Green Room

Insiders vs Cainsiders

posted at 3:51 pm on October 28, 2011 by

The GOP strategists surveyed in this week’s National Journal Political Insiders Poll almost unanimously identified Mitt Romney as the most likely candidate to win the nomination, followed by Rick Perry and Herman Cain. It’s not a surpising result, even after discounting for the Romney ties of a number of those surveyed (I haven’t investigated Perry or Cain ties, but would hypothesize there are fewer in the survey; Perry has recently hired staff with more national experience, but of those, only Jim Innocenzi leaps out in the polling list). It is a result at odds with national polling showing Romney neck-and-neck with Cain.

Although Nate Silver does not think Cain can win, he entertains the idea that he could be an outlier. That served as a springboard for Ace:

I think the pundit class, by and large, is committing the crime of Aggravated Solipsism. They don’t find Cain plausible or acceptable; ergo, he is not plausible or acceptable to a plurality of the Republican primary electorate and ergo he cannot, under any circumstances, win.

They seem to completely ignore the part about people getting to vote. And those people, when voting, expressing a different opinion on whether or not he is plausible or acceptable.

***

Most of the party doesn’t want Romney as their standard bearer. We know this from the fact that Romney does all the technical aspects of politicking right — good debater, good ads, raises lots of money, strong organization, unified and relentless messaging from surrogates — and yet can’t rise any higher than 25% in polls.

And yet Cain, who does almost all of the technical things wrong, is at the same 25% and rising.

Cain could very well win the nomination, if people just want an angry old dude spouting dumbass crap as their nominee. Which is what I think the people actually want, and I’m sick of instructing them that maybe they should rest their Emotion Muscles a little bit and work out their Thinking Muscles some more.

They won’t do it.

RTWT for bonus profanity. Although I get Ace’s point, I think he is unduly influenced by the many debates he fought over the more controversial Senate candidates in 2010. On this point, I find myself siding with the conventional wisdom. Unelected Businessguy With a Plan generally ends up imploding from lack of experience campaigning and failing to recognize that the Plan will invariably attract many critics. Moreover, the presidency is not a Senate seat; voters — including GOP primary voters — set the bar higher. For all the criticism leveled at people in early caucus and primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, their arrogance signals they take the process seriously. When push comes to shove, most do not see the presidency as an entry-level position. This is why it’s not surprising that Romney is currently tied-to-leading Cain even in more conservative arenas like Iowa and South Carolina, and is well ahead in more moderate venues like New Hampshire and Florida. It’s also why a focus group in Ohio (admittedly unscientific) likes Cain but cannot see him as president (Romney supporters note: Perry not well-liked by the group). It is one thing to tell a pollster your preference months away from an actual vote; it’s another when casting a vote you might think matters.

*Standard disclaimer: Yes, a Cain administration would be better than a second Obama administration.

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“I’m sick of instructing them…”

Then don’t. Maybe we’re sick of it too.

rrpjr on October 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Does Ace still have his nose firmly implanted up Perry’s a$$?

Knucklehead on October 28, 2011 at 5:29 PM

not gonna listen to the politicos any more.. already voted for Arnold and McCain.. never again… no to Romney, no to Perry (for the same reasons).. leaves Cain/Bachman/Santorum… of these 3 I like Cain best.

kringeesmom on October 28, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Ace:

Cain could very well win the nomination, if people just want an angry old dude spouting dumbass crap as their nominee. Which is what I think the people actually want, and I’m sick of instructing them that maybe they should rest their Emotion Muscles a little bit and work out their Thinking Muscles some more.

Yep. And if one is to believe the typical (emotionally charged) Hot Air commenter there is some grand conspiracy afoot whereby Mitt (with the help of “The Establishment”) destroyed Sarah Palin, rigs the debates and the primaries, denies Americans the ability to vote in the primary for their fave candidate, and ends up the nominee because it’s ‘his turn’.

Buy Danish on October 28, 2011 at 6:41 PM

It seems the Republican elite have this genteel rule about “it being someone’s TURN”.

That “rule” MUST END. I can’t speak for other conservative voters. But I HATE that “rule” and wish the RNC would just wake up and smell the coffee on what the base REALLY wants.

Kennedy beat Nixon in ’60. Later, it was Nixon’s “turn” in ’68.

Ford beat Reagan in the primaries in ’76. (Then lost to Carter). Next time, Reagan beat H.W. Bush in the primaries leading up to the ’80 election, which Reagan won. Bush then became Reagan’s veep.

H.W. loses to Clinton in ’92. In 2000, W. Bush beats McCain in the primaries and is elected President. When Bush ends his two terms apparently it’s McCain’s “turn” next in 2008, and winds up losing bigtime to Obama.

Who did McCain beat out in the 2008 primaries?

Romney.

Sorry, Mitt. Timing is everything. A lot of us do NOT want you as our nominee. A lot of us disagree vehemently with the RNC “rule” that it should be your TURN.

We want to ELECT our nominee, not have him forced down our throats.

Shirotayama on October 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

This article, which you NOW need to be a Time suscriber to read since it’s become very popular
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921912,00.html

Shows what the GOP establishment and liberals tried to do to Reagan

Same agruments and lies they are using to defeat Cain

1– too far right , only supported by right wing fringe base
2– Gallup produced polls claiming Carter would beat Reagan bby 25 percent..(Ron won 54 percent)
3- prominent GOP’ers declared Reagan unelectable nationally and that a more “moderate” Republican was needed
4- GOP establishment declared Reagan’s idea on the economy were stupid ….GHWBush, then a primary candidate , called it Voodoo economics

LeeSeneca on October 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Almost forgot…I’m sure I missed Dole somewhere in there, but Bob Dole, while an admirable Senator, was so utterly forgettable as a Presidential candidate, that I totally forgot about him a few moment ago when I wrote the above.

Shirotayama on October 29, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Wow.
Hmmm.

Maybe I vote Cain ’cause I like the guy.

I do not like Mittens, that is true. Anyone who wants the seat that bad, in my eyes, I don’t want in the chair. He is the kinda guy that tells you one thing to your face and then does another behind your back. I do not trust him.

Cain makes mistakes. I make mistakes. Gaffe’s? Bleh. So what. He can always go back and correct his “Mis-speaking”.

Hell, everyone does.

Scoreboard44 on October 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

It’s a good analysis, but I think Cain has a real chance.

Exit question: Would you take Cain over Rubio as VP if Cain does well but not well enough? My theory is, if that happens, Cain will have more name Recognition than Rubio and as added bonus, we get to keep Rubio in the Senate.

Mord on October 29, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Yep. And if one is to believe the typical (emotionally charged) Hot Air commenter there is some grand conspiracy afoot whereby Mitt (with the help of “The Establishment”) destroyed Sarah Palin, rigs the debates and the primaries, denies Americans the ability to vote in the primary for their fave candidate, and ends up the nominee because it’s ‘his turn’.

Buy Danish on October 28, 2011 at 6:41 PM

I see that you are finally seeing things for what they really are.
The fact that it has taken you so long to come around only shows how effective the GOProgressive Machine really is.

darwin-t on October 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Concern well-noted and documented by anonymous beta-male desk-chair-warming bloggers…now, step back and let the “emotionally-charged” people decide if they want the workhorse alpha aka “angry old dude spouting dumbass crap” as their nominee. Thanks in advance, peeps.

RepubChica on October 29, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Lets leave the WH and congress vacant for 4 years, we would be way ahead. I’m tired of all these people who know whats best for me, take my money, and do what is NOT best for me.

gbear on October 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Cain is the feel good candidate right now. Those who seek emotional fulfilment form politics have imbued him with magical powers. Some how he will beat the Romney machine and win the early primaries with a bunch of TV commercials and YouTube videos.

For primary voters, the number one priority is to remove One-bama from office. Romney has the aura of electability even though they may not personally like him.

NickDeringer on October 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Cain makes mistakes. I make mistakes. Gaffe’s? Bleh. So what. He can always go back and correct his “Mis-speaking”.

Hell, everyone does.

Scoreboard44 on October 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

There are two big problems with your thinking. But before I mention them I want you to know the Obama strategy against Cain. It will be the same strategy that Reid used against Angle. It is called the frontlash. They will try and portray Cain as too extreme, a hot head. Everything Cain has said that can be construed as being far right will be in a TV ad.

“Homosexuality is a sin.”
“I Don’t Believe A Woman Should Have An Abortion Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest”

Here is why your thinking is wrong.

1) Once a politician says something that can be interpreted in a way that hurts the politician that quote will be used by the opposition even if their is a clarification. Remember the political axiom explaining is losing.

2) The vast majority of the public does not eat, sleep, and live politics the way we do. They will not pick up on the nuance of a message so the message must be simple. Every minute spent explaining why you are not an anti-whatever bigot is a minute you could be using to explain your plans or why the other guy is wrong.

Cain’s big problems are money, organization, and message. It seems like the money problem is starting to take care of itself. Next he needs to hire a lot of good people fast. But right now he needs to hone his message into some simple phrases. He cannot speak off the cuff to reporters and then spend the next 3 days correcting himself. That will be death for him because he will lose voters who don’t want an amateur.

Bill C on October 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

What smart person really is falling for the idea that Cain’s appeal is only emotional so it must be invalid.

Come on man. Herman is not an incompetent shill faking his leadership skills to trick emotional women. He is a complete man that is comfortable with the emotions that make up half of a human’s skill set. That is also called having social intelligence.

Herman connects with the males as a leader does: He is smarter than the rest of the political animals running, and he adds to that a sharp look and the ability to listen which empower people’s into action on simple, doable goals.

Pundits cannot accept that Herman refuses to be a a pretender to get votes. He wants to give us a taste of a real man leading us…and few living have seen that because Eisenhower was the last example of one.

jimw on October 29, 2011 at 1:04 PM

(admittedly unscientific)

Unscientific!? Unscientific!? It was a gross distortion of focus group opinion conducted by a lefty operative who posed the queston only after establishing anyone who would raise their hand in support of Cain must be nuts.

If this is to become the argument against Cain, then the right should stop advancing it.

exdeadhead on October 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM

@jimw: Ahem, Ike was a comparatively passive president, predictably so since he had been a career staff guy who spent much of the war mediating between prima donnas like Churchill and de Gaulle, Montgomery and Patton. The only thing he reversed while in office was the Israeli seizure of Sinai. On the plus side, at least he never shot his mouth off.

I’ll settle for Professor Gingrich — Nancy couch, kittenish wife, frustrated Speakership and all.

Seth Halpern on October 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM

I see Ace is so far up Perry’s rear that he can’t see the sun at high noon.

Really, an “angry old man.” That’s just plain old fashioned ignorance. Herman Cain has been in interviews where he gets baited on his race, his patriotism, and his dedication to civil rights by low order pond scum and he never loses his cool.

Ace doesn’t care, he just likes being a pet for the establishment. Yes Mr. Bush. No Mr. Bush. I like Texas Mr. Bush.

BKennedy on October 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

@ Seth…Eisenhower was slandered as “passive” because he took a middle course between the right wing selling fear of Communism and the real politik world of rich liberals.

Ike got what was needed to be done done and he would give neither of those camps the free reign they wanted…hence he was criticized with mild praise. But the people loved him; and he gave them 8 years of peace and prosperity.

Herman has that same skill set.

Newt has a lecturer in chief’s skill set. I hope you like being talked down to by the current buzz theories circulating in Academia until they totally change when a later one becomes the buzz? Because that and a mean personality is all Newt has to offer.

jimw on October 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

1) Once a politician says something that can be interpreted in a way that hurts the politician that quote will be used by the opposition even if their is a clarification. Remember the political axiom explaining is losing.
Bill C on October 29, 2011 at 1:03 PM

You mean like Rick Perry’s birth certificate comments this week? I’m sure Chris Wallace will have fun with that tomorrow.

Now don’t forget to call me a covert Mittbot.

Knucklehead on October 29, 2011 at 1:48 PM

The GOP establishment misses the fact that Herman Cain is an extraordinaire businessman with experience in marketing to the masses.

Cain can get away with not being perfect if he can effectively make the case that his business leadership skills will bring structure and rein in a fiscally out-of-control government. He’s not a corrupt Washington politician.

Can the American public trust anything that comes out of Slick Mitty’s mouth? Cain needs to drill the point that Mitt Romney is a two-faced politician who can’t be trusted. Cain also needs to focus his campaign on how he’s going to become America’s CEO and bring common sense back to Washington. If Cain can effectively get that message out to public, he can win the nomination.

If Mitt Romney wins the nomination, we’ll have four more years of Obama. Obama’s camp is already seizing on Romney’s flip flops. Romney is the Republican’s version of John Kerry. We know how the 2004 election turned out.

Christina_M on October 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

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Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Allahpundit on October 29, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Cain can win and he’s not a politician just spouting inanities. He is speaking conservative principles and putting forward real solutions to the issues conservatives care about.

He’s resonating because he’s been successful in business, is affable, has a great personal story, can give a hell of a speech, debates well, and connects with the people on the ground.

He springs from the Tea Party ethos and WE THE PEOPLE will choose our nominee. He’s genuine too, unlike Matinee Mitt. So I am with Cain and the country will be better off for it. The last time we had a Teflon candidate that baffled the punditry was Ronald Reagan

milemarker2020 on October 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM