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Newt gets conservative argument on poverty

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:32 pm - February 4, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Conservative Ideas

Seizing on Mitt Romney’s recent gaffe that he is “not concerned about the very poor,” Gingrich offer his goal as . . .

. . . the exact opposite of Governor Romney[‘s] — my goal is not to ignore or forget the poor. My goal is to turn the safety net into a trampoline to allow the poor to rise and be like the rest of us and have a job and buy a house. . . .

Exactly.  (H/t Ed Morrissey)

Trump’s impeccable sense of timing in endorsing Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:48 am - February 4, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

When I first heard that Donald Trump was backing Mitt Romney for President (and not Newt Gingrich as had been reported), my first reaction was similar to that of Philip Klein:  “Mitt Romney made the biggest blunder of his candidacy today – at least so far.

The more I think about it, however, the more I realize it may be one of the campaign’s minor masterstrokes.  Michael Scherer appears to agree.  Reporting how Democrats trumpeted Trump’s endorsement (as if certain this were bad news for the GOP frontrunner), Time‘s White House correspondent spells out why the endorsement benefits Romney:

But the liberal spin missed a bigger dynamic.Romney is, after all, still engaged in a Republican primary contest, and by earning Trumps endorsement on Thursday, the frontrunner scored a hat trick. He took a potential critic with a huge megaphone off the field. He deprived his rivals of any national media attention. And he saw his strategy of staying above the political circus vindicated: In the end, it did not take any clowning around on the candidate’s part to win over the Republican party’s great jester.

Emphasis added.  “Trump,” he adds, “could almost certainly deny Romney votes, either by running as an independent or joining forces with one of Romney’s rivals.”  And that’s where the endorsement really matters.  (Via Hot Air.)

Read the whole thing.  Scherer makes an interesting point about Trump’s populist appeal.  He also reports that “The endorsement has been a long time in coming. As far back as December, the discussion in Trump circles has focused less on whether to endorse Romney than on when to do it.”

The timing certainly helps. If Trump endorsed Romney in the fall, it could put the focus on the endorsement rather than on Romney’s serious reform proposals.  It might make his candidacy seem like a circus act just as people, particularly undecided voters, were focusing on the campaign.  This media sideshow now dispensed with (roughly nine months before the general election), Romney can now focus on the issues.

Charles Krauthammer also believes that the endorsement matters, because it disrupts the storyline of Newt as insurgent: (more…)

Here on Republican Isle. . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:33 am - February 4, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Humor

Caught this on the Facebook page of a friend of a friend (and a friend of Bruce):

Will Nevada mean anything?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - February 4, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Some pundits, it seems, want to explain away a potential Romney because tonight in Nevada because, well, as Rachel Rose Hartman puts it on Yahoo!’s The Ticket, “Polls continue to show Romney leading Nevada by a wide margin, in part attributable to the heavy Mormon influence in the state.”  Now, to be sure, Nevada, percentage-wise, has the fourth largest concentration of Mormons (after Utah, Idaho and Wyoming) of any U.S. state, but members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints make up only 6.47% of the state’s population.

Now, let’s figure Nevada Mormons vote overwhelmingly Republican (though not exclusively, given that the state’s senior Senator is a member of the Church); they may make up 10-15% of all caucus goers The folks at Public Policy Polling project LDS members to “account for 20% of the vote“, but show Romney wining only 78% of their votes.  Does that mean the former Bay State governor has to win by a margin of greater than 16% (roughly 78% of 20) for his victory to mean anything?

The latest (PPP) poll shows him up by 25.

Ed Morrissey thinks the “only suspense will come from seeing whether Mitt Romney can win a majority“.  Should he do so, his nomination will be all but inevitable.  Not only will it mark the first time that he has won back-to-back victories, but will show him taking an increasingly large share of the vote (in three successive contests).

The real question will be how Newt Gingrich runs against Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.  Should his margin over the former Pennsylvania Senator be substantial, he may be able to make the case that he is the only real alternative to Romney.  But, should Romney beat Newt by a 2-to-1 margin (or greater), Republicans will start wondering if it’s time for him to hang up his spurs.

Methinks Romney will win this thing — and win it big — but may not break the 50% mark.

Rick Santorum is a Happy Wife!?!

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 am - February 4, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Humor

So says Maggie Gallagher:

Methinks it was a typo. Or a Freudian Slip. Still it’s amusing.