What the Republican Primary Season Has Revealed About the GOP
December 30, 2011
It’s very tempting to dismiss the Iowa caucuses as much ado about almost nothing: As Iowa goes, so goes . . . Iowa, and little more. But, despite its inherent myopia, the early part of the 2012 primary season has managed to be clarifying. Indeed, by combining the most recent survey evidence, we can learn a great deal about the state of the contemporary Republican Party. Put simply, its dominant concerns are economic—especially the federal budget deficit.
The Many Accidents That Produced Romney's 'Inevitable' Nomination
December 30, 2011
Having spent much of 2011 writing incessantly about the Republican presidential nominating contest, I’m simultaneously relieved and saddened by the impending end of the “invisible primary” and the beginning, with next Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, of the actual voting.
Really, Rick Perry?
December 29, 2011
There hasn't been much reason these past few weeks to dig back into the vast landscape of unsavory dealings in Rick Perry's Texas, given the governor's increasing irrelevance in the GOP primary.
Where Things Stand in Iowa
December 28, 2011
A new poll out from PPP gives some indications about where things are headed in the home stretch. Given that it's only one poll, and that the polling was done between the first and second nights after Christmas--and that it pours some water on my Gingrich uptick theory--I'm not going to interpret the results too literally. But they do offer some hints about what's going on. First, as on the Democratic side in 2008, it looks like turnout is going to tell us who'll win the caucuses well before the actual votes are tallied, at least if present trends continue.
Conversion Narrative, Iowa Caucus Edition
December 28, 2011
Rick Perry is getting grief for his conversion on the proverbial road to Dubuque -- announcing this week that he now opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest, not because he is desperately appealing to evangelical voters in the Iowa caucuses, but because he watched a movie. What, has Perry been kicking back with "Juno" in the Hampton Inn? No, hardier stuff than that: "The Gift of Life," produced by David Bossie, the conservative activist behind the Citizens United campaign finance case. It features Mike Huckabee and profiles people who say they were the result of rapes.
A User’s Guide to the 2011 Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary
December 26, 2011
The Republican field is crowded and fluid right now, but it won’t be for long. By January 11th, there will be at most three remaining contenders, and we’ll have a much clearer understanding of how the race will develop. There are seven candidates with a pulse, and only six of them—divided into two groups of three—are competing in Iowa. For two of the three denizens of the lower tier—Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum—failing to finish among the top three on January 3rd would spell the effective end of their candidacies.
How Social Conservatives Blew It In Iowa
December 23, 2011
The 2012 “invisible primary” is looking likely to end just how and where it began: with Republican ideologues anxiously looking to Iowa for signs of an electable “true conservative” alternative to Mitt Romney. Depending on whom you ask, they have found no such candidate, or have found too many of them. In either case, despite their fevered hopes the First-in-the-Nation Caucus is not likely to play its intended role as an all-important arbiter where ideological squishes are disciplined or destroyed and the faithful find their champion.
Fact-Checking the Candidates on ... Everything
December 22, 2011
In the eighteen previous Republican presidential debates, our crack team of three hundred and seventy-four full-time fact checkers has found over four million inaccurate or misleading statements made by the candidates. But why stop there? For the final Iowa debate, we turned our attention not just to the debate answers themselves, but to literally everything that came out of the candidates’ mouths. What follows is a critical assessment of the pre-debate banter: Rick Perry: “Good evening, Mitt.” FACT: Merriam-Webster defines “evening” as the period between sunset and bedtime.
Brokered Conventions, Last-Minute Comebacks, and Other Crazy Ways the GOP Could End Up With a Nominee
December 16, 2011
Has there ever been a worse year for the conventional wisdom in handicapping a presidential primary race? Sure, the pundit pack has been grotesquely wrong before, from over-hyping Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008 to smugly dismissing Howard Dean’s potential to galvanize anti-war Democrats in 2004. But never have the political railbirds so frequently compounded their errors as they reeled from one smug, but erroneous, prediction to another.
Five Thoughts on the GOP Debate
December 15, 2011
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com And that's a wrap. The Republican presidential candidates are done debating, at least until the caucuses and primaries begin. Who won Thursday night's event in Iowa? Who lost? I have no idea, as I'm neither an Iowan nor a Republican. But here are five semi-informed (and perhaps semi-intelligent) observations on what transpired. 1. Proof that Newt Gingrich is in trouble. Go back and pay attention to Mitt Romney’s answers on Thursday night. He talked about the economy and his experience in the private sector.