Rick Perry

The Real N.H. Showdown Comes In November
January 10, 2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Barack Obama needs to get himself to New Hampshire, pronto. There are some awfully discombobulated voters up here, and if he has any hope of holding onto the state next fall, he’s going to need to have a serious talk with them. That’s my main takeaway from Mitt Romney’s successful wearing down of a skeptical electorate to the point where, after six years of having him showing up at their tiniest parades and showering cash on their lowliest of elected officials, it finally said: Uncle.

The Top Ten Out-Of-Touch Things Mitt Romney Has Ever Said
January 10, 2012

Being a man of the people: “I’m also unemployed.” Sharing his deepest anxieties: “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered if I was going to get a pink slip.” Giving his plan for the housing market: “Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process.

Why It Won’t Be Long Until Movement Conservatives Start Backing Romney
January 09, 2012

It is usually assumed that the invisible primary ends with the Iowa Caucuses, when the party rank-and-file begin to have their say. But thanks to an exceptionally chaotic and unpredictable pre-caucus period, the central dynamic of the invisible primary—Mitt Romney’s wooing of conservatives skeptical of him—has been extended.

Why Santorum’s Fate Hinges on New Hampshire
January 05, 2012

Politico has a piece up today arguing that “N.H. is next, but S.C. is key,” as the headline puts it. The piece goes on to explain:  The Republican presidential candidates have swept into New Hampshire so swiftly, you might be tricked into thinking that next Tuesday’s primary really matters. But with Mitt Romney’s dominance here still unshaken, the other members of the GOP field are already plotting to make their strongest stand against the national front-runner in South Carolina — a conservative state in the heart of a region in which Romney has long struggled to break through.

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.

Is This Really All There Is?
January 03, 2012

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Could Santorum Win Big?
January 03, 2012

So everyone more or less agrees on the storyline heading into caucus night: Romney is clinging to a narrow lead, though there are doubts about whether he can break out of the mid-20s, which he’s never really surpassed either in Iowa or nationally. Ron Paul is near Romney at the top of the field, but is widely regarded as a sideshow: He draws heavily from young voters, most of whom will either turn out and vote for him or not vote at all. That leaves Rick Santorum, whom everyone agrees has the wind at his back. The latest polls have him in striking distance of Paul and Romney.

Who Are The Real GOP Radicals In Iowa?
January 03, 2012

RED OAK, IOWA -- Outside a candidate's event in Council Bluffs, as the wind was blowing in bitter cold from Nebraska, I witnessed my first ugly moment of the Iowa caucuses. A 19-year-old local man, Steve Bertelson, was standing outside on the sidewalk, shivering visibly, silently holding a sign with a scrawled slogan about the 1 percent. As people left the event, several turned on him, shouting angrily just steps away from him as he absorbed the abuse without saying anything. Why didn't he go across the river to Omaha and bother Warren Buffett instead, shouted one man.

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?

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