This Is The Infographic That The Whole Republican Party Is Freaking Out About

The 3 million McCain voter who didn't vote for Romney didn't stay and they didn't vote third party. They died. To survive, the GOP needs to stop being afraid of Millennials and tell them truth: they can move out of mom and dad’s house, they can drop out of school, they can quit their dead-end job with the idiot supervisor. But they can’t get away from government and debt.

Read More

Stop The Crazy Talk: Vote Fraud Didn’t Cost Romney The Election

I wrote yesterday that if you need someone to blame, blame me. Don’t blame bogeymen. reality-check

Yes, vote fraud is real. Voter rolls in most states need to be cleaned up. Voter intimidation should be harshly prosecuted.

You can sign up at True the Vote or Missouri Precinct Project to take effective, useful action. These organizations do vital work, and they both need more volunteers.

Using vote fraud, however, as an excuse for secession or for blocking the Electoral College vote is neither effective nor useful. In fact, it makes us sound like the idiots the left wants us to be.

Please knock it off.

Try Critical Thinking Instead of Knee-Jerk Emotions

I read a piece American Thinker that made me want to jump out a window. Selwyn Duke tries making the case that Romney lost because of voter fraud.

His case is weak.

I won’t bother with his points about anecdotal evidence, since they’re anecdotal. They can’t be proven one way or the other.

Instead, I looked at the numbers.

Romney Got No Votes In Some Philadelphia Divisions

True, this is odd. It may will be that Romney votes were thrown out. But there are two problems with blaming Pennsylvania’s outcome on this anomaly.

1.  We’re talking about a predominantly or exclusively Democrat area. Had Obama received less than 98 percent of the vote, something would have been wrong. So we’re talking about, at most,  a 2 percent problem in a small area.

2.  The total vote in these Philly division was less than 20,000 votes. Suppose that 2 percent intended to vote for Romney. That’s 400 votes. It doesn’t change the results. It doesn’t even come close.

Military Overseas Ballot Requests Way Down

Duke also cites a drop in requests for absentee ballots by armed forces serving over seas. He points a report that in Virginia and Ohio, requests for military absentee ballots were down by 70 percent:

Frankly, it is inconceivable that military interest in voting could've dropped so drastically given conservatives' passion this election season.

There are several problems with Duke’s argument.

  1. Over 83,000 troops came home. Thirty percent fewer troops are serving overseasin 2012 compared to 2008. And a LOT of them are stationed in Virginia.
  2. The drop in requests was for the entire election cycle, not just the November 8 election. Obama was unopposed in the primaries.
  3. The drop is in requests.  The DoD can’t make people request an absentee ballot. (I was the Voting Rights Officer on USS Woodrow Wilson—it’s not always easy to get people to vote.)

I agree that the DoD did a poor job getting ballots to troops. But the problems were with ballots that had already been requested.  Let’s wait to see  how many military ballots were cast before we lose our heads.

Secession and Disrupting the Electoral College Doesn’t Help Conservatism

If you believe the election was stolen, I get why you want to take extreme measures.  But your extreme measures don’t win any hearts and minds. They make us look nuts.

Read Erick Erickson’s blog about rolling up the welcome mat at RedState. Clearly, I’m not the only one noticing the crazy talk around here.

Our mission is to win-over people who want what we want:

  • A strong economy
  • A smaller, fiscally responsible government
  • A safer world
  • A sustainable immigration policy

These are things that almost everyone in America can agree on—everyone except the far left nuts.

Reagan attracted big numbers with 3 of those 4 pillars. Immigration wasn’t as big a deal then, because our population still had some organic growth going on.

Companies and nations fall when they refuse to face the realities of their situations. The conservative movement is supposed to be the embodiment of hard, cold looks at the national condition. Let’s keep it that way, okay?

Here’s My Electoral Map Prediction

Yes, I’m feeling a wave toward Romney.

Bill Hennessy Electoral Map

My gut tells me this year is a lot like 1980.

1980 Was A Dead Heat

The final Gallup poll that year had a dead heat. Time Magazine’s November 3, 1980, called the race a dead heat. So did Newsweek.

The press was hoping John B. Anderson, a former Republican Congressman running for president as an independent, would siphon votes from Reagan. He did siphon votes from Reagan, but not nearly enough. America was fed up with Jimmy Carter.

What appears to be a dead heat to pollsters could, in fact, be a landslide for Romney. And I think that’s the only way Romney wins.

Romney Must Win Big To Win

In a close race, Democrats will cheat, steal, and defraud. They will fight it in the courts, discover ballots in trunks, and sue to let people vote until they get the numbers they need.

For Romney to win, the race must appear hopeless to Democrats before midnight Tuesday.

That’s exactly what I think will happen.

What do you think?

Mitt Romney’s Cleaning Up in Early Voting, but It’s Confused the Hell Out of Politico

Gallup released its early voting poll today, and it shows Mitt Romney winning 52% to 45%—right in line with their Likely Voter poll numbers. Here’s the chart.

GallupEarlyVotingResults

Politico Reporter Can’t Read

But Gallup’s section on early voting by party ID completely lost Politico’s Kevin Robillard.

Robillard looked at the chart that shows when voters intend to vote by party and candidate and mistook it for voting results. This poll question shows that those who support Obama as as likely to vote early as are those who support Romney. No surprise. 

Here’s precisely what Gallup says about this section:

However, when one looks at the voting intentions of likely voters according to candidate support, the political impact for the two candidates appears to be roughly equal.

And here’s what Robillard thinks it says:

Neither candidate has a particular edge among early voters nationally compared to those who will cast their ballots on election day
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/83039.html#ixzz2ApGGRw56

Robillard doesn’t understand that there are simply MORE people who intend to vote for Romney than for Obama. 

What’s worse is the entire liberal media establishment is now confused—or lying—about the poll. They’re taking Robillard’s stupidity and running with it.

More Bad News For Obama

John Nolte points out that Obama’s early voting results are down 22 points from 2008.  That’s huge, and explains why Minnesota and Pennsylvania have moved from Safe for Obama to Toss-Up. 

If Romney wins Pennsylvania, we’ll be celebrating early on the November 6.  Call your friends in PA, comment on Pennsylvania blogs and news sites.  Target people who will vote right if they vote.  Forget conversions—just move the friendlies.

What The Pollsters Aren’t Telling You

Polls do influence elections. That’s why people like Nate Silver and some of the writers at Business Insider are doing somersaults over Gallup’s Daily Presidential Tracking numbers.

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - Electoral Map

For over a week, Gallup has shown a tidal wave for support for Mitt Romney. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight tried to discredit Gallup by blogging about outlier results it’s shown in past years. Here’s the conclusion Business Insider reached:

Bottom line: Gallup swings wildly and it frequently has results not in line with other pollsters.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/nate-silver-on-the-gallup-poll-showing-huge-lead-for-mitt-romney-2012-10#ixzz29yPJ4rHE

But here’s what Silver and BI aren’t telling you: Romney’s 7-point lead in Gallup (52-45 as of October 21) is not a wild swing. Not by a long shot.

Instead, Gallup is showing a consistent move toward Romney ever since the first debate. For example, over the past four days, Romney has led by 6, 7, 6, and 7 points.  Before that, he move from 4 points to 6 points over the course of four days.

True, Rasmussen and WSJ/MSLSD show Romney and Obama tied. But that’s not enough to toss out Gallup the way Silver and BI attempt.

Now the reason polls matter is because low-information voters tend to break toward the candidate they think will win. If Romney’s cavernous 7-point lead holds steady, those late deciders will break for Romney. That could result in a landslide.

Combine all this with the latest RCP Electoral Map showing Romney up by 5 in the electoral vote count, and you can understand why liberals will say anything to discredit the polls. 

Now We Know Why Mitt Romney Has Been Wildly Successful In Life

Barack Obama’s performance was not nearly as bad as Romney’s performance was good. EmptyChair-New-Yorker

Not good—terrific.

I’m not talking about his politics and policies; I’m talking Romney’s remarkable presence. Here are the four principles of presence that Romney knocked out of the park.

Command of the Facts

When it came to facts—and to how those facts matter to the listeners—Mitt Romney seemed more prepared for the office of President than the President. Every attack by the President was countered, not with excuses or logic, but with numbers, facts, and verifiable statements.

The words that popped into viewers minds regarding Romney: confidence, authority, intelligence, competence, and readiness.

Affable Demeanor

From the moment he stepped onto the stage, Mitt Romney’s body and face reflected a friendly, but determined, man. His eyes danced. He smiled when appropriate, and never scowled. He stood still and straight—“in neutral,” as personal coach Frances Cole Jones describes the position: feet planted, hands at sides, ready to move but disciplined to hold steady.

Romney’s demeanor led people to think: approachable, safe, unguarded, honest, open, and strong.

Eye Contact

When Barack Obama attacked Romney, the President looked down or at Jim Lehrer. When Romney called out Obama, he looked his rival in the eye. While Obama’s eye-aversion looked weasel-like and weak, Romney’s forthrightness looked brave.

The word that Romney’s eye contact conjured: mensch.

Consistency

After 90 minutes, the President looked beaten, exhausted, distracted, and uncomfortable. He stood on one leg, often rocking back and forth like fidgety boy in Sunday School. But Romney’s strength, energy, and determination never waned. Romney never soared, but he never descended.

The word viewers thought about Romney’s consistency:  stamina.

Presidential

In every respect, Mitt Romney came across as more presidential than the President himself. He was more in command of facts, he was more likable, he had the wherewithal to look his rival in the eye and maintain all of these qualities consistency.

Mitt Romney’s impression on voters:  Mr. President.

Is the Romney Campaign Serious About Winning?

The Romney Campaign today reminded me of the McCain Campaign of 2008. I'm pretty good at ignoring bogus, fraudulent polls like the one CNN released tonight. In that poll, CNN announced a massive 52-46 national lead for Obama. If true, the race would be all but over.

CNN, of course, cooked the books on this one.

About one-third of voters describe themselves as independents, CNN sampled only 3% independents for its latest poll.  Out of nearly 1,000 voters, only 37 described themselves as independents.

CNN just flat out lied.

But that fraudulent poll could prove true if Team Romney doesn't get its head in the game.

In an internal memo, the Romney people indicated that people will wise up at the last minute before the election and put Mitt into office.

The reality of the Obama economy will reassert itself as ultimate downfall of the Obama presidency, and Mitt Romney will win this race.

McCain believed, in September 2008, that Obama's lack of experience would "reassert" itself. McCain was wrong.

A Last-Minute Strategy Won't Help If You're Behind

Here's why Romney's last-minute strategy will fail if he tries it: uninformed voters always break with the majority.

This conclusion comes from scientific studies of fish, but the studies apply to human behavior as well. Further, the studies show why small, vocal groups can exert heavy influence among informed voters, but can do little among the less informed voters---such as show up during Presidential elections.

“A strongly opinionated minority can dictate group choice,” the research team wrote in its report, published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Science. “But the presence of uninformed individuals spontaneously inhibits this process, returning control to the numerical majority.” (source: chronical.com)

What that means is that the least informed, undecided voters will break for the candidate CNN tells them is going to win.  That's how CNN's lies can influence the outcome of elections.

If Romney really wants to win the White House, he better establish a solid lead nationally and in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado---fast.

Here's What You Can Do

Look, we can't influence what Mitt Romney does. He's paying a lot of establishment consultants to figure out a strategy.  But if the establishment blows this race, we still need to show some results.

The best thing we can do is to get out the vote of people who think like we do. I'm not talking about tea partiers; I"m talking about the majority who believe that rights come through nature from God to people, and that government's just powers come from the people alone.

Plus we can get out the vote of people who believe that government debt is bad for us and for future generations.

We can get out the vote of people who believe Obama's cure for the economy is worse than the disease.

We can get out the vote by working with candidates we like. Better yet, we can get out the vote working with St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and the Madison Project. We'll be announcing the location of our office this week, and Saturday will be our first door-knocking round. (We'll need YOU)

Start tonight by attending the Winning Tea Party Strategies meeting at The Pillar of the Valley in Chesterfield.  RSVP  on Facebook and bring one other person.

While you're there, RSVP for the September After Party and bring 2 friends to that.

Game Theory and the Ryan Pick

  If Mitt Romney applied game theory in choosing Paul Ryan, I have renewed respect for him. I'll explain why, but first a bit of background on game theory.

Game theory is a branch of social science concerned with strategic decision-making. It is most closely associated with economics. Professor John Nash, the subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind, won a Nobel Prize in Economics for his work in game theory. (For a great primer on the subject, read Thinking Strategically: the competitive advantage in business, politics, and everyday life.)

According to professors and authors Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J. Nalebuff:

a game is a situation of strategic interdependence: the outcome of your choices (strategies) depends upon the choices of another person or persons acting purposively.

Borrowing from an example in from Dixit and Nalebuff, two-person political races are somewhat sequential. Each candidate has a choice of which road to take. If Obama takes the high road and campaigns on a ideas, Romney has a choice: he can take the high road, too, or he can take the low road and sling mud.

Each team must think ahead and reason backwards. He must discern his rival's response, his counter to that response, etc.

If Romney moved first, his decision tree might look like this:

In this case, Romney concludes that taking the low road won't work. Everyone already knows that Obama is a failed president, a radical who believes America needs to be "taken down a notch." He also knows that negative campaigning lowers public approval of both parties. Therefore, Romney might figure that taking the high road is his only hope.

In this case, though, Romney didn't move first. Obama did. Obama, too, realizes that he's a failed president with a goal for America that dare not speak its name. So Obama actually moved first. Obama has been slinging mud since last fall. His minions pile on more mud--some half-truths, some complete lies--every day. He shows no sign of changing course.

This made Romney's decision easier. By asking Ryan to be his running mate, Romney can campaign on ideas, on America's future, on a transparent and important vision for our future. After years of hearing voters complain that they wish politicians would be more serious about the nation's problems and cut back on the vitriol, Romney has finally done it. He's left the low road to Obama and seized the high road.

This give Obama a choice: he can remain on the low road, and risk alienating voters who want a national debate about the legitimate role of government in our lives, or he can take the high road and risk alienating voters who would cringe at his twisted and starkly un-American vision of our future.

I don't know that Romney reasoned this way, but if he did, it bold, brilliant, and brave.

 

If We Don’t Flip Some Toss-Up States, Romney, Ryan, and the USA Are Screwed

  Choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate was a great Romney move. Looking ahead, Romney sees movement conservatives working hard right up to the election—even if he or his advisors continues to say stupid things.  That was necessary.

SCROLL DOWN FOR TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS THIS WEEK

But it wasn’t enough to win the election and unseat America’s first anti-American president.  To do that, we must find a way to win over the selfish middle. (I know, writing things like “selfish middle” doesn’t help, but I hate lying to them.)

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - Obama vs. Romney Create Your Own Electoral Map

Here’s the reality: the Electoral College, which once favored Republicans, is now the exclusive property of the DNC.  That’s because “moderates,” who vote for candidates promising to give them stuff, have moved into formerly conservative states.  In the map above, Obama needs only 33 electoral votes to win.

Now, take out all the toss-ups by giving the gray states to the candidate currently with the lead in polls in that state:

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - No Toss-Ups

If the election were held today, America would be screwed.

It’s possible, perhaps likely, that Romney could win a sizable popular majority and STILL lose an Electoral landslide.

Here’s what we need to do if we don’t want to be the generation that lost America:

  1. Shore up Romney’s lead in the red states like Missouri
  2. Sweep statewide races in red states like Missouri
  3. Ensure a Republican Congress (both houses)
  4. Adopt a toss-up state to work

Here are the toss-up states (electoral votes):

  • Colorado (9)
  • Florida (29)
  • Iowa (6)
  • Nevada (6)
  • New Hampshire (4)
  • North Carolina (15)
  • Ohio (18)
  • Virginia (13)
  • Wisconsin (10)

By “adopting,” here's what I mean:

  • Choose only ONE state to adopt so you can focus your energy
  • Lobby friends and relatives who live in the state
  • Donate to state candidates in your adopted states hoping they have coattails
  • Comment on newspapers and blogs that focus on your adopted state, even if not directly political
  • Call radio talk shows in your adopted state, using their internet broadcast to listen in
  • Pray

Quite honestly, the Electoral College is stacked heavily against Romney. That means it’s stacked against America’s future, as well.  A landslide for Romney in Missouri won’t help Romney in Florida or Virginia.

Yet we still need to elect Ed Martin, Todd Akin, Shane Scholler, Cole McNary, Peter Kinder and the other Missouri candidates.  We need to elect a solid House delegation. And we need to prevail on statewide and regional referenda.

That’s a lot to do.  And only about 90 days to do it.

TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS THIS WEEK

You can get involved beginning this Wednesday, August 4, at 4:00 p.m. in Valley Park at the Victory Bus Tour Rally.   All statewide and local candidates will be at the Victory Fieldhouse.  They will making a stop on the Victory Bus Tour and with this being the statewide HQ, it needs to be full!  Please forward this on to everyone you can.

Victory Bus Tour Rally – ALL Statewide and Local Candidates

Wednesday August 15th – 3:45 – 5 pm Victory Fieldhouse 932A Meramec Station Rd Fenton, MO 63088

If you’d like to discuss this further, come out to Sky Music Lounge this Thursday, August 16, at 7:00 pm, for the next St. Louis Tea Party After Party. The scheduled topic is Voter Fraud, but we’ll be talking a lot of election strategy, too.

Finally, I need say this:  in 2012, yelling at people, telling them they’re wrong, won’t work.  Sitting the election out because your favorite candidate didn’t win would be like surrendering to the Soviets.  Your children and grandchildren deserve to live as free men and women.  If we lose freedom now, it won’t come back in their lifetimes.  Winning this election might not keep you from the chains of slavery to government, but losing will weld the shackles shut.

 

Romney-Ryan Have a Vision They Can Talk About

Why did murder skyrocket in Chicago as soon as Rahm Emanuel became mayor? Why have Americans become nastier and meaner since Barack Obama became president? Romney-Ryan

As Michael Dukakis told us, a fish rots from the head down. Obama surrounds himself with people who thrive on decay and death.

After four years, Obama has nothing to say for himself. Nothing. He can only cut and attack and lie and sneer and mock like a high school bully. He tries to hide his own inadequacies and failures by belittling others’ success.I

The greatest contrast between the Republican ticket and the Obama regime is here. Romney’s team stands for something. It has a vision it is proud to share with the American people. Romney and Ryan want America to do better, for Americans to excel, for American exceptionalism to mean empty welfare rolls and zero poverty.

When you have a vision like, you can talk about it.

gary-indianaBut when your vision for America is a vast wasteland covered with dilapidated building and police crime scene tape—Gary, Indiana, from sea to shining sea—you have to talk about something else.

If Obama told us what he really wishes for America, we’d drive him out on a rail.

Get a Romney-Ryan sticker on your car. This isn’t about party; it’s about survival.

Mitt Romney’s Resume Cover Letter

There are some things you just don’t say in a cover letter—or on the campaign trail. A self-aggrandizing cover letter from an NYU undergrad to some Wall Street banks has the whole financial world laughing. The kid’s naïve hubris and ignorance of what employers look for in a candidate earned him public humiliation on an internet scale.   Here’s just a sample of the kid’s self-promotion:

That semester I achieved a 3.93, and in the same time I managed to bench double my bodyweight and do 35 pull-ups

(Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-a-tenacious-summer-analyst-applicant-got-laughed-at-by-goldman-morgan-and-everyone-else-on-wall-street-2012-2#ixzz1loTZYiIe)

Mitt Romney should be even more embarrassed. He’s a lot older and, theoretically, wiser, you know.

mitt-romney-tsa

After Rick Santorum destroyed the establishment’s plastic candidate of choice, Romney’s spokesman gave a remarkably idiotic reason to support Romney: Money and infrastructure.

The reason Romney won’t beat Obama and shouldn’t win the GOP nomination is his hubris and his inability to think like a human being. Romney is the reason that Republican voter turnout is abysmal and why Democrats are now more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are.

The republic’s greatest threat since the British army of 1812 now sits in the White House.  In 2009 and 2010, the Tea Party resuscitated a comatose GOP and won back the House.  Since then, the inept, elitist, and self-serving Republican establishment has reasserted its thumb-laden hands, chosen an elitist candidate, and killed enthusiasm among those who actually get out the vote and win elections—the conservative grass roots.

If Romney and his elitist Republican friends manage to give Obama four more years to destroy this country, the GOP, not Obama, will face the angry mobs of America’s 60% conservative base.

New Hampshire Exposes GOP’s Diverse Base

Okay, Santorum and Gingrich didn’t get a bump out of their debates over the weekend.  More like the bump got them.

And Ron Paul did way better than I expected. Congratulations to Dr. Paul and Mitt. mitt-romney-fgr

I still think my Saturday night post accurately reflected the national impressions, though.  That’s backed up by this CBS News poll that shows Republicans believe Santorum most closely shares their values, but—and this is a J Lo but—they believe Romney is more electable.

Romney and Santorum bring different perceived strengths to the race as well. Romney is viewed as most electable (and most likely to be the eventual nominee), while Santorum is seen as the candidate who best represents these voters' values - up 17 points since November. Romney is right behind him on this measure.

I have to disagree with their judgment on Romney. Here’s why.

To win, the Republican nominee must do two things: 1) generate more energy within his base than Obama, and 2) he must attract the people who don’t trust unlimited government, but don’t necessarily care for the conservative base, either

Ronald Reagan did that.  Reagan won the support of many center-right factions:

  • Defense hawks (Cold Warriors)
  • Religious right (Moral Majority)
  • Fiscal conservatives (Supply Siders)
  • Strict constructionists (Constitutionalists)
  • Blue collar families (Reagan Democrats)
  • Independents (independents)

But Romney isn’t Reagan.  Romney is much more like John McCain, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford—the last four Republicans to lose a presidential election.

The reason those four lost wasn’t because they were bad men.  They were good men.  And it wasn’t really because their policies were out of step with most voters.  In fact, their policies were more reflective of America than those of their opponents.

The reason McCain, Dole, Bush, and Ford lost to Obama, Clinton, Clinton, and Carter was because they failed to pull together that broad conservative coalition. But the biggest reason they lost was that they failed to convince the last two—so-called Reagan Democrats and independents—that they offered a choice. And they failed to inspire the base to spend their vacation pounding the pavement or making calls.

A WSJ story today reveals some crucial facts:

Today's Republican Party has become steadily more blue-collar, more populist and more influenced by voters who act as much like independents as Republicans. All that makes the idea of attacks on capitalist behavior arising from the traditional party of capitalists a little less bizarre.

• Three-quarters of those who voted in the New Hampshire Republican primary had family incomes below $100,000, early exit polls indicated. Almost half had no college degree.

• In a stunning sign of how loose party affiliations have become, almost half of those who turned out to vote in the Republican primary actually identified themselves as independent voters. Big chunks of them went for Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., the least-conventional of the GOP candidates.

• Nationally, when the thousands of interviews conducted in last year's Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls are combined, Americans who call themselves blue-collar workers actually were slightly more likely to identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats.

• And when the Journal/NBC News poll asked Americans in November who was responsible for the country's current economic problems, Republicans were precisely as likely as Democrats to blame "Wall Street bankers."

When blue collar families and independents see establishment Republicans, they figure they might as well vote the Democrat who will at least throw them some largesse

There a many Americans who want government fixed. They want the Fed managed at least, if not dissolved. They are willing to go through the pain of winding down entitlement programs and realigning powers of the states to Constitutional intent. 

But they won’t go for half measures that create a bunch of pain and confusion but resolve nothing,eliminate no unconstitutional program, shut down no counter-productive cabinet department, and create new layers of bureaucracy through which we all must wade.

Maybe the blue collar voters and independents are wrong about establishment Republicans. Maybe I am, too.  And maybe so many people find Obama dangerous (I do) and anti-American (I do) that they will vote for anyone the GOP nominates. Our desire to avoid bad things is very powerful.

Then again, our desire to move toward good things is important.  If the only choice we on the right offer non-aligned voters is the lesser of two evils, Obama will be win re-election. 

There is no Reagan on the horizon, no Shane character to ride into town and save the day.  We have a choice between Romney, Paul, Santorum, and Gingrich.  Among those last three, I see none with a distinct advantage in gaining the nomination. Unless two quit. Soon.

But the larger problem is with the party itself.  Its establishment seems to have no idea how to inspire, and its insurgents have no idea how to team up.

Who Won the New Hampshire Republican Debate?

 

It depends on how you score. Rick-Santorum

I see three scoring scenarios:

  1. Best conservative performance
  2. Best electability performance
  3. Best positional performance

Conservative performance is pretty clear: whose answers appeal to conservatives?  (Does not mean conservatives believed the candidate meant what he said.) This is not Tea Party scoring, either. I’m not limiting my evaluation to the 3 core Tea Party principles of Constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.  This is broader conservatism.

Electability performance means the candidate appealed to general election voters. This doesn’t meant centrist—it means not scaring the crap out of people who aren’t politics wonks. (That’s most voters, by the way.)

Positional performance means the candidate did what what he had to do based one his current standings in he nomination process.

On conservative performance, I have to go with:

  1. Santorum
  2. Perry
  3. Gingrich / Romney

Electability

  1. Santorum
  2. Gingrich
  3. Romney

Positional

  1. Romney
  2. Santorum
  3. Gingrich

If we give 3 points for first place, 2 for second, and 1 for third, we get this composite ranking:

  1. Santorum: 8 points
  2. Gingrich:  6 points
  3. Romney:  5 points

What does it all mean? 

Santorum should move up a bit in the polls before the New Hampshire primary, but not enough to win.  He needed Romney to finish out of the top 3 in this debate. 

Gingrich needed to pull Romney out of the top 3 and get closer to Santorum than he did.  This hurt Newt.

Romney improved his chances, but he didn’t close the deal.  The longer he lets Santorum and Gingrich stay in the game, the more vulnerable his lead becomes.

BREAKING: Santorum Pulls Away with 13-Vote Lead

That’s with 88 percent of the counting complete.

The bigger story: Romney’s underperforming his 2008 results in key counties.  Santorum outperforming Huckabee in 2008. 

iowa-caucus-results

What does it all mean? 

Conservatives and libertarians dominate the caucuses. 

Romney is the choice of the Republican establishment. The cronies poured millions into his campaign even before he declared himself a conservative.  He’s won endorsements from just about every big name general election loser include Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush. (UPDATE: McCain to endorse Romney tomorrow.)

Yet Romney garnered only 25 percent of the Iowa caucuses (as of this posting). Rick Santorum, an afterthought two weeks ago, leads Romney by 13 votes. Ron Paul is in third with 21 percent. The Professor and Mary Ann and the rest, not so good.

So 75 percent want a non-establishment Republican candidate.

Every candidate except Romney is non-establishment in the voters’ eyes, no matter how you might evaluate their ideologies.

All this means that if the race were between Romney and two non-establishment candidates, Romney would lose.

That’s good news for the GOP and for the  country.

For the GOP because establishment Republicans have a weak record against liberal Democrats in the general.

Good for America because the GOP establishment is largely responsible for Republican loses in 2006 and 2008. And, of course, because the most important mission of a generation is changing who occupies the White House this year.

P.S.  You might hear a lot about the 17th Amendment and Cloture between now and South Carolina.

Call Me “Apologist”

The Washington Post’s headline writer made a common mistake on Sunday. Apologist-Romney

He confused “one who apologizes” with “apologist.”

An easy mistake, no doubt, for most of us. Professional headline writers should know better. So should Glenn Kessler, the author of the WP story.

The claim that Obama is an apologist for the nation began to take shape shortly after he became president.

An apologist is “one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.”

Britannica.com describes an apologist as:

any of the Christian writers, primarily in the 2nd century, who attempted to provide a defense of Christianity and criticisms of Greco-Roman culture.

Romney does not accuse Obama of being an apologist for the United States; he accuses the president, accurately, of apologizing for the United States.

To anyone who knows the meaning of the words, Kessler’s story reads like a farce.  Kessler attempts to demonstrate that Obama does not apologize the U.S., but, in fact, he defends his country.  But Kessler uses the wrong words.

Making Kessler’s sin even more egregious, he writes at the Post’s fact checker—a fact checker who failed to look up the meaning of “apologist,” the central word of his story.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of precise words. Lord knows I’m as guilty of letting my precision wane as is Kessler or anyone else.

Still, I will accept the title of “American Apologist” proudly.  And, while I disagree with Kessler’s intended meaning, I do agree with the literal assertion of his story: Barack Obama is no apologist for the United States.

Republicans Can Be Stupid, Too

We nominated Bob Dole, didn't we? Anyway, TexasFred's has been listening in on the Romney campaign and heard this:

Mitt Romney has cited the social welfare network of the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group as a role model the U.S. should copy to help promote “goodness” and “freedom” around the world.

I know . . . out of context, read the whole thing, and all that.  Still, a guy running for president ought to know that praising Hezbollah is a good way to become a really, really difficult trivia question about people who ran for president in 2008.