Patterico's Pontifications

1/3/2012

Iowa Writ Large (Caucus Open Thread)

Filed under: General — Karl @ 4:00 pm



[Posted by Karl]

The Des Moines Register has a multimedia explainer about how the Iowa Caucuses work, and will be reporting overall results.  Google has a county-level map.  The WaPo has six counties to watch, and a Romney-centric scorecard.  And here’s the consensus establishment journo prediction.

However, Nate Silver likely gets awarded Quote of the Day: “The Iowa caucuses are a two-step process: first comes the voting, then comes the spinning.”  I am confident Patterico commenters will do their share.  I would rather talk about the larger message from Iowa and beyond Iowa.

There is much anti-Iowa sentiment among political junkies at the moment, particularly on the right.  Jonah Goldberg makes a reasonable case that the state should not enjoy perpetual first position.  My experience with Iowa is consistent with his complaints about the entitlement mentality some — but by no means all — have there.  Nor is this the first cycle in which these sorts of complaints have been aired.

However, it is probably fair to say that much of the frustration about Iowa on the right is exacerbated by an underlying frustration with the projected outcome.  The underlying complaint is: How could these dopey corn and pig farmers be responsible for winnowing the GOP field to the likely troika of flip-flopping RINO Mitt Romney, unorganized compassionate religious conservative Rick Santorum, and conspiracy crank Ron Paul (the unacceptable to most Republicans libertarian who is unserious about the public debt)?  Surely, there must be more than three tickets out of Iowa this year (unless Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich makes an unlikely strong showing, in which case, awesome)!

But is Iowa really to blame for the late-starting, stumbling campaign of the seemingly inarticulate (and occasionally insulting) Rick Perry?  Is Iowa really to blame for the idiosyncratic, frequently unconservative, fundamentally pompous Newt Gingrich?  Or for the quality of any of tonight’s also-rans?  When compared to the national poll averages, only Newt is doing much better than he likely will tonight in Iowa — and the national trend is not his friend, either.  Is Iowa to blame for the never-rans? As Allahpundit tweeted last night, “There’s no reason to take Daniels, Ryan, Christie or any of them seriously anymore when they talk about America’s ‘grave challenges.’ ”  It is hard to imagine the Hamlets who could not be motivated to run in the current climate would have been any better than the candidates we have.

These problems are not the fault of Iowans or their caucuses.  These problems are the fault of the Republican establishment.  These problems are the fault of any Republican who is not actively involved in trying to reform the party.  These problems are the fault of libertarians who do not demand a better standard-bearer inside or outside the GOP.

–Karl

151 Responses to “Iowa Writ Large (Caucus Open Thread)”

  1. The only problem with Iowa is not that it’s comprised of dopey pig farmers but those dopey pig farmers are not representative of the groups a candidate has to win in order to win the nomination, let alone the general election. Of course, no state is (which is why I’d like to see more than one state opening the festivities).

    Of course, there’s no reason that the votes of a small group of dopey pig farmers should have such an effect on the rest of the campaign… but that’s the fault of the candidates, media and GOP primary voters in the states that haven’t gone yet. We collectively treat the caucuses as a big deal, so the caucuses become a big deal.

    steve (254463)

  2. steve,

    How unrepresentative is Iowa? You could argue they’re as representative as many other states. Here’s the general election history. They haven’t been a great predictor of the GOP nominee if you look solely at the winner (but pretty good if you looked at that top 3); they’ve been better at picking Dem nominees.

    But the point is that Iowa’s opinions of the current slate isn’t all that different from the national opinion on the current slate.

    If IA and NH are to lose their status – which wouldn’t bother me – I would favor rotation, rather than multiple states at once (the latter would favor well-funded establishment types even more heavily than the current system).

    Karl (c6eeaf)

  3. libertarians ? At fault?

    dr kill (55dc8f)

  4. dr kill,

    Yes. Or is the Doctor the best they can do?

    Karl (c6eeaf)

  5. The only problem with Iowa is not that it’s comprised of dopey pig farmers but those dopey pig farmers are not representative of the groups a candidate has to win in order to win the nomination, let alone the general election. Of course, no state is (which is why I’d like to see more than one state opening the festivities).

    I agree, Steve. It would be an improvement to have a handful of states open the primaries.

    But lay off the dopey pig farmers, for through their toil (and the pigs’ total investment) we have the gift of bacon!

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  6. Karl… given your description of the field, you will let us know when you encounter the candidate who embodies all that you find right in a candidate, yes?

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  7. Another excellent post. I appreciate reading these.

    I am confident Patterico commenters will do their share.

    lol

    Hopefully we emerge from the first few contests knowing who the Not Romney will be (I think we already do, and some have a hard time accepting it, which is understandable).

    It probably won’t be until FL that everyone will accept it.

    The GOP has some huge problems. Everyone involved with it who isn’t trying to correct this disaster of dynasties, connections, and pigs at the trough triangulating away our future needs to be noticed and criticized.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  8. Col.,

    There isn’t one. I think I’ve consistently made that clear.

    Karl (c6eeaf)

  9. So we highlight what we don’t like about all of them ad infinitum until there’s a perception none are worthy?

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  10. Or is it meant to winnow the field until the last man or woman – the one that stinks the least – is left standing?

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  11. That seems to be the way the system works.
    It might not have been designed for that purpose, and in fact it might allow (and did in ’08) wholly unqualified candidates to survive (and win), but it is what it is.

    Or, to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld:
    You go into an election with the system in place.

    As the Dems showed us repeatedly following the ’64 cycle, it always be changed in the interegnum (they still really haven’t got it “right”).

    AD-RtR/OS! (bfa239)

  12. it’s in the hands of the caucasians now

    racists.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  13. Ace has an interesting post up lamenting that it’s not the ‘establishment’ undercutting conservatives. It’s nitpicky voters who have, for a long time, rejected one candidate after another as having a blemish, leaving us with some poor choices. At least, that’s how I read it.

    I still am pretty amazed that Perry is doing that poorly. but he is. Hopefully he pulls some kind of shocking performance out of the early contests, but for some reason, his problems seem to be more important than his merits (and I think his merits, such as being an exemplary governor, outweigh the mistakes 1000 to 1).

    Dustin (cb3719)

  14. There’s no reason to take Daniels, Ryan, Christie or any of them seriously anymore when they talk about America’s ‘grave challenges.’

    As disappointed as I am that these fellows shirked their duty, I cannot disagree with this strenuously enough.

    They can be criticized for their cowardice of course, but they had their reasons, all of them.

    Daniels feared what his flighty bimbo wife might do.

    Christie genuinely believes the process is biased against the morbidly obese.

    Paul Ryan is right to suppose that he is already in a valuable position where his skills are valued and effective.

    It’s a far far larger problem that we have so so so many what-the-hell-let’s-roll-the-dice candidates I think. But of course after Obama that was to be expected.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  15. I am an Iowa caucus goer, and I have suffered through the 10-20 robocalls a day from political candidates trying to coerce my support.

    I think more is made of Iowa’s caucus result by media than is by Iowans, but that is to be expected. But I know having attended many caucuses over the years that the process is taken very seriously by those who participate.

    Iowa’s caucus does not select the President, as John Huntsman is fond of saying, but it does do an excellent job of winnowing the wheat from the chaff. Candidates have to work for votes here, people won’t come out in winter for a 2 hour meeting (there is much more to caucusing than the Presidential preference vote) to support someone who they are squishy about. Support has to be earned.

    One thing that may come into play this year: Candidates who are considered a heavy front runner in the GOP race in Iowa often underperform when it is time to vote. If people perceive one candidate is running away with things, they will vote for their second choice to see to it that person also gets a ticket punched for NH. I have personally witnessed different candidate representatives in my precinct make this argument on at least two occasions–2008 with Fred Thompson and 2000 with Steve Forbes. Both candidates probably outperformed their polled level of support that they had going in.

    With Romney’s heavy presence and high expectations for a win here, somebody is going to surprise, and it won’t be Ron Paul, who does not appear to be anyone’s second choice.

    Just another thing to consider when interpreting tonight’s results.

    CausticConservative (b29599)

  16. There’s no reason to take Daniels, Ryan, Christie or any of them seriously anymore when they talk about America’s ‘grave challenges

    I missed this first time through and disagree completely.

    Since when does one’s willingness to run (and serve) for President a prerequisite for being taken seriously? Granted, none of you have run for President and I don’t take you seriously, but not running doesn’t mean that Ryan, etc. don’t have views worth listening to.

    And to flip his comment around, is he suggesting that running for President automatically makes one worthy of being taken seriously? Al Sharpton? Donald Trump? John McCain? I think not.

    It is the content of one’s ideas that makes one worth listening to, not whether they have the ego that they are best suited to serve the country.

    steve (254463)

  17. They kept on citing the Des Moines register poll for the last couple of days.

    This situation is like the 1948 polls when they stopped polling too far in advanace of election day.

    Here Friday December 30 2011 was simply too far in advance of the election Tuesday night January 3, 2012 – a full 4 days almost after the last person was polled.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  18. I understand results will be available at around 10 PM Central time – 11 PM Easterm 8 PM Pacific.
    And the meetings started at 7 PM Central time.

    Sammy Finkelman (d3daeb)

  19. Maybe the staged coyote shootings Perry’s campaign is holding outside the different precincts will give him the boost his manly conservative image deserves.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. The truth is that the National Review with precious few exceptions, McCarthy, Steyn most of the time,
    Michael Walsh, is no longer the publication that
    Buckley founded, hence the slobbering for Christie
    and Romney,

    narciso (87e966)

  21. “And the meetings started at 7 PM Central time.”

    A little less than 15 minutes from now.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. Since when does one’s willingness to run (and serve) for President a prerequisite for being taken seriously?

    It’s not. Practically the opposite, in my opinion.

    The question of the day: can Romney even beat Santorum, who wasn’t even on the Radar ten minutes ago?

    How bad a politician is this guy?

    Dustin (cb3719)

  23. Coyote Perry
    thinks a hard caucus is good
    wherever he finds

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  24. The republican establishment and Mitt are giddy that this crew of dopes are beating each other up. If the dopes would make a choice as to who goes after Mitt and the establishment, We dope backers could win.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  25. “How bad a politician is this guy?”

    Perry?

    Running as a conservative in Texas?

    How tough is that?

    Getting beat by Santorum?

    Might add a whole new dimension.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. Paladin Perry
    have caucus and will grovel
    after was before

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  27. What the Hell is Rick Perry up to now?!?!

    I just saw him on Fox News holding a rectal thermometer aloft as he addressed a smattering of folks in Waukee, Iowa.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  28. link?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  29. If Romney gets his ass kicked by Santorum, I think it’s pretty clear the entire field is weak, but especially Romney who has been running for President for a trillion years and spend eighty zillion dollars on it.

    Perry’s looking weak, but it was already evident for a while. He got better at this late, and maybe that means he’ll be back in 2016 (if, God forbid, the GOP nominates Romney because the press claims he’s as electable as Mccain, which would lead to another term for Obama).

    I just hope the not Romney spitting can end as quickly as possible. I expect to see the chatterers do all they can to try to divide and conquer. Gotta keep the trough full of money.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  30. Rick Gov Hee Haw is stupid. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    JD (392f2d)

  31. This whole passive-aggressive Romney/Perry divide has been very interesting to watch. For the record.

    We should all just acknowledge that they’re both opportunistic little sh*ts and throw our support behind the only real conservative in this race – GARY JOHNSON!

    Leviticus (dd1d7b)

  32. Eighty zillion dollars of his own money. Let’s not forget that, Dustin. Understandably, poor Mr. Romney had some difficulties getting America’s conservatives to sink money into his glorified hair-gel/rhetorical judo fund.

    Leviticus (dd1d7b)

  33. I really do wish that these caucuses were limited to people who’ve been Republicans for at least the last year. But I guess you could just ignore Paul’s votes and get much the same result.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  34. Can anyone come up with a way for Bachmann to continue after coming in last in her must-win state? Her national poll numbers are similarly bad.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  35. Idiot do not tell us who to vote for.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  36. That cuts both ways, JD. Not that you’d notice.

    I have no real issues with any of the candidates, other than Perry, and I wouldn’t really think ill of him, if it wasn’t for the 24/7/365 Romney-trashing conducted by the Johnny-One-Note of Perry fans. The half-truths, falsehoods and outright malevolent/slimeball behavior gets tiresome… at least for a few folks.

    Colonel haiku (5b04f4)

  37. fight fire with fire.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  38. I didn’t think they allowed random word generators to vote, Doh – in Iowa or anywhere else.

    Leviticus (dd1d7b)

  39. Sarah Palin told Michele with one l to give it up cupcake it’s not your year.

    Shocking sensible words from that quarter, no?

    Neat.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  40. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.

    Leviticus (dd1d7b)

  41. The half-truths,flip-flops and arrogance are the reasons not to vote for Romney. Just look at the people backing this spineless man.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  42. In post 36, I should have said no issues, other than w/Ron Paul. That old fart is nuts.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  43. steve (16)

    Since when does one’s willingness to run (and serve) for President a prerequisite for being taken seriously? Granted, none of you have run for President and I don’t take you seriously, but not running doesn’t mean that Ryan, etc. don’t have views worth listening to.

    It’s a prerequisite to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. And they may be worth listening to, but when they talk crisis, many will ask, “So why aren’t you running?”

    Karl (5a613f)

  44. 3 open primaries to start this debacle-just as well let the deems pick the candidate.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  45. Yes, it looks like the learned nothing from the last four years.

    narciso (87e966)

  46. The 28 Iowa delegates do not have to vote for Romney or Paul.
    Thank the Lord.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  47. so far with almost 50% reporting the Romney Paul Gingrich it’s-the-economy-stupid axis has 58.8% and the Perry Santorum Bachmann single-issue lifeydoodle axis has 39.8%

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  48. Gladdened to see Paul slipping and saddened to see that pained, forced smile pasted on Rick Perry’s puss.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  49. Shocking sensible words from that quarter, no?

    — No.

    Icy (0e6cd5)

  50. my understanding is she basically reiterated them on Fox just now Mr. Icy by saying Michele with one l will be a lot welcomed back in Congress

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  51. Or, Mr Feet, the Secular-Religious-Insane spread is 36.9 – 37.0 – 21.8

    Kevin M (563f77)

  52. Well I haven’t that inept a campaign since Bob Dornan, and we know how that turned out.

    narciso (87e966)

  53. The big news is that Gallup has Newt at 23% nationally (versus 13% in IA), Paul at 13% (versus 22% in IA) and Santorum at 6% nationally (and 24% in IA). Romney, Perry and Bachmann are running about the same nationally and IA (23 vs 24, 7 vs 10 and 5 vs 6).

    The media may be spinning this as “Newt screws up and Santorum breaks out”, but it really is only limited to Iowa, and caucus-goers at that. My take-away: Iowa is a strange place.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  54. Wouldn’t Florida be a much better test market for Republicans?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  55. It’s a caucus, not a primary. It’s a test of organizational strength. For those unfamiliar, people don’t walk into a caucus, place their vote, and walk out.

    It’s a meeting that can last for longer than an hour before you even get the chance to vote. Very few people who are undecided bother with it. Activists are the ones who turn out, and the campaigns that are best at identifying and turning out activists typically win.

    CausticConservative (b29599)

  56. I have hard time seeing Floridians taking the time to properly count votes.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  57. The media may be spinning this as “Newt screws up and Santorum breaks out”,

    Of course. Newt is the Not Romney leader, so that would be the spin. It’s interesting that after years, Romney is actually doing worse than in 2008.

    The real issue is that the early states will hopefully kill off the Perry and Bachmann campaigns. Their few percent will not head over to Romney. Undecideds are more familiar with romney than any other candidate, and they aren’t going there either. When we start seeing real primary elections, and hopefully when candidates bow out and endorse Newt, I think we’ll see the GOP salvage a decent, albeit imperfect candidate from the jaws of disaster.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  58. 36.9 – 37.0 – 21.8

    that’s a fair take I think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  59. Democraps are wackballs.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  60. What was really interesting was Perry spending millions of dollars in a place that should have been friendly territory, only to be thoroughly rejected by the Iowa voters.

    Hard to figure… also hard to understand was that he was perceived by the voters to be less conservative than all but Huntsman.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  61. Yes Perry and Bachmann need to go so RICK SANTORUM can become the face of evangelical America! This will be good for Team R cause of he’s so likable and people crave his brand of decisive yet righteous if slightly constipated-looking leadership.

    It’s morning in America yes indeedy do. Reagan walks among us again.

    And he’s beautiful.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  62. Mitt and 6 years of posturing for votes, could not break out of the 25% range. Nice.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  63. JimPethokoukis RT @freddoso: Iowa finish could knock Perry out of the CNN SC debate: http://t.co/c3XX5JJA

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  64. Well first of all he’s Catholic, second you have ‘8 track tape’ Jerry Brown and the crazy Kamala person,
    why did you move from Texas to California.

    narciso (87e966)

  65. TheFix Do the Bachmanns, Newts and Perrys of the world come out and say they aren’t going to win? And do they do it soon? #iacaucus

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  66. Santorum and Romney in a dead heat?

    Icy (0e6cd5)

  67. So the republicans will vote for Obama over Gingrich?

    Enemies all of them.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  68. there’s evangelical catholics Mr. narciso they have their own wikipedia page and everything

    but it’s more I think likely that Iowa hayseed evangelicals aren’t a particularly discerning bunch

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  69. No Icy Pelosi and Whataman Schultz are in a dead heat……………oh you weren’t talking about what goes on in the bathroom?

    Sorry then.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  70. I really thought Paul would do better

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  71. Bedroom*

    Although they probably banged each other in the bathroom as well.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  72. the newspaper says your more liberal, urbane, metropolitan areas of Iowa all broke for Romney

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  73. TheFix The Rick Perry as Tim Tebow comparison isn’t working out so well for either man at this point. #iacaucus

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  74. Uh what does Iran with Nuclear Weapons have to do with Iowa Gingrich?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  75. Yes Perry and Bachmann need to go so RICK SANTORUM can become the face of evangelical America!

    Obviously that’s not what I meant. I’d rather Santorum go too, but it is presumptuous to say so when he just kicked Romney’s ass with probably a single percentage of the funding.

    It’s just Iowa… it shouldn’t do more than perhaps rule out the few who NEEDED Iowa and didn’t do well there. And even then, that’s probably overstating what would be fair.

    the newspaper says your more liberal, urbane, metropolitan areas of Iowa all broke for Romney

    Comment by happyfeet

    Oh yes. Watch for Romney to do much worse in states with less of a problem of democrats voting in GOP primaries.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  76. I just feel like slapping the egotism out of Bachmann.

    Maybe her husband can start an ego reprogramming facility.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  77. democrats voting in GOP primaries.

    Comment by Dustin — 1/3/2012 @ 8:22 pm | (Ignore this user)

    er… I mean activists caucusing… why in the hell do they do it that way, anyway?

    Dustin (cb3719)

  78. It is indeed a photo finish, as of about 10:45 PM Eastern time. Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are running neck and neck (reported in that order) at just under 25% with some 50% of the precincts reporting.

    The somewhat disappointing thing here is te strength of Ron Paul.

    NBC News and others project Ron Paul to come in third before 11 PM.

    Romney and Santorum are very close, but it is the more conservative places in Iowa that have yet to report.

    So it is really looking good for Santorum if the low totals for Bachmann and Perry hold up.

    Maybe they took longer in the more conservative places because they had more speakers. Or were they giving people more time to arrive?

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  79. I was just joshing Mr. Dustin

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  80. They took entrance polls, not exit polls so this may not include all the changes.

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  81. “the newspaper says your more liberal, urbane, metropolitan areas of Iowa all broke for Romney”

    Mr. Feets – Where are those?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  82. damn good question Mr. daley

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  83. At 5:49 PM, Nate Silver was ready to bet against his own model and project Mr. Santorum to win the caucuses with 23.5 percent of the vote with Mitt Romney coming in third.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/why-id-bet-on-santorum-and-against-my-model/#postComment

    The comments are interesting to read too

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  84. Newt Petulant

    Colonel haiku (5b04f4)

  85. Historically, Iowa is a little bit odd.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_caucuses#Democrats

    So maybe we should see how all this shakes out?

    Simon Jester (ebbb20)

  86. Update, Mr Sammy: with 93% of precincts reporting, Santorum leads Romney by .1%

    Perhaps you should continue your search for proof that Romney is personally behind an attempt to freeze out Perry and Gingrich in Virginia. Don’t worry; we’ll keep you updated.

    Icy (0e6cd5)

  87. Bachmann speaking against Obama – mentioning the Keystone pipeline as an example of cynicism I suppose. She got about 5%. she’ still plans on winning.

    Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum at about 24% – 25% of the vote. Newt Gingrich about 13%. Gingrich wants tough questions to be asked of Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  88. The parts which are supposed to represent in those day time soaps, Daley.

    narciso (87e966)

  89. Bachmann is on TV vowing to continue. Iowa is, again, getting vastly more attention than it deserves in this process, and I certainly understand why she or any candidate who did poorly there would be inclined to discount the results. But she was heavily, heavily invested in this particular state’s particular and peculiar process. She would do herself, her party, and her fellow social conservatives a favor by dropping out now.

    I know that Gov. Perry, who’s won so many Texas-wide races convincingly, must be disappointed to finish near the back, behind even fellow Texan and perpetual bad joke Ron Paul. His prospects for New Hampshire are equally grim. He would regain some measure of gravitas, I think, if he acknowledges now that fairly or not, his POTUS candidacy is still clinically dead. Recovering gravitas should be important to him: He’s surprised and, frankly, disappointed a lot of Texans who were either outright backers or at least favorably inclined to his presidential candidacy.

    Beldar (bd62f3)

  90. Comment by Icy — 1/3/2012 @ 8:40 pm

    We should note – Patterico is on Pacific – two hours behind Iowa and 3 hours behind Eastern, so that’s 11:40.

    Update, Mr Sammy: with 93% of precincts reporting, Santorum leads Romney by .1%

    Makes sense and the media won’t call it for anybody in those kinds of circumstances.

    They talk about winners and yet nobody actually wins anything by coming in first.

    Perhaps you should continue your search for proof that Romney is personally behind an attempt to freeze out Perry and Gingrich in Virginia.

    I don’t know that that happened. But Romney is in trouble if he doesn’t condemn that and try to reverse it.

    Yesterday a caller called up the Mark Levin show – he said he told hi call screener to out through any calls he thought he should get – so he got “Sunny” whom he had evidently talked to before.

    She said that she attended a Tea Party meeting back in August and back then they were saying the Virginia Republican Party was going all out behind Romney (not her words, but that was the idea)

    It;s kind of logical. The people in charge of the Virginia Party probably expected there not to be a contest by the time Virginia got to voting, or maybe just enough of a contest so they could put somebody over the top. If they wanted to do that, if they wanted gratitude, or if they just wanted tickets to the convention, they’d get behind Romney.

    Mark Levin complained that the Virginia party could simply have extended the petition deadline. Nobody could have any idea that the petitions would really be checked untll about October.

    And they maybe really did avoid disqualifying Romney.

    Don’t worry; we’ll keep you updated

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  91. Rick Perry won’t quit and doesn’t have a reason to quit until after at least South Carolina. He may wind up with no delegates. There’s more dignity in playing out the string, and what else is he to do with all that campaign cash?

    Of course maybe this is stupid but people think and operate that way.

    That money is burning a hole in his pocket, and there are lots of people working for him or on hi behalf who are looking forward to some money, and does he want to tell them no??

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  92. Much ado, Sammy. Much ado.

    Icy (0e6cd5)

  93. Perry’s saying now that he’s going to return to Texas and “assess” whether “there’s a path forward.”

    That’s the right thing to say tonight. And he’ll get a day in the news cycle when he formally withdraws later this week; he should be planning now how to make the best possible use of that.

    Beldar (bd62f3)

  94. 113 votes separate Romney and Santorum with over 100,000 votes cast.

    There won’t be any recount because it is really just straw poll.

    Sammy Finkelman (b17872)

  95. He’s surprised and, frankly, disappointed a lot of Texans who were either outright backers or at least favorably inclined to his presidential candidacy.

    Comment by Beldar — 1/3/2012 @ 8:50 pm | (Ignore this user)

    Yeah.

    He’s had a few good moments, but I expected a very powerful candidacy that I think he blew. With his record, and the records of his opponents, it shows some serious political skill problems that he has fared so badly.

    I don’t really understand why, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    It’s sad how much contempt a few people seem to have for Perry, who for all his debate gaffes, has walked the walk and fought well for conservative ideology. I hope folks who rejected him consider if they should have when we do wind up with a nominee, but I say that every primary.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  96. “Crazy close!” shouts Mrs. Colonel…

    Santorum ran a helluva a campaign! Props! On to New Hampshire!

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  97. Perry’s saying now that he’s going to return to Texas and “assess” whether “there’s a path forward.

    Smart. He’ll endorse the most conservative candidate he thinks can win. Perry is remarkably consistent and predictable, and while some thinks this means he’s stupid, I think it means he’s sincere.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  98. “Don’t worry; we’ll keep you updated”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman

    Sammy’s on the case! What’s to worry?

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  99. And remember, guys: Mitt Romney praised Roe v Wade as “good law”. Even if you are a social liberal, you know that’s not a well crafted bit of jurisprudence. Mitt Romney claimed the ind. mandate is conservative. He probably claimed his gun tax was conservative too… I know he claimed (wrongly) that the NRA endorsed him (they endorsed the MA democrat for Gov because Romney is more liberal than most democrats).

    Too many folks will not show up and support Mr Romneycare because they are trying to resist Obamacare.

    Unifying around a conservative who can win is almost always a matter of settling for less than you hoped for, and that’s what it’s going to take for most folks in 2012 unless we want the next president to be a progressive who supports the ind. mandate and nominates liberals to the bench.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  100. “Nobody could have any idea that the petitions would really be checked until about October.”

    Sammy – Signatures were checked in 2008 and the campaigns turned in more than 15,000 signatures. Eric Erickson even wrote about it at Red State at the time. That’s why it’s so dishonest of him this time around for him to let people on his blog to write stuff about how they were never checked before and all you needed was 10,000 unchecked signatures and you were in. He’s as bad as some of the other Perrykrishnas.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  101. Nancy Pelosi is like Snooki.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  102. “And remember, guys: Mitt Romney praised Roe v Wade as “good law”.”

    Dustin – Gee, what do you think he meant? Do you think he meant it was “super duper A-1″ like you are implying or just “established law.”

    I know which way I’d bet and it’s not the Distortomatic way.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  103. “It’s sad how much contempt a few people seem to have for Perry, who for all his debate gaffes, has walked the walk and fought well for conservative ideology.”

    I don’t think the contempt is for Perry, rather the incredible say anything fanaticism of many of his acolytes usually found in the fever swamps of the left.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  104. If the economy doesn’ get any better the rich lefties will get their pitchforks turned on them.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  105. Erick Ericksen is a self important douche. That is all.

    CausticConservative (b29599)

  106. Let me revise #104 – Starting off by alienating the conservative base on immigration by calling them heartless was not a wise move by Perry.

    It was downhill from there.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  107. “FIDO says it couldn’t be any better.” – NASA PAO, STS-1, 4/14/81

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  108. I really thought Paul would do better

    I’ve been thinking that for years, and yet there is is, still spouting crazy.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  109. Perry and Bachmann needed to finish ahead of their dismal national poling numbers (in this favorable state) to stay in, and both will drop out soon. I imagine that Bachmann will endorse fellow traveler Santorum, but the only thing sure about Perry is he won’t be endorsing Mitt. Then again, Cain didn’t endorse anyone and maybe Perry will wait, too.

    Newt stays in because his nation numbers remain high and his stronghold states aren’t that far off. He loses both Florida and SC and he’s gone, too though, and he may need to win both now.

    Of course if Newt goes there will be nothing to stop Mitt. Santorum cannot win the general election with “the economy & competence” the issue and everyone knows it; Ron Paul probably has a better chance.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  110. Perry got in too late, and took too long to get his game on. In particular, he never managed to convey his record as governor of Texas to non-Texans. What we heard was he sounded like “W” and fumbled for words a lot.

    If the worst comes, he’ll be a strong player in 2016 and he’ll be a not impossible 69 in 2020. Not to mention a possible VP with anyone but Mitt, and maybe even Mitt.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  111. Kevin, I think Newt and Rick like eachother. Newt even wrote the into to Rick’s book. And Newt is the most conservative guy who can win, and Rick is a very reliable and practical conservative (And a realist).

    I disagree that Bachmann will pull out soon. She will instead hammer Newt. She is also reliable in her own way.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  112. At the risk of being unpopular…

    Romney has the nomination and its a good thing at the end of the day. He will win NH and Florida and its unlikely any of the other staying in will have enough money to do much in SC even if they wanted to.

    Romney is the only guy that can attract the moderates and independents needed to win. That’s why he is already up on Obama in the head to head polls and that will increase as the election gets closer and the economy is still in the tank. Its not popular with a lot of conservatives but a conservative like Perry or Newt would get destroyed by the media in the general election (or in Newt’s case, possibly self destruct). Santorum only got this vote count by making Iowa a do or die and has no way to move forward from this. If even Iowa went for the electable moderate, the rest of the GOP will as well.

    Kaisersoze (298188)

  113. I disagree that Bachmann will pull out soon. She will instead hammer Newt. She is also reliable in her own way.With what for money?

    Kevin M (563f77)

  114. Kevin, I think Newt and Rick like eachother. Newt even wrote the into to Rick’s book.

    “Rick – I enjoyed having you in Mr. Martinez’s Spanish class this year. Have a b*tchin’ Summer and see ya next year!”

    – Newtster

    [note: fished from spam filter. –Stashiu]

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  115. I don’t think Newt has as much of a problem in the general election as he does in the Republican primaries. Obama cannot possibly attack Newt for favoring a mandate; nor for being soft on illegals; nor for talking about climate change. He will hammer on the marital gyrations, but its not clear how much that plays outside of the social conservative camp anyway, who will have good reasons to support the Republican.

    OTOH, he can and will attack Romney as being Wall Street Incarnate, or being a job-exporter and a cruel and heartless capitalist blah blah blah.

    IF you want to see the playbook against Romney, just look at Kennedy’s win in a nailbiter Senate campaign. It looked for a bit like Kennedy might lose, until he attacked Romney as a job-destroying corporate raider. Expect that again.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  116. It’s sad how much contempt a few people seem to have for Perry, who for all his debate gaffes, has walked the walk and fought well for conservative ideology.

    He swaggered when he should have walked and was tongue-tied when he should have talked.

    Seriously… has there ever been a candidate who came in with more fanfare, only to fizzle out like a defective July 4th sparkler?

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  117. I disagree that Bachmann will pull out soon. She will instead hammer Newt. She is also reliable in her own way.With what for money?

    Comment by Kevin M — 1/3/2012 @ 10:12 pm | (Ignore this user)

    Good question. Maybe the same money T Paw paid his campaign debts with.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  118. <i"Kevin, I think Newt and Rick like each other. Newt even wrote the into to Rick’s book."

    "Rick – It was way cool having you in Spanish this year! Stay cool and have a boss summer, dude. see ya next year!"

    Newt

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  119. I wuz wrong, Romney’s chin squeaked it out and Paul installed his delegates.

    You suck IA.

    At least Michele should beat the deadline to run for her House seat, unless she’s truly clubbed.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  120. Another overspending mistake by Mitt and his band of goobers.
    All that money- and It gets him a Florida recount. What a pompous ass.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  121. There’s gonna be a recount?
    Ron Paul got delegates out of this?

    Icy (44e33c)

  122. The delegates do not have to vote for Paul.
    Who knows about a recount, but it sure seems possible.
    The gop looks dumber every moving second.
    The likes of Juanny Mac and other undesirable rino types will be out in force in N.H. The people of cow hampshire have less on the ball than Iowans.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  123. These problems are the fault of the Republican establishment.

    These problems are the fault of any and all Americans who, for three generations now, have allowed their country to slide into soft statism without a fight. They consist of all those who have refused to pay attention, get educated about the ideas that are corroding the country, and advocate better standards of behavior (while providing an example of them in action).

    Jeff Perren (ef2e9e)

  124. The upshot: Newt is going to run this ad today in New Hampshire. Not, strictly speaking, negative, but getting that way.

    But really, Romney can’t expect to loose all his winged monkeys and not get some water dumped on his head.

    Kevin M (563f77)

  125. the unacceptable to most Republicans libertarian

    He is a Libertarian.

    He is not a libertarian.

    One is a political party and its ideology, the other is a philosophy of government. There’s a distinction there that should always be made.

    I Got Bupkis, Fomenter of "small-l" libertarianism (8e2a3d)

  126. So in point of fact, Santorum’s shoe leather held the line against the Mitt Juggernaut

    narciso (87e966)

  127. With all of the crazy ups and downs of this campaign, I wonder if pawlenty kicks himself for dropping out so soon, but I guess if he didn’t have enough backers and money to stay in, he didn’t have a choice.

    I still want a split convention and Jindahl/Rubio or West pressed into service.

    I also want better woodworking skills and tools to work on my house.

    And a vacation in the mountains.

    And…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  128. He focused too much attention and money on the Iowa straw poll, so he had no second act, it seems Bachmann made the same mistake with the Primary.

    narciso (87e966)

  129. I still want a split convention and Jindahl/Rubio or West pressed into service.

    Sounds mighty good at this point! I have to admit.

    I know that Perry can’t win. Yet what’s the cost of him pressing on? It’s hard to say, really. Newt is better than the others, but it’s pretty hard to jump on that wagon. Perry deserved a defense from the nuts because he really did walk the walk. He made gaffes, but they were gaffes. His errors were minor compared to his record.

    Newt, Santorum, and Romney all seem to be capable of using government to control. Newt at least doesn’t want to, but Romney thinks the ind mandate is conservative, so there’s really no limit to how such a deluded mind could expand government. He could convince himself that anything short of single payer is conservative, basically letting the far left set the baseline for his entire ideology (because he is triangulating). Santorum similarly has big government instincts and is very similar to Huckabee.

    While Newt is not as bad, that’s not saying much, is it?

    We have a stupid primary process that eliminates candidates despite there not being a better alternative. But really, it’s the voters call and Perry failed to close that deal. Even though the deck was heavily stacked against a bona fide conservative who meaningfully says he will make DC less consequential, I am very disappointed.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  130. Nice link, Kevin. Newt at least has the skill to handle a national contest.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  131. Bachmann towel-toss at 11ET, Perry home…WHERE IS DA LOVE?

    tifosa (657461)

  132. I really don’t see that Dustin, Santorum wasn’t for
    the cap n trade scam, or any variation on Romneycare.Yes he voted for Medicare Part D, so did a lot of people, and the NCLB, which was the fashion at the time, The left is waging a war on every front, from the pulpit to the schoolhouse,
    to your gas tank

    narciso (87e966)

  133. Santorum is better than Romney. Both he and Newt have some lapses.

    Just reading over his campaign sight, I get the impression he’s more Mike Huckabee than Rick Perry on spending.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  134. That’s probably true, but we discovered a record really doesn’t mean anything anymore, it’s what ever
    the most negative spin someone can put on it,

    narciso (87e966)

  135. Yep.

    My apologies if it seems I’ve gone in that direction with Santorum… who is really already being treated like garbage unfairly on other fronts.

    But indeed record apparently means nothing, and we have rejected a good few candidates at this point because they aren’t as good as… ?

    Dustin (cb3719)

  136. “But indeed record apparently means nothing, and we have rejected a good few candidates at this point because they aren’t as good as… ?” Obama.

    tifosa (657461)

  137. “I wuz wrong”

    Comment by gary gulrud — 1/4/2012 @ 1:55 am

    Yes, but at least you are consistent about it.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  138. Regarding Santorum, Narciso, this explains much of what I was trying to.

    I am more of a Reagan/Goldwater guy, which is why Newt, for all his flaws, appeals much more to me. Not passionately, and frankly, many of the attacks Newt will face are ones I can’t honestly rebut like I could for Perry, who really has walked the walk.

    Tifosa, while some of these candidates badly stretch how far partisanship in the GOP can go, I would vote for even Romney over Obama. I do think his electability is much weaker than polls suggest, but I would vote for a smarter more ethical liberal than Obama, so naturally I’d vote Romney if it came down to it.

    It’s not always easy. Some of his supporters are ghastly and I’ve seen good people note this is giving them a hard time with the prospect of supporting Romney. I think liberal GOP candidates basically wind up tearing the party apart, and it’s selfish.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  139. The story from Iowa is that Mitt Romney put in less money and time there and won it this time, with no serious challengers emerging on either his right or left. His win in Iowa, together with upcoming wins in NH and MI and other early states, will sew up the nomination early so that the focus will be on hammering Obama for the next 10 months. That’s the story.

    A Conservative Teacher (190dd6)

  140. Yes, but that wasn’t in the cards, Newt was actually lobbying for Freddie and Medicare Part D,
    Santorum just voted for them,

    narciso (87e966)

  141. Newt was actually lobbying for Freddie and Medicare Part D,

    Yep. Can’t really defend him for that, can I? I am settling.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  142. Well, I at least got the top four in the right order: Romney, Santorum, Paul and Gingrich.

    I had Bachmann and Huntsman both beating Perry, so the bottom tier prognostication was off.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  143. The story from Iowa is that Mitt Romney put in less money and time there

    How much money did he put in there? And he’s put years into running. And he actually got fewer votes if I’m not mistaken.

    No, I think what will happen is that more candidates will drop out and this will make it much harder for Romney to win with his 23%.

    He’s gone from 23% to 23% in four years of running for president, as the pundits keep noting.

    Now, if he crushes Newt in Florida, it’s probably sewn up.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  144. I think Santorum may be a “serious challenger”, conservative teacher. He earned his finish in Iowa through hard work.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  145. That $800plus per vote that Perry spent has to rank in the top tier of spenders, I would think.

    Colonel Haiku (5b04f4)

  146. It’s looking like Perry refuses to abandon the GOP to big government politicians, or abandon this country to spending spending spending.

    I still think Newt is probably the most conservative guy who can win, but having to reflect on these three is too depressing, so maybe Perry should hold out until South Carolina and see what happens.

    At some point, the not romney crowd needs to thin.

    Dustin (cb3719)

  147. His win in Iowa, together with upcoming wins in NH and MI and other early states, will sew up the nomination early so that the focus will be on hammering Obama for the next 10 months. That’s the story.

    Comment by A Conservative Teacher — 1/4/2012 @ 8:08 am

    Bingo.

    Kaisersoze (298188)

  148. Step away from the crack pipe, tifosa.

    JD (318f81)

  149. So let me get this straight the way the economy is going the rich right wingers will be the brunt of the pitchforks and not Obama and his rich cronies?.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  150. tifosa is mourning over Huntsman’s performance.

    Icy (44e33c)


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