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Tag: "2012 Republican Primary"


[ 90 ] March 12, 2012 |

Good luck with this fellas:

Newt Gingrich has a crazy idea. Sources close to his dwindling campaign say he is in talks with Rick Perry in hopes of getting him on a ticket before the Republican convention in August.

“Gingrich insiders hope forming a predetermined ticket with Perry will unite the evangelical, Tea Party and very conservative voters that make up the core of the GOP,” FOX News reports in an exclusive story.

Perry’s office isn’t denying the rumors: “Gov. Perry thinks Newt Gingrich is the strongest conservative to debate and defeat President Obama and truly overhaul Washington. The speculation is humbling but premature.”


Small Steps in the Republican Implosion

[ 87 ] March 7, 2012 |

While there’s a very long time left between now and November and while on the local and congressional level, Republicans may survive, or even take the Senate while retaining the House, the Republican Party and its leaders are doing everything in their power to destroy their chances of winning the presidency. Some of this is common knowledge–the war on middle-class white women having sex, for instance. A few possibly less well-known factors in the ongoing Republican implosion.

1. There’s almost no way the Republicans take the White House without winning Ohio. There are other mathematical possibilities for them, but given Ohio’s demographics and big swing to the Republicans in 2010, it feels like a must-win. Luckily for Democrats, John Kasich’s war on unions may have doomed Republicans in the Buckeye State. When Republicans are losing the Fraternal Order of Police, you know they are in trouble.

2. Of course, Romney has another problem that is clear from Republican primaries: working-class voters don’t like him. Santorum is killing Romney among non-college educated whites, an absolutely crucial demographic for Republicans this fall. I’m certainly not saying Santorum voters are going to choose Obama over Romney, but they could very well stay home. And again, in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, Republicans need a very high turnout to have any shot of winning these states at all. Turns out that Romney’s plutocrat demeanor and clear contempt for working-class people may not work out so well. Who knew.

3. Mittens is also downright determined to get 0% of the growing Latino vote. Of all the tactics to choose, why get after Santorum for voting to appoint Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court? I guess there’s short-term gain to call Santorum weak on racial animosity and stopping the Kenyan’s agenda, but attacking one of the two most prominent Latinos in the history of American politics (along with Cesar Chavez) seems titanically stupid. This has slipped under a lot of radar screens, but the Latino media is all over it and that’s what counts here. I didn’t think it would be possible for Republicans to draw less Latino votes than McCain did, but Romney is giving it the old college try!

On Caucuses

[ 2 ] March 7, 2012 |

Over at the Prospect I wade into the debate about the use of caucuses in the presidential selection process. I think the current system works tolerably well, although I don’t oppose regulation in principle and could be convinced that an all-primary system would be better.

The Inevitable Mittens

[ 10 ] March 7, 2012 |

I assume that after the not-only-delegate win in Ohio there won’t be much argument, although the immediate future consists of state tilted enough towards Santorum that some people will see an ongoing race.

A Requiem For Newt

[ 16 ] March 6, 2012 |

What should be his concession speech but wasn’t because he’s Newt does situate him right at the heart of the Republican universe in one respect: the man is 100% pure resentment.   It’s like Michael Jordan…if Michael Jordan had only been a minor league baseball player.

The Internet Has Not Eliminated the Need for Campaign Organization

[ 55 ] March 5, 2012 |

This, from Silver’s Super Tuesday preview, is what I mean when I say that (implausible as it seems in the abstract) that Mittens has been inevitable since Perry imploded:

In Ohio, most of the delegates (48) are awarded winner-take-all by Congressional district. Note, however, that Rick Santorum does not have not have full delegate slates in some districts and will not be eligible to win them there.


Whether or not Mr. Romney is a favorite to win the popular vote in Ohio, however, he is probably the favorite to take the plurality of delegates there because of Mr. Santorum’s delegate problems.

And, as most people know, the ineptitude of the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns means that Romney can get almost all of Virginia’s 46 delegates uncontested. The spend-lotsa-cash-grind-out-the-delegates approach Romney has adopted out of necessity would have real vulnerabilities against a serious campaign, but Santorum doesn’t have the resources to run one and it’s not clear that Newt would have bothered to run a serious campaign even if he had the money he doesn’t have. When you eliminate the impossible, you’re left with Romney.

Is the Gender Gap Killing Santorum?

[ 9 ] March 4, 2012 |

There’s a lot of speculation that Santorum’s emphasis on crackpot anti-contraception positions hurt him greatly among women, perhaps costing him the Michigan primary. The evidence for this is actually more mixed than you might expect. In the Michigan exit polls, Romney’s margin with women was 4 points higher than Santorum’s; consistent with the theory but basically within the margin of error for a typical exit poll, so it’s not really clear evidence of a substantial gender gap. In Arizona, however, Romney did three points better among men than women…and Santorum did six points better among women than men. So, on balance, the gender gap in the two primaries actually favored Santorum.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the conventional wisdom is wrong. One explanation for this is that the Arizona race was essentially uncontested, with little advertising, so Santroum starts with an edge among women but the more they find out about his views the less they like him. I think this is indeed part of the story. It is important to remember, however, how many conservative women find Rush Limbaugh’s worldview perfectly congenial. Santorum’s vies will obviously be unpopular among women as a whole, but women who vote in Republican primaries won’t necessarily be as hostile.

Paging David Horowitz!

[ 39 ] February 29, 2012 |

Rick Santorum was a victim of liberal persecution, receiving lower grades than he surely deserved because of his political views.

Who can doubt it? Why, his American history professor probably didn’t give him full credit for his answer to the question of why the United States won the Revolutionary War, i.e. “because George Washington was a dumbshit.” And I bet Berube won’t even tell you about the Boston book party…

Still Coming Up Mittens

[ 65 ] February 29, 2012 |

Obviously, I’m not changing my mind about the direction of the race after a Romney sweep.

Michigan does make me understand why some people are stubborn about seeing a race here; I was skeptical of Romney for too long myself.   Given the mismatch of resources, it’s not an impressive win.   But the fundamental truth is that you can’t beat even a weak candidate with nothing, and Romney is lucky enough to be facing only marginally less maladroit (Santorum) or actively worse (Newt) candidates who also can’t touch his financial and organizational resources.   Santorum and even Newt might get some wins on Super Tuesday, but it will just be delaying the, er, inevitable.

It will be refreshing to have a Republican candidate proposing to help out ordinary Americans by abolishing taxes on multimillion dollar inheritances.

To Be A Christian, You Must Be A Republican

[ 51 ] February 27, 2012 |

There’s an obvious contradiction at the heart of Little Ricky Santorum’s analysis of JFK’s speech — it would seem odd to say that JFK was against people of faith participating in the public sphere, when in fact JFK was, er, a person of faith participating in a public sphere.

Of course, it all makes sense when you realize that Santorum believes that if you don’t share his reactionary political views than you can’t really be a Christian.

Shorter Republican Candidates

[ 10 ] February 22, 2012 |

“The problem with the auto bailout is that evil workers actually benefited.  Had all the money gone to obscenely wealthy parasites like Mitt Romney, they might have been fine.”

…shorter #2: “The consequences of teenagers not using contraception proves that contraception is evil.”

It’s Still Mittens

[ 135 ] February 17, 2012 |

Since I’ve been baited, I suppose I should point out that Santorum is almost certainly not going to win the Republican nomination, for reasons that should be obvious:

Here are some things to keep in mind when assessing Rick Santorum’s chances of beating Mitt Romney. He has no pollster, no campaign headquarters, and no paid advance staff. He’s currently getting outspent on television in Michigan by a ratio of 29-1.

You know the part of the campaign ad where the candidate identifies himself and says he approves this message? The completely ubiquitous feature of modern political advertising? Santorum’s new ad seems to have forgotten it.

He also failed to get his name on the ballot in such states as Virginia and Indiana. Perhaps you have heard of them.

Citing Citizens United is not a serious response. It may make the extent to which Romney can outspend Santorum on ads a little less dramatic, but it can’t come close to eliminating the gap and it does nothing to solve any of the other problems.

The fact that Romney has spent a lot of time in national polls behind vanity and outright joke candidates does, in fact, reveal that he is a very weak candidate, and would clearly lose to a minimally competent, relatively orthodox conservative with a serious, well-funded campaign. But he’s going to win anyway because he hasn’t faced one, and once Perry — the one poll frontrunner who could have seriously contested the nomination — failed the “minimally competent” test, it was clear sailing. The hapless Gingrich actually fails to meet any of the criteria for a serious contender. Santorum will remain standing for a little while longer because he’s a little better than Newt — his negatives aren’t as high, he’s actually won state-wide office in a purple state (granting that he also lost said office in a landslide), and his failure to build a serious campaign infrastructure seems more than a question of resources than will (although at this late date I’m not sure the distinction matters.) Santorum could certainly challenge Romney given a rough parity of resources and reasonably spaced-out primary dates, but in the actually existing race he has almost no chance.

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