Skip

Social conservative senator polling well.
December 30, 2011 1:40 AM   Subscribe

Santorum surges from behind in Iowa. With the countdown to the Iowa Caucuses entering its final hours the GOP race remains in a dead heat. Polls show the unlikely campaigns of social conservative Senator Rick Santorum and libertarian leaning Representative Ron Paul in surprisingly strong positions to challenge Governor Mitt Romney for the opening victory in the Republican primary season. Both Paul and Santorum have focused heavily on traditional retail politics in the Hawkeye State.
posted by furiousxgeorge (366 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's now gotten to the point where I start wondering why he has named himself after something so disgusting...
posted by Harry at 1:42 AM on December 30, 2011 [54 favorites]


Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.

I see what you... oh wait. That's the actual headline?

I see what they did there whether they did or not.
posted by Saydur at 1:44 AM on December 30, 2011 [146 favorites]


Rick Santorum will not be the Republican candidate for President in 2012.
posted by andoatnp at 1:49 AM on December 30, 2011 [13 favorites]


I see what you... oh wait. That's the actual headline?

That was my reaction.

Isn't Santorum one of the ones who signed the pledge to set up an anti-gay Gestapo?
posted by rodgerd at 1:49 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.

This is what happens when you let the gays marry. Shitty, er, puns by lazy editors.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:52 AM on December 30, 2011


[TROY] IS THERE NO ONE ELSE? [/ TROY]

Seriously though.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:53 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


On a more serious note, seeing Santorum with double digit support even in a state as peculiar as Iowa really defines that feeling of when I just start to think things can't get any more depressing, they get more depressing.

This, coming from one of the few states which allows complete same-sex marriages. Then again, perhaps that explains it. The few fearful ones who haven't seen the world not end are begging for someone to save them from their personal boogeyman.
posted by Saydur at 2:04 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Of course he's surging as hard as he can. If he were to actually become President that would be the only slim chance he might have of overcoming the googlebomb.

linky linky linkity-link
posted by XMLicious at 2:13 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


This, coming from one of the few states which allows complete same-sex marriages.

Well, Iowa was dragged into it by what your Republican primary voters would call "activist judges."

It's a natural issue for someone like Santorum to campaign on, but interestingly it hasn't really come up that much until recently when they started using the issue to go after Paul.

Paul of course, who supports DOMA and has recently been endorsed by a preacher who wants to execute gays and who thinks Sodomy laws are constitutional. Well, at least he can remember what his position is.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:17 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is there a former GOP elected official left anywhere who needs to gin up controversy for their upcoming speaking tour? These guys are such bad ass super capitalists that they've even figured out how to turn a primary season into a for-profit enterprise.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:38 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a meaningless story.

Aside from the wonderful pun, there is absolutely nothing important about this Santorum surge. It'll probably be John Huntsman surging in a couple days. What we're watching is GOP primary voters switching back and forth and forth and back as it slowly dawns on them that they've got a whole lot of nominees bickering and posturing and not one of them will be a workable candidate. I could almost feel sorry for the poor, backwards, bigoted pricks voting in these primaries when I realize that they've gotta give serious thought to deciding between evil nineties doughboy Newt Gingrich and old Johnny Frothy himself. Then I recall that, if given the chance, damn near every one of them would put bibles in classrooms, roll back every civil rights gain of the last sixty years and hand over the last guttering sparks of American prosperity to the oligarchs that have convinced them full citizenship for gay people is the biggest threat to a world staring down the barrel of peak oil. And then the moment for pity passes.

Have fun picking out the best pathetic loser, chuckleheads - we'll see them in the general, then we'll never see them again.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:42 AM on December 30, 2011 [34 favorites]


These guys are such bad ass super capitalists

I think "super-bad ass-capitalists," but, hey...
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:43 AM on December 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


You know, Santorum or not, I really look forward to the New Year on Metafilter, where people are going to spend hours arguing over the next election. To me, this is Democracy. Endless hours spent hashing out the minutiae of every candidate. Endless time debating. It's inspiring how much we can hate every candidate with the hope of loving one of them.

I love Democracy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:45 AM on December 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


What a joke.

In other GOP news Trump just left the republican party to set himself up for a third party run.

The party elders better reign these people in, they are starting to ruin the GOP brand.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:49 AM on December 30, 2011


It's been said before, but damn, Obama is a lucky man.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's inspiring how much we can hate every candidate with the hope of loving one of them.

I hate them all without any shred of hope or expectation of loving any of them.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:50 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The party elders better reign these people in, they are starting to ruin the GOP brand.

Well, all fun with Paul and Santorum aside this primary is pretty much over if Romney takes Iowa. He polls best against Obama, and is reasonably sane for a Republican.

They don't look that crazy if he takes this as he should. If a wildcard takes Iowa though...strap yourselves in.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:55 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is still a bit more crazy in store with Americans Elect skulking around. I would also pay to see a Draft Mike Bloomberg movement as a "centrist" alternative.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:57 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


when I just start to think things can't get any more depressing, they get more depressing.

I don't know if it's depressing. Santorum's currently popularity isn't a reflection on him or the voters, it's because the other guys have been scrutinised and found wanting (by voters previously mostly unfamiliar with these clowns), while this clown is just as wanting but not yet as scrutinised.

Give it a few weeks and he'll join the others in the slop bucket of "Ooh I like this guy because he's not Mitt Romn... WAIT HE DID WHAT?!?"
posted by -harlequin- at 2:59 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Yeah, our Romney v. Obama election is really gonna beg for a centrist choice. :)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:59 AM on December 30, 2011 [14 favorites]


The party elders better reign these people in, they are starting to ruin the GOP brand.

Starting to? That battle was over what David Frum threw all the Paleo-cons out of the party for daring to suggest that Bush's invasion of Iraq might not be the best idea.
posted by mikelieman at 3:00 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Give it a few weeks and he'll join the others in the slop bucket of "Ooh I like this guy because he's not Mitt Romn... WAIT HE DID WHAT?!?"

Well, the reason we are in new territory is that the caucuses are going to be here before we get a debate or weeks of airtime to shut the new guys down. If Santorum and Paul happen to be the not-Romneys of the moment, it will have an impact on the delegate count.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:05 AM on December 30, 2011


Ok ok, they been damaging the brand for a while. If anyone but Romney gets the nomination they won't even be able to let their own candidate on national TV.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:06 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Santorum surges from behind in Iowa." is now officially the sentence of the year. Call it quits now, 2011, you have done your duty.
posted by Jimbob at 3:21 AM on December 30, 2011 [23 favorites]


To me, this is Democracy. Endless hours spent hashing out the minutiae of every candidate. Endless time debating. It's inspiring how much we can hate every candidate with the hope of loving one of them.

It's actually a problem with Democracy. The choices are usually clear cut, so why we spend a year or two arguing it pretty silly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:33 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's actually a problem with Democracy. The choices are usually clear cut, so why we spend a year or two arguing it pretty silly.

One could argue it's a problem with the American democratic system. In Westminster parliamentary democracies, no-one gives a shit about the candidates, because they're all tied to a party with a defined platform and set of policies. Which causes different problems, but still, it cuts out the 3-year long electioneering season for 4-yearly elections...
posted by Jimbob at 3:37 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


‘Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.’ is now officially the sentence of the year.

Now we need Ron Paul to tell Newt Gingrich, "You just got told bitch...welcome to the real Iowa"
posted by XMLicious at 3:41 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


We need people selling the Santorum Frothy Chocolate Mixture (tm) around his campaign.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:14 AM on December 30, 2011


This is entirely because the race was supposed to be between Perry and Romney, but Perry proved himself to be a moron. Then Herman Cain showed up for a bit, but collapsed as well. Gingrich drummed up supporters until everyone realized that the last thing in the world he really wants is to be President, so he's just blathering on and on hoping to increase his speaking fees and sell more books.

Romney is dull (he was governor of my state, I should know). He's not socially conservative enough for the hard-line Born Again folks, and the fact that he's LDS scares the crap out of a lot of them, but he's also articulate, fairly good under pressure, looks decent on TV, and the only real chance against Obama at this point. The fact of the matter is that most of the GOP are going to have to hold their noses to vote for him, which is something they desperately don't want to have to do, so they're suddenly interested in candidates who might be an alternative in the final hours. It won't happen. It's going to be Romney vs. Obama, which is snoozeville in terms of debates and campaigns, but the alternative for the GOP is the disaster of McCain-Palin, which is what started them on the road towards this platform of fools to begin with.
posted by xingcat at 4:15 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


So... You guys are saying that the situation remains fluid?
posted by Artw at 4:23 AM on December 30, 2011 [28 favorites]


Santorum has no real campaign outside of Iowa, so even if he wins there, he's not going far.

75% of republicans seem to hate Romney but they don't have anyone else with a nationally organized campaign structure to compete with him. He's got the money and the staff and the experience and none of the rest have much going for them. I still don't see anyone else as the nominee.
posted by octothorpe at 4:28 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Santorum has no real campaign outside of Iowa, so even if he wins there, he's not going far.

It's reached the point where I can literally not read the man's name in a sentence without expecting a pun or double entendre.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:33 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's been said before, but damn, Obama is a lucky man.

I don't think there's any luck involved. The owners of the government have to be pretty happy with his performance.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:42 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Come on, this has been fantastically entertaining in a skeet shoot kind of way.

Palin, Bachman, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum.

PULL! BLAM! PULL! BLAM! PULL! BLAM!

Ron Paul will be next. Then Flop Sweat Romney will grudgingly be handed the nom while everyone holds their noses, and lose to Obama in an election which should have been a gimme.

SO looking forward to the independent run from Trump/Paul whoever.
posted by unSane at 4:48 AM on December 30, 2011


(Also, an entirely familiar dynamic from anyone who watched the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 00s).
posted by unSane at 4:50 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Santorum surges from behind in Iowa

This is sure to become a smear campaign.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:02 AM on December 30, 2011 [21 favorites]


Paul's surge appears to have stopped. Santorum will take 3rd.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:10 AM on December 30, 2011


Santorum has a child at home who is very sick. In my mind, the fact that he's still campaigning despite that should be enough to disqualify him.
posted by drezdn at 5:14 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's been said before, but damn, Obama is a lucky man.

If by lucky you mean black, which apparently drove the GOP primary electorate insane.

Look, the guy has passed a lot of good stuff and then once the GOP got the House, they decided it was better to fuck up the country in order to win. Obama's exploited that, and the country hates the GOP more than anyone else.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:15 AM on December 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


It's been long, hard odds but right now Santorum is really smokin' those polls.
posted by XMLicious at 5:18 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Santorum has a child at home who is very sick. In my mind, the fact that he's still campaigning despite that should be enough to disqualify him.

For using his disabled daughter as a campaign prop, Santorum should be lashed, tarred, feathered, and ridden out of Iowa on a rail, and if we still lived in the sort of world that he imagines is paradise, he would be.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:20 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd agree that double entendres and wisecracks are obligatory, Faint of Butt. Imho, octothorpe should've said :

Santorum's campaign is only present in splotches outside Iowa. Even if he soaks the wins there, this bubbling up of support required a hard pounding by his men in Iowa. Romney will mop the floor with him elsewhere because Romney has aroused his men across the country.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:26 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Look, if Santorum really is "surging" from behind, it means that too much pressure is being put on the entire system. Whatever dirty elements weren't cleaned out beforehand are now being further compacted by all the recent vigorous activity. Hopefully, certain parties involved will take a time out and offer a bit of relief, otherwise there is a serious risk of ruptu...oh god i can't do it anymore
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:32 AM on December 30, 2011 [20 favorites]


Finally. It was starting to feel like poor Rick was going to be left empty-handed for Everybody But Mitt Gets a Trophy Day.
posted by Copronymus at 5:32 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


The thing is, both Santorum and Bachmann are not operating rationally, or they would have dropped out long ago. Instead, both of these candidates are operating from a strategical center best described as "Jesus loves me and he's gonna come down from the Heavens and anoint me". Or at least "make me the Christian conservative vice-presidential counterweight to Mitt Romney's Mormon presidency."

God moves in mysterious ways. But still, I really can't believe he would vote Republican.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:33 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hate to admit it here on MeFi, but I watch a lot of competition "reality" shows. The Republican race is moving with the exact same arc...you've got the villains and heroes and comic relief. And winning isn't the important thing: it's screen time. So you then get your book deal, or TV show, or restaurant, or whatever.

It's Romney, it's always been Romney, but why waste a chance to grandstand and be on the tee-vee?
posted by JoanArkham at 5:34 AM on December 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


"Jesus loves me and he's gonna come down from the Heavens and anoint me".

Or, they're going to stay in until they get funds from the federal government like Huckabee did.

Or at least "make me the Christian conservative vice-presidential counterweight to Mitt Romney's Mormon presidency."

Could be this. If Romney goes the route of picking a VP who shores up some of his weaknesses with the base, he has to pick a christian tea party type, but who? It needs to be someone who won't go rogue.
posted by drezdn at 5:38 AM on December 30, 2011


I'm disappointed in urbanthesaur.us, btw. :(
posted by jeffburdges at 5:40 AM on December 30, 2011


With the way the caucus system works (as opposed to a primary) I think we are about to see some wierd stuff in Iowa. Paul is going to pull some heavy numbers, especially in college towns, but I think Romney is going to walk away with most of this. Santorum may get some numbers in the sticks, but I don't see anyone else scoring big there.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:42 AM on December 30, 2011


Santorum really does have a shot at getting the VP. Not much of a shot. But a shot.

I'm betting Pawlenty for VP Republican candidate. Any takers?
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:45 AM on December 30, 2011


"It needs to be someone who won't go rogue maverick."
posted by -harlequin- at 5:46 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm betting Pawlenty for VP Republican candidate. Any takers?

There's a small part of me that thinks Pawlenty dropped out of the race in exchange for something like the VP from Romney. Pawlenty would have been the closest to a reasonable alternative to Mitt.
posted by drezdn at 5:57 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good thing I finished my coffee before checking Metafilter, or I would have spit it all over my keyboard reading the headline about "surging from behind." They really need a clown car to hold all the Republican hopefuls. Taken all together they do not make one normal brain.
posted by mermayd at 5:57 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


This, coming from one of the few states which allows complete same-sex marriages. Then again, perhaps that explains it. The few fearful ones who haven't seen the world not end are begging for someone to save them from their personal boogeyman.
I don't think so, or at least not directly. He's a desperation choice for the Christian conservative faction. Perry turned out to be a moron; Michelle Bachmann is an unelectable loon; for a while they were supporting Herman Cain, who turned out to be a non-starter; they switched to Gingrich until they realized that he was, among other things, a serial adulterer. They definitely can't stomach Romney, who they don't believe is either Christian or conservative. Santorum is now the only Christian conservative about whom they don't know anything that's totally disqualifying. That's really the only appeal, I think.
posted by craichead at 5:58 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tim Pawlenty? Wow, I am not sure he would get you anything as VP. Seriously, I don't think he could bring in Minnesota and at least Mondale did that for his team and for himself.

Tim Pawlenty does not have the gravitas (I know, I know its an over used word) to be 2nd in line to the presidency. I will grant you that the other options of Santorum or Bachman would be worse BUT I am saying to you, that the choice between cancer and syphilis is not a great choice at all.
posted by jadepearl at 6:07 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nate Silver mentioned the possibility of a Santorum surge Wednesday in a post about how late momentum might be created in Iowa, and how that could mess with polling:

Right now, for instance, there seem to be a fair number of stories about Mr. Santorum, which suggests that it is his turn to “surge” in the polls.

And then yesterday posted a fairly detailed analysis of Santorum's chances that ends up putting those chances pretty low. It's worth a read if this stuff interests you: The Santorum Surge In Iowa and Beyond.
posted by mediareport at 6:10 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


that could mess with polling

Yeah, I could see how that would be a problem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:21 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


WTF is going on in the Republican base's psyche when they will actually consider flat-out looney tunes like Bachmann, Perry or Santorum, or provably morally-deficient idiots like Gingrich and Cain - but absolutely refuse to give someone like Huntsman the time of day?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:21 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


Tim Pawlenty does not have the gravitas (I know, I know its an over used word) to be 2nd in line to the presidency.

When I think of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely gravitas.

Gravitas being the new gravy smothered chicken fried chicken burritos from the Taco Bell/KFC truck stop down on I-20.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:22 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


This, coming from one of the few states which allows complete same-sex marriages.

Don't forget that 3 of the Iowa judges who voted to legalize same-sex marriage were kicked out of office in the 2010 "judicial retention" election after big spending from conservative groups. Iowa's popular support for gay marriage is pretty much split; a poll in August put it at 46% in favor to 45% opposed. Support does go up significantly if you include civil unions as an option, as in polls elsewhere.
posted by mediareport at 6:24 AM on December 30, 2011


It's odd really. The Republican rank and file, including social conservatives, will line up behind ANY candidate that gets nominated. Romney is the next McCain and it should concern Democrats that the unpopular McCain was well on his way to beat Obama until Lehman Brothers grenaded two months before the election. Romney will give Jimmy Carter Obama a real run in 2012 and it puzzles me why the Republicans are so reluctant to embrace him if the main goal is to one term the incumbent.
posted by three blind mice at 6:30 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


it should concern Democrats that the unpopular McCain was well on his way to beat Obama until Lehman Brothers grenaded two months before the election

That's not accurate. Obama led handily all summer -- he was slightly behind in the polls immediately following the Republican convention, which is almost always the case (it's called a "convention bounce.") But Obama was always almost certain to win.

The Republican rank and file, including social conservatives, will line up behind ANY candidate that gets nominated.

This is normally the case, but the fact that Romney is a Mormon is a wild card with respect to the Republican base that should concern the party leaders more than it seems to. Remember, despite my various utopian schemes, we don't actually have mandatory voting in this country; even if they don't cross over, evangelicals can just stay home (or go third party), and each one that does is 1/2 a vote for Obama. It's not clear to me that Romney's appeal as a "moderate" -- already tarnished by a difficult primary he only now, finally, seems able to win decisively -- will make up for people's discomfort with Mormonism, especially after they get eleven months worth of sensationalistic "special reports" on it.
posted by gerryblog at 6:36 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


RCP's map of the running 2008 poll average. Obama was never in any real danger of losing and except for a brief period of time around the Republican convention he was never even behind.
posted by gerryblog at 6:40 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


it puzzles me why the Republicans are so reluctant to embrace him if the main goal is to one term the incumbent.
When you say "the Republicans," who do you mean? The national party leadership would be delighted to nominate Romney. The problem is that there are plenty of people on the ground for whom the main goal is not to one-term the incumbent. It's to bring about a right-wing theocracy. They think that any Republican nominee has a good chance in this election, and they don't want to waste this golden opportunity on someone who they don't perceive to be a hard-right theocrat.
posted by craichead at 6:42 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm imagining a campaign ad claiming Obama's "successes" like healthcare were ideas stolen from Romney, and if our president's greatest achievements is merely just the plundering of Romney's ideas and work anyway, why not cut out the middle man and just make Romney the prez?

It seems like with all of Romney's denials about obamacare, he'd have to make quite an about-face to take credit for the reform, which weirdly makes me think this ad is more likely to happen. I'll call this the Strange Days Effect.

posted by -harlequin- at 6:43 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think there's any chance that Pawlenty gets the VP nod. Aside from his lack of gravitas and his inability to brring anything politically to the ticket, already mentioned, if I read Romney right, he probably hates Pawlenty's guts over the Obamneycare fiasco.
posted by JKevinKing at 6:44 AM on December 30, 2011


The Republican rank and file, including social conservatives, will line up behind ANY candidate that gets nominated.

Voters of both parties will generally do this, it's just that you have to have somebody they like to get them to go to the polls. Disliking someone is not actually enough of a draw. If Romney or anyone else is a "winner" with 25% of the party going into the convention, they won't beat an unopposed incumbent on the other side even if he is the Antichrist.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:46 AM on December 30, 2011


I'm imagining a campaign ad claiming Obama's "successes"...

If you count Obama's "successes" as successes, then you probably aren't voting in a Republican primary. You also aren't likely to be choosing between Romney and Obama. To win, Romney will have to get Teabaggers out of their tree-stands and into the voting booths come November, not undecided centrists.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:49 AM on December 30, 2011


Two things:

1) I really wish we had a dyed in the wool but calm Republican voice in here to deaden some of the "repubs are screwed" echo chamber

2) anyone who wants to know why things are going the way they are in the repub race should read the article "voters examining candidates" in today's NYTimes. If you weren't scared for our future when you woke up this morning, you will be
posted by spicynuts at 7:05 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


but he's also articulate, fairly good under pressure,

Romney is neither of these things. You think he's these things because you've seen him in debates against Rick Perry and Herman Cain, who are terrible public speakers and flopsweaty as all get out, and Michele Bachmann, who is a crazy person. But Romney is merely adequate when it comes to public speaking, and can quite easily be goaded into making stupid gaffes (ten-thousand dollar bets, for example). One of the reasons Newt Gingrich temporarily surged is because he got into a few verbal altercations with Romney at the debates and stomped him.

Mitt Romney is the definition of "empty suit."
posted by mightygodking at 7:06 AM on December 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


The national party leadership would be delighted to nominate Romney.

Incidentally, I'd just like to point out here that the GOP is NOT like the DNC in that the national party leadership has far more of a vote on the nominee than the convention floor. While the backroom players are quite powerful in the DNC, the floor can actually change the outcome. Not so in the GOP.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:10 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the article spicynuts is talking about (I already had the tab open): Voters Examining Candidates, Often to a Fault
posted by troika at 7:11 AM on December 30, 2011


Building off what mightygodking said, Romney's also only won one election in his life. He seems formidable because he's familiar and seems like he's been doing this forever, but there's no indication that he *actually* has the skills or charisma required to win a national election. He can't crack 25% in his own party's primary, and is going to win primarily because the hard-right opposition is fractured between half a dozen very flawed alternatives. Anti-Romney would beat Romney fairly handily if they could somehow consolidate to a one-on-one between two equally competent choices.
posted by gerryblog at 7:13 AM on December 30, 2011


Mitt Romney is the definition of "empty suit."

A big problem with Romney, IMO, is that he is not-at-all forthcoming about personal information. He refuses to discuss his finances or the Gordon Gekko-like activities that made him (very) rich. He won't release his tax returns.

Couple his secrecy with his ludicrous attempt at distancing himself from his Massachusetts healthcare history, and he's a loser.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:15 AM on December 30, 2011


While the backroom players are quite powerful in the DNC, the floor can actually change the outcome. Not so in the GOP.

Still, a walkout of either the Christian conservatives or the Paulites would be devastating to his candidacy, even if the outcome didn't change. It's unlikely, but it would be pretty delicious.
posted by gerryblog at 7:15 AM on December 30, 2011


To win, Romney will have to get Teabaggers out of their tree-stands and into the voting booths come November, not undecided centrists.

I think that to beat Obama he'll need (what passes in the USA as) centrist appeal, not just (what other countries consider) extremists.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:20 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Paul is going to pull some heavy numbers, especially in college towns, but I think Romney is going to walk away with most of this.

I'm gonna say no on the college towns. Remember, this isn't a "show up to your polling places and vote" kinda thing. They actually caucus. It takes hours. Now my time living in Iowa City was, by definition, in the last century, but nobody ever went to the caucuses.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:21 AM on December 30, 2011


Anti-Romney would beat Romney fairly handily if they could somehow consolidate to a one-on-one between two equally competent choices.

It's staggering how far the party has fallen that no competent choice can be found.
That doesn't mean the party won't win, but what a debased mockery of itself it has become.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:24 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


As far as I can tell, every American presidential election in the last 50 years at least has gone to the more charismatic candidate, and this has been the deciding factor. From my viewpoint, this has only increased as the public has increasingly relied upon television and sound bites to make up their minds for them.

1960 is a good place to start because of the famous Kennedy-Nixon televised debate. Kennedy was perceived to have won the debate among those who watched it on television (which was most people). But Nixon got the edge among those who listened on radio.

1960: Kennedy more charismatic than Nixon

1964: Johnson more charismatic than Goldwater

1968: Nixon more charismatic than Humphrey

1972: Nixon more charismatic than McGovern

1976: Carter more charismatic than Ford

1980: Reagan more charismatic than Carter

1984: Reagan more charismatic than Mondale

1988: Bush I more charismatic than Dukakis

1992: Clinton more charismatic than Bush I

1996: Clinton more charismatic than Dole

2000: Bush II more charismatic than Gore

2004: Bush II more charismatic than Kerry

2008: Obama more charismatic than McCain


Just looking at these years, how did the Democrats think that stiffs like Gore and Kerry had a snowball's chance in hell of beating Bush II? This, to my way of thinking, puts any of the prospective GOP candidates at a serious disadvantage against Obama in the upcoming presidential election. Romney may be the most sane of the GOP candidate nominees right now, but if ever there was a Republican version of John Kerry's personality and bearing, he's it. This, of course, is why Perry was such a favorite early on: because he's the most charismatic. He just ruined it for himself by showing everyone how damn stupid he is. It's also the reason why some of the more sensible, sane and politically appealing candidate nominees can't get any traction: Huntsman, for example, has all the charisma of a postage stamp.
posted by slkinsey at 7:28 AM on December 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


::prepares yummy breakfast::
::opens MetaFilter::

Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.

::tosses breakfast into trash::
::goes back to bed::
posted by Splunge at 7:30 AM on December 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


They actually caucus. It takes hours.

Right, which is why Paul can pull numbers in college towns, where he's popular with the folks that got bored and slept through their US History 101 course after they got to when Andrew Jackson became President. The Paul Googlers have the energy and enthusiasm to outlast the usual geriatric crowd who come for the human contact and free coffee since the bingo hall's been converted to a polling station. In the sticks it will be the ones compelled by the Lord who will be the last ones standing.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:31 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


1968: Nixon more charismatic than Humphrey

Um, that's about where your theory starts to break down.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:32 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


how did the Democrats think that stiffs like Gore and Kerry had a snowball's chance in hell of beating Bush II?

They labor under the misconception that substance matters?
posted by -harlequin- at 7:33 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


You lost me at

Nixon more charismatic than
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:35 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


1) I really wish we had a dyed in the wool but calm Republican voice in here to deaden some of the "repubs are screwed" echo chamber

I wish I knew some, most people I know are mad Obama never seized the means of production or are "did you hear Obama put in a watermelon patch" type republicans I meet at the VFW when I am out drinking 25 cent beers with my step dad.

I am beginning to wonder if there are republicans than aren't insane, or machiavellian Jack Donaghy types who don't give a rats ass as long as the president will lower taxes and make acquiring wealth no matter the consequence as easy as possible.


I can tell you the GOOGLE RON PAUL fervor has significantly declined in the past three years. And I see a lot of "lifelong republicans" online who say they won't vote for candidates that deny basic science like evolution, but who the funk really knows.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:36 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Romney was the Governor of the most Democratic state, pushed and passed universal health care and implemented (was not able to stop) gay marriage.
posted by sammyo at 7:38 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nixon more charismatic than

Sock it to me?
posted by BobbyVan at 7:41 AM on December 30, 2011


"‘Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.’ is now officially the sentence of the year."
Now we need Ron Paul to tell Newt Gingrich, "You just got told bitch...welcome to the real Iowa"
Son Im 76 I ggold standard as on the constitution
posted by Flunkie at 7:41 AM on December 30, 2011 [22 favorites]


Spicynuts,

Yeah, I wish that, too, but to tell the truth almost all of my thoughtful, smart conservative friends are disgusted with the GOP. I'm not sure it's possible to make a rational argument for the GOP right now if you have any sense of decency.

My prediction: Romney's almost definitely going to get the nod and lose in the general. Obama's no Carter. My wife was thinking that they are comparable, but Carter had a legitimate challenge from the left, the Iran hostage crisis, and absolutely no major legislative victories. Even my father, a Democrat's Democrat voted for Reagan. (He later regretted it.)

Obama passed the ACA (whether you like it or not, it was a huge victory, politically, IMHO), killed Bin Laden (he didn't and a lot of liberals don't like it, but it plays well amongst the electorate) and has no realistic challenge from his left.

Unless the fundumentals of the electoral atmosphere change, even if the economy backslides, I still think he'll win a close election. If the ecomony improves it may very well be a landslide.

For Obama to lose it will take a combination of a foreign policy disaster, a regression of the ecomony, and some kind domestic problem such as a scandal or widespread unrest, etc., iMHO.
posted by JKevinKing at 7:43 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


You lost me at

Nixon more charismatic than


However much we may revile his memory, it's simply a fact that he was not uncharismatic -- at least for those times and to the constituency that actually voted. Hindsight changes a lot of things. In 2054 people may scoff at the idea that Bush II was more charismatic than Kerry. But it was true.



how did the Democrats think that stiffs like Gore and Kerry had a snowball's chance in hell of beating Bush II?

They labor under the misconception that substance matters?


Exactly. And it is a misconception. Anytime a candidate is running "on his record" (i.e., "the issues") he is almost surely bound to lose. I always thought that Dean and Edwards were the only ones with enough charisma to have had a chance of beating Bush II in his reelection bid (and of course we now know there were serious skeletons in the latter's closet waiting to be exposed).
posted by slkinsey at 7:46 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


As far as I can tell, every American presidential election in the last 50 years at least has gone to the more charismatic candidate

My friend describes it as the candidate with the most Elvis in him winds.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:47 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Tim Pawlenty does not have the gravitas (I know, I know its an over used word) to be 2nd in line to the presidency.
Here is a reminder that Republicans have a different idea of "gravitas" than you do.
posted by Flunkie at 7:51 AM on December 30, 2011


Tim Pawlenty does not have the gravitas (I know, I know its an over used word) to be 2nd in line to the presidency.

Here is a reminder that Republicans have a different idea of "gravitas" than you do.


I actually know a number of lifelong Republicans who held their noses and voted for Obama fundamentally because of Palin being on the ticket. If it had been practically anyone else in the VP spot they would have voted for McCain.
posted by slkinsey at 7:54 AM on December 30, 2011


For Obama to lose it will take a combination of a foreign policy disaster, a regression of the ecomony, and some kind domestic problem such as a scandal or widespread unrest, etc., iMHO.

Which is why the GOP has spent all their efforts trying to cause these things over the past four years.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:55 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm betting Pawlenty for VP Republican candidate. Any takers?

Again?

Pawlenty was by all accounts suppose to be the VP pick last time before McGrumpy was temporary smitten by Palin and decided to go for the gimmick.

Which reminds me, McCain's campaign was on fumes and the brink of collapse before New Hampshire. December 2007? It honest to god looked like McCain was just going to be another footnote.
posted by edgeways at 7:57 AM on December 30, 2011


I credit Fox News, Grover Nordquist, the Koch Brothers, and the American Enterprise Institute for the relentless, decades long forced march the Republican party has made to the very rightest edge of the political spectrum. To win the nomination one must fervently believe that 2 + 2 = 5 if Rush Limbaugh says it does, and that kind of Goldwater squared zealotry tends not to do well in general elections. Can I offer you another cup of Tea?
posted by mrhappy at 7:58 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


1) I really wish we had a dyed in the wool but calm Republican voice in here to deaden some of the "repubs are screwed" echo chamber


I'm a Republican and I think we are screwed.
See, the thing is the Republican party is fractured and fractured big time. The RINOs(ex. those who would vote for Romney) versus the Tea party people (who are propping up people Not Ready for Prime Time) versus the rest of us conservatives who just want a sane person to vote for as an alternative to the Democrat in office. But the latter group can't get what it wants because the first two groups are too busy trying to wreck each other, which messes big time with the Party's ability to seek common goals.

(local example....our county has two women's groups because Republican women could NOT get along with each other well enough to stay in the same group. I wish I were kidding. Yet another reason I am NOT involved. And I suspect a lot of other decent respectable folk feel the same way.)

(Oh, and I cannot speak for the Democrat party-they have always seemed to be much better at handling the different groups they represent- not sure how Conservative Democrats are faring with them.)

Bottom line I am dreading having to hold my nose and vote for Romney in the general election but at this point I don't know how that can be avoided.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:58 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


However much we may revile his memory, it's simply a fact that he was not uncharismatic

This much is true, but Humphrey didn't lose because he was less charismatic, he lost because, among other things, he had a great big Vietnamese albatross tied around his neck.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:00 AM on December 30, 2011


I actually know a number of lifelong Republicans who held their noses and voted for Obama fundamentally because of Palin being on the ticket. If it had been practically anyone else in the VP spot they would have voted for McCain.

And there where more than a handful of passionate Clinton supporters who didn't vote, or voted for McCain. I agree with the wider point that Palin did nothing but hurt McCain in the long run, but I also think McCain would have lost with any of the other candidates as VP as well. It actually would have been amusing to see a Pawlenty/Biden debate.
posted by edgeways at 8:01 AM on December 30, 2011


I don't buy the charisma theory, either. Charisma can be a part of the equation, but amongst many others. For it to make a difference, the candidate should be able to get voter who would normally vote for her opponent to vote for her. The last candidate to do that was Reagan. (See my comment above about my father, and even that was in combination with other things.)

As for Bush in 2004, I don't think it's clear that any Demoicrat would have beaten him. Remember, Iraq was not yet seen as a complete clusterfuck at the time -- that didn't become the general sense among voters until after Katrina, the economy appeared to be doing well, and the tax cuts and Medicare drug plan were relatively popular. I don't think Bush won with any special sense of charisma.

Theoretically, Obama should have this quality, I think, but he is black and the current political atmosphere is too polarized fir charisma to really make a difference.
posted by JKevinKing at 8:01 AM on December 30, 2011


Santorum surges from behind in Iowa.

It feels good for him now, but it's going to get messy.
posted by anothermug at 8:05 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I actually know a number of lifelong Republicans who held their noses and voted for Obama fundamentally because of Palin being on the ticket.
I actually know of a number who didn't. And that number is in the tens of millions.
posted by Flunkie at 8:06 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to borrow so many of these when I occupy Santorum's Des Moines office on Monday. Thanks all!
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 8:11 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I actually know a number of lifelong Republicans who held their noses and voted for Obama fundamentally because of Palin being on the ticket. If it had been practically anyone else in the VP spot they would have voted for McCain.

I'm one of those lifelong Republicans. This time, if it's anyone but Romney or Huntsman, I'm voting for Obama (or maybe Gary Johnson if he gets the Libertarian nomination).

See, the thing is the Republican party is fractured and fractured big time

I think the split in the GOP that we're seeing today has always been there (Goldwater in '64 vs. the Rockefeller Republicans, 1976 Reagan-Ford, 1980 Reagan-Bush, the Pat Robertson surge in 1988, 1992 Bush-Buchanan, 1996 Dole-Buchanan...). George W. Bush did a good job of bringing the two wings of the party together in the 2000 and 2004, but the divide persists, and it's part of the GOP's DNA. I don't think today's Tea Party (to the extent that it's an actual movement as opposed to a media label) is too fundamentally different from Buchanan's "peasants with pitchforks."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:13 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


As for Bush in 2004, I don't think it's clear that any Demoicrat would have beaten him.

Wow, I couldn't see that more differently. In 2000 Americans seemed to think that the skies ahead were blue and the good times would keep on rolling into the future. One of the things that people discussed was "what should we do with all this surplus?" Bush and Gore came out effectively in a dead tie, and Bush won on technicalities and the Electoral College. By the time 2004 came around, people had had four years to figure out that a Bush presidency was going to be a lot further in the neocon right area of the political spectrum than anyone thought it would be during the 2000 election season. There were far more reasons to vote against Bush in 2004 than there were in 2000. But the Democrats put up a stiff, east coast, patrician intellectual against Bush, and Bush soundly defeated him. Dean, in my opinion, would have had a much better chance against Bush. But a lot of primary-voting Democrats I knew wanted so badly to beat Bush that they jumped on the Kerry bandwagon because "he looked like a winner" to them after he won Iowa and New Hampshire.
posted by slkinsey at 8:16 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


BobbyVan, in one sense you are right, but the fracture is way way deeper and disconnected than it has ever been-and the Tea Party is more radical than the peasants with pitchforks ever thought of being. (I think part of that is an influx of new blood into the party that holds as a primary value NEVER compromising one whit to include compromising with the more centrist members of the party. In our system of government that doesn't make it easy to get anything done, shall we say.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:16 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


BobbyVan,

I think you can add Ross Perot's Reform party to that list. His candiancy likely gave the election to Clinton.

The Reform party was an ancestor to the Tea Party.
posted by JKevinKing at 8:18 AM on December 30, 2011


It's interesting to me that people have a difficult time accepting that politics (and especially national politics and the presidential election) are fundamentally about creating a persona and performing.

One of the things Obama did so brilliantly during the primary and election campaigns last time around was to create this kind of quasi-messianic persona that convinced a lot of people he would change the game in some kind of fundamental way, that he would "sit down and talk sense with the other side and reach a compromise that worked for everyone" and that somehow this compromise would be one that accorded with your personal politics. A great example of this at work is the way that Obama was such a darling of my fellow bomb-throwing lefties during the primaries and election, who bought into his persona and convinced themselves that his politics would align with their own despite the fact that he has always been slightly right of center.
posted by slkinsey at 8:24 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Slkinsey,

I agree with you on the merits. By 2004 it should have been obvious to those paying attention that we were in the middle of a disaster.

But I don't think most voters pay that much attention, and they disagreed with us, especially considering the trauma many felt over 9/11.

Moreover, Bush actively courted latinos.

I really don't think most of the electorate outside of the liberal thought of him as radically connservative as he was, whatever the reality.
posted by JKevinKing at 8:26 AM on December 30, 2011


Yeah, Obama was the rorschach test of politics. When people looked at him they saw themselves staring back at them.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:29 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think you can add Ross Perot's Reform party to that list. His candiancy likely gave the election to Clinton.

I don't know that this is true, any more than Nader's candidacy gave the election to Bush II.
posted by slkinsey at 8:30 AM on December 30, 2011


There were far more reasons to vote against Bush in 2004 than there were in 2000. But the Democrats put up a stiff, east coast, patrician intellectual against Bush, and Bush soundly defeated him.

I bring this up every time people knock Kerry, but he outperformed the poli-sci models. It just wasn't enough to win.

We hated Bush in 2004, but most people weren't there yet.
posted by gerryblog at 8:31 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Tea Party is more radical than the peasants with pitchforks ever thought of being

Really? I think the "peasants with pitchforks" were more radically culturally conservative (and conspiratorial) than the Tea Party. Today, the remains of the "peasants" are themselves divided between Ron Paul and Bachmann/Santorum. Pat Buchanan was a potent mixture of Ron Paul's anti-government message and Bachmann's Christian fundamentalism. I'd argue that the establishment GOP is in a better position today than it was in in 1996 because the fringes are more atomized and incoherent.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:32 AM on December 30, 2011


By 2004 it should have been obvious to those paying attention that we were in the middle of a disaster.

But I don't think most voters pay that much attention


Exactly. The majority of people vote the party they always vote for without giving it much thought. And others vote based on persona and which candidate they find the most appealing (or against a candidate they find especially unappealing). Actual politics don't figure all that highly.
posted by slkinsey at 8:34 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Don't count your chickens before they hatch."
posted by cashman at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


slkinsey,

Yeah, I've seen that analysis before, and I actually used to think that myself, but over time I changed my mind.

Without getting into detals because I don't have time, but there are a lot of assumptions in that article I don't necessarilt agree with.

We can never know, I guess, but right now I think that if Perot hadn't run, Bush I would have won a second term. Whether it's correlation or causation, I don't know.

As an aside, it's amazing that the modern GOP has made me nastalgic for the Elder Bush. He really doesn't seem all that different thab Obama to me!
posted by JKevinKing at 8:40 AM on December 30, 2011


I think Santorum is more likely to win the nomination than Romney, who can't win it.
posted by empath at 8:42 AM on December 30, 2011


Republicans and the old conservative white people in my state are insane.

This is like a clown car.

Make it stop. Only a few more days... I can't leave my office without bumping into a Bachmann or a RomneySantorumPerry.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:44 AM on December 30, 2011


I think Santorum is more likely to win the nomination than Romney, who can't win it.

Most GOP voters have no idea that the nomination process is rigged from the start. Romney has already won the nomination of the Party leaders, and, as I said above, the voters in the GOP aren't the ones who select the nominee for the General. The Party elites now have to "help" the voters come to the "realization" that Romney is the only viable candidate. The problem is that if the voters don't agree then the Party is truly fucked.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:49 AM on December 30, 2011


I think it will be Romney/Christie ticket, and the fact that Chris Christie will be on it should prevent Democrats from feeling any too confident about an automatic Obama win.

The teabaggers seem to have no problem with Christie, nor do any other Republicans that I know. I can see this ticket taking a bigger chunk of the independent vote than any other one that comes to mind.

On the other hand, if the economy continues to make even incremental improvments, the general election remains Obama's to loose.
posted by imjustsaying at 8:49 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd argue that the establishment GOP is in a better position today than it was in in 1996 because the fringes are more atomized and incoherent.

Here locally the establishment got tossed out on their ear in the last convention and the party is being run by mostly Tea Party folk. Hasn't been pretty. I suppose it really depends on the location but when the fringe comes out and votes and is active and has the numbers.....


I do agree with the characterization of atomized and incoherent. Where I disagree with you is that in my opinion the establishment is becoming hamstrung by the other side. Neither side wishes to reach out to the other.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:49 AM on December 30, 2011


The problem is that if the voters don't agree then the Party is truly fucked.

People keep saying this, but actual, real Republicans eventually have to vote for the guy, and they aren't going to.
posted by empath at 8:57 AM on December 30, 2011


The teabaggers seem to have no problem with Christie, nor do any other Republicans that I know.

That's only because they don't know anything about him yet.

Almost any one of these guys is going to pick Marco Rubio for VP. The only way Christie gets on is if somehow Jeb winds up the nominee; he's constitutionally barred from picking Rubio, so he'll pick Christie.
posted by gerryblog at 8:57 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually this whole thing, all the articles being written about it is an example of the political media focusing on bullshit instead of what's important. Sanatorium's "surge" is into... third place. After Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. It's statistical noise. Yet, the fact that it's into third place is either burred deep in the article/blog post or not mentioned at all and you have to click around to figure it out.

Although, it would be nice if Newt Gingrich got destroyed, because honestly: fuck that guy.
posted by delmoi at 9:07 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


Assuming Romney is the nominee, the VP candidate for the Republicans will have to be a Teapartier. Mark Rubio is a good guess.

The primaries at this point might just really be a race for the VP slot.
posted by JKevinKing at 9:07 AM on December 30, 2011


twoleftfeet: "God moves in mysterious ways. But still, I really can't believe he would vote Republican."

Have another look at the Old Testament.
posted by klanawa at 9:08 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


People keep saying this, but actual, real Republicans eventually have to vote for the guy, and they aren't going to.

You should short Romney on Intrade and make easy money.

Almost any one of these guys is going to pick Marco Rubio for VP. The only way Christie gets on is if somehow Jeb winds up the nominee; he's constitutionally barred from picking Rubio, so he'll pick Christie.

I actually think Christie has a better chance for VP than Rubio. Rubio has a reputation as a prima donna, and some in-the-know Florida Republican friends of mine think he's got some skeletons from his days in Tallahassee. Christie is more of a proven quantity and is a tough debater (he stands a reasonable chance of beating up on Biden in a debate). He just needs to lose a few lbs.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:09 AM on December 30, 2011


The teabaggers seem to have no problem with Christie, nor do any other Republicans that I know.

That's only because they don't know anything about him yet.


Right? Like this press conference, for example, where he defends his appointment of a muslim judge by saying, among other things "ignorance is behind the criticism of Sohail Mohammed" and "the folks who criticize my appointment of Sohail Mohammed are ignorant, absolutely ignorant . . . and because he represented people who were inappropriately detained by the FBI."

How do you figure that's going to go over with the teabaggers, many of whom still assert that Obama is a muslim sleeper agent?
posted by slkinsey at 9:10 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]




Ad hominem: "I would also pay to see a Draft Mike Bloomberg movement as a "centrist" alternative."

So would Bloomberg.
posted by symbioid at 9:16 AM on December 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


"make me the Christian conservative vice-presidential counterweight to Mitt Romney's Mormon presidency."

Romney Covered by Santorum: VP pick's bona fides with religious right compensate for frontrunner's lackluster appeal
posted by gurple at 9:17 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna say no on the college towns. Remember, this isn't a "show up to your polling places and vote" kinda thing. They actually caucus. It takes hours. Now my time living in Iowa City was, by definition, in the last century, but nobody ever went to the caucuses.
This is so wrong it could only come from Ironmouth.

I was in Ames, Iowa during the 2004 and 2008 caucuses, and they were major on campus, at least on the democratic side. Everyone who had any interest in politics went. The 2000 caucuses were pretty boring. I had a friend who was working for the Bradly campaign and dragged me along, but not many people were talking about them then.

The republican caucuses were probably not as large, but, my guess is that they will be big this year. In 2007 there were a lot of Ron Paul people running around, all of the ones I saw were college students.

I kind of hope Ron Paul wins the primary. It would be an interesting election for sure. People would have a choice beyond two flavors of centrist blandness for once.
posted by delmoi at 9:17 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I kind of hope Ron Paul anybody but Romney wins the primary. It would be an interesting election for sure. People would have a choice beyond two flavors of centrist blandness for once, and Obama would win.
posted by gurple at 9:24 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Delmoi, that's true, but in a contest between centrist blandness and sincere lunacy, the lunatic can come off as sexy. That's extremely dangerous.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:25 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I cannot speak for the Democrat party

"Democratic Party," please. "Democrat Party" is a slur. "Let’s just call people what they call themselves and stop the Mickey Mouse here." -- Chris Matthews
posted by kirkaracha at 9:28 AM on December 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


The problem is that if the voters don't agree then the Party is truly fucked.

People keep saying this, but actual, real Republicans eventually have to vote for the guy, and they aren't going to.


I don't understand the "but" here. If the GOP voters don't vote for the guy, then the GOP is fucked, that's exactly what I was trying to say.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:35 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's another one:

Romney tops Iowa, Santorum surges
posted by jpdoane at 9:36 AM on December 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Not a hardcore Republican, or a Republican of any variety, but I'll add a note of "the Republicans aren't nearly as boned as you might think".

Obama does have a lot going for him, including what appears to be a really lousy collection of potential challengers.

But he's also got an economy that is absolutely terrible, and high and ongoing unemployment. Neither of which is what you'd call directly his responsibility, but voters tend to punish sitting politicians, especially presidents, when the economy is bad.

The very bad economy is going to give Obama trouble even if the Republicans nominate an inanimate carbon rod.
posted by sotonohito at 9:38 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rick Santorum will not be the Republican candidate for President in 2012.

Well that story won't sell papers.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:40 AM on December 30, 2011


Do I have this right? After a hard push Santorum is making a final spurt?

(It's Cabbage by a head! And the winner is ... Fiedelbaum ...)

if it's anyone but Romney or Huntsman, I'm voting for Obama

There's not a chance of Huntsman getting the nod, so why not just vote for Obama? From a conservative point of view Romney seems to have all of Obama's vices (his domestic policies) without any of his virtues (his basic competence, his foreign policy chops, etc.). If you can contemplate voting for Obama at all, then why vote for a candidate who's basically a third-rate Obama.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:51 AM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


If you can contemplate voting for Obama at all, then why vote for a candidate who's basically a third-rate Obama.

You don't happen to be on Obama's campaign staff do you? If you do, shush, you're giving away the whole strategy! No wonder you're called October Surprise!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:56 AM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's run to picture all the copy editors in the nation giggling round the copy desk, trying to outdo each other with Santorum puns. I'm absolutely sure this is happening at the paper where I used to work. I'm keenly missing that job today. I'd probs go with something like "Santorum Makes a Splash in Iowa"
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:56 AM on December 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


How many eons has Romney run for president? I think he deserves to be the nominee just because I feel like he's been trying to be the nominee since dickety seven.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:13 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


"It's impossible to be perfect. There are no more Ronald Reagans," sighed Ed Houry, a 57-year-old UPS driver from the Iowa City area. "But I think he can win it."

Man, these people today would not vote for Ronald Reagan. What the shit.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:14 AM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


People who think that Reagan (or Clinton) was perfect are like people who think all the best albums came out when they were in high school.
posted by box at 10:19 AM on December 30, 2011 [20 favorites]


If you can contemplate voting for Obama at all, then why vote for a candidate who's basically a third-rate Obama.

I've got an inkling that once Romney becomes the nominee, he'll go from "third-rate Obama" to "dangerous extremist" in a matter of seconds.

In any case, you lost me at "basic competence."
posted by BobbyVan at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2011


Iowa is good for corn. Bad at predicting winning presidents
posted by Postroad at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2011


Hey now! We're good for pig shit jokes too, Postroad.
posted by Fezboy! at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't care. Santorum and corn just seem to go together.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


People who think that Reagan (or Clinton) was perfect are like people who think all the best albums came out when they were in high school.

Aggghhh, that musical fallacy is so correct and is one of my pet peeves. No, music today is not WORSE, it is just that you only hear the classics from the past and today you hear EVERYTHING. In twenty years, it'll repeat! Think about it, peons!

They tend to not hear that last part as I have defenestrated them.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:22 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


You should short Romney on Intrade and make easy money.

I actually was going to months ago when he was at 70 or 80% but couldn't figure out how to get money into it.
posted by empath at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2011


In any case, you lost me at "basic competence."

Willard has spent more of his life trying to get elected to office than he's spent in office. Newt's observation that it's only Romney's failures that kept him from being a "career politician" is apt. So, yeah, however competent Obama is, it's a degree to which Romney aspires.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:36 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


once Romney becomes the nominee, he'll go from "third-rate Obama" to "dangerous extremist" in a matter of seconds.

Also, given Willard's habit of saying anything to anyone, it's entirely possible for him to be both.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:51 AM on December 30, 2011


1960: Kennedy more charismatic than Nixon

1964: Johnson more charismatic than Goldwater


"Charismatic" is an ultimately content-free catchword and in many of the cases you list an anachronism -- since "charisma" would have meant something entirely different in 1964 than it does today. Barry Goldwater lost in 1964 because he was so far to the extreme right for the times that he freaked people out (the irony being that his party has lurched so far beyond anything he professed that he would be marginalized as far left today). Goldwater had plenty of charisma to burn, and his followers loved him -- and they used his candidacy as an inspiration after he lost and they had to spend all those years in the liberal wilderness. His candidacy is probably the single event most responsible for what the GOP has become (as opposed to what it pretends to be) almost 50 years later than any other, Reagan's presidency included -- because Reagan would never have been inspired to leave his job shilling for General Electric if not for Goldwater. Read Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm if you don't believe me.

As for Santorum, he's also an anachronism, however much he tries to paint himself otherwise. The man lost his last election by 16 points. He is pathologically obsessed with the gays -- even more so than Bachmann, if that's humanly possible -- and he stops at nothing to make demonizing them a central part of his campaign. He is always referring on the stump to his "toe-to-toe" battles with Ted Kennedy and freaking Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- people that many voters are either not going to remember or care about. He is a niche candidate in a niche field. He is a 1990s throwback, just like Newt Gingrich, but at least Newt has the advantage of occasionally living in and acknowledging the present. Santorum may win Iowa, but he doesn't have what it takes to win a general election, period. And the GOP establishment will never let him get that far. If they can spend millions on ads smashing Newt to a pulp, they sure as hell can do the same with Santorum if he becomes a threat.
posted by blucevalo at 10:54 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]




On friend's Facebook feed underneath the philly.com headline- "This is probably because Cain pulled out."
posted by joechip at 11:15 AM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


> convinced themselves that his politics would align with their own despite the fact that he has always been slightly right of center.

STOP. Stop saying this.

MR. OBAMA MISREPRESENTED HIMSELF. It's not that we "convinced ourselves of anything". HE was the one who talked about FDR repeatedly. HE is the one who talked about Rule of Law. HE was the one who talked about civil rights.

We knew he was no dove. I for one knew he was quite pro-military, but he'd also convinced me that he was rational enough that once he saw the poor state of the country's finances he'd have to cut back on military exploits. Of course, I was wrong. At this point, I realize that I thought of Mr. Obama as much more far-seeing and more effective than he really is... but again, that is the way he represented himself.

Mr. Obama deliberately set out to the give the impression that he was a progressive game changer. We were wrong to believe him, we might have been stupid for believing him, but we didn't have to "convince ourselves" - we simply believed what he told us.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:21 AM on December 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


Favorite article titles kicked back on Google News under the search 'rick santorum':
Santorum Gets Fresh Look As He Rises in Iowa
Santorum hits Perry over forgetting anti-sodomy case‎
Santorum: The GOP's past or future?
Santorum a late bloomer in Iowa
Polls confirm Santorum's rise as Bachmann loses another aide
Santorum Surge Shakes Up Race
Inside the Rick Santorum surge
The Santorum Surge In Iowa and Beyond
And by far my favorite (use your imagination):
The Santorum Snowball Effect
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:24 AM on December 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


Santorum runs in corn hole.
posted by longbaugh at 11:30 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Postroad: "Iowa is good for corn. Bad at predicting winning presidents"

Let's check that out (Bold means candidate won the general):
2008: D: Obama; R: McCain
2004: D: Kerry (R: GW Bush [unopposed incumbent])
2000: D: Gore; R: GW Bush
1996: (D: B Clinton [unopposed incumbent]) R: Dole
1992: D: Harkin (R: GHW Bush [unopposed incumbent])
1988: D: Gephardt; R: Dole
1984: D: Mondale (R: Reagan [unopposed incumbent])
1980: D: Carter (incumbent challenged by E Kennedy); R: GHW Bush
1976: D: Uncommitted (but Carter was first among actual candidates); R: delegates pldged to both Ford and Reagan

So that's two (arguably three) presidents chosen by nine past Iowa caucuses. Let's see how New Hampshire stacks up over the same period:

2008: D: H Clinton; R: McCain
2004: D: Kerry (R: GW Bush [unopposed incumbent])
2000: D: Gore; R: McCain
1996: (D: B Clinton [unopposed incumbent]) R: Buchanan
1992: D: Tsongas R: GHW Bush (incumbent challenged by Buchanan)
1988: D: Dukakis; R: GHW Bush
1984: D: Hart (R: Reagan [unopposed incumbent])
1980: D: Carter (incumbent challenged by E Kennedy); R: Reagan
1976: D: Carter; R: Ford (incumbent challenged by Reagan)

A different mechanism (primary vs, caucus) but not much better of a record.

By contrast, nobody's won the presidency since 1980 without first winning their party's South Carolina primary.
posted by hangashore at 11:41 AM on December 30, 2011


I kind of hope Ron Paul wins the primary. It would be an interesting election for sure.

I have given some serious thought to the idea of registering Republican just so I can vote for Ron Paul in the primary. A series of Paul-Obama debates would be the most entertaining political events I am likely to ever see.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:53 AM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


> convinced themselves that his politics would align with their own despite the fact that he has always been slightly right of center.

STOP. Stop saying this.

MR. OBAMA MISREPRESENTED HIMSELF. It's not that we "convinced ourselves of anything". HE was the one who talked about FDR repeatedly. HE is the one who talked about Rule of Law. HE was the one who talked about civil rights.


Plenty of my compatriots on the far left were all too willing to blow Obama's stump speech rhetoric into some kind of dream representation of what they expected him to be. I don't think he has turned out any more different from his campaign rhetoric than most any other candidate. Campaign representations are campaign representations, and that's about it. It's acting. It's creating a persona. If more of us had taken a harder look at the things he actually did as an elected official, and especially if more of us had understood that making incredibly well-delivered inspirational speeches evoking FDR and MLK and the rule of law and all that don't equate to promising to actually do anything -- never mind having the constitution and tools to make those things happen -- then maybe there wouldn't be so much disappointment among my fellow-lefties. I was deeply suspicious of this during the last campaign season, and while I understood that Hillary Clinton didn't reflect my politics any better than Obama did, I figured that she would be much more willing to step on throats and play hardball with her own people if necessary to make things happen. I still think this is probably true, and that things like health care would have turned out better if we had had a president in office who was willing to put the fear of god into a bunch of blue-dog Democrats who weren't going to get reelected anyway and make them get in line. (sorry for the derail)
posted by slkinsey at 12:01 PM on December 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


> ...overcoming the googlebomb.

No problem.

Lamar will get SOPA passed and they can just declare "SpreadingSantorum" a "rogue site"

ICE can seize the domain and then give it back after the election.

Or not...
posted by mmrtnt at 12:12 PM on December 30, 2011


Santorum: a mess at the polls?
posted by drezdn at 12:13 PM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Gravitas being the new gravy smothered chicken fried chicken burritos from the Taco Bell/KFC truck stop down on I-20.

This is a thing???


posted by mmrtnt at 12:31 PM on December 30, 2011




Bring it on, God damn it. Any Santorum pun is getting a favorite today.


Or should I say that I'm spreading favorites around like Santorum?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:57 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama's right-of-center economic views were pretty obvious during the primary. Just one example: remember "clinging to guns and religion"? That's just the part that everyone (or at least the Tea Party) remembers. The full quote had voters clinging to "guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment." Anti-"free trade" ideas are basically being equated with xenophobia here.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 12:58 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


But... but... he had a poster!
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bring it on, God damn it. Any Santorum pun is getting a favorite today.

Ugh, you asked for it.

Sample headline: "Red-Hot Santorum Backfires On Conservative Base"

Sample sentence: "Santorum, seemingly dormant for much of the Corn State campaign's furious back and forth, suddenly and unexpectedly emerged as a potential spoiler..."

sorry everybody
posted by BobbyVan at 1:09 PM on December 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


Hmm... What would a Shepard Fairly poster for Santorum say?

I'm going to go with "RELAX".
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on December 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


"PREPARE" would work too.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:25 PM on December 30, 2011


SANTORUM IS
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Santorum and corn just seem to go together.

You need to start picking your meals better on date nights, m'just sayin'...
posted by FatherDagon at 1:33 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


January 4th: Santorum Surge Turns Out To Be Just A Trickle
posted by drezdn at 1:40 PM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


FatherDagon: Congratulations, you snuck in at the 11th hour for the most disgusting MeFi comment of 2011.
posted by The Bellman at 1:41 PM on December 30, 2011


Obama could lose more easily than some people here are suggesting. The base he so electrified in the run-up to his election are overwhelmingly disappointed with his performance--whether they have all the facts or no--and more and more have been saying "Obama has lost my vote." This doesn't mean they're going to vote for the GOP candidate, but we know that the GOP base *will* get out the vote due to their maniacal hatred of Obama and everything he (ostensibly) stands for.
posted by tzikeh at 1:45 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I usede to have absolute faith in the Democrat's ability to throw this election, but it looks like the Republicans are trying real hard to block them even in that.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to say you are completely wrong tzikeh, but if you use words like "overwhelmingly" and "more and more", you may be obliged to actually cite it beyond "my friends say". Because, yeah I know some in the first column, but I also know a whole heck of a lot more who have reasonable concerns but plan on voting for Obama as the best viable choice. And really, as much as I wish it was different, 'best viable choice' is the way it works.

Oh and Santorum? Headline should be "Cleaning house after Santorum"
posted by edgeways at 2:20 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh god...

Santorum: I've been scrubbed and scoured
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Santorum: I've been scrubbed and scoured

And yet the stain and the odor linger ...
posted by me & my monkey at 2:26 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


BLEACH
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I figured that she would be much more willing to step on throats and play hardball with her own people if necessary to make things happen. I still think this is probably true

With all due respect to Secretary Clinton, a smart woman and a canny politician, I never saw any evidence to believe that she was either significantly more progressive than Obama (I mean, this is the woman who let Mark Penn run her campaign) or that she possessed an iron will to deliver the progressive goods in the face of a recalcitrant opposition the other candidates lacked. Who knows? Maybe she would have. But there was—and there remains—very little evidence in her career to suggest anything other than that where Clinton's preferred policies aren't more or less identical to Obama's, they aren't a little to his right. For all his disappointments, Obama is still the most progressive President since LBJ. Maybe that won't save the world, but it seems a shame to throw away it all just because he hasn't done enough.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:29 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kind of hope Ron Paul wins the primary. It would be an interesting election for sure. People would have a choice beyond two flavors of centrist blandness for once.

A Paul-Obama election would force Obama to finally take seriously the large number of people who want to vote for him but don't like his civil-liberties record. It would ironically make Obama more progressive. Honestly, I think Ron Paul getting the nomination would be the best outcome for everyone.
posted by formless at 2:41 PM on December 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Plus if Paul won Libertarians would finally get their pyramid of skulls.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on December 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


A Paul-Obama election would force Obama to finally take seriously the large number of people who want to vote for him but don't like his civil-liberties record.

Hah, no it wouldn't. Obama would probably win all 50 states and he'd barely have to try.
posted by empath at 3:12 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would ironically make Obama more progressive.

I have noted this before, but all Obama has to do is take out a few full-page ads quoting Paul from his newsletters and some of the other kooky stuff that he has said. Along with pointing out some of Paul's kookier friends and supporters, Obama wouldn't even have to show up to a debate. He'd have carte blanche not only not to be progressive, but to even be worse on civil liberties. Because, after all, life would be worse under the alternative — or at least that's the usual narrative.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 PM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Paul got the nomination and actually got the scrutiny all other serious candidates have Obama's win would be so lop sided they may as well cancel the election.
posted by edgeways at 4:05 PM on December 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ezra Klein reminds us all that it is insane to accord this much importance to (at best) four ten thousandth of one percent of the U.S. population.
posted by bearwife at 4:10 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Paul got the nomination and actually got the scrutiny all other serious candidates have Obama's win would be so lop sided they may as well cancel the election.
Cancel the election... JUST HOW THE TRILATERAL UNITED NATIONS OF NORTH AMERICA WANTS IT!
posted by Flunkie at 4:11 PM on December 30, 2011


Of all the wild-eyed ideas in cstross's Accelerando, I think "President Santorum's America" ranks just slightly below "sentient cybernetic lobsters" in terms of plausibility.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:22 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


"sentient cybernetic lobsters"

You know.... There was a brief line in a Terry Pratchett book where in a fever dream a character is idly wondering about turning lobsters into information and sending them trough space via a complex semaphore system. I've long suspected that was a sly nod to Stross.
posted by edgeways at 4:43 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


With all due respect to Secretary Clinton, a smart woman and a canny politician, I never saw any evidence to believe that she was either significantly more progressive than Obama (I mean, this is the woman who let Mark Penn run her campaign) or that she possessed an iron will to deliver the progressive goods in the face of a recalcitrant opposition the other candidates lacked. Who knows? Maybe she would have. But there was—and there remains—very little evidence in her career to suggest anything other than that where Clinton's preferred policies aren't more or less identical to Obama's, they aren't a little to his right.

I don't disagree that Hillary Clinton is slightly to the right of Obama. But the difference is that Obama's willingness to compromise, his sustained caving in to the right and his unwillingness to play hard ball with recalcitrant members of his own party has resulted in "Obama the president" being significantly to the right of "Obama before he was president" on the basis of what he's actually done. My sense is that Clinton would have been more willing to fight and less ready to knuckle under to right-leaning factions in her own party and make unreciprocated concessions to the GOP in the hope that they would actually play ball despite repeated indications that they have no such intention.
posted by slkinsey at 7:29 PM on December 30, 2011 [3 favorites]




The Republican Presidential Primary as Circus Clown Car Metaphor continues to bear fruit.
posted by warbaby at 6:43 AM on December 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ezra Klein reminds us all that it is insane to accord this much importance to (at best) four ten thousandth of one percent of the U.S. population.

You seem to be seeing a couple of extra zeros there. What he actually says is "And those 120,000 people represent four hundredths of one percent of the total population of America."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:35 AM on December 31, 2011


My sense is that Clinton would have been more willing to fight and less ready to knuckle under to right-leaning factions in her own party and make unreciprocated concessions to the GOP in the hope that they would actually play ball despite repeated indications that they have no such intention.

Based on what, though? She has no history of actually doing that. And Bill as President did the exact same thing: DADT, welfare reform, the repeal of Glass-Steagal, etc, etc, etc.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:10 AM on December 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: "> convinced themselves that his politics would align with their own despite the fact that he has always been slightly right of center.

STOP. Stop saying this.

MR. OBAMA MISREPRESENTED HIMSELF. It's not that we "convinced ourselves of anything". HE was the one who talked about FDR repeatedly. HE is the one who talked about Rule of Law. HE was the one who talked about civil rights.

We knew he was no dove. I for one knew he was quite pro-military, but he'd also convinced me that he was rational enough that once he saw the poor state of the country's finances he'd have to cut back on military exploits. Of course, I was wrong. At this point, I realize that I thought of Mr. Obama as much more far-seeing and more effective than he really is... but again, that is the way he represented himself.

Mr. Obama deliberately set out to the give the impression that he was a progressive game changer. We were wrong to believe him, we might have been stupid for believing him, but we didn't have to "convince ourselves" - we simply believed what he told us.
"

OTOH he wants a second term. I'm curious as to what he does when/if he gets it.
posted by Splunge at 1:52 PM on December 31, 2011


MR. OBAMA MISREPRESENTED HIMSELF

I knew he was a "team player" and a candidate for the Presidency back in July of 2008, when he flip-flopped from being against Unlawful Domestic Surveillance to being FOR Unlawful Domestic Surveillance.

If that didn't tell you everything you needed to know, what would he have had to do? Grill kittens on the senate patio?
posted by mikelieman at 2:39 PM on December 31, 2011 [1 favorite]




Pets With Newt 2012.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:45 PM on December 31, 2011






Jan 4: Santorum results disappoint, stain
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on January 1, 2012






Delmoi, that's true, but in a contest between centrist blandness and sincere lunacy, the lunatic can come off as sexy. That's extremely dangerous.
Which of the republican candidates are not insane? I'd rather elect a president who wants to 'end the fed' then one who wants to go to war with Iran. After all, the president has a ton of power to declare war, and basically no ability to do anything about the fed (other then appoint fed governors for fixed terms, and appoint a fed chair from among the existing governors )
posted by delmoi at 7:21 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


PPP 12/31:

Paul: 20%
Romney: 19%
Santorum: 18%
Gingrich: 14%
Perry: 10%
Bachmann: 8%
Huntsman: 4%
Roemer: 2%

The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum's side. He's moved up 8 points since a PPP poll earlier in the week, while no one else has seen more than a one point gain in their support...Santorum's net favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one else's favorability exceeds 52%.


Guess he is riding the same wave as Huckabee on the religious thing even though he is Catholic. Romney is too Morman, Perry too dumb, Gingrich too sleazy, and Bachmann too crazy for them. Can't help but think a debate would knock both Santorum and Paul back down but they managed to surge right in the period without them before the election.

Looks like it will be an exciting day in politics, but will probably end with the boring Romney victory.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:41 PM on January 1, 2012


*Mormon, sorry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:43 PM on January 1, 2012


┌─────────┐
│ Get     │
│HUSSEIN! │
│ MORMANS │
└─────────┘

               ┌─────┐
               │ GO  │
               │ USA │
               └─────┘

posted by Rhaomi at 11:56 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Came home last night to find that my neighbor across the street had put up a Rick Santorum sign. The sign is right next to the historical plaque certifying that her house is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein. She's always seemed like a nice lady and in the past has had anti-war signs up, not sure what she's thinking.
posted by octothorpe at 10:41 AM on January 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I cannot believe that his sudden leap in the polls after months of trailing the pack has not been described anywhere (sayeth Google) as a NOVUS ORDO SANTORUM. Kids today have no Latin.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:36 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh... oh... oh no. No.
posted by Flunkie at 3:28 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Duggar family is campaigning for Santorum.
posted by octothorpe at 3:36 PM on January 2, 2012


And that's, what, twenty or thirty votes right there?
posted by box at 4:08 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


CBS: Just days ago, the Pennsylvania conservative raised some eyebrows while talking about diversity at an event in Ottumwa, Iowa.

"I was at a debate with Howard Dean and we were asked what was the most imp quality of America and he said diversity. Diversity? Have you ever heard of e pluribus unum?....The greatness of America is people who are diverse coming together to be one," Santorum said. "If we celebrate diversity, we lay the groundwork for that conflict. We need to celebrate common values and have a president that lays out those common values."


NPR: "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money," Santorum begins. "I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families."

Santorum did not elaborate on why he singled out blacks who rely on federal assistance. The voters here didn't seem to care.


Heh, not sure why some pundits are shocked those newsletters aren't hurting Paul.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:27 PM on January 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rupert Murdoch
@rupertmurdoch

Can't resist this tweet, but all Iowans think about Rick Santorum. Only candidate with genuine big vision for country.


Fox News should be fun tomorrow!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:45 PM on January 2, 2012


The Iowa Horse Race.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:20 PM on January 2, 2012




LA Times: Iowa's GOP caucuses may see some Democratic defectors. Voters who helped elect Obama in 2008 are planning to cast Republican ballots Tuesday, and Rep. Ron Paul is perhaps the most likely to benefit from the crossovers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:52 PM on January 2, 2012


Red State: Then there’s Perry. Let me go out on a limb: if Perry finishes third in Iowa, he’ll be the nominee.

Well, good luck with that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:40 AM on January 3, 2012


Redstate.com is even loopier than usual lately. They've gone "all in" on Perry and keep threatening to ban Romney and Santorum supporters. (Paulites were banned from the site years ago). Not sure what they're going to do when only Romney, Paul and Santorum are left in the race.
posted by octothorpe at 4:42 AM on January 3, 2012


I haven't been following it too closely, will be amusing if the race gets competitive and the right wing blogosphere has to hash it out like the Hillary/Obama camps did.

I'm still pretty certain Romney takes this primary, but I hope he doesn't take Iowa after barely putting in any effort, I need more entertainment out of this.

New Hampshire is going to be a romp for him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:53 AM on January 3, 2012


The Slush Funds of Iowa: Turning on the television in Iowa recently has meant getting hit by an unrelenting arctic blast of campaign ads stunning in volume and ferocity. Residents here say they have never seen anything like the constant negativity in decades of witnessing the quadrennial combat of the state presidential caucuses. The ads have transformed the Republican race for a simple reason: a new landscape of unlimited contributions to “independent” groups that was created by the Supreme Court.

To influence the small fraction of Iowa voters who will participate in Tuesday’s caucuses, the candidates and their supporters will have spent $12.5 million, an unprecedented amount. Only a third of that was spent by the candidates themselves; the rest comes from the “super PACs” that most of the candidates have allowed to be established. These political action committees are essentially septic tanks into which wealthy individuals and corporations can drop unlimited amounts of money, which is then processed into ads that are theoretically made independently of the candidates.


Final 538 Forecast, Chance of Winning:

Romney: 38%
Ron Paul: 34%
Rick Santorum: 24%
Newt Gingrich: 3%

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:14 AM on January 3, 2012




Not sure what they're going to do when only Romney, Paul and Santorum are left in the race.

Well the best thing for getting rid of a Santorum problem is bleach and a scrub brush.
posted by drezdn at 12:31 PM on January 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Any idea why Ron Paul isn't doing better in New Hampshire? Isn't that the libertarian state?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:39 PM on January 3, 2012


Any idea why Ron Paul isn't doing better in New Hampshire? Isn't that the libertarian state?

The lack of success of the Free State Project is a good indicator of how libertarian New Hampshire actually is, and/or how devoted libertarians actually are to real "on the ground" change.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:50 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because in all honesty Ron Paul is a pretty lame Libertarian?
posted by edgeways at 2:17 PM on January 3, 2012 [2 favorites]




kind of looks like the initial story may be lower than expected turn out for the Republicans. Which, if true, is probably something people should have expected given the high undecideds and the ping pong Not-Romney heirs.

Stupid initial thought.. if that translates nationally this primary season it could spell huge problems for the GOP
posted by edgeways at 5:21 PM on January 3, 2012


I highly recommend the CSPAN stream right now, live coverage of folks speaking for their candidates in Urbandale. Rick Santorum had his wife speak, Ron Paul had some guy who volunteered today because nobody else did, and Newt has some guy who almost fell getting on the stage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:22 PM on January 3, 2012


8:16 p.m. ET - According to the second round of CNN entrance polling of caucus-goers: Paul and Romney are tied at 24% followed by Santorum at 18%, Gingrich at 13%, Perry at 11%, Bachmann at 7% and Huntsman at 1%

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:30 PM on January 3, 2012


http://iowacaucus.com/results/
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:34 PM on January 3, 2012


well what if Romney came in 3rd?
posted by edgeways at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2012


8:45 p.m. ET - According to the final CNN entrance poll results Paul received 24% support, followed by Romney with 23%, Santorum with 19%, Gingrich with 13%, Perry with 11%, Bachmann with 7% and Huntsman with 1%.
posted by cashman at 5:50 PM on January 3, 2012


Ron Paul to @jonhuntsman we found your one Iowa voter, he's in Linn precinct 5 you might want to call him and say thanks.

Come on, I've seen at least 5 votes for Huntsman so far.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:56 PM on January 3, 2012


Cute 'shop, furiousxgeorge. I knew it was fake, but still chuckled.
posted by cashman at 6:01 PM on January 3, 2012


That probably in response to:

"Jon Huntsman, who is campaigning in the next contest site of New Hampshire and declined to participate in the Iowa caucuses delivered a message to whoever wins the Iowa caucuses: "Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares,"
posted by edgeways at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2012


It was real, deleted now though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2012


NPR Iowa Stream.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:05 PM on January 3, 2012


fwiw CNN also reported on the RP twitter
posted by edgeways at 6:07 PM on January 3, 2012




oh snap.
posted by cashman at 6:13 PM on January 3, 2012


I can't help but think Rom must be chewing nails at this point, all that time and money and things look like AT BEST he will be essentially tied, stuck at the same level of support he had in 2008 and a large majority of the party desperate for someone anyone, including a defeated incumbent senator who's name is synonymous with a nasty by product of dirty dirty sex.


-- not sure what Todd is smoking: at 9pm the latest CNN entrance poll results showed Paul in the lead with 24%, followed by Romney with 23%, Santorum with 23%, which is exactly where it stands right now.
posted by edgeways at 6:16 PM on January 3, 2012


heh: @alexcast: romney winning old rich people. campaign may need to create more of those
posted by edgeways at 6:19 PM on January 3, 2012


Romney didn't actually invest too much in Iowa. He invested heavily in 2008 but still got crushed by Huck so he mostly just wrote it off. His plan was to focus on New Hampshire, and he is polling in a dominant position there. A win in Iowa would just be gravy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:21 PM on January 3, 2012


At 22% reporting: 23%/23%/23%. Is this going to be a horse race after all?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:30 PM on January 3, 2012


When the Iowa state Republican convention finally selects delegates for the national convention, will all the delegates be behind the same candidate or can they be split between different candidates?
posted by Anything at 6:32 PM on January 3, 2012


Too bad Roemer isn't doing well. He's the metalhead socialist, right?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:36 PM on January 3, 2012


I believe the delegates allotted tonight attend county conventions, which in turn allocate delegates to the state convention. In '08 those ended up supporting McCain at the RNC, even though Huckabee won the caucuses. But don't quote me on it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:40 PM on January 3, 2012


Too bad Roemer isn't doing well.
I've been curiously following the results to see whether Roemer, who is actually running for the nomination, will beat Cain, who is not. They've been tied at points tonight, but right now (with 30% reporting), Cain is winning, 11 votes to 9.

They're both being trounced by "No Preference", with 227 votes (which is also more than Huntsman, 207).
posted by Flunkie at 6:41 PM on January 3, 2012


Oh, wait, "No Preference" is actually at 94 votes, not 227. 227 is "Other". "No Preference" was definitely on top of "Other" earlier tonight, so I got them mixed up now based on their positions having changed.
posted by Flunkie at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2012


I believe the delegates allotted tonight attend county conventions, which in turn allocate delegates to the state convention. In '08 those ended up supporting McCain at the RNC, even though Huckabee won the caucuses. But don't quote me on it.

But was it not the case there that Huckabee dropped out of the race before the national convention?

Assuming for the sake of argument that no one drops out, is the system such that all delegates from Iowa will back the same candidate?
posted by Anything at 6:46 PM on January 3, 2012


Cnn reporting - ROMNEY IS PULLING AHEAD by 100 votes and 1%.
posted by cashman at 6:59 PM on January 3, 2012


Anything, as far as I can glean from the Des Moines Register, the delegates who are selected tonight are not bound by the results of the caucus.

They are, however, just delegates to later county conventions, where they will elect district delegates. Those district delegates will later go on to elect statewide delegates to the Republican National Convention.

It doesn't say whether district delegates or statewide delegates are bound, but I frankly doubt that they are. In practice, though, the chosen delegates are typically strong supporters of the person who they are ostensibly chosen on behalf of, I think.
posted by Flunkie at 7:04 PM on January 3, 2012


I want to start an account on Twitter - @DonnaBrazilesHair
posted by cashman at 7:04 PM on January 3, 2012


Or @SarahPalinsHair.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:21 PM on January 3, 2012


We're doing the hard-hitting political analysis here, you see. Keeping them honest and all that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:21 PM on January 3, 2012


Nothing to analyze - this thing is a joke. I feel like something bananas will happen and they will just wait until the last possible instant and throw Jeb on there. Bend rules, break rules, redo rules - just keep it a wide open, unhittable field for as long as possible, then fill the tv with negative stuff about the current administration, and in the midst of that, throw Jeb or whoever is the cleanest person up there, with not enough time for criticism. This just seems to be completely fine to republicans. Maybe it'll just be them making the best out of a shitty situation, but I do think they are just going to wait as long as possible to have a candidate that can be swung on.

The interesting thing of the night was CNN showing the splits from last time, when Huckabee and Romney had 35% and 25% and John McCain had a paltry 13%. So maybe Wolf Blitzer can avoid saying "Bachmann's disappointing night/numbers" for the 8th time.
posted by cashman at 7:47 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum's been spreading his lead. Sixty percent reporting, and he's up to a full 25%, almost 2% over Romney and almost 4% over Paul.

I can't believe I find myself rooting for Rick Santorum. I can't help but hope that the crazies get one of their own as the nominee, so that they can see what America thinks of them in the general.
posted by Flunkie at 7:49 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum +45 votes at 88% reporting -CNN
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:49 PM on January 3, 2012


Augh! Spoke too soon!

I hope I didn't jinx it for the crazies.
posted by Flunkie at 7:50 PM on January 3, 2012


NBC can't call the race but says Paul is a lock for 3rd now. Go Rick! Need the entertainment value!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:51 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wolf is waving at the Romney people like he's at the zoo in front of the polar bear exhibit.
posted by cashman at 7:52 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh, the NYT liveblog gives me timestamps for my local time. Could be described equally well as "neat" or as "go back to bed you Eurotrash political junkie".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:53 PM on January 3, 2012


I'd just like to point out that on Christmas Day, Santorum was sixth in the polls.

And now he's got thirteen more votes than Mitt!

CNN projects: Paul 3rd, Newt 4th, Perry 5th, Bachmann 6th, Huntsman 7th.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:59 PM on January 3, 2012


I think Cain had more mistresses than Santorum now has votes over Mitt.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:01 PM on January 3, 2012


Ron Paul is about to speechify.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:03 PM on January 3, 2012


Stop talking, Ron! Mitt is pulling ahead!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:08 PM on January 3, 2012


Aidan Gillen is again doing a fine job of playing Rand Paul.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:10 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


NBC can't call the race but says Paul is a lock for 3rd now. Go Rick! Need the entertainment value!

Its all downhill from here on out for him, I think.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:11 PM on January 3, 2012


"We're all Austrians now"
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:12 PM on January 3, 2012


Romney +7 votes. Paul surrogate has a neck tattoo. It may have been a barcode. I hope he can redeem himself.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:15 PM on January 3, 2012


"Willard". We should get back to saying "Willard". Let's not whitewash the facts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:17 PM on January 3, 2012


Gingrich just went capital-N Negative on Romney.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:23 PM on January 3, 2012




Rick's got +99 votes but a Mitt ain't one
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:27 PM on January 3, 2012


Michele Bachmann: "I am a very real person."

Well, that settles that Great Debate.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Michele Bachmann: "I am a very real person."
Dog whistle dig on Robomitt.
posted by Flunkie at 8:36 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


THE COUNTRY IS IN DIRE STRAITS. That's why I bought doggie sunglasses for my dog.
posted by cashman at 8:40 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


God gave us our bean? God gave us our bean, says Michele.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:40 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum - Romney = 54

No Preference - Other = 14

Cain - Roemer = 10
posted by Flunkie at 8:41 PM on January 3, 2012


Ahh, there was so much hope back in the days of Ames.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:41 PM on January 3, 2012


Cheer on Romney, Ironmouth. I can't resist a chance to make Santorum lose as hard as possible so I would be forced to vote Obama. :P
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:43 PM on January 3, 2012


Cheer on Santorum I meant, I can't even allow him to win in jokes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:45 PM on January 3, 2012


Perry implies he considers quitting the race.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:59 PM on January 3, 2012


Is it me or does it sound like Perry is preparing to drop out?
posted by cashman at 8:59 PM on January 3, 2012


Pretty much, heading back to Texas to see if there is a path forward. Stops short of actually dropping out or suspending but you don't get back in after results/a speech like that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:00 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perry pulled out all the stops in Iowa and spent a fortune on advertising. If he can't produce results there, he has to know it's a lost cause.
posted by craichead at 9:08 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


96.6% reporting: Willard 24.6% / Richard 24.6%.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:08 PM on January 3, 2012


Yeah, journalist consensus seems to be that Perry is out.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:10 PM on January 3, 2012


Bad news for Romney
posted by Flunkie at 9:10 PM on January 3, 2012


CNN confirms McCain will endorse Romney tomorrow.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:17 PM on January 3, 2012


Its in the bag for Romney. Story County has a lot out and the remaining Santorum counties are small.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:23 PM on January 3, 2012


If so, he's your Republican nominee, barring a dead girl/live boy situation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:27 PM on January 3, 2012


So Santorum was actually spread pretty thin?
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on January 3, 2012


I take that back, now 98% of Story in and Romney with only a slight lead.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:32 PM on January 3, 2012


I don't know. I think there may be a lot of states that Romney can't break 30% or so in, and the non-Romneys are going to be whittled down so that they stop splitting up the remainder.

If I had to bet for any one, I'd still bet on Romney. But non-Romney still looks good to me.
posted by Flunkie at 9:33 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jeez: 99% reporting, five vote spread.
posted by Flunkie at 9:34 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum needs to filibuster his speech so he can declare victory before it's over.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:35 PM on January 3, 2012


I don't see Santorum making it long-term. But everyone else is immediately out. Santorum is the Huckabee of 2012.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:35 PM on January 3, 2012


The media will stop talking about him after he gets 4% of the vote in New Hampshire but he's their darling until then.
posted by peeedro at 9:41 PM on January 3, 2012


The media will stop talking about him after he gets 4% of the vote in New Hampshire but he's their darling until then.

Dunno. Lower expectations means lower harm from loss. He will clean Romney's clock in SC.

Romney talking fast, nervous. bad speech.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:46 PM on January 3, 2012


Yeah. Romney's speech is an interesting contrast with Santorum and Paul. He is going all out on the standard Obama attacks and Republican talking points with well coordinated hand gestures with every sentence. Paul and Santorum were more personal and emotional and thanking the volunteers and such and talking about who they are. You can see why folks think of him as a robot. A manic robot tonight, but still a robot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:47 PM on January 3, 2012


wow, off the deep end with the poetry.

a Dean scream?
posted by Ironmouth at 9:50 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum should immediately offer Newt the VP slot, or whatever Newt wants, if Newt will drop out and go into full Newtonian attack mode in the press against Romney. Attacking's what Newt is good at, and he's been itching to do it to Romney.
posted by Flunkie at 9:54 PM on January 3, 2012


What was (I assume) Romney's "Dean scream" more specifically? I wasn't watching his speech.
posted by Flunkie at 9:57 PM on January 3, 2012


They're about to call it for Santorum. 100% reporting. wins by 32.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 PM on January 3, 2012




^ Referring to Gingrich.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:58 PM on January 3, 2012


What was (I assume) Romney's "Dean scream" more specifically? I wasn't watching his speech.

Shatneresque recital of stanzas of at least 4 "American Hymns," including America the Beautiful. Awwwwkwaard.

great point by Sharpton about Santorum's "grandfather's hands" speech.

Plus close win means nothing, because Santorum was in 6th on Thursday. "miracle" storyline in the media tomorrow.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:00 PM on January 3, 2012


now down to 5 precincts, maybe Romney wins anyway. Amazingly close.l
posted by Ironmouth at 10:01 PM on January 3, 2012


great point by Sharpton about Santorum's "grandfather's hands" speech.

The line about the size of his Grandfather's hands was identical to what some folks in my family said about my Grandfather (A union carpenter and WWII vet who lived in PA most of his life) at his funeral. It has resonance and Santorum is good at picking up on that kind of thing.

But yeah, the extremist stuff like comparing Obama to Mussolini will sink Santorum just like it did when he was voted out in PA. I'm glad Sharpton brought it up because I thought I was the only one who noticed. Santorum is scary like that, the psycho is under the surface a bit more than it is with someone like Bachmann.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:11 PM on January 3, 2012


CNN confirms McCain will endorse Romney tomorrow.

Gee, I wonder what brought that on....
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:16 PM on January 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Newt's enormous ego would never, ever settle for being VP to anyone, much less Santorum, especially since he'll be too old in eight years.
posted by craichead at 10:24 PM on January 3, 2012


Eight years? Based on the last three, I think you're thinking more long-term than the GOP is.
posted by box at 10:31 PM on January 3, 2012


Newt's enormous ego is thinking reasonably long term. He would hate being VP, he can't be the nominee next time if there's a sitting Republican president, and he'll be 76 in 2020. He's not going to accept the VP spot.
posted by craichead at 10:38 PM on January 3, 2012


Ironmouth: He will clean Romney's clock in SC.

South Carolina will be Newt's big day. Romney is in a bind; he's just calling it in hoping that electability plus media saturation will be enough for a top three finish. Santorum has to win there, Newt has to win it too, Romney can coast and not get bloodied.
posted by peeedro at 10:39 PM on January 3, 2012


Romney up by ONE VOTE with ONE PRECINCT LEFT TO REPORT.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 PM on January 3, 2012


The pudgy huffy one - does anyone think it has a chance?
posted by Artw at 10:44 PM on January 3, 2012


New thread!
posted by Rhaomi at 10:57 PM on January 3, 2012


Newt? No, he has no chance. Barring some sort of dead girl/ live boy scenario, I think it has to be Romney. Santorum can't get moderate votes because he wants to bring back the Inquisition, and every powerful Republican despises Gingrich personally. It'll be Romney, which sucks, because he's boring.
posted by craichead at 10:58 PM on January 3, 2012


Well, he is in a cult.
posted by Artw at 11:07 PM on January 3, 2012


Barring some sort of dead girl/ live boy scenario, I think it has to be Romney.

I'm trying to figure out how Romney gets the nomination with 25% of the vote.
posted by empath at 11:44 PM on January 3, 2012


Santorum's almost win in Iowa is probably his last major effort. He dumped almost everything he had into Iowa in hopes that a win there could help him in states where he hadn't invested money and groundwork.

My prediction: Santorum washes out in New Hampshire.
posted by sotonohito at 6:15 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to figure out how Romney gets the nomination with 25% of the vote.

Because in many of the primaries, especially the later ones when the field will be thinner, you only need a plurality to win. Also none of the other really have much of a nationwide campaign structure. For example only Romney and Paul managed to get enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot. Romney knows how to campaign and more importantly, knows how to raise money.
posted by octothorpe at 6:46 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to figure out how Romney gets the nomination with 25% of the vote.
Because in many of the primaries, especially the later ones when the field will be thinner, you only need a plurality to win.
This works in favor of the point that empath was making, not against it.

The idea is that Romney essentially is stuck with about a quarter of voters willing to vote for him. That's probably not strictly true, but I think it may be close to it in a lot of states. And the only reason that 25% was enough to take the plurality in Iowa is because the field was not thin.

For example, what if the field had been thinner in Iowa? If, say, Perry and Bachmann had dropped out of the race a week ago, who do you think their 15% of the vote would have gone to instead?

Would some of those votes have gone to Romney? Sure, I guess. But I also guess that however many votes would've gone to Romney, a lot more than nine votes more than that certainly would've gone to Santorum.
posted by Flunkie at 7:24 AM on January 4, 2012


We wound up with McCain last time, remember?

That's why I suspect we wind up with Romney this time, the RINO of RINOs in many Republican opinions. I consider that worst case scenario.






only because I cannot let my mind go to the idea of Ron Paul. *shudder*
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:25 AM on January 4, 2012


We wound up with McCain last time, remember?

Why didn't Romney win last time? Oh that's right, because he can only get 25% of the vote.
posted by empath at 7:39 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still sort of rooting for Ron Paul.

I think it'd be fantastic for Obama to have to actually address and debate issues Paul would raise, such as the endless wars, the war on drugs, the expanding Imperial Presidency, etc.

OTOH I think it might undermine those issues when Paul would blend them with his paranoid/conspiracy theorist ravings about fluoride in the water, looming race wars, gold as the One True Money, his insanity on "state's rights", and all the other utterly insane BS he brings along.

Plus, of course, there's a tiny chance the crazy old bat would win, and I'm still pretty sure that if Obama loses and we have to suffer through yet another godawful Republican presidency then President Romney would be better than President Paul.

What I'd really like is a real liberal, someone who can and will speak to the necessity of dismantling the Pax Americana we've got going and bringing military spending down to a sane level, someone who can and will speak of the ruinous cost in both money and lives that the War on Drugs is inflicting, someone who can and will address and criticize the many vile foreign policy decisions America has made in the name of realpolitik.

I'd like that, but I'll settle for Obama. The slow cruise to evil under Obama beats the high speed rapid rush to evil we see under Republican presidents.

Nothing ever seems to actually improve, but things get worse more slowly when a Democrat is in office.

Still, I think Ron Paul getting the Republican nom might have more positives than negatives; just as long as he doesn't actually win in the general.
posted by sotonohito at 8:17 AM on January 4, 2012


@empath Actually in 2008 McCain got 13% of the Iowa caucus votes. Huckabee took the plurality with 34%.

Point is that a) the first couple of primaries don't determine the game, and b) you don't need more than a plurality in any of the primaries to win in the general.

Obama won in Iowa with 34%, but lost to Clinton in New Hampshire.

Ultimately the parties tend to unite (to a degree anyway) around the ultimate winner of the primaries. If Romney gets a 25% plurality victory in every single primary that still means he takes the nomination and I'll bet that despite their griping most of even the hard core anti-Romney Republicans will ultimately vote for him in November.

Some won't, and it might cost him some enthuiasm which in turn might cost him GOTV volunteers, phone bank workers, etc. Especially since the most enthuiastic Republicans tend to be the Evangelical Christan types who are most likely to object to his Mormonism.

But it isn't like the disgruntled Republicans have any more place to go than disgruntled Democrats like me do. Especially since a lot of them see Obama as a hyper-liberal Commiefaggot/Socialist/Muslim/Atheist/Kenyan/Whatever.

I've never understood how it's possible for anyone of even moderate intelligence to believe that Obama is liberal, much less a socialist or Communist, but apparently they do.
posted by sotonohito at 8:25 AM on January 4, 2012


If Romney gets a 25% plurality victory in every single primary that still means he takes the nomination and I'll bet that despite their griping most of even the hard core anti-Romney Republicans will ultimately vote for him in November.

25% is a plurality victory with 6-7 candidates.

It's not a plurality victory with 3 or 4.
posted by empath at 8:44 AM on January 4, 2012




@empath If 6-7 stayed in it'd be enough is the point.

If it just boils down to him, Perry, and Paul, he can get 34% of every other primary and still be the Republican nominee.

And, since there were six people involved in Iowa 25% for a win isn't the worst thing that could have happened to him. It's not great, but it isn't awful either.

Again, even if he just barely squeaks into the Republican nomination with the very last state before the convention he'll still be the nominee and the overwhelming majority of Republicans will still vote for him.

I'm just not seeing why you're of the position that somehow Romney's 25% in Iowa is doom for him. I'll agree that we've got lots to go and he might not get the nom (I'm still betting on Perry), but 25% and a win in Iowa isn't a terrible thing for him.

13% and losing Iowa worked out well enough for McCain.
posted by sotonohito at 11:15 AM on January 4, 2012


I'm just not seeing why you're of the position that somehow Romney's 25% in Iowa is doom for him. I'll agree that we've got lots to go and he might not get the nom (I'm still betting on Perry), but 25% and a win in Iowa isn't a terrible thing for him.

He got exactly what he got 4 years ago, when he lost. If he continues to do as well as he did 4 years ago, he'll lose the nomination again.

13% and losing Iowa worked out well enough for McCain.

And yet people are writing off Gingrich on a similar result.
posted by empath at 11:22 AM on January 4, 2012


3 things of interest since last night.

1 - Bachmann dropping gout will likely trow her suppers to Santorum,

2 - Gingrich saying he'd be willing to be part of a defeat Romney collation. N.H. is too soon to wash out. S. Carolina will be the test for Santorum. If he can do equally as well or better in S.C I think Romney may be in for a tough road. The fewer people in the field the less Romney can split the votes

3 - Results from Iowa have the turn-out pretty much even from 2008. small part of me wonders if that is a harbinger of difficulty. This is the election the Republicans are suppose to be fired up to oust Obama. It is hard to say at this point, but if turnout remains flat from '08 it could be another sign of difficulties.


I'll be honest, I still think Romney win the nomination, but it is not a sure thing. And I don't know which would be better, a drawn out fight to bruise him up, or a limp along to the win without much to challenge him leaving all the red meat to the general election.
posted by edgeways at 12:08 PM on January 4, 2012


I don't see how Gingrich can pull a McCain in New Hampshire, where he's currently polling at 7%. The party leadership doesn't want him, and those super-PAC ads were incredibly effective. I think it's more likely, God help us, to be Santorum, and that's not very likely.
posted by craichead at 12:22 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


nah Gingrich is toast, but.. but if he is serious about the anti-Romney pact he could essentially spend what money he has attacking Romney (especially in SC) in the hope that Santorum can capitalize on Bachmann supporters and not-Romney voters. Unlike? Sure, but at least plausible.
posted by edgeways at 2:27 PM on January 4, 2012


For example, what if the field had been thinner in Iowa? If, say, Perry and Bachmann had dropped out of the race a week ago, who do you think their 15% of the vote would have gone to instead?

Would some of those votes have gone to Romney? Sure, I guess. But I also guess that however many votes would've gone to Romney, a lot more than nine votes more than that certainly would've gone to Santorum.


In Iowa, Romney Tops List for Second Choice Support
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:37 PM on January 4, 2012


NH isn't going to matter much. Everyone assumed Romney would win that. South Carolina is what matters. If Romney gets walloped there by either Gingrich or Santorum, the race is wide open. Romney is going to have to decisively win either there or in Florida to put this away. A big Romney loss in Florida means that Iowa and NH didn't matter, basically.
posted by empath at 2:43 PM on January 4, 2012


furiousxgeorge, I saw that the first time you posted it. I'm not terribly impressed by it. It boils down to saying that 16% of people pick Romney second. Which means that about 60% of the people choose Romney as neither first nor second.
posted by Flunkie at 3:46 PM on January 4, 2012


Is there some other candidate that does better by that metric?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:51 PM on January 4, 2012


"That metric" is not particularly important, as it doesn't give a whole lot of information in a race with so many candidates. It certainly is not as important as the brief quote that you describe it with implies. "Tops list for second choice" gives quite a different impression than what it's based off of, which is basically "Eighty percent of people who wouldn't choose Romney first also wouldn't choose him second"; this hardly is evidence contrary to the assertion that he's at or near the limit of his support. Maybe there is evidence contrary to that assertion, but this is not it.
posted by Flunkie at 4:11 PM on January 4, 2012


What I mean is no candidate is displaying a greater capacity for support by that metric either. It's basically the story of the election, you can call him weak all you want but he is winning because the rest of the field is weaker.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:16 PM on January 4, 2012


Technically, he's tied. Iowa is proportional.
posted by empath at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2012


What I mean is no candidate is displaying a greater capacity for support by that metric either.
And what I mean, when I said that that metric is not particularly important, is that that metric is not particularly important.

It simply doesn't give enough information to refute the assertion that you're attempting to refute with it. It doesn't matter if no one is better "by that metric"; that metric has precious little to say about the assertion that you're trying to refute.
posted by Flunkie at 4:35 PM on January 4, 2012


For example, what if the field had been thinner in Iowa? If, say, Perry and Bachmann had dropped out of the race a week ago, who do you think their 15% of the vote would have gone to instead?

Would some of those votes have gone to Romney? Sure, I guess. But I also guess that however many votes would've gone to Romney, a lot more than nine votes more than that certainly would've gone to Santorum.


I am directly responding to this point with the only metric we have to answer that question, the polls. They don't show a Romney loss in a thinner field, they show he picks up votes at a greater rate than others in the case of Iowa.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2012


furiousxgeorge, I'll try one last time, and then I'll shut up.

There are too many candidates for the metric that you have put forth to be terribly meaningful with respect to the thing that you're trying to apply it to.

The assertion is that Romney has a hard limit of support, which will not be enough to get him the nomination. That there are too many people who simply will not vote for him.

In response to that assertion, you have put forth the claim that "Romney Tops List for Second Choice Support". On its face, that may seem like a refutation of the assertion, but it is not. There is not enough information behind it. Phrasing it in the way that you (and the headline) did makes it sound a lot more applicable to the assertion than it really is.

All that it's really saying is that 16% of the people say that Romney is their second choice. What it does not say is where that 16% comes from, or where the second-choice support of the other candidates come from, or third-choice support of the various candidates, or so forth, and all of this missing information is necessary before you can apply your metric of choice to the assertion you're trying to apply it to.

For example, it's easy to imagine, say, 8% is from Paul voters, Paul having (despite himself) attracted some significant number of people who aren't into right wing extremism. Then say one or two percent each from Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, Huntsman, and Gingrich.

So now say Perry and Bachmann drop out. Great, Romney picks up some of their voters. His total share goes from 25% to 27%. Maybe 28%.

Perry and Bachmann had 15% of the vote. Twelve or 13 percent is going to someone other than Romney. It's not going to Huntsman in any significant numbers. Paul might take a little of it. The rest of that 15% is being split up amongst Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, and Gingrich.

If it's split up evenly, Santorum is still in a tie, or maybe a little ahead of him. But it's not going to be split up evenly, just like the real vote wasn't.

And it potentially gets worse as more of those candidates drop. If you can imagine - and I don't think it's hard - that there are a significant number of people who are Perry-Bachmann-Santorum-Gingrichites, viewing Romney as a RINO or worse, then as more and more of them drop out, Romney and Paul keep picking up a percent or two or maybe three, while the remainder of them start picking up significantly more. Romney starts falling behind, regardless of whether he had "more second choice support".

So that's why I'm saying that the metric that you're attempting to apply to the assertion is not particularly relevant: There simply is not enough information contained in it to draw the conclusion that you're attempting to draw from it. "More second choice support" is just too simplistic.

This all ignores that Rasmussen is notoriously crappy as a pollster, and widely believed to be at least somewhat of a shilling organization for the GOP establishment, which (to a large degree) wants Romney.
posted by Flunkie at 5:15 PM on January 4, 2012


So that's why I'm saying that the metric that you're attempting to apply to the assertion is not particularly relevant: There simply is not enough information contained in it to draw the conclusion that you're attempting to draw from it. "More second choice support" is just too simplistic.

I agree we don't know precisely what the Romney ceiling is but we do know he has room to grow as folks drop out.

If you don't like Rasmussen you can do PPP 12/20. When Gingrich fell out of style Romney took his supporters and consequently the Caucus by a large chunk.

Not only is he 11 points clear of Paul, his closest competitor, but he's the 2nd choice of 35% of Gingrich voters compared to 16% for Bachmann, 11% for Perry and Santorum, and only 6% for Paul. If Newt's people keep jumping ship they're likely to end up with Romney.


Now, not every second choice breaks down that favorably for Romney but look at another metric, "acceptability."

CBS: A new poll out from Gallup finds that only Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are considered acceptable presidential candidates by a majority of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters.
-
Rick Santorum tied Paul as the candidate seen by the highest percentage of voters as unacceptable.

All Romney has to do is beat Gingrich because the other candidates are less acceptable than Romney, and Newt's supporters have been jumping ship already for weeks.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:44 PM on January 4, 2012




If you don't like Rasmussen you can do PPP 12/20. When Gingrich fell out of style Romney took his supporters and consequently the Caucus by a large chunk.

Okay, I want you to read that poll again. What was Romney's percentage? What was Gingrich's? How many votes did Gingrich lose? How many votes did Romney gain?
posted by empath at 7:32 PM on January 4, 2012


Gingrich took 13%, once he drops the majority of that will go to Romney. The rest will be split between non-viable candidates who will also drop which will continue to add to Romney's frontrunner position.

We can nitpick numbers all day, but there just isn't much of a path for anyone else right now. You have to knockout Romney, not survive through attrition when he already has the momentum.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:29 PM on January 4, 2012


Romney's frontrunner position.

There was a post a while back on the blue but I cannot locate it, pointing out for the last nine general elections before this, the same pattern has been repeated over and over for the Republicans: he who comes in second in the primaries is the nominee next time around if at all possible. I will repeat the gist of here, and my apologies to whomever posted it originally for not linking directly:

In 1976 Reagan came in second to Ford in a primary challenge.
In 1980 Reagan won, GHW Bush came in second. Bush was on the ticket in the general.
In 1984 Reagan ran for re-election with Bush.
In 1988 Bush was the nominee with Dole coming in second.
In 1992 Bush ran for re-election with no primary challenge.
In 1996 Dole won the nomination, with Buchanan coming in second.
In 2000 Buchanan rad a third-party campaign so it was wide open. GW Bush won the nomination with McCain coming in second.
In 2004 GWB ran for re-election with no primary challenge.
In 2008, McCain was the nominee, with Romney coming in second.

It seems pretty clear that Romney will be the nominee in 2012.

On top of that, the American electorate does not have much taste for turning a party out of the White House after a single term. The fluky Carter aside (and he was weighed down by a recession, gas rationing and the Iranian hostage situation), the last time that a party had only a single term in the presidency before losing to the other guys was Grover Cleveland's second term, ending with the 1896 election (bracketed by Republicans Harrison before him and McKinley after).

This is my own guess as to why the Republicans have such an uninspiring group this year: a lot of the brighter potential candidates realized that Romney, Santorum, Gingrich et. al. are competing for the chance to be the one to lose to Obama.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2012


Gingrich took 13%, once he drops the majority of that will go to Romney.

Gingrich dropped something like 20% and the vast majority of those votes went to Santorum -- why do you think the next 13% would go to Romney?
posted by empath at 10:31 AM on January 5, 2012


The fluky Carter aside ...the last time that a party had only a single term in the presidency before losing to the other guys was Grover Cleveland's second term...

You seem to have forgotten one of the Bushes.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:30 PM on January 5, 2012


You seem to have forgotten one of the Bushes.

I thought so too, then I parsed what was actually being said, and ricochet biscuit is correct.

(who knows it might be a set up so someone would come in and say "you forgot Bush Sr.", just so rb can spring his clever trap)

hint: he didn't say "does not have much taste for turning a president out of the White House after a single term"
posted by edgeways at 1:17 PM on January 5, 2012


Gingrich dropped something like 20% and the vast majority of those votes went to Santorum -- why do you think the next 13% would go to Romney?

I am basing my opinions on the polling data.

Regardless, they are his eventually as Santorum has no shot at the nomination, he is not considered an acceptable nominee by the primary electorate. Again, the polls.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:29 PM on January 5, 2012


Regardless, they are his eventually as Santorum has no shot at the nomination, he is not considered an acceptable nominee by the primary electorate.

The same primary electorate that already rejected Romney four years ago, and which has only gotten more conservative in the intervening time?
posted by empath at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2012


Further navel gazing: if you subtract the independents out from the caucus results the end numbers look more like:

Santorum....26,400
Romney......25,000
Paul........14,000

It is all so much tea-leaf stirring, but if you make assumptions, then Republicans (at least in IA) are actually ambivalent about Paul and really do prefer Santorum over Romney.

I actually think we will see a sub 50% turnout for the General election, no matter who ends up with the R nomination.
posted by edgeways at 2:00 PM on January 5, 2012


The same primary electorate that already rejected Romney four years ago, and which has only gotten more conservative in the intervening time?

No, the same electorate that liked McCain better. You saw the acceptability polls, it's not gonna be Santorum.

Iowa is a bit more social conservative than most and Santorum had more time to campaign there than he will anywhere else.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:43 PM on January 5, 2012


No, the same electorate that liked McCain better.

McCain got 4th place in Iowa 2008 and was so far behind in the polls throughout all of 2007 that everyone wrote him off completely.
posted by empath at 2:46 PM on January 5, 2012


I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. McCain was not Santorum. McCain was a well liked centrist with high name recognition.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:50 PM on January 5, 2012


...he didn't say "does not have much taste for turning a president out of the White House after a single term"...

Yeah, you're right, he didn't.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:56 PM on January 5, 2012


ROMNEY DRINKS THEIR MILKSHAKE

Insider Advantage 12/18 South Carolina:

Gingrich: 30.6
Romney: 18.7
Bachmann: 8.3
Paul: 7.1
Perry: 5.2
Huntsman" 4.3

ORC for CNN and Time 1/4-5 South Carolina:

Romney: 37 (20)
Santorum: 19 (4)
Gingrich: 18 (43)
Paul: 12 (6)
Perry: 5 (8)
Huntsman: 1 (1)


HE DRINKS IT UP.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:49 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Q16 If the Republican candidates for President
were just Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who
would you vote for?

Mitt Romney 48%
Newt Gingrich 37%
Not sure 15%

Q17 If the Republican candidates for President
were just Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, who
would you vote for?

Mitt Romney 63%
Ron Paul 28%
Not sure 9%

Q18 If the Republican candidates for President
were just Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, who
would you vote for?

Mitt Romney 56%
Rick Perry 31%
Not sure 12%

Q19 If the Republican candidates for President
were just Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum,
who would you vote for?

Mitt Romney 48%
Rick Santorum 39%
Not sure 13%

posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:28 PM on January 13, 2012


« Older Nyan vs Nyan   |   Listenin' to the oldies. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post