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Don’t fall for Operation Psych Out

Don’t fall for Operation Psych Out

A certain someone already has declared that the media got the primaries all wrong, and that it was going to be Mitt all the time.  Others have written off Newt and Perry to the dustbin of history.  The emerging media consensus, pushed by the mainstream conservative outlets, is that it’s all but over.

Don’t believe it for a minute.  It’s just the Republican version of Operation Demoralize.

Not a single vote has been cast, and the already annointed nominee is polling under his 2008 numbers in Iowa, but we are supposed to believe he is unbeatable?

Here are the Latest Polls for Iowa from Real Clear Politics, and they are all over the place [note: I have not been able to strink the tables to fit, so the last column on the right is cut off, you can view the full charts at the link]:

Poll Date Sample Romney Paul Gingrich Santorum Perry Bachmann Huntsman Cain Spread
RCP Average 12/21 – 12/28 21.3 21.3 14.3 13.8 11.3 9.3 2.8 Tie
Rasmussen Reports 12/28 – 12/28 750 LV 23 22 13 16 13 5 3 Romney +1
Insider Advantage 12/28 – 12/28 429 LV 17 17 17 13 11 12 3 Tie
PPP (D) 12/26 – 12/27 565 LV 20 24 13 10 10 11 4 Paul +4
CNN/Time 12/21 – 12/27 452 LV 25 22 14 16 11 9 1 Romney +3

The race in Iowa is far from over.

And nationally while Romney has gained, he’s still in a statistical tie with Newt, again from Real Clear Politics:

Poll Date Sample Gingrich Romney Paul Perry Bachmann Santorum Huntsman Cain Spread
RCP Average 12/14 – 12/28 27.2 25.4 12.2 6.6 6.2 3.8 2.0 Gingrich +1.8
Gallup Tracking 12/22 – 12/28 1000 RV 23 27 11 8 5 4 2 Romney +4
CNN/Opinion Research 12/16 – 12/18 436 A 28 28 14 7 8 4 2 Tie
PPP (D) 12/16 – 12/18 658 LV 35 22 11 6 7 4 3 Gingrich +13
ABC News/Wash Post 12/15 – 12/18 RV 30 30 15 6 7 4 2 Tie
CBS News 12/14 – 12/18 291 RV 20 20 10 6 4 3 1 Tie

The fact is that Newt survived what David Limbaugh calls the “relentless, unmeasured scorched-earth savagery” of the Republican establishment; that Newt is not in Jon Huntsman territory is astounding considering the onslaught.  Rick Perry has stabilized and is mounting a vigorous campaign.  Now they are hyping Rick Santorum, knowing he has no chance of mounting a serious challenge to Romney.

The narrative of the primaries being over and Romney being the winner is a false narrative concocted by people with an agenda. Don’t fall for it.

Newt and Perry, at a minimum, need to take this fight into the south.

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Comments

Isn’t it possible people are predicting Romney will win because that happens to be their honest assessment of the race? Why does everything pertaining to Newt’s weaknesses as a candidate have to carry the presumption of conspiracy?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Conrad. | December 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Did I say conspiracy? More like groupthink, people who back Romney and have the loudest voices in the conservative media all are pushing the same meme. That’s quite different than alleging that they conspired; they might collectively believe what they are saying. My point is that they are wrong, collectively.

      holmes tuttle in reply to William A. Jacobson. | December 29, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Disagree. Part of the problem is that conservatives who do have the loudest voices aren’t pushing anyone else.

      What’s NR’s circulation? How many people read Will or Rubin?

      Compare to how many listeners does Rush have? Hannity? Levin? None of them have endorsed anyone. They’ve all sat back and let things play out. Now maybe they just didn’t feel it with anyone. I don’t expect Rush to endorse Perry just because if he’s not really into it.

      I know Rush was big on Perry in the spring and early summer. Obviously things have changed a bit. Levin mentioned Bachmann and Santorum, but never got behind one person. The Tea Party never got behind one person like they did with Rubio, Paul, Lee, O’Donnell, Johnson, etc…

      But if the loudest voices on the right had gotten behind someone and pushed them I think things would be a bit different. As it was, they remained divided and unengaged, and so we are where we are with Romney in a pretty good position.

      If Romney ends up winning I think it’s fair the vaunted grassroots conservative movement was way overhyped. If it isn’t able to nominate someone for President and spends a whole year bickering while the one guy everyone agreed shouldn’t be the guy ends up being the guy…well then what kind of movement is it?

      A truly powerful movement would have easily been able to get behind someone and beat someone as flawed and as vulnerable as Romney. And it’s also the candidates themselves that none of them were able to get the tea party and conservatives to coalesce behind them. Say what you will about Romney but he was able to unite the establishment and the moderate/Romneyfeller wing.

      But then again, it was only 4 years ago that the same thing happened and it couldn’t stop McCain from winning. So maybe there’s nothing shocking here.

        I’m not sure that the loudest voices (or those that carry the most weight) actually do want to get behind someone at this early stage.

        I seem to remember Rush and Hannity both saying that the argument amongst the party of who to nominate has been good for the party, because it’s identifying who we really are as a party, and identifying who will actually be the strongest candidate, rather than just the “next in line.”

        Now, that WILL (not may, WILL) lead eventually to an intra-party fight where the lines will have to be drawn to say, “Yes, we have a big tent, but there are SOME absolutes.” My guess is that it’s going to happen at the convention this year. It will be a media circus when it happens, and the Main Stream Morons will rub their hands together with glee thinking that “the Republican Party is in disarray.” We’re kind of already seeing it with the Ron Paul foolishness on foreign policy.

        The Rockefeller / establishment wing is going to coalesce around whomever they think isn’t going to rock the boat too much while still letting the TEA Partiers think that they’re being listened to, because to do anything else will cause a 3rd party split with a national Conservative Party to be formed, and to hell with the consequences.

        Speaking of 3rd parties, if you’ve got the time, sign up for the “Americans Elect 2012” organization. http://www.americanselect.org/ You don’t have to change party affiliation, nor change registration, however we can, as a group, somewhat drive the answers that they receive. That way, we can influence them to be discussing the issues that Conservatives find important. The absolute last thing that we want to do is abandon it to the leftists, lest it actually get traction and the independents decide to break free from the established parties.

          Windy City Commentary in reply to Chuck Skinner. | December 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

          Get outta here with your “Americans Elect” 3rd Party nonsense. That is a group led by RINO Christine Todd Whitman and other Bill Clinton staffers. A group obviously designed to siphon votes from the Republican Nominee and keep the crown on Obama.

        holmes, are you unaware that Mark Levin is backing either Santorum or Bachmann? He told that to Don Imus just the other day.

        Now, perhaps the reason Romney hasn’t set the world on fire is because no one knows who they would be voting for; the Romney as a liberal who was a one term governor of Massachusetts (and please, don’t try to tell me that Romney governed left because he was in a liberal state, that dog won’t hunt), who, between 2003-2005 nominated twice as many Democrats to the Massachusetts bench as Republicans, who had Ted Kennedy’s full support on Romneycare, who designed his “global warming” programs by using two guys (John Holdren and Daniel Foy) who are now working for the Obama administration (just as his Romneycare gurus advised the Democrats on Obamacare), who lost the state 30K registered Republicans while increasing the number of registered Democrats by 31K, and on and on and on? Or should they get behind the Romney of today, the same Romney who hooked a hard right in January, 2007 when he announced his candidacy for POTUS and who was no longer required to show his conservative creds by actual actions, and not just words?

        There is another little interesting fact, Romney’s ties to Wall Stree that seems to be reaping him a lot of money in donations. Kevin Williamson of NRO has a very interesting article out today on the WS system of picking a candidate who they support with dollars:

        http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/286704/repo-men-kevin-d-williamson

        A bit long but well worth the read when you factor in this information from opensecrets.org:

        Romney’s largest campaign donors by dollar (end of 3rd quarter):

        Goldman Sachs – $367,200
        Credit Suisse Group – $203,750
        Morgan Stanley – $199,800
        HIG Capital – $186,500
        Bank of America – $126,500
        JP Morgan Chase – $112,250

        Any of those names ring a bell? They should, they supported Obama in 2008 and they are on a list of recipients of taxpayer bailout dollars.

        So here is my take: I would not vote for Mitt Romney for dogcatcher. And please, when no votes have even been cast, there is no such thing as the “electable” candidate. The electable candidate is the one that reaches the required number of delegates first. Then it is up between the two candidates. I would not vote for Romney because I cannot be sure which Romney I would wind up with.

        There are other, viable candidates. The bit question is: are American voters still smart enough to recognize them?

          creeper in reply to retire05. | December 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm

          So that’s who’s been funding the avalanche of anti-Gingrich mailings we Iowans have been getting for the past few weeks. And here I thought it was the Mormons.

          But wait…those bankers’ contributions total less than a million dollars. Mitt has spent four million on his Iowa campaign. Maybe some of that money is coming from Salt Lake City after all.

          Note to Mitt: Those nasty mailings didn’t make you any friends in this household.

It looks like the race is just starting and each candidate is just starting to warm up.

Santorum should be getting ready for his media blistering at any moment. He is rising in the polls.

Thanks, a good post. The psyching out, the left-wing MSM touting Romney, with the smug blessing of the Repub. Establishment may be business as usual. Even FOX news and their Romney slobbering are getting more blatant. The Coulter blabbering, the Krauthammer dismissals, etc. This alienation of anybody not pro-Willard Mittens will have repercussions. We gladly voted for McCain, being centrist types, newly minted ex Dems. Not gladly now, can’t even hold noses, and total refusal to vote for Romney. Minds are made up, for all kinds of reasons already out there and stated. So why don’t the Repubs. want to win? Why are they hellbent on losing?

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | December 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

“So why don’t the Repubs. want to win? Why are they hellbent on losing?”

Because the beltway illuminati want to cling to their cherished ‘status quo’. They don’t want the gravy train to stop running. That’s why the last thing they want is someone in office who would want to reform how things work in D.C.

well, I’m backing whoever I think can evict that fool from the WH. Most of my family are either independents or democrats-in-name-only, and they like Romney. They cannot stand Obama or the dems.
None of these people are Reagan, so whoever shows the best chance to kick out Barry next November gets my vote. As for Congress, constitutional fiscal conservatives all the way.

    Mmmmm… DINOs. There’s a reason they’re extinct.

    retire05 in reply to alex. | December 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    alex, here is a question that I have been wondering about for a couple of months now:

    Is it better to elect a Republican that is simply a lesser clone of what we have now only to see him govern from the left and continue to take this nation down the toilet, or is it better to let the nation continue going down the toilet under a Democrat?

      BurkeanBadger in reply to retire05. | December 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Alex didn’t answer, but I will. Against Obama, it is better to elect the Republican, period.

      Let’s be realistic here, even if Romney is a RINO, even if he is merely pandering to Conservatives and will track sharply left once in office, he is still a MAJOR improvement over Obama.

      Or, to put it another way: If Obama has made America worse by a factor of 100 in his first term, I expect Romney to be no worse than keeping at 100. A second Obama term could easily bump it to 200 or worse.

      If Romney turns out as much of a milquetoast liberal, appeasing, crony capitalist, K Street shill as so many conservatives insist he will, I will be first in line to actively support a strong, vibrant conservative challenger in the 2016 primaries (plenty of options: Ryan, Rubio, Jindal…). The hard core progressives will still be thoroughly demoralized by the defeat of their messiah and thus will be scattered and unorganized. Most likely, the Democratic Party will nominate Hillary (oh, don’t think she won’t run!). Risking losing to Hillary for the sake of taking down the disappointing President Romney and re-establishing a conservative preeminence in the GOP will be worth it.

      But, that is the future. For now, eyes on the prize: Let’s get the incompetent, narcissistic wannabe Eurosocialist out of the White House. Period.

        Let’s be realistic here, even if Romney is a RINO, even if he is merely pandering to Conservatives and will track sharply left once in office, he is still a MAJOR improvement over Obama.

        I am sure that a lot of voters thought the same thing about Schwarzenegger…

        Hope Change in reply to BurkeanBadger. | December 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

        Burkean Badger, do you remember the “Thousand Points of Light” speech? I actually cried with relief because H.W. Bush had never seemed to understand Reagan, and that speech convinced me that H.W. finally understood! Remember “Read My Lips”?

        Oops! Boy, was I fooled! Ha! Ha! H. W. Bush (and Peggy Noonan) fooled me! What a naive dope I was.

        It takes energy, time, money and stamina to elect a president. It takes resources that could have been used for another candidate, or to create value or wealth in some other activity. It requires sacrifice to support a political candidate. When they lie to us and then fritter away our energy, something precious is lost and not so easy to recover.

        The Democrats can’t tell us honestly what they want to do if elected, or no almost no one will vote for them. Most of us have understood that for some years now. I learned it most clearly watching Bill and Hilary Clinton. They have to trick us — silly voters!

        What I now see, especially after having read Angelo Codevilla’s brilliant article, America’s Ruling Class, from July 2010, on the Establishment elites in both Republican and Democrat arenas, is that THE SAME is true of the Republican RINO Establishment. http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/print

        H.W. Bush didn’t have any idea what “a thousand points of light” meant. It was that vision thing. He just said that to get elected. He betrayed us on “read my lips.” He raised taxes. He was played by the Democrats AND HIS OWN ADVISOR Sununu (of Souter, and limousine to stamp auction fame). AND H. W. Bush DESERVED to lose to Clinton. H.W. set himself up to lose when he raised taxes. What a dope he was.

        Bob Dole, John McCain and, I now think, W. Bush, just said what they thought we wanted to hear, to get elected. They pretended to understand and agree with (what are actually Tea Party) principles of small government, less spending, local control as much as possible. But it’s NOT TRUE.

        AND THIS CONFUSES THE ISSUE. The terrible consequence is, for one thing, we end up with a bona fide radical socialist, as we have now, because people can’t tell the difference. Most people don’t follow politics that closely. Most people have jobs and families and are busy making plans for a better tomorrow.

        But the other consequence is, electing RINOS or virtual RINOS destroys the conservative brand. They SAY they are conservative, and that they LOVE the free market. Then they (like W. did) get someone like Paulson in, and give away HOW MUCH MONEY in 2008 in the first bailout. Remember that? That was our dear friend, W. Bush.

        The RINO Establishment let Barney Frank et al. run Fannie Mae into the mothership of financial ruin for our housing markets, and then the MSM blamed the free market. Niiiiice.

        So the solution to every problem is, MORE GOVERNMENT, MORE REGULATIONS, MORE SPENDING. How about more cowbell; at least THAT would be amusing.

        So, my dear Burkean Badger (really, not sarc), IMO, Romney cannot be trusted, not even remotely, to make small-government choices. When has he ever? He is NOT a safe “manager” for the United States.

        And the idea that someone as vulnerable as Romney is, who gets $ from Wall Street himself, who created Romeny care and has NOT REPUDIATED IT!!, who is custom-made to be called the 1% and won’t know how to respond, whose staff bought their hard drives and destroyed all the evidence of his governorship, who has refused to release his tax returns, (WHY??) … I mean .. really? You think this guy is electable? I don’t think so. And if he did get elected, for what? What is his plan? To try not to capsize?

        I offer this article by John Hawkins – “7 reasons Romney is not “electable,” from TownHall.
        http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/12/27/7_reasons_why_mitt_romneys_electability_is_a_myth/page/full/

        I support Newt. Newt has a plan. It’s on his website. You can go read it. Newt has a plan for the first day. You can read all about it. Newt describes his plans in his speeches, which are available for all to see on YouTube.

        I want plans. I want plans that involve the American people and return power to local communities.

        I want to try Newt’s plans. I think Newt’s plans give the American people a fighting chance to renew prosperity and constitutionally-based government.

      I agree with BurkeanBadger | December 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      I’m a recovering democrat, I was a reagan dem, I will vote for a soda can if that is the republican nominee next year.

      So, for me its ABO all the way, that takes precendent over anything. For Congress its a different story, I will donate to strong fiscal conservatives, I am not a social conservative, to me fiscal limited constitional govt is most imporant. Romney is no Palin, but Romney with a strong fiscal conservatives in the Congress is a hell of a big improvement over what is there now.

      Conservatives are deluding themselves if they think independents will back Santorum, or Bachmann over Barry Soetoero. I know many dems, independents who cannot stand Obama, they will back Romney, who is a moderate, and he unlike Barry, Romney seems like a nice person. I’m in the ABO camp, so for me I would have no issue voting for people like Bachmann or Santorum, but I know many independents who will not vote for them.

      So, this post about an “operation psych-out” is not true, there are no reagans who can clearly articulate conservatism, so the next best thing is to get someone who is an improvement over Barry who can defeat Barry in 2012.

Let’s compare the Iowa poll averages from today to RCP’s Iowa polls from the same date in 2007:

Romney 31%
Huckabee 28%
Thompson 13%
McCain 10%

Huckabee, as you all know, went on to take the Iowa caucuses. And while Huckabee was leading in South Carolina on 12/28/2007 at 25.8%, it didn’t help him much as he lost to Iowa’s fourth place John McCain at 26.9%.

What everyone ignores about Iowa is that it is a proportional state, simply put, the delegates are awarded according to the percentage of the vote taken by the candidates. And when you factor in that Iowa has had their delegates reduced (as has all early voting states) taking 1/4th of the 28 delegates doesn’t allow a candidate to get very far in reaching the goal of over 1,100 delegates.

Oh, the polls are still wildly inaccurate.

I know I’m beating this like it’s a dead horse, but I’m going to do so again (sorry). The sample sizes are WEAK. As I said before, I dislike bashing Rasmussen, but a sample size of 750, at 2 sigma with a +/-4? Come ON.

The ORC Poll is worse, not better. It appears as if they asked the question “are you a Conservative” but did not ask if the respondent was moderate or liberal. However, there is some information to be gleaned from it. Ron Paul’s “would not support under any circumstances” numbers are 41% overall, which increases to 46% for women overall, 45% for those older than 50, and 42% for those making over 50K. Now, the margin of error is astoundingly large, but it does glean us information that Paul will NOT do well with older, wealthy voters or women.

Strangely enough, It looks like Rick Perry has the highest “would consider supporting” numbers, followed by Bachmann, especially amongst TEA Partiers and Rural caucus-goers in Iowa. But they’ve got HUGE negatives in New Hampshire on the “would NOT support under any circumstances” numbers.

On the issue of whom could beat Obama in the election, Gingrich is still in 2nd place, although far behind Romney in the responses, and it appears there’s a bias in the poll presenting on the subject of college degrees and on annual income. Those without college degrees and under 50K income are breaking toward Paul, while those with college degrees overwhelmingly said Romney first at 51%, then Gingrich at 16%, then Paul at 8%.

One other interesting bit that I noticed: EVERYBODY said that the budget deficit was the most important economic issue, but the spread between TEA Partiers and those neutral/opposing the TEA Party was a 9 point spread on a +/-6 answer. Talking about deficit reduction WILL drive TEA Party support during the Caucus.

All-in-all, don’t believe the spin yet. This is by far a done deal. I’ll be surprised if Romney breaks 30%, and Paul breaks 15%. I still see Gingrich getting somewhere north of 20% and Perry between 15% and 20%. As I said previously, I’ll be absolutely shocked if Paul comes in 1st.

I guess the real question will be, how far will Iowa carry the winner? With no candidate with a clear pulse of the Republican electorate, will there be a seesaw battle state to state or will Iowa be a king maker?

Is Dan Rasmussen who works at Bain Capital related to Scott Rasmussen of New Jersey who has the polling company? Anyone know?

I wouldn’t worry too much about that, professor. Regardless of what happens in Iowa, Gingrich and Perry will go at least as far as South Carolina and at least one of them will continue to Florida and beyond.

We’re all making predictions, so here is mine. *Standard disclaimer: There are still five days until the Iowa Caucus and, as we’ve seen, everything could potentially change in five days.*

Romney wins Iowa, narrowly. Paul and Santorum as either second or third. Gingrich and Perry as either fourth or fifth. Bachmann a distant sixth.

Bachmann then drops out. She’ll dangle her endorsement out for the highest bidder until she realizes that no one really cares.

If Santorum is second especially, he will have plenty of motivation to push forward. He’ll get a modest bump in New Hampshire (to higher single digits) and be able to rake in some badly needed cash, but that’s about it. You’ll also hear a few stories from the MSM about his ultra-conservative Catholicism and whatever else they can dredge up (he’s had a lot of controversial statements in the past).

Romney will be unstoppable in New Hampshire. He has NEVER trailed in any poll there and will have momentum on his side. Plus, the calendar works in his favor here. It will be nearly impossible for any of the not-Romneys to be able to regroup and raise enough funds to mount a strong challenge in New Hampshire. Expect a few big name endorsements of Romney at this point (prominent members of Congress, governors, perhaps a wild card like Cheney or Condi).

Romney then triumphs in New Hampshire: at least a double digit win, more like a 20 point spread. Either Gingrich, Paul or Huntsman second, but of little importance. Perry has a tiny showing as does Santorum (whose 5 minutes of fame now conclude).

Romney now picks up some major endorsements, as the establishment formally coalesces around him. Either Boehner, McConnell or both (and Cantor) endorse Romney. Furthermore, one Tea Party politician endorses Mitt (possibly Jim DeMint as South Carolina is next) suggesting that many Tea Partiers are reconciled to Romney. The wind is at Mitt’s back, but it’s not quite a lock

The showdown will come in South Carolina. Mitt has never been strong there and the not-Romneys have ten days instead of a week to launch their counter-attack. Expect Gingrich to drop all pretense of staying positive and hammer Romney on Bain. Running out of money and momentum, Gingrich will dump everything into South Carolina. Meanwhile the better funded Perry will also push hard.

If Romney wins South Carolina, it’s effectively over. He will have shown he can win in even the toughest environment for him. He’ll pick up dozens of prominent endorsements, including Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. Sarah Palin will publicly praise Romney (though stopping short of an endorsement) The Republican establishment will press hard for all the not-Romneys to drop out.

Meanwhile, the not-Romneys will be scrambling. Newt will almost certainly drop out, not endorse anyone, and quickly, quietly and comfortably go back to his (now even more) lucrative career of selling Newt Inc. products. Santorum will likely be gone. Perry will stay in and the not-Romney voters will reluctantly and half heartedly coalesce around him. Perry might pull off an upset in Florida, giving him life to keep this race going into the caucus states of late February (where anything is possible). Still, Romney will ultimately triumph in his (sort of)home state of Michigan, forcing Perry out and leaving only Ron Paul to get 10-15% of diehards in many, many states while Romney takes his victory lap. Huntsman might still be around too, but no one outside of his immediate family will care.

However, if Perry could pull off a victory in South Carolina, the race would be a much longer dogfight, particularly if he also won Florida. It would be hard to stop Mitt in the end, but it would at least go until Super Tuesday or beyond (Newt would likely still drop out as he’d be broke and have no momentum).

If Newt wins South Carolina, we could have a three way race for a while, as I see Perry going forward no matter who wins. It could really get interesting then, given the proportional allocation of delegates.

Nevertheless, the odds are very high that by the time Virginia holds their primary, it won’t matter that Romney and Paul are the only ones on the ballot: They will be the only ones still running.

    “Romney will be unstoppable in New Hampshire. He has NEVER trailed in any poll there.”

    Yeah, that’s what Romney, and his supporters, though on Jan. 1, 2008 when Romney was leading the rest of the pack at 29.3%. That was the last day Romney was in the lead. By the time the NH primary rolled around on Jan. 16, 2008, McCain was in the lead and won the primary at 31.8% compared to Mitten’s 28.2%.

    What you are not calculating is that it takes 1,143 delegates to win the nomination, which at the end of Super Tuesday, McCain had. But this year is different. All the states that are holding primaries prior to April 1st will lose half their delegates. Florida, a major player, has been reduced to 49 delegates from its normal 99. Virginia has also lost half its delegates. (see RPV scandal to understand why they wanted Newt and Perry off the ballot) Iowa and one other early state will award delegates proportionally as will a couple of the Super Tuesday states. Romney, to wrap up the nomination, will have to take every delegate from every state that holds its primary prior to April 1st. Damn near an impossibility.

    Newt, for some reason, is not even on the primary ticket in Missouri, and the Texas primary will be held the first week in April, making all their 155 delegates eligible.

    Romney cannot carry the South. And that will hurt him, badly. Paul will not carry the South, and that leaves Santorum, Bachmann, Gingrich or Perry to take the Southern states.

    Remember this: at the start of 2008, it was pretty well determined that John McCain’s campaign was dead, and buried. Romney was the hands on favorite going into the Iowa caucus. Iowa was an upset, with Huckabee the winner. Confident that he would take New Hampshire, Romney lost to McCain. Florida went McCain. South Carolina, McCain.

    What makes you think that Romney is any more palatable to voters in 2012 than he was in 2008? He is still the same man that was soundly rejected then. Except he has become a bigger liar and has run a non-stop campaign since January, 2007.

      BurkeanBadger in reply to retire05. | December 30, 2011 at 1:01 am

      You are correct in that Romney won’t technically have enough delegates to wrap up the nomination by March. But you missed my point entirely. My point is that he will have eliminated all opposition (other than Ron Paul and his cavalcade of die-hards) by March. Sure, he won’t officially have the required delegates until sometime in April. But where else will they go?

      You also took my quote out of context:

      “Romney will be unstoppable in New Hampshire. He has NEVER trailed in any poll there.”

      I said that if Romney wins in Iowa he will be unstoppable in New Hampshire. If he loses Iowa, he will still be a heavy favorite in New Hampshire, but, a surprise certainly could happen. That’s what happened in 2008. I maintain that if Romney had won Iowa in 2008, he would have won New Hampshire, South Carolina and the nomination. You’re right that McCain had been written off, but it was the Huckabee upset in Iowa that punctured Mitt’s bubble and opened the door for McCain (who, of course, had a reputation in New Hampshire, after upsetting Bush there eight years earlier).

      Could all of this happen again? Yes, it’s possible. Maybe Santorum is Huckabee and Gingrich or Huntsman is McCain. But, it would take a loss in Iowa to put the brakes on Romney. If Romney wins Iowa, he wins New Hampshire too (something no non-incumbent Republican has done since the Iowa caucuses started). And at that point, it will be darn near impossible to stop him.

      You ask how Romney is more palatable now than in 2008. He really isn’t. There is just no viable alternative. No one with the strength and appeal of Huckabee or McCain (not that they were that strong, just much more impressive than the not-Romneys this time). After vetting every single other candidate, I think all but the most ardent Anybody-but-Romneyites are starting to realize this. This isn’t going to show up in any poll before Iowa because they’re still waiting to see what happens. But, if Romney starts winning, acceptance of him (albeit reluctant in some circles) will quick and widespread.

      And my prediction is that he will start winning next Tuesday. Of course, I could be wrong. 😉

Thanks, Prof!

I still remember the lead-in to 2008.
With Irritation.

1. Best info I’ve seen is that the Irritation Factor [high to very high for me] is attributable to a late October lawsuit against the Virginia GOP by a local independent Bristol candidate: republican Presidential candidates who submitted the requisite 10,000 raw signatures BEFORE that lawsuit were confirmed without validation while candidates AFTER were ‘validated’.

I get ..irritable…when rules/laws are changed midstream.

This is EXACTLY why it is such a big mistake for conservatives to pledge their vote to whatever establishment RINO wins the nomination. They always assume that in the end we will have no choice but to vote for the liberal Democrat they cram down our throats. They failed to notice that many of us fled the GOP and are now a big part of the independent vote that they always move to the center to collect during the main election.

Someday, historians will look back and wonder why the GOP establishment doubled down on the Bush/McCain mistake of warring against conservatives leading into the primaries rather than consolidate the base by running to the right early and then moving to the center during the main election. What’s the strategy now that the conservative base is so pissed off that we may never vote Republican again? Move even further to the left?

Now that “both” parties poised to nominate candidates their traditional base voters find woefully unacceptable, we can expect at least two troublesome independent candidates. Nothing is more provocative than weakness but that is exactly what the establishment of “both” parties are projecting going into next year.

Why wouldn’t Trump and Paul run against these two poindexters? they could very well garner 30% or more of the vote. The winner would then have to trounce the other in order to get even the 43% Clinton garnered. More likely, the winner would get about 35-37%. In other words, the two-party system, two-thirds of the voters may end up voting AGAINST the winner. I love it.

That would make the wave of new House Tea Party conservatives very powerful. It took only twenty to stand the entire government on its head this year so imagine what double that number or more would be against such a weak president.

It’s not important WHO wins next year but HOW they win. We need to make sure that the winner walks away wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to lose. We have never elected a president who was very unpopular from day one. We may be about to do that. One of these two Democratic parties may not survive until the next election.

It’s time for registered Democrats AND Republicans to re-register to independent. Think about it. It’s yet another thing they aren’t prepared for as they GOP clown car chugs along.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | December 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    It ought to be increasingly obvious to everyone that progressives always demand that conservatives compromise and adopt progressive policies. It doesn’t matter whether the progressives are from the GOP or the Democrats!

    Left-wing Republicans demand that we support their fundamentally flawed candidates when they refused to do the same in the 2010 cycle and allowed the Senate to slip through their fingers by failing to support TEA Party candidates in Arizona and Delaware. They hate the TEA Party more than they want to win! They have more in common with the Democrats than the TEA Party and they show it every time they have to confront a serious policy issue. Every stinking time!

    The GOP establishment are utter frauds. Boehner and McConnell have sold out the country and conservatives at every chance this year and have made themselves look like idiots while doing so. They categorically refuse to do the smart thing and right thing if it benefits the TEA Party and conservatives! EVERY STINKING TIME!

      Estragon in reply to WarEagle82. | December 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

      Darn those progressives!

      Just out of curiosity, which of the current field is NOT “fundamentally flawed” in your view?

        WarEagle82 in reply to Estragon. | December 30, 2011 at 11:55 pm

        I favored Bachmann, Cain and Santorum faults and all. Each have made mistakes but they were the least flawed, most conservative candidates in the field.

        I suppose Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Margaret Thatcher are too old to run…

[…] Obama, the more Republicans should want him as their nominee.” Is this how it will work? Some aren’t buying it […]

I’m not so sure that 8 years of Obama-lite wouldn’t be worse than 4 years of a lame duck Obama. Because a damaged goods Obama would be a lame duck from the time he walked in the door while Romney would have a “mandate to govern”.

I just feel unclean thinking about it.

    Mark Buehner in reply to jnials. | December 29, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    The problem is Obama has done one deviously successful thing- he has managed to pass a bunch of laws that invest the Executive with wideranging powers over huge aspects of daily life. Its been happening for years but this stuff is unprecedented. The truth is with those powers he wont need much Congressional help to rule the way he wants… especially if he gets just 1 more seat on the Supreme Court. One more Kagen and we’re done. I would think long and hard about that, and about how effective Congress can be fighting against 2 branches of government… one of which it has already legislated much of its power away too with no hope of overcoming a veto to get it back.

    retire05 in reply to jnials. | December 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    This is why I asked the question. Romney as president would create a git along to go along Congress simply because he was one of their own. And let’s be honest here, shall we? We already know that the Republicans have a problem with weak spine syndrome.

    But a Republican House, backed up by a Republican Senate, could basically undo any E.O that Obama signed with filibuster proof legislation. And with the resignation of Nelson, don’t think the DNC isn’t worried.

      Mark Buehner in reply to retire05. | December 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Is the senate suddenly not full of RINOs? I don’t understand this line of thinking- Romney is too buddy buddy with congress and therefor we need to toss the presidency and put our faith in congress? Assuming we can get to 60 votes in the senate which wont happen without a landslide that would certainly mean a strong republican presidential candidate? FAR more likely you end up with a Republican Congress and a barely Republican Senate that filibusters everything the house tries to do while the president uses his bureaucracy to run the country. Essentially we end up just like we are now, whats the point of that? Put Romney in and make him work to get reelected. You cant wait for the perfect candidate, and it seems this year we cant even produce a pretty good one.

I would argue that the media and Republican establishment are attempting to make Mitt fait acompli AND coincidentally Mitt may be the runaway most likely nominee due to the fatal flaws displayed by each of the other candidates.

One thing has nothing to do with the other.

I think it is far more than those with naked political interests that have concluded that this field is full of fatally flawed candidates… and one guy that I guess can be lived with if it means a sure win over Obama. As much as a Perry or Gingrich would be preferable, the risk of foot entering mouth one too many times and giving the republican candidate a defeat from the jaws of victory is just too great a chance to take. Lest we forget, a big part of elections is likeability (even in todays crazy times) and we cant have a guy falling asleep in the debate or a guy spouting off some theory that only seems sane if you listen to him explain for an hour (unfair but true). It wont do to forget the power of the MSM to destroy a candidate, and the power of Obama to make people like him. If this was just about ideas it would be simple but it never is.

    Mark, what are you drinking? How many times has Obama stuck his foot in his mouth? Just because the MSM ignores it, doesn’t mean the American people do.

    And you can be insulting to Gingrinch and Perry all you want (with the falling asleep stupid comment) but you cannot deny that both those men have accomplished more in the time they have been in a position of power that Mitt Romney ever thought about.

    And while you may think that David Axelrod is the all powerful wizard who can continue to make Americans like Obama in spite of the state of our nation, but I don’t think that you can convince 14 million unemployed Americans that Obama is still the cat’s meow.

      Mark Buehner in reply to retire05. | December 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Most people arent plugged into this stuff like us, thats a simple fact. The MSM still wields vast power and they still support and will carry water for Obama- ignoring that because conservatives have managed to counter it to some degree is foolish. Perry is probably already a dead man walking- you can’t blank out like that in a debate and survive. How many times will that be replayed with clown music by some Dem Pac? A million? It will scare grandma, and Perry will lose. Conservatives dont have to run a perfect campaign, but they can’t blunder or they will be devoured. Dems dont have that problem. But it wont do to pretend otherwise. These things may not matter to you and me, but if we were the electorate we wouldnt have Carter, Clinton, or Obama now would we?

        Well then, Mark, the real problem then is obvious. It is not that there is no “perfect” candidate, I have no problem with that since there are only humans standing on that debate stage. It’s that the American voter has been so dumbed down that they no longer look at things we call “proof of the pudding.” Records no longer matter.

        I have no doubt that if Clint Eastwood ran for president he would win. He is a conservative (by California standards), a Republican and can perform on stage. Seems we are seeking the next American Idol, and if that is the case, then this nation, as designed, and as we grew up knowing it, is a thing of the past.

        Perhaps you can pick a candidate because he sounds soooo cool on the debate state. Personally, I will pick the candidate who has actually put into practice his beliefs and that ain’t Romney, friend.

        Carter won because of his “every man” cred. Clinton won because he was the not-Bush of increased taxes candidate. Obama won for a number of different reasons (first truely black president thereby eliminating white guilt, anti-war after the loss of thousands of American soldiers in the Middle East, a cratered economy that if you believe Thomas Sowell, was really brought on by Democrats going back as far as Jimmie Carter).

        You say Perry (probably as well as Gingrich) is dead in the water. Nevermind that it is the responsibility of a conservative governor to move his state farther to the right, as Perry did and Romney did not. Where is the proof that Romney, already in the deep pockets of Wall Street, will be any better than what we have now? Do you think the ability to sign E.O.s will end if Obama is booted?

        Many Republicans held their nose and voted for John McCain, knowing his greatest talent was being able to pole vault across the aisle to sell out conservatives. He was the lesser of two evils. I am not sure they will do that again. Why vote Liberal-Lite when you can just say “no” and let the Democrats complete the destruction of this nation under their watch? Romney is Liberal-Lite and I will do a write in rather than vote for him.

The rush to declare the primaries over and proclaim a nominee by January before practically anyone has cast a vote is unbelievable!

Does the establishment GOP seriously believe Romney is so weak that he can’t win a fair primary cycle? If so, why would they want to run Romney against Obama? If he can’t win against other Republicans why do they believe he will be able to win against Democrats?

I will not vote for a socialist Republican. I will not accept the LoTE argument again. 2004 opened my eyes and I won’t support another so-called “compassionate conservative.” A “compassionate conservative” is neither!

I have learned my lesson.

    Hope Change in reply to WarEagle82. | December 30, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Yes! WarEagle82, I agree. The Establishment Rinos think, what are they gonna do, not vote? And the answer is, yup. I’ve had it with being played by RINO Establishment politicians who say conservative or libertarian things to get elected and then plunder the tax payer exchequer for as much as they can get, gain personal wealth with insider trading and favors, and end up with life-tenure as elected officials.

    Newt talks about a transparent donation rule for election donations. So the “term limit’ for a bad elected official is ONE TERM because next time, we’ll VOTE YOU OUT.

    No wonder the Establishment and the RINOs hate Newt!

    The Fact that so many Establishment types in Washington, D. C. and New York hate Newt Gingrich makes me like him better, is very encouraging to me, and make me want all the more, for Newt to win.

is there any evidence that Mitt Weeny is either a conservative or electable ?? i’m not talking about polls, what is the evidence based on his record. if he is the nominee, i will do something i’ve never done before, write in. as Elmer Fudd might say he’s Obama wite

I don’t see why so many conservative publications, media people, and bloggers feel so compelled to PUSH a candidate. To me, the primaries have the purpose of allowing the candidates to audition before our live audience. Unless you happen to live in Iowa or New Hampshire, there is no rush to make your decision so early.

But not only have people signed on early for candidates, including at least one who wouldn’t run, they have gone completely bat-ship crazy over them, not tolerating any criticism at all. It’s as if they think their candidate is Kim Jong Il or Ron Paul or some other flawless hero.

The Palin people were fanatics, but so were the early Perry deciders, and then the Cainiacs, and now people who should know better are in the tank for that ol’ backstabber Gingrich. Conservative? We conservatives threw that bum out.

Romney is certainly a flawed candidate, too, but right now the probability is upwards of 75% he will be our nominee. So it’s him or Obama. Voting for anyone else or “present” on the top line is in effect voting for Obama.

Don’t like Romney? Me either, but show me a better candidate who’s running. And if you say Newt, I know you can’t be serious.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Estragon. | December 30, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Estragon – Read our opening paragraph.

    Pot meet kettle.

    Hope Change in reply to Estragon. | December 30, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Hi, my friend Estragon. I say Newt. And I am sooo serious.

    princepsCO in reply to Estragon. | December 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Quite simply, as a fiscal sanity Republican, rather than a security-state or social conservative Republican, I can only support a candidate who understands the fiscal depths the last 35 years have created and has an idea of the first simple steps to take to back away from the cliff.

    That candidate is Ron Paul.

    No other candidate has a plan to reduce spending by $1 Trillion in the first year. Sure, Congress spends the money, but only when a President signs the budget bill.

    No other candidate has the level of support of military personnel (#1 in direct donations), students (those Paulbots everyone denigrates), or concerned citizens (many non-Republicans think more favorably of Paul than other GOP candidates) as Paul.

    Sure, security-state and Establishment Republicans, those who can never see the need to cut DoD spending or believe that there are NO borders that can’t be overrun if our national ‘defense’ is at stake, hate Dr. Paul.

    Paul doesn’t want the US to be the world’s policeman, tax collector, and bank of last resort (see Uganda, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, and Fed Reserve bailout of EU banks with US tax dollars). And as Michelle Obama opines, kid’s weight and diet is a national security issue; so any perceived connection between an issue and national security will require US tax dollars and blood to defend…..according to security-first-ers.

    For Dr. Paul, the threat must be directed at Americans or our borders, not a squabble amongst thieves that requires our benighted presence to resolve. Dr. Paul is the only candidate asking why we send $1 Billion each year to Egypt, or $600 Million every year to the PLO, and continue to fund Israel beyond their need for defense. He’s the only candidate saying we need to bring our troops home from occupy Berlin, and occupy Tokyo, and occupy Italy.

Republicans– in my lifetime, since Nixon– have been nothing but statist quo fools who think the State is to be served.
And they sill have yet to learn we don’t need a leader– we need our freedom

[…] They rarely grasp that, because some don’t share their illusions, we can see through them. […]

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