I wanted to get my thoughts out before others have a chance to influence my perception: As I was watching late last night the debate i was impressed that each candidate was very well prepared, very confident, and answered the questions directly, and quickly. I watch most debates and can usually form an opinion about a winner or loser. I was having a hard time finding much to criticize. in the performances.
Last nights debate was an interesting set up. (except for the stupid deep dish pizza questions)..I rather liked the format. I missed the first few minutes..but it seemed the questions came quickly and from all over the audiences and media personalities. It also seemed the candidates didn't always know when questions were coming at them...and yet they answered directly, quickly and ably. (Just picture Prez Obama having to come up with answers in that rapid fire type situation..he'd be so busy hemming and hawing and um er um er). I have to say I think each of them did extremely well and I could see any of them as the nominee.
Who won?? Romney won; easily. Romney won by not losing, at this point he's put in front by nearly 20 points over any other declared candidate, he had few great lines, my favorite dealt with Prez. Obama never called him about RomneyCare where he would've told him what worked, and what did not. . Most surprising? Michelle Bachmann, (also best dressed!!) Classy, unwavering, unapologetic. Gingrich needed a great performance to save his dead campaign..and I think he handled himself with confidence..but I still think he's toast. T. Paw really needed to have a great night to break out of the "also ran" pack and while he was competent..he was not stellar, and he biffed the chance to go at Romney..thus granting Romney the "Win", Pawlenty is trying to be the Right winger and he is finding himself dividing the "right" amoung himself, Bachmann, Paul, Palin and even Cain. Santorum was solid, and non-apologetic in his social stances but I still don't see how he can break through. This brings us to Herman Cain...confident, competent and even exciting..but not enough to break over the top. (See the notes above re: T.Paw). Once we know Palin is out for sure, (I am sure), and we figure out if Rick Perry is in or not (50/50)..it'll continue to be Romney in the lead..and as long as he has no gaffes or obvious flip-flops. He will remain the prohibitive front runner. He might win the Ames Straw poll and not even have to attend!
Today's Wash Post/ ABC poll showed for the first time a declared GOP candidate leading Pres Obama 49-46%...Not a land slide or even a majority..but on top. The candidate is Romney. The other major players were listed as well and they all lost to Obama by 11% or more. There is some who say the field is set, and others who say more could jump in. I tend to agree with the former.. I still doubt Palin is running...(She is toying with the media..which is hysterical to watch, but I still think she doesn't run). Bachmann I think will decide to run for Senator of Minnesota..with all the $$$ she has raised pretending to be considering a run for Prez. I think she knows she can't win the nomination and the polls for the next 3 weeks will show her in the low single digits. Guiliani likes to be romanced..but also knows his window has passed. He can't compete in Iowa..and Romney won't lose NH. Now below I have an analysis I sent to a friend..and it does discuss the 3 above as possibles because the WP/ABC poll has them listed and with some support..especially Palin and Gulianni. The most important thing about this poll is if you remove those 2 from the survey Romney is almost 20 points out in front..and that's with only 25% of the polls support!RCP Polls WP/ ABC is the top line.
The reason for this conversation was to discuss the "Next in line" argument about the GOP nominee. Romney (or Palin) would be the next in line. The other is to point out that the GOP Nominee Always wins either Iowa or New Hampshire. More details below:
THE GOP BTW has won the Presidency 63% of the time since 1860-2008; 61% since 1968-2008; and 61% of the time since 1980-2008. In almost every year the GOP ran the "Next guy in line". It works almost every time. The Dems have suceeded only 37-39% of the time and the SELDOM run the next guy in line. FDR was one exception that won..Stevenson, Humphrey; McGovern; Mondale; Gore and Hillary Clinton would all be examples of the "Next" who lost. The Dems do better with the fresh face.
Finally I disagree that Romney would rule as a RINO..He would rule to the right of Reagan. Especially if given a TEA Party supported House and Senate. Romney is known across the country by 75-80% of the electorate...he has no dark secrets, is moderately tempered..and looks and acts like a leader. Plus he's all the qualities the Obama is not. Besides just accept it...he's gonna win the primary gambit. Today's Wash Post/ ABC poll shows Romney out front 21% with Palin at 17, and Giuliani at 8%; Paul and Gingrich tied with 6% and Cain at 4%; T. Paw was 2 or 3%. If you take the survey with out Palin, Romney is 25% leading Giuliani with 9% I don't think either of them is going to get in..leaving you at Paul and Gingrich.at *% !!! Johnson didn't even register 1% and Santorum and Bachmann each had 1%. It's just not even close! ow one or 2 of these folks is gonna rise to the second tier pretty soon. and then it'll be at least interesting. But if Palin and Bachmann and Perry, and even Paul Ryan's names are still bandied about it'll hurt all of the folks at the bottom and Romneys' spread will just keep widening, and the $$$ will go his way.
Iowa Caucus : if Michelle Bachmann runs she might win it..and then nothing else..Romney will take second..Win NH and then wipe the floor the rest of the way. Same scenario is true with Palin, instead of Bachmann.except she could make it a 2 person race..but ultimately Romney wins..because the grown-ups will out perform the TEA Party in last dozen races. Same scenario plays out with T. Paw or Herman Cain in Iowa ..T. Paw would be sort of a "Fav. Son"..but his margin wouldn't be as good as Palin or Bachmann, Cain is the upset guy if he really can get into the hearts of the Christian Conservatives in Western Iowa...More likely they split the vote if they're both still in the hunt and Romney grabs first or Second..goes to NH and blows out the other guy and then SC and Nevada are his wins the following week. Only one or 2 will have money to compete in Florida at this point and Romney will outspend at 5or 10-one and wrap it up in FL.
BTW since the Iowa Caucus and NH Primary era (1972-2008). No Republican has won both..and only one Republican has won Iowa and the Presidency George W. Bush ()Who lost the NH Primary the next week to John McCain. The GOP Nominee has always one at least one of these 2 races since 1972. The same is true on the Dem side. Thus since Romney is almost certain to win NH thus he's 50/50 for the nomination. And if Palin or Bachmann doesn't run ,,he'll very likely win Iowa as well.
The next metric will be to see how Romney does on the Sunday talk shows. He's usually pretty good, but I know he'll start to get some tougher questions. I'm counting on Chris Wallace to dig into him on Global Warming and Ethanol. This is how I see 2012 today...I'll keep watching and reading and learning..And I'll update you in a month or so. Right now it looks like we can win..and build on our House majority..and the Senate!
Anthony Weiner seems to be even too much for the Wisconsin Dem's. He has zipped up his junk and decided to stay in New York. I think we can safely say he won't be injecting himself into the New York City mayors race now. The only question is how long can he hold onto his current...umm...situation in Congress. You can bet that by now a Mark Foley, Christopher Lee or other Republican Congressman would be gone already. C'mon Nancy Pelosi..how about throwing this lying Twitterer to the curb! I understand his New York City district is actually competitive imagine a chance for the Republicans to re-capture a NY State Congressional seat after the loss of NY26 last week. JS Online has it here