White House 2012 Monthy Ranking of Republican Presidential Contenders

Bookmark and Share The White House 2012 ranking of possibe Republican presidential contenders for March is out and while there is much movement around from last month, most of the top tier contneders remain the same as they were in February and the staff of White House 2012 still has Mitt Romney leading in first place.

The White House 2012 ranking is established through a system that takes an average from the placement that the writers at WH2012 put the candidates in. Their placements are acombination of the ground game contenders are playing, their fundraising abilities, name ID, and a mix of individual expectations and prediction.

While theses standings do not reflect the desire of any one White House 2012 writer it is a measure of whereall the variables pace thesepossible candidates among the general Republican electorate at this point in time.

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Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

Thursday’s 2012 Republican Presidentail News Roundup

A roundup of todays tidbits from the campaign trail;

Bookmark and ShareThursday, February 3, 2011

For previous Trunkline 2012 daily tidbits visit here

Republican Presidential Candidates to Attend Spending and Jobs Summit in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share The New Hampshire chapter of the fiscal conservative watchdog group Americans for Prosperity has announced that they will be sponsoring a summit on spending and jobs. Invited to this event are Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Atlanta radio talk show host and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, South Dakota Senator John Thune, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

DeMint had previously stated that he was not interested in running for President in 2012, but as of last week has changed his mind and is now willing to look at a run for the White House as a means to insure that he plays a role in the nomination process and the agenda that the GOP debate is centered around. Without any explanation, the New Hampshire AFP has stated that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has no been invited yet.

The event is planned for April 29th and will be centered around a dinner reception at which the New Hampshire AFP organization will name Ovide LaMontagne as their Conservative of the Year. LaMontagne was the TEA Party backed candidate for the republican nomination to replace retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg. LaMontagne ran a close race but failed to defeat his opponent, Kelly Ayotte. Ayotte went on to win the general election in November.

This unofficial presidential summit on jobs and spending in America will take place approximately one before a WMUR/CNN/Union Leader sponsors what they call a presidential debate.

Currently, Mitt Romney is a seemingly strong frontrunner in New Hampshire. But his hold on frontrunner status is a tentative one that is largely due to an as of yet established field of candidates for him to run against, and the fortune of seeing the most conservative of New Hampshire voters split their support among a host of potential conservative rivals such as Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, Santorum and other names that many hope ultimately decide to run for President.

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Romney’s best hope: a wide field

After winning the New Hampshire straw poll and coming in first in current polling of 2012 primary hopefuls, someone might think that Mitt Romney is on his way to represent the Republican party in 2012. They could be wrong.

Mitt was a top contender in 2008. His message of fiscal conservatism and business smarts made many Republicans wish the primary had turned out differently towards the later half of 2008 when the economy was in the tank, gas prices were at $4 a gallon, and every other campaign ad had video of John McCain announcing that the economy was not his strong suit.

Now, with the economy in nearly the same condition two years later, Romney’s poll numbers shouldn’t be a shock. In fact, he has led the Republican field for much of 2010 and would beat Obama in 2012 according to more than one 2010 poll.

 

New Hampshire shows Romney has found his niche

So why would I think that Romney might not be the Republican contender in 2012? 24% of Republican support will not win in a narrow primary field. Consider Romney’s closest competition in the recent Rasmussen poll: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich. Even his 35% in New Hampshire is ominous with other placing contenders being libertarian right winger Ron Paul, TEA Partiers Pawlenty and Palin, old school conservative Rick Santorum, TEA Party conservative constitutionalists DeMint, Bachmann, and occasional right wing radio host Herman Cain.

Although the entire field in the New Hampshire straw poll is very promising, the candidate who is perhaps closest to Romney’s brand and image would be The Donald, who got 1% of the vote.

If Family Values conservatives and the TEA Party faithful are able to coalesce around one specific candidate, it will not be Romney. In fact, in the Family Research Council straw poll earlier this year, Mike Pence won with Huckabee coming in second. Romney may have easily won in the northeast, but out in Iowa he is polling just behind Huckabee.

As the former governor of Massachusetts, fair or not, Romney has a history. He wasn’t always pro-life. He had his own version of universal healthcare that passed in Massachusetts. Romney has not helped his conservative credentials by avoiding identification with the TEA Party and keeping a low profile in the 2010 wave of conservative electoral victories.

Romney had a strong showing in New Hampshire. But what will happen in the rest of the country when the field narrows? what about when Mike Huckabee drops out of the race, or Sarah Palin? What about Ron Paul, Jim DeMint, or Mike Pence? Will Romney be the fallback choice of their supporters? Or will it be Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour or some other conservative who has inserted themselves into the current popular right wing movement in this country? 35% will only get him so far.

Jim DeMint & the Potential “the Less We Do, the Better” Presidency

Jim DeMint

Senator DeMint

Bookmark and Share    Jim DeMint recently brought the Senate to a halt after threatening to hold all legislation unless it was pre-approved by his office. Initially, he claimed that his reasoning for the unprecedented maneuver was strictly for the purpose of insuring that he and his staff had the chance to fully read through proposed bills before voting on them —- a technicality that seems to be lost on people like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who not long ago told the people that we needed to pass the healthcare bill so that we can see what was in it.

The move was one that did not help to counter the propaganda of Democrats who paint Republicans as “the Party no”. But in many ways Jim DeMint is on to something here.

While Democrats try to gain traction out of calling the G.O.P. “obstructionists”, DeMint takes a head on approach when addressing the word and description by explaining that there is a lot of liberal legislation that needs to be responded in the negative and that obstructing detrimental legislation is a positive thing.

But as it turns out Senator DeMint, in an interview on the daily Focal Point’ radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association, revealed that there was more behind his reason for preventing the Senate to forge ahead with business as usual.

While talking about the move with host Bryan Fischer, the Senator stated “this idea that government has to do something is not a good idea.” He went on to say “the less we do, the better”.

The sentiment was further expressed in the following exchange:

FISCHER: “Do you think some kind of gridlock is possible and what do you think will happen if that ensues?”

DEMINT: “Well I had a group of businessmen tell me the other day “if you can just stop the tax increases on us and then have two years of gridlock, that would be the best thing that could happen for business because at least we would know what to expect.” Right now they don’t know what the government is going to do to them next. So this idea that government has to do something is not a good idea. So I think the less we do, the better except maybe to dismantle some of the federal programs that are making it harder for America to be competitive”.

 

In a different interview, when DeMint was asked about the issue of obstructionism he responded;

DEMINT: “The problem is secretly passing bills without reading them, without debating them, and without voting on them. Over 90% of the bills that come through the Senate are never voted on, never debated, they pass by unanimous consent. I’ve never heard one person across America want more bills to pass more quickly.”

Senator DeMint’s position may seem harsh to those who believe that the government, especially the federal government, must do more….regulate more, control more and tax and spend more, but an increasing number of Americans are coming to see that the less the federal government does, the less things get screwed up. And the fact that Jim DeMint is willing to come out of the political closet and essentially say so, is not only brave, it is commendable.

But Jim DeMint goes beyond just talking the talk. His recent efforts to stop action in the Senate demonstrate that, ironically,  he is a man of action.

As indicated by the trends being seen as we head into the homestretch of the 2010 midterm elections, most Americans might actually appreciate a government shutdown. Under the current makeup of the House, Senate and Obama Administration, it might be the only way to save some money and put an end to reckless spending and the fact that Jim DeMint seems willing to go to such lengths is encouraging.

Doing nothing may not exactly make for a very successful platform for a presidential candidate to run on but if Jim DeMint is willing to keep addressing the issue he, will certainly continue to gain favor with the conservative base of the Party and help force whomever the eventual Republican nominee for President is to at least adopt a minimalists federal platform that will give states more rights and help keep the federal government slim, trim and out the way.

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Jim DeMint…… President or Kingmaker?

Jim DeMint headshot

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

Bookmark and Share   Jim DeMint is up for his first reelection bid this November, but his race is hardly a serious one. Not that Jim DeMint isn’t taking it seriously, he certainly is. But due to Jim’s popularity in South Carolina, Democrats never took this race seriously. That is why when a destitute man who was brought up on charges related to pornography ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate against deMint, he won. So now a virtual unknown and by all indications, unqualified individual is in a race against DeMint that is hardly a contest of wits, no less than a race of ideas.

But the fact that Alvin Greene, the Democrat in this race, got the chance to challenge DeMint is testimony to the solid support that DeMint has received from his fellow Palmetto State voters. In his first term in office, Jim DeMint has proven himself to be a solid conservative leader. He is a movement conservative who is never missing from any battle that involves social and fiscal conservativism. His solid record is in perfect sync with the majority of South Carolinians. So much so that that Democrats never even tried to unseat him and instead allowed their nomination to fall into the hands of the  mentally challenged Alvin Greene.

Still no one can take an election for granted like Democrats did before they found out who their nominee was. So Jim is campaigning hard. But with the luxury of what is currently a 42 percent lead over Alvin Greene, Jim DeMint is sharing his clout among other conservatives. His Senate Conservatives Fund raised $4 million in the current election cycle, an amount greater than any other Senate leadership political action committee.

Some of that money has been used by DeMint in shaping the current class of conservative candidates that are running in November’s elections. More so than any other Senator, Jim has gone out on a few limbs and endorsed underdogs who were not the establishment’s choices. In most cases he supported TEA Party candidates and those whom he felt best represented conservative values as opposed to Party line allegiances.

He endorsed and donated over $58,000 to the candidacy of Washington state’s Dino Rossi who recently became incumbent Democrat Patty Murray‘s senate opponent.

14 months ago Jiom DeMint was one of the first Republicans to publicly endorse the young anti-establishment,  former Florida Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, against the incumbent Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Crist was the hands on favorite for the US Senate nomination and the establishment’s choice for the nomination. But when the young, conservative Marco Rubio took to the stage, DeMint threw his weight behind the better candidate instead of the establishment candidate, a man who has since turned his back on those republicans who supported and is now running against the GOP

Some of the largest donations DeMint has made have gone to; Marco Rubio, $421,000, Tea Party backed candidate for the US Republican Senate nomination, Ken Buck of Colorado, $375,000, $312,000 to former Nevada state legislator and Tea Party backed Sharron Angle, and $217,000 to Salt Lake City lawyer and Tea Party backed Senate candidate Mike Lee. All were underdogs in their respective races for their state’s Republican senate nominations, and all won. Other DeMint backed winners include Republican Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and Rand Paul in Kentucky.

The Rand Paul endorsement came after DeMint’s boss in the senate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out and endorsed Paul’s opponent.  Being that Kentucky is the state that McConnell represents, his making a choice between Paul and his opponent Trey Grayson was not unusual. But DeMint’s endorsement of Paul, a day after McConnell’s endorsement of Grayson, was seen as a slap in Mitch McConnell’s face. But that did not stop DeMint from intervening in the Kentucky race and providing the kind of financial and public support that made Rand Paul the eventual nominee over McConnell’s choice for the job.

After defying McConnell the privilege of his preferred nominee in his own sate, many believe that Jim DeMint is preparing for a challenge to McConnell’s leadership role in the Senate. The idea is not unrealistic. McConnell has been a weak leader. While he has managed to keep Republicans from wandering off the reservation and remain in lockstep opposition to the Obama/Pelosi/reid regime’s agenda, McConnell has failed to offer bold alternatives that would allow Senate Republicans to run for cover from the charge of being obstructionists and the Party of “no” with no ideas. 

DeMint however campaigns against the Democrat leadership by taking a hard-line that claims the liberals leading the Democrat Party are taking us down a road to socialism.   But he also offers alternative solutions. Between that and his ability to sure up the conservative base, DeMint could give McConnell a run for his money in a leadership challenge. This is especially the case if many of those whom DeMint endorsed become freshmen senators in January of 2011. And if enough of them get elected to allow Republicans to take back control of the senate, you can more than likely count on many of those new faces to support DeMint for Senate Majority Leader.

Of course DeMint could forego a leadership battle and parlay the support of his newfound senate friends into support for a presidential bid.

That will be a tougher goal to achieve though.

DeMint is just right for the majority of the electorate in South Carolina and the  Southen U.S., but his conservative credentials might be too hard for many in the rest of the nation to swallow. The left will have a field day with his hard-line record. Still he could make quite a difference in the race for for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidency itself.

If DeMint ran in the GOP primaries, South Carolina would, for the most part be out of play. This would diminish the chances of Republican like Romney, Barbour, Palin and Gingrich, to begin to lock up the South in the South Carolina primary that is normally a precursor to primaries in Florida and then the influx of the rest of the Southern states on Super Tuesday.

Outside of the South though, DeMint may not be able to play as well as well as a candidate like Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, but he can leave a candidate like Barbour tattered as he enters contests against someone like Romney in the Northeast and Midwest.

DeMint’s greatest chance for success in the Republican presidential process could come in helping to choose who the next President is.

If DeMint comes out and endorses a candidate such as Romney, that endorsement could go a long way to help him do far better than he did in the South last time and it could make the difference between winning and losing the South Carolina primary.

No matter what though, Jim DeMint has positioned himself as one of the most influential Senators in the game of electoral politics that there is these days. His ability to raise money and sway conservatives makes him a very real contender for the GOP presidential nomination and without a doubt a kingmaker in waiting.

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