Can Mitt Prevent His Opponents From Going Medieval on Him?
January 11, 2012
Last night was, by all accounts, a good night for Mitt Romney. He went into the New Hampshire primary needing two things: to win by a significant margin and to leave no one else with a plausible path to victory. The results from the Granite State fulfilled both of these Romney criteria, and it’s now extremely likely Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination this year.
Live Free or Die of Boredom: Why This Is the Least Exciting New Hampshire Primary Ever
January 09, 2012
Rochester, N.H.—Having emerged unbloodied Sunday morning from the weekend’s debate double-header, Mitt Romney barreled down Route 101 at more than 80 miles an hour towards a noon rally at the Rochester Opera House. (I can verify the speedometer reading since the Romney campaign bus zoomed past me in a 65-mile-an-hour zone and I tailed it until it turned off the highway). The front-runner’s haste was understandable, since Romney wants this primary inscribed in the record books before his double-digit lead vanishes.
Romney is Wrapping This Up
January 08, 2012
I've spent the last few days arguing that there’s only one plausible way to make Mitt Romney sweat this nomination contest: Rick Santorum has to beat expectations in New Hampshire so that he comes into South Carolina with a head of steam and consolidates the anti-Romney vote there. To do that, Santorum doesn't need to win New Hampshire, where Romney is all but assured of victory. But he does need to finish well ahead of Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, who constitute the rest of the contending pack.
Mitt Romney, Much Obliged
January 08, 2012
What better person than the French-speaking Mitt Romney to lay bare the pure beating heart of noblesse oblige. Sunday morning's NBC debate in Concord, N.H. was a vast improvement over the ABC one the night before -- it occurred to the non-Romney candidates that they might want to train their fire on the man who's up 20 points in the New Hampshire polls. Their focus trailed off as the debate progressed, but Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did manage to produce a revealing exchange at the outset regarding Romney's motivations to enter politics.
Conservative Republicans’ Tragic Failure To Stick With a Candidate
January 05, 2012
The results of the Iowa caucuses illuminate the basic structure of today’s Republican Party and offer clues about what’s to come between now and the end of January. Pew’s “political typology,” the latest iteration of which appeared last May, provides the best point of departure. That report used a statistical technique known as cluster analysis to identify four major pro-Republican groups: Staunch Conservatives (11 percent of registered voters), Main Street Conservatives (14 percent), Libertarians (10 percent), and “Disaffecteds” (11 percent).
Why the Tie In Iowa Is a Win For Romney
January 04, 2012
As of this writing, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are very nearly tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses, and Ron Paul is close enough to make it a functional three-way tie. But no matter who eventually “wins,” Mitt Romney has already won in terms of Iowa’s impact on the overall nominating process. That’s the case no matter what tomorrow’s spin on the Caucus results suggests, for the simple reason that Paul cannot win the nomination, and Santorum is a very long shot.
Rick Perry, Texas Governor And Iowa Goat
January 01, 2012
SIOUX CITY, IOWA -- The big question coming out of the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night is whether social conservatives who were leaning towards Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich will move in large numbers to Rick Santorum, whom the poll showed to be rising fast. I went yesterday to the town Boone -- hometown of Mamie Eisenhower! -- to see Perry and see what he's offering to voters to keep that sort of desertion from happening. I came away fairly flabbergasted. What in the world had happened to Rick Perry, the campaigner extraordinaire of Texas legend?
A Conservative on Why Newt Still Has Life
December 27, 2011
Earlier today I tried to explain why Newt's numbers had stabilized after their recent nose-dive: [W]hile Republican voters don’t want him to be their nominee, they don’t want Romney to stroll to the nomination either. The week-and-a-half or so Newt spent in freefall gave them a chance to imagine the primaries playing out as a Romney coronation, and they didn’t find the scenario especially heartening.
Finally, Republicans Find Their New Welfare Queens
December 19, 2011
If you’ve been watching the Republican presidential debates, you’ve likely heard a surprising amount of talk about welfare reform. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum identify the 1996 law, which the Republican Congress eventually forced President Clinton to sign, as their signature achievements, emblematic of the kind of policies they would pursue as president.
The Original Tea Partier
December 16, 2011
[Guest post by Simon van Zuylen-Wood] Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of Newt Gingrich’s highly puzzling ascendance is his popularity among Tea Party voters. As of December 6 he was the overwhelming Tea Party favorite, with 47% of their support. (This enthusiasm may have flagged amid the targeted attacks Newt’s opponents have been deploying this week.) Gingrich’s lead could be a passing fad, but while it lasts, he’s got the Tea Party to thank. His numbers among “moderates/liberals” and “Tea Party nonsupporters” are virtually identical to Romney’s.