Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

Advertisements

Romney Pulls Ahead of Obama in Ohio

   Bookmark and Share   President Obama’s failure to stop the continued momentum of Mitt Romney in the final days of the election has now allowed Romney to pull ahead of the President in the battleground state of Ohio where according to a new Rasmussen poll, Governor Romney now has a two-point advantage.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Ohio voters shows Romney with 50 percent support to President Obama’s 48 percent. According to the poll, 1 percent likes a third party candidate, while another one percent remains undecided.

Rasmussen also finds that among all Ohio voters, Romney now has a 12-point lead over the President in voter trust – 53 percent to 41 percent – when it comes to the economy. Last week, Romney had just a seven-point advantage among voters in the state when they were asked which candidate they trusted more to deal with the economy.

Romney’s also trusted more by eight points in the areas of job creation and energy policy but leads Obama by just two when it comes to housing
issues.  And when it comes to national security Governor Romney now has a 52 percent to 42 percent advantage on the issue.

All of this is evidence of the fact that Romney continues to ride a wave of momentum which is tipping the election in his favor more and more with the passage of each day.

While White House 2012 knows that Ohio is relatively close, our own analysis of polls, data, and circumstances on the ground in each state and nationally, has projected that Mitt Romney will in fact ultimately see Ohio’s 18 electoral votes go to Romney.  Interestingly, that same analysis produced evidence that upended the existing narrative that Mitt Romney can’t win the presidency without Ohio. WH12’s newest analysis showed just the opposite.

For President Obama, while he has three paths to victory two less than Romney, each of one them requires that to win the election, the President must win Ohio.

For Mitt Romney, of the five routes to victory available to him, only one of them requires that he wins Ohio, and as seen in the graphic below, that path is the one which he needs only if he losses each of the other remaining tossup states.

This latest Rasmussen poll is of course a mere snapshot of opinions at the moment and while there is room for error in the poll and the possibility for  voter sentiments to change within the next 7 days, existing evidence indicates that such a reversal of fortunes for Romney is unlikely.Bookmark and Share

Suffolk Stops Polling Presidential Race in Fl, NC and VA. Says Romney Is Certain to Win All 3

 Bookmark and Share   Since 2002, the Suffolk University Political Research Center has conducted polls and survey analyses with a 96% record of accuracy in predicting outcomes in Massachusetts, key battleground states, and nationally.  As such, Suffolk is considered far more reliable than not. So it should come as a surprise to those who believe that Barack Obama will defeat Mitt Romney handily when a reliable polling outfit like Suffolk announces that it is so clear to them that Romney has locked up wins in three key battleground states so securely that they are discontinuing any future polling of the presidential election in those states.

Pollster David Paleologos, the Director of the Suffolk University Research Center recently declared to Bill O’Reilly on his Fox News show “The Factor”, that his organization will not be taking anymore polls of the presidential election in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  According to Paleologos, a look at the existing polling data in those states indicates overwhelming evidence of the depth of Romney’s support in those states as compared to the president.  Paleologos adds, “we’ve colored those states red.” (See the video below)

This is an extraordinarily significant development in the race for President. Polling is a lucrative business and a decision such as the one Suffolk has made here would not have been made unless they were absolutely certain with of the results they now predict.  It signals the beginning of what White House 2012 has predicted to be Romney’s winning of the presidential election in the Electoral College by a much larger than margin than many believe possible.  Currently White House 2012 has Governor Romney defeating President Obama by 281 electoral votes to 257, but with with a stated expectation of soon putting New Hampshire and Nevada in Romney’s column, White House 2012 is sure that that Romney’s electoral vote count is on the rise.

If it is indeed true that Mitt Romney has a lock on Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, President Obama finds himself facing an election that is totally different from the one he was running prior to last week’s presidential debate.  If those three states are solid for Romney, the number of paths that are available for the President to piece together the 270 electoral votes he needs in order to win reelection, are greatly reduced and it makes his need to deny Romney a win in Ohio almost essential to his reelection effort.  Meanwhile multiple polls from a range of independent survey outfits are now showing Mitt Romney to either be ahead of the President in Ohio or nearly tied with him.  These polls also show Romney pulling ahead in other battleground states and nationally.

But the decision by Suffolk to stop polling the presidential race in Fl, NC and Va, is a surefire sign that the race is over for President Obama in those states.  Pretty soon his own internal polls will probably make that inconvenient truth evident to his own campaign.  We will come to realize when they have reached that same conclusion as we soon begin to notice a lack of visits by the President to Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia and a noticeably larger amount of his time spent in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and a few states that up to now, the President was so far ahead in that he did not to waste his time visiting.  Those states include Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, three states which the Romney-Ryan ticket is cutting in to the Obama-Biden tickets once double digit leads.

As early as two weeks ago, an analysis of polls and other factors by White House 2012 had reached almost the same conclusion that Suffolk did about Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.   In fact, in White House 2012’s Electoral College Projection we stated that we no longer consider North Carolina a battleground state.  As for Florida and Virginia, White House 2012 has projected them to be red for Romney but we have not yet been confident enough to suggest that President Obama will at some point become more competitive in those two states again.  So far though, Suffolk’s polls and decision are o confirm that White House 2012 is doing a good job at analyzing the electorate.  In fact it just so happens that White House 2012 and Suffolk are independently in agreement with one another.

Bookmark and Share

New White House 2012 Projection Has Romney Winning By 24 Electoral Votes

  Bookmark and Share With 29 days remaining in the race for President, White House 2012’s latest analysis of polls, circumstances, and conditions, concludes that there is a swing towards Mitt Romney in the Electoral College that is so pronounced that the Romney-Ryan ticket has increased its lead over the Obama-Biden ticket by at least 24 electoral votes.  The last White House 2012 projection had Mitt Romney winning 273 electoral votes to the presidents 265 electoral votes.  Today Romney stands at 281 electoral votes to 257 for the President.

For the first time, the latest projection gives Romney the all important state of Ohio, which up to now has been written off by White House 2012 as an almost certain win for President Obama. However, small shifts which have revealed themselves in most of the polls figured in to the Real Clear Politics average of polls since Romney’ stellar debate performance last Wednesday, now indicate that if the numbers hold up, Romney will win Ohio, a change that significantly increases the number of ways that Romney can reach the magic number of 270 that is needed to win the presidential race in the electoral college.

While Romney seems to be gaining momentum, it is too early to call it a steady trend, especially given the fact that while Romney has picked up Ohio in the newest projection, New Hampshire and Nevada which Romney did have in column last week, have flipped back to President Obama today.  The good news is that combined, New Hampshire and Nevada have a total of only 10 electoral votes while by itself Ohio has a total of 18 electoral votes.  So even if Romney did lose Nevada and New Hampshire, he stands on better ground after picking up the Buckeye State.  However; it is important to note that White House 2012 is being very conservative by flipping New Hampshire and Nevada to the Obama-Biden ticket.  While the RCP average has pushed the President’s lead in those two states to be in excess of the 3.7% margin of error which we give to Mitt Romney to compensate for each polls poor judgment in the use the 2008 turnout models, other factors prove to be working in Mitt Romney’s favor and allow us to give the President those states by only the slimmest of margins. So both New Hampshire and Nevada are now only barely light blue for the President and they could easily turn pink for Romney at a moment’s notice.

While most states are clearly leaning towards one candidate or the other, White House 2012 is currently only considering there to be seven battleground states.  They are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.  Of those states, White House 2012 currently projects the following outcomes;

White House 2012 does see the potential for Romney to become much more competitive in Wisconsin, New Mexico, and possibly Michigan but for now, we do not consider them to be battleground states.

Other Favorable Indicators for Romney

As the race continues to evolve, this projection will change, however; at the moment the race is shaping up to be one that is moving in Mitt Romney’s direction.

For instance, it is with good reason that we continue to forecast Romney victories in the critical states of Florida and Virginia.

While some polls show small Romney leads in those states, most all other polls show Romney to have at least closed the small previous gap that existed between him and the President by as much as half or more.  For example, the latest number from PPP, a Democrat leaning polling outfit, shows that in Virginia, Obama’s lead has shrunk from +5  to +3.  While that Obama lead might not seem like good news for Romney, it is actually very good news when you consider the fact that by using the same turnout model from 2008, the PPP sampling finds this smaller Obama lead even after still giving Democrats a +6 advantage over Republicans.

Furthermore; it is that same Democrat advantage that polls are giving to the President which we see in other states such as Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire and all the other critical swing states.  Yet despite this Democrat advantage, Romney is gaining on the President.  So much so that WH12 sees evidence that indicates the Romney-Ryan ticket will probably not only win the election, they will probably win it by an even wider margin than anyone thinks possible.

Adding to this positive direction for Romney are indications that his own internal polling in at least two states. Currently, those internal polls are said to show Virginia and Ohio show him beating Obama by as much as 3.0% and 4.5%, respectively.

Conclusion;

The recent questionable jobs report has provided a slight spike in consumer confidence but it has not yet translated in to a bounce for the President.  At the same time, President Obama’s approval ratings continue to remain at or below 50%, a position not conducive for reelection of an incumbent President. 

Meanwhile, after his initial debate performance Mitt Romney has established himself as a real threat to the reelection of President Obama.  For the first time since their conventions, Romney is seeing evidence of his base becoming excited with his candidacy and there are signs that undecided voters are moving in his direction.  But Republicans must be careful to not consider this a trend until and unless future polls over the course of the next week show these recent numbers to still be moving in the right direction.  However; at the moment the Romney-Ryan ticket seems to have blocked President Obama’s own forward momentum in the polls and at the same time has finally gotten his campaign moving at pace that could turn the tables on the Obama-Biden and make them the ones with fewer paths to victory.  But to do that, Romney must be sure to keep the momentum moving in the right direction and at the right pace.  To do that, Romney must avoid any stumbles on the campaign trail and he must make sure that an endless repetitive stream of his well crafted 30 second ads are driving home his message and allowing it to sink in among the voters who have a new found respect for Romney after his first debate and are now more receptive to his message than they have been at any other point in this election.

The Projection Formula

The White House 2012 projection takes the Real Clear Politics average of polls and compensates for the outdated 2008 turnout models being used in each in poll by compensating for the under-counting of Republican turnout by adding to Romney’s total, the 3.7% average margin of error in the seven key swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.  Then along with a dose of personal political instinct, our projection incorporates other factors in to the equation such as the unemployment rates of individual states and the organizational strength of each state’s Party. 

Bookmark and Share

Internal Polls Have Romney Ahead in at Least 2 Pivotal Swing States

  Bookmark and Share   According to Breitbat editor Mike Flynn, the Romney campaign has internal polls that now show the Romney-Ryan ticket ahead of President Obama in two important battleground states… Ohio and New Hampshire.  According to two tweets posted by Flynn  on his Twitter feed, Romney’s internal polls have him beating the President in New Hampshire by 3.0%, and an almost unimaginably wider margin of 4.5% in Ohio.

If these numbers are true, this would suggest that my own estimation of a Romney victory that will be much bigger than most people think possible, could be shaping up.   Especially if Mitt Romney is ahead in Ohio.

While I have sensed that this race is not quite as close as most polls indicate, my inability to totally discount the preponderance of public polling numbers that are out there has been leading me to conclude that in 2012, the G.O.P. may win the White House without Ohio for the first time in history. Part of the reason for that opinion has been due to the available polling data.  The other part is my knowing that President Obama is going to do everything possible to win the Buckeye State for himself.  Doing so would leave Romney with significantly fewer paths to victory.  But aggressive campaigning by Romney in several other key states, specifically Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada and of course Virginia and Florida, has led me to conclude that while Team Romney has by no means written off Ohio, they are actively working on Plan B…. the plan to win the election without Ohio if necessary.

But if these leaked internal polls are accurate, Mitt Romney is currently on his way to being able to carry out his preferred plan of winning the election with Ohio and the way I see it, if he can do that, Americans will be stunned to find out on November 7th that Romney beat President Obama by far more than anyone predicted.

If the Romney-Ryan ticket can win Ohio, that bodes quite well for additional victories in swing states like Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire.  Given the make-up of Ohio, it is very good bellwether of the sentiments that exist in those aforementioned states.  Furthermore, a lead in Ohio would also indicates that Nevada is quite winnable.  Even more stunning is that it could be a sign that Romney is in contention for wins in other states like Wisconsin, which according to most polls is currently slipping away from the G.O.P. presidential ticket.  No matter what though, a lead in Ohio would significantly turn the tables on the Obama-Biden ticket by suddenly making them the ticket with fewer paths available to them to reach the magic number of 270 in the Electoral College.

Unfortunately for Romney backers, the reliability of this second and now third-hand information is not enough for us to hang our hats on yet.

While all campaigns conduct internal polls, they do not spend much time publicly talking about them or releasing the data and information contained in them.  By law, if a campaign releases any numbers from their internal polls, they must release the entire poll.  However, as is always the case with politics, campaigns can and do find ways to see that certain tib-bits somehow leak out for public consumption without being caught.  In this case,  no one can be sure of where or how Mike Flynn got hold of these numbers.  But if he did somehow get a look at the Romney campaign’s actual internal poll numbers for Ohio and New Hampshire, the news contained in his two tweets changes the narrative of this election by turning President in to the underdog in the race.

If the numbers Flynn released are actually from the Romney campaign’s internal polls, you can rest assured that they are accurate.  Mainly because of Neil Newhouse, the man who put those numbers together.

Neil Newhouse is Romney’s chief pollster and globally, one of the best pollsters around.   He is a co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs survey research firm that has been described as “the leading Republican polling company” in the country and in 2011 he was named “Pollster of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants for his work on Scott Brown’s winning Senate campaign in Massachusetts.

At Public Opinion Strategies, Newhouse developed a culture and approach to winning that is practically unsurpassed as he successfully helped political candidates win tough campaigns and scored hard-fought successes in the public affairs arena for some of America’s leading corporations and associations.  Through his polling efforts Newhouse has been a master at taking accurate polls and using the information derived from them to successfully tailor the type of winning messages that have allowed his candidates to get elected.  So if Neil Newhouse’s polling does actually have Romney up by as much as 3.0% in New Hampshire and 4.5% in Ohio, chances are that the vast majority of public polls which are basing their models on outdated 2008 turnout models, are offering us a very misleading perception of just how tight the election will actually be.

Bookmark and Share

First Reliable Post Debate Polls Shows the Momentum Behind Romney

  Bookmark and Share   Rasmussen Reports has released the first major polls for the critical swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia since Romney’s masterful debate performance on Wednesday night.  The surveys seem to indicate that the first presidential debate has provided Romney with some of the forward momentum that previous polling indicated he needed in those states as Romney closes the gap in each of the three states to within either a percentage point behind or ahead of President Obama.

While all of this is good news for Mitt, the best news of all is in the Ohio numbers.

  • FLORIDA:    Romney 49% – Obama 47%
  • OHIO:            Obama 50%   – Romney 49
  • VIRGINIA:  Romney 49% – Obama 48%

Up to now, White House 2012 has largely concluded that Mitt Romney was likely to become the first Republican to win the White House without winning Ohio.  Barack Obama knows that without Ohio, Romney has significantly fewer paths leading to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.  For that reason, the Obama-Biden ticket has targeted Ohio and made it the key to their own reelection effort.  So far they have done so with success by exploiting the President’s bailout of the auto industry which in one way or another, employs a significant number of Ohioans.  But these new numbers may now show that the Obama strategy to deny Romney Ohio is going to be tougher than heretofore believed.  Apparently, Romney’s debate performance swung at least some minds in his direction.  But the apparent turnaround in Ohio and Obama’s struggle to deny Romney the state is a problem for the President that is only compounded by the fact that the latest Rasmussen poll now also shows Romney ahead in Virginia and Florida.

If this trend continues, the tables can quickly turn and President Obama can find himself the one losing the number of paths available to reelection.

On Monday, when these and other polls are figured in to the  RCP average of polls, White House 2012 will be updating its own Electoral College projection which currently gives Romney an 8 vote lead over President Obama.  (See the current WH12 Electoral College Projection here.)

The White House 2012 Electoral College projection is based upon a formula which uses the average margin of error in all the polls that Real Clear Politics uses to reach its average of polls.  This formula compensates for what we believe is the undercounting of the Republican voter that most polling outfits are using by basing this election on the 2010 turnout models.  Under this formula, White House 2012 currently adds 3.7% to Romney’s RCP average in each of the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Virginia….  the six  states we believe are still undecided.  North Carolina which is considered a swing state by the mainstream media, is not considered such by White House 2012.  We believe that Romney will win North Carolina and have put that state and its 15 electoral votes in Romney’s column.

As indicated in the map below with blue states being for Obama and red states being for Romney, most other states are clearly in the column of one candidate or the other.   A few exceptions could present themselves though in the coming weeks.  White House 2012 suspects that Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico could open up and become much more competitive for Romney than it currently is.  If that happens, WH12 will consider them toss-ups and apply the 3.7% formula to their RCP average.

 

Bookmark and Share

Who Do You Want Mitt Romney to Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share As the race for President seems to have entered a perpetual state of boredom that is filled with a bumper sticker mentality of shallow stump speeches that offer little insight and a whole lot of repetitive pot shots and one liners, concerned voters find themselves left with but one last intriguing question —- who will Mitt Romney pick for Vice President?

Rob Portman

Aside from the actual election results, the question of who Romney will pick for Vice President is perhaps the only moment of suspense remaining in the campaign.  And as such, who he picks could actually make more of a difference than it has in most of the presidential elections in our recent past.  In fact, according to a CBS News/New York Times  poll released last Wednesday, 74 percent of registered voters said that a candidate’s running mate  matters “a lot” or “somewhat” to their vote,(26 percent  said that it matters a lot, while 48 percent said that it matters somewhat). At  the same time, 25 percent said that it doesn’t matter at all.  However; that sentiment is often expressed at this point in every presidential election, but by the time Election Day rolls around, it is a sentiment that is usually proven wrong.  Yet in the case of Mitt Romney and this extraordinarily polarized electorate, who he picks could make the difference between winning and losing.With swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin at stake, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, or Paul Ryan  could add the percentage or two to the election result in their respective states that is responsible for putting Republicans over the top in the Electoral College.But with figures like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or New Mexico’s Susana Martinez also on the list of possible contenders, the combination of their being women and being representative of different minority groups, has the potential to erode an important part of President Obama’s base vote just enough to make a small difference in a multitude of states that Romney is currently considered less competitive in.

Marco Rubio

What Romney is thinking is anyone’s guess though and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The only thing we know for certain right now is that some names are less likely to be selected than others.  Take Mitch Daniels for example.  He’s a highly successful and popular two term, conservative Governor of Indiana who I originally hoped would be our presidential nominee.  With his command of matters of the budget and fiscal conservatism in general, he would be a perfect running mate for Romney in a campaign that will be based on fiscal responsibility.  Daniels also has crossover appeal and would be a perfect balance for Mitt.  Unfortunately though, Mitch  has agreed to become the President of Perdue University at the end of his term in January.  So he’s out.  Unless of course that decision was thrown out to throw us off the track?

Paul Ryan

The there’s Chris Christie, or at least there was.  He has supposedly been given the honor of delivering the highly coveted keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  That essentially means he won’t be delivering an acceptance speech at the convention.  Unless of course the rumors about his being the keynoter were intentionally thrown out for public consumption to throw us off the track?Another very striking contender was Virginia’s popular conservative Governor, Bob McDonnell.  With his national star rising from Virginia, another key battleground state in this election, his presence on the ticket could deliver a state that is practically a must win for Republicans.  But McDonnell has been named chairman of the Republican platform committee, a job that brings with it the type of contentious floor fights and baggage that automatically scratches him off of any V.P. short list.So those are is at least one name you can take out of contention and two which you can stop taking bets on.  Maybe.

McMorris Rodgers

But that still leaves us with a mix of both likely and unlikely contenders who can potentially be nominated to join Romney on the G.O.P. ticket.  They range from names such Senator Kelly Ayote of New Hampshire, to Washington State Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and from Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to Tennessee’s former U.S. Senator, Fred Thompson and a host of names in between such as Florida’s Allen West and Jeb Bush, or South Dakota’s John Thune and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.  In one scenario, even a Blue Dog Democrat, North Carolina’s Heath Shuler has been floated as a game changing decision for Romney. Polls about who most Republicans want Romney to pick vary based on the audiences that frequent those platforms offering such polls.  For instance, the conservative site Town Hall is probably seeing it’s far right readers choose dark horse contender Allen West, while other more libertarian geared sites might find that Rand Paul is the choice that it’s audience most wants to see selected by Romney.But when it comes to less partisan entities that happen to do professional polling and are therefore far more accurate at polling than those who conduct online opinion surveys , there is one name that keeps emerging as the favorite among voters —– Condoleezza Rice.

John Thune

A Rasmussen Reports poll that was conducted between July 15-16, found  that 65% of likely U.S. voters share at least a somewhat favorable view of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while just 24% view her unfavorably. Those results included 29% who have a Very Favorable opinion of Condi Rice and 6% who had a Very Unfavorable opinion of her. Twelve 12% were undecided in the poll.  (To see survey question wording, click here).  Other professional polling surveys have had similar results and for good reason.Condoleezza Rice is regarded as a very respectable, likeable, admirable leader.  She is also viewed by most voters as someone who is guided more by personal conviction and ideology than Party and partisan politics.  Such a persona could do nothing but help the G.O.P.  and hurt Democrats.  This is especially the case when you consider the fact that as both an African-American and a woman, Condi Rice does have the potential to make significant inroads into a base vote that President Obama needs to keep in his column and that Mitt Romney desperately needs to peel off and bring his way.  Furthermore; Condoleezza Rice can help Romney with the all important independent vote that will essentially determine who wins in November.Whether Romney agrees with that assessment or not is anyone’s guess but I will state this.  If he doesn’t agree with that opinion, he’s a dope.

Condoleezza Rice

While I like many of the potential candidates for Vice President, I believe that Condoleezza Rice is the one person  who can bring everything that Romney needs to the ticket.  And I mean everything.  Not only does she cover the electoral aesthetics of being a women and being African-American, her presence on the ticket adds a degree of historic value that can benefit Republicans much the same way it benefitted Democrats in 2012.  Add Rice’s ability to articulate conservatism and the traditional American values of independence, freedom, personal responsibility better than practically anyone else other than Allen West and what you have is a running mate who is an electoral goldmine.But it’s not just the electoral politics that makes Rice such a good choice for Romney.  It is her ability to be a great President that makes her not just a good choice, but also a potentially good President.  And afterall, is that not what a Vice President is suppose to be? Few politicians have the experience and knowhow that Condoleezza Rice has and few Vice Presidents would be more immediately prepared to assume the office of President at a moments notice as she.Still, there are three things that stand in the way of a Romney-Rice ticket.

One is the fact that Rice herself has not seen fit to show any interest in the job.  Yet despite the lack of interest, her recent penning of an inspiring editorial in the Financial Times raises some question as to exactly how disinterested the former Secretary of State is in getting her country back on track.  Problem number two is Rice’s stance on abortion.  Rice does not support banning abortion.  She does however strongly support placing many restrictions on how its practice.  While that position may be tolerated by some on the right, it will not be acceptable by others, especially those who are already doubtful about Mitt Romney’s own committment to the right-to-life cause.

Lastly is the political fear factor that Romney and his consultants may have regarding Condoleezza Rice’s ties to the Bush Administration.  They may fear that teaming Rice with Romney will provide Team Obama with an unintended campaign theme that links Romney to the not so popular former President.   While such political fears are worthy of considering, political reality should lead Romney to realize that Condoleezza Rice brings far more positives to the ticket than negatives.  And Team Romney should also realize that if the Obama campaign wants to revisit Condoleezza Rice’s record, they will be entering in to a very dangerous zone.  Rice will be able to defend her record and the Bush record better than anyone else and she will also be able to remind the American electorate that it is President Obama who essentially carried out her policies in Iraq and Afghanistan even though he and his Vice President ran against those policies in 2008.

All things considered, I believe Condoleezza Rice would be the best choice for Romney and while I would certainly be gleeful over the selection of someone like Marco Rubio or even the man whom I believe Romney will ultimately choose, South Dakota Senator John Thune, I can’t help but believe that only Condoleezza Rice can provide the momentum, gravitas, and appeal that Romney will really need if he wants to win the independents, and undecideds who will decide who the next President is.

What do you think?  Cast your vote for Vice President here.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: