Back loading and Frontloading Changes Presidential Primary and Caucus Schedule Big Time

Bookmark and Share   The Republican presidential primary and caucus calendar remains up in the air, but White House 2012 has updated the tentative schedule.  It can be found here.

WH12 has established the tentative dates of each primary and caucus through a combination of historical analysis of how the schedule usually works itself out and where each state has so far positioned themselves in the process.

Attempts by Florida to increase the impact of their primary results by holding their primary earlier than allowed by RNC rules, has forced the earliest dates in the new schedule to be in a state of flux. Republican National Committee rules allow Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to hold their nominating contests in February, while all other with states are allowed to vote after March 6.

But Florida’s decision to have its primary on January 31st of 2012, has forced Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to leapfrog the Sunshine State in an attempt to maintain the excitement and influence that comes with their early vote. This situation is exacerbated by New Hampshire state law which requires the Granite State to be the first in the nation presidential primary and Iowa’s state code that mandates that their presidential caucus be held “not later than the fourth Monday in February and at least days prior to any other presidential nominating contest. Because of those legal requirements the jockeying for position by Florida which has forced South Carolina to move its date up will ultimately force New Hampshire to move its primary to Tuesday, January 16th.  That in turn will force Iowa to conduct its presidential caucuses on Monday, January 2nd. Monday the 9th, would seemingly be a better date, but due to the date that New Hampshire will be forced to hold its primary on, Monday the 9th of January would be a day short of the Iowa state mandate requiring it be held 8 days prior to all other presidential nominating contests.

Further evidence of these likely date changes comes from New Hampshire’s Secretary of State William Gardner.  He recently told  the Boston Globe that the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary could be held in January or as early as it must to maintain its prized first-in-the-nation primary. Gardener added that insofar as the likelihood of New Hampshire holding its contest before the originally scheduled February 14th date, “it’s not a close call”

Between those factors and legislative action that has already changed the dates of the presidential nominating contests in other states, White House 2012 has established that So the opening primary and caucus calendar will most likely be as follows:

Monday, January 2nd; –

  • Iowa Caucus – 28 Delegates

Tuesday, January 17th;

  • New Hampshire Primary– 23 Delegates

Saturday, January 28th:

  • South Carolina Primary– 50 Delegates 

Tuesday, January 31st;

  • Florida– Primary -99

Such a frontloaded calendar is not exactly desired, mainly because it forces the height of campaigning in to Iowa to be conducted during the Christmas and New Years holidays, a time when most Americans are far more interested in seeing Santa and the New Year Baby than they are in Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, or Newt Gingrich.  But in 2008, a similar scenario saw Florida push their primary up and that led to a chain reaction which ultimately forced Iowa to hold their caucuses on Monday, January 3rd. So it is my belief that this situation will play itself out in 2012 much the same way that it did in 2008.

In the meantime, while Florida, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida are in a competition of frontloading the Republican presidential nomination process, there has been little or no mention of the fact that many other states are doing just the opposite.

In 2008, New Jersey which has traditionally been one of the very last states to hold its presidential primary, and thereby one of the most inconsequential to the process, moved its primary to March, with states like New York. But the legislative geniuses in the Garden State decided that the $11.2 million that it costs them to hold a primary separate from their traditional primary date for all other elected offices, was not worth the cost.  So in 2012, New Jersey will join Montana, New Mexico , and South Carolina in holding their primaries on June 5th, a date that  precedes only Utah which will hold its contest on June 26th.  By then the question is…..why bother?

As for New York, it too has moved its Primary back, along with Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island. Together, on Tuesday, April 24th, these states will join with Pennsylvania and hold what is essentially a northern, Mid-Atlantic regional primary that will offer up a total of 231 delegates. These states are traditionally more liberal than much of the rest of the G.O.P. and as such, the strength of their combined vote coming on the same day, could be a big boost to less conservative Republican presidential contenders like Jon Huntsman or if he runs, favorite regional son Rudy Giuliani.

All together, White House 2012’s updated primary and caucus schedule has established date changes for more than a dozen states. And while not every date is set in stone, we are confident that this is one of the most probable presidential primary and caucus calendars out there.

Of course this could all change if Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus adheres to RNC rules and punishes any of those states which are not allowed to hold their nomination contests prior to March.  The penalty for such a transgression of RNC rules requires reducing the number of delegates that the violating states send to the national nominating convention by half. Such a reduction in size would be a significant blow to the influence that large states like Florida which has 99 delegates, would have on the nomination process. This is especially true when it comes to California which has scheduled their primary for February 7th. They would go from 172 delegates to 86 delegates. That’s a loss of more delegates than the combined total of delagates that Iowa, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Rhode Island send to the convention.

Bookmark and Share

Iowa Caucus Power Rating

Bookmark and Share   By Steve Deace @ stevedeace.com

Note: These projections are done based on if the Iowa Caucuses were today with the field as current constructed. Please note this my analysis not my preference. I have yet to endorse a candidate.

1. Michele Bachmann (36%)

She is surging now, despite the fact she’s still really just now getting off the ground in Iowa, which is a testimony to the overall weakness of the field in the minds of many voters. Barring a complete and total self-inflicted meltdown, I now can’t foresee how she doesn’t win the Iowa Caucuses if this is the field. She’s drawing rock star-like crowds. My friend Wes Enos, who was Mike Huckabee’s political director in 2008 and is with Bachmann now, says he never saw crowds for Huckabee like Bachmann is currently attracting. The key for her will be staying aggressive on the issues to solidify as much of her support as she can in the eventuality that Rick Perry and Sarah Palin enter the race and attempt to syphon off a chunk of her support.

2. Tim Pawlenty (20%)

I don’t say this very often, but I agree with Doug Gross. His comments to Reuters that Pawlenty is trying to appeal to all segments of the Republican Party, and thus ends up appealing to really none of them, are spot on. Passive-aggressive is no way to run for president. Pawlenty doesn’t have a lot of glaring weaknesses as a candidate (other than his somewhat bland persona), but he doesn’t necessarily have anything that blows you away as well. He comes off as the sort of non-threatening, generic conservative the GOP could nominate any year. The problem with that is this isn’t just any year. This is a year that conservatives are looking for the political equivalent of a UFC combatant with charisma. Pawlenty still has time between now and the Straw Poll to reinvent himself, but he needs to pick one issue on the minds of Iowans and be the absolute boldest out there on it. I’d like to see that issue be the issues surrounding the judicial retention election, but it doesn’t have to be.

3. Ron Paul (16%)

I was starting to see some evidence of a Ron Paul boom a few weeks ago, but that has really died down. He just doesn’t seem to be doing much in the state right now. Why doesn’t he have State Rep. Kim Pearson, a pro-life champion in the Iowa House, going 99 counties to talk about his pledge to veto any budget that includes Planned Parenthood funding? Why doesn’t he have his well-liked son, Sen. Rand Paul, essentially turning Iowa into his second home? Why doesn’t he have activists/authors like Thomas Woods holding townhalls and conferences in Iowa about the need to repeal Obamacare? The issue environment is in his favor, but I can’t seem to figure out what his campaign’s gameplan is.

4. Mitt Romney (12%)

Romney has been playing the low-key approach McCain 2008 strategy in Iowa, because he knows he’s damaged goods here. Looking at the latest polling numbers in New Hampshire, he might want to start worrying about losing the state again, too.

5. Rick Santorum (9%)

I think he will slightly out-perform his polling numbers because his overall conservative record is more than acceptable enough to many conservatives, and there remains a bevy of conservatives either uncomfortable with Bachmann’s inexperience or gender who still need a home. Not to mention the fact his high-profile Iowa field director, Nick Ryan, has his reputation on the line as well, so he’ll pull out all the stops. Santorum could do much better than this if he throws caution to the wind and swings for the fences.

6. Herman Cain (6%)

I’m not sure anyone has ever gone supernova in the Iowa Caucuses quicker than Cain has, and it’s pretty clear he’s essentially done as a serious threat when just as recently as six weeks ago he suddenly appeared to be.

7. Thaddeus McCotter (1%)

Most people haven’t heard of him, let alone formed an opinion of him.

Photobucket

Editor’s Note: Mr. Deace is a guest contributor to White House 2012 who through his site, stevedeace.com, will provide WH12 readers with upclose coverage and insights on the race to win the Iowa Republican Caucuses along with his weekly power rating and candidate weekend wrap-up .

You can folow Steve on Facebook

Special thanks to Jennifer Jacobs, the chief political reporter for the Des Moines Register. Ms. Jacobs  heped match WH12 up with Steve!

Bookmark and Share

Take the Republican Movie Test

What’s your favorite movie?

Bookmark and Share     Searching for some objective way to understand why people like or dislike something can be quite hard to do. There exist an infinitesimal number of factors that shape individual opinions and tastes But two new studies reveal some astonishing findings when it comes to musical and theatrical taste. In regards to music, in additional to cultural factors it has been proven that harmonic arrangements and rhythm patterns are two critical features that either draw listeners in or drive them away.

But when it comes to visual arts, specifically within the area of motion pictures, a recent study by the newly created, and federally funded U.S. Department of Visual Arts has not found it easty to prove what exactly attracts people to different movies. However researchers at the DVA have stumbled upon a formula that can predict your favorite movie

To prove this, White House 2012 invites you to take the following movie test.  It is almost as quick and easy as President Obama is with federal spending and takes but only a minute………………….

   Follow the simple formula below to discover how accurate it is for yourself .  

Movie Test:

Pick a number from 1 through 9

Multiply it by 3 

Add 3

Multiply by 3 again

 Add the two digits of your answer .

Now click here to be taken the White House 2012 test results page.

Bookmark and Share

Ted Kennedy Haunts Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share    Politico recently unearthed an unaired television commercial from the 1994 Senate race that pitted Mitt Romney against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts (see the ad below this post). The ad offers a glimpse of just how devastating an effect good opposition research can be in the hands of a well run campaign. The campaign ad claims that upon taking over Bain Capital, Romney laid off thousands and saved the firm only by taking federal bailout money.

At the time the Kennedy campaign deemed it unnecessary to air the commercial because of their strong lead in the polls. But according to Politico a former Kennedy advisor now decided to reveal the spot.  And therein lies what is most interesting here. Why would a Democrat release a damaging ad against Mitt Romney 27 years later? Why was it not released by this Kennedy advisor in 2008 when Romney made his first run for the presidency?

In the world of politics, one of the most accurate axioms is “the friend of my enemy is my friend“. That being said, not only was Romney not as big a threat in ’08 as he is now, the Kennedy ally who disclosed this attack ad, could have been prompted to do so by one of the Republicans challenging Romney for the presidential nomination. But at the same time, any Ted Kennedy advisor is likely to be a devout liberal who hardly wants to see President Obama defeated in 2012. So the two sides, one of Romney’s Republican opponents, and the unnamed Kennedy ally, probably joined forces.

If so, the opposition research team of the challenger who prompted the revelation of this attack piece, without getting blamed for it, was brilliant.

If  it was not prompted by one of Romney’s Republican opponents, than it becomes obvious that Democrats are quite threatened by the prospect of a Romney presidential campaign.

Either way, it is quite obvious that Romney’s opponents on both sides of the aisle do fear that the public perception of Romney having a superior economic credibility is a strength that could marginalize all of them when it comes time to vote, including in the general election.

As for the attack itself, there is a possible disconnect. It is more than likely that the layoffs and federal bailout spoken of in the ad were set in motion prior to Romney’s taking the helm at Bain. Nevertheless, Romney will have to spend time explaining away the charges and controlling the damage that the charges create on his strongest suit…..….jobs and the economy. In addition to his need for perpetual damage control on RomneyCare, even though none of the current declared Republican presidential candidates have been able to unseat Mitt as the frontrunner, the combination of these to issues could allow a yet unannounced candidate to easily run the ball right through the middle.

The only thing really on Romney’s side right now is time.

The decision to reveal this powerful ad now was not really good strategy. To release an ad as potent as this one, this early in race and in the middle of the lazy days of summer when most people are not focused on the presidential election, gives Romney more time to do the damage control that is required.

But can he do enough of it and how long can he continue to defend ground without gaining ground?

Bookmark and Share

Is Rick Perry and Sarah Palin’s Decision Preventing You from Committing Yourself to One of the Declared Candidates?

Bookmark and Share    There seems to be widspread disatisfaction with the current crop of Republican presidntial contenders. And while Mitt Romney is still the early frontrunner, much of the establishment and even more of those who consider themselves to be conservative Republicans, continue to sit on there hands, waiting to see if someone better jumps in to the race.

For some that is Sarah Palin. For others it’s Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Are you waiting to see if Perry or Palin decalre their candidacies for the G.O.P. presidential nomination? Or are you waiting for someone else?

Where do you stand and what will it take to get you to commit yourself to one of the candidates who are running at this early stage if the game.

Bookmark and Share
"Bookmark

Join the discussion on the White House 2012 Facebook Discussion page by cicking below:

Huntsman’s Hurting

Bookmark and Share    According to a new Public Policy Polling survey of Utah Republican primary voters, despite once having record approval numbers as Governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman can now only muster the support of 10% of his state’s Republican vote in the race for the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination.

Furthermore; according to the poll, among Utah Republican primary voters, Huntsman has a 46% disapproval rating and only a 43% approval rating. And when it comes to the Republican base vote in Utah, among those who consider themselves to be very conservative, PPP describes Huntsman as a “pariah” to them. Conservative Republicans give their former Governor a 29% approval rating while 61% give him a negative rating.

In a head-to-head match up of the still evolving Republican presidential field in Utah, PPP finds Mitt Romney with 63% of the Republican vote compared to Huntsman with 10%, Michele Bachmann with 6%, Sarah Palin with 5%, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul at 4%, Newt Gingrich at 3%, and Tim Pawlenty at 1%.

While this poll is far from conclusive, it is darn good evidence of just how elusive the Republican nomination is likely be for Jon Huntsman.

Given the influential Mormon demographic of Utah, this particular poll largely reflects how protective Mormons are of Romney. Among LDS members, inactivity within the community is heavily frowned upon. Romney is quite active within the LDS, especially compared to Huntsman who has been in China for two years. The poll also reflects a general lack of appreciation for Jon Huntsman’s willingness to join the Obama Administration. This is especially the problem among conservative Republicans. And therein lies the bulk of the evidence which leads one to conclude that Huntsman might have been better off either remaining the Governor of Utah or staying on as President Obama’s Ambassador to China.

A Republican presidential contender who has a 61% disapproval rating among conservatives, especially in the state they governed, is not likely to win over enough of the Republican base vote in a Republican primary.

The results of this recent PPP poll seem to suggest that Huntsman might have a better shot at winning the liberal, ….. eh….I mean Democrat…… nomination for President than he does the Republican presidential nomination. As for Mitt Romney, this survey proves that he has a lock on the Mormon vote, which is no big deal, but he has yet to prove that he can assure himself the same lock on the conservative base vote that he will need to win the nomination by the time the national convention is held in Tampa. The relatively meteoric rise in the polls of Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and the fact that many conservatives are sitting on their hands until Texas Governor Rick Perry makes a decision, is evidence of that doubt about Romney.

Bookmark and Share

President Obama: a liberal Wolf in conservative Sheep’s clothing

Bookmark and Share     The metaphor works well, and many liberals see it as the perfect strategy, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, there are many concerned liberals who think President Obama is making a conservative-leaning deficit deal, and they are frustrated by what they believe is his conservative-leaning deficit strategy.

The examples they cite are that the White House did not try to tie a debt ceiling vote to the extension of the Bush tax cuts last December, conceded linking any increase in the ceiling to spending cuts, and whenever Republicans dug in their heels President Obama gave ground.

Some liberals are not so worried about this, they think President Obama has a cunning plan, and is giving ground as part of his grand strategy. While Republicans are using the debt ceiling to force bigger spending cuts, President Obama is getting Democrats used to the idea of bigger spending cuts than they would like.

“Cunning, yes?” They say.

They also say, with a more conservative looking deal at the end, President Obama will come out looking good to voters and this will boost his chances of  re-election.

This is Obama, the conservative in sheep’s clothing.

However, inside lurks a Wolf.

On the other side of the 2012 election are the Tax increases much loved by liberals.

The strategy is that President Obama is making concessions because he knows taxes are scheduled to increase when the Bush-era tax rates expire… just after the election.  Whatever deal the Republicans strike by August 2nd will have a sting in the tail.

Are you ready for this?

The New York Times accuses the Republicans of being ideologues, and, of course, President Obama is determined. Why is it that whenever conservatives dig their heels in they are being ideological, but when a liberal does it is a determined effort?

The Republicans need to stand strong on the economy, and it provides a moment for one of the 2012 candidates to come out to champion the economy. Whoever does will have a shot of winning in 2012. However, if the winning candidate has not taken the main chance then in November 2012 they will be conceding to a second term President Obama on the eve of tax hikes they have no control over.

Then we will see who the ideologue is, because President Obama can finally stop campaigning and seek to do what his ideals dictate.

Are you ready for that?

Bookmark and Share
%d bloggers like this: