Report: Perry’s internal polling confirms that Santorum’s surge is real

posted at 8:50 pm on December 29, 2011 by Allahpundit

So says Stephen Hayes, reporting for the Weekly Standard. If he’s right, then your final three for the Republican presidential nomination are the guy who came up with RomneyCare, the guy who got blown out in Pennsylvania by almost 20 points five years ago, and Ron Paul.

Second look at seppuku?

A CNN poll of registered Iowa Republicans released Wednesday puts Santorum in third place with 16 percent of the vote – his highest share yet. It’s not an outlier. In fact, data from Perry’s internal daily tracking polling shows that the Santorum surge is real and that he has the potential to continue gaining in the days before voters gather for the caucuses next Tuesday.

The polling was described to TWS by a strategist for a rival campaign and confirmed by a source familiar with the numbers. The four important takeaways from Perry’s polling: Mitt Romney is “pulling away” from a group of four second-tier candidates bunched together behind him; Ron Paul’s numbers have dropped steadily in the aftermath of the attention given his troubling newsletters; Santorum’s rise has coincided with the erosion of support for Newt Gingrich; and Michele Bachmann is in danger of becoming a non-factor in the race…

One number Team Romney is watching carefully is Bachmann’s. According to a senior Iowa Republican, Romney’s team is concerned that if her support dips below 8-10 percent of the vote – where she’s been hanging in recent weeks – Santorum could present Romney with a real challenge. And further erosion for Bachmann could happen. On Wednesday, her campaign chairman defected to Ron Paul’s campaign and now a Super Pac that was once supporting her candidacy is backing Romney.

If Romney’s pulling away then I’m not sure why it matters who’s surging and who isn’t. That said, the point about Bachmann’s fade is interesting and timely given that she lost another senior staffer today: Romney (and Paul) need to divide the social-con candidates in order to conquer, so if Santorum is emerging from that bracket, then the best hope for the “Anyone But Mitt” diehards out there is for Gingrich, Perry, and Bachmann to fold ASAP. Bachmann will quit after Iowa, I think, but the other two will soldier on — potentially to Romney’s benefit and Santorum’s detriment in South Carolina.

One more detail about Bachmann, via Politico: The long-held suspicions that she’s been going easy on Mitt and hard on his opponents because she covets the VP spot are … confirmed.

She repeatedly passed up opportunities to ding Mitt Romney in the debates — a product, Rollins said, of preserving her options for sharing a ticket with him.

“There was some talk early on between her and her husband that she could end up as the vice presidential nominee,” Rollins said.

I’ve argued before that she couldn’t possibly seriously think Romney would put her on the ticket, but there you go. Strange days, my friends. Meanwhile, the good news for Santorum is that he’s in for a weekend full of sunny press and then, if he wins, another week after that in the run-up to New Hampshire. The media loves a cinderella story and political journalists find it gratifying to see his old-school Iowa strategy — camp out, hit all 99 counties, press the flesh — paying off. He’s their guy, right up until the moment when he starts to look like he has an outside shot at the nomination, when they’ll turn on him as some sort of “American Taliban” holy warrior or whatever. For a sharper critique, read Erick Erickson’s take on Santorum as more of a “pro-life statist” than a conservative. Reason enough not to prefer him to Mitt?

Here’s Perry’s ad taking aim at the new social conservative frontrunner; Santorum’s allies are already punching back. Just think, if all goes according to Romney’s plan in Iowa, we’ll be spending next Wednesday batting around suggestions for who should primary him four years from now. Exit question: In 2008, two-thirds of the party didn’t like the nominee. This year, three-quarters don’t. When do we get someone who can excite a majority of Republicans?


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TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Except Reagan did not want to legalize pot. He was speaking in classical terms. He was not identifying with the tin foil hat wearing, dope-smoking, “Libertarians” (Liberals in disguise) of today.

kingsjester on December 30, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Agreed about the big “L” versus small “l”. And Reagan was undoubtedly technically a classical liberal (which makes many eyebrows twitch). The word “libertarian” has good rep these days since it describes at least the economic side of much of the Tea Party energy. The big problem with the current GOP slate is nobody except “Krazy Uncle Ron” has any fiscal conservative cred. It’s sending out the false message that social conservatism is incompatible with fiscal conservatism. I think it’s best that we don’t further that misconception.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Didn’t Santorum endorse Romney in ’08?
Kelli_D on December 30, 2011 at 8:07 AM

You don’t have to agree, but I think Romney was a better choice among the rest of the 2008 Republican field.
Much better chance we could have won 2008, with Romney.

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Well New Zealand looks nice, or maybe Costa Rica

poljunkie51 on December 29, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Panama is better than Costa Rica, Costa rica doesn’t have property rights laws and it’s very easy to end up having squatters on your property if you go on vacation. I friend of mine has been going through this down there. He has an extra nightmare because the squatters sold his property.

Anyway, at this point we are doomed no matter who gets elected. Perry would need a majority of people like Paul Ryan in both houses to prevent the worst from happening.

We have government hacks that are using fraudulent accounting to cover up how much inflation we have ($3-$4 a gallon for gas is here to stay due to inflation), they don’t factor in inflation when adding up the GDP, which would show negative growth, and the way the count unemployment is criminal. Face it, we are on the verge of a depression, if not already in one.

Ann NY on December 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Being against legalizing “chemical-induced hedonistic pleasure” does NOT make one a Liberal.

(damn, my eyebrows won’t stop twitching)

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Face it, we are on the verge of a depression, if not already in one.

Ann NY on December 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM

I would like to disagree with that.

But, I don’t. : (

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Being against legalizing “chemical-induced hedonistic pleasure” does NOT make one a Liberal.

(damn, my eyebrows won’t stop twitching)

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 8:55 AM

You’re talking about the modern definition of liberalism. Classical liberalism is the diametric opposite of left-wing American politics. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberal

Anyhow, I was talking about small “l” verses big “L” libertarianism.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Look for Romney to pick Tom Ridge or that Lisa senator from Alaska.

He needs to shore up his moderate credentials.

Dr. Tesla on December 29, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Heh if he wants Pennsylvania THAT BAD. Ridge man regardless has a damn airport named after him. I am surprised I haven’t bumped up and seen him/met him; sometimes I go to the same gym he does. :)

No worries; I saw GWB first! :D

ProudPalinFan on December 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I have never seen that definition, before.

Thanks for the link. The info there should help me avoid major embarrasment in the future.

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Yeah, wouldn’t it be great if conservatives could take the word liberal back. Then Dems could just refer to themselves accurately as socio-fascists.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Y’all pray Iowa is not THIS superficial!
——————————————————————-

Voters weighing candidate character, personality
Friday, December 30, 2011
By Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker, The New York Times

DES MOINES, Iowa — Jonathan Gabhart, a 21-year-old college student from Spencer, Iowa, is leaning toward voting for Ron Paul because of the Texas congressman’s unpolished speaking style — a “high-pitched squirrelly voice,” as he put it. “He seems like a real person because of his eccentricities.”

Andy Schwaegler, a 45-year-old tree farmer from Orford, N.H., is drawn to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney because the well-coiffed candidate reminds him of his father, a business executive. “It’s something about the way he carries himself,” Mr. Schwaegler said.

Nancy Weaver, a 60-year-old retiree in Grinnell, Iowa, favors Michele Bachmann because the Minnesota congresswoman raised 23 foster children. “That’s a huge endeavor for any man or woman,” she said.

By virtually all accounts, the 2012 presidential race was to hinge on a restless electorate’s overriding worry, the troubled U.S. economy. But in three dozen interviews across Iowa and New Hampshire over the past few days, voters readily acknowledged that their decision would be driven as much by personal chemistry and biography as by political positions and policy.

Voters were hard-pressed to recall details of the candidates’ plans to reduce taxes, create jobs and shrink the government. Yet voters knew of the candidates’ marriages and mannerisms, faith and careers, and they brim with unvarnished opinions about any trait that strikes them as admirable — or just as likely, annoying.

“It drives me crazy,” retired teacher Rose Williams of Bridgewater, N.H., said about Mr. Romney’s voice. “When he’s on TV or on a commercial, I put it on mute.”

Gut reactions have long guided how voters select their president, but the strong responses provoked by the large, disparate GOP field help explain why voters seem to flirt with one candidate after another, hunting for a comfortable fit in a time of uncertainty. “Personality does matter,” said West Des Moines lawyer Michael Dee. “Because this person is going to be on TV all the time as president.”

The emphasis on character and personality is not accidental; to some degree, candidates deliberately play up elements of their lives that appeal to conservative voters, especially when compared with their rivals’ personal lives.

Mr. Romney has rolled out a series of TV commercials narrated by Ann, his wife of 42 years. Ms. Bachmann rarely misses a chance to talk about raising her foster children. And former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum has put photographs of his seven children on political brochures, with this detail: “Rick and his wife, Karen, have home-schooled each of their children.”

That last fact was well-known to Dwayne Kriegel, a postal carrier in Grinnell, who’s backing Mr. Santorum in Tuesday’s caucus. “He’s passionate about his dedication to family values,” Mr. Kriegel said. “The others say what they think the voters want to hear, while he lives it.”

Those interviewed were equally as outspoken about what qualities repel them.

Phil Dillingham, 62, a retired manager at Ford Motor Co. who lives in Moultonborough, N.H., said he could never vote for Texas Gov. Rick Perry because of what he called the candidate’s swagger. “He strikes me as too Bush-like, too strutty, too Texan,” Mr. Dillingham said.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Eva Dunn, 60, has no patience for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Her objection: his debate demeanor. “He comes across as a preacher, and I just want to take his hands and tie them behind his back because he’s always pleading, holier-than-thou.” (PPF writes: I wouldn’t mind that one bit!)

After watching 13 debates and nearly a year of campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, many voters described the candidates’ personalities in remarkably similar terms. They viewed Mr. Romney, for instance, as the handsome, strait-laced businessman; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as a brilliant but volatile politician with “baggage”; Mr. Santorum as a deeply moral family man; and Mr. Paul as refreshingly blunt yet oddly out of sync.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11364/1200162-84-0.stm#ixzz1i1puOscg

ProudPalinFan on December 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

We have serious economic problems, but the social “conservatives” want to nominate Santorum and turn the presidential election into a referendum on sodomy laws. We will get the government we deserve in four more years of Obama. I just hope there is a country worth saving in 2016.

thuja on December 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Y’all pray Iowa is not THIS superficial!

ProudPalinFan on December 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

I fear superficiality is the human condition, and the rare person who is philosophical deep is often off on some weird tangent.

thuja on December 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Santorum’s overzealousness in promoting governmental power in certain areas is concerning. I’m a bit leery of politicians who think that it is okay for the government to flex its muscles in the area that they want it to do so. How can such a person argue against the other party doing the same when they are in power?

But he is a million times better than Romney.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Bachmann needs to pull out and endorse someone not Romney. Given how she has campaigned thus far, however, I suspect that she’s only in the race to prop up Romney and will probably stay in to try and keep the vote against Romney divided.

Also, DeMint and Palin need to get together and pick a not-Romney to endorse ASAP.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Look for Romney to pick Tom Ridge or that Lisa senator from Alaska.

He needs to shore up his moderate credentials.

Dr. Tesla on December 29, 2011 at 9:56 PM

If the nominee is Romney, I’m probably voting third party, if he picks a liberal as his VP I definitely am*.

Romney’s only potential road to the white house is to nominate an unquestionably good conservative as VP.

Still, I don’t think that will be enough. If the choice given to the public is Democrat v Democrat lite, they will likely make the same decision they did in 2008.

*We can’t wait until 2020 to actually start addressing the real problems this country faces.

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM

We have serious economic problems, but the social “conservatives” want to nominate Santorum and turn the presidential election into a referendum on sodomy laws.

thuja on December 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Santorum is low on my list, but any of the GOP candidates are better on economic issues that either of the statist candidates: Romney and Obama.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Santorum is low on my list, but any of the GOP candidates are better on economic issues that either of the statist candidates: Romney and Obama.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM

While Santorum went along with the Bush 43 agenda in the Senate, he was a budget hawk when he was in the House, which would place him to the right of Romney and Newt on economics…

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Chuck Todd, on the ground in Iowa, reporting to Morning Joe that there is substantially more enthusiasm and ground organization for Rick Perry than Rick Santorum than is being reported. duh.

sunshinek67 on December 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

While Santorum went along with the Bush 43 agenda in the Senate, he was a budget hawk when he was in the House, which would place him to the right of Romney and Newt on economics…

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

My problem isn’t with Santorum on economics so much as on his willingness to use strong government to dictate large areas of social policy. I am a social conservative, but I don’t like government diktat in this or any area. If Santorum feels that he has broad power to dictate social policy, what’s to stop secular progressives from doing the same when they are in power? I have no problem with the GOP president undoing the damage the great damage that the secular progressives have done, but I don’t want the pendulum swinging back the other way.

And I’m concerned about the slippery slope from this position to the “compassionate conservatism” of Bush.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Chuck Todd, on the ground in Iowa, reporting to Morning Joe that there is substantially more enthusiasm and ground organization for Rick Perry than Rick Santorum than is being reported. duh.

sunshinek67 on December 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

I hope so. But one or the other or Gingrich needs to surge.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM

If Santorum feels that he has broad power to dictate social policy, what’s to stop secular progressives from doing the same when they are in power? I have no problem with the GOP president undoing the damage the great damage that the secular progressives have done, but I don’t want the pendulum swinging back the other way.

I can confidently say that is not going to happen. If in 2016 we are back to the status quo of 2000 on “gay rights” and the panapoly of related social issues and have overturned Roe, we will have had as successful a conservative government on social issues as could possibly occur.

Also, the left will continue to dictate social policy as they have since the rise of the New Left in the late 60s irrespective of what conservatives do. The only question is will we choose go along Republicans like Romney, or someone that will actually stand up to them like Santorum, Perry, maybe Newt.

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

The only question is whether it is more important to salvage this country’s economy and standing in the world or to put a halt to the terrible scourge that is gay marriage?

I say let folks make their “I do’s” to whomever they want.

MJBrutus on December 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM

The only question is whether it is more important to salvage this country’s economy and standing in the world or to put a halt to the terrible scourge that is gay marriage?

I say let folks make their “I do’s” to whomever they want.

No, actually quite the opposite, it is time to stop choosing “moderates” who sell us out on more issues that they fight for conservativism.

No more McCains, no more Romneys.

18-1 on December 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Conservatives of all stool legs need to get behind Perry. We need this to be a two man race between Perry and Romney. Outsider vs. Establishment. If Romney can beat Perry under those circumstances, he will emerge a better candidate against Obama. If Perry can beat Romney, the establishment in Washington will be rocked.

Obama wants to run against Bush and the policies of the past. Perry is the only one who can neutralize this. The race will become Texas’ success vs. Washington DCs failures. Seriously, does anyone think we should look to Washington for any solutions?

Look at who is supporting Romney: Washington, RINOs, establishment insiders. Look at who is supporting Perry: conservative outsiders like Jindal, Steve Forbes etc.

Remember…Perry gaffes don’t cost taxpayers any money. For every second of his brain freeze, Solyndra received $10 million taxpayer dollars. Run that ad and it will never be mentioned again.

monalisa on December 30, 2011 at 11:29 AM

on Santorum as more of a “pro-life statist” than a conservative. Reason enough not to prefer him to Mitt?

Yeah, vote for the enti-pro-life statist instead?

It is clear that we’ve come to that moment in America history where we’ll vote for anyone who is against that which made America great. The greatest generation is dead and the sexually corrupt, free lunch, money is god, generation has triumphed. It matters not which brand is preferred – moral decay is moral decay!

Don L on December 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM

It would be so awesome if Santorum got the nod!

TruLevinian on December 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

thuja on December 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

What (who) are you trolling for, now?

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Yeah, wouldn’t it be great if conservatives could take the word liberal back. Then Dems could just refer to themselves accurately as socio-fascists.
TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Twentyfive or so years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed.

During that time there was much political tumult in Russia; a power struggle between the “Old Communist Guard”, and Boris Yeltsin. Meanwhile, back in the US of A, our heroic professionals in the field of Journalism struggled mightily to bring to the American people, all the accurate and unbiased news of what was happening in Russia during this tumultuous time.
All of the ‘work’ (reporting) done by these outstanding, glorius professionals, constantly refered to the “Old Communist hardliners” as ‘conservative’, while refering to Boris Yeltsin and his followers as ‘moderates.’
Well, this seemingly flipflopped terminology caused me some confusion during the early stages of what was happening in Russia.
And it started me to thinking about WHY we in the U.S. refer to the ideology of ‘limited (or less) government control’ as “conservative”, and the ideology of ‘increased (or more) government control’ as “liberal.”
I came to my own conclusion on this matter in the following analogy.
Among the multiple tubes of various types of ointments in our medicine cabinets (or towel closets), are some that have instructions labels telling us to “apply sparingly” (analagous to conservative), while other ointments have labels telling the user to apply “liberally.”
Now, just think of a tube of ointment labeled ‘Government control, and Bureaucracy’, and you’ve got the analogy.

I’m not trying to make you accept this analogy for yourself, I’m only presenting it to illustrate how my thinking has been on the use of the terms ‘liberal’, and ‘conservative’ as pertains to politics. And also to explain how I got confused this morning.

Thanks again for getting me straight as to your (and others) use of the words (phrase?) ‘Classic Liberal.’

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 3:15 PM

DRAFT

I say we draft the present Governor of Virginia.

IT is a shame he didn’t run and quit his job and walk out on his voters like every other politician.

IlikedAUH2O on December 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

IMHO, same sex sexual relationships, fornication, and adultery ought all to be treated equally – illegal but subject to only nominal penalties and rarely enforced. They should be enough disfavored to keep them from being treated as normative, but not subject to witch hunts by people like me (us?), whose sinfulness perhaps lies elsewhere, or who perhaps want to legislate against our own weaknesses.

This is something the states used to do and still ought to do, though now hamstrung by Court decisions, and, sadly, inadequate public support. In our churches and personal lives, we need to attack all of this and the contraceptive mentality besides. In our political life, we have to be selective and recognize you can’t take people from where they aren’t to where they don’t want to be. You do the best you can in the current political situation, while trying to contribute your 2 cents worth to the massive task of transforming the culture. The big time social issue most worth fighting directly is abortion: its consequences are huge and far reaching; genuine rather than superficial public support for it is best, and it scores points for social conservatism generally.

I can’t look into Mitt Romney’s soul and pronounce his 5 year old or so right to life position as genuine or not. But I do believe he knows this is a movement you don’t stab in the back, any more than a Democrat would turn anti-union, whatever his actual convictions. Would I rather have a Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal or especially Jeb Bush? Of course. But I do believe that whether Mitt’s recent marriage to right to life is a matter of love or convenience, he’ll make the prudential judgment to stick with it. And he’s otherwise the most electable and credible of the announced GOP candidates.

Ronald Wallenfang on December 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Ronald Wallenfang on December 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM

I’m going to have to use the ‘biological processor’ on that for a bit. You really did pack a lot into that, but it’s the first paragraph in particular that I’m going to spend time on.
I’m pretty sure that I agree with you, but I want to reread it some more.
Thanks for the post.

listens2glenn on December 31, 2011 at 3:57 PM

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