Saturday, December 31, 2011

What's a Caucus Anyway?

2008 Iowa Caucus (linked to source: Iowa Caucus)

A primary election looks and feels a lot like a general election for the most part, except that in some states they only let you exclusively vote for a party you are already registered with. You show up, you cast your ballot in a private booth, you leave. Simple enough.
A caucus does not operate the same way. First of all, if you are in an Iowa caucus, there may be a lot of C-SPAN and national news cameras watching your every move. It isn't quite as private as voting booth. Second, a caucus is a big group meeting. The political party members come together (it is open only to registered voters who are registered to a specific party), and have a group meeting. They say the Pledge of Allegiance, sometimes even open with a prayer by a local evangelical, conduct a few minutes of business, the campaigns are given a few minutes to make their final pleas, and then they open things up to a vote. Everyone will write a name down on a piece of paper and pass it in. A caucus official will count the votes with a representative from each campaign intently watching over his or her shoulder. The votes are counted and recorded on an official form. The results are announced to the waiting group and media cameras. The official numbers are sent to the state party along with an officially designated human being for security purposes. The numbers are aggregated from around the state, and an official report is made to the media.

A few interesting facts about the Iowa Caucus-
Anyone who will be of legal voting age in November for the general elections, is allowed to vote in the caucus. So there will be 17 yr olds voting in the caucus on Tuesday. (High school juniors!)
There are 1,774 caucus locations across the state. There are 99 counties in the state.
Only candidate Rick Santorum has stumped in all 99 counties!
Voting will begin at 7 p.m. all across the state (Central time).
3,062,309 people in Iowa.
3,850,000 cows in Iowa
That's 1.26 cows per person, or .8 people per cow. Either way, a lot of hamburgers.
569,633 live in the greater Des Moines area (people, not cows, but then again, probably cows too)
613,521 "active" registered Republicans (6.3 cows)
A Iowan Angus cow costs $1000 (you think I'm making that up, don't you? I'm not. See?)

There are 6 Chik-Fil-A restaurants in Iowa.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Newt Gingrich Still Thinks He Has a Chance

On December 19, just 11 days ago, I explained right here how South Carolina supposedly has a 100% record on nominating the next nominee. In a nutshell, yes, South Carolina has voted in the man who would be the next GOP nominee six out of the last six times. But there is a huge caveat on that- only in 2008 did they vote early enough in the process that there wasn't a clear front-runner yet. In all other years there was already a set front-runner. There is no indication of any election where South Carolina picked an upset to become the winner.
Also previously explained- Iowa has a 30% track record of picking the GOP nominee, and New Hampshire has an 87.5% positive track record in selecting the next nominee.
With that information tell me this clip doesn't blow your mind-

Rick Santorum for Third Place??

You look away for just one minute, thinking Iowa is going to go to either Mitt Romney or Ron Paul, and suddenly, out of nowhere, Mr. Next-to-Last-Place Rick Santorum surges ahead in the pack!
It has been confirmed by more than one credible national poll that Santorum is a strong contender for third place in Iowa. A CNN/Time poll taken just last week (you know, during the days that the wheels began to fall off the Gingrich bandwagon) shows the former Senator from Pennsylvania jumping NINE POINTS UP in Iowa. And that craziness is confirmed in an NBC/Marist poll (info down around p7).
I have spent little to no time talking about Sen. Santorum. I've actually met him and have been following his career since he was a freshman Congressman. He was riends with the Congressman I interned for many moons ago. I was just a young intern in someone else's office, and yet, he took the time to be genuine and kind to me. Trust me, that was a rarity on the Hill. I think he is a very good man, with very good morals and ethics. He's a good leader and someone who will rise to the top with time. But is he Presidential Material? I'll stop several feet short of saying yes, but whole heartily and adamantly say he would be great VP material!

I'll let his campaign do the rest of the "talking."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oops, he did it again! Gingrich won't be on the Missouri ballot!

"Oops, did I do that?" (Linked to source at

According to the Missouri Secretary of State's office, Newt Gingrich did not file the necessary paperwork to be on the February 7 ballot.
(He messed up in Virginia just last week, and won't be on their ballot either.)
Really, Mr. Speaker? It is almost like you aren't even trying anymore! Or are the phones not working in Iowa? All you had to do was get one person to go down to the state capitol, pay $1,000, and fill out some paperwork. You didn't even have to get signatures in Missouri!
You had time to visit Dubuque, Decorah, and Dyersville, IA yesterday, but you didn't have just one staffer on the bus who could drive the 280 miles down to Jefferson City, MO?
Can I point out that Dyersville, IA has approximately 4,000 people living in it, and Missouri has 6 million?
Sure, the Missouri's primary is just for show, since no delegates are actually awarded.  The state Republican Party will hold caucuses in March for that purpose. I know Iowa is Important, but Missouri is too. Actually, I like to think that all of the states are important and deserve equal attention. The fact that we have to have laws keeping you from spending too much money in one state is rather ridiculous. We should have laws strongly encouraging you to spend equal money in every state.
For the record, all of the other candidates (maybe even some you have never heard of) managed to get on the ballot.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rick Perry "Transforms" His Position on Abortion

One week before Iowa and just two till New Hampshire, and Rick Perry has just changed his views on abortion- to an even more conservative point of view.
He likes to call it, "a transformation."
Previously he was opposed to abortion, except in cases of incest, rape, or risking the life of the mother. He has now transformed his views and opposes abortion even in the case of rape, incest or when the woman's life would be at risk.
He says he changed his views after meeting a woman who was the product/child of a rape. Her story was shared in an  abortion documentary screened by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that social conservatives are pretty powerful in Iowa, where Perry is in fourth place, but well within striking distance of beating Gingrich for third place. And it probably endears him just a little bit more to the Tim Tebow fans out there.

Source: NY Daily News
and Anderson Cooper 360

Polls for the week ending December 27, 2011

2008 Iowa Caucus Results by County

We're a little delayed thanks to the holiday but here's our weekly look at the national polls.
Last week's GOP nomination polls ended on December 17, and we have new data for this week's polls!
Last week we saw Newt Gingrich drop 4%, Mitt Romney holding on with his usual 20ish percent, and it was Michele Bachmann with the surprising gain of 3.2% overtaking Rick Perry

This week Gingrich is still in the lead, but that little green line of his is still going down, while the Romney purple line inched up. Ron Paul takes a completely unimpressive third place, a good 10-14 points behind the leaders.
The data for PPP is so far off from the other polls that I looked back at their last set of numbers. The last data from them was in early November, and even then their numbers were completely different (in Gingrich's favor) from the other polls conducted that week. It makes me want to toss their numbers out personally. If we pull out the PPP numbers, Gingrich's national average is 25.75, and Romney at 25.5. And we've got ourselves a horse race!

On to "First in the Nation" Iowa Caucuses-
For the last two weeks we have seen a drastic change in numbers coming out of Iowa. Prior to the Fox News televised debates we had Gingrich 30%, Romney 20%, Paul 11%, Perry 8%, Bachmann 9%, Santorum 5%, Huntsman 2%, and Cain still in the race with 5%.
But then two days later there was news that a new Rasmussen polls had Romney in the lead at 23%.
But then Cain dropped out of the race, and the polls all changed. Gingrich dropped by 13%, Ron Paul jumped ahead 8%, and everyone saw movement all over the place.
But it is Ron Paul that needs to be looked at carefully. Last week he had only 11%, and now he's up to 19.3%.
And then after Cain dropped out, and we had the Iowa debates, we found Gingrich, Paul, and Romney are all within 2 points of each other, and Michele Bachmann started sending out emails saying she was winning Iowa

So here we are exactly one week away from the Iowa caucus, and things have changed again!
Ron Paul is in the lead! It isn't a strong lead, but he is definitely in the lead. Romney is hot on his heels, and Gingrich has dropped into no man's land. And Michele Bachmann? 5th place.
Because I'm starting to feel incredibly skeptical about any and all data out of PPP, I'm redoing the numbers, dropping their data. It moves Ron Paul to 22, and Mitt Romney to 21.5. Considering the margin of error on these polls, I'd say we don't really know who is going to win in Iowa! It will be either Ron Paul or Mitt Romney, but I think the numbers have been too volatile to really say that with any confidence.

Now for the Live Free state of New Hampshire-
Last week Romney was in the lead, but he had dropped just a skosh.
Now looking at this week's numbers-

How about we just call it for Romney now?

Fantasy Presidential Predictions

Over on the Motley Fool today I wrote about "Putting Stock in Politics" and how futures trading on politics is, in my humble opinion, nothing more than glorified gambling. If you want to have a little legal fun, with no money exchanged, with a fantasy presidential campaign pool, check out Fantasy Prez.
On this fun site you can make your predictions regarding the presidential race. The Iowa window has closed, but you can still put in your picks for other primaries and caucuses. You can check out my results (as soon as Iowa takes place) on the site where I am listed as "Swing State Voter."

Have you followed the new story about Mitt Romney being unwilling to disclose his campaign's tax information? What do you think about it? Does it make you doubt him? Do you think he should have to disclose it? Are you aware that he legally has no obligation to do so? What information do you think he might be hiding? Or do you think he's hiding anything at all?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gingrich and Perry Fail to Qualify for Virginia Primary Ballot

Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry
"I'm a Newt" "I'm a chipmunk!" (Linked to source:

Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to gather and submit the required 10,000 minimum signatures from registered voters in Virginia in order to make the primary ballot in March, according to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV).The ballot will now only be Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. (Huntsman, Bachmann, and Santorum did not submit petitions.)

Gingrich did have a slight lead in Virginia over Mitt Romney in the Commonwealth, according to a Quinnipiac University poll, released Wednesday morning. Gingrich has 30 percent and Romney has 25 percent among VA Republican voters.

Instead of admitting he failed to gather enough signatures (his campaign was seen still gathering signatures outside of an event in Richmond on Thursday), Newt Gingrich's campaign criticized the process. "Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates. We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Way to endear yourself to the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), Mr. Speaker. It's not like you haven't known for months that this was coming!  I wonder if when he's a visiting professor if he allows students to use that same excuse? "Professor, I've known for months that this was coming. But I think the system is wrong. Asking me to do homework in every class is too much. I'm going to start an aggressive write-in campaign from my parents and all my friends making sure I get to pass!" 

Weak sauce.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum will not be on the Virginia Primary Ballot

Looks like Newt Gingrich will be on the ballot in Virginia after all. But the ballot will be missing a few other names, specifically Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Jr., and Rick Santorum. The three campaigns failed to make the 5 pm filing deadline Thursday with the Virginia State Board of Elections, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Can I say what we are all thinking anyway? Did anyone really expect those 3 campaigns to still be in the race come March? 
Mitt Romney was the first GOP candidate to turn in his names. On Tuesday, none other than the Virginia Lt Governover Bill Boling himself, filed the necessary paperwork. Romney submitted 16,026 signatures, (hey, I got about 100 of those signatures for him!), Ron Paul 14,361; Rick Perry 11,911 and Newt Gingrich 11,050. Each candidate had to turn in at least 10,000 signatures, with at least 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts.
Next, all of the signatures must get quickly vetted over the weekend. For reasons not explained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the VA GOP decided that candidates who submit at least 15,000 signatures of registered voters with at least 600 signatures from each of the 11 districts will be deemed to have met the qualifications. Why this is more than the requirements laid out by the State Board is what I don't understand.
The parties have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to tell the State Board of Elections which candidates qualify for the March 6 primary ballot. The order of names will be decided by lottery on Wednesday.
Sidenote- when I went to the VA GOP homepage to try and find some info on why the change in numbers, I discovered that today Newt Gingrich was their guest speaker for a brunch. That probably does make it a little easier to get the signatures of registered voters turned in on time!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Latest Letter from Bachmann

Latest letter from the Bachmann campaign-

Dear Fellow Conservative,

As one of my most loyal supporters I wanted you to be the first to know this exciting news. In a We Ask America poll just released today, our campaign is only four points behind Ron Paul for first place in Iowa!

We are in a statistical dead heat for the Iowa caucuses and I need your immediate support to push my campaign over the top!

I know with your support and prayers our campaign can prove victorious in January. Iowa is where Barack Obama’s campaign began and it is where it will end- when our campaign wins the first-in-the-nation caucuses! Your donation today will ensure our campaign has the resources it needs to win next month. Please give as generously as possible up to the legal limit.

Having never heard of We Ask America, I went to their website. They are a for-hire polling company. It doesn't say who commissioned this particular poll. The results and information are a bit confusing though. It doesn't sound like the right audience was polled. "The results for Ron Paul in last night’s poll may actually be a couple of points better than it shows here among the general electorate due to his strength in the 35-44 & 45-54 age brackets, but the Iowa caucuses skew older..."

It does require mentioning that while We Ask America ha fairly consistent results with their winners and losers, their numbers in no way line up with the numbers of the larger polling companies. Most other companies had Bachmann at about 7% (give or take a few) on Dec 5.
Just food for thought!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Newt Gingrich Gets Hacked

One of the more interesting results when you accidentally type in

Apparently I spoke too soon, and so did the hackers. Earlier today I said I didn't think anyone would go to the trouble of hacking the Iowa caucus results. But today, anyone who typed in (instead of the more accurate found themselves looked at any number of sites unflattering to Dear Mr. Speaker. 
For instance, sites like Tiffany & Co. (where Gingrich has a six-figure tab), Freddie Mac, or not-too-conservative news articles and YouTube videos (for instance Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi talking climate change).
Popular digital media website,, called the hacking the digital equivalent of supporters of one politician vandalizing the lawn signs of an opponent in the dark of night. The domain is privately registered, so the owner’s information is not readily accessible.
Gingrich’s campaign wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Not too long ago, Rick Perry's site redirected to Ron Paul’s campaign website. No word on if the same stuntsperson was behind both.

I read the news so you don't have to

Have you checked out the "Match-O-Matic" from ABC and Yahoo News yet? This fun little interactive game has you answer a series of questions to see which candidate (6 major GOP + Obama) you best match up with. Even knowing the candidate's platforms as well as I do, and trying to skew the results to get a certain one, I was very surprised at my result. I got the candidate I wanted (Mitt Romney) for my first choice, but the second place was Huntsman, and the third place was Obama. Obama?? I took it a second time, again skewing my answers to try and get Bachmann, and it gave me Rick Perry. Go figure. It is a fun game, I'm just not sure that it is accurate.
CNN has an interesting piece about how top Iowa faith leaders have backed Rick Santorum, but wish they didn't have to choose between so many pro-life candidates. I find this particularly odd that they would back the losing candidate, while saying they wish they didn't have to choose. Kudos for saying they wish some of the candidates would drop out. I agree. But it is Santorum who is taking away support from bigger candidates! One-issue candidates annoy me. Good for them for bringing attention to their one issue. But they need to think about the party, or overall conservative movement, as a whole, when it comes down to voting time. Otherwise, they are doing more harm than good, pulling support away from a stronger, bigger, candidate with similar views.
Meanwhile MSNBC is running a big whiny piece about Newt Gingrich. The Newt isn't so happy that his competition is running negative ads about him. He's complaining it is causing his drop in the polls. Well, Mr. Speaker, maybe you just had an unexpected rise in the polls on name recognition only, then you opened your mouth, people heard what you had to say, and went running? You can't blame your competition for reminding people about who you are!
As for why his campaign is struggling to get his name on the ballot in Virginia (see, I'm not the only one saying that!), and is unorganized in Iowa, he says, “We are still putting our campaign together. It is wild. It is amazing. Some candidates have been running for five or six years and raised millions and millions of dollars. They're better organized than I am.”
You would think a man who has been in politics for as many years as he has would have a lot of connections with campaign managers. Oh wait, he did. And they all quit working for him over the summer!
Last, but not least, the AP is running a story that some folks in Iowa are worried that the voting results might be hacked.
"It's very clear the data consolidation and data gathering from the caucuses, which determines the headlines the next morning, who might withdraw or resign from the process, all of that is fragile," said Douglas Jones, a computer science professor at the University of Iowa who has consulted for both political parties.
"If I were one of these `hacktivists' who had no scruples, I would be really strongly tempted to see if I could get into the computer and see if I could make `SpongeBob SquarePants' win."

While I wouldn't put it past some rabid supporters to do that (coughpaulitescough), all I can really say is anyone who believes that must not have access to C-SPAN, where you can sit and watch the different caucuses "vote" live on TV. It is one of the most boring spectacles you can watch live, but there is no question who they caucus for. Hacking the computers would be pointless when we can watch it all live.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Will Gingrich be on the ballot in Virginia?

In the "swing state" of Virginia, all presidential candidates who want to be on the ballot at the primary on March 6, 2012, must receive 10,000 number of signatures from registered voters in Virginia, and submit them to the Virginia Secretary of State by Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5 pm. The signatures must include at least 400 signatures from registered voters from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. (This blog started as a result of my experiences in volunteering for Mitt Romney at the polls to get the 10,000 signatures for him.)
We're less than 48 hours away from that deadline, and it looks like Newt Gingrich may not have the signatures to get on the ballot in Virginia! This close to the deadline, and they are still trying to get signatures in 7 districts!
 I received the following email from the campaign yesterday-

Dear Supporter,

You are invited to meet Newt Gingrich on Wednesday in Arlington for a Virginians with Newt 2012 rally! 

First, we need your help with petitions to get on the ballot in Virginia. Come out to our signature stations tomorrow (see below the rally invitation).

Rally for Newt Gingrich
Wednesday, December 21st7:00PM – 9:00PM

Key Bridge MarriottPotomac Ballroom1401 Lee HighwayArlington, VA 22209
SIGNING STATIONS FOR TOMORROW, Dec. 20thPlease come and forward this email to your friends in these Congressional districts!

CD Location Time
1 Wal Mart in Garrisonville/Stafford County, 217 Garrisonville Road (Rout 610 at I -95), Stafford, VA 22554 6-9 pm
2 Farm Fresh - Strawbridge 2129 General Booth Blvd, VA Bch 23454 6-9 pm
2 Gary Byler's Law Office
505 S. Independence Blvd
Suite 201
VA Beach 23452-1150
6-9 pm
2 Farm Fresh-- Great Neck  2110 Great Neck Square, VA Bch 23454 6-9 pm
6 Waynesboro Walmart 116 Lucy Lane, 22980 6-9 pm
7 Park and Ride Parham and I64 23229 5-8 pm
7 Law Offices 1324 Sycamore Square 202C Midlothian, VA 23113 6-9 pm
8 1215 Duke Street, Alexandria 22314 6-9 pm
10 Herndon Monroe Park & Ride 12530 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, VA 20191 5-8 pm
11 Giant Food Store-- 8074 Rolling Road, Springfield, Saratoga Shopping Center 22151 6-9 pm
Multi 5 - 6 1411 Hight Street, Farmville, VA 23901 1pm -7pm

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!

Rachel Robinson
Newt 2012

There aren't many polls happening across Virginia yet, but what few there have been showed Mitt Romney with a significant lead over Gingrich, until very recently. Is it possible that Gingrich doesn't have enough support or organization in Virginia to make the ballot?

A recent poll conducted last week by the PPP, shows Obama has the lead in the Commonwealth with 48% of voters approving of him to 47% who disapprove. (He won Virginia by 6 points against John McCain.) Obama leads both Mitt Romney (48-42) and Newt Gingrich (50-43) by margins comparable to his 6 point victory over John McCain in 2008. And between the two match ups Obama is picking up as many Republicans as he's losing Democrats, something we don't see often.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Does South Carolina really produce the nominee 100% of the time?

South Carolina Presidential Primary

South Carolina likes to pride itself on its "first in the South" status in the presidential primaries. And even likes to brag a little bit that they choose the candidate that goes on to be the nominee six out of the last six times. Is South Carolina really that in tune with the nation as a whole? Or is there a better explanation?

Let's look at their past results-

2008- John McCain won with 33% on January 19, where they and Nevada were the fourth and fifth states to hold primaries. It was the second state for McCain to win (he also took NH), and he was definitely not the frontrunner yet.

2004- George W Bush incumbent year

2000- George W. Bush won with 53% on February 19, and was 5th to hold a primary. He had already won in three other states by large margins.

1996- Bob Dole won with 45% on March 2, as the 9th to hold a primary or caucus. It was only the third state for him to win. But that was a "Super Tuesday" week where Dole won 11 more states over the next 4 days.

1992- George H.W. Bush won with 67% as a contested incumbent.

GOP Polls for week ending Dec 17, 2011

Wow, what a difference one week makes! The polls are still leaning in Gingrich's favor nationally, but his lead is definitely not a sure thing.
Quick wrap up on the polls for last week (GOP polls for week ending Dec 12). Gingrich was still on the rise, with his average lead nationally about 12 points ahead of Romney. Romney was continuing to hold on to his consistent 20%. Cain was still showing up in the numbers, and Ron Paul had moved up to about 9%. The rest of the pack showed little to no change (as always).
This week is our first official non-Cain polling week. And what a difference a week makes!

Gingrich is down 4%
Romney is ever faithful with his 22.5% (up 1.7%)
Ron Paul moved up .3%
Michele Bachmann is the surprise dark horse this week and moves up 3.2% to 4th place, putting her a full point of Rick Perry (who saw no change).
Rick Santorum stays steady at 3.5%.
And Jon Huntsman moves up from 2.5 to to 3.0, which if you think about it, is a 25% increase in supporters for him. So bravo Jon Huntsman!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Candidate Emails

The candidates were busy this weekend. Look at this screenshot of my inbox!
15 emails in just 2 days! 

Des Moines Register Endorsement Track Record - good thing? or kiss of death?

The Des Moines Register has endorsed Mitt Romney in the GOP 2012 Presidential Nomination Race. As was done when the New Hampshire Union Leader endorsed Newt Gingrich last month, I decided to do some research on the sway and power of such an endorsement.
The Des Moines Register prides itself on being a "voice of pragmatic conservatism." How conservative are they? Well, the paper has been owned by the Cowles family since 1903. One family member served as a Republican in the Iowa General Assembly (in the early 1900s), and another in the Herbert Hoover administration. With those kinds of GOP roots, and their conservative claims, they are surprisingly not that conservative.

GOP Nominee Endorsements-
2011/12- Mitt Romney (2 weeks till we find out!)
2008- John McCain (who lost to Mike Huckabee, eventual nomination went to McCain)
2004- George W. Bush (incumbent year)
2000- John McCain (lost by 36% to GW Bush, who also took the nomination)*
1996- Bob Dole (won Iowa, and the national nomination)
1992- George H.W. Bush (incumbent year)
1988- Bob Dole (won Iowa with 37%, but the nomination, and eventual presidency, went to George H.W. Bush who took third in Iowa)

So as for how often the Des Moines Register's endorsee win in Iowa? Two times for Bob Dole. But it is noteworthy that they did endorse McCain in 2008 who went on to get the nomination, but lost Iowa.
The paper has never endorsed the man who would be the next GOP President (unless they backed Reagan in the 80s. I am still working very hard to find hard core data on 76, 80, and 84).
In other words, Romney Fans, I wouldn't get too excited about this endorsement. It doesn't seem to bring good luck!
*Disclaimer- 2 sources said they endorsed McCain, a third said they backed Bush. Still trying to find a more credible source than Wikipedia.

The Register also endorses a Democrat each year, so let's look at those-
2008 - Hillary Clinton (Obama won) (however, for the nationwide Presidential election they endorsed Obama over McCain)
2004- John Edwards (lost to John Kerry by 6%)
2000- Bill Bradley (Al Gore won)
1996- Bill Clinton (incumbent year)
1992- Tom Harkin (Iowa state senator. Most Democrats avoided Iowa that year. Harkin won the state with 77% of the vote. Bill Clinton won the nomination, but lost in Iowa with 2%.)
1988- Paul Simon (lost to Dick Gephardt. Michael Dukakis took third in Iowa, won the nomination.)
1984- unknown
1980- unknown
1976- Jimmy Carter (Jimmy Carter "won" Iowa with 28%, meanwhile 37% chose "uncommitted" over Jimmy Carter.)

As for picking the Democratic Iowa Caucus winner they got Tom Harkin right in 1992, and Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Jimmy Carter in 1976 is also the only time, regardless of political party, that the Des Moines Register picked the future President, during the caucus phase. But we can't really blame the paper for that. Iowa rarely chooses the person who goes on to win the nomination, let alone the national election.

How often does the Iowa Caucus produce the national nominee?
The Iowa Caucus has only managed to pick the national nominees eight times out of the last fifteen elections, but only managed to be indicative of the next president twice. (I am not counting 1976 when more people chose to not commit rather than vote for Jimmy Carter.) In fact, it is interesting to note that they managed to repeatedly pick candidates (in both parties) that didn't just lose, but lost by significant numbers. Cases in point, Harkin, Mondale, Carter, Huckabee, Dole, Dole again, and anyone who ran against Ronald Reagan (1976 and 1980). 

Wikipedia: Newspaper endorsements in presidential elections

Saturday, December 17, 2011

If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all

A few positive articles from around the web today-

Business Insider - Mitt Romney - A Company Saved From Bankruptcy by Mitt Romney Was Just Named Best Employer in America (that employer? Bain and Company!)

Detroit Free Press- Anonymous donors pay strangers' Christmas layaway accounts (yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus!)

NY Times- Ron Paul's Ground Game Gives Him an Edge

Didn't expect it to be so hard to find positive news stories! If you have a good news story, leave a link in the comments. I'd be happy to share it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's Talk Debates!

Fox News GOP Debate
Fox News 2012 GOP Debate, Linked to Source: ABC News

I watch the debates so you don't have to!
Here's what you missed by watching "Bones" last night (Was it good? I haven't seen it yet! No spoilers!)
I could really tell this was hosted by Fox News. The candidates were hit from the right about their conservative positions. For instance, abortion and right to life were made an issue, as was gun control. These haven't been issues in this campaign at all, so it was surprising to hear how much time was spent on those subjects.
Michele Bachmann attacks Ron Paul on Iran
"MOM! He keeps interrupting me!" "Am not! "Are too!" (linked to source)
Apparently Michele Bachmann ate her Wheaties yesterday, and came out fighting. At several different points it felt like it was Bachmann v. Everyone Else. She reminded me of an angry Yorkshire Terrier, barking and nipping at Newt Gingrich's heels. She also had a very memorable heated exchange with Ron Paul on foreign policy. She flat out said she had "never heard a more dangerous answer" than Paul's positions on Iran. (Which is to say, he doesn't think they have a nuke.)

Ron Paul GOP Debate
"My name is Ron Paul, and until we open free trade with Iran, I won't be able to find a suit that fits." (linked to source)
Ron Paul doesn't back down in a fight, which is amusing considering his pacifist position on other issues. He really spent sometime standing up for his positions on Iran. "Why are we flying a drone over Iran?" He apparently thinks Iran sings kumbaya at night and prays for our peace.
I can finally sum up how he feels about Iran and Israel. "Our neighbor have guns, so we don't need to worry that we'll get attacked." (My words, not his.) His most memorable quote of the night was, "I don't want to run the world. I don't want to police individual activities or people's lifestyle, and I don't want to run the economy." Strange talk for a man running for the most powerful position in the world. It doesn't matter if anyone thinks he won or lost, because his supporters will think it was all rigged anyway.
In other news, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Khamenei endorse Ron Paul. He finally gets some big name, national endorsements!

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich
"My name is Mitt Romney, and I wear better ties than you!" (linked to source)

Mitt Romney was Mitt Romney last night. In many ways it was his night to lose, and I don't think he lost. But I don't think he "won" either. My favorite quote for him last night was, "Timidity and weakness invite aggression on the part of other people. This is a president, the spy drone being brought down, he says 'pretty please'? A foreign policy based on pretty please? You got to be kidding."
When attacked (by the moderators, and then Santorum) about his changing positions, his response essentially sounded like, "I used to favor flip-flopping, but now I'm against it."

Tim Tebow of Iowa
Tim Tebow 'tebowing' (linked to source)

Rick Perry- what do I say there? I think he will gain a fan or two. It was definitely his best debate so far. But probably too little, too late. Calling himself the Tim Tebow of politics was pretty funny. Other than that, he wasn't all that notable or quotable. He did suggest that we should limit Supreme Court terms. That was sort of interesting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rick Perry Endorser Sheriff Joe Arpaio Accused of Civil Rights Violations

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Linked to source: LA Times

Just two weeks ago the Rick Perry campaign sent out a newsletter with a strong endorsement from Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. At the time I questioned why of all people they would choose a sheriff's endorsement to circulate. Couldn't they get anyone better? The endorsement was all about how Perry, like Arpaio would be tough on illegal immigration.
Well, now they just might regret their pick of endorsements! Sheriff Arpaio is in the news today for a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints. Not only that, but a federal grand jury is also investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations and is examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.
Doesn't sound like the kind of guy you want on your team now, does it? 
It will be interesting to see if this comes up in the debates tonight!
Meanwhile, let's take a quick look at other endorsements around the block-
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz backs "underdog" Rick Santorum (an endorsement that only holds weight in Iowa)
Newt Gingrich snagged the coveted Union Leader endorsement (but I've explained why that's a kiss of death here)
Ron Paul, ever the master of social media, actually has a whole page on his website devoted to endorsements. Fans can create their own video, upload it to YouTube, and see it show up on the official Ron Paul site. Yet again showing their knowledge and domination of SEO, if you google "endorsements" one of the first suggestions (after endorsing a check) is "endorsements for Ron Paul." Bravo, campaigners, your ability to work the internet never ceases to impress me. That being said, I can't find where anyone of any political clout has endorsed Paul, other than the Daily Iowan newspaper. (And we all know how important that paper is!) 
If you want to see a list of major national or small state endorsements, check out P2012. It is very interesting to see how many are behind Romney (45 House members, 7 Senators, 3 Governors) and how many are behind Gingrich (1 Governor from his home state, 8 Congressmen - 5 of which are from his home state)!

#GOP2012 on Twitter

For a little "fun" today, I thought I'd see what people are saying on Twitter about the debates tonight, the surprising Rasmussen poll, and about the candidates in general. (You can follow me on Twitter @SwingStateVoter)

New Poll Shows Romney Leading in Iowa

Mitt Romney Iowa
Mitt Romney Leads in Iowa (in one poll at least)

The Rasmussen Reports today announced that for the fifth straight week a different candidate has emerged at the head of the pack in Iowa. And everyone is shocked that this week's leader is Mitt Romney!
Remember that just 3 days ago the Iowa polls were showing Romney trailing Gingrich by 11 points. And the Rasmussen Reports have never had Romney in the lead in Iowa before! This is a pretty significant change.
(The survey of 750 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants was conducted on December 13, 2011.)
But before anyone puts too much stock into this poll, let's see if anyone else has reported any new polls in the last few days.

The NewsMax/InsiderAdvantage survey of 517 registered likely Iowa caucus-goers, conducted Dec 12, 2011.
Newt Gingrich= 27%
Ron Paul= 17%
Rick Perry= 13%
Mitt Romney= 12%
Michele Bachmann= 10%
Rick Santorum= 7%
Jon Huntsman= 4%

Don't forget tonight is another debate in Iowa. And so far, we've had a new sweetheart after every debate. It will be interesting to see how things shake out after tonight. But can there really be that many undecided voters left in Iowa? Is it possible that every registered Republican hasn't had their hand shaken by every single candidate? I often wonder as well- considering how many letters and phone calls I get asking me to donate to help a candidate succeed in Iowa, how many free meals have I provided for the registered voters of Iowa?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingrich Iowa Director Calls Mormonism a Cult, Resigns

Craig Bergman, Former Gingrich Iowa Political Director, Source: LA Times (linked to source)

Craig Bergman just lead a very short political career. On Wednesday, Dec 7 he participated in a focus group for In that focus group the Tea Party activist and campaign veteran also called Newt Gingrich “the smartest unwise man in America. Because unwise means making bad choices.” Bergman leans towards backing Gingrich, but feels incidents like appearing in a global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi are reasons for concern.
Well, his statements about Gingrich aside, he still got hired the very next day as the Gingrich Iowa Director.
Then word got out on Monday of this week that he also said, “There is a national pastor who is very much on the anti-Mitt Romney bandwagon. A lot of the evangelicals believe God would give us four more years of Obama just for the opportunity to expose the cult of Mormon…There’s a thousand pastors ready to do that.”
On Tuesday Bergman resigned.
Personally, I would have a little more respect for Gingrich if he had fired Bergman. Allowing him to resign fails to make it clear where he, Gingrich, stands on that issue. As a Mormon, I am more than just a little bit offended.

Huffington Post: Craig Bergman, Newt Gingrich's Iowa Political Director, Resigns
The Iowa Republican Focus Group: Evangelicals Will Revolt Against Romney Nomination
Politico: New Newt Gingrich Iowa hire said some voters will reject Mitt Romney over Mormonism
USA Today: Gingrich staffer resigns after Mormon comments

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Townhall Online Poll!

Are you registered with Go vote!

The Polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and South Carolina

After such a lengthy post about the national polls yesterday, I decided to wait a day to do the Iowa and New Hampshire polls, and take a look at the rest of the country as well.

Last week we saw the RCP average ranking Gingrich 26, Romney 15.8, Paul 13.6, Cain, 12.0, Bachman 7.8, Santorum 4.6, Huntsman 2.0.
Data came from polls conducted by Des Moines Register, NBC/Marist, Insider Advantage, Rasmussen Reports, and The Polling Company, gathered over November 11-30

This week the data comes from completely different sources, and from overlapping dates!
Considering the overlapping dates of this week's polls and last week's polls, I decided to make my own table, only pulling in data that covers November 29-30 (which mind you was nearly 2 weeks ago, and means Cain was still in the picture).

My numbers don't really change anything. But I really didn't like that RCP was combining polls that overlapped before Cain dropped out. My numbers all intersect two days, which theirs did not.
In short, Gingrich has Iowa locked up. Which is why the accusation in yesterday that the Romney camp is telling people to vote for Paul makes absolutely no sense. I didn't make this up (they did).
Why would any candidate want to tell his supporters to vote for someone else in order to avert defeat? If anything, Romney would be doing everything in his power right now to make sure he himself comes in second, and to not let Ron Paul beat him.

One thing is for sure though, the Gingrich team doesn't have the money of the Romney team. (Romney had a fundraiser in New Jersey last night that brought in $1.1 million! It rumored that Gingrich may only have $4 million total in his war chest. (Source: Chicago Tribune) That money won't last long with media buys coming up in more states.

Speaking of other states (that matter more in the long run), let's take a look at New Hampshire.
The only new poll on here is the CNN/Time poll. NBC and Rasmussen were in last week's numbers (along with a few other sources as well). And the CNN/Time poll was also taken over the days that covered the Cain drop. So again, not really indicative of what people are really thinking now. We still have Romney with a significant lead over Gingrich, and the rest of the pack. Last week's numbers, which again, covered most of the same dates, had Romney leading with 16.5. Just goes to show you how little you can trust polling. Drop some data, add some data, and tada! You can change the results!

So let's take our first look at the rest of the country, shall we?
South Carolina (primary to be held January 21, 2012)-

Gingrich is in the lead. And looking back at the polls over the past few months tells us that Cain had a stronghold there until mid-November. That support appears to have gone to Gingrich. It is interesting that Romney really maintains that 20% across the country (as I discussed yesterday). The real fight is going to be for third place between Perry, Paul, and Bachmann.

After South Carolina will be the Florida primary on January 31.
Romney has never had a strong lead in Florida, but up until the end of October, he maintained a fairly steady lead. Then Cain had his short burst of fame, and quick demise. And just like in all of the other states, that support moved over to Gingrich.
It scares me to see that Gingrich line on the graphs skyrocketing up like that. Anyone else remember the last time we saw a skyrocket candidate at the last second?
Let me remind you-

Anything look familiar there? Look at the way the McCain line (brown) just jumps up at the last minute. Remember how we all came to quickly regret McCain? He wasn't a candidate anyone felt strongly about, or wanted to support. (And then there was the Palin disaster... Oy vey. At least we dodged a bullet there.) The Gingrich rise scares me in the same way the McCain rise did. Makes you wonder if Giuliani had cared more about Iowa and New Hampshire, if things would have gone differently?

But if you look at the news today, I'm not the only one wondering if we're about to see another "Giuliani moment" among the candidates?

Guest Blogger @NewtGrassroots

Welcome guest writer, Larry Welsh, of the Twitter account @NewtGrassroots

This Time It Must be Different
By Larry Welsh

To understand why I support Newt Gingrich for President, it’s useful to look at the other side of the coin; to remember the words of what the far left thought once upon time, to remember the words of Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. 

I don’t want to look back 5 years from now and feel like we missed our shot. I don’t want the Republican Establishment aided by the Liberal media to convince us yet again that we can’t win unless we nominate someone who doesn’t ruffle feathers, who “appeals to moderates,” who can attract “swing voters.” How many scare-tactic buzzwords have we heard before? Why do conservatives pine for Reagan? Because Ronald Reagan wasn’t the safe pick, because he didn’t “tone down” his conservative rhetoric, because he didn’t appease the liberal media. Most importantly, he did it the conservative way and he won.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Latest Dispatch from the Huntsman Campaign

This afternoon, Governor Huntsman is participating in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate in New Hampshire with Newt Gingrich.  We fully expect Governor Huntsman to demonstrate that he is the candidate voters can trust to lead in this substantive format that moves beyond sound bite politics.
Please visit our website to watch the live stream of the debate at 4 PM ET. C-SPAN is also broadcasting the debate at 8 PM ET.  Please forward this email to your friends, family members and co-workers and encourage them to watch as well.
With less than a month until the New Hampshire primary, we’re ramping up our efforts on the ground in New Hampshire. This morning we released our New Hampshire statewide leadership team that includes nearly 140 community leaders representing all 10 New Hampshire counties and 90 towns.
Every day enthusiasm grows in New Hampshire as we spread Governor Huntsman’s message of consistent, conservative leadership.  Please tune in this afternoon or tonight and help us spread the word.
Matt David
Campaign Manager

Comparing the GOP 2012 Polls for the week ending Dec 12, 2012

Washington Monument, Source: E. McBride

Welcome back to another round of comparing the weekly GOP 2012 polls. Let's quickly recap last week's standings (polls for week ending Dec 5).
Last week I wasn't very impressed with Real Clear Politics and their overall wrap up. They were using the same polls over the same exact dates for the past three weeks, but representing it as new. They tossed in one new poll and mixed it in with the old data to create new numbers. The polls weren't even conducted in the same time period, which really throws off the accuracy of the gauge. Nationally they were showing Newt Gingrich leading by 6.2, and their one new poll (Rasmussen) had Gingrich ahead nationally by 21! So I am looking forward to figuring out today's numbers, and hoping for a lot of new data, especially since this will be our first non-Cain week.

And yet again, RCP is disappointing me by mixing old data with new data, which throws things off by keeping Cain numbers in the older data. Ugh.

Taking out the old data, and only looking at the specific polls, feels different to me. Same frontrunner, and the results don't change much. (Remember, without Cain the totals won't be 100%.) But I'm more comfortable this way. In short, Gingrich is still showing a meteoric rise. Laid out this way you can also really see how very little change the bottom 3 candidates are seeing in the polls. Why won't they just drop out? Are they hoping to be the next Gingrich?
Look at that the Gallup poll for 10/7/11. Gingrich had 7% and was in 5th place (Cain had 18%). He was still behind Perry and Paul! So I guess you can't blame the back of the pack for wanting to be a dark horse. But I really don't see that happening.
Basically it all comes down to Romney and Gingrich at this point. Romney is such a strange number in all of this. He really has managed to hold on to exactly his 20% of registered Republicans for a year now. That tells you something- he has a very solid and loyal group of supporters.
This got me to thinking. There are 312,759,000 people living in the United States according to the 2010 Census. (Source: Wikipedia.) There were 218,054,301 individuals in the "voting eligible population" for the 2010 elections (which takes out illegals, those under 18, overseas, non-citizens, anyone incarcerated, etc) (Source: US Elections Project).
It will be an imperfect number, but here's some food for thought. In 2008 (and in the 2 previous elections) we saw the country split in close to 50/50 numbers in the presidential elections. Obama won over McCain with 53%. There are 55 million registered Republicans (source: AskMe), while Pew Research Center says that 27% of Americans identified as GOP in 2008 (come to think of it, I didn't identify as GOP in 2008, because I didn't like McCain/Palin. I identified and registered as Libertarian. Living at that time in a heavily red state, I knew my third party vote and the electoral system wouldn't help Obama get elected, but would send a message to the GOP that they were losing their base.) So using these numbers, I wanted to see how many people are staying local to Romney nationwide.
We could break down the numbers a few ways-
27% of the 312,759,000? Not good enough, since that number includes the under 18, illegals, and incarcerated.
But first let's see what 27% of the voting eligible population comes out to- 218,054,301 x .27 = 58,874,661.
59 million(ish), which isn't too far off from the 55 million registered Republicans. Don't you just love it when numbers actually come close?
So of 55 million Republicans, we know that roughly 20% have stayed loyal to Romney. That comes out to 11 million loyal Romney fans.
Obama won with roughly 67 million votes in 2008. (Source: CNN)
Assuming the country goes close to 50/50 again (and really, do we have a reason to think it won't?), Romney has 8% of the base. (Erin Math: he has 16% of the 50% which is GOP, therefore 8% of the 100%). Granted, with the electoral college system, that isn't going to really make much of a dent, (especially since Utah only has 5 electoral votes), but if he were to choose 3rd party, he could mess things up for Gingrich.
But since he's never threatened such a thing, and Ron Paul does all the time, let's see what kind of damage Paul could do-
Paul holds steady with 9.5% of the GOP. That gives him roughly 55 million x 9.5 = 5.2 million Ron Paul supporters
5.2 million supporters equals 2% of the voting eligible population.
Sorry, Paulites, but I don't see him doing any significant damage. Or winning. Ever.

I was not compensated for this post. All math is mine and mine alone, and I was BA, not a BS. But I did get a B in Math 110 from a state university. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I read the Iowa debate coverage news so you don't have to

Newt Romney at the Iowa Debate. Linked to Source at NY Daily News.

Having read nearly all of the Iowa debate coverage news (and having not seen the debate yet myself), I hereby give you the summary without any hidden bias-

Rick Perry attacked Mitt Romney by saying, "I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts should be the model for the country. And I know it came out of the reprint of the book. But, you know, I'm just sayin', you were for individual mandates, my friend." In return, Romney denied such a thing, and went so far as to bet him $10,000 Perry was wrong. Romney haters (also known as Southern Baptists, Texans, and Democrats) are saying a wager of so much money makes him out of touch with real people. Romney supporters love him all the more for it.

The facts? In the first version of Romney's book, a line referring to a universal health care mandate reads: "We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country, and it can be done without letting government take over health care." In the later paperback version, the line was edited to read, "And it was done without the government taking over health care."

Apparently Twitter loved this moment, and Romney stole the Twitter show. Analysts report that out of 43,000 messages about the debate on Twitter, Romney was most popular with 30 percent. The rest: Gingrich at 22 percent, Bachmann at 19 percent, Paul at 13 percent, Santorum at 10 percent, and Perry at 5 percent.

Michele Bachmann's big zinger (and she does love her zingers) of the night was aimed at Newt Gingrich's lobbying past (ahem, present), saying that his office was located on "the Rodeo Drive of Washington, D.C., K Street." (A great way to make sure the deeper pockets of DC don't donate to your campaign. Also, K Street? Not that impressive to us local girls. We prefer to do our shopping on M Street.)

The Washington Post's political blogger, "the Fix," proclaimed his winners of the debate to be Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry. And solely put Mitt Romney as the only candidate in the loser column. The Fix feels that Gingrich had a few good moments, wasn't condescending, and was approachable. He commended Bachmann for her ever so popular soundbites and zingers, particularly, "Newt Romney." And for pandering to the former Herman Cain fans. And he lauded Rick Perry for his now popular line, "If you cheat on your wife, you will cheat on your business partner." Oh, and for Perry's attack on Romney about the health care mandates, which we've now learned are incorrect. So strike 1 for The Fix. Interesting to note that the winners and losers (Romney was considered a loser for his wagering), had nothing to do with policy and accuracy.

So how did Gingrich respond to Perry's (and others) attacks on his three marriages? (Let's not forget both Perry and Romney have ads out right now touting their fidelity. And Perry's is an unforgiving pandering to the religious right.) “I think people have to render judgment,” Mr. Gingrich said. “In my case, I said up front openly, I’ve made mistakes at times. I’ve had to go to God for forgiveness. I’ve had to seek reconciliation.” How can all those evangelicals turn their back on a penitent sinner? Well played, Mr. Speaker, well played. Of course, I'd like you more if you hadn't cheated on your wife and married the mistress, but that's not the point now, is it?

Gingrich, who has promised to take the high road and not resort to mean or personal attacks, lobbed one at Romney anyway, "The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is that you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994." Oh and Romney started it by calling Gingrich a career politician. (Well, duh.)

Not to be left out of the Gingrich attacks, Ron Paul reminded us that Gingrich received a lot of money from Freddie Mac. (Gingrich was paid up to $1.8 million in consulting fees.) “By the way, Newt, you probably got some of our taxpayer money.” He added, “You were a spokesman for them and you received money from them.” Gingrich again denied being a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, (he claims he was an historian), “I offered strategic advice — I was in the private sector.” To which Romney replied, “K Street is not the private sector!” Wow, K Street was popular last night.

In no-brainer news, all of the candidates attacked President Obama and the economy. And yet, they are split down the middle on who supports extending the Social Security payroll tax cuts (Romney, Gingrich, and Paul), and who are against it (Bachmann, Perry, and Rick Santorum.) (Jon Huntsman was not present.)

CNN didn't really have anything different to say from the other news outlets, but was the only site to explain that Huntsman opted out on his own accord. They also mentioned that Huntsman immediately sent out press release announcing he'd purchased the website, after the Romney-Perry wager. 

With all of the news sources titling their articles with "Newt Attacked!" I was surprised at how few of them actually listed what those attacks were. Here is what I could find amidst the wreckage-

Romney to Gingrich: "We could start with this idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the moon," referring to a Gingrich proposal to mine for precious minerals on the moon.

Paul on Gingrich, "has taken some positions that are not conservative."

Bachmann's big zinger, "if you look at Newt-Romney, they were for Obamacare principles. If you look at Newt-Romney, they were for cap and trade." Apparently she was going for a 2 for 1 attack.

No quotes on barbs from Santorum. In fact, the only quote I can find from Santorum in any article is where he defended Gingrich's marital woes. Marital character is important, but added, "I would not say it's a disqualifier." Wait, wasn't Santorum running on the pro-family first ticket? Has he dropped his one and only platform idea to run for Gingrich VP?

CNN also brought back their debate analyst, Todd Graham. Graham is a professor of debate at a small, no-name university in Illinois. I bring this up, because I don't get why they keep going back to this guy. He doesn't even have a professional head shot next to his byline which bugs me for some reason. After every debate, Graham has written lengthy diatribes about how he doesn't like Romney's style. Not that he doesn't like Romney's policies (although, I suspect he doesn't), he doesn't like Romney's stage presence. Seriously, that's what he wastes 1,000 words to tell us. This week was no different, so I'm not feeling compelled to repeat him. But let it be known, CNN ran a piece saying Romney lost the debate.

Also, I felt like sharing this little cutout from the front page of CNN. Apparently their editors slept in on Sunday morning.

How many spelling errors is that?

Want to see the whole debate for yourself? ABC News already has it up and running on their site.

ABC News: Iowa Debate: Republican Candidates Clash Amidst Newt Gingrich Surge, Mitt Romney Attacks
Washington Times: Gingrich assailed by rivals, fires back
ABC News: Bet On It: Twitter Loves Romney's Wager
NY Times: In GOP Iowa Debate, Rivals Target Newt Gingrich