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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul’

The pundits were wrong.  Well there’s a surprise!  Huckabee is not dead.  I loved it that they were surprised to see him win West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama (all of which he wasn’t leading according to the latest polls).  He also won Arkansas convincingly which isn’t a surprise.

McCain barely beat him in Missouri and in Oklahoma.  Had Huckabee won those two states, it would have been a three-way tie with each candidate winning seven a piece.

McCain won 9 states: California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri, Arizona, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Delaware.

Romney won: Massachusetts, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska.

Here is the thing… Romney came in third in every southern state.  Those states are crucial to the GOP.  Kevin Tracy had a good post on that topic here.  If a GOP candidate loses a southern state he is toast, and it was obvious that their first choice is Huckabee, and then their second choice is McCain.  They do not want a Romney nomination.

Super Tuesday Delegate Count:

1.  McCain – 604  2. Romney – 167  3.  Huckabee – 147

Overall Delagates:

1.  McCain – 697  2.  Romney – 244  3.  Huckabee – 187

(Courtesy of Real Clear Politics)

Some thoughts – if Huckabee were not treated as though he were dead, he may have done better.  Romney did not prove his front runner status by winning key red states, and even though he won two more states than Huckabee on Tuesday, he only won 20 more delegates.

Looking ahead … Next states that vote Louisiana (2/9), Washington (2/9), Kansas (2/9), Maryland (2/12), Virginia (2/12), and the District of Columbia (2/12).  I see Mike Huckabee being very strong in Louisiana and Virginia.  He should also be competitive in Kansas and possibly Maryland.   I don’t know where else Romney can win this Saturday and next week Tuesday… maybe Washington, but more likely that will go to McCain.  If there are any Republicans in the District of Columbia it is unlikely they will vote for Romney either.

Then later on comes Texas (3/4) where Huckabee has been very strong.  He could also do very well in Mississippi (3/10), North Carolina (5/6), Indiana (5/6), and Kentucky (5/20).  I think he will also be competitive in Wisconsin (2/19)… does anybody know if Governor Tommy Thompson has endorsed anybody yet?  Nebraska (5/13), and South Dakota (6/3).

I think the only states that Romney has a shot at winning are Vermont (3/4), but they will likely go for McCain.  Wisconsin (2/19) he will be competitive and I think he led the latest polls there.  Coming up I think the only state left that will likely be a Romney lock is Idaho (5/27).  Not looking good for him.

A McCain nomination looks pretty certain, but I think really the two man race rhetoric should mention McCain and Huckabee.  Romney has pretty much done all that he will be able to do, and who knows why Ron Paul is still in this with only 14 delegates to his name.  Should Romney get out of the race that should sway social conservatives Huckabee’s way.  And he should before he bankrupts his personal fortune.  It is amazing to me how much money has produced so few results.

Update:  I called it last night saying Mitt Romney was done and today he officially withdrew from the race.

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I was irritated by the lack of time that Mike Huckabee got during Wednesday night’s CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

I think Governor Huckabee gave a superb answer to the question “who do you think that Ronald Reagan would endorse?”

I don’t think this was a helpful debate in that it seemed to be fixated between McCain and Romney bludgeoning each other rather than actually dealing with actual issues.  McCain came across as petty.  He also mischaracterized Romney’s record on the troop surge in Iraq.  Too much time was spent bickering about semantics.

Ultimately I think McCain lost, Romney didn’t hurt himself or help himself.  Huckabee did the best, but likely won’t get much help from it due to a lack of air time.  Ron Paul shouldn’t be in this still, but he still has money to run so let him run.  His involvement in the debate was more of a distraction than a help.

I give Anderson Cooper an F for his moderation.

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Well everybody and their mother is probably blogging about this, but I thought I would throw my two cents in.

Let me say that I’m getting sick of presidential politics… are you?  I was amazed yesterday at how many people were checking out a Florida Primary post I did which was three weeks old – post Iowa Caucus, pre-New Hampshire primary.  Probably wasn’t very helpful for the Florida people who were checking it out.

1. John McCain – Was definitely helped by the late endorsements of Flordia Governor Crist and Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL).  Pundits are going to spin this a number of ways, but the simple fact is that Senator McCain won a large all-Republican primary.  He won the elderly vote, he won the hispanic vote, he won among conservatives, he won the military vote, he won among men, he won among women.  When it came to those felt their candidate’s leadership and personal qualities mattered – McCain one hands down.  It isn’t like he squeaked out a win he won by five points.  He clearly has momentum.  He is clearly the front runner, and he now leads in the delegate count with 93.  People are resonating with his position on national security, the war on terror and the war in Iraq.  He won the vote of people

2. Mitt Romney – effectively pulled out of South Carolina to focus on Florida and his millions earned him another silver as he likes to put it.  He won among those who made between $100 K – 200 K.  Those who felt that immigration was their top issue (16%) Romney won.  The issue that Romney was campaigning on in Florida – the economy (the top issue for Florida voters with 45% saying that was their top concern) – McCain won that segment by 8 percentage points.  He also one on the terrorism issue by three points over McCain, but that likely is due to Giuliani support with that issue.  Rudy Giuliani won 25% of that vote.

3.  Rudy Giuliani – the gamble didn’t pay off.  I didn’t think it would.  I think ignoring states is never good policy and with McCain leading all of the big states (including his own) that he has a failed strategy and he is making a good decision pulling out of the race.  It was an attempt that simply went nowhere and was ill-advised.  The fact the highest he came was a third place demonstrates that he never really had a shot at the nomination.

4.  Mike Huckabee – South Carolina hurt him badly, lack of money, not expanding his base (only 4% of non-evangelicals voted for him), and having a three-way split with Romney and McCain for the evangelical vote (Romney – 29%, Huckabee – 29%, and McCain – 30%).

5.  Ron Paul – I really don’t have anything to say about him.  His campaign is what it is.

Exit Poll Source: Fox News

And then there were two… the GOP contest is really between McCain’s momentum and Romney’s money.

When you look at RCP averages you see the following picture:

  1. California (2/5 Primary) McCain – 31.2, Romney – 22.3, Huckabee – 11.5, Giuliani -11.0, Paul – 5.2 (173 delagates at stake)
  2. New York (2/5 Primary) McCain – 31.7, Giuliani – 22.5, Romney – 13.7, Huckabee – 9.8 (101 delegates at stake – winner take all)
  3. New Jersey (2/5 Primary) McCain – 29.0, Giuliani – 26.0, Romney – 11.0, Huckabee – 10.0, Paul – 5.7, Thompson – 6.7 (Delegates at stake – 52)

McCain also leads in Illinois and other Super Tuesday states.  Mike Huckabee still looks strong in the south.  Romney leads in the intermountain region, but McCain clearly is the frontrunner.  In head to head polls McCain is the only GOP candidate leading Clinton and Obama.  Huckabee is behind against both, but fairs better than Mitt Romney.

Who knows what will happen, but it is going to be interesting.

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Congratulations to Senator John McCain who won the South Carolina primary.

With 97% of the precincts coming in:

  • McCain – 33%
  • Huckabee – 30%
  • Thompson – 16%
  • Romney – 15%
  • Paul – 4%
  • Giuliani – 2%

McCain won the independent vote, the moderate vote, the military vote, and seniors.  Huckabee and McCain split with Republicans.  Huckabee won among evangelicals, though not as much as he had hoped, Fred Thompson took some of the evangelical vote away from him.  Huckabee also won among conservatives.

Future?  Who knows?

This has definitely put Senator McCain in a very good position going into Florida where there is currently a four-way statistical tie in the polls (with McCain with a slight edge over Huckabee, Romney and Giuliani).

Romney won the Nevada Caucus, but I don’t think will be a big bounce for him since he was expected to win.  Twenty-five percent of the GOP voters who caucused are Mormon and he won 100% of them.  So nobody really campaigned there.  He is currently leading in delegates, but still don’t see him winning the nomination.  His strength is that he can self-fund his campaign.

Not winning South Carolina does hurt Governor Huckabee.  Winning Florida will be extremely difficult.  He still is leading polls in several southern states, but what kind of bounce McCain will see after South Carolina is uncertain.  He has a disadvantage with money and organization.

Thompson is done.  I will be surprised if he doesn’t hang it up after tonight.  He said that he needed to do well in South Carolina, I don’t think coming in third place with 16% of the vote could be considered doing well.

Giuliani, if he doesn’t win Florida I think he will be through.  Frankly, I don’t think somebody who has come in second to last in every contest so far really deserves the nomination.

Congressman Paul, kudos for him coming in second in Nevada, he has no chance and I’m not sure who is helped by him staying in it.

Congressman Hunter will be dropping out I heard on Fox News.  I’m surprised it took this long.

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The latest poll in South Carolina

ARG GOP South Carolina Primary

  • Mike Huckabee 33% (23%)
  • John McCain 26% (33%)
  • Fred Thompson 21% (13%)
  • Mitt Romney 9% (20%)
  • Rudy Giuliani 3% (4%)
  • Ron Paul 2% (1%)
  • Duncan Hunter 1% (1%)
  • Alan Keyes 1% (2%)
  • Undecided 4% (3%)

Among Republicans (81% of the sample) likely to vote in the GOP primary, Huckabee leads with 37 percent of the vote. McCain and Thompson are tied for second, each with 22 percent.

Among independents (19% of the sample) expected to vote in Saturday’s primary, McCain has a 48-19% lead over Huckabee.

Survey of 600 likely Republican primary voters (487 Republicans and 113 independent voters) was conducted January 17-18. The margin of error is ± 4 percentage points. Results from the poll conducted January 15-16 are in parentheses.

HT: Race42008

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I would have liveblogged the debate last night, but instead I thought it was better to go out to dinner with my lovely wife.  Fortunately Fox News replayed the debate.  I’m surprised that we are having another one so soon after having two over the weekend.  Just a tad much I think.  By and large it was a lively debate and pretty well moderated.

By the candidate:

Mitt Romney:  He likely didn’t hurt himself or really help himself for that matter.  He best response was on the economy.  How to prevent recession?  1. Stop housing crisis.  2. Tax cuts for the middle class.  3. Address price of gas.  4. Invest more in research and development.  He was pretty vague in his response to the question about Massachusetts having the third slowest job growth in the nation during his term.  His response to the abortion coverage in Massachusetts universal health care plan being the result of a court decision needs to be verified.  “I came down on the side of life as governor.”  Really now?

He did have a pretty good statement about foreign policy:

Today, foreign policy is no longer like it was in the last century, which was more like a game of checkers that was our side and their side. We tried to get friends and allies and go after each other. Now foreign policy is more like three-dimensional chess, where we have to understand all the players throughout the world and develop strategies to help move the world towards more stability and safety for ourselves,” he said. “We need to think more broadly than just those hot spots and come together with other developed nations … and develop an effort to help move the world of Islam towards modernity.

John McCain: Not a bad debate for him either.  I didn’t care for his position on global warming, but do agree that the Republican party does need to consider the principles of  Teddy Roosevelt Republicanism.  He as always is solid on Iraq and War on Terror.  Having been a Navy Commander he said that he placed confidence in the ships’ captains (during the Strait of Hormuz incident with the Iranians).

McCain had a great statement on the Iraq surge and possible reduction of troops:

I’m telling you, it’s succeeding. And these young people are going to come home. But it’s not going to be decided by any politician in Washington. It’s going to be decided by the man that should have been Time magazine man of the year, General David Petraeus. That’s who should decide when American troops come home.

Fred Thompson: He’s awake!  He had some great one liners.  He really didn’t say much about his record.  Perhaps because there isn’t much there.  He was on a Mike Huckabee hit parade, probably because if he doesn’t do well in South Carolina where Mike Huckabee is a frontrunner (in most polls – 2nd in today’s) he’s done.  Frank Luntz’ focus group had a Thompson love-in (probably out of shock that he is alive), but something that was pretty noteworthy was that there was a sense of “too little, too late.”

Fred Thompson’s money quote:

You can’t take the judgment like that out of the hands of the officers on the ground there. I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins that they’re looking forward to seeing.

Mike Huckabee:  He was straight forward in addressing growing the economy by reducing our dependency on oil (in light of the high gas prices, among other things), dealing with subprime mortgages (he did say President Bush is handling it well without using taxpayer money to bail people out), he said that we also need to address healthcare costs and education cots.  He said that we must not raise taxes, but cut mariginal taxes and the best thing of all pass the Fair Tax.  He also gave a good answer to the Strait of Hormuz question.  The money quote that received the best response from the Luntz focus group:

I think we need to make it very clear, not just to the Iranians, but to anybody, that if you think you’re going to engage the United States military, be prepared not simply to have a battle. Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next things you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that.

He also turned an out-of-line question about religion around and was able to present his position on marriage and family values which will definitely appeal to social conservatives.

Update: Video on his answer to Carl Cameron’s question.  Awesome.

Rudy Giuliani: Regarding staving off recession Giuliani referred to his tax plan, but also said that we need to cut spending, and said that we need regulatory reform.  I laughed out loud when he called himself a conservative when talking about the Reagan coalition (social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and defense conservatives).  He labels himself such because he believes in a strong national defense and lower taxes/spending cuts.  Regarding social concerns, “we believe in the same goals, but disagree with methods.”  Whatever… he thinks it is perfectly ok to not only allow, but fund the innocent slaughter of a child in his mother’s womb.  But, that’s ok, at least he’ll appoint strict constructionalist judges to the bench.

Just a quick digression here.  I have not seen anyone in the Republican establishment hammer Giuliani on this issue.  I mean Huckabee is labeled a liberal because he doesn’t tow the Club for Growth line, but I haven’t heard one pundit call Giuliani a liberal – which he clearly is, at least socially.  But we hear from the establishment and the elite… “it’s ok.  He’ll appoint the right kind of judges.”  That’s nice what about the Mexico City policy?  Will he allow the federal funding of abortions?  There is a lot that a president can do via executive order.  When Huckabee says he’ll cut spending – the establishment and elite don’t believe him, but give Giuliani a pass when he said he’ll appoint strict constructionalist judges.  I am sickened by the double standard, and it shows me where their priorities lie, but I digress.

I really don’t think Giuliani’s performance was that wonderful, he didn’t hurt, but he didn’t help either.  Lackluster.  He did make a good statement on Iran, however.

I think an incident like this reminds us that we shouldn’t be lulled into some false sense of confidence about Iran. We have to be very focused on the fact that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear power. We should make it very, very clear that we’re not going to allow that, and we should go to every country that we can think of to impose serious sanctions on Iran.

Ron Paul: What to say about Congressman Paul.  First off, I’m glad they included him in this debate.  I think that Fox News made the wrong decision in not including him in last Sunday night’s debate in New Hampshire.  Especially in light of the fact that he had 10% in the Iowa Caucus (beating Giuliani), and was polling ahead (and beat) Fred Thompson in New Hampshire.  I do, however think that he is out of touch with reality.  For instance his take on the Strait of Hormuz issue with Iran:

Let’s put it in perspective. We have five small speedboats attacking the U.S. Navy with a Destroyer? They could take care of those speedboats in about five seconds. And here we’re ready to start World War III over this? … You know there are people in this administration and in Washington, D.C., that are looking for the chance” to bomb Iran.

Has he forgotten about the U.S.S. Cole?  The boat that attacked it was little, but still killed 19 sailors and injured many more, not to mention disabled the ship.  Maybe the Navy should just allow these speed boats to come right up on them.  What is this guy thinking?  Then most of his other answers were incoherent ranting.  The statement he made on funding Israel’s neighbors was an interesting point, and one that the next administration should consider.

The winners – no clear winner out this I think.  Many say Thompson, but I think that is because he shocked everybody by being awake in this debate.  The only clear loser was Ron Paul, but I didn’t really have any expectations there.  That’s my take.  I’m going to post on the Thompson vs. Huckabee exchange in a separate post because old Fred needs to be corrected.

Update:  Some reactions to the debate.

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Latest Florida poll from Datamar:

Mike Huckabee 23.9%
Mitt Romney 19.5%
John McCain 17.9%
Rudy Giuliani 16.4%
Fred Thompson 9.4%
Ron Paul 4.8%

Pretty interesting.  Perhaps Giuliani’s late primary/big state strategy is going to backfire?

Update: 10:50 PM – USA Today/Gallup Poll

Mike Huckabee 25%
Rudy Giuliani 20%
John McCain 19%
Fred Thompson 12%
Mitt Romney 9%
Ron Paul 4%

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