Romney Wins New Hampshire Straw Poll

Bookmark and Share At a meeting of New Hampshires State Republican Committee, a straw poll sponsored by WMUR-TV and ABC, found former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a big winner. (see poll results below)

Among a field of more than 21 names, Romney polled 35%, a 24% lead over his nearest opponent, Ron Paul, whose second place showing was a bit of a surprise.

Out of 493 state committee members 429 members showed up but only 273 participated in the straw poll. Still, the results of this poll indicate that Romney has a large pool of favorability among the activists within the Party who are crucial to a campaigns organizational ability and ground game in New Hampshires Republican Presidential Primary. Those voting in the poll are for the most part, the leaders of the local GOP organizations within the state.

The main purpose of the state committee meeting was to elect a new Republican State Chairman to replace the retiring chair, John Sununu. The hotly contested race pitted the establishment of the Party against TEA Party insurgents. Sununu and the establishment supported Juliana Bergeron while a loose coalition of TEA Party members and libertarians supported businessman Jack Kimball. Kimball won by 23 votes.

The results of the race for State Party Chair made the results of the presidential straw poll even more interesting than usual. By all rights Romney should have won. New Hampshire is in his own backyard and he has been making his presence in the state quite well known for more than two years now. But the fact that he polled so far ahead of his nearest possible rival, in a crowd of voters that were largely professing anti-establishment sentiments and elected a TEA Party backed Chairman, is an indication that Romney may be more viable among TEA Party voters than some have thought.

Supporters of Romneys opponents downplayed the poll results and even suggested that Romney did not do as well as should have. But the result most striking here was Mike Huckabees 12th place showing. In the 2008 primary, both Romney and Huckabee were beaten by John McCain. McCain pulled 38% to Romneys 32% and Huckabees 11%. This time around, at least among the states activist Republicans, Tim Pawlenty snatched third place with 8% and Huckabee was beaten by Atlanta Radio Talk Show host Herman Cain and lumped together with Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence. All polled 3%.

Like Romneys first place showing, Tim Pawlentys third place showing was an encouraging sign that his recent level of high activity is helping gain traction in Granite States important early primary. As for Ron Paul, his second place showing is a bit deceiving. While it puts him at the head of the pack, the 11% of the vote that got him there, is representative of his extremely dedicated base. But it is also representative of the number he usually peaks out at, as he fails to expand significantly expand his base.

With exception of a small contingency of Santorum, Pawlenty, and Cain supporters who braved the cold and snow to hand out leaflets and Dunkin Donuts munchkins, none of the other campaigns had a presence at the event. Most straw polls usually feature aggressive campaigning before the ballots are passed out. But this WMUR-ABC poll was announced only a few days in advance, giving the campaigns little time to coordinate a push among the state committeemen voting in the contest.

Complete Poll Results:

  1. Mitt Romney Former Massachusetts Governor 35%
  2. Ron Paul Texas Congressman 11%
  3. Tim Pawlenty Former Minnesota Governor 8%
  4. Sarah Palin Former Alaska Governor, 2008 GOP Vice Presidential Nominee 7%
  5. Michele Bachmann Minnesota Congresswoman 5%
  6. Jim DeMint South Carolina Senator 5%
  7. Herman Cain Tea Party Speaker & Former C.E.O. 4%
  8. Chris Christie New Jersey Governor 3%
  9. Rick Santorum Former Pennsylvania Senator 3%
  10. Mitch Daniels Indiana Governor 3%
  11. Newt Gingrich Former U.S. House Speaker 3%
  12. Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas Governor 3%
  13. Mike Pence Indiana Congressman 3%
  14. Rudy Giuliani Former New York City Mayor 2%
  15. Judd Gregg Former NH Senator 2%
  16. Gary Johnson Former New Mexico Governor 2%
  17. Other 2%
  18. Donald Trump Real Estate Mogul 1%
  19. Haley Barbour Mississippi Governor 1%
  20. Jon Huntsman Jr. U.S. Ambassador to China 0%
  21. John Thune South Dakota Senator 0%
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Huckabee Responds to His Lead in New Polls of GOP Presidential Candidates

Bookmark and Share After the results of an ABC News poll puts Mike Huckabee at the head of the evolving Republican presidential field, the Former Arkansas Governor tells Fox News Megyn Kelly that it is flattering to be in that position but makes it clear that he is not giving up his day jobs because of it anytime soon.

Huckabee reminds people that around this time in the last presidential election cycle, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Clinton were out in front and on track to win their Parties nominations.

He also pointed out that President Obama will be a lot harder to beat this time around because he will have a billion dollars and all the powers of incumbency. Another reason Huckabee gives for not putting much weight behind these poll numbers is what he describes the road to the Republican nomination as one that will be a demolition derby that will have the nominee coming out bruised, beaten and bleeding, and then have 4 months to restore their image.

Aside from stating that the poll demonstrates that the American people are intelligent, the former winner of Iowas 2008 Republican presidential caucus gave no indication of giving another go at it in 2012 as he made clear he is comfortable with the money he is making in his current endeavors.

The ABC News/Washington Posthas Mike Huckabee with19 percentfollowed by Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney with 17 percent.The more accurate which is derived at by the polling of only registered voters puts Huckabee at 20 percent, Romney at 18, and Palin at 16.

Click here for the question and full results.

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In New Hampshire, Romney’s Loss is Santorum’s Gain

Claira Monier

Bookmark and Share Confirming Mitt Romney’s very tentative hold on to frontrunner status in the evolving Republican president field, is the naming of Claira Monier as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s New Hampshire political action committee chair.

Monier, a veteran of New Hampshire political campaigns, endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008.

But in 2012, Romney’s loss is a big gain for Santorum. Monier is the widow of former state Senate president and legendary New Hampshire conservative, Robert Monier. Her resume includes such positions as being an aide to former Gov. Meldrim Thomson, a regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Reagan administration and a 20 year stint as executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. She also chaired U.S. Senator Judd Gregg’ss commissions on Health Care Costs and Availability and is the past Chair of the Manchester Chapter of the American Red Cross. In , Monier was named the 2004 Citizen of the Year award from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Former Senator Santorum declared that Claira Monier’s “roots in the Granite State run deep, and there is no doubt her connection to many grassroots activists and party leaders will be a great asset as I can continue to consider a run for President.”

In her voluntary role as Chairwoman of Santorum’s America’s Foundation for New Hampshire PAC, Monier will be most responsible for recruiting other volunteers and grass root activists to Santorum’s likely presidential campaign. The job is an extremely one in the big scheme of the small state’s political game. In the Granite State’s first in the nation primary, the personal touch and ground game plays a much more critical role in campaigns than it does in states of vastly larger populations. For Santorum, Claira Monier’s “deep roots help add the type of personal touch will need in New Hampshire.

In a statement to the press, Monier told reporters that Santorum’s “conservative message is resonating well in New Hampshire. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the many challenges our country faces, both domestically and internationally, and I believe he has the right message for our state and our country at this critical time.”

While Claira Monier’s change of heart from Romney to Santorum is a boost for Santorum, it is a negative sign for Romney, who needs to show his supporting solidifying and growing, not shrinking. While Romney has developed a very substantial support system in the state which neighbor’s Massachusetts, the one that Romney governed, losing an endorsement like Monier’s to a first time presidential candidate like Rick Santorum shows signs of weakness in Romney’s own candidacy. Weighing him down the most is his Massachusetts health care plan that is often compared to Obamacare.

As for Rick Santorum, he is not showing any organizational weakness in the Live Free or Die state. Last week he became one of the few potential Republican presidential candidates to hire some top level, paid staffers when he announced that Mike Biundo will serve as the State Director for Santorum’s political action committee. Biundo has served as a senior advisor, campaign manager and grassroots director to numerous statewide and congressional campaigns, including Congressman Frank Guinta’s 2010 victory over incumbent Carol Shea-Porter.

For someone who is supposedly still in the thinking stageof a run for president, Santorum is not wasting anytime and insuring that he hits the ground running. As for Mitt Romney, he might just be limping as he gets to the starting line.

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Romney Fundraising Effort Focuses On the Economy and Government Growth

Bookmark and Share Through his Free and Strong America PAC, Mitt Romney sent out a fundraising letter that focuses on government growth and the economy. In it, he describes Washington as a job-killing beast

He writes;

Fortunately, we took the first step in slaying that job-killing beast by electing a Republican majority to the United States House of Representatives last November. But reclaiming majority control of the House is just the first step. We have more — a lot more –work to do to change Washington

Romney warns that we cannot let up on our efforts to reduce the size of our suffocating government. The letter reads;

“Heres why: By the end of this decade, federal, state, and local governments will make up more than 40% of the economy 40 percent.

Its unthinkable but if Washington doesnt fundamentally change, it will be inevitable, The government is strangling our economy now and will effectively kill it in ten years. If not before.

In addressing the problem Romney calls for a freeze on government employment and discretionary spending, ban earmarks, and extinguish ineffective, wasteful programs.”

The letter also goes on to say that while those efforts will help shrink the size of government, in order to get our economy moving in the right direction and help small business grow, he wants us to also:

  • Bring skyrocketing business taxes under control
  • Eliminate layers of ridiculous red tape
  • Stop Card Check and forced unionization of our private sector workforce; and
  • Implementing meaningful tort reform

Ever since Romney ended his 2008 race for the Republican presidential nomination, he has kept his supporters on a tight leash and work his lists of 2008 voters extensively. In all of his contacts with them, the former Governor has focused on the economy with laser-like precision. His latest letter is just another example of his aggressive attempt to tap into TEA Party sentiments and voter frustration with the economy. It is also a clear indication that Romney will be using his business experience to highlight his ability to manage our economy effectively and as a way of distinguishing himself from a field of fellow candidates with resumes that are compromised solely, if not mainly of government experience.

While Romney did spend four years garnering executive government experience as Governor of Massachusetts, most of his background is based in the private sector, where he has been an instrumental figure in making businesses grow.

Romney’s latest mailing also includedthe 2011 “membership cards” into his Free and Strong America PAC:

Front and Back of Romney's Free & Strong America PAC Membership Card

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Romney Takes To The Skies As His Ground Game Takes Shape

Bookmark and Share On Thursday, the signs and murmurs of a potential presidential campaign spun in a frenzy of reports pertaining to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Early in the day came reports that were unconfirmed by the Romney camp, that the former Governor hired Rich Beeson, a former political director at the Republican National Committee, as his political director and Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, as his pollster.

Later in the day came the news that Romney stepped down from his position on the board of directors of the Marriott hotel chains, a move which he made in the past, prior to his previous run for President and before that, his race for Governor of Massachusetts.

By the end of the day Politico was reporting that Romney aides were telling Republican supporters that the Governor would be announcing his candidacy in April. Romneys spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom stated that he did not know where Politico was getting that from but he also confirmed that Mitt believes he started his last campaign for President too early. In 2007, he made his announcement on the 3rd of January.

April is becoming the popular time for many contenders to publicly state their presidential intentions. Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty and several others have offered similar Spring timeframes.

The late starting strategy is probably an attempt by Romney to insure that does not peak too early in state likes Iowa, a Caucus state that Romney was surging in until the closing days when the newness of name Mike Huckabee snuck up and surpassed Romney in the day of the caucuses. In the meantime, while Romneys ground game shapes up, he has taken to the air and is spending time talking to world leaders. He recently completed a visit with King Abdullah II in Amman and is now in Tel Aviv.

Apparently the one thing that is too early is building up those foreign relations credentials.

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Romney is Sitting Pretty in New Hampshire and Looking Good in 2012

Mitt Romney Wins SouthernBookmark and Share NHJournal.com commissioned a January 4th poll of 1,451 likely, New Hampshire Republican voters and discovered that at the moment Mitt Romney has an extremely commanding lead over the field of all his potential primary opponents.

The poll by Magdella Data and Mapping Strategies, gave Romney a 23 point lead over his closest potential rival, Sarah Palin.

Results broke down this way;

  1. Mitt Romney – 39%
  2. Sarah Palin – 16%
  3. Mike Huckabee – 10%
  4. Ron Paul – 7%
  5. Tim Pawlenty – 4%
  6. Rick Santorum – 3%
  7. Haley Barbour – 1%

Romneys substantial lead is an encouraging sign that this time around, with the McCain campaigns of 2000 and 2008 out of the equation, he has the inside track on winning the first in nation primary.

With the field of opponents still developing and a years worth of campaigning still ahead, this is merely a snapshot of this moment, not Primary Day, but one still meaningful result that comes out of the poll for Romney is his favorable rating which stands at a whopping 73% and his favorables beat all others in all categories.

This indicates that the next in line form of Republican presidential contests is shaping up so far. The G.O.P. typically nominates the next in line. At least since Eisenhower, the person who has paid their dues in previous years and primaries, usually gets the nod. It was the case with Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole and even McCain, who ran close in 2000 and after the second term of G.W. Bush, was the next in line in 08.

In 2012, Romney finds himself in that position and at least in New Hampshire, it looks good for Romney to keep the tradition going.

At the same time, this all puts the pressure on Romney more than any of his potential rivals. As the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, he should be in the lead in New Hampshire and with his maintaining of a high approval rating he can maintain that lead but it will take work if people like Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour <ike Huckabeee and/or Sarah Palin start eating away at it.

For now, the key for Romney will be not just taking New Hampshire but winning the first presidential contest which takes place in Iowa, followed by the third and fourth contests which will take place in Nevada and the ever important prelude to the race in the Southern states, South Carolina. The former Massachusetts Governor is in good position in Nevada but he has his work to do in Iowa and South Carolina.

For Romney to be successful in 2012 he is going to have build up a lot of early steam and the best way for him to do that will be by taking all four of the first contests. Wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will position him as a candidate with strength in all regions and the frontrunner whose race this is to lose. This set up will be critical for Romney if he intends on holding his own in the South, where he is probably his weakest at the moment.

If Romney can establish himself as the clear frontrunner before the Southern Super Tuesday contests, he should still be in good shape coming out of them. But if Romney goes in to them after faltering in places like Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina, he will be in trouble. For the time being though, New Hampshire is giving Romney some signs of hope.

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Romney and Rubio Make Republican Ripples Across the Pond

Rubio speaking at CPAC in February 2010.

Rubio speaking at CPAC in February 2010.

 Bookmark and Share  The United Kingdom pays close attention the politics of the United States and the piece offered here by the U.K.’s Telegraph, is a good indication of just how astute our conservative friends from the other side of the pond are when it comes to the existing American political atmosphere.

Mitt Romney

Some of the most notable points made clear in the article include how Marco Rubio is probably the candidate who best represents all that is turning the tide towards Republicans in 2010 and that Marco is a very likely future President. Another point mentioned is one which I always address——the tendency for the G.O.P. to select the next in line as their presidential nominee and that based upon that history, along with his endless campaigning, Mitt Romney is the candidate whom is the “likely next in line”.

It should also noted be noted that at the moment, the U.K. is ahead of the curve when it comes to the prevailing ideological winds in global politics.  Afterall they went Conservative earlier this year with the elction of Prime Minsiter David Cameron.

Click Here To See The Telegraph Article

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