South Carolina: Romney 29, Gingrich 24, Paul 15, Santorum 14

posted at 6:22 pm on January 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

Strikingly similar to what Rasmussen found earlier today so it’s a safe bet that this is what the vote actually looks like right now. Make a mental note of this spread so that we can use it later to measure how well Newt’s Bain attacks played in the state. Barring some sort of calamitous Romney stumble at Thursday’s debate, that’s probably the only thing capable of moving the needle dramatically over the next week. Interestingly, Mitt’s net favorables are already down seven points over the past week while Newt’s are up four points. Hmmmmm.

Things haven’t changed too much at the top in the last week. Romney is down 1 point from his pre-New Hampshire standing, while Gingrich has gained a point. There’s more movement in the middle. Paul has gained 6 points to move into 3rd place, while Santorum has dropped by 5 points. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman have each picked up a single point and remain in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Why is Romney winning South Carolina? Voters there are overwhelmingly focused on the economy this year and that’s working to his advantage. 39% say jobs and the economy are their top issue, closely followed by 34% who pick government spending and reducing the debt. Asked who they trust most on economic issues 35% pick Romney to 25% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, and 10 for Santorum. And despite the attacks on it this week Romney’s business background is an asset for him. 58% have a favorable opinion of his record in business to just 27% with a negative view of it…

South Carolinians, more so than we’ve found in New Hampshire and Iowa, are concerned about electability. 50% say they’re most concerned about a candidate’s ability to beat Barack Obama, while 37% place a bigger priority on the candidate’s positions on the issues. New Hampshire voters were more concerned about issue stances by a 55-37 margin on that question and Iowa voters were by a 54/31 spread. The more voters care about electability, the better Romney’s chances are and he leads Gingrich 35-27 with those folks.

Rasmussen also detected Santorum’s support fading, and no wonder: PPP notes that just four percent of voters say social issues are their top concern, and even there, Santorum leads Romney by just two points. What’s odd is that it’s Paul, not Gingrich or Perry, who seems to be picking up Santorum’s slack. I don’t know how to explain that unless a big chunk of Santorum’s boost after Iowa was simply undecideds who were disaffected with both Romney and Gingrich giving him a first look. Some of them didn’t like what they saw, but rather than switch to Perry or Huntsman, both of whom seem dead in the water and likely to be out 10 days from now (Huntsman’s staffers are reportedly already looking for the exits), they’re moving towards the lone remaining guy who’s in it for the long haul. That’s as good a sign as you can get that there’s no last-second surge coming for Perry. If he dropped out now and endorsed Gingrich, that could pull Newt almost even for the lead, but I think he’s determined to play this out. You know who that benefits?

CNN is out with a new national poll tonight and Romney leads there too, of course: Mitt 34, Newt 18, Paul 15, Santorum 15. How’s he doing it? With electability, yes, but there’s more to it than that. Scott Rasmussen notes that Mitt Romney might actually be … the tea-party candidate:

Looking ahead to the Florida primary, 94 percent of tea party Republicans say they will vote for whomever wins the GOP nomination. Only 77 percent of non-tea party Republicans are willing to make the same pledge. This commitment to party loyalty comes even though tea party activists are less convinced than others that Romney is the strongest general election candidate. Similar results have been found in survey after survey in the 2012 primary season.

The pragmatism of the tea party is confirmed by exit polling data conducted for The Associated Press and major television networks in New Hampshire. Among those who support the tea party, 44 percent said the ability to beat President Obama was the most important quality they wanted in a candidate. Nothing else came close.

However, among those who oppose the tea party, only 19 percent put electability first. Fifty-three percent of this group said experience is the most important quality. In other words, the supposedly more pragmatic Republicans think it’s more important to have a candidate with experience in the current political system than it is to have a candidate who can beat Obama.

Saying that you’ll vote for whoever’s the nominee in the interest of beating Obama isn’t the same as saying you hope Romney’s the nominee, but remember that Mitt won easily among tea partiers in New Hampshire. If TPers are convinced that he’s the most electable option in the field, it only stands to reason that they’d start holding their noses and voting for him now in order to play their strongest hand against The One in November. The tea party’s not supposed to be an “anybody but Obama” movement — it wasn’t even an “anybody but Coons” movement in Delaware in 2010 — but maybe, after trillions in new debt and O’s endless rhetoric about people paying their “fair share,” that’s how it’s shaken out. Just get Obama out and get anyone else in.

One other detail from PPP: 34 percent of voters say they’d be “unwilling to vote for a candidate who had supported an individual mandate for health care at the state level.” Good thing no one’s told them there’s a candidate like that running this year! Exit quotation from a Romney advisor, commenting on conservatives’ failure to consolidate against him: “A real movement would have found a horse.”


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Negative ads, while unfortunate and deplorable, work. When one guy does it, that forces everyone else to do it as well.

In election politics, you reap what you sow, Romney supporters. Enjoy!

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I’m clapping along with Romney (in the front page thumbnail)

Drunk Report on January 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

“A real movement would have found a horse.”

So true. Painful.

Hostile Gospel on January 13, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Surprised to see Gingrich still holding up in any polls. His draft deferment issues should be a major negative in military-rich SC.

TXGOP on January 13, 2012 at 6:26 PM

they’re moving towards the lone remaining guy who’s in it for the long haul. That’s as good a sign as you can get that there’s no last-second surge coming for Perry.

Doesn’t the ARG poll with a +7 for Perry show they *might* be moving to him too? Is that a possibility or is that poll with the +7 for Perry flawed? I haven’t seen anyone question it yet. 3 polls out today say Perry +1, +1, +7. At least it is +. Perhaps they could be going to him slowly as he makes his case. Maybe.

kerrhome on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

It’s very unfortunate nobody is going after Romney for Romneycare. It’s a shame he is getting any of the “tea party vote.” Paul’s rise shows people are focused on fixing the economy, though.

limitedgovt on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Somewhere, a siren sounds in Jailbreak’s padded cell.

To the keyboard, brave soul!

Dack Thrombosis on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Newtmentum!

exceller on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

In election politics, you reap what you sow, Romney supporters. Enjoy!
MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

You have to tell them to enjoy what looks like another upcoming Romney win?

whatcat on January 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Exit quotation from a Romney advisor, commenting on conservatives’ failure to consolidate against him: “A real movement would have found a horse.”

That is perhaps true, my good fellow, but all you seem to have found is a horse’s…

McDuck on January 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I still say that Palin is the only one that can keep Romney from getting the nomination now.

Yeah, I know he only has 12 delegates out of 1200, but not many of the others have a well put together organization or can raise the money that Mitt can.

ConservativePartyNow on January 13, 2012 at 6:29 PM

But Hume/Krauthammer/Fox altogether, Obama and the media told us that the king was coronated already, and to just shut up and put the oil on him.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Happy / clappy Mitt face for this topic, sad clown face for Perry in the other. What a schtick.
http://ferzani.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/theater-mask.jpg

Can’t we just get the news, without the sub-rosa RINO advocacy?

rayra on January 13, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Tea PTea Party patriot and recovering mademoiselle here. Middle class blue collar ,ethnic lol Catholi. Bitter clinger all the way. Romney is going to wipe the floor with obama on how free markets work at the debates. I am with Romney all the way
His 59 pt plan is great and he focuses on helping middle class catchup on savings by waiving cap gains, dividend taxes. Folks we NEED to focus on middle claw, who h is backbone of our earners, to both rebuild consumer balance sheets and more urgently to help us as e. GEN X , get the shaft on entitlements which must happen.

Romney Christie 12

ginaswo on January 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Doesn’t the ARG poll with a +7 for Perry show they *might* be moving to him too? Is that a possibility or is that poll with the +7 for Perry flawed?
kerrhome on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

ARG has never had a reputation for being reliable, that’s why RCP doesn’t include it in their tallies. Though it’s certainly possible Perry could pick up a point or two above his usual 5%, that’s not enough to really matter.

whatcat on January 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Huckabee said on Fox today that 50% of the SC folks have not made up their mind, yet. No idea how he knows.

He’ll hold a forum tomorrow, with the contenders not allowed to snipe at each other, with only the undecides asking questions.

If it’s as good as the 3 AG’s forum it will be glorious.

not a Huckabee adherent

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Hey recovering democrat haven’t. E’en mademoiselle for 20 yrs..

ginaswo on January 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

You have to tell them to enjoy what looks like another upcoming Romney win?

whatcat on January 13, 2012 at 6:28 PM

At a decay rate of 5-7 points per week after Newt began his serious negative ad counter-attack, you might not want to cash that check just yet, chief.

Keep watching the Florida numbers, too. There’s been about a 3-4 week delay between major market ad-airing and the polling impact from that money spent and it looks like Newt has timed it about as well as Romney did against him in Iowa.

You can assume the inevitable all you like. It’s a free country. I’ll watch the numbers.

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Champagne sales in doubt…

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Go non-Romney!

Valiant on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Includes Wed, Thurs, Fri.

Ras was the only single day poll of the three, and it shows the biggest lead.

I’m of the opinion that the populist stuff is like a cheap high, it lives a quick impact, but there will be a hangover.

Its only been in the last 24-36 hours that Bain attack backlash has started to set in. I think Ras has a bigger lead for this reason.

swamp_yankee on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

No need to hold my nose. I see the same criticism leveled at Romney that I saw leveled by “staunch” conservatives at Reagan in 1980. I think he’ll be just fine, thank you.

crosspatch on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

cant believe that the establishment flip flopper rino is going to win. its so depressing!

nathor on January 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

but rather than switch to Perry or Huntsman, both of whom seem dead in the water and likely to be out 10 days from now

But, you’re not being fair AP and trolling for comments///

JPeterman on January 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

“A real movement would have found a horse.”

He meant a bowel movement.

Fellow, a gold/platinum sprayed horseturd wreath is still a turd-wreath.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I am amazed that Perry cant get jack poop in South Carolina. I guess the state has changed.

Jailbreak on January 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

We got a fundraising call today from Newt 2012. The telemarketer was reading from a 2 page speech. They did make a good point though: if Newt wins in South Carolina, he will have just as many delegates as Romney won in Iowa and New Hampshire… This poll is a lot closer than I thought it would be. Maybe it is still possible…

cynccook on January 13, 2012 at 6:39 PM

you reap what you sow, Romney supporters. Enjoy!

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

It’s fine. All the anti capitalism attacks just reinforce our candidate.

The speaking French attack I don’t really get, good luck with that.

hanzblinx on January 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM

No need to hold my nose. I see the same criticism leveled at Romney that I saw leveled by “staunch” conservatives at Reagan in 1980. I think he’ll be just fine, thank you.

crosspatch on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

To compare Romney to Reagan is smarmy, or you are just embarrasingly misinformed on Romney’s record as govenor in Mass. Just on the healthcare issue alone, they couldn’t be more different.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Maybe Newt is rising… a bit ….in SC.. because he’s being pushed as the conservative alternative. At the expense of Santorum / Perry.
That makes no sense. Why? Take the Newt & Nancy hand holding affair. The environmental / climate preoccupation of the self-described ‘TR progressive’ is the tip of the iceberg as far as Newt’s deep-rooted issue-dependent liberalism. If anybody can’t be trusted, it is Newt. Gingrich is not the ‘conservative’ alternative!
People often point to Newt’s ‘muddled message.’ I think the problem is he has too many incongruous stances, as liberal and conservative, that he can’t put together, out of this soup of positions, a consistent message.

anotherJoe on January 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I am amazed that Perry cant get jack poop in South Carolina.

Jailbreak on January 13, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I’m not. If you need an explanation I’d be happy to give you three good reasons.

hanzblinx on January 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

The speaking French attack I don’t really get, good luck with that.

hanzblinx on January 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM

That was indeed very stupid.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I’ve never bought into the claim that Tea Partiers wouldn’t support Governor Romney.

I came across this article last March while debating the issue with the idiot liberals at Politico.

Mitt Romney Most Popular Among Tea Partiers

Flora Duh on January 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

This “movement” belongs in the water closet.

carbon_footprint on January 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Oh goodie I get to vote for McLaim 2 .

Lucano on January 13, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Newt does have more name recognition than Santororum or Perry, plus conservative accomplishments he can point to at the national level. I think he can beat Romney in SC. I don’t think people who have a problem with ROmnehy on healthcare are going to run vote for hiim b/c of Newt’s misguided attempts to demonize him on Bain Capital.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:44 PM

The ad campaigns in SC have just begun. Next week they will be staurated. Don’t count Newt out just yet.

they lie on January 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Tea Partiers really aren’t for small government if they love Romney.

There was nothing small government about Romney as gov. in Mass. He happily danced for liberals for 4 years up there.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I’m still on the “How the hell did I get on this train” train.

Limerick on January 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

He happily danced for liberals for 4 years up there.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:45 PM

He even voted for one.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I’m still on the “How the hell did I get on this train” train.

Limerick on January 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Wrong planet, good one. Another beer for the numbing.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I’m still hanging on (by my fingernails) to the hope that Newt pulls it off. I still think he would be the strongest fighter- warts and all.

AZgranny on January 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

All the anti capitalism attacks just reinforce our candidate.

The speaking French attack I don’t really get, good luck with that.

hanzblinx on January 13, 2012 at 6:40 PM

It’s amusing to me that a huge majority of people who characterize the Bain stuff as anti-capitalism are, in fact, Romney supporters. Others point out that some capitalists can, and do, screw people as a matter of course and then attempt to hide behind the veil of free markets are as pure as wind driven snow. As you say, good luck with that.

And yeah, the French thing was amazingly dumb. It looks to me like the PAC people were attempting to link the french-socialist-europe-john-kerry-hint-hint idea to Romney but failed to research their own guy. Probably the dumbest aspect of recent ads out of Newt’s camp, although there are other issues. I expect them to get their sh#t together as things progress and they face strings associated with the cash infusion.

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

kerrhome on January 13, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Yes, there is a mini surge out there for Perry, but, hush, hush, we’re not supposed to notice ;)

Perry’s up nationally, too. 9% from CNN, the highest number he’s seen nationally in a month!

Go Perry! Keep it up!

It’s interesting to me that in a week where Newt and Perry were accused of “attacking the very core of our nation!!eleventy”, were likened to Commies (per McCain yesterday on Megyn Kelly, even though McCain said the same things about Bain a mere four years ago — so I guess McCain is a commie, too?), were “attacking capitalism” and “the free markets”, have actually seen a rise in their numbers.

Heh.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

My gut tells me that they’re probably under-polling Ron Paul slightly, but this probably isn’t far off. The internals seem to suggest that Newt is doing best among social conservatives, which means he’s being helped by being a perceived southerner and being more trusted on abortion. However he’s losing the working-class vote, so the Bain remarks have probably hurt him with republicans driven primarily by economic and fiscal matters.

So assuming nothing major changes between now and then, this is probably about how it’ll end. That’s a big if though. We’ll have to wait and see if Newt backstabbing economic freedom will continue to hurt him or not, if Paul manages to pick up his usual last minute boost, and so on and so forth.

WolvenOne on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Cigar and champagne sales as accurate as Obama’s unemployment and retail numbers…

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Romney only came in 4th in SC in 2008 despite outspending all the other candidates there.

I just can’t see him winning the state this year, with repeal of Obamacare a top issue.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Imagine Romney LOSING Texas then Obama Landslide.

Kermit on January 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Romney Christie 12

ginaswo on January 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Good. With these 2 the whole courts of the land and SCOTUS will be sharia/muslimbrotherhood/Cair in 1 year. May take a year 1/2 for the army to catch up. And, oh well, let’s be nice, a year and 3/4 for the whole homeland security, advisers and all.

After all, once we are sharia all over the US, gov, CIA, FBI and courts, may be we will have peace in the world. Who knows. Yeah. Peace and love.

American Dream 246 on January 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Stick a fork in Perry, he’s done.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Romney Christie 12

ginaswo on January 13, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Now, there are the horses which found their movement!

Pepto-Bismol!

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

All these fiscal conservatives love the RomneyCare guy?

Fiscal conservativism seems to have a new meaning these days.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I’ll just be glad when the guys on the Mitt Romney and Ron Paul message boards who were waiting for open registration get tired of this board and let the rest of us converse about politics like Hot Air used to be.

Sekhmet on January 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

I don’t know how Christie helps Romney in anyway.

Double down on the Northeastern moderate?

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

It’s not 2008. He already won Iowa and NH. There is no strong alternative, just a lot of “not-Mitts.” Plus, GOP voters LOVE the “next in line” crap. Don’t be so surprised.

peachaeo on January 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I’m still hanging on (by my fingernails) to the hope that Newt pulls it off. I still think he would be the strongest fighter- warts and all.

AZgranny on January 13, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I’ll stand with you on that. I’ll even take two Newts.
Newt/Newt 2012

lynncgb on January 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Sekhmet on January 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

You mean in the echo-chamber where only you and your fellow RDS suffers could sit and agree with each other all day. Sek, it wasn’t healthy for you, I’m sorry. We’re trying to do what’s best for you by showing you a different perspective (and one more grounded in reality, even).

WealthofNations on January 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Can someone please ask for the nauralization papers of George Rommy before this gets out of hand?

nicknack60 on January 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM

But in ’08 there was no Barry. No Barry in the chair anyway. The peeps are riled and it looks like the who-else election is here.

Limerick on January 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM

It’s not 2008. He already won Iowa and NH. There is no strong alternative, just a lot of “not-Mitts.” Plus, GOP voters LOVE the “next in line” crap. Don’t be so surprised.

peachaeo on January 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I won’t be suprised if he wins SC, but I won’t be surprised if he loses it. The candidates need to force the healthcare issue as a topic in the next debates, b/c Romney is benefiting from a lack of focus on that issue by the moderators.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I almost feel sorry for Rick “brainless Mr heartless” Perry, at this point.

I was probably a bit over-passionate in calling him “heartless.”

kunegetikos on January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I personally think Romney is Obama’s best matchup.

I think the other guys can beat Obama, outside of Ron Paul.

You guys act like the economy is awesome out there. Obama’s got to run on that.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Has Romney’s support for the ban on semi-automatic weapons ever come up in the debates? I have never seen it. I don’t think that will play in South Carolina.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:00 PM

ginaswo on January 13, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Sorry, but I can’t even read your two posts, as it is gibberish. Preview is your friend.

silvernana on January 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Perry’s UP in all the latest polls. He might be at the beginning of a surge. And you say he should drop out, lol! Hey, did you see that Perry is now ahead of Santorum in SC in one poll today? I know Santorum’s your guy, maybe he should “drop out”?

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I almost feel sorry for Rick “brainless Mr heartless” Perry, at this point.

I was probably a bit over-passionate in calling him “heartless.”

kunegetikos on January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

You are just so smart! Perry has been through election and debates for over 10 years now and somehow it took you to point out to us just how dumb he really is. If only you’d been there early on to warn the dumb republicans/conservatives down in Texas. Missed opportunity.

Perry has run the most successful economy in the country and has the best jobs record of anyone running, yet somehow he did this and won election after election despite the lack of brain that you’ve uncovered.

It’s tired man. Tired. Can you debate him on the issues or do you only have personal attacks? Sad

kerrhome on January 13, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Perry’s UP in all the latest polls. He might be at the beginning of a surge. And you say he should drop out, lol! Hey, did you see that Perry is now ahead of Santorum in SC in one poll today? I know Santorum’s your guy, maybe he should “drop out”?

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Perry should be blowing Santorum out in the polls, given the fact that Republican voters historically prefer governors and “executive experience” to Senators and Congressmen.

You talked up Perry chances in Iowa for a week and he lost there badly. You dumped on Santorum for a week, and he really was the winner of Iowa.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I personally think Romney is Obama’s best matchup.
Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I presume you mean he’s a matchup in terms of being almost identical to Obama.

The candidate who is most diametrically opposite to Obama has the best chance of beating him. Slim pickings. Pathological debt-ceiling raiser Santorum was talking a good game for a while. But then came the vetting.

TXGOP on January 13, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:08 PM

We’ll see if Perry’s surge strengthens, it should and I think it will.

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I think if Perry was govenor in Mass, he probably would have been a lot like Romney, especially on taxes and healthcare.

I think he’s still a Democrat outside of abortion and gun rights. He knew he couldn’t win as a Democrat in Texas.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I think Santorum would beat Obama pretty easily. He’s not slick like Romney and Republican voters think only slick wins.

He’s a solid conservative, I don’t care what the Red Staters in the tank for Perry say.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

They did make a good point though: if Newt wins in South Carolina, he will have just as many delegates as Romney won in Iowa and New Hampshire
cynccook on January 13, 2012 at 6:39 PM

That only works within it’s own small bubble of reasoning. It’s the projection that is telling. That is, there’s a reason why races – as we just saw in NH – can be called with 2% of the vote counted.

whatcat on January 13, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I think just about any of the candidates can beat 0bama this fall. I just see the thinking behind the Romney campaign as having the same thinking that booked passengers on the Titanic 100 years ago. A narrative of unsinkability blinds people to real problems that can end up sinking the boat.

Sekhmet on January 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

He’s a solid conservative, I don’t care what the Red Staters in the tank for Perry say.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:12 PM

He’s a mega social-con, no doubt. But he’s a big spender. The trouble there is reconciling fiscal-cons, many of whom are very libertarian, relative to social legislation, with the idea of an activist, religious agenda coupled with big budgets. Tough sell, I think.

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

DEAR SOUTH CAROLINIANS: A vote for Perry or Santorum is a vote for Romney’s “inevitability”:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/01/dear-south-carolinians-a-vote-for-perry-or-santorum-is-a-vote-for-romneys-inevitability/

Czar of Defenestration on January 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

. I see the same criticism leveled at Romney that I saw leveled by “staunch” conservatives at Reagan in 1980. I think he’ll be just fine, thank you.

crosspatch on January 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Inn 1980 Reagan ran as the conservative candidate. Just like he did in 75. The moderates in 1975/9 disliked Reagan more then the new moderates and liberals now hate Sarah Palin. Reagan picked up new voters by apealling to disaffected blue collar conservative democrats.
How is Romney ANYTHING like what you supposedly experienced in 1980? I was there. I remember how Reagan was portrayed. It was not as a great Manger/Businessman. The lib media called Reagan a moron, idiot, Bedtime for Bonzo,clansman, Nazi, murderer… Reality is nothing like what you wrote.

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Obama’s going to make Romney out as the stereotypical rich Wall Street fat cat who doesn’t care about the poor. Romney will be depicted as the boss who lays people off, in economic depression when a lot of people have been laid off and are angry about it.

I think a guy like Santy can get the vote of some blue collar Democrats who don’t like Obama but not necessarily going to like some rich Republican like Romney.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I don’t know how Christie helps Romney in anyway.

Double down on the Northeastern moderate?

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Agreed.

Romney/McDonnell 2012

BacaDog on January 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

He’s a mega social-con, no doubt. But he’s a big spender. The trouble there is reconciling fiscal-cons, many of whom are very libertarian, relative to social legislation, with the idea of an activist, religious agenda coupled with big budgets. Tough sell, I think.

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 7:19 PM

No, what you are doing here is trying to pigeonhole Santy as a social con…it’s the same trick that Allahpundit and other pundits do too.

He was the man on taxes, welfare reform, social security reform. He voted for the prescription drug entitlement but that did have some conservative aspects to it despite the high price tag.

Just because you are obsessed with gay rights doesn’t mean Santorum is a statist.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Romney/McDonnell 2012

BacaDog on January 13, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I don’t have a problem with McDonnnel as VP but does he have much name recognition? If Romney needs to add McDonnel to make Virginia a sure thing for him, he’s probably not our most electable candidate.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Willard is lucky he isn’t heads up with Newt. It wouldn’t be a contest.

Typhonian on January 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Perry is going to win SC.
Believe
Records are what matters and he is the only one with the record that matters!

dacoach on January 13, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Quin Hillyer of American Spectator on Santorum as a full spectrum conservative:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/287441/rick-santorum-conservative-stalwart-quin-hillyer?page=2

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:33 PM

As a Paul supporter, I really want to trust in ARG’s poll. But, in my opinion, PPP is becoming the gold standard of election polling. I trust their poll numbers more than any other single outfit.

Name a single polling outfit as open with their data and as interactive with their community.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

DEAR SOUTH CAROLINIANS: A vote for Perry or Santorum is a vote for Romney’s “inevitability”:

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/01/dear-south-carolinians-a-vote-for-perry-or-santorum-is-a-vote-for-romneys-inevitability/

Czar of Defenestration on January 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

A vote for Gingrich is a vote for bloviating incompetence. And he hasn’t been a conservative for 15 years.

Basilsbest on January 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I posted this in a thread this morning.

Perry can do really well in SC. He just needs to break out of the negative media loop that Romney and his media machine have placed him in.

Here is how it works:

1. The media downplays every good news about Perry but trumps up every gaffe and bad news.

2. Repeat ad nauseum that Perry’s campaign is over.

3. Hype the competition

4. Take a poll

5. Repeat the cycle.

Perry needs one good narrative that can shatter the cycle. If he was as connected to the Establishment as Romney, they would have planted well-timed ‘surge’ stories, which would have been picked up by all the major media – ala Santorum – and then reflected in the polls.

Another option for him is to keep plodding on and hope to defy expectations in SC. Obtain a strong finish contrary to the polls. That will completely shatter the negative cycle and the resulting momentum could net him the nomination.

TheRightMan on January 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

AllahP is as fair as can be and he remains my most favorite blogger. However, this post illustrates the negative media loop I referenced.

1. The ARG poll containing good news for Perry was downplayed while this poll is hyped. Also notice that most of these polling organizations have consistently refused to include Perry’s poll numbers in their headlines, even if he is polling in single digits.

2. How many times do we keep hearing that Perry’s campaign is over.

3. This article picks up on hyping Newt as the one with the momentum. Even Paul gets his favorable mention.

4. You can surely bet another poll will come out just in time to repeat the above narrative.

5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Now consider that most of the media – conservative and liberal – are doing likewise with respect to Perry and you get the negative media loop that he hasn’t broken out from.

All is not lost, however, and I remain optimistic that something would happen to shatter the cycle and grant Perry a second surge again.

TheRightMan on January 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Perry is going to win SC.
Believe
Records are what matters and he is the only one with the record that matters!

dacoach on January 13, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Records don’t matter as much as you think. The electability thing, which is basically just how the candidate looks and speaks, is what seems to matter to most Republican voters. That’s essentially why Romney is the probable nominee.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Perry’s UP in all the latest polls.
Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Huh. Gallup has him at 5.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/election.aspx

What was that popping sound?

CW on January 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Yea, name recognition may be an issue, but not something that can’t be overcome. Remember an unknown Arkansas governor in 1992.

I’m sure there are more options, but McDonnell is a good southern conservative and very popular here.

BacaDog on January 13, 2012 at 7:38 PM

If Perry were the man, he would have dressed Romney down on healthcare policy by now. It’s not tough to make a case against Romney if you focus on healthcare and make Romney own it. You throw in his liberal positions on gun rights, taxes/fees, flipping on abortion, etc, and he wouldn’t win.

He wouldn’t be wasting time on the Bain capital stuff, which is just creating sympathy for Romney.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

6% for Rick Perry, 5% for Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Buddy Roemer.

Too funny.

Perry is splitting the vote giving Mitt a likely win.

Perry should go home if he can find his way.

If Mitt wins we can thank the Perry Fanatics.

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

If Perry were the man, he would have dressed Romney down on healthcare policy by now. It’s not tough to make a case against Romney if you focus on healthcare and make Romney own it. You throw in his liberal positions on gun rights, taxes/fees, flipping on abortion, etc, and he wouldn’t win.

He wouldn’t be wasting time on the Bain capital stuff, which is just creating sympathy for Romney.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Yep. Who is advising Perry? I guess no one.

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Exit quotation from a Romney advisor, commenting on conservatives’ failure to consolidate against him: “A real movement would have found a horse.”

Whoever said this should be fired now. Not because of his belief but because of the incompetence. This person is an idiot and Romney must have cringed when he heard about the statement. Heading into south Carolina, go on record as a Romney advisor, essentially saying, “the tea party movement is a false movement?” Why on earth (even if you believed it) would someone trying to win an election tell a large block of voters that their cause is worthless? So stupid.

Zetterson on January 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I think if Perry was govenor in Mass, he probably would have been a lot like Romney, especially on taxes and healthcare.

I think he’s still a Democrat outside of abortion and gun rights. He knew he couldn’t win as a Democrat in Texas.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

You do know you’re stretching, right?

Records are records just like facts are facts and not fantasies.

We don’t care a hoot what might have been if Romney was the Gov. of Texas or Perry was the Gov. of Mass.

What matters is one (Romney) governed as a liberal, thrashed the GOP, rejected Reagan and all that he stood for – despite being born into a GOP family with his father being an ex-governor and one-time presidential candidate.

The other (Perry) has governed conservatively, fought for tort reform in his state, made the right enemies, and has made his state the most prosperous even in the midst of the Obamadepression.

And guess what? He was an ex-Democrat!

If you can’t find anything good to say about Perry, at least refrain from sullying his reputation and give him his due.

TheRightMan on January 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

We’ll see if Perry’s surge strengthens, it should and I think it will.

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Surge? Did you say Surge? Seriously? Surge? Of course you think it will surge.

Face reality, Perry is a Train Wreck. He would make us conservatives look like idiots by association.

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Surge?

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Someone’s easily satisfied.

CW on January 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

TheRightMan,

You have to be a conservative to win in Texas.

I’m not excusing Romney, I’m Romney’s biggest critic on here. I just don’t think Perry is as conservative as his SuperFans claim he is. Has he ever really gone after Romney that hard on RomneyCare? To me, he seems kind of timid or disinterested in that issue.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

I think if Perry was govenor in Mass, he probably would have been a lot like Romney, especially on taxes and healthcare.

I think he’s still a Democrat outside of abortion and gun rights. He knew he couldn’t win as a Democrat in Texas.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:10 PM

When Rick Perry was a conservative bluedog in the 1980′s famous for being a budget pitbull in the legislature he was still way more conservative than Romney who has always been a flip-flopper.

Perry was the first republican Lt.Governor of Texas since Reconstruction.

Texas didn’t even gain a republican majority in both houses until 2010 when Perry led an historic sweep to gain a super majority in both houses…Perry was the first Lt. Governor in Texas since Reconstruction And he has been the first republican governor to serve with both a republican Lt. Governor and a Republican speaker.

workingclass artist on January 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Just because you are obsessed with gay rights doesn’t mean Santorum is a statist.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Lol! Srly? I find it amazing that any dissenting opinion on any individual candidate on Hot Gas results in comments like yours. Given that I’m Catholic, your assertion is hilarious!

MTLassen on January 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Too funny.

Perry is splitting the vote giving Mitt a likely win.

Perry should go home if he can find his way.

If Mitt wins we can thank the Perry Fanatics.

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Surge? Did you say Surge? Seriously? Surge? Of course you think it will surge.

Face reality, Perry is a Train Wreck. He would make us conservatives look like idiots by association.

SparkPlug on January 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

From your comments, I will be very much surprised if you are anything other than a Mittbot.

You are the typical Perryhater that goes into violent convulsions on Perry threads but re-surface on Romney threads to argue that ‘Romney is not all that bad’ and encouraging conservatives to settle.

No true conservative can hate Perry with such venom. And it shall all be laid bare when the primaries are over how many establishment tools we had on these forums denigrating Perry.

TheRightMan on January 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

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