An eight part series came out on eight president contenders, and they released Barack Obama’s issue first. What sense does that make? They knew he’d be in the general election, so why not release his issue last? I’m sure everyone’s face was red when the Sarah Palin issue came out. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they’re just quick biographies in all their fluffiness, but the Obama issue was the only one I bought.
I imagine that the conversation on who to put in here went something like, “Look, we can’t fit nine, so we have to draw the the line somewhere… who do you want? Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich?” I imagined someone vomited and said, “Yuck! Go with Perry, I guess. At least he has a soul… well, probably.”
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After strong showings in the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, I thought I’d pull up the Insider Advantage South Carolina Primary Poll and see Ron Paul on his way to his first victory. After all, South Carolina is a Tea Party stronghold (according to the NY Times, 61% of South Carolina voters approve of the Tea Party, which is more than double than the rest of the country) , and you’d think he’d be their champion.
So this is me officially saying that I clearly don’t understand who the Tea Party voters are or what they want. I thought they wanted small federal government, states rights, that sort of thing – shouldn’t they be all about Ron Paul? Yet South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley (who was swept into office amongst a wave of Tea Party support) has endorsed Mitt Romney (in December), who is holding a small lead over Newt Gingrich. Gingrich? This is totally shocking to me. How can Romney (who’s own health care reform was used as a model for Barack Obama’s health care reform) be in the lead, immediately followed by Gingrich (the former Speaker of the House who resigned in disgrace after paying ethics fines and went on to found a company that helps corporations bypass the lobbying process and get direct access to Congress) be in second by only a few points? How can South Carolina Tea Party voters possibly like these guys?
Ron Paul has had strong numbers till now; he took 21.4% in Iowa, which had him right at the top of the pack with Romney (24.6%) and Santorum (24.5%), and 22.9% in New Hampshire for a commanding second place. Sure, I know hardly anyone actually lives in those states, but still, he’s been doing consistently better than everyone but Romney, right? Yet influential Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who endorsed Romney in 2008 but has not endorsed him this time around (or anyone else, for that matter) is either setting up a dramatic last minute endorsement or just isn’t impressed with the candidates.
So why doesn’t the South Carolina Tea Party rally around Ron Paul? From an ideological standpoint, he seems like their guy – it can’t be some Christian Conservative thing (Romney is a Mormon and Gingrich converted to Catholicism), and I can’t see it being a case of character (as Romney and Gingrich have no character to speak of), so what is it? Are they just fragmented against a field they find uninspiring? Perhaps Paul’s views on abortion have hurt him here (which would make it a Christian Conservative thing…), or some other issue I’m unaware of.
Since 1980, the South Carolina Primary has picked the eventual Republican nominee correctly every single time (which is only 4 times, but still, 4 times in a row is an impressive streak), and if the current poll numbers hold up, it’ll be Mitt Romney.
South Carolina says, “You’re welcome,” Mr. President.
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The latest Suffolk University Poll shows former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holding a commanding lead going into tonight’s New Hampshire Primary. So, the “Anybody But Mitt” primary season is heavily favoring… Mitt Romney. Makes sense.
I can’t get too excited about what the folks in New Hampshire think; after all, nobody lives there. (New Hampshire ranks 42nd in population amongst US states.) In an open election year (such as 2000 or 2008) they can only round up about 400,000 participants, and when only one party is choosing a candidate, it’s closer to 250,000 voters. To put that in perspective, it’s like 10% of Brooklyn residents decided to get together and pick a presidential candidate. (I bet the Beastie Boys would get a handful of write-in votes.)
In case you’re wondering what people who base their votes on whether or not they actually get to meet the candidate are thinking, here’s the latest data and what is says about the voters for giving their vote to a particular candidate:
Mitt Romney (37%) – You just don’t give a flying fig. Your motto is, “Anybody but the black guy.” It has to me – Mitt Romney is the Constant Flip-Flopper and is something like 5-18 lifetime in elections, so it’s not like he’s a proven winner – you just heard somewhere he has the best chance to beat Obama of anybody in the field, which I doubt is true.
Ron Paul (18%) – You want a consistent candidate, even if he’s a little extreme. I can see that – although he should probably get around to disavowing those racist news letters. He’s not my cup of tea, but he’s a decent man. For a politician.
Jon Huntsman (16%) – You want to vote for an actual human being. A decent, reasonable man; I think this guy could do serious damage in the election, but he’ll never win the nomination, so it’s not worth talking about.
Rick Santorum (11%) – You want a candidate that talks about family values in an election that should be about the economy. Good luck with that.
Newt Gingrich (9%) – My personal favorite, Newt is the ultimate in everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. Sure, he resigned from Congress in disgrace after paying his ethics fines and wasting America’s time with the impeachment of Bill Clinton, but you’ll vote for him anyway. Because you’re classy.
Rick Perry (1%) – Seriously, you’re voting for this guy? This guy couldn’t find his own junk with two hands and a flashlight. I don’t know what you’re thinking.
Buddy Roemer (1%) – You know who Buddy Roemer is. Good for you!
Undecided (7%) – I feel ya; this pack isn’t very appealing. In the end, you’ll just end up doing “eeny meeny miny moe,” and I don’t blame you