looks like we’re headed towards a showdown as the Obama Administration has sent a report to Congress explaining that the legislative body has no authority over military operations in Libya because they contend that we’re really not at war:
In a 38-page report sent to lawmakers describing and defending the NATO-led operation, the White House said the mission was prying loose Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power.
In contending that the limited American role did not oblige the administration to ask for authorization under the War Powers Resolution, the report asserted that “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Still, the White House acknowledged, the operation has cost the Pentagon $716 million in its first two months and will have cost $1.1 billion by September at the current scale of operations.
“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold H. Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with the White House counsel, Robert Bauer.
The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April, when NATO took over the responsibility for the no-fly zone and the United States shifted to primarily a supporting role — providing refueling and surveillance to allied warplanes, although remotely piloted drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles, too.
In polls conducted before last night’s debate in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney appears to making gains in among voters in national polls. First up is a new survey from Gallup that shows a 7 point jump in his support, and noticible declines for former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX):
- Mitt Romney: 24%
- Sarah Palin: 16%
- Herman Cain: 9%
- Ron Paul: 7%
- Tim Pawlenty: 6%
- Rick Santorum: 6%
- Michele Bachmann: 5%
- Newt Gingrich: 5%
- Gary Johnson: 2%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Rick Perry: 1%
- Other: 1%
- Undecided: 18%
CNN also has a new poll out, though with slightly different dynamics since they included Rudy Giuliani, who is reportedly considering a presidential bid. Unsurprisingly, the opted not to poll former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Like Gallup, the CNN poll shows Romney in the lead, though Sarah Palin is not far behind:
- Mitt Romney: 24%
- Sarah Palin: 20%
- Rudy Giuliani: 12%
- Herman Cain: 10%
- Newt Gingrich: 10%
- Ron Paul: 7%
- Michele Bachmann: 4%
- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
- Jon Huntsman: 1%
- Rick Santorum 1%
A review of 10 polls by Real Clear Politics shows Romney ahead by 5.2 points over the other prospective Republican candidates. As I said last week, I expect more establishment types to coalesce around his candidacy since they will increasingly view it as his “turn.”
During a campaign stop over the weekend in Manchester, New Hampshire, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) came to Gov. Gary Johnson’s defense after being excluded in tonight’s debate:
As a candidate four years ago, Paul was shut out of some Republican primary debates, but he said his credibility has grown since then, in part because of numerous television appearances over the last three years.
He told a reporter that former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson should be allowed into Monday’s debate, which is sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader, CNN and WMUR.
“He should be there. He’s been a governor for two terms,” Paul said.
Johnson’s campaign has been fighting back against being excluded, but it doesn’t seem like CNN and other debate sponsors are budging; despite the fact that the former two-term Governor of New Mexico meets the necessary polling criteria for inclusion. What’s more, Johnson is the only candidate of those recently polled, including Bachmann, Cain Palin, Romney, that is popular in their home state (Rep. Paul was not included for some strange reason).
Gary Johnson, a former two-term Governor of New Mexico, has formally protested his exclusion from next Monday’s debate in New Hampshire hosted by firing off a letter to CNN and other sponsors noting that other past candidacies that started without much national attention or support gained by being included in debates:
The Gary Johnson for President campaign has been overwhelmed over the weekend with phone calls and emails all asking the same question: How is it that Governor Johnson is being excluded from the June 13 New Hampshire presidential primary debate? Of course, they are asking the wrong people.
Having heard nothing to the contrary from you, the debate sponsors, we assume the decision not to invite Governor Johnson was based upon your “objective” polling criteria. Certainly, you have to apply criteria. We get that. However, the idea that inclusion – or exclusion – from a critical debate in a critical state will be based entirely upon polling arithmetic, seven months before a single vote is cast, is not only absurd, but counter-intuitive to the very purpose of a debate.
According to his campaign website, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) raised over $1.1 million in the June 5th money bomb. An impressive showing for what I believe is Paul’s second million dollar fundraising event of his campaign.
Paul’s team decided to took a shot at Mitt Romney, who is generally seen as the frontrunner of the Republican field, as the theme of the money bomb; the “rEVOLution vs. RomneyCare.” Paul’s staff noted Romney’s fundraising success since he was able to secure $10 million in commitments during a “call-a-thon.”
Whatever, they’re doing on the fundraising side, they’re doing it right. Let’s just hope that that successful translates into votes.
CNN and a couple of New Hampshire news outlets will be hosting a debate for Republican presidential hopefuls on Monday, June 13th. Unfortunately, Gary Johnson, who served two terms as Governor of New Mexico, is being excluded; according to a blog post on his campaign’s website on Friday:
CNN, WMUR, and the New Hampshire Union Leader will host a presidential debate on Monday, June 13th in Manchester. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul will participate. In addition, unannounced candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum will also take part.
Gary Johnson, however, will not participate. Why? Because he wasn’t invited.
This morning, we learned along with the rest of world that CNN and the other debate sponsors have decided to exclude Governor Johnson from sharing your voice in the debate.
In the latest Gallup poll, released one week ago, Governor Johnson’s level of support registered at 3% nationally. This is competitive with candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, both of whom have been invited to participate. In fact, I’m not aware of a poll in which Mr. Santorum has out-polled Governor Johnson nationally.
We first heard about this debate from numerous supporters in New Hampshire excited to see Governor Johnson take part. Those supporters assumed that Governor Johnson was invited.