Patterico's Pontifications


No Trump Debate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:16 pm


Christine O’Donnell Endorses Romney

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:55 pm

Via numerous reports on Twitter. Apparently she made the announcement on Hannity.

UPDATE: O’Donnell tweets:

Ann Coulter & me backstage at Fox. So we agree about Romney! That should say a lot about his true credentials.#TCOT

UPDATE x2: The picture O’Donnell tweeted:

UPDATE x3: Here is Coulter, in focus and without O’Donnell, on Hannity, defending herself against her own comments from last year, when she said we will lose if we run Romney.

Today’s other Iowa poll

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 5:27 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Commenters to my prior post about the PPP poll showing Ron Paul within a point of Newt Gingrich in Iowa pointed to the new Insider Advantage poll also released today:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich continues to hold a strong lead in Iowa, according to a new poll released Tuesday. Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has moved into third place ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Gingrich leads the field with 27 percent support while Texas Rep. Ron Paul comes in second with 17 percent (up from 13 percent in an Insider Advantage poll released in late November). Perry has 13 percent, up from 7 percent in the November poll, and Romney has 12 percent.

What to make of two polls concurrently showing Gingrich +10 and Gingrich +1?  And Romney in third or Romney in fourth?  Not as much as you might think.  Both polls are of a little over 500 likely GOP caucus voters, with corresponding margins of error of 4% or more.  Looking at differences between the two polls, Insider has Gingrich +5 from the PPP number, Romney -4, Paul -4 and Perry +4 — so the two polls are broadly consistent.

At the NYT, Nate Silver has posted his first polling-based projection for Iowa, including these polls — and has the order as Gingrich, Paul, Romney, Perry.  FWIW, he finds Newt and Mitt losing momentum, while Paul has some, though not as much as his rivals have lost.   Even so, unless paul overtakes Newt, it’s bad news for Mitt.  Regarding that point, Silver notes that he stuck purely to polling; on Twitter, he noted that “If looking at subjective factors I might consider Paul almost a co-favorite.”

I don’t know if I buy Silver’s methodology just yet, but I am intrigued with this comment (at the NYT):

What’s a little different about these forecasts is that one of these factors — how recently the poll was conducted — really dominates everything else. We’ve analyzed literally thousands of primary and caucus polls dating to 1972, and what we’ve found is that you optimize forecast accuracy by being extremely aggressive about trying to identify the current trend. In the late stages of a primary or caucus race, a week is an eternity and even a couple of days can be meaningful.

Moreover, he has become convinced that momentum matters in primaries (but not in general election polling).


Gingrich fades, Paul surges in Iowa?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 12:38 pm

[Posted by Karl]

At least, that’s the latest from PPP:

There has been some major movement in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa over the last week, with what was a 9 point lead for Newt Gingrich now all the way down to a single point. Gingrich is at 22% to 21% for Paul with Mitt Romney at 16%, Michele Bachmann at 11%, Rick Perry at 9%, Rick Santorum at 8%, Jon Huntsman at 5%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.


Young voters, independents, and folks who haven’t voted in caucuses before is an unusual coalition for a Republican candidate…the big question is whether these folks will really come out and vote…if they do, we could be in for a big upset.

Paul’s supporters are considerably more committed to him than Gingrich’s are.  77% of current Paul voters say they’re definitely going to vote for him, compared to only 54% for Gingrich.  Romney has much more solid support than Gingrich as well, 67% of his voters saying they’re with him for the long haul. Among only voters who say their mind’s totally made up, 29% support Paul to 21% for Gingrich, 18% for Romney, and 11% for Bachmann.

Will those committed Paulians turn out? Iowa political activists — and Gov. Terry Branstad — rate Paul’s campaign organization as the best in the state.  Gingrich and Romney, not so much.  Does organization still matter in Iowa?  We are about to find out.

The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza (sort of) asks: “You know who this benefits?”

A Paul victory in Iowa would be a dream come true for Romney. Why? Because Paul, like former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in 2008, has far less obvious appeal in the states beyond Iowa and would likely struggle to build his caucus victory into a broader national campaign.

Simply put: The less Iowa matters, the better for Team Romney. And a Paul victory there, while intriguing and a case study for political scientists for years to come, would almost certainly mean that the real race for the nomination begins a week later in New Hampshire.

The matchup to watch in Iowa then isn’t Newt vs Mitt. It’s Newt vs Ron. Or so Mitt hopes.

On the other hand, GOP fundraiser/consultant Nathan Wurtzel can think of arguments where Paul’s rise helps Gingrich or Perry (although the PPP poll suggests it doesn’t help Newt in IA).  Moreover, I would note that we kept seeing polls suggesting Romney is a second-choice vote for many… and yet, voters keep selecting alternate candidates as their first choice, don’t they?  If Paul somehow pulls out a win in Iowa, the real winners may be people tired of the importance pols and pundits have placed on the Iowa caucuses.


I Am the 53% (or the 51%, or Whatever)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

If a rival country tried to block our ports, it would be considered an act of war. Yesterday an equivalent act was attempted, right here in America, by people who claim to be on our side: the Occupy Wall Street crowd:

Thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked access to several major West Coast ports Monday in synchronized demonstrations that slowed business but fell short of what some protesters hoped would be a complete shutdown of coastal shipping.

The protests stretched from San Diego to Anchorage, brought work to a standstill in Oakland and Longview, Wash., and led to the closure of a major marine terminal in Portland, Ore. Demonstrators caused smaller disruptions in Seattle and in Long Beach, where a driving rain and threats of arrest put a damper on an early morning picket line.

The protests definitely hurt those among the so-called 99%, such as port workers and truckers:

Demonstrators claim that withholding labor sends a strong message to the 1% and is a meaningful way for the movement to telegraph its power and potential. A number of truckers who lost their day’s wages, however, expressed anger that the decision was made without them.

Meanwhile, protests continue to harm small businesses, and put a burden on taxpayers, as police are continually called out in force and paid overtime to deal with their illegal actions. No skin off the nose of Occupiers: as a general rule, they’re not businessmen or taxpayers.

Which made me reflect. Maybe the divide isn’t really between the “99%” and the “1%.” Maybe the divide is between those contributing to society, and those who aren’t.

If I wanted to be divisive and tendentious, I guess I could suggest that the country is really divided into the 53% and the 47%. 53% who pay federal income tax, and 47% who don’t.

Or the 51% and the 49%. 51% who receive no government benefits (the “givers”) and 49% who do (the “takers”).

But I don’t really want to engage in divisive political rhetoric. Mostly I just want to tell these people to stop trying to drag the economy down. Maybe try contributing something. Maybe try . . .

. . . getting a job.

I know that’s very difficult under the economy of Barack Obama. But sitting around trying to ruin our economy by blocking ports doesn’t help.

Q: President Obama, what was your biggest mistake?

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:18 am

[Posted by Karl]

I ask because it was the sort of question the establishment media loved to ask the prior president:

“Two and a half years later, do you feel any sense of personal responsibility for September 11th?”

“One of the biggest criticisms of you is that whether it’s WMD in Iraq, postwar planning in Iraq, or even the question of whether this administration did enough to ward off 9/11, you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism, and do you believe that there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up?”

“Two weeks ago, a former counterterrorism official at the NSC, Richard Clarke, offered an unequivocal apology to the American people for failing them prior to 9/11. Do you believe the American people deserve a similar apology from you, and would you prepared to give them one?”

“You’ve looked back before 9/11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?”

“I guess I’d like to know if you feel, in any way, that you have failed as a communicator on [Iraq].”

That was all in one press conference; the interrogators included NBC’s David Gregory, CBS’s John Roberts, and Time’s John Dickenson.  The narrative that George W. Bush would not admit mistakes — fomented by a press in “When did you stop beating your wife?” mode — became a theme of the Kerry campaign when Bush stood for re-election.

Pres. Obama’s 60 Minutes interview this past Sunday revealed a man who allowed for no failure of his own or of his administration, not on policy, not even on overpromising.  Rather than meekly offering, “There’s a general perception that the stimulus was not enough. That it really didn’t work,” Steve Kroft might have noted the net job loss during Obama’s term and referred to Obama’s 2009 statement that the nice thing about his situation was that if he can’t turn the economy around after three years “then there is going to be a one term proposition.”

Of course, Kroft would never do that.  It’s likely that, left to their own devices, no one in the establishment media would question Obama they way they did Bush, offering the choice between admitting mistakes, looking arrogant, or avoiding accountability.  There is an entire field of GOP candidates who could make the point that Obama blames everyone else for his failures, which might goad the press into covering the point.  RNC types probably want to shun this approach on the theory that people feel sorry for Obama… but maybe they feel sorry for him because no one dares point out he wanted the job and wanted to be held accountable, but now takes no repsonsibility for his failures.


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