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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Columbus, Ohio
    First, some worthwhile links:

    > An interview with Newt Gingrich's sister, who opposes Newt's politics

    > How Newt's "academic schtick" is helping him win over Tea Partiers

    > In related news, Newt has continued his attacks judicial review, pledging to ignore Supreme Court decisions with which he disagrees

    ~~~

    It has been a fascinating campaign in that you have two candidates--Romney and Huntsman--attempting to maintain their moderate republicanism (one perhaps more so than the other), while the rest of the field has, seemingly one by one, been placed on a pedestal for an opportunity to woo the Tea Party and the establishment...and failed to do so.

    One wonders if Mitch Daniels, the extremely competent governor of Indiana, stayed out of this race because he expects that no matter who runs in '12, the odds are stacked against the GOP at the presidential level. Of course, that could be my iteration of the grass being greener. But I digress.

    Mr. Romney has the financial advantage, not just in his current coffers but in his connections in various industries and financial networks across the country. He has avoided major gaffes, unlike those pursuing the more excitable aspects of his party; he has also avoided any knockout blows. My sense is that this may very well suffice, at least in winning the nomination.

    He is such a flawed candidate, however, in the eyes of so many who would ultimately have to vote for him...but no individual seems to have the right combination of attractive policy proposals and attractive presidential prospects to be able to separate themselves from the pack.

    This almost feels like watching that pre-Tecmo Bowl, electronic football game where you placed teams on a vibrating field, not sure of what would happen even though some were better positioned better than others to advance the ball.

  2. #42

    he tea party and the republican party

    I want to be careful how I say this becaue I don't want to cross over the line Jason has drawn. But I want to talk about the Tea Party -- not the validity of its policies (I have an opinion, but I understand this is not the place) but the impact its existance has on the Republican Party.

    I'm a pretty strong Democrat and I went into the 2010 election in a dreadful mood. It seemed that all the political tides were running against us. The early projections I saw all suggested that the Republicans would take both the House and the Senate. But a funny thing happened -- the Tea Party saved our butt in the Senate.

    Now, I understand the movement -- largely the economic frustration -- that spawned the Tea Party was a driving force behind the overall Republican success in 2010, but I also think the fact that the Tea Party was able to force at least a handful of extremely radical candidates down the throat of the Republican Party eventually saved the Democratic majority in the Senate. I'm especially thinking about the Senate seats in Nevada and Delaware that were all but given up for lost before O'Donnell and Angle won surprising primary victories and presented shaky Democratic candidates with iopponents they could beat.

    I bring this up because I think a similar dynamic COULD be in play in this Presidential election. As much as I favor Obama, there's no doubt in my mind that he's vulnerable, unless the economy makes a major recovery in the next 11 months. But I believe that he could really be helped is the Tea Party or the extreme right wing of the Republican Party manages to force an extreme candidate on that party. I don't think Palin, Bachman or Perry has any real chance, but as a Democrat, I suspect somebody like one of those would be the easiest to beat. Romney might be fairly colorless, but I think he is the most electable Republican. The irony is that he might have a better chance to win the general election than he does to win the nomination.

    The other wild card is Trump, who is now making noises about running as a third party candidate. Frankly, I'd be shocked if he follows through with that, but if he does, I think that hands Obama re-election on a silver platter.

    What do you guys think (gain, in terms of the horse race, not the right or wrong of any candidate.

    PS Moderations, go ahead and killl this post if you think it's over the line. Like others, I miss the PP board. I'd love to have a place to debate the relative merits of the Tea Party an the Occupy Wall Street Movements -- the similarities and the differences.

  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I want to be careful how I say this becaue I don't want to cross over the line Jason has drawn. But I want to talk about the Tea Party -- not the validity of its policies (I have an opinion, but I understand this is not the place) but the impact its existance has on the Republican Party.

    I'm a pretty strong Democrat and I went into the 2010 election in a dreadful mood. It seemed that all the political tides were running against us. The early projections I saw all suggested that the Republicans would take both the House and the Senate. But a funny thing happened -- the Tea Party saved our butt in the Senate.

    Now, I understand the movement -- largely the economic frustration -- that spawned the Tea Party was a driving force behind the overall Republican success in 2010, but I also think the fact that the Tea Party was able to force at least a handful of extremely radical candidates down the throat of the Republican Party eventually saved the Democratic majority in the Senate. I'm especially thinking about the Senate seats in Nevada and Delaware that were all but given up for lost before O'Donnell and Angle won surprising primary victories and presented shaky Democratic candidates with iopponents they could beat.

    I bring this up because I think a similar dynamic COULD be in play in this Presidential election. As much as I favor Obama, there's no doubt in my mind that he's vulnerable, unless the economy makes a major recovery in the next 11 months. But I believe that he could really be helped is the Tea Party or the extreme right wing of the Republican Party manages to force an extreme candidate on that party. I don't think Palin, Bachman or Perry has any real chance, but as a Democrat, I suspect somebody like one of those would be the easiest to beat. Romney might be fairly colorless, but I think he is the most electable Republican. The irony is that he might have a better chance to win the general election than he does to win the nomination.

    The other wild card is Trump, who is now making noises about running as a third party candidate. Frankly, I'd be shocked if he follows through with that, but if he does, I think that hands Obama re-election on a silver platter.

    What do you guys think (gain, in terms of the horse race, not the right or wrong of any candidate.

    PS Moderations, go ahead and killl this post if you think it's over the line. Like others, I miss the PP board. I'd love to have a place to debate the relative merits of the Tea Party an the Occupy Wall Street Movements -- the similarities and the differences.
    When I hear people say that they are a Democrat or a Republican, my antenna goes up. What will color their respective rhetoric and language...and dare I say, spin? Everyone, whether in private life or in the press, has a personal perspective. That's fine (I'm also totally fine with our fine DBR Moderators deep-sixing this thread right now, as they probably should.....Sorry, Jason). Anyone that questions the Tea Party or the Occupy movement has a point of view that should be listened to and respected. DBR is not the best forum for this, in my mind. But, I digress...

    Agreed, Trump would probably splinter the electorate, and Obama (or whomever is the Democrat candidate) is certainly challenged now, but he/she would clearly benefit from a Trump run. O'Donnell and Angle are irrelevant noise.

    Ok, Mods...DELETE AT WILL.
    Last edited by Verga3; 12-18-2011 at 01:13 AM.

  4. #44
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    Why delete it? Oly and MikeCorey's posts are both excellent and (IMO) discuss facts about the horse race as opposed to opinions on the positions held by the candidates. I think that's the line, and both kept the ball in bounds.

    The impact of the Tea Party electorate has been interesting. It is perhaps the most energized of any voting bloc out there. And as John Boehner can testify, the Tea Party representatives seem to be holding the line on their beliefs. Love it or hate it, these folks are organized, energized and have come to try and bring change. It is hard to have a neutral opinion on their impact -- you either love it and wish more folks would listen to them, or you have a negative reaction to it.

    Which then rolls over to the point Oly made -- what impact does that have on the general election? The more extreme wings of either party have a tough time to win over the 20% of folks in the middle who make the difference in the national elections. The same would be true for the Democrats if the Occupy movement fielded candidates in state primaries.

    As several pundits have noted, the Republicans are struggling between ideology and electablity. Romney speaks to the mind, Gingrich speaks to the gut/core. The Democrats went through similar struggles when they were in the wilderness after the 1980 woodshedding. These things come and go, come and go.

    But bitter internecine warfare in the primary can effectively kill a party's chance to win as well, sometimes, regardless of who comes out of the primary. While Carter probably would not have won in 1980 or Ford in 1976, for example, the bloody battles with Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan (respectively) put a dent in the eventual nominee that never got unbent. Will the Tea Party folks support a nominee like Romney, or just stay home? Will moderate Republicans and Reagan Democrats vote for a nominee like Gingrich or Ron Paul?

    Tough questions.
    Last edited by OldPhiKap; 12-18-2011 at 08:51 AM.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  5. #45
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I want to be careful how I say this becaue I don't want to cross over the line Jason has drawn. But I want to talk about the Tea Party -- not the validity of its policies (I have an opinion, but I understand this is not the place) but the impact its existance has on the Republican Party.

    I'm a pretty strong Democrat and I went into the 2010 election in a dreadful mood. It seemed that all the political tides were running against us. The early projections I saw all suggested that the Republicans would take both the House and the Senate. But a funny thing happened -- the Tea Party saved our butt in the Senate.

    Now, I understand the movement -- largely the economic frustration -- that spawned the Tea Party was a driving force behind the overall Republican success in 2010, but I also think the fact that the Tea Party was able to force at least a handful of extremely radical candidates down the throat of the Republican Party eventually saved the Democratic majority in the Senate. I'm especially thinking about the Senate seats in Nevada and Delaware that were all but given up for lost before O'Donnell and Angle won surprising primary victories and presented shaky Democratic candidates with iopponents they could beat.

    I bring this up because I think a similar dynamic COULD be in play in this Presidential election. As much as I favor Obama, there's no doubt in my mind that he's vulnerable, unless the economy makes a major recovery in the next 11 months. But I believe that he could really be helped is the Tea Party or the extreme right wing of the Republican Party manages to force an extreme candidate on that party. I don't think Palin, Bachman or Perry has any real chance, but as a Democrat, I suspect somebody like one of those would be the easiest to beat. Romney might be fairly colorless, but I think he is the most electable Republican. The irony is that he might have a better chance to win the general election than he does to win the nomination.

    The other wild card is Trump, who is now making noises about running as a third party candidate. Frankly, I'd be shocked if he follows through with that, but if he does, I think that hands Obama re-election on a silver platter.

    What do you guys think (gain, in terms of the horse race, not the right or wrong of any candidate.

    PS Moderations, go ahead and killl this post if you think it's over the line. Like others, I miss the PP board. I'd love to have a place to debate the relative merits of the Tea Party an the Occupy Wall Street Movements -- the similarities and the differences.
    I agree that a Trump independent candidacy, as well as a few others in current field such as Ron Paul, would throw the race to Obama by pulling enough conservative votes away from the republican nominee. But if Mayor Bloomberg was the 3rd party candidate, the opposite should result as he would capture moderate democrats and independents that Obama must win, particularly in key swing states such as PA, Ohio, VA, and Michigan.

    Now I think any of these scenarios is unlikely, with a Ron Paul independent candidacy the most probable. He has such strong convictions, that if he can raise the money, he might run just to continue to advance his libertarian philosophy regardless of throwing the election to Obama. Perot and Nader no doubt understood the same thing, but ran anyway to the bitter end rather than withdrawing after a principled stand. The common thread between all three is their unwavering conviction of being right irrespective of having no chance to win with perhaps unintended consequence on the outcome.

    Mr. Trump may continue to tease the electorate about an independent run in order to continue to relentlessly self promote, but at the end of the day, I just can,t see him willing to leave Trump Tower and move into the modest quarters of the White House.
    Last edited by 77devil; 12-18-2011 at 08:58 AM.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post

    But bitter internecine warfare in the primary can effectively kill a party's chance to win as well, sometimes, regardless of who comes out of the primary. While Carter probably would not have won in 1980 or Ford in 1976, for example, the bloody battles with Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan (respectively) put a dent in the eventual nominee that never got unbent. Will the Tea Party folks support a nominee like Romney, or just stay home? Will moderate Republicans and Reagan Democrats vote for a nominee like Gingrich or Ron Paul?

    Tough questions.
    These are absolutely tough questions, and I'll pose another one since I have no solid answers.

    The potential benefit of a brutal primary is that it can hone the political skills (and identify the political resources) in preparation for the general election. One thing I observed in 2008 was that Barack Obama was a much more capable political animal than John McCain was--and that wasn't because Obama was a better politician, per se, but because his staff knew what messaging might work, what strategies would be more effective, what color tie to have Mr. Obama wear, and so on and so forth. Mr. Obama and his team were so well versed by the summer that Mr. Obama was able to hit the ground running.

    I think that was similarly true in 2000, when George Bush took on Al Gore. Even though that election was much closer (and even though there were plenty of factors that led to a Bush win), I do think Mr. Bush, who was not the most capable political animal at the time, benefited from a political team that knew how to win because of the grueling primary.

    There are exceptions, of course: The 2004 Democratic Primary did not lead to a better prepared general election campaign. I would posit that the 2012 Republicans are akin to that field in many ways.

    For example, Democrats were electrified about one issue in particular in 2004: the Iraq War. The Dems were certain that the imbroglio would lead to a presidential win. But they underestimated the incumbent's ability to assure voters that he was in control, and that he had become experienced enough over the past four years to bring about a "win" of sorts within the next four. In the meantime, various Dems were able to connect effectively in that primary with the more excitable aspects of the liberal base by saying all the right things, practicality and electability be damned...but Kerry's message (there was a message?) fell flat in the states where it needed to hit home.

    (Note: I do not mean to compare the substance or legitimacy of that which 2004 Dems were saying versus 2012 GOP-ers).

    Now, we have many Republicans fired up over--generally--the size of government and the economy; we have many Republican candidates who know how to stoke those flames in this primary. I am not convinced, however, that political skills are being refined in this race, nor am I convinced that this batch of Republicans running is identifying the resources it will need to win the general election. The various messages being recycled in the plethora of debates are not messages that are going to be effective come summer. Meanwhile, Obama can point to his experience in steering the economy through the past four years and say, as Bush did in '04, that he knows how to bring about a win.

    The key to this election will be which side can convince particular states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado) whether Mr. Obama is believable on this point.

    All of the above could be moot, however. This election will see more $ than any before it. It will be as much about marketing as anything else. That could change everything; I suspect it will.
    Last edited by Mike Corey; 12-18-2011 at 09:14 AM.

  7. #47
    Join Date
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    Unless posters are going to write down nothing other than something like poll number results and 'What somebody said today/yesterday', 'Who is going to be appearing where' reports, I can see this thread going to no end, other than relating opinion, and therefore in violation of anti-political speech rulings here. In other words, either inflammatory or a complete bore.

    With all due respect to Mr. Evans, demerits should be self-imposed for starting the topic and the thread shut down at once, if not sooner.

    Y'all have a nice day!


    I say all the above, having looked at each post in the thread.
    Last edited by captmojo; 12-18-2011 at 10:01 AM. Reason: proper admission of guilt/thrill seeking

  8. #48
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    FWIW, I do not see anyhting inflamatory or boring in the discussion. Of course, I was a Poly Sci/History double major so I have little real life. It's possible to describe a horse race without commenting on which horse you like more, or why the other horse is really a dog. (Okay, terrible analogy but that's the best I can do right now).

    Mike, you are correct that a tough primary can make a better candidate. Obama in 2008 and Reagan in 1980 are great examples. The trick is to reunite everyone afterwards. Carter was toast after Kennedy refused to shake his hand at the Convention. Reagan, of course, couldn't placate the moderates in the party which caused John Anderson to launch a third party candidacy (perhaps like Huntsman this time around). Reagan just ran over everyone though and the rout was on. McGovern never got the Muskies folks to go along for the ride, either (probably the most recent Democratic version of the Goldwater example, where the outside wing of the party overrode the party leadership).

    I would love to see polling on how Obama, the two top Republican candidates, and a generic centrist third party candidate would do. Not sure how that would be done, but I think that would say a lot about where this race really is. Maybe I'll shoot an email to Nate Silver and see if he can come up with something.
    Last edited by OldPhiKap; 12-18-2011 at 11:46 AM.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by captmojo View Post
    Unless posters are going to write down nothing other than something like poll number results and 'What somebody said today/yesterday', 'Who is going to be appearing where' reports, I can see this thread going to no end, other than relating opinion, and therefore in violation of anti-political speech rulings here. In other words, either inflammatory or a complete bore.

    With all due respect to Mr. Evans, demerits should be self-imposed for starting the topic and the thread shut down at once, if not sooner.
    I am sorry you cannot see the value in the conversation that has already happened and is continuing to evolve. I think we have done a fine job so far of having a discussion without devolving into partisan politics. If you or others do not think it is possible to continue this, you should not feel obligated to read the thread any further.

    Me, I am enjoying the analysis and discussion so far and am clear that we have not crossed the line (though one person was slapped a tiny bit as an example to all about how tight the leash is here).

    One last note... my biggest hope is that one passionate lunatic does not ruin this for the rest of us. Should any of you see a post that violates the partisan boundaries, I urge you... DO NOT RESPOND with your own partisan reply. Hit the "Report Post" button instead and let the mods deal with it. Rest assured, we will likely treat the offender quite harshly and delete the post quickly.

    -Jason "now, continue the conversation" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  10. #50

    opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Verga3 View Post
    When I hear people say that they are a Democrat or a Republican, my antenna goes up. What will color their respective rhetoric and language...and dare I say, spin? Everyone, whether in private life or in the press, has a personal perspective. That's fine (I'm also totally fine with our fine DBR Moderators deep-sixing this thread right now, as they probably should.....Sorry, Jason). Anyone that questions the Tea Party or the Occupy movement has a point of view that should be listened to and respected. DBR is not the best forum for this, in my mind. But, I digress...
    .
    Just to clarify ... I mentioned that I was a Democrat for precisely the reason that you noted -- I do have a bias and I know it. I was hoping that be explaining where I was coming from it would allow you to evaluate my "spin".

    I'm only sorry that we can't discuss some of these issues in a rational manner on DBR. I LOVE political debate ... I understand what caused the PPB to be shut down, but that doesn't stop me from missing it.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I am sorry...
    Accepted. I've been sorry for 55 years. It happens to be the first thing I say every morning when I get up.
    I understand that there can be value in discussion of the process. I too, miss the old PPB. I don't miss what it devolved into. Yet, even this writing is expressing opinion, is it not? Comments made in my 'settings' page were of opinions, as well as any others on other topics.
    Oh well...carry on. I commend you for vowing to keep it civil.

    Does this statement remove any curse?

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    The potential benefit of a brutal primary is that it can hone the political skills (and identify the political resources) in preparation for the general election. One thing I observed in 2008 was that Barack Obama was a much more capable political animal than John McCain was--and that wasn't because Obama was a better politician, per se, but because his staff knew what messaging might work, what strategies would be more effective, what color tie to have Mr. Obama wear, and so on and so forth. Mr. Obama and his team were so well versed by the summer that Mr. Obama was able to hit the ground running.

    I think that was similarly true in 2000, when George Bush took on Al Gore. Even though that election was much closer (and even though there were plenty of factors that led to a Bush win), I do think Mr. Bush, who was not the most capable political animal at the time, benefited from a political team that knew how to win because of the grueling primary.

    There are exceptions, of course: The 2004 Democratic Primary did not lead to a better prepared general election campaign.
    I don't buy the "hard primary makes you better" argument - just like I don't see any reason to believe playing in a good conference toughens a team up to be better prepared to make a run to the Final Four.

    Maybe Obama was a "more capable political animal" because he was just a better politician than McCain. Maybe it was because he had more money. Maybe it was because the election atmosphere in general favored Democrats. Maybe it was the vice presidential selections. Or any number of other things. (I say all these from a purely strategic perspective).

    One data point out of three isn't an exception. There's just no clear pattern here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    One wonders if Mitch Daniels, the extremely competent governor of Indiana, stayed out of this race because he expects that no matter who runs in '12, the odds are stacked against the GOP at the presidential level.
    I think this very well may be true. It's harder to unseat an incumbent in general, and it seems that people don't want to nominate candidates who have already lost a presidential election. Those two facts combined make it very appealing to wait until 2016, and it seems like a reasonable theory for why some of the "better" candidates (again, I say this from a strategic perspective - by better I mean people who studies or experts say would have better chances of winning the general election, not my own opinion) are not in the race, like Daniels or Christie.

  13. #53
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    I buy into the theory that campaigning exposes real incompetence. It was true in the last election when Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell were forced to reveal themselves.

    It is happening now with the GOP presidential hopefuls. Yesterday Gingrich declared war on the judiciary, saying he wants to get rid of "radical" judges, particularly the 9th Circuit. He also wants to overturn one of our nation's foundational cases, Marbury v. Madison, which we all learned about in 10th grade when studying checks and balances. Even the responsible sorts in the GOP (former AG Mukasey) cringed when they heard Gingrich say this. He's basically trashing the Constitution. I doubt the Tea Party will agree with doing that.

    I must ask, does anyone vote for someone as "radical" as Gingrich? I suggest no; and I also suggest he stomped a hole in his own boat when he made these assertions. Would he have exposed himself without a primary race where he has to separate himself from the pack? Hasn't he just done Romney a big favor? Romney, despite his genuflecting to the right, as never gone off the tracks the way Gingrich just did. Gingrich's poll numbers seemed to be flagging, and then he does this to himself? From flag to falter, I'm betting.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    It is happening now with the GOP presidential hopefuls. Yesterday Gingrich declared war on the judiciary, saying he wants to get rid of "radical" judges, particularly the 9th Circuit. He also wants to overturn one of our nation's foundational cases, Marbury v. Madison, which we all learned about in 10th grade when studying checks and balances. Even the responsible sorts in the GOP (former AG Mukasey) cringed when they heard Gingrich say this. He's basically trashing the Constitution. I doubt the Tea Party will agree with doing that.

    I must ask, does anyone vote for someone (like) Gingrich?
    There is a constituency in the Republican party that believes this to be true and is looking for real change. I do not know if they outnumber those who think this position is too extreme or not, but Gingrich has two things going for him:

    1. Those who believe the things he espouses are very motivated and vocal.

    2. It seems that Romney can never get over about 25% in the polls despite being a well-known commodity, meaning that 75% of the party voters either do not want him as a first choice or still have not decided.

    There is a struggle in the party between ideological purity ("we will win because we have the correct ideas") and pragmatism ("we will win because our nominee can appeal to independents"). The leadership of both parties typically prefer pragmatism. Every once in awhile, though, the leadership candidate doesn't win (see Goldwater, McGovern).

    Having said all that, Romney has three big things going for him:

    1. Money.

    2. Establishment surrogates to do his attacking for him and to turn out votes.

    3. Dough.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  15. #55
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    I suspect it won't be long before the Duke alum takes the lead in a few of the polls.

    The carousel continues.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    I suspect it won't be long before the Duke alum takes the lead in a few of the polls.

    The carousel continues.
    And here you go;

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

    "Mr. Paul also leads our forecast. The model gives him a 44 percent chance of winning Iowa based on the current standing of the candidates and the historic uncertainty of polling-based forecasts. Mr. Romney has a 32 percent chance of winning, while Mr. Gingrich’s chances have crashed to 15 percent."
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  17. #57
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    Wow.

    I can't remember anything quite like this.

    It's like we're at auditions for an off-Broadway show, where the understudy stays the same and the casting directors keep waiting for a star to knock their socks off.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Corey View Post
    Wow.

    I can't remember anything quite like this.

    It's like we're at auditions for an off-Broadway show, where the understudy stays the same and the casting directors keep waiting for a star to knock their socks off.
    "They're just not that into you."

    Very strange, indeed. Wonder if that increases the chance of a third party candidate. Or, a poly sci dream -- a brokered convention, where someone else (Christie/Rubio/Jeb/Daniels/?) becomes the nominee.

    In reality, though, Romney has the money to slug it out while the "not Mitts" rise, fall, and run out of cash. Part of Newt's problem now seems to be the slew of negative ads in Iowa, where he does not have the money or ground troops to counter effectively.
    Twerp-free since July 1, 2014.

  19. #59
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    Considering Paul has a lot of "true believers" who will come out for him (and drag 3 friends with them) to the polls no matter what the weather and considering Iowa is all about having "true believers" who will sit through a 3 hour caucus meeting just so they can argue for you and then cast their vote, you have to think Paul has a strooong likelihood of winning Iowa at this point.

    And that, my friends, is a perfect storm for Romney. Mitt was never going to charm the more conservative voters of Iowa. He didn't even really want to contest the state. His problem would be if a viable alternative came out of Iowa to really challenge him in New Hampshire and then the southern turn through South Carolina and Florida. Ron Paul is perfect for Mitt though because most analysts think Paul's extreme libertarian views will not play well on a national scale and make him all but unelectable.

    If Perry or Gingrich or one of the other more viable candidates were to win Iowa, it sets them up as a real challenger to Mitt. In my opinion, Paul cannot fill that role. This is Mitt's dream.

    Of course, this thing could still turn into a long slog. I suspect that despite his slide in Iowa and the national polls, Gingrich remains a fairly strong favorite in South Carolina and perhaps in Florida as well. We could come out of January with 3 guys with wins under their belts and the GOP nomination looking very much up in the air.

    Then again, I thought the same thing exactly 4 years ago when Huckabee looked to take Iowa, McCain or Thompson were going to win New Hampshire, Romney would take Michigan, and Giuliani would win Florida. That was true GOP chaos, I figured. Never happened.

    I'll say this... it is never a dull moment in the GOP field this political season.

    -Jason "the latest PPP poll has Perry, Bachman, and Santorum at 10 percent each in Iowa... maybe they aren't as out of this as I had thought" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    I buy into the theory that campaigning exposes real incompetence. It was true in the last election when Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell were forced to reveal themselves.

    It is happening now with the GOP presidential hopefuls. Yesterday Gingrich declared war on the judiciary, saying he wants to get rid of "radical" judges, particularly the 9th Circuit. He also wants to overturn one of our nation's foundational cases, Marbury v. Madison, which we all learned about in 10th grade when studying checks and balances. Even the responsible sorts in the GOP (former AG Mukasey) cringed when they heard Gingrich say this. He's basically trashing the Constitution. I doubt the Tea Party will agree with doing that.

    I must ask, does anyone vote for someone as "radical" as Gingrich? I suggest no; and I also suggest he stomped a hole in his own boat when he made these assertions. Would he have exposed himself without a primary race where he has to separate himself from the pack? Hasn't he just done Romney a big favor? Romney, despite his genuflecting to the right, as never gone off the tracks the way Gingrich just did. Gingrich's poll numbers seemed to be flagging, and then he does this to himself? From flag to falter, I'm betting.
    As OPK wrote below, there is a core in the GOP for whom Gingrich's rhetoric has appeal. It's similar to the voters who fervently support Ron Paul. Are his ideas to dismantle most of the federal government any less radical? I agree that Newt's latest rhetoric should reduce his support in large part to the ideological pure of the party. The latest Iowa poll shows the drop and support is relatively evenly divided among the top 6.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    There is a constituency in the Republican party that believes this to be true and is looking for real change. I do not know if they outnumber those who think this position is too extreme or not, but Gingrich has two things going for him:

    1. Those who believe the things he espouses are very motivated and vocal.

    2. It seems that Romney can never get over about 25% in the polls despite being a well-known commodity, meaning that 75% of the party voters either do not want him as a first choice or still have not decided.

    There is a struggle in the party between ideological purity ("we will win because we have the correct ideas") and pragmatism ("we will win because our nominee can appeal to independents"). The leadership of both parties typically prefer pragmatism. Every once in awhile, though, the leadership candidate doesn't win (see Goldwater, McGovern).

    Having said all that, Romney has three big things going for him:

    1. Money.

    2. Establishment surrogates to do his attacking for him and to turn out votes.

    3. Dough.
    I would add organization. Romney has organization on the ground in all the key states and more. His campaign more than any other is built for a protracted primary battle and the general election.

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