Romney wins Iowa by 8 votes

Rick Santorum surged into a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucus votes, the difference being a mere 8 votes.  Ron Paul came in third.  Here are the results, with the raw numbers and the percentages:

Mitt Romney      30,015      24.6%

Rick Santorum   30,007     24.5%

Ron Paul             26,219       21.4%

Newt Gingrich   16,251        13.3%

Rick Perry           12,604       10.3%

Michele Bachmann 6,073     5.0%

Jon Huntsman           745       0.6%

Others                          341        0.3%

 

via Iowa Caucus results, visits and political geography – 2012 Campaign Republican Primary Tracker – The Washington Post.

I’d like to credit my “What’s Wrong with Santorum?” post for turning the tide to him.  (The post was linked to a lot and picked up by a Christian news aggregator.)  [I don't seriously think that.  It was obvious for social conservatives to finally consider the last man standing.  And if anyone read the comments, they would see that you readers found quite a bit wrong with him.]

But still, does this make Santorum the non-Paul alternative to Mitt Romney?

Paul performed worse than expected.  He did, however, win one of the proverbial three tickets out of Iowa.

There was a big gap with the other candidates.  How the mighty Newt has fallen!  And Perry!  And Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll!  If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor.  Do you think that will happen?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    So , I got my short-term 2012 prediction right:

    “The GOP ticket will be:

    1. Romney – Christi

    2. Santorum will come in 2nd in IOWA”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/12/30/your-predictions-for-2012/#comments

  • Joe

    So , I got my short-term 2012 prediction right:

    “The GOP ticket will be:

    1. Romney – Christi

    2. Santorum will come in 2nd in IOWA”

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/12/30/your-predictions-for-2012/#comments

  • Steve Billingsley

    I think Santorum gets a more serious look from erstwhile supporters of Bachmann or Cain or Perry for sure. As to what this adds up to? Not sure.

    One positive of Santorum that I didn’t expect is that he has actually articulated the economic aspects of social conservatism well. The short version is that the primary drivers of poverty in our country are marriage breakdown, illegitimacy and all of the dysfunctions that come with it (poor education performance, higher statistical rates of substance abuse, incarceration, mental health problems and suicide, etc.). Any economic policy that does not encourage or reward intact marriage and two-parent families is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    One negative toward Paul that did not get any play until late in the game is that surprisingly (given the rest of his economic message), he has no plan in place to reform entitlements. His message regarding entitlements (at least in Iowa) was “if we cut enough out of the budget we will have enough to pay for them”. Which is demonstrably false. The real issue with entitlements (particularly Medicare and Social Security) isn’t what they cost today, it is what they will cost in the next 20-30 years as the Baby Boomer generation fully cycles through retirement and old age. That, coupled with the interest payments that will come due on the money that has been and is currently being borrowed to make up for shortfalls is what will begin to chew up the federal budget as the years go by. It is shocking to me that Paul doesn’t address that fully.

    My only prediction moving forward is that Romney should easily win the New Hampshire primary (it will be interesting to see how Paul and Santorum fare there) and that the picture in South Carolina will change a great deal in the next week or so.

  • Steve Billingsley

    I think Santorum gets a more serious look from erstwhile supporters of Bachmann or Cain or Perry for sure. As to what this adds up to? Not sure.

    One positive of Santorum that I didn’t expect is that he has actually articulated the economic aspects of social conservatism well. The short version is that the primary drivers of poverty in our country are marriage breakdown, illegitimacy and all of the dysfunctions that come with it (poor education performance, higher statistical rates of substance abuse, incarceration, mental health problems and suicide, etc.). Any economic policy that does not encourage or reward intact marriage and two-parent families is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    One negative toward Paul that did not get any play until late in the game is that surprisingly (given the rest of his economic message), he has no plan in place to reform entitlements. His message regarding entitlements (at least in Iowa) was “if we cut enough out of the budget we will have enough to pay for them”. Which is demonstrably false. The real issue with entitlements (particularly Medicare and Social Security) isn’t what they cost today, it is what they will cost in the next 20-30 years as the Baby Boomer generation fully cycles through retirement and old age. That, coupled with the interest payments that will come due on the money that has been and is currently being borrowed to make up for shortfalls is what will begin to chew up the federal budget as the years go by. It is shocking to me that Paul doesn’t address that fully.

    My only prediction moving forward is that Romney should easily win the New Hampshire primary (it will be interesting to see how Paul and Santorum fare there) and that the picture in South Carolina will change a great deal in the next week or so.

  • SKPeterson

    Paul didn’t do worse than expected – he got right what his poll numbers said he would get. He also got one-third of the delegates. Paul may actually get a good slice of the Bachmann support, probably enough to go a long way toward closing the gap with Romney.

    The big question is whether Santorum has the organizational legs to stay. His finish may attract some funding, but he also may have crested. Anyhow, he’s not someone I could vote for, even if he did win the nomination. Romney looks like much the same; maybe I could be convinced, but it would take a lot of convincing. Right now, it looks like I will be exercising my right not to vote in 2012.

  • SKPeterson

    Paul didn’t do worse than expected – he got right what his poll numbers said he would get. He also got one-third of the delegates. Paul may actually get a good slice of the Bachmann support, probably enough to go a long way toward closing the gap with Romney.

    The big question is whether Santorum has the organizational legs to stay. His finish may attract some funding, but he also may have crested. Anyhow, he’s not someone I could vote for, even if he did win the nomination. Romney looks like much the same; maybe I could be convinced, but it would take a lot of convincing. Right now, it looks like I will be exercising my right not to vote in 2012.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve@2:

    Regarding your potshot at Paul, I address this yesterday on another thread when a gentleman cited the same spurious accusation against Paul–that he has no plan whatsoever to address the entitlement crisis.

    Truth be told, he does have a plan that involves, among other things, allowing those younger than 25 to opt out of Social Security and funding Medicaid via block grants. I know this because it is explicitly stated on Paul’s campaign website. Now, as the second portion of this in-class assignment, go to Romney’s website–heck, search all of Google if you want–and outline for me Romney’s plan for addressing entitlements. Hint: He has none. Paul does not simply believe that we don’t need to make cuts to or otherwise reform our entitlements. In fact, I don’t even know where this accusation comes from. Certainly not from any explicit policy position of his.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve@2:

    Regarding your potshot at Paul, I address this yesterday on another thread when a gentleman cited the same spurious accusation against Paul–that he has no plan whatsoever to address the entitlement crisis.

    Truth be told, he does have a plan that involves, among other things, allowing those younger than 25 to opt out of Social Security and funding Medicaid via block grants. I know this because it is explicitly stated on Paul’s campaign website. Now, as the second portion of this in-class assignment, go to Romney’s website–heck, search all of Google if you want–and outline for me Romney’s plan for addressing entitlements. Hint: He has none. Paul does not simply believe that we don’t need to make cuts to or otherwise reform our entitlements. In fact, I don’t even know where this accusation comes from. Certainly not from any explicit policy position of his.

  • Dan

    I’ve been here before supporting Rick Santorum and I am glad he had such a tremendous showing. Santorum’s one-truck-campaign undercuts the narrative of the Obama narrative. Rick Santorum won support not with piles of money, but with ideas and hard work. Santorum’s speech articulated this theme well. Santorum v. Obama can be painted as the hard-working family-loving little guy against the big government Goliath.

    On the other hand, the playbook against Santorum are his “extreme” (i.e. practicing Roman Catholic) comments on social issues. If the undecided electorate does not care about social issues as much as the economy, Santorum could be less vulnerable there. But he could still be.

    If both Bachmann and Perry get out, and if Newt is truly more interested in defeating Romney than winning himself, Santorum could win the nomination. Much will turn on the party’s conception of electability. Is Romney really electable when he can’t increase his 2008 Iowa numbers? Is Romney tailor-made for Obama’s campaign argument? Romney is weak on Obama’s biggest legislative albatross. Romney is easily painted as rich-out-of-touch-wallstreeter (even if that isn’t a fair picture). And Romney has a problem exciting voters. Santorum has a case to be made that he’s more electable, but the 2006 playbook against him was clearly devastating. And that same playbook is being brought out right now.

    There will be plenty of time to think through who is best suited to fight against Obama. Today, I am very glad for Rick Santorum, who deserved this and can be trusted by conservatives to forward the issues that matter the most to us.

  • Dan

    I’ve been here before supporting Rick Santorum and I am glad he had such a tremendous showing. Santorum’s one-truck-campaign undercuts the narrative of the Obama narrative. Rick Santorum won support not with piles of money, but with ideas and hard work. Santorum’s speech articulated this theme well. Santorum v. Obama can be painted as the hard-working family-loving little guy against the big government Goliath.

    On the other hand, the playbook against Santorum are his “extreme” (i.e. practicing Roman Catholic) comments on social issues. If the undecided electorate does not care about social issues as much as the economy, Santorum could be less vulnerable there. But he could still be.

    If both Bachmann and Perry get out, and if Newt is truly more interested in defeating Romney than winning himself, Santorum could win the nomination. Much will turn on the party’s conception of electability. Is Romney really electable when he can’t increase his 2008 Iowa numbers? Is Romney tailor-made for Obama’s campaign argument? Romney is weak on Obama’s biggest legislative albatross. Romney is easily painted as rich-out-of-touch-wallstreeter (even if that isn’t a fair picture). And Romney has a problem exciting voters. Santorum has a case to be made that he’s more electable, but the 2006 playbook against him was clearly devastating. And that same playbook is being brought out right now.

    There will be plenty of time to think through who is best suited to fight against Obama. Today, I am very glad for Rick Santorum, who deserved this and can be trusted by conservatives to forward the issues that matter the most to us.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan,

    Actually, I think the playbook against Santorum from a conservative perspective is (or should be) that he is a hyper-hawk on matters of “defense” and that he is uber-divisive on so-called cultural issues, especially as it pertains to employing the machinery of the national government to enforce certain moral standards (a power reserved to the states by the constitution, by the way). It’s one thing to be against gay marriage, as Ron Paul is; it’s another thing to insist on the need for constitutional amendments and other big-government notions to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage, for example.

    Santorum isn’t the most conservative candidate by a long shot. What he does it pander, if sincerely, to the hot-button issues of the evangelical culture warriors–a tactic that is really so 2000.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan,

    Actually, I think the playbook against Santorum from a conservative perspective is (or should be) that he is a hyper-hawk on matters of “defense” and that he is uber-divisive on so-called cultural issues, especially as it pertains to employing the machinery of the national government to enforce certain moral standards (a power reserved to the states by the constitution, by the way). It’s one thing to be against gay marriage, as Ron Paul is; it’s another thing to insist on the need for constitutional amendments and other big-government notions to preserve the “sanctity” of marriage, for example.

    Santorum isn’t the most conservative candidate by a long shot. What he does it pander, if sincerely, to the hot-button issues of the evangelical culture warriors–a tactic that is really so 2000.

  • Dan

    Cincinnatus,

    I agree that he’ll be painted as “uber-divisive” on social issues. It will be interesting to see if Romney wants to call Santorum on being a “hyper-hawk” as you put it. I’m not convinced at this moment that there’s a lot of distance between Romney and Santorum on foreign policy.

    Santorum’s most recent record is definitely “2000″ era compassionate-conservative as you say. He was part of the Senate leadership then. And there’s a lot not to like in Bush’s brand of conservatism. But Santorum’s record also precedes the Bush era. And welfare reform is very much due to Santorum’s strong work there – not to Santorum alone, but Santorum had a huge role played there.

    I disagree that he’s a panderer. Santorum believes in these causes. And because he wants to see results, he’s also willing to compromise to get done the most he can.

  • Dan

    Cincinnatus,

    I agree that he’ll be painted as “uber-divisive” on social issues. It will be interesting to see if Romney wants to call Santorum on being a “hyper-hawk” as you put it. I’m not convinced at this moment that there’s a lot of distance between Romney and Santorum on foreign policy.

    Santorum’s most recent record is definitely “2000″ era compassionate-conservative as you say. He was part of the Senate leadership then. And there’s a lot not to like in Bush’s brand of conservatism. But Santorum’s record also precedes the Bush era. And welfare reform is very much due to Santorum’s strong work there – not to Santorum alone, but Santorum had a huge role played there.

    I disagree that he’s a panderer. Santorum believes in these causes. And because he wants to see results, he’s also willing to compromise to get done the most he can.

  • Steve Billingsley

    I didn’t mention Medicaid, because I knew Paul’s plan for that. As for allowing those younger than 25 to opt out, what does that do? It cuts future funding for a program short of funding to begin with and says nothing about future benefits for those who stay in. It says nothing about Medicare. As to Romney, he has basically endorsed the Ryan plan (which is basically converting over to a premium support plan). You are correct that he is noticeably short on details regarding Medicaid and Social Security.

    Medicare is the biggest ticking fiscal time bomb. See the linked article regarding Paul and entitlements. Note that Paul’s campaign manager explicitly states that Paul has not endorsed any specific idea to keep Medicare solvent.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ron-paul-great-societys-great-defender_615036.html?page=1

    And note what I said. Given Paul’s strong (and detailed) stands on spending and other fiscal and monetary issues I find it surprising that he has so little detail on what I see as biggest federal budgetary issue in the medium and long-term.

    If you characterize that as shot, fine. But if Paul wants to win voters over from Romney (or Santorum for that matter) it would behoove him to deal with entitlements in a way that is clearer and more detailed than either of his opponents.

  • Steve Billingsley

    I didn’t mention Medicaid, because I knew Paul’s plan for that. As for allowing those younger than 25 to opt out, what does that do? It cuts future funding for a program short of funding to begin with and says nothing about future benefits for those who stay in. It says nothing about Medicare. As to Romney, he has basically endorsed the Ryan plan (which is basically converting over to a premium support plan). You are correct that he is noticeably short on details regarding Medicaid and Social Security.

    Medicare is the biggest ticking fiscal time bomb. See the linked article regarding Paul and entitlements. Note that Paul’s campaign manager explicitly states that Paul has not endorsed any specific idea to keep Medicare solvent.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ron-paul-great-societys-great-defender_615036.html?page=1

    And note what I said. Given Paul’s strong (and detailed) stands on spending and other fiscal and monetary issues I find it surprising that he has so little detail on what I see as biggest federal budgetary issue in the medium and long-term.

    If you characterize that as shot, fine. But if Paul wants to win voters over from Romney (or Santorum for that matter) it would behoove him to deal with entitlements in a way that is clearer and more detailed than either of his opponents.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve@8:

    In fact, Paul declined to endorse Paul Ryan’s budget “plan” because it’s an ill-conceived, shallow document that doesn’t actually solve our problems (in Paul’s own words: “Doesn’t go nearly far enough.”). I mean, ok; maybe that, along with his various specific policy proposals, is not enough for you to endorse Paul. But to argue that Romney is superior (or even simply more explicit) on issues of entitlement spending and government debt? That’s rich. It’s depressing, yet predictable, that Paul’s opponents (here, in the Weekly Standard) are using a statement he made–that any reform of entitlements should take into account those who have paid into Social Security for their entire careers and do, in fact, deserve to see the fruits of their mandatory investment–is taken to mean that he has no plan whatsoever for addressing entitlements. Meanwhile, Romney offers no specific plans, only casually endorsing Ryan’s plan, which is an overt attempt to pander to the Tea Party types. Nothing Romney has ever said or done elsewhere leads me to believe that he would take any credible steps to address the entitlement crisis.

    Then again, as I’ve said many times, I think it’s depressing, yet predictable, that self-described “conservatives” have invested so much effort in spuriously attacking the only credible conservative candidate in their midst. Paul’s problems are perhaps legion, as we’ve discussed, but it’s downright disappointing that those who should be his allies are attacking him far more viciously than anyone on the other side of the aisle.

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve@8:

    In fact, Paul declined to endorse Paul Ryan’s budget “plan” because it’s an ill-conceived, shallow document that doesn’t actually solve our problems (in Paul’s own words: “Doesn’t go nearly far enough.”). I mean, ok; maybe that, along with his various specific policy proposals, is not enough for you to endorse Paul. But to argue that Romney is superior (or even simply more explicit) on issues of entitlement spending and government debt? That’s rich. It’s depressing, yet predictable, that Paul’s opponents (here, in the Weekly Standard) are using a statement he made–that any reform of entitlements should take into account those who have paid into Social Security for their entire careers and do, in fact, deserve to see the fruits of their mandatory investment–is taken to mean that he has no plan whatsoever for addressing entitlements. Meanwhile, Romney offers no specific plans, only casually endorsing Ryan’s plan, which is an overt attempt to pander to the Tea Party types. Nothing Romney has ever said or done elsewhere leads me to believe that he would take any credible steps to address the entitlement crisis.

    Then again, as I’ve said many times, I think it’s depressing, yet predictable, that self-described “conservatives” have invested so much effort in spuriously attacking the only credible conservative candidate in their midst. Paul’s problems are perhaps legion, as we’ve discussed, but it’s downright disappointing that those who should be his allies are attacking him far more viciously than anyone on the other side of the aisle.

  • Joe

    Bachmann is out. Perry is in, focusing on South Carolina.

  • Joe

    Bachmann is out. Perry is in, focusing on South Carolina.

  • DonS

    “But still, does this make Santorum the non-Paul alternative to Mitt Romney?” — short answer — yes. He was this alternative before the caucuses, which is why he tied for first. And, because his campaign has been run on a shoestring the whole time, he can hang around forever — essentially until Romney gets to the magic number. He will not withdraw, that is clear.

    “If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor. Do you think that will happen?” — probably not. New Hampshire is Romney’s — the next competitive field is in South Carolina. How that state shakes out will determine the nature of the race through Super Tuesday. Romney, however, has an extremely strong organization in South Carolina, and with the southerner, Rick Perry, on life support, Romney should win S.C. easily. That will begin the bleed of voters to Romney, as they finally begin to drift toward the probable winner, which is a normal process of these types of primary elections. Santorum will get a burst of funding out of this Iowa win, but I don’t think it will be enough, or come in time, to build the grass roots level organizations a winning national campaign requires, particularly when you are running against the establishment–sanctioned candidate. Santorum keeps it interesting for a while, and I’m glad he did well for this reason, but this race is close to over, I believe.

  • DonS

    “But still, does this make Santorum the non-Paul alternative to Mitt Romney?” — short answer — yes. He was this alternative before the caucuses, which is why he tied for first. And, because his campaign has been run on a shoestring the whole time, he can hang around forever — essentially until Romney gets to the magic number. He will not withdraw, that is clear.

    “If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor. Do you think that will happen?” — probably not. New Hampshire is Romney’s — the next competitive field is in South Carolina. How that state shakes out will determine the nature of the race through Super Tuesday. Romney, however, has an extremely strong organization in South Carolina, and with the southerner, Rick Perry, on life support, Romney should win S.C. easily. That will begin the bleed of voters to Romney, as they finally begin to drift toward the probable winner, which is a normal process of these types of primary elections. Santorum will get a burst of funding out of this Iowa win, but I don’t think it will be enough, or come in time, to build the grass roots level organizations a winning national campaign requires, particularly when you are running against the establishment–sanctioned candidate. Santorum keeps it interesting for a while, and I’m glad he did well for this reason, but this race is close to over, I believe.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS, I disagree with you in the sense that I think this was Santorum’s last hurrah. He may pick up a few votes here and there between now and “Super Tuesday,” but sources “close to his campaign,” as they say, claim that he has absolutely no money or resources left. He can’t campaign any more, unless this narrow miss energizes his followers to send checks his way.

    I agree with you, however, when you predict that “this race is close to over.” Sadly.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS, I disagree with you in the sense that I think this was Santorum’s last hurrah. He may pick up a few votes here and there between now and “Super Tuesday,” but sources “close to his campaign,” as they say, claim that he has absolutely no money or resources left. He can’t campaign any more, unless this narrow miss energizes his followers to send checks his way.

    I agree with you, however, when you predict that “this race is close to over.” Sadly.

  • Steve Billingsley

    2 quick responses.
    1. I wouldn’t phrase it as Romney being “superior” to Paul as much as I would being “less objectionable” – I am not enthusiastic about any of the candidates (which I think I have stated before).
    2. As to Ryan’s “ill-conceived, shallow document” – I agree he doesn’t go far enough in discretionary and military spending. But let’s compare what they say about entitlements.

    Medicaid
    Paul – Block grant to states
    Ryan – Block grant to states
    Social Security
    Paul – allow those under 25 to opt out
    Ryan – Preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older. Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees. Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation. Makes the program permanently solvent – according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] – by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security’s initial benefits, with an eventual modernization of the retirement age.
    Medicare
    Paul – ??? (crickets chirping)
    Ryan – Moves to a premium support model (details have shifted between the original roadmap and the recent Ryan-Wyden proposal)
    I don’t think Ryan’s proposals are perfect by any measure, but there is more “there” there in them than in Paul’s proposals (or lack thereof).
    I just don’t think that Paul is what his supporters are cracking him up to be.

  • Steve Billingsley

    2 quick responses.
    1. I wouldn’t phrase it as Romney being “superior” to Paul as much as I would being “less objectionable” – I am not enthusiastic about any of the candidates (which I think I have stated before).
    2. As to Ryan’s “ill-conceived, shallow document” – I agree he doesn’t go far enough in discretionary and military spending. But let’s compare what they say about entitlements.

    Medicaid
    Paul – Block grant to states
    Ryan – Block grant to states
    Social Security
    Paul – allow those under 25 to opt out
    Ryan – Preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older. Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees. Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation. Makes the program permanently solvent – according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] – by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security’s initial benefits, with an eventual modernization of the retirement age.
    Medicare
    Paul – ??? (crickets chirping)
    Ryan – Moves to a premium support model (details have shifted between the original roadmap and the recent Ryan-Wyden proposal)
    I don’t think Ryan’s proposals are perfect by any measure, but there is more “there” there in them than in Paul’s proposals (or lack thereof).
    I just don’t think that Paul is what his supporters are cracking him up to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    What really does it mean to “win” in the Iowa caucuses?

    As tODD pointed out on his Facebook page, according to WikiPedia: “Delegates from the precinct caucuses go on to the county conventions, which choose delegates to the district conventions, which in turn selects delegates to the Iowa State Convention. Thus, it is the Republican Iowa State Convention, not the precinct caucuses, which selects the ultimate delegates from Iowa to the Republican National Convention. All delegates are officially unbound from the results of the precinct caucus…”

    It seems Iowa, even though it is the very first to hold caucuses, is one of the last states to select actual delegates to the national convention. Just because Romney “won” the general vote statewide doesn’t necessarily mean his delegates will go to the national convention…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    What really does it mean to “win” in the Iowa caucuses?

    As tODD pointed out on his Facebook page, according to WikiPedia: “Delegates from the precinct caucuses go on to the county conventions, which choose delegates to the district conventions, which in turn selects delegates to the Iowa State Convention. Thus, it is the Republican Iowa State Convention, not the precinct caucuses, which selects the ultimate delegates from Iowa to the Republican National Convention. All delegates are officially unbound from the results of the precinct caucus…”

    It seems Iowa, even though it is the very first to hold caucuses, is one of the last states to select actual delegates to the national convention. Just because Romney “won” the general vote statewide doesn’t necessarily mean his delegates will go to the national convention…

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “How the mighty Newt has fallen! And Perry! And Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll! If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor. Do you think that will happen?”

    Very possible.

    The country needs a leader who will clearly oppose the uber-divisive policies of Obama who is a staunch pro-abortionist and a supporter of gay issues, among other things.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “How the mighty Newt has fallen! And Perry! And Bachmann, the winner of the Iowa straw poll! If their supporters rally to Santorum, though, the percentages add up dramatically in his favor. Do you think that will happen?”

    Very possible.

    The country needs a leader who will clearly oppose the uber-divisive policies of Obama who is a staunch pro-abortionist and a supporter of gay issues, among other things.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, Mike (@14), you’re citing my Facebook page here in absentia? ;)

    Just because Romney “won” the general vote statewide doesn’t necessarily mean his delegates will go to the national convention…

    Sure, in theory. But it’s far more likely that Santorum’s non-binding precinct-level delegates will fail to manifest themselves in equal numbers of actual delegates to the national convention. Because by the time Iowa actually picks its delegates, the wind will almost certainly have been blowing strongly in Romney’s sails for quite some time. Seriously, look for Romney to get 14 or more (18? I’m suspecting that the Paul delegates will be less likely to convert into Romney support) of Iowa’s delegates.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, Mike (@14), you’re citing my Facebook page here in absentia? ;)

    Just because Romney “won” the general vote statewide doesn’t necessarily mean his delegates will go to the national convention…

    Sure, in theory. But it’s far more likely that Santorum’s non-binding precinct-level delegates will fail to manifest themselves in equal numbers of actual delegates to the national convention. Because by the time Iowa actually picks its delegates, the wind will almost certainly have been blowing strongly in Romney’s sails for quite some time. Seriously, look for Romney to get 14 or more (18? I’m suspecting that the Paul delegates will be less likely to convert into Romney support) of Iowa’s delegates.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anyhow, Santorum is merely lucky enough to have caught the bubble wave at the time of the caucuses. I expect him to be pulling a Huckabee any week now.

    I don’t get why you would put all your eggs into one basket like Santorum apparently did. I guess if that’s your only option, you do what you can. But seriously, he’s going to try to start scrambling in the rest of the states now that he’s pulled off a statistical tie (not even a victory, mind you) in a state with non-binding caucuses? Is he just angling for a veep nomination?

    If Santorum wanted to win this thing for real, he’d have put more effort into a national game well before now. He’s done just about everything he can now. Whatever that is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anyhow, Santorum is merely lucky enough to have caught the bubble wave at the time of the caucuses. I expect him to be pulling a Huckabee any week now.

    I don’t get why you would put all your eggs into one basket like Santorum apparently did. I guess if that’s your only option, you do what you can. But seriously, he’s going to try to start scrambling in the rest of the states now that he’s pulled off a statistical tie (not even a victory, mind you) in a state with non-binding caucuses? Is he just angling for a veep nomination?

    If Santorum wanted to win this thing for real, he’d have put more effort into a national game well before now. He’s done just about everything he can now. Whatever that is.

  • Bob

    ‘The country needs a leader who will clearly oppose the uber-divisive policies of Obama who is a staunch pro-abortionist and a supporter of gay issues, among other things.’

    The country doesn’t need a leader who supports the 1%, loves crony capitalism, ignores the middle class, continues to divide the country, dwells on nonissues like the President’s birth cert., and punishes the poor and others not as well off.

    No problem — we won’t be getting a non-Democratic party president next time around.

    Better luck in 2016.

  • Bob

    ‘The country needs a leader who will clearly oppose the uber-divisive policies of Obama who is a staunch pro-abortionist and a supporter of gay issues, among other things.’

    The country doesn’t need a leader who supports the 1%, loves crony capitalism, ignores the middle class, continues to divide the country, dwells on nonissues like the President’s birth cert., and punishes the poor and others not as well off.

    No problem — we won’t be getting a non-Democratic party president next time around.

    Better luck in 2016.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “No problem — we won’t be getting a non-Democratic party president next time around.”

    We’ll see. There are plenty of “Anyone but Obama” voters out there.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “No problem — we won’t be getting a non-Democratic party president next time around.”

    We’ll see. There are plenty of “Anyone but Obama” voters out there.

  • Bob

    Keep telling yourself that. With the president’s approval rating in the 40s and a Republican-controlled Congress with a 9% rating…well, keep whistling in the dark, if that makes you feel better.

  • Bob

    Keep telling yourself that. With the president’s approval rating in the 40s and a Republican-controlled Congress with a 9% rating…well, keep whistling in the dark, if that makes you feel better.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Keep telling yourself that Obama can’t lose.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Keep telling yourself that Obama can’t lose.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bob (@20), I tend to assume Obama will win (it is the generic historical default), but I’m also pretty certain that general ratings for Congress are less than useful in determining how the 2012 Republican nominee will fare against Obama. Everyone hates “Congress”, even as they mostly like their own Congressmen, which is why they keep reelecting them. Obama is not, at present, a shoo-in.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bob (@20), I tend to assume Obama will win (it is the generic historical default), but I’m also pretty certain that general ratings for Congress are less than useful in determining how the 2012 Republican nominee will fare against Obama. Everyone hates “Congress”, even as they mostly like their own Congressmen, which is why they keep reelecting them. Obama is not, at present, a shoo-in.

  • Dan

    tODD –
    I think Santorum’s path to the nomination – a much harder road than Perry or Romney had given his limited resources – was to win Iowa with enough of a margin that he would become the credible anti-Romney candidate. In both 2008 and so far this year, Romney has had a hard ceiling of support. To win, Romney will need to break into the 40s somewhere. If Romney can’t and Santorum continues to be the front-running anti-Romney, it won’t matter what organization Santorum did or did not have. It is a myth, though, that Santorum doesn’t have a national campaign. Although he certainly has a lot of work ahead of him, he has already been visiting and organizing in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    Santorum does still have a hard path to follow. A big hurdle will be how he responds to the negative attention that is coming. Santorum will have to gather together former Bachman and former Perry supporters while getting hit by negative attacks. If Perry runs hard into SC, Santorum will have a significant challenge to overcome. If Perry gets out and Newt only attacks Romney, Santorum has better chances than you are giving him, I think.

  • Dan

    tODD –
    I think Santorum’s path to the nomination – a much harder road than Perry or Romney had given his limited resources – was to win Iowa with enough of a margin that he would become the credible anti-Romney candidate. In both 2008 and so far this year, Romney has had a hard ceiling of support. To win, Romney will need to break into the 40s somewhere. If Romney can’t and Santorum continues to be the front-running anti-Romney, it won’t matter what organization Santorum did or did not have. It is a myth, though, that Santorum doesn’t have a national campaign. Although he certainly has a lot of work ahead of him, he has already been visiting and organizing in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    Santorum does still have a hard path to follow. A big hurdle will be how he responds to the negative attention that is coming. Santorum will have to gather together former Bachman and former Perry supporters while getting hit by negative attacks. If Perry runs hard into SC, Santorum will have a significant challenge to overcome. If Perry gets out and Newt only attacks Romney, Santorum has better chances than you are giving him, I think.

  • Booklover

    Paul has been totally ignored in news reports that I have heard. They all say something like, “Romney came in first with Santorum close behind. Gingrich came in fourth.” If I was a Paul supporter (and I don’t yet know who I am supporting), it would be maddening.

  • Booklover

    Paul has been totally ignored in news reports that I have heard. They all say something like, “Romney came in first with Santorum close behind. Gingrich came in fourth.” If I was a Paul supporter (and I don’t yet know who I am supporting), it would be maddening.

  • SKPeterson

    You’ve got to love the delusional comments offered by the loeable Deval Patrick:

    http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20120104deval_patrick_ties_mitt_romney_to_tea_party_newt_gingrich_labels_former_governor_a_moderate/srvc=home&position=recent

    Yep, you heard it here first: Mitt Romney eked out Iowa because he’s the Tea Party candidate.

  • SKPeterson

    You’ve got to love the delusional comments offered by the loeable Deval Patrick:

    http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20120104deval_patrick_ties_mitt_romney_to_tea_party_newt_gingrich_labels_former_governor_a_moderate/srvc=home&position=recent

    Yep, you heard it here first: Mitt Romney eked out Iowa because he’s the Tea Party candidate.

  • SKPeterson

    And this proves that not only Paul supports highway robbery. ;)

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/politics/gop-iowa-gingrich/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

  • SKPeterson

    And this proves that not only Paul supports highway robbery. ;)

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/04/politics/gop-iowa-gingrich/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

  • WisdomLover

    Gingrich still leads in both South Carolina and Florida polling (granted, with Santorum’s underdog-to-top-dog performance in Iowa, that could change fast). And there are debates in front of those (Newt’s strong suit). So I wouldn’t count Gingrich out yet.

    However, if he decides to go negative, as he’s suggested he might, that will probably finish him. He’s already perceived by many to be the mean old Gingrich that stole Christmas. He got as far as he did, I think, because he was convincing voters that this was a new, kinder, gentler, Newt.

    Whatever happens with Newt, Perry will drop out soon…his recent tweet to the effect that he’s going to South Carolina probably just means that he feels he owes it to his supporters to go that far. He won’t do well there even if he does follow through on the tweet. Either way, he’ll drop.

    Paul will not be a big factor in primary states (as opposed to caucus states) which is what we have in front of us for a bit. Having a small cadre of devoted followers won’t carry you in that context.

    With Bachmann gone, I don’t think any of that helps Romney.

  • WisdomLover

    Gingrich still leads in both South Carolina and Florida polling (granted, with Santorum’s underdog-to-top-dog performance in Iowa, that could change fast). And there are debates in front of those (Newt’s strong suit). So I wouldn’t count Gingrich out yet.

    However, if he decides to go negative, as he’s suggested he might, that will probably finish him. He’s already perceived by many to be the mean old Gingrich that stole Christmas. He got as far as he did, I think, because he was convincing voters that this was a new, kinder, gentler, Newt.

    Whatever happens with Newt, Perry will drop out soon…his recent tweet to the effect that he’s going to South Carolina probably just means that he feels he owes it to his supporters to go that far. He won’t do well there even if he does follow through on the tweet. Either way, he’ll drop.

    Paul will not be a big factor in primary states (as opposed to caucus states) which is what we have in front of us for a bit. Having a small cadre of devoted followers won’t carry you in that context.

    With Bachmann gone, I don’t think any of that helps Romney.

  • DonS

    WisdomLover @ 27: My understanding is that the South Carolina and Florida polls are old — before Christmas. Given Gingrich’s cratering in other polls since that time, the conventional wisdom is that the same is true in SC and FL.

  • DonS

    WisdomLover @ 27: My understanding is that the South Carolina and Florida polls are old — before Christmas. Given Gingrich’s cratering in other polls since that time, the conventional wisdom is that the same is true in SC and FL.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Ho hum. Status Quo reigns. Yawn.

    Post-Iowa Caucus, Santorum will go the way of Huckabee. None of these bozos will bring about the fundamental changes needed. Gingrich will try to knock him down, but Romney will get the nomination, while losing to Obama. As for Ron Paul, looking at things in the present, it is slightly disappointing. Yet looking at things relative to the future (2016), from the perspective of his son RAND Paul, and the future is bright for Constitutional Conservatism (provided there is a future given Obama or a Republicrat in office till 2016).

  • JunkerGeorg

    Ho hum. Status Quo reigns. Yawn.

    Post-Iowa Caucus, Santorum will go the way of Huckabee. None of these bozos will bring about the fundamental changes needed. Gingrich will try to knock him down, but Romney will get the nomination, while losing to Obama. As for Ron Paul, looking at things in the present, it is slightly disappointing. Yet looking at things relative to the future (2016), from the perspective of his son RAND Paul, and the future is bright for Constitutional Conservatism (provided there is a future given Obama or a Republicrat in office till 2016).

  • Grace

    JunkerGeorg at 29

    After reading your post, do you purport/profess yourself as being a prophet? The reason I ask, you state many things which will come to pass:

    1. Post-Iowa Caucus, Santorum will go the way of Huckabee.’

    2. None of these bozos will bring about the fundamental changes needed.

    3. Gingrich will try to knock him down, but Romney will get the nomination, while losing to Obama.

    AMAZING!

  • Grace

    JunkerGeorg at 29

    After reading your post, do you purport/profess yourself as being a prophet? The reason I ask, you state many things which will come to pass:

    1. Post-Iowa Caucus, Santorum will go the way of Huckabee.’

    2. None of these bozos will bring about the fundamental changes needed.

    3. Gingrich will try to knock him down, but Romney will get the nomination, while losing to Obama.

    AMAZING!

  • JunkerGeorg

    Um, not amazing at all. Just mocking the script that’s been set . And no, Grace, I leave that “immediate revelation” stuff to fundamentalist evangelicals like Bachmann and yourself. :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    Um, not amazing at all. Just mocking the script that’s been set . And no, Grace, I leave that “immediate revelation” stuff to fundamentalist evangelicals like Bachmann and yourself. :)

  • Grace

    JunkerGeorg @ 31

    YOU WROTE:

    “Um, not amazing at all. Just mocking the script that’s been set . And no, Grace, I leave that “immediate revelation” stuff to fundamentalist evangelicals like Bachmann and yourself”

    Um nothing, —— you made prophecies and now you’re ‘ducking out! “Mocking” .. I believe you’re mixing up the match, catching yourself in the fire – :lol:

  • Grace

    JunkerGeorg @ 31

    YOU WROTE:

    “Um, not amazing at all. Just mocking the script that’s been set . And no, Grace, I leave that “immediate revelation” stuff to fundamentalist evangelicals like Bachmann and yourself”

    Um nothing, —— you made prophecies and now you’re ‘ducking out! “Mocking” .. I believe you’re mixing up the match, catching yourself in the fire – :lol:

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bravo, Grace (@30, 32), bravo.

    Because never in your time here on this blog have you ever, ever hazarded a guess as to how things might turn out in the future. No never once never.

    Which is why it’s so logical and reasonable for you to criticize one man’s obvious guesswork for what it is: prophecy! Especially on a blog that hosts yearly predicti…um, prophecy contests! Because no one else here has ever hazarded a guess as to what might happen in the future, right?

    So, again, bravo on your insightful, useful rebuke to JunkerGeorg. As well as using proper punctuation — I always appreciate the way you ‘do that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bravo, Grace (@30, 32), bravo.

    Because never in your time here on this blog have you ever, ever hazarded a guess as to how things might turn out in the future. No never once never.

    Which is why it’s so logical and reasonable for you to criticize one man’s obvious guesswork for what it is: prophecy! Especially on a blog that hosts yearly predicti…um, prophecy contests! Because no one else here has ever hazarded a guess as to what might happen in the future, right?

    So, again, bravo on your insightful, useful rebuke to JunkerGeorg. As well as using proper punctuation — I always appreciate the way you ‘do that.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    PUNCTUATION, is a good thing, but it doesn’t rival thoughts, used with dashes ______ ———– dots …….. or other ways of expressing oneself.

    We are not back in great, great grandmothers school house, all set for a day of grammar and punctured ‘punctuation, wrapped up in dashes, dots and other little diddles to make a point.

    Get over it tODD it’s 2012 NOT 1912! :lol:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR …… tODD!

  • Grace

    tODD,

    PUNCTUATION, is a good thing, but it doesn’t rival thoughts, used with dashes ______ ———– dots …….. or other ways of expressing oneself.

    We are not back in great, great grandmothers school house, all set for a day of grammar and punctured ‘punctuation, wrapped up in dashes, dots and other little diddles to make a point.

    Get over it tODD it’s 2012 NOT 1912! :lol:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR …… tODD!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yes, well, Grace (@34). Even if you insist on removing apostrophes from where they belong (in possessive adjectives) and placing single quotes where they do not go (in front of quite a number of words, but never with a closing counterpart for some reason), even if you can’t tell the difference between an underscore and a dash, even if you don’t know how to use commas to indicate direct address … even if you, who frequently critique the most minute aspects of word choice in others’ comments, for some reason, think you’re somehow above the rules of grammar because of the year on the calendar …

    Well, we still have your scintillatingly insightful critiques (@30, 32) of Junker Georg’s guess as to what will happen this election year. Once again, thank you, Grace, for calling out this false prophet! How many more might he led astray had you not swept in here at the end of the conversation and so bravely unveiled his infamy!

    …Er, sorry, ‘infamy.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yes, well, Grace (@34). Even if you insist on removing apostrophes from where they belong (in possessive adjectives) and placing single quotes where they do not go (in front of quite a number of words, but never with a closing counterpart for some reason), even if you can’t tell the difference between an underscore and a dash, even if you don’t know how to use commas to indicate direct address … even if you, who frequently critique the most minute aspects of word choice in others’ comments, for some reason, think you’re somehow above the rules of grammar because of the year on the calendar …

    Well, we still have your scintillatingly insightful critiques (@30, 32) of Junker Georg’s guess as to what will happen this election year. Once again, thank you, Grace, for calling out this false prophet! How many more might he led astray had you not swept in here at the end of the conversation and so bravely unveiled his infamy!

    …Er, sorry, ‘infamy.

  • SKPeterson

    If prophecy is ‘grasping at tea leaves, and such grasping is making a realistic assessment of how a current situation will play out, then JunkerGeorg is a prophet.

    But, if he’s wrong Grace, we’ll let you cast the first stone.

  • SKPeterson

    If prophecy is ‘grasping at tea leaves, and such grasping is making a realistic assessment of how a current situation will play out, then JunkerGeorg is a prophet.

    But, if he’s wrong Grace, we’ll let you cast the first stone.

  • JunkerGeorg

    lol….any predictions which don’t fit the hoped for narrative on Grace’s planet, makes one a BLASPHEMER!

  • JunkerGeorg

    lol….any predictions which don’t fit the hoped for narrative on Grace’s planet, makes one a BLASPHEMER!

  • Grace

    tODD, I leave you to your favorite theme, that which is wrapped up in minutia, carefully crafted in your closed room of webbery –

    TA, TA

  • Grace

    tODD, I leave you to your favorite theme, that which is wrapped up in minutia, carefully crafted in your closed room of webbery –

    TA, TA

  • JunkerGeorg

    Did I just hear someone say, “a closed room of shrubbery”?

  • JunkerGeorg

    Did I just hear someone say, “a closed room of shrubbery”?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X