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New poll results: most Iowa Republicans are idiots

In a new Public Policy Polling result, 52% of Iowa Republicans surveyed either believe Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States (31 percent) or say they aren’t sure (21%).

With the 2012 primary election cycle starting in just a couple of weeks, I think it’s time for our own Obama Conspiracy Theories Republican presidential nomination prediction poll.

Who will be the 2012 Republican nominee for President

  • Mitt Romney (60%, 73 Votes)
  • Ron Paul (16%, 19 Votes)
  • None of the above (9%, 11 Votes)
  • Newt Gingrich (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Rick Santorum (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Buddy Roemer (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Vern Wuensche (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Matt Snyder (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Gary Johnson (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Jon Huntsman (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Fred Karger (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Michele Bachmann (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Rick Perry (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tom Miller (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jimmy McMillan (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 122

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The poll will end at noon Central Standard Time on January 3.

97 Responses to New poll results: most Iowa Republicans are idiots

  1. avatar
    richCares December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Obama is not American, Evolution is only a theory, Global warming is a left wing hoax
    signed by the Republicans

  2. avatar
    PaulG December 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    richCares:
    Obama is not American, Evolution is only a theory, Global warming is a left wing hoax
    signed by the Republicans

    … and Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas.

  3. avatar
    Judge Mental December 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    As background information here is the average betting odds available from a selection of online bookmaking firms for who will be the Republican candidate.

    Romney…….4/7 (1.57)
    Gingrich…….3/1 (4.00)
    Paul………….8/1 (9.00)
    Huntsman…12/1 (13.00)
    Perry………..20/1 (21.00)
    Bachmann..40/1 (41.00)
    Santorum….50/1 (51.00)
    Johnson……100/1 (101.00)

  4. avatar
    Daniel December 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    richCares:
    Obama is not American, Evolution is only a theory, Global warming is a left wing hoax
    signed by the Republicans

    Not all of us Republicans believe that crap. Only the few very loud ones.

  5. avatar
    US Citizen December 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    You know you’re in trouble when candidates have names like Vern, Buddy, Mitt and Newt.

  6. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Daniel: Not all of us Republicans believe that crap.

    Try this: “An encyclopaedia with articles written from a conservative viewpoint.”

    http://conservapedia.com/Main_Page

  7. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    richCares:
    Obama is not American, Evolution is only a theory, Global warming is a left wing hoax
    signed by the Republicans

    PaulG: … and Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas.

    Abortion is murder, and the instant of conception creates an actual human, with full civil rights that take precedence over the civil rights of the woman. A woman’s womb uterus is property of the state.

    Know what I would like to see? I want a state to pass a personhood law. Then, I want a pregnant woman, “alone” in her car use the HOV lane, and have her attorney say with a straight face “your Honor, there were two people in the car. My client is pregnant, and therefore is not guilty.”

  8. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    “New poll results: most Iowa Republicans are idiots”

    Correction: 99.9% of Republicans are idiots. Especially the neocons. I have reserved a special place in hell for Kristol and Jennifer Rubin.

    Yes, I know that Judaism does not believe in Heaven or Hell. I’m doing this just in case.

  9. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    richCares: Evolution is only a theory

    Shrub on evolution: “The jury is still out.” Yeah, just like the WMDs, and the mobile bio-weapons labs.

  10. avatar
    G December 21, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    Oh, I only wish it there were truly only a few loud ones that think that way….

    I also wish for the return of more reasonable and rational Republicans like you. I truly hope that one day you again have a party that can be representative of your beliefs and be led with dignity and sanity.

    Sadly, that is not the GOP of today and I have very little hope of it making a credible return. I see nothing in place to reverse the present trend and disturbing direction.

    I think the various cyncical fear & hate based cancers that have been encouraged and fostered over the past 30+ years have spread too far and too deep within the GOP. They truly are the “base” now…and ever more so, becoming the people that get into power as well.

    I truly fear that the meme of folks like you being a “silent majority” no longer holds true…and in fact, hasn’t been true for quite some time – at least in terms of setting and controlling an agenda.

    Even if there are significant numbers of you out there…if all you are doing or accomplishing in your numbers is propping up this corrupt and endless march to further and further extremism, then you are only really cutting your own throats at the end of the day and both enabling and YES – encouraging the trends in those directions with your blind loyalty and support.

    Daniel: Not all of us Republicans believe that crap. Only the few very loud ones.

  11. avatar
    The Magic M December 21, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    richCares: Evolution is only a theory

    Evolution *is* a theory. The propaganda aspect of this claim is just that “theory” means something different in science than in colloquial speak, and ID proponents try to piggyback on that difference (“see, they admit themselves it’s only a theory!”). Pretty much like the birthers confounding the COLB and the LFBC (“why are there two birth certificates?”).

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 21, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I appreciate what you are saying. However, let me suggest that the Republican taxi has left you behind and headed off at full speed for Toon Town.

    I heard an NPR story a couple days ago on William F. Buckley. The reporter said that modern conservatism wouldn’t exist without Buckley. From my viewpoint Buckley wouldn’t even recognize today’s conservatism, which has become more and more just anti-intellectual demagoguery.

    Daniel: Not all of us Republicans believe that crap. Only the few very loud ones.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 21, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    A large majority of voters in our poll (as did I) selected Mitt Romney. As I see it, Romney is far too moderate for the Tea Party faction and should he be nominated as the Republican candidate, the emergence of a significant third party candidate seems likely.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 21, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    I would say that evolution is a fact, and that natural selection as its cause is a theory. Just as one must understand what “theory” means, one must also understand what “evolution” means. Evolution is the change in alele frequency in the population over time.

    The Magic M: Evolution *is* a theory.

  15. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: From my viewpoint Buckley wouldn’t even recognize today’s conservatism, which has become more and more just anti-intellectual demagoguery.

    Oops.

    Buckley once said he spent a lifetime getting rid of the kooks. They’re back, and are here to stay. William Jennings Bryan would be right at home.

  16. avatar
    Keith December 21, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    The Magic M: Evolution *is* a theory. The propaganda aspect of this claim is just that “theory” means something different in science than in colloquial speak, and ID proponents try to piggyback on that difference (“see, they admit themselves it’s only a theory!”). Pretty much like the birthers confounding the COLB and the LFBC (“why are there two birth certificates?”).

    NO! No No No NO NO! Evolution is NOT ‘only a theory’. Evolution, or more correctly, The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is a ‘scientific theory’.

    I know this is what you are trying to say, but you must not descend to the level of the anti-science luddites by putting the word ‘only’ in front of the word ‘theory’ when talking about Evolution.

    There is no sense whatever that Evolution is ‘only a theory’ and you must refuse to grant even this ‘little’ semantic victory to the enemies of Science. The difference is not trivial, and not calling them out on it when ever they try it on only encourages them.

  17. avatar
    Lupin December 21, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I’m surprised you left our Jesus and Zombie Reagan, the obvious two clear frontrunners.

    Daniel: Not all of us Republicans believe that crap. Only the few very loud ones.

    This raises an interesting issue: if the majority of Republicans believe in rubbishy stuff, and you don’t, then are you still a Republican?

    I mean, despite the “big tent” analogy, if your beliefs differ significantly from those of the majority of your party, then should you go on calling yourself a Republican.

    For example, if I don’t believe in various dogma, them I’m a LAPSED Catholic, not Catholic. Technically, I could be refused communion.

    So maybe you’re a LAPSED Republican (a “Lapsican”?)

  18. avatar
    Keith December 21, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I would say that evolution is a fact, and that natural selection as its cause is a theory. Just as one must understand what “theory” means, one must also understand what “evolution” means. Evolution is the change inalele frequency in the population over time.

    I wouldn’t call natural selection a theory, and is it most definitely not the ’cause’ of evolution.

    The ’cause’ of evolution are the twin drivers of random mutation and environmental change. Natural selection then is simply a description of the filtering process that occurs when the mutations affect the ability of the organism to reproduce in the current environment.

    For all practical purposes, there is no difference between natural selection and artificial selection (breeding), except that artificial selection selects for alleles of interest to the breeder while natural selection selects for alleles that enhance the ability for an organism to reproduce.

    And if you judge evolution to be a fact (and I agree), then you must also judge natural selection to be a fact. After all, evolution is sometimes hard to see, as the changes going on can take many generations to be obvious. On the other hand any farmer will tell you that he has to change pesticides every season or two because the pests have ‘grown immune’ to the old ones. That is natural selection right up and it your face. No pesticide kills 100%, and the small number of individuals that are left are clearly immune to the pesticide. Since the immune pests are the only one’s that are alive to breed, the entire next generation (or actually only most of it) will be immune and a new chemical will be required.

    Natural selection is not theory in any way, it is a description of observed fact.

  19. avatar
    Keith December 21, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    And this thread has gotten waaaaaay off topic.

    Sorry about that Doc, move it if you find it appropriate.

  20. avatar
    John Reilly December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I’ve observed previously that farmers who routinely select new seeds and pesticides, and who breed their animals to enhance certain traits, and who then in the evening rail against the Theory of Evolution are fools. However, our challenge is not to persuade them they are wrong, but to get them to see the evidence before them.

  21. avatar
    John Reilly December 21, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I voted for Mr. Gingrich in the poll. You should not underestimate the power of my Republican Party to make a fool of itself.

  22. avatar
    J. Potter December 21, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    When i first saw this post, I thought it was a poll to predict just Iowa. I’m tempted to toss my cookies on Ron Paul in iowa. I suspect voters are just close enough to “Oh, hell with it” to go Paul.

    But the national election….oooh. Least objectionable to me is Huntsman (so far). How’s that for an endorsement? But then i recall his nominating speech of Palin and cringe. He plays good little doggie all too well.

    I want to say they will break down, as the Blues did in ’04, and go with Mr. Bland, Romney as well. Like a smart girl who dallies with bad boys but marries Mr. Dependable. But, sweet reason, Romney is so out of touch! He tries so hard to be Everyman, it makes him all the creepier, and he slips up constantly. And who is dressing him? Trying way too hard to tone him down. He was outdressed by Letterman the other night. Letterman!

    If all the caucuses and primaries were open, it’d be Romney, hands down. I think. But most(?) of them are closed, leaving the Reds up to their own devices. As others have noted, their proximity to Toon Town cannot be underestimated. Every time I say “I just can’t believe…” in regards to the Magic-Thinkers, I am proven wrong. I can’t wait to see how badly they err. And I do know from personal experience, that there is very serious, very real objection to Mormonism in the Red base (my neighbors!)

    (Voted for Romney. I just can’t anticipate the workings of illogical minds)

  23. avatar
    Daniel December 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Lupin: This raises an interesting issue: if the majority of Republicans believe in rubbishy stuff, and you don’t, then are you still a Republican?

    I think the answer to your question is that your premise is wrong.

    I don’t think the majority of Republicans believe in the “rubbishey stuff”, or even care about it. What you’re hearing theses days, and considering your focus (birther/tea party) is the loud lunatic fringe. Even the slate of nomination hopefuls is reflective of the fact that most Republicans realize that the next election is pretty much a slam dunk for Obama, which means none of the real, viable Republican hopefuls will touch it.

    None of the Republicans I regularly converse with give a rat’s ass about the schlock that the republoonicans are pushing.

    Much like the majority of Christians aren’t pushing for prayer in schools, aren’t against mosques being built in their town, aren’t writhing in apoplexy every time a clerk says “happy holidays”, the majority of Republicans aren’t pushing the neocon/teaparty/birther agenda. While I will admit that those factions have an inordinate amount of sway right now, I don’t think it will last, and I don’t consider the volume of a minority to be indicative of what the majority value.

    Quiet, reasonable Republicans are boring. Boring doesn’t make good news copy.

  24. avatar
    G December 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    A very important and valid distinction. Good explanation of the semantic importance of making the distinction properly. Thanks.

    Keith: There is no sense whatever that Evolution is only a theory’ and you must refuse to grant even this little’ semantic victory to the enemies of Science. The difference is not trivial, and not calling them out on it when ever they try it on only encourages them.

  25. avatar
    richCares December 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    misha pointed out the silly site “conservapedia”, to see how ignorant it really is, check http://www.conservapedia.com/evolution. If you want to check out even more ignorance, check Ann Coulter’s last book, her chapter on science is a doozy. Ann’s ignorant rant became a best seller among conservatives. Anti-Science and Anti-Intellectual, that’s conservative!

  26. avatar
    G December 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Daniel, this is the crux of the issue.

    I agree with you (and living in the “heartland” of Ohio, trust me, I have many family, friends and associates that fit your definition of “reasonable” Republican and express the same points as what you expressed.

    In conversations, nearly all the “reasonable” ones express many of the same concerns with the messages and actions of the “loud crazy” factions that the rest of us do. Yet, out of some sense of loyalty or tradition…or simply not seeing enough of a fit with the only “sane” alternative, due to the limits of a dual-party monopoly structure, they still align themselves with the GOP…even though it publically doesn’t seem to mirror or represent their needs anymore.

    I hear the same wishful justifcation in defending this loyalty, that “this too shall pass”. Like you, there seems to be a conviction that this increasing insanity is only “temporary” and that it will die down.

    However, I can’t find anyone who can explain the factors, either in play or emerging that would actually lead to reversing the current spiral down towards increased extremism, other than what pretty much amounts to making similar “silent majority” claims…

    The problem is, you can be significant in numbers, but if you have neither a public voice, nor much say in the policy direction, then any “majority” vote you have isn’t being used to accomplish your goals, but only to enable and prop up the loud crazies and their increasingly irrational policy positions.

    Doing that only gives them more power and supports their platforms and ideas…which as we’ve seen, seems to spiral in only one direction – towards more craziness and more extremes.

    So I ask you – other than what I conceive as simply good people being too naive to want to accept the irrational insanity in others is “real”… on what RATIONAL basis and scenarios do you see a correction occuring to reverse the trend? Just wishing it so will not make it happen.

    Daniel: While I will admit that those factions have an inordinate amount of sway right now, I don’t think it will last, and I don’t consider the volume of a minority to be indicative of what the majority value.
    Quiet, reasonable Republicans are boring. Boring doesn’t make good news copy.

  27. avatar
    misha December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Daniel: I don’t think the majority of Republicans believe in the “rubbishey stuff”, or even care about it.

    Really? Try this from Bob Barr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Barr

    In Congress, he also proposed that the Pentagon ban the practice of Wicca in the military.
    And this: http://www.religioustolerance.org/burn_aw2.htm

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The establishment clause in the 1st Amendment of the U.S. constitution. “The military should rethink their position. That’s not a religion.” G.W. Bush, governor of Texas, referring to the Wiccan religion.

    Barr stated that allowing Wiccans to follow their religion on base: “…sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of ‘religion.’ ”

    He rejects Wicca (a.k.a. Witchcraft) as a legitimate religion. Rep Barr continues: “What’s next? Will armored divisions be forced to travel with sacrificial animals for Satanic rituals?”

    People for the American Way selected congressman Bob Barr as the winner of the 1999 Equinine Posterior Achievement Award on 1999-MAY-26. PFAW President Carole Shields presented the second annual award. “The Equine Posterior Achievement Award is given to a ‘leader’ whose abilities to misrepresent an issue and pander to our baser instincts have reached ridiculous levels.”

  28. avatar
    G December 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Bob Barr left the GOP. He was the Libertarian Party candidate for President in the last go-around.

    (…Which is a bit ironic, considering that the Libertarian Party’s earlier opposition to him is pretty much what killed his GOP career:)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Barr

    Georgia’s congressional districts were reorganized by the Democratic-controlled Georgia legislature ahead of the 2002 elections for the 108th Congress.[28] As part of the legislature’s effort to get more Democrats elected from the state, Barr’s district was dismantled even though Georgia gained two districts. He was drawn into the same district as fellow Republican John Linder. The new district was numerically Barr’s district — the 7th — but contained most of the territory from Linder’s old 11th District. This move profited Democrats by leading to the inevitable defeat of an incumbent Republican (i.e., either Barr or Linder).[29] Recognizing Barr’s precarious situation, the Libertarian Party seized on the opportunity to oust one of the federal drug war’s most vocal proponents (Barr), and ran TV ads criticizing Barr’s opposition to medical marijuana during the Republican primaries.[30] Barr was soundly defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. [30] The extent to which the issue of medical marijuana shaped the election is unclear. Some have argued that Barr’s huge loss simply reflected the nature of the new 7th district, which was primarily redrawn from Linder’s old 11th district.[28] However, before the medical marijuana ads were aired,[30] the Linder campaign acknowledged the race as being tight;[31] and Pat Gartland, southeastern director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saw the race as “too close to call”.

    Departure from Republican Party

    In the 2004 presidential election, Barr left the Republican Party and publicly endorsed[82] the Libertarian Party presidential nominee Michael Badnarik.[83]

    In 2006, he joined the Libertarian Party as a regional representative, then serving on the Libertarian National Committee.[84]

    Libertarian Party

    On December 12, 2006, Barr became a regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee, representing the Party’s Southeast Region. Barr said: “I’m happy to announce that I am now a proud, card-carrying Libertarian who is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.”[9]

    Yes, it is true that he spend part of this year reconsidering mounting another GOP run for his old Congressional House seat…but in the end, he decided to pass.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/bob_barr_will_not_challenge_tom_graves_georgia-211024-1.html

    Dec. 13, 2011, 6:33 p.m.
    Former Rep. Bob Barr (R) will not take on Rep. Tom Graves (R) in Georgia’s 14th district, Barr announced today, the Associated Press reported.
    Barr, who was the Libertarian Party’s White House nominee in 2008 and had been mulling a bid, said he wasn’t in a position to leave his law firm without substantially hurting its bottom line.

    So, while he entertained recent thoughts of making a new GOP return run, that didn’t last long and his explanation for dismissing that idea really comes across as a blow off.

    He is likely still a card carrying member and advocate of the Libertarian Party, so I would still mark that as the proper affiliation to associate him with in today’s political reality.

    misha: Really? Try this from Bob Barr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_BarrIn Congress, he also proposed that the Pentagon ban the practice of Wicca in the military.And this: http://www.religioustolerance.org/burn_aw2.htm“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The establishment clause in the 1st Amendment of the U.S. constitution. “The military should rethink their position. That’s not a religion.” G.W. Bush, governor of Texas, referring to the Wiccan religion.Barr stated that allowing Wiccans to follow their religion on base: “…sets a dangerous precedent that could easily result in the practice of all sorts of bizarre practices being supported by the military under the rubric of religion.’ ”He rejects Wicca (a.k.a. Witchcraft) as a legitimate religion. Rep Barr continues: “What’s next? Will armored divisions be forced to travel with sacrificial animals for Satanic rituals?”People for the American Way selected congressman Bob Barr as the winner of the 1999 Equinine Posterior Achievement Award on 1999-MAY-26. PFAW President Carole Shields presented the second annual award. “The Equine Posterior Achievement Award is given to a leader’ whose abilities to misrepresent an issue and pander to our baser instincts have reached ridiculous levels.”

  29. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    In regards to the original poll question and the choices offered, I’m going to put in several commentary posts here & there as I get time about the candidates listed in regards to the GOP Primary race.

    Iowa, being both the first and a caucus state will really be about the “Big 6” – Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Bachmann, Perry and Santorum. Those are the ones for whom their rank coming out of the Jan 3rd activites will impact both whether they stay in the race beyond that and whether they gain or lose momentum going into New Hampshire the following week.

    I intentionally left Huntsman off that list, as he has been consistently open about not competing in Iowa, so even though he gets polled there and can have ballots cast for him there, he is not campaigning nor spending money there and a bottom-level showing for him in this state will NOT have any impact blunting his momentum or chances in New Hampshire, which is where he’s really focused the bulk of his efforts. So a 7th place finish for him is expected. Worse than that won’t hurt him either…

    That being said, if somehow Huntsman’s Iowa caucus vote rank ends up higher than one of the “Big 6” listed…it will probably garnish some media attention (likely killing the campaign of whomever he beat out)…and might give him a small “bump” in NH.

    I’ll talk more about Iowa and “the Big 6” in a later post. First, I want to focus on the rest of the other candidates listed…

  30. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Gary Johnson – Well, he can come off the GOP list (although, still being registered in a number of states, he will still appear on ballots and be able to get votes (but then again, that also applies to Herman Cain).

    It is pretty much official now, he’s decided to leave the GOP primary and run for the Libertarian nomination instead. (He’ll make the official press announcement on Dec 28th).

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70727.html

    The Libertarians will chose their 2012 Presidential candidate at their party convention in Las Vegas on the 1st weekend in May. I hope that gains some coverage in the media…as it should be a hoot.

    On the Birther side, crazy Wayne Allen Root is one of the contenders for that title as well.

    The Libertarians party bosses are also still hoping they might also get Jesse Ventura to jump in… or even Ron Paul to follow Johnson’s lead and switch over to them as well…

    Here are two good resources for tracking the 2012 Presidential Candidates in all parties, with their listings for who else is running or considered to enter the Libertarian race:

    http://2012.libertarian-party.org/

    http://www.votesmart.org/election/2012/P//2012-presidential?stageId=G&party=58

    I wish Gary Johnson the best of luck. I enjoyed seeing him and his views on the stage of the 2 televised GOP debates he was allowed to participate in. He’s also got a solid resume with an impressive approval rating when he completed his term as NM Governor. He seems to have a very pleasant and gracious demeanor and displays concern and compassion for all of humanity and the environment. He holds many “libertarian” views similar to Ron Paul, but without seeming to pander to social conservatives and therefore is more in line with what the traditional Libertarian party used to be… than what either they have morphed into lately, or what the GOP has become.

  31. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Then there is Buddy Roemer, who has spent considerable time in the early GOP Primary states and also comes with an impressive resume, but has been shut out of all the TV debates and most of the media coverage.

    Which is too bad, because his main campaign issues on campaign finance reform and lobby reform is probably the most important issue that needs to be addressed in order to ever remove most of the big money control that breeds corruption and hamstrings ALL of our higher elected offices and waters down or destroys most legislation and reform efforts.

    Which is one of the MAIN reasons why he is being “shunned” by the establishment and media, who have deep interest in not seeing his ideas disrupt their power and influence.

    His other main problem is his foolish self-imposed private donor limitation of no more than $150 from supporters. I can understand why he’s sworn off the “big fish” traditional corporate donors and bundlers…after all, that is a key issue of his platform. However, if he wants to have any serious chance to change the system, he has to be be able to compete under the current environment…at least to an extent that he can fund himself sufficiently to get his message heard.

    Obama’s campaign strategy proved that a campaign can build steam and momentum with true grass-roots support and donations. Yes, Obama (wisely) also used traditional big money sources and bundlers as well to build his war chest and win, but his campaign also displayed unprecedented success in raising huge sums from a vast list of list of traditional “grass roots” citizen supporters. The vast number of those types of individual contributions alone was a significant portion of his fundraising and it can be argued that he demonstrated one could run a competitive campaign off of those sources alone.

    Therefore, if Buddy had only insisted on sticking to individual contributions under the existing limits (I think $2500 per person), he would have stood a better chance to make his mark in this election cycle.

    The bulk of his efforts have been in New Hampshire, but very few of the polling organizations have even had the courtesy to include him on their survey choices. The only recent one I’ve seen was Suffolk on 12/14, where he got 2% and twice the number of votes than Gary Johnson:

    https://docs.google.com/a/ramapo.edu/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=1ejY7SBj4N5POmNImi7T0GuyAr_IrJ_7GMkRjRURdKD0LWpRBSU1b-SJ94YHF&hl=en_US&pli=1

    Now this report only had a sampling size of 400 and they spent most of the earlier questions asking about the bigger candidates individually (including wasting time asking questions about Sarah Palin and Herman Cain), before finally in question 12 having a question listing 10 GOP candidate choices, which included Buddy Roemer on it.

    My take away from that and other polls I’ve seen that bothered to include him shows that when people are exposed to certain candidates and get to hear their message, they are able to garnish a certain level of support. In places where he’s campaigned even a little, he often gets 1% – 2% of support when polls bother to ask.

    When you compare how inclusive and coverage friendly the media (including debate opportunities) has been to certain candidates, the bias is evident. Santorum and Huntsman have often polled in the 1-2% range in many state & national polls throughout this campaign cycle. Yet they have always been treated as part of the “competitive tier” and been able to participate in debates and always get their names included in the polls.

    Resumed folks like Roemer, Johnson and Karver have been able to poll in these same ranges, in those rare and limited instances where they are even included in the offerings. There is a strong correlation between being included in polls & debates and the coverage someone receives in the media and the awareness that brings to allow a candidate to have a fair chance to catch on.

    Roemer, Johnson and Karver have all been hurt in their ability to raise their profile and funding due to the intentional media and establishment biases in place against them. It really comes down to the fact that their platforms each focus on areas that the establishment does NOT want to become part of the larger conversation. In a fair world, they would have been accorded the same level of seriousness and opportunities as Santorum and Huntsman to try to make their case to the GOP electorate on their own merits.

    Obviously, this frustration with being unfairly handicapped is what has driven Johnson to give up on the GOP and switch to run on the Libertarian ticket.

    Roemer has expressed similar frustrations, which is why he has been signaling for weeks that he will likely be abandoning the GOP race and plans to run for the “American’s Elect” ticket instead.

  32. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    Which brings us to Fred Karger, the remaining “tier below” candidate as I’ll call them (along with Roemer & Johnson), that has a solid resume, has been running a serious and dedicated campaign and who was just as worthy of being part of the national conversation, had he not been handicapped by the media and the establishment).

    These types of candidates, even though it becomes quickly apparent they aren’t going to have a legitimate chance to “catch fire” and therefore won’t become either the GOP nominee, nor President do still often serve a valuable and important purpose in the election cycle – they can strive to still be relevant to some extent as “issues” candidates and by just fighting to remain in the picture, still try to get the key passions of their platform to seem into the national conscious and become part of the conversation.

    Fred Karger most definitely fits the “issues” candidate profile. He is the first openly gay GOP candidate to run for President, so he’s made history right there. Not surprisingly, the key drivers for him to jump into the Presidential race both stem from his concerns with how the GOP treats LGBT rights. So obviously, he’s trying to push the GOP to get with the 21st century and shift to the right side of history on those civil rights issues.

    But he is also intentionally running an Anti-Romney campaign, which is why NH has been his primary focus since Day 1. This also goes back to the Prop 8 battle in CA and how involved the Mormon Church was against gay rights.

    He’s actually run a smart under-the-radar campaign, considering the obstacles he’s had in getting broader coverage and support. He’s smartly been focusing on college campuses and Independents and has even won a few of the local NH straw polls this past year.

    So, now that we’ve looked at the 3 tier-below “issues” candidates, the question is can they have any impact on the GOP races, other than hoping to get their messages heard?

    Fred Karger will not drop out of the GOP race before NH. That has been his goal and focus from the beginning. If he can get even 1%-2% there, he knows that alone will get some media coverage. More importantly, he thinks he’s targeting voters that might otherwise vote for Romney, so he’s hoping to hurt Romeny’s performance there and in the race.

    What happens to Fred Karger after NH remains to be seen. If he can achieve any of his goals there – getting enough of an Independent & LGBT-supportive turnout to garnish at least 1% in the polls and also feeling that he’s made an impact to hurt Romeny’s performance there, then he and his supporters will probably feel momentum to keep going on this track. If he can’t hit any of those marks, it is likely his campaign and message will be effectively over, even if he doesn’t drop out right away.

    With Gary Johnson & Buddy Roemer – even with their annoucements to switch to 3rd Party (which keeps their issues messaging attempts alive…possibly into the General Election), they STILL might have an impact in the NH GOP results and therefore shaping the direction that race’s momentum takes, as their names will remain on that ballot.

    Gary Johnson dropping out is likely an additional small boost to Ron Paul. That is the most likely direction any of his supporters would go. Buddy Roemer’s might go to Huntsman. Folks that made a decision to vote for either Johnson or Roemer at this stage, or who will choose to still cast their ballots for them in NH are really more votes taken away from Romney, regardless. Romeny is not just the “establishment” candidate, but often viewed as the “inevitable” candidate. Voters taking a serious look at “tier below” candidates are not swayed towards conformity of “inevitable” and often are more motivated to vote against it.

    Therefore, all of the “tier below” candidates and lesser candidates below that might serve a function in how NH unfolds in both showing resistance to Romney as the nominee as well as suppressing the potential vote totals he gleans in that state…to where they could all add up to contributing to a result narrative where Romeny either fails to win his “no brainer” state or narrow his win below 40%+ expectations, to where even a win appears weak and like a loss…a narrative which would really hurt Romney’s support and momentum, especially as he heads into SC and then FL.

  33. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    Now to cover the “obscure” candidates that Dr. C listed, all which really don’t have any chance to be the GOP nominee. The question remains is to whether they have any visible role to play at all, which I’ll get to examining in a moment:

    Tom Miller
    http://www.millerforpresident.com/

    Matt Snyder
    http://mattsnyderforpresident.com/

    Jimmy “The Rent is Too Damn High” McMillan
    http://jimmymcmillan.org/index.html

    Vern Wuensche

    http://voteforvern.com/

    First, I have a question for Dr. C as to why he specifically chose to add these 4 particluar people over others in similar positions as 2012 candidates?

    First of all, of the four, only Vern Weunsche actually registered to appear on the NH GOP ballot.

    Vern also ran in the GOP Primary for President in 2008. He came in 10th in both IA & NH of the 17 candidates that actually filed & participated in BOTH those races. ( If you throw in ALL the canidates that appeared on ONLY the NH ballot, he came in 14th, just ahead of Vermin Supreme, with 44 total votes (0.02%))

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Republican_primary,_2008

    Vern falls under a class of obscure but serious canidates that I have a lot of respect and fondness for, even if I don’t share their views or agree with their positions. Folks like Vern are making an honest and sincere attempt for the position and put in a serious and dedicated effort towards that goal, even though they lack the public profile and funding to garnish attention and gain steam. They take the time to put in the effort to file properly, to get on as many ballots as they can and most importantly, actively work to campaign and meet people within those states and garnish their support. They also do what they can to maintain a proper and informative online presence and make their positions on the issues known. They try hard to meet with any press or forum that will have them so that their message can be heard. I salute them for sincere efforts and desire to serve this country.

    Of all the hundreds of people who have filed to run for President in 2012, only 30 people took the time and efforts to properly file to run on the NH GOP ballot – one of the most important and easiest states to qualify. Therefore, I tend to have a very negative opinion of taking any “vanity candidate” seriously that thinks all they have to do is due the initial federal filing and put up a website and call themselves a candidate, but doesn’t take the serious and SIMPLE effort to get their name on the NH ballot (a place where they allow you to do all of your application by mail). I’m really impressed by those lesser candidates who go out of their way to visit and campaign in the state and who often show up in person to file their state candidacy. That shows seriousness to me.

    So in terms of Tom Miller & Matt Snyder, I am just going to completely discount and write them off at this time, because they didn’t file for NH and I’m not aware of them appearing on any other state’s ballots yet either. If that changes, I might have more to say on them, but until then, they are just pretending to run and putting no more effort in than having a website.

    There are several people actually on the NH GOP ballot list that are doing all the same proper steps as Vern, so I view them with respect and think they deserve a serious mention, even though they were left off of Dr. C’s list:

    Christopher Hill
    http://hill2012.com/

    L. John Davis Jr.
    http://www.johndavisforpresident.org/

    Mark Callahan
    http://www.MarkCallahan.net

    Jeff Lawman
    http://jefflawman.com/

    For Vern & those 4 others – they really are the bottom tier of anybody actually seriously running for the position.

    Sadly, unless their boots on the ground and other outreach efforts can get noticed and translate into enough votes in an early voting state, their profile is so low that they don’t even make a dent and don’t become visible enough to even rate as a “spoiler” factor or an “issues” candidate.

    These types of candidates were averaging 0.02% in NH in 2008…which was really no better than the even lesser-tier “kook”, “vanity” and “joke” candidates on the ballot that year. If you can’t raise your profile above that chaff, you’re done and if all “other” candidates on the ballot can’t even swing an election 1%, they don’t even factor as spoilers – either individually or combined.

    If one of the “obscure serious tier” candidates can end up pulling off AT LEAST HALF OF A PERCENT in NH (or some other early state)…then there is the slight chance that in a year with such a weak and unsettled field, that even they might get the tinyist bit of attention to raise their profile and have some impact on this race…

    (Note: there are 14 other candates who took the effort to be listed on the NH GOP ballot that I won’t even bother to mention, as many of them don’t even have a website, quite a few are just kooks (such as Andy Martin)…and so really fall into the garbage category of “vanity” candidates that are just wasting space on the ballot.)

    Even though Jimmy McMillan isn’t on the NH ballot, I will mention him, because he represents a whole separate class of candidate the “joke” candidacy that is actually important, because it is purposful comedy in order to bring attention to an issue (such as McMillan & poverty) or provide worthy social commentary & satire (see Vermin Supreme, currently on this years 2012 Democratic Primary in NH).

    I do respect & value these type of “joke” candidates and view their role as a valuable and important form of commentary that can get media attention via comedy and therefore, have some meaningful impact on the social conscious and conversation.

  34. avatar
    e.vattel December 22, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Permit me a few words from the esteemed Vattel..natural born citizens are born from citizen parents. A country cannot perpetuate itself unless its citizens are born from citizens.

    Reading this forum the words of Vattel are a truth.

    The truth..is not to be found on this forum. This forum is a radical far left site hell bent on the destruction of the Constitution.

    Have read this forum for several years..it is nothing more than fantasy and hate. It is racist toward Americans who only seek the truth.

    Every thing said by the members can be brought to ruin with a little research.

    Free Republic seeks the truth while this forum hides under a veil of deceit.

    Please let it be known..this site can never and will never come to the level of honesty and fair play as Free Republic.

  35. avatar
    Majority Will December 22, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Bushpilot should consider getting professional help and caretaker supervision.

  36. avatar
    Majority Will December 22, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Some hilarity on Free Republic from the Urban Dictionary (excerpts):

    Free Republic: “Last year I posted my reflections on the Iraq war on the “free republic” website. First, the war rationale was based on lies. Second, the goals of the Bush administration were: To find and destroy weapons of mass destruction, to save the lives of Americans, to oust Saddam Hussein, to turn Iraq into a free democracy, to stabilise the Middle East, and to keep oil prices low. I politely pointed out that the Bush administration had achieved only one of these goals, the ousting of Saddam Hussein, and that they had failed (and still do) quite miserably in the pursuit of all those other goals.

    The free republic operators then politely and silently removed all of my posts (even those not related to the topic) and closed my account. Truth hurts, baby. Not that I am surprised.”

    Free Republic: “An insipid Republican chat room masquerading as a “conservative forum.” Also, a lesson in how not to run a successful website.”

    Free Republic: “Very conservative website, stopping just left of sites like stormfront. In many cases they are actually like stormfront, although their mindless hatred is directed toward Islam, rather than Judaism. The population of “freepers” is predominantly white male, with some (white) women scattered in. The ignorant among them believe that America is totally desegregated, while the others believe it is the fault of the minorities for not acting “empowered.” How do you know whether you belong at freerepublic.com? Simple… you are a freeper if *ALL* of the following apply to you:

    1. You’re white.
    2. You’re anti-Islam.
    3. You believe gays aren’t human beings and are living in sin.
    4. You frequently use the terms LIEberal and demonRAT.
    5. You’re right of President Bush on the political spectrum in every aspect.
    6. Throwing true conservatism to hell, you support the war in Iraq.
    7. You can’t hear the word “Clinton” without frothing from the mouth.
    8. You insult John McCain, arguably the sanest Republican in Washington D.C., for supporting a ban on torture. I suppose you’re right, he’s totally unqualified to discuss torture. I don’t think I could name a person who has less right to support the ban than him.”

    Free Republic: See Also: Hypocrisy
    “Free Rebublic is a particularly disgusting web site which is anything but “Free”. The excuse made for the rampant censorship which takes place there regularly is most often that it is a privately owned site and thus not obligated to refrain from erasing any trace of thought that goes against it’s own grain. OK. Fine. But don’t claim that posts aren’t erased and ideas aren’t censored, because they are. Try a google search for “Free Republic Censorship”, or even just “Free Republic”. There are plenty of victims of this Orwellian memory hole out there. I know. I’m one of them.”

    “Free Republic wants concentration camps for liberals, just like their German pen pals from the 1930s.”

    (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=free%20republic)

  37. avatar
    Arthur December 22, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    e.vattel: Free Republic seeks the truth while this forum hides under a veil of deceit.

    C’est la poêle qui se moque du chaudron.

  38. avatar
    Lupin December 22, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    e.vattel: Permit me a few words from the esteemed Vattel..natural born citizens are born from citizen parents. A country cannot perpetuate itself unless its citizens are born from citizens.

    Reading this forum the words of Vattel are a truth.

    Let me see if I can phrase it at your level of comprehension:

    Vattel, he wrote not that; that which you say, mistranslation of French original is.

  39. avatar
    Lupin December 22, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Taken postings at random, it’s hard (if not impossible) to differentiate Free Republic from a neo-nazi site.

  40. avatar
    J. Potter December 22, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: A large majority of voters in our poll (as did I) selected Mitt Romney. As I see it, Romney is far too moderate for the Tea Party faction and should he be nominated as the Republican candidate, the emergence of a significant third party candidate seems likely.

    You don’t think the Tea Party would latch onto Paul? I think Paul will keep going regardless of who gets the nomination … surely this is his last go’round …. who knows, tho, he is pretty darn spry.

    I haven’t heard much about the Tea party in awhile. In hibernation? Gone underground? Or am I just blessed?

    If the Deep Reds don’t go Paul, then who? Bachmann? Her broken record performances have convinced me her density is transuranic. I could see her not taking the clue as she continues to lose state after state, and just going on–and on<–and on<–and on<–and on….

  41. avatar
    Daniel December 22, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    e.vattel: Permit me a few words from the esteemed Vattel.

    Please permit me to point out the irony of you not even being able to get his name right.

    The person you are trying to elevate above US law, is “de Vattel”. not Vattel”.

  42. avatar
    sfjeff December 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Daniel: I think the answer to your question is that your premise is wrong.I don’t think the majority of Republicans believe in the “rubbishey stuff”, or even care about it. What you’re hearing theses days, and considering your focus (birther/tea party) is the loud lunatic fringe. Even the slate of nomination hopefuls is reflective of the fact that most Republicans realize that the next election is pretty much a slam dunk for Obama, which means none of the real, viable Republican hopefuls will touch it.None of the Republicans I regularly converse with give a rat’s ass about the schlock that the republoonicans are pushing.Much like the majority of Christians aren’t pushing for prayer in schools, aren’t against mosques being built in their town, aren’t writhing in apoplexy every time a clerk says “happy holidays”, the majority of Republicans aren’t pushing the neocon/teaparty/birther agenda. While I will admit that those factions have an inordinate amount of sway right now, I don’t think it will last, and I don’t consider the volume of a minority to be indicative of what the majority value.Quiet, reasonable Republicans are boring. Boring doesn’t make good news copy.

    Excellent points.

    Might I also point out that reasonable Republicans and reasonable Democrats are able to respect each others political positions without hating each other or villifying each other. I have many friends who are Republicans and Conservatives- and we politely avoid subjects in casual conversation which we know we are strongly at odds with. People do that. Even when we do discuss it, we do so politely- listening to the other person, expressing our opinions, but never insisting that everyone agree with our own position.

    Reasonable people do that. But reasonable people are, as you said, boring.

    So instead, we have the least popular Congress probably in our entire history, all more interested in making the other side look bad rather than trying to get anything done.

  43. avatar
    misha December 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    e.vattel: This forum is a radical far left site hell bent on the destruction of the Constitution.

    I too check this forum for accuracy. I have found a Kenya BC (Obama’s?), that will help your quest. Thanks for visiting.

  44. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 22, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Well, that’s clearly not how I see it.

    e.vattel: Have read this forum for several years..it is nothing more than fantasy and hate. It is racist toward Americans who only seek the truth.

  45. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Name one instance of Constitutional Destruction in this forum…you can’t and I will bet my house on that.

    e.vattel: The truth..is not to be found on this forum. This forum is a radical far left site hell bent on the destruction of the Constitution.

  46. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Ah, finally another post dealing with the actual blog topic! Thank You!

    I agree with many of your points about Ron Paul and the Tea Party types in regards to this particular Primary Election.

    However, the Tea Party is not monolithic. In simplest terms, there are two main factions with some overlap. One is more driven by Libertarian/neo-libertarian ideology and the other is simply more evangelical and extreme RW. The latter would be analogous to the “deep reds” that you refer to.

    The former are the Tea Party types that Paul appeals to. Many in the later group will not go for him and will try to make their choice between Bachmann, Perry, Newt and Santorum.

    I’ll get into more on my impressions of Paul’s potential & impact in the race when I get back to covering the “Big 6” and Jon Huntsman. I wanted to focus on all the rest of the candidates listed first, as their impact in this dynamic is more limted, so I wanted to get them out of the way.

    J. Potter: You don’t think the Tea Party would latch onto Paul? I think Paul will keep going regardless of who gets the nomination … surely this is his last go’round …. who knows, tho, he is pretty darn spry.I haven’t heard much about the Tea party in awhile. In hibernation? Gone underground? Or am I just blessed?If the Deep Reds don’t go Paul, then who? Bachmann? Her broken record performances have convinced me her density is transuranic. I could see her not taking the clue as she continues to lose state after state, and just going on–and on<–and on<–and on<–and on….

  47. avatar
    Arthur December 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    El Diablo Negro: Name one instance of Constitutional Destruction in this forum…you can’t and I will bet my house on that.

    Now hold on, Diablo–you know the kind of hot water Mitt Romney got into when he made a bet like that.

  48. avatar
    Daniel December 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Arthur: Now hold on, Diablo–you know the kind of hot water Mitt Romney got into when he made a bet like that.

    Well in Diablo’s defence, it’s not a very good house 😉

  49. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Daniel: Well in Diablo’s defence, it’s not a very good house

    My house is made of Gingerbread with frosting for windows.

  50. avatar
    JPotter December 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    El Diablo Negro: My house is made of Gingerbread with frosting for windows.

    Is it roughly $10,000 worth* of gingerbread and frosting? Serious question here … a human-scale dwelling would consume a lot of pastry. Or is the Black Devil merely an imp? If truly diabolical, wouldn’t his demonic essence tend to melt the frosting and dry out the bread? It would be literally toasty in there.

    * See comment above about Romney constantly blowing Everyman schtick. Seriously, Everyman, making a rhetorical bet, would have tossed out a million bucks! A good Mormon would only stake honor.

  51. avatar
    JPotter December 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    G:… the Tea Party is not monolithic. In simplest terms, there are two main factions with some overlap. One is more driven by Libertarian/neo-libertarian ideology and the other is simply more evangelical and extreme RW. The latter would be analogous to the “deep reds” that you refer to…

    You are absolutely right, G! And I rather like the designation, “Deep Reds”. Had to note their extra Reddiness somehow, and certainly wasn’t going to give them “Bright Reds”! They’re off the deep end, so Deep Reds it is.

    They have made some efforts towards “Bloody Reds” … but are (so far) generally only violent in their lurid dream lives. Hope it stays that way.

  52. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I like your “Deep Reds” term too… so thanks for that & I’ll probably use it when I get a chance to get back to my GOP race analysis. PS – Still haven’t heard back from you on the private email I sent a few days ago.

    JPotter: You are absolutely right, G! And I rather like the designation, “Deep Reds”. Had to note their extra Reddiness somehow, and certainly wasn’t going to give them “Bright Reds”! They’re off the deep end, so Deep Reds it is.They have made some efforts towards “Bloody Reds” … but are (so far) generally only violent in their lurid dream lives. Hope it stays that way.

  53. avatar
    JPotter December 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    G: PS – Still haven’t heard back from you on the private email I sent a few days ago.

    Hey, I slept 11 hours last night! It did wonders for my productivity!

  54. avatar
    G December 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Awesome! I’m jealous! Personally, I’d like to sneak in a day where I can afford to just crash out for 14 hours straight… 😉

    JPotter: Hey, I slept 11 hours last night! It did wonders for my productivity!

  55. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    Arthur: Now hold on, Diablo–you know the kind of hot water Mitt Romney got into when he made a bet like that.

    If Mitt Romney is elected and takes office, he still has this Iowa felony hanging over his head, an impeachable offense with clear evidence, millions of witnesses, and an unambiguously worded statute.

  56. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 1:58 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Evolution is the change inalele frequency in the population over time.

    You used a word that isn’t in the Bible. Good luck with that.

  57. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Lupin:
    Taken postings at random, it’s hard (if not impossible) to differentiate Free Republic from a neo-nazi site.

    Lupin, je sais que vous êtes francophone… I’m fascinated by your use of “taken” here, because I wonder if you meant it as a subjunctive mood, or if you meant to say “taking.” If the former, I can understand a native francophone thinking in the subjunctive, and if the latter I do not mean to offend.

  58. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    Majority Will: The free republic operators then politely and silently removed all of my posts (even those not related to the topic) and closed my account.

    I have a relative who is quite the proud right-wing ultraconservative, through and through. I give her a wide berth, meaning, I will talk about gardening or cooking, and any and all political or religious discussion will be carefully steered by me toward either gardening or cooking or both, and it’s only because I can do so that we remain relatives 🙂

    In any event, this individual got the same treatment from “Free Republic” and basically went from being a daily contributor to persona non grata. I think it may have had something to do with Tom Daschle but I never bothered to probe for the details. It’s interesting to see just how far to the right you can be and *still* run afoul of the freepers.

  59. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Keith: NO! No No No NO NO! Evolution is NOT only a theory’. Evolution, or more correctly, The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis is a scientific theory’.

    I know this is what you are trying to say, but you must not descend to the level of the anti-science luddites by putting the word only’ in front of the word theory’ when talking about Evolution.

    There is no sense whatever that Evolution is only a theory’ and you must refuse to grant even this little’ semantic victory to the enemies of Science. The difference is not trivial, and not calling them out on it when ever they try it on only encourages them.

    Electromagnetism is also only a theory but I only recommend that some people test the theory by probing light sockets.

  60. avatar
    James M December 23, 2011 at 2:23 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    A large majority of voters in our poll (as did I) selected Mitt Romney. As I see it, Romney is far too moderate for the Tea Party faction and should he be nominated as the Republican candidate, the emergence of a significant third party candidate seems likely.

    I had the PPP call my phone, which made me very angry. So angry in fact, that if the election were held today, I would vote for Michelle Bachmann, and a hardcore anti-immigrant, anti-homosexual, anti-public-health candidate for my state senate who I had never heard of before the poll. I made an effort to game the poll to convince it that I had been led down a path toward choosing these candidates by listening to the position blurbs. It was interesting to game the robocall. I hope there are enough of us heyokes/coyotes out there to make polls meaningless 😉 I embrace the chaos. I get a good laugh that Obama’s strength is such that the Republicans are pulled toward whatever Romney is. I really can’t wait till the cognitive dissonance kicks in and they start acting as if they supported Romney from the beginning.

    They are putting it off for as long as they can, but sooner or later they are going to have to face the fact that the party either has to get solidly behind Mitt Romney (which to my mind does not seem like such a tall order, but I also don’t understand what they find so abhorrent about Huntsman or Santorum), or else abandon the race for President and focus more intensely on Congressional and Gubernatorial races.

    Now that I said that, I think I understand that this may be their plan from start to finish. They never had a real prospect for the Presidency, and the field is just for show, to put some people in the spotlight, but they don’t really mean to win. But maybe a half-hearted Presidential race creates an opportunity to control both houses of Congress.

  61. avatar
    G December 23, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    …Actually, this is where they really have a dilemma with a weak choice for candidate and undoubtedly some significant part of their voter turnout that is merely anti-Obama and not pro-GOP candidate…

    In a Presidential election, those candidates really impact the down-ballot results. Particularly in a polarized political climate. The GOP is really in trouble here – either they have a limp Romney ticket that doesn’t generate much enthusiasm either way and hope at best for a bad economy and maybe a close turnout and hope disenfranchised independent votes come their way…

    or they get a candidate that fires them up…which will only really fire up the moderate and Democratic voters in fear and opposition as well…

    The Romney option doesn’t help their down-ballot coat-tails, as these voters might vote one way for President and vote the opposite down-ballot.

    The fired up base is more likely to create an enthusiasm mind-set that carries down the ballot… but which also fires up the opposition to act in the same manner. It really becomes the “too much is at stake” turnout situation…

    Neither of these situations is in the GOP’s favor, unless life feels miserable and hopeless towards election time in the USA… They are a party currently without ideas or accomplishments in congress and so only have voter suppression and scorched-earth tactics to turn everyone into rabidly irrational angry villagers as tactics to hope to get another wave election in their favor…

    James M: But maybe a half-hearted Presidential race creates an opportunity to control both houses of Congress.

  62. avatar
    Majority Will December 23, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    James M: I have a relative who is quite the proud right-wing ultraconservative, through and through.I give her a wide berth, meaning, I will talk about gardening or cooking, and any and all political or religious discussion will be carefully steered by me toward either gardening or cooking or both, and it’s only because I can do so that we remain relatives

    In any event, this individual got the same treatment from “Free Republic” and basically went from being a daily contributor to persona non grata.I think it may have had something to do with Tom Daschle but I never bothered to probe for the details.It’s interesting to see just how far to the right you can be and *still* run afoul of the freepers.

    Free Republic is a festering pustule.

    A place where bigots feel right at home.

  63. avatar
    Lupin December 23, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    James M: Lupin, je sais que vous êtes francophone… I’m fascinated by your use of “taken” here, because I wonder if you meant it as a subjunctive mood, or if you meant to say “taking.” If the former, I can understand a native francophone thinking in the subjunctive, and if the latter I do not mean to offend.

    I probably meant to write “taking”. I think. I don’t recall, your honor. 🙂

  64. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 23, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    When you step into the darkness, you will know the truth. As a Diablo, you should know I never defined what type of house in the initial post, I have Lego houses too. Ahhh, humans and their assumptions.

    JPotter: Is it roughly $10,000 worth* of gingerbread and frosting? Serious question here … a human-scale dwelling would consume a lot of pastry. Or is the Black Devil merely an imp? If truly diabolical, wouldn’t his demonic essence tend to melt the frosting and dry out the bread? It would be literally toasty in there.

  65. avatar
    J. Potter December 23, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    James M: sooner or later they are going to have to face the fact that the party either has to get solidly behind Mitt Romney (which to my mind does not seem like such a tall order, but I also don’t understand what they find so abhorrent about Huntsman or Santorum

    You don’t understand…? From the Red perspective, Huntsman is triply-tainted: Mormon, served as Obama’s (traitor!) ambassador to China (traitor!), and—worst of all to shallow minds—he is dull as dirt. Santorum on the other hand, should be a martyred saint to them by now. He is the ultimate “family values” douchebag. Maybe they all googled his name and took it to seriously.

  66. avatar
    J. Potter December 23, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    El Diablo Negro: When you step into the darkness, you will know the truth. As a Diablo, you should know I never defined what type of house in the initial post, I have Lego houses too. Ahhh, humans and their assumptions.

    Ha! Caught like a rat in a gingerbread trap! Confess, demon!

  67. avatar
    El Diablo Negro December 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    J. Potter: Ha! Caught like a rat in a gingerbread trap! Confess, demon!

    yesssss, my weakness is gingerbread. sooooo delicious.

  68. avatar
    G December 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I’ve wondered too why Santorum can’t seem to “catch on” with the Deep Reds. He seems to be the clear embodiement of their extreme RW stances on these issues.

    I have a suspicion that they argree with his viewpoints but don’t flock to support him because he is so forthright and boldly upfront with them.

    I’ve noticed that many folks who think this way prefer to only truly say what they think behind closed doors, when they feel they are “safe amongst their own” and will put on a much different “face” in a more public forum to appear less extreme than they really are.

    Therefore, Santorum’s Deep Red problem could simply be that they don’t appreciate a “let the cat out of the bag” candidate…

    That’s my hypothesis.

    J. Potter: Santorum on the other hand, should be a martyred saint to them by now. He is the ultimate “family values” douchebag. Maybe they all googled his name and took it to seriously.

  69. avatar
    J. Potter December 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    G: I’ve wondered too why Santorum can’t seem to “catch on” with the Deep Reds. He seems to be the clear embodiement of their extreme RW stances on these issues.I have a suspicion that they argree with his viewpoints but don’t flock to support him because he is so forthright and boldly upfront with them. I’ve noticed that many folks who think this way prefer to only truly say what they think behind closed doors, when they feel they are “safe amongst their own” and will put on a much different “face” in a more public forum to appear less extreme than they really are.Therefore, Santorum’s Deep Red problem could simply be that they don’t appreciate a “let the cat out of the bag” candidate… That’s my hypothesis.

    Good point! Like looking into a mirror and not liking what they see.

    Hmmm. What does that say about their precious values? Why hold onto a position you can’t take pride in / feel ashamed of?

  70. avatar
    bernadine ayers December 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    the birther universe seems to be expanding enough to call a whole u.s. state’s republican party stupid, what’s next ? were any democrats polled ?

  71. avatar
    G December 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Now, this is a valid point of discussion, thank you. You are correct to point out some of the inherent dangers of over generalization and tarring with too broad a brush.

    If you have the chance to look through these posts, you will see that we’ve had a number of discussions on this topic and are not being as utterly dismissive as a few summary statements might appear to convey.

    I’ll try to break it down a bit more objectively:

    1. The GOP gets targeted with the stink of Birtherism, not because the entire GOP is comprised of Birthers, but because the GOP is the only party that has been cynically playing the “dog whistle” games of egging the Birther movement on and more importantly, the ONLY party in which people who actually hold office have been connected directly to Birtherism.

    2. Birthers only make up a very small part of the population, period. They are only a small element comprising the GOP or GOP leaning voters. Most of the GOP is not believed to be Birthers. However, as the GOP is the only Party giving a haven to Birthers in their midst and has a history of giving “dog whistle” support to their movement, the stink of Birtherism rightly hangs over the whole party. Such stink can only be removed by official denouncification and repudiation of Birtherism.

    3. Birthers are only one small example of a broader endemic of craziness, intolerance, increasingly extreme viewpoints, irrational behavior and flagrant dishonesty that seems to have taken over the GOP body politic.

    4. These behaviors are not just being displayed by some random supporters of a party that happen to vote. The point is that these viewpoints are on display by elected officials and party leaders of the GOP. These types of behaviors are currently driving the party platform and policy.

    5. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many sane, normal or moderate people still vote GOP. They are simply not in control and are taking very few steps to be heard or counter the rest of the craziness going on. Those few that try are drowned out and not supported. Therefore, they have no power and say in what is happening. All their loyal votes serve to do is prop up and enable the bad behavior and increasing downward spiral of insanity on display.

    bernadine ayers: the birther universe seems to be expanding enough to call a whole u.s. state’s republican party stupid, what’s next ? were any democrats polled ?

  72. avatar
    J. Potter December 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    well, all that, and the fact that, in the poll this thread references, 51% of Reds polled expressed some level of birther-tude. Whether sincere, sarcastic, flippant, or just the stink of lingering sour grapes, the poll does not say. Surely nowhere near 51% of all the Reds in Iowa are secretly a’birthin’s away …. are they?

  73. avatar
    sfjeff December 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Just my opinion, but I think that every Republican who is not crazy or has any gravitas is staying out of the Presidential race because they are worried the economy is going to continue to stink for the next 4 years regardless of what the Democrats or Republicans do, and they don’t want to be stuck holding the “Recession bag” while its their watch.

    Huntsman is of course the exception, but as noted he is a traitor in the mind of many far right Republicans because he has had the temerity to actually work with Democrats, and has been outside the United States.

  74. avatar
    G December 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    I concur. Both that very real worry and also the worry that Obama is in a stronger position for re-election than the media would have you believe are both reasons that those that might be “better” or “more serious” contenders in the GOP decided to sit out this 2012 cycle…

    The sane simply saw high risk and effort with little reward….

    sfjeff: Just my opinion, but I think that every Republican who is not crazy or has any gravitas is staying out of the Presidential race because they are worried the economy is going to continue to stink for the next 4 years regardless of what the Democrats or Republicans do, and they don’t want to be stuck holding the “Recession bag” while its their watch.

  75. avatar
    J. Potter December 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Prediction: After letting the circus wear down and winnow out the chaff, Obama comes out loaded for bear, roaring glong on the tech-savviest spectacle of a campaign ever seen. The Reds will be revealed as fools.

  76. avatar
    G December 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    I suspect that will be the case…and more importantly, that is the proper timing to do so.

    Let the circus play out for the most part, with only a some effort and ads that point out the inherent weaknesses of those hoping to contend against you. Right now, the GOP Primary is the GOP’s to play in and mess up on their own. So far, this is exactly what is happening.

    J. Potter: Prediction: After letting the circus wear down and winnow out the chaff, Obama comes out loaded for bear, roaring glong on the tech-savviest spectacle of a campaign ever seen. The Reds will be revealed as fools.

  77. avatar
    misha December 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    bernadine ayers: the birther universe seems to be expanding enough to call a whole u.s. state’s republican party stupid, what’s next ? were any democrats polled ?

    You show me a Democrat who says this: “And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards…” Huck also hopped on the Birther train for a ride.

    http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2010/11/few-words-from-mike-huckabee.html

    You show me a Democrat who did this, like John Anderson: Three times (in 1961, 1963, and 1965) in his early terms as a Congressman, Anderson introduced a constitutional amendment to attempt to “recognize the law and authority of Jesus Christ” over the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._Anderson

    I challenge you to name one Democrat who is a Dominionist. Ann Coulter was an ardent supporter of D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries. On his website, Coulter called higher education “a waste,” and stated she regretted the time spent getting her BA and JD. It has since been scrubbed.

    GOP candidates are falling over each other to see who can denigrate Arabs the most. In fact, those candidates are really aiming for evangelical voters, since Jews mostly vote on social issues, and the 1st Amendment. http://www.jewsonfirst.org/

    The GOP died with Nelson Rockefeller. Sorry. All that’s left are mouth breathing knuckledraggers.

  78. avatar
    misha December 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    sfjeff: Huntsman is of course the exception, but as noted he is a traitor in the mind of many far right Republicans because he has had the temerity to actually work with Democrats, and has been outside the United States.

    Huntsman speaks excellent Mandarin, which automatically disqualifies him. If English was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for everyone.

  79. avatar
    John December 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    The slow death of Amerika as we know it.Welcome to the global plantation cotton-pickers!

  80. avatar
    Daniel December 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    John:
    The slow death of Amerika as we know it.Welcome to the global plantation cotton-pickers!

    Interesting slew of words there John…..

    Now maybe you could be so kind as to explain what the aitch-ee-double-hockey-sticks you’re going on about?

  81. avatar
    Daniel December 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    John:
    The slow death of Amerika as we know it.Welcome to the global plantation cotton-pickers!

    Kind of Ironic that you used a Russian-ish spelling for America.

  82. avatar
    Majority Will December 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Daniel: Kind of Ironic that you used a Russian-ish spelling for America.

    I sense an NWO meme.

    And stuff like this floats around like a turd:
    http://www.dailypaul.com/138985/is-amerika-now-under-a-dictatorship

  83. avatar
    JPotter December 26, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    I know numerous old souls who have been fortunate enough to have picked cotton. I eagerly anticipate earning my cotton-pickin’ badge! Where do I sign?

  84. avatar
    Keith December 26, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    JPotter:
    I know numerous old souls who have been fortunate enough to have picked cotton. I eagerly anticipate earning my cotton-pickin’ badge! Where do I sign?

    As a 7 year old (or there-abouts) living in Phoenix, I used to sneak into nearby cotton fields on occasion and pick a few bolls. It was terribly naughty of me.

    Did you know that the finest quality cotton is ‘Pima Cotton’ (Gossypium barbadense) named after the Pima Indians (actually probably the Akimel O’Odham (River People)) who were the first to cultivate it. Ira Hayes, one of the Iwo Jima flagraisers, was an Akimel O’Odham.

    Pima Cotton was commercialized at the University of Arizona Agricultural School Arid Lands Management Department in the early 1900’s, and is now the predominate variety grown in the Southwest USA and Australia. It is less than 5% of the cotton crop in the USA, almost all of it from California and Arizona (the other 95% being Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, grown across the ‘traditional’ cotton growing states in the Southeast).

    Interestingly, Pima Cotton growers are not eligible for price support mechanism’s in the 2002 Farm Bill, but Upland Cotton growers are. Essentially, Upland Cotton growers are guaranteed a floor price for their product.

    Who would have thought those conservative, God-fearing folk across the southland would be so happy to be the beneficiary of such an un-American socialist program, while those unwashed, hippy, commutards out west would be denied access to the money trough?

  85. avatar
    JPotter December 26, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Keith: God-fearing folk across the southland would be so happy to be the beneficiary of such an un-American socialist program

    I’m shocked—shocked!—to hear allegations of cronyism and hypocrisy levelled at the GOP! I will have it, sir, not on this website, or any other! My deddy will whip yo deddy out behind the big house when he gets back from auction.

  86. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    For everyone’s entertainment pleasure:

    The Top 10 GOP “moments of the year” 2011, brought to you by the DNC:

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/12/30/top_10_gop_moments_of_the_year.html#disqus_thread

  87. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    As promised, I’m going to get back to talking about the GOP Primary Race and the fortunes of the main 7 candidates in the race.

    In the long game, only Romney and Paul currently have the organizational structure & finances in place to dig in for a long haul, which I expect this race to be…even if the conclusion seems to be “forgone” early on. Simply put, the consistently strong base desire to find a “Not Mitt” candidate severely contrasts with Mitt’s “inevitability” as the nominee.

    So while Mitt is certainly favored merely by default, it is certainly not certain that this paper tiger amongst an incredibly weak and flawed field will cross that line without serious groundswell efforts to try to prevent that from happening. In the end, he’s still in the best position to limp across the finish line…but I’m pretty sure that this circus act is still far from over, *even* if Mitt can pull off decisive wins in both IA & NH.

    This year’s unusual GOP calendar and delegate allocation structure is remarkably different from what we’re used to seeing in the past. Unlike 2008, in which the calendar was heavily front-loaded and full of mainly “winner-take-all” contests, 2012 has been set up als almost the opposite. Feb. 5 of 2008 saw a 21-state “Super Tuesday”, which included many delegate rich states,(including the largest CA, and other huge states such as NY, GA, & NJ). So by Feb 6th, more than half of the states had already voted and a significant number of “winner take all” delegates had been awarded.

    This cycle, the earliest contests have been penalized for going so early by having half of their delegates stripped from them. Super Tuesday won’t take place until March 3rd, and only includes 11 states. All of the state contests that take place prior to April will be proportional allocation instead of “winner-take-all”…and even some of the states that take place after that, such as TX (2nd largest delegate allocation) will also use proportional allocation. Of the 5 largest states, only FL happens prior to April…and it has half of its 93 delegates stripped. TX doesn’t happen until sometime in April. PA & NY are also late April. The largest, CA is towards the very end, in early June.

    In essence, it will take a lot longer for any nominee, no matter how apparently “inevitable” to clinch the nomination…and the obstacles are much greater along the way for rivals to pick up steam and subsequently pick-off many of these delegates for themselves. Several competive rivals only need to deliver strong runner-up showings and maybe win a few contests along the way to rack up an impressive delegate count of their own. The longer this goes on, with rivals also racking up delegates, the less “inevitable” Romney will appear, and the opportunity for either an challenger upset or even a brokered convention increases.

  88. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    So, in the overall contest, Romney is definitely the weak “default” candidate that is expected to get the nomination in the end.

    However, there are 4 factions out there that are each challenging and chipping away at his perception of inevitability and exposing cracks between the party establishment and what comprises “the base” these days.

    First off, let’s tackle Ron Paul. He is the only other candidate currently prepared to fight a long battle and there are indications that his organization is even much better prepared on the ground in many states than Romney’s. Unlike Romney’s tepid support, Ron’s followers are pretty devoted (regardless of your opinions of them) and unlikely to waver. They are also pretty used to being treated like pariahs by the media and the GOP establishment and it seems to only serve to harden their resolve. I seriously think that everyone is still underestimating just how significant and sustained Paul’s impact will be on this upcoming race and he should not be counted out, even though his ability to win in the end seems unlikely – such a result would surely cause havok and a partial revolt in the GOP!

    Expect the GOP and media to continually rachet up their efforts to try to downplay or discredit Paul and his supporters and pull out every knife they can find to use against him. I really think his strong base support are fairly immune to such attacks and the best they can hope for is to try to suppress his further growth and momentum. That may be partially out of their control as well, as success breeds success, so a perception of his doing well will still encourage others to see him as more “viable” (and thus able to cast a vote form him), as there are a number of GOP and Independent voters who are open to his different views and admire his consistency in contrast to the shameless flip-flopping and pandering of Romeny and others in the race.

    There is also a risk of too much pilng on or trying to ignore Paul backfiring. Such actions might serve to just harden and embolden Paul voters in their resolve and zeal. They also run the risk of pushing them “out” of the party and opening a serious threat of a 3rd Party run. This result would be a nightmare scenario for the GOP. Regardless, Paul will be a big thorn and headache in the establishment’s side for quite some time in this race and his prominence will hurt Romney’s success in the process.

    Second, there is an obviously large conservative base resistance to Romney in play as well. So far, Romney has been very lucky that this has been diluted by being split across a large number of the rest of the other candidates, all which have displayed their own weaknesses. Hence the endless cycle of bubbles quickly rising and bursting, while Romney’s numbers simply stay the same.

    If the field can be quickly winnowed down to no more than two candidates competing to be the “Deep Red’s” conservative alternative to Romney, then Romney could be in serious trouble. Right now, there are mainly 3 candidates vying for this position – Bachmann, Perry, & Santorum. Newt Gingrich is a 4th in this mix…but then again, Newt is almost a unique cult of personality all his own and his final trajectory in this race is not fully dependent on that “Deep Red” contingent as the other three.

    These 3 candidates fortunes and ability to compete are strongly tied to IA and SC in January. They are also the group most likely to see winnowing in their numbers happen out of IA. All 3 of them have done significant campaining and have a base structure of support in SC…so those that survive IA and can still make a play for SC can hope to play up any “momentum” they get out of IA to fundraise and try to quickly expand their campaign structure in SC and subsequent states. NH will have the least impact on the fortunes of this crowd. They will all be listed on the ballot there, but could easily shrug off a poor performance in that state, as Romney is so favored to not just win, but dominate. They would be better served focusing on SC on Jan 21st and FL after that. The key thing about this group is that they are really competing against each other at this point to survive and achieve that coveted “Conservative Not Romney” slot.

    Then there is Newt. He can pull a certain amount of support from just about all of the “not Romney” factions. He has the worst and most unorthodox campaign structure and discipline amongst anyone competing this cycle. He’s an unpredictable and unstable quantity that could implode at any time…but might still be able to get back up afterwards and get back in it. Poor performances in early contests may or may not cause Newt to drop out of the race…all depends on how his ego takes it andfeels about continuing. However, if he performs really poorly early on, his already nearly depleted sources of funding will likely dry up quickly…and he will be forced to drop out this time if he can’t find the money to soldier on. I’m certainly not going to count him out until he’s clearly “out”…

    Then there are the “Anti-Romney alternatives to Romney” candidates – those who’s campaigns serve to mainly pull votes away from Romney’s potential “base” and to themselves. Chief amongst this group is Jon Huntsman. His fortunes are doubled-down in NH. A solid performance of at least 15% and 3rd place or better just may allow him to continue onto next try at FL and NV. Worse than that and he’ll probably drop out after NH. His real impact at this point is more of a “spoiler” to Romney and if his vote totals serve to blunt or prevent Romney’s win in that state, that would also be viewed as a victory for him.

    To a much lesser extent, Buddy Roemer and Fred Karver can also be put into this category, as can the combined rest of the lesser field competing against Romney in NH. If even collectively, they pull at least 1% or more and the race in NH has tightented somewhat…that may just be the additional margin of difference needed to prevent Romney from “meeting expectations” there and thus, hurting his momentum and argument of “inevitability” going forward…

  89. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    So, predicting the “end” result of this highly unstable circus show race is nearly impossible. Heck, it is even hard to predict the outcome of the first contest in IA, as the situation is so fluid and unsettled that really, just about any of the main 6 contesting it could surprise and win it.

    First of all, in nearly all the current polls, the top results are barely in the mid 20’s and the bottom results of the main six are for the most part all above 10%. So you have a six-way horse-race in just three days with a tight margin of less than 15% separating first place from sixth place!

    Factor in a caucus system in which only 4% of the populace are expected to participate and where a good portion are still considered undecided and you have a situation in which small differences in turnout and enthusiasm can really sway the results. Unlike a traditional primary ballot, the IA GOP caucus is a fairly public affair, where persuasion is typical and even encouraged. Each of the 1774 caucus precincts is its own gathering place that will report its results on Jan 3rd. Campaign literature, buttons, stickers and their like can be plastered about the precinct. Advocates for a particular campaign are able to meet and greet the participants and try to sway them to vote for their candidate. A strong “ground game” in this situation will strive to place advocates and materials in as many of these precincts as possible. Thus, the importance and impact of a well developed ground game can not be understated and really can make all the difference in the world.

    That being said, I want to go out on a limb and make a bold prediction of the outcome and get it on the record here before the all important Des Moines Register Iowa Poll comes out on Sat. eve. (It is regarded as one of the best predictors of where the race is trending).

    So here is my wild stab at the top six rankings for the IA caucus results on Tues:


    1. Ron Paul
    2. Rick Santorum
    3. Mitt Romney
    4. Rick Perry
    5. Newt Gingrich
    6. Michele Bachman

    I think Mitt’s campaign made a big mistake of being too tepid in its approach to IA for so much of this year and then making it obvious they were going “all in” over the past several weeks in both their recent cocky statements and advertising. Latest I’ve heard is that they’ve decided to also schedule a post-caucus celebration party for late Tues eve, instead of heading off immediately to NH, as was previously planned.

    I think they’ve made a costly error or overconfidence that could really come back and bite them in the butt. Their confidence seems to be based solely on typical polls as well as a strong crowd turnout throughout their recent tour. They and their Super-PACs may be dominating the airwaves, but they seem to have totally overlooked taking the “ground game” seriously. They have a limited staff operation in the state and it is mostly volunteer. They are simply relying on supporters they picked up 4 years ago, but have mostly neglected since then. I’ve read several insider reports that there seems to be barely any activity actually taking place in their state HQ and none of the support seems to be particularly enthusiastic; just a lax assumption of Romney being the “inevitable” choice.

    Therefore, Romney’s ground game seems woefully neglected and I feel he will underperform expectations as a result.

    I think Ron Paul will exceed expectations and still come in 1st place, because all reports have consistently shown that he’s got a very focused, vast reaching and dedicated ground game plan that has been in play for a long time. He’s also got the largest paid staff on the GOP side and seems to have the most enthusiastic and committed supporters. I think this will make all the difference in the end.

    Bachmann supposedly had the 2nd strongest “ground game” team in place…but there are many reports that has been severely collapsing over the past week and there have been several prominent defections and calls from prominent local evangelicals for her to bow out, so they could consolidate around Rick Santorum. That indicates to me that the “Deep Red” community has mostly decided to rule her out.

    Likewise, Santorum, has put a dedicated outreach effort into IA since the beginning of his campaign. He’s visited every county and has spent the greatest amount of time in that state of any candidate. His main limitation has been a shoestring budget and lack of gaining traction…but it seems his “surge” has finally arrived and it couldn’t be better timed.

    There seems to be a strong desperate push by evangelicals to make a final last-ditch effort to coalesce around a single “not Romney” candidate. Right now, that seems to be mainly benefitting Santorum (and to a lesser extent, Rick Perry, who has also made some inroads). This also seems to be coming at the expense of not just Newt Gingrich’s fall, but more importantly, Bachmann’s.

    Gingrich has bigger problems in IA than just being the latest bubble to burst in this cycle. He simply has the least amount of organization, strategy and ground game set up. Because of this, I expected him to underperform expectations, even when his star was rising a few weeks ago. Now I think he’ll be lucky to eek out a 5th place finish…

  90. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    So finally, what impact will the IA results have on the next phases of the race?…

    I think this year that the 1st four places will move on, regardless of who is in those positions.

    Placing 5th or 6th is likely to cause a campaign to consider bowing out at that point…but not guaranteed.

    More than just rank will matter in this contest – the margins will as well. If the difference between one rank and the next are within just a few percent, then a lower ranked campaign can still spin that as “competitive” enough to justify continuing on and try to “spin” their rank as nearly as good as the one above them. Anyone who can’t get achieve double digits in their results (i.e. at least 10%) will have a hard time justifying continuing on. I highly doubt anyone will be able to cross the 30% threshold. Therefore, the results could be quite close and tightly bunched.

    Mitt Romney will continue on to NH, regardless of how he does. However, his campaign made the mistake of getting too cocky over the past few days and raising expectations that he is a lock to win this. He’s also made the mistake of directly saying that he views a loss to Ron Paul as a loss. So now he’s put himself in a difficult position – anything less than 1st place is a loss and will seriously damage his aura of “inevitabilty” and I believe supress his vote turnout in NH. I think his full range of placement is between 1st and 4th…but I highly doubt he can pull of 1st… So I think he’s created some unnecessary trouble for himself here.

    Ron Paul could actually win this and I think is in the strongest position to do so. There is always the possibility that he comes in 2nd or 3rd, if others truly gain momentum. He too will continue on regardless. Because he is so discounted in the media, I think his campaign gains further momentum with either a 1st or 2nd place win and would still remain stable even if he placed 3rd or 4th. If he can win IA…there is a possibility he could even surge to pull off another win in NH.

    Newt just doesn’t have the ground game in place. Is it possible he could surprise and somehow pull out a 1st place finish? Anything is possible in this year’s wild race. However, I really think he will underperform significantly and fall toward the bottom of the pack. But Newt being Newt, I have no idea if any result will cause him to drop out or not. He’s already lowered expectations indicating he’d be happy with a 4th or better finish… but what if he’s a distant 5th or 6th…?

    Santorum stated just a week ago that he would continue as long as he didn’t come in last. Now with his apparent last-minute surge, there is talk of him possibly winning. I think that is a high bar to overcome, but again, anything is truly possible here. Putting him at 2nd was the biggest gamble in my predictions. Expect him to continue on as long as he doesn’t come in 6th and as long as he gets double digits of support. If he ends up in the top 4, he gains momentum going forward. But his true next focus and test would be SC, even if he actively competes in NH.

    Perry and Bachmann are competing for the same demographic as Santorum. If either of them can get 4th or better, then the same applies as what I said about Santorum above. A 5th place finish by either might cause them to drop out. A 6th place finish definitely should.

    Huntsman isn’t competing here, so even though IA voters can cast their vote for him, he could get no votes at all and not be hurt by it. However, a surprisingly strong showing (even 4% or more) by him could be spun as a “victory” to add momentum in NH. He is expected to come in 7th. If he somehow beat one of the main 6 competing here, that would be *huge* suprising news for him and should be a death knell for whomever he would beat.

    Beyond that, it will be interesting to see if anyone else gets votes and how many…

    That pretty much sums up my analysis of the GOP Primary at this point. Once the IA results finalize, I’ll comment on them and try to predict how they impact the NH & SC dynamics.

  91. avatar
    JPotter December 31, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    G: The Top 10 GOP “moments of the year” 2011, brought to you by the DNC:

    Thanks for that, G! If only they expanded the video to 100 items, we could start endurance contests …. to see who could watch teh most before suffering an embarassing bodily malfunction.

    Even The Economist is commenting on the Red Scare … !

  92. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    You’re welcome!

    I agree, they could have easily had montly (or perhaps even weekly) Top Ten lists of this type, considering the stunning amount of fodder this crazy crowd constantly provides!

    I have no doubt that 2012 will provide them with plenty of additional fodder for many more such Top Ten lists to come!

    JPotter: Thanks for that, G! If only they expanded the video to 100 items, we could start endurance contests …. to see who could watch teh most before suffering an embarassing bodily malfunction.

  93. avatar
    G December 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    The well-renowned and much anticipated Des Moines Register Iowa Poll has been released!

    http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/12/31/romney-leads-paul-in-new-des-moines-register-iowa-poll-santorum-surging/

    They have a reputation for having the closest pulse on polling the IA caucus, a very tough feat to do, due to its inherent structure and ability to sway last minute influence on a very small segment of the population.

    To paraphrase their findings:

    A new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Mitt Romney leading at 24%, followed by Ron Paul at 22%, Rick Santorum at 15%, Newt Gingrich at 12%, Rick Perry at 11%, Michele Bachmann at 7%.

    “But the four-day results don’t reflect just how quickly momentum is shifting in a race that has remained highly fluid for months. If the final two days of polling are considered separately, Santorum rises to second place, with 21%, pushing Paul to third, at 18%. Romney remains the same, at 24%.”

    It will be interesting to see how they fare in predicting the outcome this year. There has never been a year where the outcome was truly so unstable and the number of “undecideds” being reported is still so high, with just a few days left.

    Also, I find it curious to note that their stated method of polling and screening only involves using land line phones to try to find likely GOP Causus goers and poll their results.

    So, I stick by my own predictions that I posted at 3:55 am above, based on studying up on the ground game organizations from various internal reports I could find. I think land-line only polls no longer have much value in today’s world, where many, particularly the younger generations, use only cell phones. Therefore, I feel they too are totally missing certain demographics and therefore, their results are vastly underestimating Ron Paul’s true support base that will show up on caucus night. I do think their results support the evidence of Bachmann’s base collapsing and drifting to Santorum as well.

    In other reports, Rick Perry is making a strong last minute push and is bringing in 470 out-of-state volunteers for a last minute push. The reports also make a surprisingly strong claim for the ground game he’s cobbled together over the past 2 months:

    Rick Perry has signed up 1,500 precinct leaders in Iowa, a source inside the campaign tells CNN. There are a total 1,774 Republican caucus precincts around the state, about 900 of which are combined.

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/12/31/perry_bets_on_his_ground_game.html

    So, the next 72 hours should prove very interesting! The final results and rankings could surprise everyone, so it should be quite an entertaining spectacle to watch unfold, regardless!

  94. avatar
    G January 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    In terms of where endorsements matter, within an actual state contest, local endorsements are really the ones likely to have greater pull and connections of support, particularly in a Caucus voting structure.

    So here’s a good list tracking IA endorsements:

    http://www.p2012.org/chrniowa/iaendorse.html

  95. avatar
    G January 2, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    The PPP poll has just come out for IA. PPP has a pretty good track record, as far as polls go. However, polling a caucus is a tricky thing and polling an IA caucus is fairly new territory for them, so we’ll see how they do on this completely difficult to predict IA finish.

    It should be noted that this poll provides the most updated snap-shot available so far:

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/01/01/iowa_headed_for_a_photo_finish.html

    A new Public Policy Polling survey in Iowa shows the three leading contenders all within two points of each other. Ron Paul leads at 20%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19%, and Rick Santorum at 18%.

    The rest of the field: Newt Gingrich at 14%, Rick Perry at 10%, Michele Bachmann at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 2%.

    Key findings: “The momentum in the race is completely on Santorum’s side… Santorum’s net favorability of 60/30 makes him easily the most popular candidate in the field. No one else’s favorability exceeds 52%. He may also have more room to grow in the final 48 hours of the campaign than the other front runners: 14% of voters say he’s their second choice to 11% for Romney and only 8% for Paul.”

    I still stand by my prior predictions:

    G:
    So here is my wild stab at the top six rankings for the IA caucus results on Tues:

    1. Ron Paul
    2. Rick Santorum
    3. Mitt Romney
    4. Rick Perry
    5. Newt Gingrich
    6. Michele Bachman

    In fact, I’m actually feeling even more confident of them, based on the signs of the past 48 hours.

    I still feel that Ron Paul has an unbeatable and well-polished ground game in play, with very devout voters who will turn out to caucus and campaign for him.

    Rick Santorum’s momentum seems confirmed. The Deep Reds seem to be consolidating around him rapidly. Rick Perry has made a very solid late push as well – both on the ground and on the airwaves. So far, this seems to be keeping his conservative support afloat and I think he’ll hold on to capture that 4th spot. If his supporters make a last minute switch to also rally around Santorum, then Santorum would be favored to win…but so far, no signs of this happening, so I’m still keeping to all my original predictions.

  96. avatar
    Lupin January 2, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Rick Santorum? No kidding? [facepalm]

  97. avatar
    G January 3, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Yep. Talk about a last minute and desperately needed change of fortunes for him!

    He’s been at the back of the pack the whole time and been able to raise very little money or garnish much support until now. With all the other “conservative” options busting, it seems that the Deep Reds are finally willing to give him a shot. The timing couldn’t be better for Rick as his fortunes have always been more tied to Iowa than the others.

    If Gingrich’s bubble hadn’t burst so quickly, (largely in part to a very sustained airwave attack campaign from his rivals), then Santorum’s fortunes and fate would have been grim. He would have been the most likely one to come in 6th under the prior dynamic in play and thus would have been most likely to drop out as a result of of the Iowa Caucus.

    Now, the very contest that seemed destined to end him could serve the opposite function and propel him to prominance and even front-runner status! Quite an amazing and abrupt change of fortunes, indeed!

    Lupin:
    Rick Santorum? No kidding? [facepalm]