Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Final Four

One of these four people will be your next President.

John Edwards and Rudy Guiliani have both pulled out of the race. Huckabee and Ron Paul are so far behind in votes and delegates, and so low in national polls, they're out for any voter who wants their vote to have a chance of changing the outcome. Bloomberg may enter, but as history has shown us, will be a very long shot. So, this means we now know that one of the above four people will be our next president.

If you're a registered Democrat, you will be voting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Republicans will be choosing between Mitt Romney and John McCain.

The race has narrowed from around 20 candidates, to just these four. Those of you who have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the choices to be scaled down, now is the time to look at these remaining few candidates and make a choice.

Choose wisely.

As for me, I'm choosing the one with a proven track record of solving tough problems. He has successfully turned around struggling businesses, saved the 2002 Olympics, and put Massachusetts on the right course as Governor. He's the only candidate to have succeeded in both the private and public sectors. He understands the economy better than the others. He's the only candidate who has said he'll get us out of Iraq, but with victory. (Clinton and Barack will pull out immediately in surrender, and McCain will keep us there indefinitely.) He's the candidate with the right views on immigration, taxes and health care. He's a true American that understands the importance of strong family values.

The choice of these four is easy. Mitt Romney.

Kevin

Sunday, January 27, 2008

17 Reasons Why I Can't Vote for John McCain

Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." If John McCain were a true Republican, I wouldn't be able to write this blog without violating this commandment, but he's not. John McCain seems to think the best way to beat the Democrats in November is to become one.

Here are 17 reasons I could not vote for John McCain:

1. McCain lacks knowledge and real world experience about the economy.

There are things a president can and can't do, but one of the things he most certainly can have an impact on is the economy. John McCain admits he has little knowledge about economic matters. Do we really want a president who can't help turn our economy around, particularly at this time with great economic challenges? Anytime McCain is asked an economic question, he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. He looks like how I'd react if you asked me about building a rocket ship...I wouldn't have a clue.

Admitting he's not an expert:


2. McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts.

As evidence of his lack of knowledge on economics, McCain was one of only two Republican senators who voted against the Bush tax cuts. To this day he stands by his vote, even though he now says he wants to vote to keep them permanent. If he's going to flip/flop on an issue, at least have the honesty to admit you were wrong.



3. McCain echoes Democratic class warfare arguments.

Today, McCain falsely says that he voted against the Bush tax cuts because he wanted spending cuts attached. This is simply not true. If you go back and hear what he said at the time, he said he opposed them because they were a tax break for "the rich," an argument taken right out of the Democrat's playbook. "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief." As recently as 2004, McCain said on Meet the Press, "I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportionate amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit."

McCains weakness on economic issues is evident by his lack of understanding that lower taxes help the economy. Lower spending is certainly needed, but you don't bite off your nose to spite your face, and you don't vote against important tax-cutting legislation. He should have voted with his fellow Republicans for the tax cuts AND THEN continued to fight hard for spending cuts.

4. McCain limited free speech and helped Democratic candidates with his McCain/Feingold Bill.

It's interesting how McCain was willing to die for freedom as a soldier, only to become a politician and legislate that freedom away. If you don't like those negative ads you see running form 3rd-party groups, or if you think the media plays too big a role in who gets elected, you can blame McCain for that. When you try to limit personal freedoms, people will always find ways around those limits. Today, instead of hearing directly from the candidates, McCain/Feingold has limited their ability to share their message, turning it over to 3rd parties and the press. (Maybe McCain wanted to see this passed to keep him from the temptation of taking big money from people like Charles Keating again.)

5. McCain supported amnesty for all illegal immigrants.

Under the bill McCain supported, EVERY SINGLE illegal immigrant, unless a "criminal" (I guess just being in the country "illegally" isn't a crime?) would be pushed to the front of the line and could stay indefinitely in the country. So, according to McCain, if you come into the country illegally, you should be rewarded with a path to citizenship. That's not fair to the millions of foreigners who want to come into this country legally. I know of business professionals who have jumped through dozens and dozens of hoops for over ten years, paid tens of thousands of dollars, and played by the rules to be in this country and try to become a citizen LEGALLY. Why should those who broke our laws be given special privileges ahead of those who have obeyed them? Lastly, McCain says "I come from a boarder state, I know how to secure boarders." Then why hasn't he in the past 24 years he's been in Washington?

6. McCain sold out conservatives in appointing judges with his "Gang of 14."

John McCain, and his "Gang of 14," elevated senatorial privilege over efforts by the Bush administration to get conservative judges confirmed. He led this group that prevented conservatives from prohibiting the filibuster of judicial nominees.

7. McCain has consistently thwarted conservative efforts on domestic policy.

Listen to what Rick Santorum (R-PA) had to say about John McCain, "The bottom line is that I served 12 years with him, 6 years in the United States Senate as leader, one of the leaders of the Senate - the number-3 leader - who had the responsibility of trying to put together the conservative agenda, and almost at every turn on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side."

8. McCain is a good ol' boy Washington Insider.


Washington is completely broken. McCain has been there for nearly TWENTY FIVE YEARS! Think about that. What were YOU doing twenty five years ago? That's a long time to be in Washington, building up your old-boy network. The federal government in Washington is so messed up, we need someone from the OUTSIDE to help turn it around. If you're wondering why people like Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman are supporting McCain, they were both part of his Gang of 14. Even Charlie Crist, Governor of Florida, is known to often take the non-conservative position on issues, so it's no surprise he chose to endorse McCain.

9. McCain has sadly resorted to Clinton-like lies and deceit.

Read my last blog for more on this one. McCain, feeling desperate as Romney gained on him in the polls in Florida, started telling a bald-face lie and misrepresenting Romney's position on the war. Time magazine agrees that McCain had no evidence for which to make his claim about Romney. This reminds me of what the Clintons tried to do to Obama when they took his remarks about Ronald Reagan out of context. Here is how the National Review saw it, "...doesn't justify the rank dishonesty of [McCain's] attack on Romney over the weekend. It's so shamelessly unfair, it's the kind of thing you'd expect of Bill Clinton attacking Barack Obama. Clearly, McCain wants to change the topic from the economy. And since he's suffering from his 'straight-talk' about his relative lack of knowledge of and interest in the economy, he's trying to compensate with the opposite of straight talk—blatant distortions—about Romney's record."

10. McCain, like the Democrats, disregards the economy in dealing with global warming.

The people in Michigan figured this one out, and is why Romney won easily there. McCain's ideas would have further handicapped our automobile industry. McCain wants to lay the burden of reducing CO2 emissions squarely on the American economy when it's a world problem. The 2003 McCain-Lieberman energy cap-and-trade bill would have increased energy costs for the average Florida family of four by $1,000.

11. McCain leans towards warmongering.

Read my last blog for more on McCain's position about the war in Iraq. He chides Romney for wanting to put pressure on the Iraqi government with plans and goals. I get this sense he wants the two wars we're already involved in to go on indefinitely, and can't wait to get his hands on Iran. I believe in negotiating from a position of strength, but that doesn't mean we write the Iraqi government a blank check and don't have a plan to win and withdraw. In his recent stump speeches in Florida, he talks about there being "more wars to come." (See video below.) The purpose for having a strong army and national defense is to AVOID wars. I want a president that will use our strength to keep us out of wars, not promise us more wars!

Listen to McCain promise us more wars:


12. McCain voted to keep us more dependent on foreign oil by voting against oil exploration in ANWR.

As we strive towards alternative fuels, we should at least buy us some time by getting off of foreign oil by utilizing the oil resources we have right here in America. Not only is McCain's position (as usual) opposite that of the Republican party, but he uses the harshest rhetoric of the left to convey that disagreement, saying that drilling in ANWR would be like strip mining Yellowstone, or drilling in the Everglades and the Grand Canyon. If we weren't as dependent on foreign oil, maybe McCain wouldn't need to be such a hawk in the Middle East.

13. McCain considered running as VP for Liberal Democrat John Kerry.

John McCain was offered the vice-presidential slot in the ticket by John Kerry and actually considered accepting running with Kerry against Bush-Cheney in 2004. Do you think Kerry made that offer because McCain is a strong, principled, mainstream conservative Republican? Do you think John Kerry would have ever made that same offer to Rudy, Mitt Romney or any other Republican? Do you think they would have even considered it?

14. McCain has a pessimistic, negative, and defeatist attitude

He calls it "straight talk," I call it defeatism. Instead of being optimistic and looking for a better way, his "straight talk" suggests we roll over and have to expect to lose jobs and fight more wars. No thanks! I want a president who believes in optimism and fighting for a better future, not just giving into the thinking of the past. If your president doesn't believe in a better economy and peace, how can we expect him to strive for it?

15. McCain can't control his temper.

McCain is well known for his hot temper. That's just not the image and temperament I want to have for the President of the United States and the guy with his finger on the nuclear trigger. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, recently endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office, saying: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

McCain says "F-U" to fellow Republican colleague


16. McCain is a little "too" tight with many Democrats.

It's no surprise that Democrats like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton, as well as liberal media like The New York Times, like and support John McCain. What's not to like for them? Other than his position on the war, he's a lot like them. Listen to what Bill Clinton recently said, “She [Hillary Clinton] and John McCain are very close. They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history and they’re afraid they’d put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other.” Reaching across the isle to work together is one thing, but embracing so many of their ideals is another.

McCain and Hillary


17. McCain can't win in Nov. against the Democrats.

In November two things will likely still be true: 1) the economy will be a major issue for all voters, and 2) even with the success with the surge, Americans will want to know we have a plan to eventually get out of Iraq. McCain is weak on both these points. He's weak on economy issues and continues to beat the war drum, when even today, after the success of the surge, the vast majority of American's are very unhappy with the war. The Democrats will have a field day with McCain, and they know it.

Unfortunately, if McCain wins the nomination, conservative Republicans will feel like you have to choose between two Democrats. The one area the Democrats and McCain will differ on is the war, which remains unpopular amongst the vast majority of Americans.

"I'm here to tell you, if [McCain]...gets the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party, it's going to change it forever, be the end of it. A lot of people aren't going to vote. You watch." Rush Limbaugh

Conservative Republicans are being asked by John McCain to make a whole pile of compromises to support him. I think some will, but it will be unlikely that he will win the Presidency. I know the polls TODAY say McCain has the best chance against the Democrats come November, but I think he'll fail to rally the conservative support. Sure, some may vote for him rather than Clinton or Obama, but will they raise money and campaign hard for him?

I won't.

Kevin

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Who's Right on Pulling out of Iraq? Hillary Clinton, John McCain or Mitt Romney?

Want some help in deciding who you should support for President in 2008? Take this simple, one-question test to help you decide:

Which of the following three positions would YOU support with the war in Iraq?

Position 1: Surrender and set an immediate timetable for withdraw from Iraq and announce the withdrawal timetable publicly?

Position 2: Stay in Iraq indefinitely, even 100 years if that's what it takes. Set no goals or benchmarks, even privately, with the Iraqi government. Win at all costs and give the Iraqi government a blank check and unlimited time to take over from US troops, without timetables, benchmarks or goals.

Position 3: Never surrender, but keep strong pressure on the new Iraqi government so the US troops can gradually withdraw. Have a plan, goals and benchmarks for withdrawal which are discussed in private with the Iraqi government. Withdrawal gradually, not in surrender, but as appropriate with a successful and timely handoff to a new and stable Iraqi government.

OK, have your answer?

If you like Position 1, then you should consider voting for any of the democratic candidates or Ron Paul.

If you like Position 2, you should consider voting for John McCain.

If you like Position 3, you should consider voting for Mitt Romney.

John McCain is feeling desperate and the pressure is getting to him. If you've followed his career, you know what McCain does when things don't go his way. He gets mean, loses his cool and starts distorting the truth.

McCain knows that the American people, particularly those in Florida on Tuesday, are more concerned about the economy than any other issue right now. That's bad news for McCain, who admits he is weak on economic issues. He started by distorting his OWN record in the debate this week in Florida when he plead ignorance when Tim Russert brought up McCain's own statements he made just last month about his lack of knowledge on the economy.

Now, in a desperate effort to bring the discussion away from the economy, John McCain is completely distorting statements Mitt Romney made on Good Morning America back in March. Romney (so much for McCain's "straight talk express"). Romney, who has always supported Position 3 above, is having these statements taken out of context by John McCain to suggest he supports Position 1. Nonsense.

For those of you who don't like reading only the headlines or statements taken out of context, here is the entire exchange on Good Morning America, and you judge for yourself:

Robin Roberts: “Iraq. John McCain is there in Baghdad right now. You have also been very vocal in supporting the President in the troop surge. Yet the American public has lost faith in this war. Do you believe there should be a timetable in withdrawing the troops?”

Mitt Romney: “Well, there's no question but that the President and, and Prime Minister al Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about. But those shouldn't be for public pronouncement. You don't want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you're going to be gone. You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police and the leadership of the Iraqi government. ”

Robin Roberts: “So private? You wouldn't do it publicly. Because the President has said, flat out, that he will veto anything the Congress passes about a timetable for troop, troop withdrawals. As President would you do the same?”

Mitt Romney: “Well, of course. Could you imagine the setting where, where during the Second World War we said to the Germans, ‘Gee, if we haven't reached the Rhine by this date, we’ll go home. Or if we haven’t gotten this accomplished, we’ll, we’ll pick up and leave.’ You don’t publish that to your enemy or they simply lie in wait until that time. So, of course you have to work together to create timetables and milestones, but you don't do that with the, with the opposition.”

It's very clear in reading this that Romney takes Position 3. Romney is saying there SHOULD be a plan, discussions, timetables, goals, benchmarks, etc., discussed in private with the Iraqi government, so that we can start to pull our troops out. This is different than John McCain who has said he's prepared to stay in Iraq for 100 years, and blindly let the Iraqi government have a blank check to take their time without any goals (which is what he must believe if he takes issue with Romney's comments on Good Morning America).

Last week, the Clintons knowingly took comments made by Barack Obama about Ronald Reagan out of context. They intentionally twisted around what Obama was saying, even running radio spots taking his comments out of context, only to later pull the advertising when it was obvious what they were doing. John McCain is doing the exact same thing here. He is taking statements by Mitt Romney out of context, knowing full well Mitt Romney has never supported a public withdrawal timetable. Time magazine has said that there is no evidence of what McCain is claiming.

Just like this backfired on the Clintons, making them just look dishonest and deceitful, this will also backfire on McCain, in three ways: 1) It shows that McCain is getting desperate and resorting to slimy, dirty, political tricks, 2) its punctuates the fact that McCain is weak on economics and will avoid that topic at all costs, and 3) highlights his Position 2 on the war, when most Republicans like Position 3.

So, even if John McCain is successful in temporarily pulling people's attention away from the economy, he'll just end up spotlighting his irresponsible, ill-planned, and warmongering stance on the war in Iraq.

Kevin

PS: John McCain will be on Meet the Press tomorrow. Hopefully Tim Russert won't let McCain get away with how he's trying to distort Romney's record. It's pretty hard to get spin past Russert.

Digg this post

John McCain's Flip Floppin

Friday, January 25, 2008

What are people saying about Mitt Romney from the FL debate?

If you missed the Republican Primary Debate last night in Florida, here's what other's are saying about it. With very few exceptions, most felt Romney had the strongest showing. The polls were already starting to move to show Romney leading in Florida. His strong performance in this last debate before the polls open in FL on Tuesday, should put him over the top.

Kevin


MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "I didn't say that [Romney] won yet, but I'll say it now. I thought Romney came out of the shoot tonight with that first answer on the stimulus package which showed a great deal of confidence and sophistication. It's what everybody wants now. They want to believe there's somebody smarter than we are, and can figure out this global crisis."

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "The first 30 minutes - it was about the economy. I thought Mitt Romney absolutely dominated that segment of it." "I think conservatives probably related to Mitt Romney, talking about tax cuts, talking about being a governor, talking about what he did in the private sector for all those years. On the economic part of this debate, I don't think there is any doubt that this was Mitt Romney's best performance."

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan: "I got to say that I think clearly Mitt Romney dominated tonight. His performance was flawless. He looked presidential." "I think Romney clearly won tonight." "He looked terrific. He got off the best two lines of the night." "I think he was crisp and strong." "If Romney is in the lead tonight and people are looking at this, he looks to me like a man, quite frankly that can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton and can be president of the United States."

Townhall's Hugh Hewitt: "Mitt Romney should send a thank you card to Tim Russert and Brian Williams. They threw hard balls at the former Massachusetts governor and he hit them all, many out of the park. Romney's allocation of time had to be disproportionate, but that was the Williams/Russert choice, and Romney made the most of it." "Democrats watching tonight have to be very worried that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee."


National Review's Rich Lowry: "Romney has seemed authoritative – confident and on his game..." "'We're the Party of Change' ... Home-run answer from Romney. It was drawn from his standard lines on the stump, but a terrific message, convincingly delivered." "Romney is dominating the last half-an-hour."


MSNBC'S Chuck Todd: "Romney looks good and sounds confident tonight."





Time's Mark Halperin: "... Romney came out strong, unapologetic and on message." "[Romney] settled comfortably into the 'looks and sounds like a president' zone that is one of his chief assets." "[Romney] Seemed to anticipate an eventual one-on-one contest with McCain, and displayed the confidence of a man who feels certain he has a spot in the finals. Bottom line: Benefited more than anyone else from the oddly low-key nature of a high-stakes."

Michelle Malkin: "Romney's being treated like the front-runner and he's acting like it." "Romney just out-McCained McCain on the war." "Excellent Romney answer on Iraq. Strong, tough, focused on the surrendercrats. He takes on Dems for their withdrawalmania cites debate in SC when Hillary refused to say she wanted to win and recycled Code Pink line." "Romney excoriates Dems and says 'how dare they' take credit for surge."


ABC News' Rick Klein: "Romney gets an initial question on the economy -- this is tailor made for him. He sounds authoritative and in control on this subject."





ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Romney, who is in a dead heat with McCain for first place in some recent polls here in Florida, had perhaps the best night, presenting a polished and confident demeanor."





MSNBC's Text Message voting after the debate asking who won, came in last night at:

Romney 41%
*Paul 40%
Huckabee 8%
McCain 7%
Rudy 4%

*NOTE: Ron Paul ALWAYS wins any text message or Internet poll, regardless of how good or bad he performs. His rabid supporters think holding up signs and voting for him in Internet polls will somehow translate into votes. It never has for him, and it never will. (You can read my blog on Ron Paul from back in November here.) Anytime I see a Text Message or Internet poll, I automatically toss out Ron Paul, but there can be some insight into how well the other candidates are doing. The fact that ANYONE even came close to Ron Paul in a text message poll is news. =)

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan


MSNBC's Joe Scarborough:


How'd McCain do?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mitt Romney Leads in Delegates, Wins, Votes & Money Raised

As I've pointed out in previous blogs, delegates are what matter in the Republican primaries. We now have six states who have cast their votes, so I thought it would be helpful to create a chart that shows where each candidate stands on delegates, states won, total votes, and money raised.

Here is what things look like after the first six states:
Click Image to Enlarge

At some point, the mainstream media will have no choice but to start giving the true "score" for the race, and that score is the number of delegates. Could you imagine listening to a basketball game, and all the announcer talked about was the number of shots, assists, rebounds, etc. each team had, and NEVER told you the actual SCORE? Well, that's what the media has been doing. They talk about each state (except for Wyoming, which they have completely ignored, and Nevada which they touted as incredibly important for the Democrat's race but immaterial for the Republican's), but they never give the game's score. Well, if they won't, I will. Here it is, and as you can see, Romney is leading with nearly twice the delegates as his closest rival, and has more wins, votes and money raised than all the candidates.

In my opinion, Huckabee and Thompson are now out, and unless Giuliani can pull out a win in Florida, it's a two-man race, Romney vs McCain. As we saw in Michigan, in a face-off between these two candidates, true Republicans have shown they prefer Romney over McCain.

Romney has a solid lead heading into Florida, and is the one candidate that has shown he can be competitive in all 50 states.

Kevin

PS: I'd encourage you to click the above image, then right click on the enlarged image, save it to your local drive, and then email it to all your friends. Pass it around, and have them pass it around. Everyone, especially people living in Florida, need to know what the score currently is, since the mainstream media is doing a poor job of telling them.

Friday, January 18, 2008

If I hear John McCain say "my friends" one more time....

If I hear John McCain say "my friends" one more time, I think I'll have to turn off the TV and Radio until it's safe to come back out again.

Over 1,000 news stories containing both "John McCain" and "My friends" in just the last day!

I think we should replace water boarding war prisoners with a recording of McCain repeating over and over..."now, my friends...now, my friends...now, my friends..."

John, MY friend, GET A NEW LINE! You already come across as a grumpy old man, this only makes matters worse. =)

Kevin

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's the Delegates, Stupid!

In my blog yesterday, I pointed out how Mitt Romney leads among all Republican Presidential candidates for total votes, delegates, states won, and money raised. When I wrote my blog, however, it was before all the votes had fully been counted and the delegate estimates were still in flux. At that time, I reported that Romeny had won 12 delegates and McCain 9. However, now that the dust has settled and the estimates more firmed up, it turns out that Romney's blow out win in Michigan is a lot more sizable. As it stands now, Romney won 24 delegates, McCain only won 5, and Huckabee 1. (I went back and updated the count in yesterday's blog.)

Given this new data, here is the delegate count currently:

This is HUGE and gives Romney a massive lead in delegates. Romney now has more delegates than all the other candidates combined!

Let's see what this means for Romney, going into Super Tuesday, EVEN IF HE LOSES Nevada, South Carolina, and/or Florida.

Let's look at the current polls (most of which have not yet taken into account any "bump" from Romney's MI win), as well as the delegates up for grab in these three states before Super Tuesday:

Nevada - 34 delegates

If you take the last four polls as of today, average them together, it looks like this:

Romney - 32%, Giuliani - 25%, Huckabee - 23%, McCain - 20%

If we allocate delegates accordingly: Romney gets 11, Giuliani gets 9, Huckabee gets 8, and McCain gets 7.

South Carolina - 24 delegates

Using a similar approach for South Carolina, it breaks down like this: McCain gets 8, Huckabee gets 7, Romney gets 5, and Thompson gets 3.

Florida - 57 (winner takes all)

Florida is a winner-take-all state, so, let's assume the current leader there, Giuliani, wins and gets all 57 delegates.

If we assume the above, the total delegate count would look like this, after taking where we are today and adding these three states:

Romney - 70
Giuliani - 67
Huckabee - 37
McCain - 30
Thompson - 9
Paul - 2

Now, these assumptions will certainly be in flux. As I mentioned, most of the poll numbers I used were taken before Romney's strong win in Michigan. It's likely he'll do much better in all three of these sates. (I predict Romney will win Nevada and come in first or second in SC and FL.) Also, many of the other candidates are running low on funds and some could certainly bow out along the way, which would shift votes and effect things. However, under ANY scenario, come Super Tuesday, Romney will have a bucket full of delegates and a pocket full of funds. If we go into Super Tuesday with only two or three candidates remaining, it's quite clear Romney will be one of them.

My message to the mainstream media: It's the delegates, stupid!

Kevin

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who's on First? Mitt Romney

With the first four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Michigan) now having had their Republican primary and caucus elections, if you haven't been keeping score, here is a quick run down to catch you up...

Which candidate has won the most states? Mitt Romney

Romney has won two (Michigan and Wyoming), Huckabee one (Iowa), and McCain one (New Hampshire).

Which candidate has won the biggest state? Mitt Romney

Michigan cast around 850,000 votes. Iowa and New Hampshire COMBINED only cast less than half that amount, around 350,000.

Which candidate has gotten the most votes for all the states combined? Mitt Romney

37% - Romney - 450,740
30% - McCain - 367,126
17% - Huckabee - 210,402
7% - Paul - 85,807
4% - Thompson - 51,536
4% - Giuliani - 49,772

Which candidate has won the most delegates? Mitt Romney

Which candidate has won more delegates than ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES COMBINED? Mitt Romney

Romney has 52, the other candidates have 47 combined.

Which candidate
has raised the most money? Mitt Romney

Rommey - $62,829,069
Giuliani - $47,253,521
McCain - $32,124,785
Thompson - $12,828,111
Paul - $8,268,453
Huckabee - $2,345,798

Which candidate has the most money to continue on to future states? Mitt Romney

In addition to the impressive amount raised, Romney also has a sizable personal wealth he can call upon to get his message out in upcoming states. Many of the other candidates are low on funds.

(Source)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wyoming - Can't Get No Respect

It's interesting what states are anointed by the press as "important." I don't know how many times I've heard the talking heads from the press say, "But Romney needs to WIN something!" If I were a Wyomian, I'd be starting to have an identity crisis.

News Flash to the Press: Romney WON Wyoming back on January 5th. Mitt Romney won more delegates by winning Wyoming (8 delegates) than John McCain did by winning New Hampshire (7 delegates).

I fail to see what makes Iowa and New Hampshire so much more qualified to be the barometer of politics and covered by the national media, while Wyoming is completely ignored.

Kevin

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What happened in New Hampshire?

The most interesting turn of events in NH was the Hillary win. All the polls before the primary had Obama winning and his "change" message seemed like it was going to swing Obama all the way.

But, here's what I think may have happened....

40% of the voters in NH are registered as independent (undeclared). These voters can vote in either the Republican or Democrat primary. I think these voters listened to all the polls on Tuesday and assumed the Republican race would be the close one and that they would be wasting their vote on the Democrat side, so they decided to vote for McCain instead of Obama. This was good for McCain and Hillary, but bad for Obama and Romney. It shouldn't have been a surprise, however, that McCain did well among independents, because the very things that upsets Republicans about McCain, are the things that make independents feel that McCain is an "independent" type of politician.

McCain has upset Republicans on several occasions, including McCain-Feingold, his vote against the Bush tax cuts, his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, and so on. This has made him unpopular with many Republicans, but popular with independents. (If you're not familiar with McCain, I'd encourage you to read about him on Wikipedia.)

Where does this leave Romney? Here are some things to consider:
  • Romney won Wyoming, and came in second in Iowa and New Hampshire.
  • McCain had an edge in NH, because he left Iowa to go work on NH. However, while McCain only won 7 delegates in NH, because Romney choose to run in Iowa, Romney won 12 delegates in Iowa by taking second place! (NH only has 12 delegate slots, after having been penalized for moving their primary up.)
  • Romney has more delegates than any other Republican candidate. (See image below.)
  • In the first three state races, Romney has...
    - beaten McCain 2 out of 3 times
    - beaten Huckabee 2 out of 3 times
    - beaten Rudy 3 out of 3 times
    - beaten Thompson 3 out of 3 times
    - beaten Ron Paul and all others 3 out of 3 times.
  • Romney is the only candidate who has beaten EVERY OTHER candidate AT LEAST TWO out of THREE times.
  • Romney raised more money than any of the Republican candidates and has the resources to continue fighting.
Of course it's great to win states, but it's delegates that matter. The candidate to get 1,191 delegates gets the nomination. There are winner-take-all states, so it's important that Romney start to see more momentum, but there isn't momentum for anyone else yet either, so it's still wide open.

Thompson could actually do well in South Carolina. This means, by the time we get to Florida, there could still be FIVE contenders: Romney, McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, and Rudy.

Lots can happen between now and then. For example, the stock market is taking a beating. People should be looking for someone who understands economic growth to help our economy, that's Romney. How the rest of the country will respond to the bible-thumping tv-evangelistic Huckabee, or the 71-year-old, life-time politician, McCain, has yet to be determined.

Kevin

PS: If you watched McCain's victory speech, it was quite unimpressive. HE READ IT!!! (And even at that, he stumbled at times.) Go look at the inpromptued remarks by Romney after the results were announced, and then go look at McCain's victory speech. If Obama gets the nomination from the Democrats, he'll eat McCain's lunch on the stump. Note to McCain: Don't READ your victory speech!!! Anyone can READ a well-written speech by who-knows-who, but to win on the stump in the national election, you better know how to inspire people, not just read to them.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Did Romney Win Immunity Sunday Night?

In my blog yesterday I compared the primary election process to the reality TV show Survivor. I mentioned how Romney really needed to "win immunity" to ward off the attack from the Rudy/McCain/Huckabee alliance "voting him off." Romney's best chance to do this was in the debate Sunday night.

Did he do it? According to the Fox focus group, he very well may have done just that. Take a look...

Focus Group: Romney Wins Debate
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 09:43 PM EDT


Luntz: Romney Hit A Home Run Tonight
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 10:14 PM EDT


Focus Group: Romney Can Beat Obama
Sunday, Jan 06, 2008 09:54 PM EDT


Other comments about the debate:

Fox News' Chris Wallace: "As far as Mitt Romney, I thought it was the best he has done in any of the debates I have seen. Not only the performance and the demeanor which was quite commanding." (Fox News' "Live," 1/6/08)

ABC News' Rick Klein: "I do think, for late-breaking voters, Romney comes across well because he's in command of his facts and looks very, very presidential." (Rick Klein, "Live Blogging During GOP Forum," ABC News' Political Radar Blog, http://blogs.abcnews.com/, Posted 1/6/08)

Power Line's Paul Mirengoff: "Mitt Romney, in my view, was the winner. His answers were crisp, knowledgeable, and poised. He was solid on each substantive issue and effective in defending his so-called attack ads. My guess is that he's cemented himself as the choice of Republicans in New Hampshire...." (Paul Mirengoff, "My Impressions Of Tonight's Debate," Power Line Blog, http://www.powerlineblog.com/, Posted 1/6/08)

Time Magazine's Joe Klein: "Mitt Romney – even though under assault constantly in Saturday night's debate – has had two of his best debate performances yet." (Joe Klein, " McCain's Lost Weekend," Time's The Swampland Blog, http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/, Posted 1/6/08)

RedState's Erick Erickson: "As for the actual candidates. I think Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney did the best tonight. Mitt seemed even paced all night." (Erick Erickson, "Winners And Losers Tonight," RedState Blog, http://www.redstate.com/, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Rich Lowry: "[Romney] spoke forcefully and put the case for himself as the reformist businessman in the best possible light. I think he basically dominated the first hour, and fell off a tab after that, but otherwise was truly excellent. His best performance yet, in very high pressure circumstances. His answers on taxes, job creation, and immigration were top notch." (Rich Lowry, "Romney & McCain In Fine Form," National Review's The Corner Blog, http://corner.nationalreview.com/, Posted 1/6/08)

The American Spectator's Quin Hillyer: "Romney does a great job explaining the characteristics needed in a president (and why executive leadership trumps Senate leadership and why executive leadership is more important than specific foreign policy expertise)." (Quin Hillyer, "After Commercial," The American Spectator's Blog, http://www.spectator.org/, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez: "Romney was gracious on-point tonight. Good for him. This nomination fight isn't close to over. Thankfully." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, "A Good Night," National Review's The Corner Blog, corner.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/6/08)

Conservative Blogger's William Smith: "Mitt Romney had the performance of the night. He was prepared. He was solid. He defended his record and drew specific contrast between himself and his opponents. Romney pulled off the kind of performance that should only add to his lead." (William Smith, "Thoughts On Tonight's FOX News Republican Forum..." Conservative Blogger, http://www.conservativeblogger.com/, Posted 1/6/08)


The American Spectator's Jennifer Rubin: "Romney was very solid and effective on defending Bush tax cuts." (Jennifer Rubin, "Taxes," The American Spectator's Blog, www.spectator.org, Posted 1/6/08)


The New York Times' Michael Cooper: "It was the Republican Debate, Episode II: Mitt Romney Strikes Back." (Michael Cooper, "G.O.P. Rematch: Romney Fires First Round," The New York Times The Caucus, http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com, Posted 1/6/08)

- Cooper: "...Mr. Romney came out swinging Sunday night during the opening minutes of a Republican presidential forum that was broadcast on Fox News." (Michael Cooper, "G.O.P. Rematch: Romney Fires First Round," The New York Times The Caucus, http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Jim Geraghty: "Romney, responding to Huckabee after one of his populist riffs: 'You're not going to help the wage earner in America by attacking the wage payer.' Boom. One of his best lines of the night. Is that an old Reagan line?" (Jim Geraghty, "Are We Watching Romney Get Up Off the Mat?" National Review's The Campaign Spot, http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/6/08)

Hot Air Blog's Bryan Preston: "So far they've gone two rounds against each other directly. ... I'd score both rounds for Romney, with a solid knock down in the second one." (Bryan, "Videos: Mitt And Mike Go A Couple Of Rounds," Hot Air Blog, http://hotair.com/, Posted 1/6/07)

Politico's Jonathan Martin: "A prepared Mitt is out of the gates strong on his message, dinging McCain and Huck on taxes. And he even showed that he, too, knows how to wield the knife. 'You make up facts faster than you talk,' Mitt jabbed. Then, after the Arkansan responded to a question about whether he'd raised taxes by saying he had 'raised jobs,' Mitt nailed him again: 'That's political-speak.'" (Jonathan Martin, "A Prepared Mitt Is Out Of The Gates Strong," Politico, http://www.politico.com/blogs/, Posted 1/6/08)

American Spectator's Quin Hillyer: "Romney does a great job responding saying the old truth that you don't help the wage earner by attacking the wage payer. Explains his point well." (Quin Hillyer, "Next Round," American Spectator Blog, http://www.spectator.org/, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Mark Hemingway: "...Luntz's focus group on Fox. They loved him [Romney]." (Mark Hemingway, "Romney Just Blew The Roof Off," National Review's The Corner, http://corner.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/6/08)

National Review's Mark Levin: "I agree with the Fox focus group in that Romney was great." (Mark Levin, "I Will Second That," National Review's The Corner, http://corner.nationalreview.com/, Posted 1/6/08)

So, DID Romney win "immunity?"

We'll have to wait until Tuesday night to find out, but he certainly has given it his best shot.

Kevin

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The "Survivor" Alliance of Rudy, Huckabee & McCain


I'm sure many of you have watched the reality TV show Survivor. The one thing I really dislike about that series, is the strongest player almost never makes it until the end and wins. The concept of "may the best person win," rarely happens on Survivor. Why? Because the way the voting works on the show creates a dynamic where the weaker players are forced to ally themselves together to vote out the strongest player. After the tribes merge, the strongest player has a big X on his back, and becomes the target of the weaker players. If you've seen the show, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and you'll also understand how this same dynamic is playing out currently in the Republican primary.

Who is the strong player everyone is ganging up on? Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney had big leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and it was starting to look like he was going to take it all. No other single "player" was competitive in ALL of the early states, only Romney, so no one dared take him on one-on-one, so they formed an alliance.

Rudy was a no show in the early states, McCain, looking old and tired, was sinking in the national polls and in Iowa, and Huckabee was a no-show in New Hampshire and the other states where they didn't have a strong Evangelical Christian base. Romney was the ONLY candidate in a position to win the first few states. So, what did these weaker players do? The same thing the weaker players on Survivor do, they formed an alliance to take out the strongest player, giving them a chance.

An alliance formed between Rudy, Huckabee and McCain. Rudy needed Huckabee to take Romeny out in Iowa and McCain to take Romney out in New Hampshire. So, these three weaker candidates started gaining up on Romney. If you watched the Republican debate tonight, it was very clear who everyone was gunning for.

Once in a great while, the strong player on Survivor is able to win enough "immunity challenges" to actually make it to the end. It's very rare, but happens occasionally. If Romney can win in New Hampshire, he will have foiled the Rudy/McCain/Huckabee alliance's strategy. If he can't, just as is usually the case with Survivor, a less capable player will win the crown. (After the alliance takes out Romney, they then need to turn on themselves, fighting over which of these three now gets to take the lead if Romney is out. My guess is it will be McCain, leaving Rudy and Huckabee with the short end of their alliance.)

The real loser, however, should this happen, is the Republican party. The winner? The Democrats, who will have a field day with Huckabee, and stand a greater chance against the weaker, "grumpy old man" McCain or Rudy.

If you ever jump into Survivor in the middle of the season, having missed the first few episodes, and you want to know who the strongest player is, just look for the one everyone else is trying to take out of the game. You don't see any alliances to take out Rudy, McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, or Paul, because none of them really fears any of the others, because they all have weaknesses that can be exploited. Romney is the one candidate that is strong enough it will take an alliance to take him out. For the sake of the Republican party, I hope this doesn't happen, and the strongest player stays in the game to take on the Democrats.

Kevin

PS: Something worth watching about Mike Huckabee by Glen Beck, who was recovering from surgery:



I also wanted to comment on this ad by John McCain...



The facts are:
  • McCain never specifically went after the "bridge to nowhere," in fact, he was absent for key votes on its funding.

  • McCain never proposed cutting the bear study and actually voted for the final bill containing it.

  • McCain wasn't present for the most important votes on the Woodstock museum, including one on an amendment he co-sponsored to kill the earmark and divert some of the funds.
If you're going to go after these pork projects, you need to be there to vote against them.

Kevin