Posts Tagged Newt Gingrich

And a Very Super Tuesday it Was

Yesterday was the Super Tuesday of the GOP nomination race, with ten states holding contests on the same day. While not much changed as a result of yesterday’s contests, since Super Tuesday is one of the high holy days of the political junky calendar, it seems worthwhile to explain why nothing particularly changed this week.

Out of the ten contests, Newt Gingrich won one state, Georgia, which by all accounts he had to hold onto in order to somewhat legitimize his presence in the race for the nomination. Georgia is Gingrich’s original home state, though he currently resides in Virginia. Gingrich has been polling well in southern states, and with his wins in South Carolina and Georgia Newt is now in second place in the estimated delegate counts.

Rick Santorum, who had been leading in national polls over the last few weeks, met (but did not exceed) expectations last night, winning North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Santorum’s showing in Tuesday’s races was enough to keep him going, but not enough to really do any damage to consistent “man to beat,” Mitt Romney.

Speaking of Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor won in all the states he had to in order to not be humiliated. Romney won his home state of Massachusetts, Vermont (Romney has consistently been seen as the only candidate with a hold on New England), and Virginia (where the only two names on the ballot were Mitt Romney and Ron Paul). After a long rough night for the Romney campaign, the hits came hard, with wins in Alaska, Idaho, and a very close score in Ohio. Ohio was the big prize of the night, though Romney won’t be walking away with the entire slate of delegates from the state.

The end result from Tuesday’s races is that the race is in pretty much the same state it was on Monday. Romney is still on track to win the nomination in the long run, though Santorum and Gingrich both will be able to stay in the race, stay funded, and pick up delegates on the path to the convention. All that Tuesday’s contests solidified was that this contest will keep going for some time. Santorum is strong with social conservatives and evangelicals, but loses support with more moderate blue-collar voters when the spotlight stays on his social views as it has over the past few weeks.

Current delegate count, according to NBC news: Romney 335, Gingrich 111, Santorum 107, Paul 29

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It’s a Brand Newt Day*

This has not been a good week in the land of Mitt Romney. One week ago, the former Massachusetts governor was the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, the winner of both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, a historic first for a non-incumbent candidate. Romney was sitting back as his opponents dug holes for themselves, attacking what they were calling “vulture capitalism” and splitting apart the non-Romney vote into factions.

Now, things have changed. After some intense vote-counting in Iowa, Republicans there have actually awarded the win to Rick Santorum. This shift does little to change the actual delegate counts in the process, as A.) the two men essentially tied and split the delegates, and B.) Iowa’s delegates are not “pledged,” meaning that technically they can vote for whoever they want at the convention. After receiving a standing ovation in a debate kicking off South Carolina week, Newt Gingrich suddenly surged. Dropping his attacks on Romney’s Bain capital days, he focused more on jobs and the economy, making the case that Romney was too out of touch to understand the needs of South Carolinians.

Next up, Rick Perry decided to drop out of the race and endorse Gingrich. While Perry had been polling fairly dismally in the state, this move still helped to cement Gingrich’s status as the candidate with the momentum, as well as helping to coalesce some of the conservatives factions behind his campaign.

On Thursday, Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne, gave an interview with ABC news, claiming that Gingrich had asked her for an “open marriage,” while he was engaged in an affair with his now-wife Callista. While some commentators suggested this late-in-the-game event would derail Newt’s building momentum in South Carolina, instead the former Speaker of the House used it to his advantage. At Thursday night’s CNN debate, after moderator John King opened with a question about the allegations, Gingrich took the opportunity to rail against what he saw as bias in the national press against the Republican candidates, and in favor of President Obama. Receiving another standing ovation, Gingrich kept scoring points on his opponents (now including the media) throughout the evening.

Mitt Romney’s week from Hell ended with Newt Gingrich winning handily the South Carolina primary, beating 2nd-place Romney by more than twelve points, 40.4% – 27.8%. Rick Santorum finished in third with 17 percent of the vote, leading Texas Congressman Ron Paul by only four points.

The Gingrich campaign has many hurdles in front of it now heading in to the Florida primary (January 31), but the Republican party is now facing a scenario it has never witnessed before: three different candidates each having won one of the first three contests.

 

*No apologies given for horrible puns.

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Battle of the Unique Names: Newt v. Mitt

This morning Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was suspending his campaign for President of the United Sates, and was endorsing former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Perry’s exit was a long time coming, as he had failed time and again to meet expectations in both polling and actual voting. In the time between last week’s New Hampshire primary and this Saturday’s upcoming South Carolina primary, conservatives around the country began calling for the “lesser” conservatives in the GOP field to get out of the race in order for the conservative factions of the party to coalesce around on candidate, in the hopes of depriving Mitt Romney the nomination. With Perry’s announcement this morning, it seems party conservatives have decided that the long-sought-afterconservative alternative to Mitt Romney” is Newt Gingrich.

Following Sarah Palin’s strange pseudo-endorsement of Newt on Tuesday, it seems that most conservatives are leaning towards Gingrich over Rick Santorum, one of the few remaining candidates in the shrinking GOP field. Jon Huntsman, the somewhat-moderate former Utah governor, left the race Sunday and endorsed Mitt Romney. With this week’s two high-profile campaign collapses, the once wide-open GOP slate of big-name candidates has been winnowed down to Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Ron Paul. Running an often-times ignored campaign is former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, who is still in the race.

The Republican nominating fight, as it now stands, is down to whether either Santorum or Gingrich will be able to bloody Romney enough for voters to want to choose someone else as the nominee.

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Mid-Week Update: Meet the Candidates!

In the spirit of not taking anything for granted here at PRP, it seemed like a reasonable use of time to take a minute to introduce our dear readers to the Republicans running for President. It’s still early days, the first GOP primary isn’t until February, but for all intents and purposes, the field is pretty much set. Running for President of the United States takes a lot of organization, money, and work, and all those things take time to build up. The longer a potential candidate takes to enter the race, the more hurdles he or she will have to overcome. At this point, those hurdles are starting to become nearly insurmountable.

So, without further ado, here are your 2012 Republicans running for President!

Michele Bachmann – Representing Minnesota’s 6th district since 2007, Bachmann is a favorite of Tea Party voters for her “starve the beast” views on the federal government. Bachmann has pledged to overturn Barack Obama’s health insurance reforms, and to avoid tax increases at all costs. Before entering politics, Bachmann worked as a tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service. Michele Bachmann is known for founding the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Herman Cain – Cain is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, as well as having served the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as the deputy chairman and chairman. Cain is running on his experience as a businessman, claiming that his experience will make him able to turn the struggling economy around, if he is elected, through private sector solutions, stepping aside and letting businesses do what they want in order to grow. Herman Cain’s previous political activities include serving as a senior advisor to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign for the presidency, as well as an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Newt Gingrich – The former Speaker of the House hasn’t held elected office since he left the Speakership in 1999, but that does not mean Gingrich has left the public arena. Gingrich has kept up a busy schedule as a political commentator and writer. While he regularly is a guest on cable news programs and talk radio, he has also kept up a fairly rigorous publishing schedule, coming out with seventeen books since he left Congress, including a number of alternative histories of the Revolutionary, Civil, and Second World Wars. Gingrich is viewed as something of an “ideas man” within the field of Republican contenders, due in part to his role in crafting the 1994 Contract with America that helped earn Republicans landslide wins in the midterm Congressional elections.

Jon Huntsman – Huntsman served as the sixteenth governor of Utah before being called up to serve in the Obama administration as U.S. Ambassador to China in 2009. Huntsman is seen as a moderate Republican, having previously recognized the science behind man-made climate change, and evolution. He has taken shots at his rivals’ positions on these issues, adding to the view that Huntsman is a more centrist figure in the field of potential nominees.

Gary Johnson – Johnson served as Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, and is seen as one of the more libertarian candidates in the race. Johnson has been a critic of the War on Drugs, supports a guest worker program to give immigrants a way to earn legal status, is in favor of civil unions, and is against the continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his tenure as governor, Johnson vetoed 750 bills, more than all 49 other governors combined.

Thad McCotter – Representing Michigan’s 11th congressional district since 2003, McCotter has been known to buck Republican orthodoxy by advocating protectionist trade policies. McCotter has been an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, and claimed that it would lead to “government-encouraged euthanasia.” McCotter has proposed tax-breaks for pet owners, and is the proud owner of a “star-spangled” Fender Telecaster guitar, which he has been known to play at rallies.

Ron Paul – Well known as the champion of libertarian virtues, Ron Paul has been seen as a voice crying in the Republican wilderness for years. With the popularization of libertarian ideals due in part to the rise of the Tea Party movement over the past few years, Dr. Paul’s small-government message seems to have found its audience. With the popularization of small-government, personal freedom ideas, Paul’s potential supporters suddenly find themselves with a whole slew of candidates vying for their attention. A staunch libertarian, Paul opposes U.S. military involvement abroad, and current federal drug policy.

Rick Perry – A late entrant to the race, Perry has quickly rocketed to the top of the field in many national polls. Perry is campaigning on the fact that since the end of the recession in June 2009, 47% of the nation’s new jobs have been created in Texas, under Perry’s governorship. Perry’s campaign claims that this is due to having fewer regulations in the state that prevent businesses from growing and creating jobs. While Perry has been courting the support of Tea Party voters, the main thrust of the Perry campaign is that as president, Perry would be able to spur job growth using the same methods used in Texas.

Buddy Roemer – Roemer represented Louisiana’s 4th congressional district from 1981-88, before serving as governor from 1988-92. Roemer was elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican party in 1991 at the urging of the Bush White House. The former governor of Louisiana is running for president on a platform stressing campaign finance reform, balancing the federal budget, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Mitt Romney – Mitt Romney served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2004-07, after a successful career in business. Romney served as CEO of Bain & Company before founding Bain Capital, a private equity investment group. The Romney campaign is running on the assertion that Romney’s experience in the private sector combined with his experience as a state governor will allow him to forge working relationships with America’s business leaders in order to create jobs. Romney is typically seen as socially moderate, although commentators have noted that his views seem to have shifted to the right as the primary contest has heated up.

Rick Santorum – Santorum served as a United State Senator from Pennsylvania from 1995-2007, during which time he established himself as one of the more socially and fiscally conservative candidates in the race. Santorum was seen as a darling of the ultra-conservative base of the Republican party before more dynamic conservative candidates entered the race. Santorum also is known for his ongoing feud with commentator Dan Savage, after making comments comparing homosexuality to bestiality.

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