Jan 04 2012

Turmoil In Iowa

Published by at 9:27 am under 2012 Elections,All General Discussions

As I predicted yesterday, Iowa has really shaken up the GOP primary and demonstrated how weak Romne is. In a true surprise result, Rick Santorum has jumped to the head of the ‘anybody but Romney’ pack and tied the former Massachusetts Governor in the Iowa caucuses:

Romney won 30,015 votes, compared with 30,007 for Santorum, out of 122,255 cast.

Each of the men won 25 percent of the vote and proclaimed victory.

Ron Paul was third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman.

That 8 vote winning margin means nothing in this non-binding caucus. What is important is how my predictions from yesterday proved to be accurate:

Whoever wins will win by such a small margin it will be seen as the one who was most popular among all the bad alternatives. It hopefully will not be Romney (Obama-lite)

Absolutely true in the sense we have no clear winner. And a tie is not a win. Romney would be crazy to try and play it as a win (it would show another pol who is deaf to voter concerns). Santorum is the latest to hold the mantle of ‘anybody but Romney’. Gingrich, Perry, Bachman and Cain all played the role. We are truly sifting through the list of bad options to find the least bad.

Romney’s total support (win or lose) will be a third of the combined “anyone but Romney” vote, continuing to illustrate how little support the man has among conservatives.

Again, absolutely true. Romney got 25% of the vote. So did Santorum. But the ‘anybody but Romney’ tally is 75% to Romney’s 25%. 25 is exactly one 3rd of 75%. The head wind against Romney among conservatives (fiscal and social) and tea party/libertarian voters is enormous. It will still be there in South Carolina, and may be building in New Hampshire

The GOP will look like a weak and possibly worthless alternative to Obama

Yep. Santorum, like all the other ‘anybody but Romney’ candidates before him, is weak in a lot of ways. His obsession with gay marriage is his Achilles’ Heal (another politician wanting to use the government to tell us all what to think, what is good or bad, etc). He has little organization and when the lights hit him, he will begin to stumble.

But a new dynamic is going to start up to help him – the drop outs. Perry and Bachman should be close to dropping out this week (Bachman maybe within hours). They know their presence in debates and primaries is only diluting the conservative cause. When they do drop out the anti-establishment conservative masses will probably go to Santorum.

I know, everyone says its Newt, but its clearly not Newt – as shown in Iowa. Newt’s job is to continue to tear down Romney so he can’t grab momentum. He will play the spoiler from 3rd place.

I get a lot of comments about how Romney is better than Obama, and I am not sure I buy it. Romney is Obama-lite. He thinks ONLY in terms of government solutions (see Romneycare). He has naively bought into the Catastrophic Global Warming mythology (as did Newt). He is not for the dramatic change required to reign in the Imperial DC.

I doubt his Supreme Court candidates will be any better the Bush the First’s moderate selections – as opposed to W’s selections and priorities which were as or more conservative than Reagan’s. George W Bush was willing to push to the right as far as it made sense to go without imploding his political capitol. I argue his two terms brought in more conservative wins than even Reagans.

  • He stopped the development of embryonic stem cell lines, but realized the genie that was out of the bottle could not be returned so he let the private research continue, but without federal funding. Not a bad compromise.
  • He pushed through massive tax cuts many times over, and kept them in place.
  • He deployed the first successful health care program that relied on free market competition (the Medicare/Medicaid drug program) as proof free market solutions could save money over government managed health care (a success only few understand since the GOP establishment in DC called it a failure – which it is not).
  • He did submit balanced budgets (the GOP Congress blew the bank).

I don’t think Romney would be much better than Obama, because a GOP Congress would be hesitant (or unwilling) to challenge a GOP President and his moderate ways. As if to underscore this concern, it seems McCain is going to come out and endorse Romney this week. And I am not sure Romney can beat Obama since he is so close to Barack. He hardly seems like enough of a option to create an up-swelling of voters willing to brace all to get to the polls. He is a deflating candidate in my mind.

Again, a GOP Congress using Obama as the epitome of liberal madness over 4 years of investigations into his failures would be educational – and set the stage for a real outsider to run in 2016.


34 responses so far

34 Responses to “Turmoil In Iowa”

  1. dhunter says:

    We cannot allow Obama to appoint Supremes for four more years, the country will never be a free Republic after the appointees he would name interpret our constitution to allow left wing socialism.
    Iowa Evangelicals elect a far right evangelical every time, the good thing about this is we weed out the weaker candidates and allow the field to mature before the important primaries take place.
    Huckabee won last time and Mccain finished fourth so don’t count Newt out.
    He needs to go down and dirty now on Mitt who spent a fortune for two solid weeks blanketing the airwaves with falsehoods against newt. Ron Paul also gang piled on although he was more of an equal opportunity negative ad guy bashing all the above.
    I think Mitt will feel the fire now that he has chosen to go down that road.

    I hope newt can pick up the perry and bachman voters.

    Virginia Tech got screwed on that last pass and I say this as a Michigan fan, I would have been pissed had the call gone against my team in the same way. the reciever had the ball and elbow was down in bounds.

  2. kathie says:

    It is so depressing. Rick is a looser, come on people Santorum lost his last race for Senate. There is nobody, absolutely nobody! Why would the country kick out Obama for Romney? I can’t stand the thought of Obama on TV for another 4 years telling me what is American and what is not.

  3. crosspatch says:

    I don’t believe this demonstrates any “weakness” in Romney at all. He never even campaigned in Iowa until the last few weeks while some of the other candidates had been working the state for over a year.

    And frankly, the more I have seen of Romney lately, the more I am warming up to him.

    There are a few issues on which he gets a bad rap, primarily the medical care in Mass. I lived in that state for a couple of years once. The legislature had been pushing for state medical care for a while. The situation when Romney was in office was that the legislature was prepared to create a state health insurance plan that eliminated private insurance in the state; a single-payer system with the government as the sole provider of health insurance. The legislature was set to send the issue to state referendum and polling was showing that it would pass easily. What Romney did was to convince the legislature to keep private medical insurance and preserve choices for people. Rather than make the state government the insurance agency, he persuaded them to simply make medical insurance mandatory like car insurance but allow private companies to continue to compete for people’s business. A state insurance fund would be created for people who couldn’t afford private insurance.

    Romney could not have stopped the first proposal as any veto would have been overridden by the legislature and I’m not sure the governor can veto an issue settled by referendum, anyway. It didn’t matter, though, since the idea of state medical care had nearly unanimous support in the legislature. Even today the General Court (their legislature) has 128 Democrats and only 32 Republicans. I believe it was even more lopsided at that time. There was no way Romney was going to block medical care. All he could do was to prevent a state takeover of the medical insurance industry in the state, which he did.

    Since that bill was passed, the requirements for the state fund for people who can’t afford private insurance has been expanded and requirements eased so that it has just about broken the state. People were deciding not to get any insurance until they got sick, then went on insurance to fix their problem, then went off again. This results in people getting very expensive treatments but not paying much into the system for them. It’s a mess. That isn’t Romney’s fault, that is the fault of the bureaucracy that the legislature created surrounding delivery of services on the state plan.

    Romney was in a pretty crappy situation. Mass was going to get government medical care no matter what he did. He couldn’t block the legislature (no Republican governor can in Massachusetts). I believe he is sincere when he says he would sign a bill that repeals Obamacare. He didn’t WANT “Romneycare” in Mass in the first place and it wasn’t like he just woke up one day and said “Hey, lets have government medical care!”.

  4. ivehadit says:

    AJ, I couldn’t disagree with you more regarding having obama for another 4 years. We simply cannot afford it. He and he alone can enact horrific things upon this country…look at the EPA, the Courts, our real foreign policy and on and on. We will not survive. He, in his presidential role, is ripping our country out from underneath us. As far as congress is concerned having a republican senate and congress is obama’s best dream. Why? Because he will triangulate like you have never seen and, because he is smooth and “cool”, he will win in the public arena. If you think he has been blaming republicans now with 1/3 of the government then just wait. It will make 2011 look like a republican Disneyland.

    Romney is going to be the candidate and we must ALL, including conservatives and independents, rally around him to get rid of the life ending cancer that is upon us now. Good health can only return after this is done.

  5. lurker9876 says:

    crosspatch, if that is what Romney did with RomneyCare and he plans to repeal ObamaCare, then I’m ok with it. However, Romney still believes that individual mandates are constitutional. What does he mean by that?

    I see that Obama plans to appoint a recess appointment this afternoon in spite of the fact that the Senate is not in recess. How nice.

  6. Dividist says:

    “I don’t think Romney would be much better than Obama, because a GOP Congress would be hesitant (or unwilling) to challenge a GOP President and his moderate ways. “ – AJ

    Exactly. For me, this is the key point.

    The most probable outcome for 2012 is that the Republicans will take the Senate majority and maintain control of the House majority. Whether it is Republicans or Democrats we know what happens when one party controls both the legislative and executive branch – constitutional checks and balances are undermined and the executive branch gets free reign.

    We saw Democrats abrogate their congressional oversight responsibilities and cave on civil liberty and war-making authority with Obama (not to mention two trillion dollar new spending programs in two pure partisan bills passed in two years). We saw Republicans abrogate their congressional oversight responsibilities and give GWB a free pass on unfunded new entitlement programs like the prescription Drug benefit, as well as fail to exercise the constitutional war making authority and fiscal responsibilities by paying for the two trilllion dollar, decades long, nation building exercises in the middle east.

    Divided government is ugly and messy but it keeps the problems from getting worse and can be counted on for marginal improvement. If it comes down to Romney vs. Obama, I’ll vote for Obama to maintain divided government.

  7. oneal lane says:

    I am no Romney fan by any means, but he would be tremendously better than Obama. Supreme court and all other court appointments, Obamacare (he has to repeal it, he has painted himself in the corner with that) UN policy and agreements. Fiscal policy.

    Santorum is just the latest flavor, first it was Bachman, then Perry, then Cain, then Newt…. now it’s Santorum, who is a nice guy, but has no chance.

    It’s going to be Romney vs Obama. I am not excited or hopeful.

  8. Mike M. says:

    I’m with Newt in the primaries…but I will wholeheartedly support whoever the Republican nominee is in the general election. They are all better than Obama by a country mile.

    As for Romney, I agree with Crosspatch. He’s made some very good noises on national security – in particular, he seems to understand the importance of seapower and the desirability of rebalancing our force structure. What we have today is a pint-sized version of what we had in the mid-’80s, which was designed to fight a land war in Europe. The strategic center of gravity has shifted to the Pacific, where seapower reigns supreme.

    Not to mention that anyone who got arrested for “contempt of cop” can be all bad.

  9. WWS says:

    look at what Obama did today – made a blatantly unconstitutional appointment and then watched the press just laugh it off.

    The constitution will survive 4 years of Romney. It won’t survive 4 more years of Obama.

    The 5 stages of deciding to vote for Romney:

    1) denial

    2) anger

    3) bargaining

    4) depression

    5) acceptance

    I’ve almost made it to stage 5, and it does feel a whole lot better once you get there.

  10. ivehadit says:

    Right on, WWS. And I am no big fan of Romney, btw. Just being practical and very, very afraid of an obama with absolutely NO reins on him during another 4. None. And no leverage whatsoever to stop him. Unthinkable damage to our country. I hope the independents that voted for obama are finally aware of his true agenda.

  11. WWS says:

    AJ, it would probably be unkind to go back and look up all of your 2008 posts lambasting the “purists” who refused to support McCain because he wasn’t conservative enough. But you used to hit the theme regularly.

    Romney is a good bit more conservative than McCain. So doesn’t your logic of 2008 still apply today? An outsider with the political skill of Reagan is a once in a lifetime event, we’ll never live to see that again no matter what happens. So we gotta make the best deal we can, even if it means we only get a part of what we want. Part is still better than nothing.

  12. jan says:

    I’m in total agreement with some of the more moderated posters here regarding the value and viability of Romney. While he is not my ideal candidate, I don’t see him as being as undesirable or undeserving as some here, along with AJ, do.

    He was deemed as being the conservative candidate in ’08, and not much has changed in his behavior or POVs since then. What has changed has been people’s need for a purist candidate to the detriment of defeating Obama. Bashing Romney, having groups forming as ABR (Anybody But Romney) will be self destructive, IMO.

    The enemy people is Obama, not Romney.

  13. Redteam says:

    I will support anyone against Obama, but there is just no way it’s going to be Romney. He’ll surely lose in S Carolina and Florida and that’ll pretty much end it. Now it’s almost certain to be Newt, with Santorum the most likely if not Newt.
    I agree with all those that say the country won’t survive 4 more under Obama. He clearly violated the Constitution today and there is NO ONE that will do a damn thing about it.

    dhunter, you are right about that Virginia Tech call. those review plays are only about 50% called correctly. I’ve seen one bad one in the Clemson- W Va game tonight.

  14. jan says:

    Hopefully Newt will disappear into the folds of his grandiosity and erratic temperament. While his anger and passion seems to appeal to a certain segment on the right, he is a real turn-off to the majority out there in the GE.

    As for Santorum — his political views and stances line up pretty much with Romney, except that he represents more the face of social conservatives than Romney, who is really more a technocrat than a social idealogue. The glaring deficit in Santorum is that he is seen by many as santimonious and rigid. I’ve known people who have worked for him during his years in Congress, and said he was a pain in the a** to work under, as well.

  15. gkm1959 says:

    AJ, your credibility on the candidate selection and nomination process can be summed up in one word . . . . . .

    CAIN ! ! ! !

    Stick to the climate change stories AJ, they are your strong suit.


  16. AJStrata says:


    Don’t presume to tell me what I can or cannot write about. Your not a God, no matter how much you dwell on yourself. This is my site and my views. Get over it.

    Cain is gone, he blew it. I have no delusions. But I do know it is anybody but Romney, and that may include a neutered and cornered Obama. Wake up.

  17. AJStrata says:


    You are 100% correct. Newt just rubs you wrong after a while. And he really gets an ego trip going sometimes.

    Ignoring the Judicial Branch? Threatening judges?

    If Obama did that people would rightfully be raising alarm bells about us become a 3rd world dictatorship.

    Would I take Santorum over Obama and Romney? I guess if I had to.

    So far this group of candidates has been a disaster.

  18. lurker9876 says:

    About Obama’s actions yesterday….just wait til he moves to his next project….a massive refinancing program for struggling homeowners. He’s doing these things to convince Americans to re-elect him.

    BTW, some Volohk posters claim that Obama’s recess appointments are constitutional.

    With Obama’s blame game, it’s a shame that there is nothing that the Congressional Republicans can do because…guess what…Obama will use that against the Republicans…just like he is blaming the Republicans for obstructionism of his appointment nominees when Reid is really the one that’s obstructing Obama.

    And as for Obama’s campaign, watch him shifting all blame to the Republicans for preventing him from fundamentally transforming our country.

    And if Obama gets re-elected, expect us to call Michelle, “Your Excellency”!

    And what’s up with his new “middle class” slogan?

    I’m with most of the posters. I won’t vote for Mitt in the primary but will vote for him if he wins the GOP nomination. Right now, it’s between Perry and Santorum. I cannot vote for Newt.

  19. dhunter says:

    i will vote for a ham sandwich over Obama!
    The supreme court appointments under him will end this country as we know it.
    If I could suck it up and vote for that old fool McCain then the rest of those who love this country had better suck it up and vote for anybody but Obama this time else we will all be slaves to the free loaders, grifters, union hacks and don’t wanna workers

  20. dhunter says:

    I will vote for a ham sandwich over Obama!
    The supreme court appointments under him will end this country as we know it.
    If I could suck it up and vote for that old fool McCain then the rest of those who love this country had better suck it up and vote for anybody but Obama this time else we will all be slaves to the free loaders, grifters, union hacks and don’t wanna workers