Republicans are less enthusiastic about having Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum as their potential presidential nominee than they were four years ago about Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., according to a Gallup survey released on Thursday. For conservatives, the lackluster numbers are a worrying sign that the party’s already bitter primary fight has sapped voter enthusiasm and left the GOP weakened for the fall battle with President Obama.
Gallup reported that just 35 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would vote enthusiastically for front-runner Romney if he becomes the party’s standard-bearer. Similarly, 34 percent said they would enthusiastically support Santorum, his main challenger for the nomination and the preferred choice of the most-conservative Republicans.
That represents a precipitous drop in excitement from 2008, the poll found. In a survey released in early February of that year, 47 percent of Republicans were enthusiastic about the prospect of backing McCain, a 12-point difference from Romney’s numbers today.
Via the CNN exit poll of Mississippi.
Census: Black Persons (2010): 37.0%
Mississippi has a higher proportion of its population that’s Black than any other state (according to the 2000 Census). And yet, this shit happens.
But this is the Republican primary? I’m honestly surprised it’s as high as 2 percent.
Yeah, I wonder about the 2% as well. But who is the other 1%? Asian? Hispanic?
The political returns from attacking access to contraception are in. Women don’t seem to like it. Who would have thought?
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, Gingrich did not file the necessary papers as of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. That means his name will not be on the Feb. 7 ballot.
The filing requirements are not particularly onerous. A $1,000 check and some paperwork are all that’s needed.
Missouri’s primary is a “beauty contest,” meaning that no delegates will be awarded. The state Republican Party will hold caucuses in March for that purpose.
However, Missouri is a major state, and the nonbinding contest will be the only primary in the country between the Florida primary on Jan. 31 and the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Feb. 28. Candidates wishing to maintain their momentum, and media visibility, through that dry spell in February may well see Missouri as a place to compete for bragging rights.
We would only two things:
- Pakistani aid is a very contentious thing, with Perry against it and Bachmann for it.
- Rick Perry didn’t catch the news yesterday that Obama had moved against Iran’s central bank - and neither did any other candidate, Wolf Blitzer, or anybody else in the audience.
-Bachmann said the President has outsourced interrogation of terrorists to the ACLU.
-Perry would privatize the TSA.
-Santorum supports the religious profiling of people, specifically Muslims.
-Cain doesn’t know the moderators name.
-Romney doesn’t know his own name.
-Bachmann said the President canceled the Keystone XL pipeline.
-Romney said the F-22 program was canceled during the debt ceiling debate.
-Huntsman said the Department of Defense needs to be on the table for budget cuts.
-Perry thinks one-half trillion dollars = 500 million dollars.
-Santorum believes increasing taxes would decrease tax revenues.
-Perry would shut down the Texas-Mexico border…within 12 months of inauguration.
-Paul would end the War on Drugs.
-Santorum said Reaganomics failed to trickle money down to blue collar workers, decreasing economic mobility.
-Gingrich would grant interim visas to immigrants who complete graduate degrees in math and science.
-Perry said China has 35,000 forced abortions each day.
-Gingrich’s top three threats not being talked about: 1) WMD’s in the hands of a terrorist organization 2) Electro-magnetic pulse detonation 3) Cyber attack
The “Thanksgiving Family Forum” was organized and sponsored by three groups: the James Dobson-founded Focus on the Family, a religious right powerhouse known for its bizarre cultural agenda; the National Organization for Marriage, perhaps best known for its unintentionally hilarious anti-gay commercials; and The FAMiLY Leader, an Iowa-based group of extremists that put together “The Marriage Vow” for GOP candidates, which argued, among other things, that slavery wasn’t that bad for African-American families.
Despite — or more likely, because of — the radicals behind the forum, six GOP presidential hopefuls showed up to pander to the religious right voters, each vowing to be more pious than their rivals. The only two candidates who weren’t there were Mitt Romney, who declined an invitation, and Jon Huntsman, who wasn’t invited at all.
The result was an event that was tough to watch.
So, what did we learn from the event? That for all the focus on economic and fiscal issues at the national level, much of the Republican base is still preoccupied with a culture war — and most of the Republican presidential candidates are only too pleased to tell these voters what they want to hear.
So here’s my tweets from the debate in Storify form.
Let me be clear, we saw candidates support abolishing federal courts when they disagree with them, deny the judiciary can interpret/impose law, support a federal personhood amendment, condemn theocracy in Iran, etc…
View the story “The GOP November 19th Family Leader debate in Iowa” on Storify
Y’know, that one group that’s all about God, gays, and guns. The one that said African Americans were better off under slavery and pornography must be banned.
They’re apparently embedding a live twitter feed so others can see what folks are saying about the debate.
I’m so using their hashtag. If y’all play the bingo game, I suggest letting them know when you get a bingo.
It all starts at 4 p.m. CST, 3 p.m. MST, and 2 p.m. PST. I’m tweeting this thing sober, and yes, I deserve a goddamn medal. I’m 100% sure of that right now. Follow me @meglanker on Twitter, or view it on the sidebar.
You suggested it. I created it. I give you the bingo board for a spectacular drinking game involving the GOP debate/discussion hosted by The Family Leader, Iowa’s premier anti-gay and anti-choice group. It’s this Saturday from 4-6 p.m. CST and will be live-streamed here. I’ll be live-tweeting it. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul are all confirmed to attend. Mitt Romney was invited, and Jon Huntsman was snubbed.
Should be a good time… and seriously, I’m pretty sure this can be reused after the 19th.
Let’s reiterate what we just witnessed: a contender and one-time frontrunner for the nomination of the Republican Party declared that America should eliminate food stamps, Medicare and the expansion of Social Security, before stating that America should emulate China’s social safety net. And the Republican audience cheered her.
At some point the pearl clutchers and bipartisan fetishists are going to acknowledge that there is a political civil war in this country, that the right wing is going off the rails at an accelerated pace, and that these people represent a grave threat to democracy should they ever take power again.
It’s not just the Bachmanns of the world are living in a dystopic fantasyland. The GOP base is living there, too.
|—||David Atkins, on Michele Bachmann’s statements from Saturday night’s GOP debate. (via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)|
Whew - it was nasty out there tonight! If last week’s debate was like a polite hour sitting around the dinner table, this one was an out-and-out food fight.
The attacks flew so fast and furious that we’re having a harder time calling outright winners and losers. Nearly everyone got in the game tonight and nearly everyone got roughed up. So for all intents and purposes, we’re calling it one big tie (or one big mess). But that doesn’t mean some candidates weren’t helped - or hurt - by their performances. For our specific analysis of how each candidate fared, read on…
Romney wasn’t bad tonight, but he didn’t emerge as the overwhelming winner the way he has in previous debates. He was under attack a lot - he spent almost as much time defending his “time” (to speak, that is) as he did his positions (though he may take some heart in the fact that the audience booed several of the attacks on him). And while he generally defended himself well, it felt like the attacks may have rattled him more than usual. He punched back quite a bit, too - mocking Perry for “a tough couple of debates,” and whacking Gingrich for supporting an independent mandate in the 1990s healthcare debate. Above all, on a night when his opponents were really throwing out red meat on issues like immigration, Romney also came across as more moderate, which probably won’t help him.
Big sigh of relief in Perryland tonight. It wasn’t a perfect performance - and some answers still got a little rambling towards the end - but finally, the man showed some life. Perry on the attack is clearly better than Perry on the defensive (or Perry on tranquilizers) - and tonight he was definitely on the attack. He even ventured to raise the issue of illegal immigration (a sore spot for his campaign), using it to launch an attack on Romney for allegedly hiring a lawn service that employed illegals (nevermind that it’s a story that was aired and exhausted during the previous campaign cycle).
Perry’s answer on Mormonism wasn’t as strong as it could/should have been. But given that pundits had generally proclaimed this as Perry’s last best shot to reenergize his campaign, we think he cleared that hurdle.
In addition, with more than a month between this debate and the next, Perry’s weakest leg of his candidacy (his debate game) is going to give way to his strongest (retail politics and spending his fat campaign warchest on television ads). And now, he may be leaving a better debate image in voters’ minds than his weak performances in the other debates would suggest.
Cain’s 999 plan was eviscerated by every opponent on the stage. But Cain has shown an uncanny ability to brush off attacks - and tonight, he was generally unflappable, repeatedly insisting that his opponents just didn’t understand his plan. He took “999” and focused the next part of the discussion on “apples” of state taxes versus “oranges” of national taxes. The man clearly has a talent for simple metaphors. And pesky details aside, we wouldn’t underestimate the visceral appeal of his plan to throw out the “ten million word mess” that is the US tax code and replace it with something simple.
Yes, there were stretches of the debate where he seemed to disappear. But when the spotlight turned to him, he remained confident, unflustered - and, maybe most important, honest. Cain admitted some mistakes (his initial support for TARP). He stood strongly behind other statements (like his comment that the Occupy Wall Street crowd should blame themselves for not being rich). Given the fire he’s come under, he held up remarkably well.
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. Santorum has shown an earnest, intelligent appeal at recent debates. Yes, he can at times seem like the school hall monitor tattling on the cool kids. But he may be carving out a space for himself as the conservative candidate who speaks most eloquently about the importance of family. And he’s a smart tactician: His attacks on Romney (over healthcare) and Perry (TARP) earned him tons of extra face time tonight with CNN’s split screens. Deftly noted that he was the only one on the stage who has won a swing state (Pennsylvania) “as a conservative.”
Boy, did Bachmann try hard to grab attention tonight. She crafted a real “moment” when she spoke right into the camera to “moms” who are worried about losing their homes to foreclosure. But she’s also tried those kinds of moments before, so somehow it didn’t feel all that new (it reminded us in particular of the way she tried to seize the HPV issue by identifying herself as a mom worried about little girls). She went after Cain’s tax plan, and remains perhaps the strongest critic of Obamacare. Still, it’s hard to see her getting significant traction out of this debate. She wins for worst joke about “what happens in Vegas…”
Paul still gets strong applause at these debates for his consistency and uncompromising positions (knocking off various government agencies, bringing American troops home from overseas) but tonight we were struck by one thing in Paul’s performance: He might not be enough of a prima donna on a stage that has Santorum, Bachmann, and Gingrich on it. All three of those candidates were willing to wail for more time - or launch strategic attacks on top-tier opponents - something Paul has been unwilling to do so far. Not that conspiring for screen time is all that presidential, but when you’re not in the top tier, getting attention is most of the battle.
Can we say: condescending? Professor Gingrich shouted to get his last two cents in just as the debate was coming to a close and came out with a rousing broadside at President Obama on not a major policy issue, but … his desire to have Lincoln-Douglas style debates between the GOP nominee and Obama with no moderator. His next-most-memorable moment was Mitt Romney whacking him (Mitt Romney! Beating up somebody else!) on healthcare. Not so good.
Catch all of CNN’s post-debate coverage online at www.cnn.com/politics. (Sponsored message)
- That they got some Rahm Emanuel look-alike to sing the national anthem while Wayne Newton’s plastic surgery continued to not agree with his face;
- That Rick Santorum decided to attend a debate for a presidential run that he has no hopes of winning instead of being with a member of his immediate family who “had some surgery today” (Don’t worry — he’s “taking the red-eye”… but not until after the debate, which is more important! It’s such a Google Santorum thing to do);
- That Ron Paul is a “champion of liberty” complete with shield, sword, mask, cape and lightsaber;
- That Herman Cain is a “businessman” who is “a 42-year businessman”;
- That Mitt Romney “was a businessman for 25 years” which means his businessman is 17 years shorter than Herman Cain’s businessman;
- That Rick Perry is “an authentic conservative” unlike some of those artificial conservatives that you use in your coffee instead of sugar;
- That Newt Gingrich believes that “all Americans can get off food stamps and get on paychecks” like, you know, how we get on surfboards;
- That Michele Bachmann hopes that she “doesn’t stay in Vegas” (or something like that)