NBC/Marist IA poll: Romney 23, Paul 21, Santorum 15

posted at 8:55 am on December 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In the last few days before the Iowa caucus, one would expect the polling to get chaotic and inconsistent, given the nature of caucusing and the interference of the holidays.  That’s what makes today’s NBC/Marist poll so intriguing — it’s practically a carbon copy of yesterday’s Rasmussen poll.  Both polls have Mitt Romney and Ron Paul at a virtual tie at the top, and Rick Santorum making a big move into third place:

A new NBC-Marist poll confirms that with the caucuses four days away former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the frontrunner in Iowa (with Texas Rep. Ron Paul close on his heels), while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is experiencing a late-in-the-game surge.

Romney and Paul are battling for the top spot, winning the loyalty of 23 percent and 21 percent of likely caucus-goers, respectively. The survey finds Santorum at 15 percent, a jump from 6 percent over the last month. The caucuses are Jan. 3.

At the beginning of the month in this NBC/Marist series, Romney and Paul tied at 19, while Santorum languished at 6% among likely voters.  Both sets of numbers included leaners, which only dropped the undecided respondents from 12% to 7%, and boosted Ron Paul more than anyone else (two points to one for both Romney and Santorum).  Newt Gingrich has seen his support drop by more than half in the same period, from 28% to 13%, while Rick Perry rose from 10% to 14% to finish just behind Santorum.  Michele Bachmann lost a point this month, essentially treading water near the bottom of the pack.

In the second-choice category, Perry finished second to Romney, 21/20, with Santorum in third at 15%.  That’s almost double what both Perry and Santorum had at the beginning of the month, but Romney’s second-choice support has grown, too.  Most of that came from Herman Cain’s former second-choice support as well as a significant decline for Gingrich, who at 13% still has an edge over Paul’s 9%.  That figure seems to indicate that Paul’s support in the caucuses is shallow indeed; he’s gotten all of the support he can muster at this point.  Any late breaking decisions by voters will favor Romney, Perry, and Santorum most as voters move away from other candidates.

I think it’s safe to say that NBC/Marist and Rasmussen have a good handle on what the race in Iowa looks like this week.  We’ll see what Iowans think by Tuesday.  One key Iowan still hasn’t made up his mind, but has begun to say what he can abide, at least — and what he can’t:

Steve King would be warmly welcomed onto any of the campaign buses crisscrossing Iowa in the homestretch before Tuesday’s caucuses, but he spent Thursday at his home in the state’s conservative northwest.

The influential congressman’s position on the sidelines epitomizes the failure of Iowa’s abundant social conservatives to unite behind one candidate who could overtake Mitt Romney, widely distrusted because of his Mormonism and previous support for abortion and gay rights. King expected to settle on a candidate in September or October. He didn’t. …

Erick Erickson, the popular conservative blogger for RedState, mocked Santorum’s rise to third place in the poll, noting the former Pennsylvania senator’s threadbare campaign outside of Iowa. That’s was Mike Huckabee’s problem after Iowa’s social conservatives put him over the top in the 2008 caucuses. “No Surprise, Iowa Social Conservatives Are About to Shoot Us All in the Foot Again,” read the headline on Erickson’s post about the new poll. A Santorum surge, Erickson wrote, means Romney is likely to win the nomination.

That prospect doesn’t bother King, who pointed to Romney’s “exemplary family life” with his wife of 42 years and five sons. “He has more children and fewer vices than I have, so how can I criticize him?” King said, in what could be viewed as an appeal to social conservatives to come to terms with Romney’s likely success. “I could do business with Mitt Romney. I could do business with any of these candidates.”

Actually, there is one candidate whose foreign policy position troubles King far more than Romney’s waffling on abortion. Ron Paul advocates pulling all American troops out of foreign countries as part of a massive military disengagement. “That would be a calamity,” King said. He also worries that a Paul victory in the Iowa caucuses would diminish the state’s status because the quirky libertarian is so unlikely to win the nomination.

I don’t think I ever got a chance to post an interview I conducted with Rep. King before the debate in Des Moines on December 10th, so now seems like a good time to do so.  King clearly wants to find a candidate he feels comfortable in endorsing, and his endorsement is probably the one left on the table that could still make some difference, but just as was three weeks ago, King still hasn’t found the right fit.


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Ron Paul is like that guy at the light peering into your car with a sign asking for your spare change.

RAGIN CAJUN on December 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM

GO Santorum!!!

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on December 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Santorum won’t survive past Iowa folks

Let him have his glory now

cmsinaz on December 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Raging cabin
or washing your window with a dirty rag for a bit.

angrymike on December 30, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Nothing new here from last night, YET.

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 9:01 AM

I don’t think Steve should endorse anyone. I am against politicians endorsing candidates in the primaries because it’s not about who the politicians like, but who the voters like.

GeorgiaBuckeye on December 30, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Santorum won’t survive past Iowa folks

Let him have his glory now

cmsinaz on December 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Perry at 14% :)

gophergirl on December 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM

cmsinaz on December 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Does that mean you’ll be disappointed (maybe angry), or pleasantly surprised, IF . . . he does?

listens2glenn on December 30, 2011 at 9:04 AM

There’s something decidedly creepy about Rep King I can’t put my finger on.

RepubChica on December 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

That’s 3 polls now which show Santorum moving into 3rd. I hope he makes the most of the momentum and pulls off a surprise showing in Iowa.

Go Santorum!

Stoic Patriot on December 30, 2011 at 9:09 AM

As I said yesterday. Bachmann and Gladys Huntsman gone by the end of next week; Perry and Santorum gone after Romney wins New Hampshire. Newt sticks around to see if he can win So. Carolina and/or Florida. Paul wanders around aimlessly in his bathrobe for a while and leaves but nobody notices.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

gophergirl on December 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM

You may have life yet- a 3rd or very close 4th would be a lift, especially in SC

jjshaka on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

GG :)
——————–
Listen2glenn, it doesn’t matter either way…..does the caucus truly represent what Iowa wants when so few actually show up? I don’t know

cmsinaz on December 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM

I could support Santorum but I can’t see him creating a national organization in time to compete with the 4th best POTUS…..EVAH!

csdeven on December 30, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Paul wanders around aimlessly in his bathrobe for a while and leaves but nobody notices.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

I doubt he’ll even wear that!

csdeven on December 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Sontorum is toast

Santorum can’t go beyond Iowa and is being used by Romney.

Does anybody actually think Santorum has any resources to be “competitive” in SC. Once Santorum gets into SC it is over.

Take a look at the Iowa results, it is basically tied up between Perry and Santorum and guess who has the resources to go beyond Iowa – it ain’t Santorum.

Go Perry 2012

bzip on December 30, 2011 at 9:14 AM

There’s something decidedly creepy about Rep King I can’t put my finger on.

RepubChica on December 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

He’s a politician?

Flora Duh on December 30, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Perry at 14%, looks like this thing is wide open…

MGardner on December 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM

You may have life yet- a 3rd or very close 4th would be a lift, especially in SC

jjshaka on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Hope springs eternal as they say.

I can’t give in – not yet!

gophergirl on December 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

If she is out by the end of next week, who does the Congresswoman throw her support to, Governor Romney or Senator Santorum?

I’m thinking the Governor.

Flora Duh on December 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I could support Santorum but I can’t see him creating a national organization in time to compete with the 4th best POTUS…..EVAH!

csdeven on December 30, 2011 at 9:13 AM

If hell froze over and he did somehow win the nomination, the entire GOP establishment as well as the Tea Party and conservative movement would lend him every bit of support he needed to compete in the general election. Santorum may be a hardcore social conservative, but he’s no fringe candidate either. Dude won multiple elections to Congress in a fairly blue state, so he obviously has appeal to moderate and middle class voters.

Paul on the other hand is a nutcase. I swear, if he wins the Iowa caucuses, that state should be banished to the back of the line in 2016 and every primary beyond that becuase no one should ever take those morons seriously again.

Doughboy on December 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM

The Conservatives MUST choose and solidify with one candidate.

This is what I have been fearing since early on, look at the conservative vote over 45% of the electorate (not counting Paul) yet it is divided over 4 candidates making it irrelevant. CONSERVATIVES WAKE UP. its called divide and conquer. The Repub elites can’t do better than 25% yet Romney stands to take the whole show?

After Iowa we better square up and cull our group or we will spend the next 4yrs either crying in our soup over O’s second term or worse Romney’s compromising and the best will be his not elimination but replacement of Obamacare. Romney has said over and over we must do more than just repeal ocare we must replace it with something to. Wrong wrong wrong.

C-Low on December 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM

In the last few days before the Iowa caucus, one would expect the polling to get chaotic and inconsistent,

With Paul at 21, chaos has a firm hold.

lynncgb on December 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Christie in Iowa right now campaigning with Romney. Might Romney pick him for VP? I don’t think two eastern moderates is a very good idea.

Rational Thought on December 30, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Paul on the other hand is a nutcase. I swear, if he wins the Iowa caucuses, that state should be banished to the back of the line in 2016 and every primary beyond that becuase no one should ever take those morons seriously again.

Doughboy on December 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Ditto. He’s the only one that scares me completely to death. I can live with every other candidate even if I have to hold my nose to vote for them.

Paul is just unacceptable.

gophergirl on December 30, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Why does almost every post have to quote that Redstate Perry loving hack Erick Erickson?

Notice he’s started to warm up to Huntsman now that he gave Redstate an interview.

Do we really want someone as ineloquent as Perry when we are living in a period where any halfway competent candidate could crush Obama in a debate?

The_Conservative on December 30, 2011 at 9:26 AM

while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is experiencing a late-in-the-game surge.

I thought Perry said he’d be the Tebow of Iowa.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:26 AM

I think it’s safe to say that NBC/Marist and Rasmussen have a good handle on what the race in Iowa looks like this week.

Although they’re better than the CNN/Time poll, it still looks to me like they’re not giving proper weight to indies and crossover Dem protest votes. Although there are some Obamabots out there, Dems are dissatisfied with BHO. This is going to be a big element in any state that isn’t a really restrictive closed primary.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM

I’m thinking the Governor.

Flora Duh on December 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Agreed. She’ll angle for a post in a Romney administration.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Christie in Iowa right now campaigning with Romney. Might Romney pick him for VP? I don’t think two eastern moderates is a very good idea.

Rational Thought on December 30, 2011 at 9:23 AM

You nailed both reasons why Mitt won’t pick Christie.

Look for a Southern conservative like Jindal or Rubio.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Look for a Southern conservative like Jindal or Rubio.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Rubio, to claw back as much of the Hispanic vote as he can, and also to guarantee Florida.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Above all, it is worth noticing because, like Goldwater’s Conscience, it lays down a marker. As Goldwater repudiated Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, so Santorum repudiates Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

The Atlantic.

svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Speaking of the Congresswoman…

Yesterday morning:

Bachmann defection opens new rift in campaign

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – One of Michele Bachmann’s top campaign advisers is breaking with his own candidate to defend Kent Sorenson, the Bachmann campaign’s former Iowa chairman who publicly defected to Ron Paul on Wednesday.

Wes Enos, Bachmann’s Iowa political director, released a statement Thursday defending Sorenson from Bachmann’s accusation that Paul offered him money to switch allegiances.

In a statement distributed by Sorenson, Enos stated “unequivocally” that Sorenson’s decision was “in no way financially motivated.”

Last evening:

Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch

(CNN) – Michele Bachmann confirmed Thursday that another key member of her presidential campaign was no longer working for her.

“He quit,” Bachmann said of former Political Director Wes Enos. Bachmann was speaking on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” The Ron Paul campaign put out a release noting that he was “recently terminated” by the Bachmann campaign.

Flora Duh on December 30, 2011 at 9:33 AM

He also worries that a Paul victory in the Iowa caucuses would diminish the state’s status because the quirky libertarian is so unlikely to win the nomination.

Paul is just wrong on virtually all the issues and a hypocrite to boot when it comes to earmarks. But what really scares me is the rabid worship that he gets from a certain fringe segment of society. Very very creepy and just about as ignorant on the issues as Paul or anybody still hanging out in “Occupy DC” camps. They had a segment on local talk radio where supporters blithering idiots were calling in and insisting that Ron Paul was the only one that could possibly beat Obama because all the other Republicans were too much like Obama to attract a cross-section of voters the way Paul can.

It was priceless to see them try to stick to that message despite Pauls racist, conspiracy theory, and anti-military comments. Seriously, how can a man who claims that our troops are war criminals ever hope to be Commander-in-Chief? The leftist media does a great job of smearing the GOP without the party actually nominating an actual racist homophobe. And if Paul really thinks America can hunker down in some sort of collective xenophobia then he clearly is not paying attention while serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

But what really makes me mad is that apparently about rabid Paul supporters is that in Iowa, apparently, they plan to to change party affiliation long enough to manipulate the Iowa caucus even though Paul has no chance of actually becoming President let alone getting the GOP nomination. That kind of underhanded scheming may be representative of Ron Paul’s integrity but it is decidedly undemocratic and not within what the Iowa Caucus is supposed to be about.

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:34 AM

“We obviously are planning to win here in Iowa,” Santorum said this afternoon on a conference call with bloggers. “We don’t have to win. We’re not like some of the other candidates who have put all their eggs in one basket. [But] we have to do well here. We have to finish in or near the money. … I’m convinced that’s happening and it will happen and I feel very confident that we’ll have a bounce coming out of Iowa that will lead to a surprise finish in New Hampshire. Then, off to the races.”

ITguy on December 30, 2011 at 9:35 AM

His being a mormon never enters my mind, it’s Romneycare that does.

tinkerthinker on December 30, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Santorum would be a disaster in the general. Hardcore GOP national security socons would be the core of his support. It’s hard to see that resonating when the economic health of the country is going to eclipse everything. His protectionist “war with China” stuff will scare the crap out of people too.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Considering all the Democratic and Libertarian folks that involve themselves in the Iowa caucus…I’m pretty happy where Santy and Perry are.

KOOLAID2 on December 30, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Paul is just wrong on virtually all the issues and a hypocrite to boot when it comes to earmarks.

Funny, that’s one thing I like about Santorum. He’s an earmarker. It means the expenditures are designated in congress as they should be (even if it’s a bridge to nowhere), instead of being passed on to BHO to do with as he will.

We gave way too much power to the executive branch in 2000-2008 and now Obama’s using it. Congress should be wresting as much back as possible and resisting Obama mandates like the plague. Earmarks are actually a tool for that. *Real* budget cutting comes from big departments and entitlements.

TXGOP on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Santorum is a STATIST.Repeat,Santorum wants to control people thru government power.

svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

The fact that the vote’s so split doesn’t bother me. In the end, it’s going to ensure a stronger vetting, and make the eventual nominee work harder for it,

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Open Borders Trans Texas Corridor Ineffective Communicator as the nominee?

Sorry you don’t call voters “HEARTLESS” for wanting the border secured and illegals to go home.

NO MITT

NO NEWT

NO PERRY

NO MORE kinder gentler wussy GOP nominees.

And please “organization” is trumped by momentum and performance. Newt has no org to speak of and until the “Zany” attacks started he was near 50% in some polls.

Fearless Consistent Conservative that has the guts to dismantle ObamaCare is what I’m looking for.

PappyD61 on December 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Rubio, to claw back as much of the Hispanic vote as he can, and also to guarantee Florida.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Failed VP candidates rarely make it to the top of the ticket. Nixon was the last and that only after one of the four Presidents that “might possibly” have had more successful administrations than that of the current jug-eared occupant of the White House.

Rubio and to a lesser degree Jindal are rising political stars. I’m guessing they will think twice before accepting second place on the GOP ticket. But, if the nominee is Romney, it is going to be important that the VP nominee is an individual of unquestionable social and economic conservative values.

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

OT: Newt’s daughter Jackie is on Fox new.

She has a lisp and a weird accent but she’s cute and smart. I like her.

fiatboomer on December 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Christie in Iowa right now campaigning with Romney. Might Romney pick him for VP? I don’t think two eastern moderates is a very good idea.

Rational Thought on December 30, 2011 at 9:23 AM
You nailed both reasons why Mitt won’t pick Christie.

Look for a Southern conservative like Jindal or Rubio.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Jindal probably wouldn’t want the VP spot–he can serve Louisiana better as Governor than being VP and…breaking ties in the Senate.

Rubio would help any Presidential candidate win Florida. On the other hand, Rubio himself wants more time in the Senate before running for President or VP. Both Jindal and Rubio are very young, which might be held against them for the VP spot.

If Romney wants a Southern Conservative, he could go with Jim DeMint or Haley Barbour. Romney also might want to try a Midwestern Governor, where Mitch Daniels could be a good choice.

Steve Z on December 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Santorum is a STATIST.Repeat,Santorum wants to control people thru government power.

svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Santorum is a statist? What the heck do you think we’ve been looking at the last three miserable years with creeping European-style socialism?

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I don’t see Newt’s drop as permanent. Iowa can be quirky, and he’s got enough national recognition to sustain a likely drubbing without fatal results. He seems more comfortable as an insurgent anyway. The question’s going to be whether he reies to continue Nice Newt or whether Pit-Bull Newt comes out to play.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

The question’s going to be whether he reies tries to continue Nice Newt or whether Pit-Bull Newt comes out to play.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Hmm, that was a weird typo… not autocorrect, either

/scratches head

More coffee please.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Three things strike me.

1. Proportional delegates in early primaries

2. No blowout front runner in Iowa

3. Different leaders in NH and SC polls.

Conclusion?

This race could be still wide open after SC and Florida.

Anyone up for a late entry?

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Go Angry Seinfield!

“Why do they call it ‘running for office?’ I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and have only run once, and that was when George forgot to take our luggage out of the back of the taxi.”

29Victor on December 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Santorum is a STATIST.Repeat,Santorum wants to control people thru government power.
svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

He believes the law instructs and instills morals.

aryeung on December 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM

The question’s going to be whether he reies to continue Nice Newt or whether Pit-Bull Newt comes out to play.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Newt’s strategy to avoid future primary drubbings seems to be NOT getting on the ballot in the first place. I’m not sure that is a winning plan.

I know that here in Virginia, where Newt actually lives, we “get” to vote for Ron Paul or Mitt Romney no matter whether the nice or mean Newt drifts along, all but irrelevant.

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:53 AM

This race could be still wide open after SC and Florida.

Anyone up for a late entry?

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 9:52 AM

And yet, the Washington Post today all but declared it for Romney after NH.

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Santorum is a STATIST.Repeat,Santorum wants to control people thru government power.
svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM
Santorum is a statist? What the heck do you think we’ve been looking at the last three miserable years with creeping European-style socialism?
Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Don’t deflect from the original claim. What separates Rick Santorum from Barack Obama is the sincerity in their Christianity.

aryeung on December 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM

This race could be still wide open after SC and Florida.

Anyone up for a late entry?

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 9:52 AM

The only candidate I could see being drafted at the convention who could win is Rudy Giuliani. He’s been awful quiet.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 9:59 AM

And yet, the Washington Post today all but declared it for Romney after NH.

Happy Nomad on December 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Yea, it’s something isn’t it. So much for the days of objective news and anlysis.

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

God help us if Trump decides to get in.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I mean, as my dad asks when he sees him on TV, Trump the guy with the funny hair.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Don’t deflect from the original claim. What separates Rick Santorum from Barack Obama is the sincerity in their Christianity.

aryeung on December 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Well, that and their views on Obamacare, TARP and the stimulus, owning the car industry, regulations costing more than 1 billion dollars, etceteras.

So sure, except for where they differ, they’re exactly the same!

Stoic Patriot on December 30, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Erick Erickson is still a jackass.

steebo77 on December 30, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Santorum is a STATIST.Repeat,Santorum wants to control people thru government power.

svs22422 on December 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Examples, please.

steebo77 on December 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Look for a Southern conservative like Jindal or Rubio.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Rubio, to claw back as much of the Hispanic vote as he can, and also to guarantee Florida.

Trafalgar on December 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I hate it when I see Rubio’s name floated. He’s not ready to be president, and in my VP I want a candidate who I feel is ready, were something to happen to the president.

Rubio’s only 40 years old. He went right to law school, right into Miami politics, then Florida government, then straight to the U.S. Senate. Not enough varied life experience to be president, IMO. I don’t want another lawyer who’s never worked in the real world. To me, not saying he’s a bad guy, but Rubio reminds me of a Republican Hispanic 0bama. Picking him just to get Hispanic votes would really cheese me off.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Santorum Ron Paul won’t survive past Iowa folks

Let him have his glory now

FIFY

Minnfidel on December 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

*breathes into paper bag five times*

This is not happening, this is not happening. At least Perry is kinda making his way back into the top rung… right? Right?

Lawdawg86 on December 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Well, that and their views on Obamacare, TARP and the stimulus, owning the car industry, regulations costing more than 1 billion dollars, etceteras.
So sure, except for where they differ, they’re exactly the same!
Stoic Patriot on December 30, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Santorum believes more legislation is needed to cure the ills of the world. Does Santorum want to do away with welfare? Get rid of SS? Where does Santorum draw the line?

aryeung on December 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM

I thought Perry said he’d be the Tebow of Iowa.

itsnotaboutme on December 30, 2011 at 9:26 AM

After last week’s game, Perry may want to reconsider.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Don’t know why anyone would cite erikson after his savaging of Sarah and her supporters for no reason. He’s the worst kind of hack and not merely dead but most sincerely dead to me.

douglucy on December 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Santorum believes more legislation is needed to cure the ills of the world. Does Santorum want to do away with welfare? Get rid of SS? Where does Santorum draw the line?

aryeung on December 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Santorum actually wrote some of the legislation that was instrumental to welfare reform in the 1990s. And who, besides Ron Paul, is actually vocally in favor of abolishing Social Security?

steebo77 on December 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM

If she is out by the end of next week, who does the Congresswoman throw her support to, Governor Romney or Senator Santorum?

I’m thinking the Governor.

Flora Duh on December 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I see the Bachmann vote actually being scattered pretty evenly between Santorum, Gingrich and Perry. Her voters are outsiders, conservative types, and I’m not sure they’d just flip to Romney, no?

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM

On second thought I was wrong. Paul will survive past Iowa. The crazy old racist is like a case of the clap. He just won’t go away. The funny or sad part is that this year probably more than ever the opportunity would be great for a candidate with libertarian ideas. The problem is the delivery vehicle that the libertarians picked is a crazy old racist loon. Well, maybe that’s why they picked him, birds of a feather and all.

Minnfidel on December 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

That prospect doesn’t bother King, who pointed to Romney’s “exemplary family life” with his wife of 42 years and five sons. “He has more children and fewer vices than I have, so how can I criticize him?” King said, in what could be viewed as an appeal to social conservatives to come to terms with Romney’s likely success. “I could do business with Mitt Romney. I could do business with any of these candidates.”

Quick! Someone check up on Allahpundit! If it looks like he’s putting his affairs in order, put him on suicide watch!

rogaineguy on December 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

I see the Bachmann vote actually being scattered pretty evenly between Santorum, Gingrich and Perry. Her voters are outsiders, conservative types, and I’m not sure they’d just flip to Romney, no?

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I think you’re right, but I think the question was 2 parts. Whom does she throw her support to? I think Romney as well, she seems to be angling for a spot on the ticket, well that’s the rumor anyway. The second part is whom her people support then. I think you’re right, I see it divided pretty evenly. The only thing I would add is that alot of it will depend on hoe the candidates do in Iowa. If Santorum, Perry or Gingrich get destroyed in Iowa they will get less of Bachmans supporters I think as nobody want to hitch their wagon to a losing horse.

Minnfidel on December 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Paul was running for president when I was in college back in the ’80s. My roommate and roommate’s dad were big supporters and they were a bit… off. Roommate’s dad dated a friend’s mom, and he was an absolute nut job who ended up running for Congress several times, vowing adherence to Ron Paul. He was a mad-scientist engineer who kept building bizarre, unfinished additions to the house, and working on strange inventions, perpetual-motion machines, etc.

I remember thinking at the time that everyone I met who liked Paul had something about them that didn’t set right. They used to give me his newsletters, and there was a lot of fringe stuff in there.

I just can’t believe that a quarter of a century later, Paul is right in the thick of things, throwing a monkey wrench in the effort to eject the 0bamanation. I never thought I’d still be hearing his name.

Destiny is strange. Ron Paul’s destiny is stranger.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Good grief. How can anyone still be on the Perry bandwagon after his multiple upchucks during the debates? Obama would turn him into the new Admiral Stockdale if they were on the same stage together. And I say this as a former Perry guy.

It’s time for folks to face facts – Mitt and Newt are the only ones with a realisitic shot at defeating Obama given the state of our current electorate.

Common Sense Floridian on December 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Well, well, well. It seems the push to crown Romney President is reaching its climax. NBC poll (above) cited in screamers on Drudge. Fox News had some “poll analyst”/blogger on F&F this morning who declared Romney has the nomination sewn up in all 50 states.

Such a relief. Now that it’s all over, we conservatives can all sit home and watch Romney cruise to victory on moderate and independent votes! (And the primary season hasn’t even begun yet.)

Scriptor on December 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

The second part is whom her people support then. I think you’re right, I see it divided pretty evenly. The only thing I would add is that alot of it will depend on hoe the candidates do in Iowa. If Santorum, Perry or Gingrich get destroyed in Iowa they will get less of Bachmans supporters I think as nobody want to hitch their wagon to a losing horse.

Minnfidel on December 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Statistically, I see a Bachmann withdrawal having almost zero effect, because her support would scatter quite evenly, no matter whom she actually endorses. Her supporters are independent types, and if she’s out, they’re going to vote their conscience, not for whom Michele picks.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I don’t know enough about Santorum to make a good argument against him, he just doesn’t inspire me to donate or volunteer. I do think I may have less qualms of voting for him than say voting for Romney or Newt. I don’t know, I really want Rick to do well in Iowa and run away with this thing.

He’s got the executive experience, the record on jobs, and the experience to make tough choices in cutting spending, and balancing the budget. We need this kind experience to get out of the mess Obama has put is in.

My two cents.

Have a Happy New Year my Hot Air Peeps!

Conger on December 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

The Conservatives MUST choose and solidify with one candidate.

This is what I have been fearing since early on, look at the conservative vote over 45% of the electorate (not counting Paul) yet it is divided over 4 candidates making it irrelevant. CONSERVATIVES WAKE UP. its called divide and conquer. The Repub elites can’t do better than 25% yet Romney stands to take the whole show?

After Iowa we better square up and cull our group or we will spend the next 4yrs either crying in our soup over O’s second term or worse Romney’s compromising and the best will be his not elimination but replacement of Obamacare. Romney has said over and over we must do more than just repeal ocare we must replace it with something to. Wrong wrong wrong.

C-Low on December 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM

I agree, this is the conservative’s dilemma. Instead of flitting around from candidate to candidate we need to unify around one. My preference right now is Newt because I think he’s the most qualified conservative running. Bruised and bloodied as he is after the savagery in Iowa and from the liberal republican media, I think he’ll bounce back as the only viable conservative alternative (hey, that’s a good campaign slogan; Newt;conservative alternative) to Romney.

If that doesn’t happen, I don’t see much hope for beating Romney. I like Santorum, and would support him if he ends up being the last conservative standing, but I don’t think he stands a chance at this late date.

If Newt doesn’t bounce back

IndeCon on December 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I’m trying to game the convention if it fails on the first vote.

How would they pledge their delegates if they ended up conceding?

Declared Late Entries: Ryan Palin Guiliani

Huntsman: Romney No No No

Bachman: Romney Yes No No

Perry: leans Gingrich Yes Yes Yes

Gingrich: Romney No No Maybe

Paul: Perry Yes Yes No

Ron Paul is a wildcard. Any thoughts welcomed.

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Four days out, I expect something newsworthy to happen in the next couple of days…and not Bachmann campaign drama news :)

Dr Evil on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

God help us if Trump decides to get in.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Don’t worry too much about the Mr.Ego, he’ll have less chance than the ‘draft Sarah Falin’ movement. She at least has a sizable cult following after all this time. Donald doesn’t.

MelonCollie on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Well that formating didn’t go well.

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

When I blend my preference, plus a conceivable ability to beat 0bama, I get:

1. Gingrich (more preference, less ability)
2. Romney (more ability, less preference)
3. Perry (more preference, less ability)
4. Santorum (more preference, less ability)
5. Paul (nrevous breakdown)

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Don’t worry too much about the Mr.Ego, he’ll have less chance than the ‘draft Sarah Falin’ movement. She at least has a sizable cult following after all this time. Donald doesn’t.

MelonCollie on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

The only reason to nominate Trump would be the political pr0n of watching him eviscerate 0bama even more mercilessly than Newt, and watch him turn to The Won on national TV and say, “Mr. President, YOU’RE FIRED!!!”

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

So let’s see:

Santorum – a candidate with little organization in Iowa or outside Iowa – is at 16% in the polls.

Perry – a three-term governor with a massive organization in Iowa and outside Iowa – is at 14% in the Iowa polls.

A difference of 2% probably within the poll’s margin of error?

And the media shrieks “Santorumentum”?

Ha ha ha ha…

I think I will place my bets on the three-term Gov. Perry shocking many next week.

By the way, Ed, what happened to “Perry is toast”? Can you at least in good conscience devote an article to Perry’s rise from single digits back into contention?

TheRightMan on December 30, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Ron Paul is a wildcard. Any thoughts welcomed.

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

In a couple of days we are going to find out if Ron Paul is a paper tiger. Ron Paul is the fly in the establishment republican’s ointment.

Winning Iowa is going to narrow the field even if Santorum comes out in the top tier, he’s not going anywhere after that, he has only campaigned in Iowa. I don’t know what shape his campaign coffers are in $$$. I don’t know what Iowans are thinking?

Romney, Gingrich, Paul, and Perry will move on from the Iowa caucus. Simply because in at least 3 of their cases, they have the money to stay in the primary, and Gingrich is polling well.

Huntsman has to finish in the top tier in New Hampshire. I hope he does stay in the primary.

Dr Evil on December 30, 2011 at 10:34 AM

The Perry supporters need to stop calling Santy a statist. That’s absurd. Just make the case Perry is better than Santy because he has executive experience and a jobs record, don’t go crazy with the hyperbole.

Dr. Tesla on December 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The only reason to nominate Trump would be the political pr0n of watching him eviscerate 0bama even more mercilessly than Newt, and watch him turn to The Won on national TV and say, “Mr. President, YOU’RE FIRED!!!”

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Ohhh yes. I can almost taste the pwnage.

Unfortunately it takes far more to get elected than properly humiliating a worthless man-child incumbent…

MelonCollie on December 30, 2011 at 10:40 AM

It’s time for folks to face facts – Mitt and Newt are is the only ones one with a realisitic shot at defeating Obama given the state of our current electorate.

Common Sense Floridian on December 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Fixed it for ya.

IndeCon on December 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

I can’t see Ron Paul doing well in any state after Iowa.

Bachman most likely out after Iowa. Santorum could be too if he does not place in top 2 or top 3 if the top 2 includes Ron Paul.

Huntsmans will probably be at only 3rd and mostly likely 4th or 5th in NH. Romney will win there pretty big. Huntsman was never was contender.

I think Gingrich, Perry, Santorum are all still in play for SC. Gingrich and Perry probably have a better shot at Florida than Santorum.

Dr. Tesla on December 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM

IndeCon on December 30, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Sorry, my dear friend, Newt cannot beat Romney.

The same negative campaign ads that brought him down in Iowa will be repeated in almost every state and he will drop like a lead balloon.

Perry is slowly but surely rising again in the polls and he is the only one with the record, funds, and organization that can beat Romney.

The media – including Fox who are deep in the tank for Romney – are aware of this and have decided to ignore him – hoping that would kill any comeback for him. It’s not working in Iowa with his campaign stops filled to the brim – standing room only – and it won’t work elsewhere.

Perry will be the last Not-Romney standing – mark my words. If his campaign folds, Romney declares victory the next day. And conservatives will realize they’ve been had.

TheRightMan on December 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Fixed it for ya.

IndeCon on December 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Don’t be too sure. Expect several more waves of “anybody but Paul” from the GOP and their puppets in the next few months.

MelonCollie on December 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

America is so lost.

Romney is the best you can do. The guy has been campaigning for EIGHT YEARS and everyone is crowing how he finally breaks 25% on a national poll.

Yes, vote for the candidate the media picks, the candidate that 75% of Republicans won’t vote for!

Vote for the candidate Obama has selected to run against.

It was the media that picked John McCain. Whoopee!

America badly deserves 4 more years of Obama!

God bless the rest of us who are affected by such stupidity!

Sparky5253 on December 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

In a couple of days we are going to find out if Ron Paul is a paper tiger. Ron Paul is the fly in the establishment republican’s ointment.

Dr Evil on December 30, 2011 at 10:34 AM

In Ron Pauls 20+ year political career, he has had the luxury of having his cake and eating it too.

He likes being the gadfly. He doesn’t have a clue about leadership.

We’ll soon see if he walks the walk. I say no.

WisRich on December 30, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Don’t be too sure. Expect several more waves of “anybody but Paul” from the GOP and their puppets in the next few months.

MelonCollie on December 30, 2011 at 10:44 AM

For me it’s anybody but Paul or Obama. I can live with the others. I am not enthused about any of them frankly.

Minnfidel on December 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Ron Paul for President……the crazy, demented, senior, lunatic who has a more dangerous foreign policy that Obama!

Sparky5253 on December 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The Perry supporters need to stop calling Santy a statist. That’s absurd. Just make the case Perry is better than Santy because he has executive experience and a jobs record, don’t go crazy with the hyperbole.

Dr. Tesla on December 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

As I said in another thread, 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 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.

But Santorum is a million times better than either of the real statists in the race: Obama and Romney.

besser tot als rot on December 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The Perry supporters need to stop calling Santy a statist. That’s absurd. Just make the case Perry is better than Santy because he has executive experience and a jobs record, don’t go crazy with the hyperbole.

Dr. Tesla on December 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Perry supporters have seen this VIDEO

Dr Evil on December 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM

The Perry supporters need to stop calling Santy a statist. That’s absurd. Just make the case Perry is better than Santy because he has executive experience and a jobs record, don’t go crazy with the hyperbole.

Dr. Tesla on December 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Sorry, Dr Tesla, Santorum is a statist – a pro-life statist as EE calls him.

Some of us are not kids and we vividly remember his love for big Govt. in the Bush years especially. He is as establishment as they come and a whiner to boot.

Who seriously thinks he can beat Romney – not to mention Obama?

It will be the greatest landslide in history.

Santorum wants a TV show like his hero Huckabee. I say we give him one so he can cut the charade and drop out. Also offer Bachmann a ccabinet position while we are at it. And clear the field of these ego-and-personal-glory-driven candidates.

TheRightMan on December 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

The one thing that Gingrich does better than any of the current field is think on his feet to parry in-person attacks.

The reason I think this is an important factor is that 0bama’s m.o. is to throw out smooth lies in debates – lies that sound so good that unless they are immediately refuted with fact, they go down like a spoonful of sugar with the average viewer.

Remember Slow Joe debating Palin? He told lie after lie after lie – what was it, something like 39 of them I remember? While Palin did very well, she wasn’t very successful at recognizing the lies and refuting them on the spot, when it counted.

Better than Romney, Perry et al, one thing I have confidence that Newt could do in a debate would be to tease out the subtle 0bama lies and cram them right back down his throat on the spot, with facts, before their hypnotic power could take hold.

I don’t think the others are quick enough on their feet. Romney’s not bad, but he gets flustered, and that will be 0bama’s game plan, for sure.

Just an observation.

cane_loader on December 30, 2011 at 10:51 AM

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