Friday, March 23, 2012

What the Republicans did and didn't do this week

A Gallup poll released today (Friday the 23rd), shows that in a national contest, Mitt Romney carries a sizable lead over Rick Santorum. 
Gallup Poll March 18-22, 2012 GOP nationwide
That's Romney at 40%, his highest number of points ever (and for all of the candidates) since Gallup began tracking last November.
The poll* has Romney rising six points since his Illinois victory, and Santorum falling four points. The Jeb Bush endorsement didn't hurt either.
It also comes right as the campaigns are getting juvenile again, drifting away from real messages, and just throwing mud at each other. That both the Newt and Santorum campaigns wasted time jumping on the "Etch a Sketch" comment all week is just ridiculous, and yes, like I said, JUVENILE.
Let's break down what happened in the world this week, and what the campaigns talked about-
1. Romney spox Eric Fehrnstrom said on CNN's "Starting Point." The absence of a GOP challenge could allow Romney to "hit a reset button for the fall campaign." He went on to say seconds later, "Everything changes. It's like Etch A Sketch, you can shake it up and we start all over again."(Which, hey, let's own up to something here, is exactly what happens when someone emerges as the nominee. They stop focusing on primaries, and start focusing on the incumbent and national election.)
2. A US soldier was charged with 17 counts of murder, for the atrocities in Afghanistan.
3. A man of Middle Eastern descent shot Jewish children at a school in France.
4. A new World Bank leader was appointed by the POTUS.
5. Syria!!!
6. The Trayvon Martin case has gained momentum across the country regarding crime and racism.
7. The Dow and the S&P dropped. 
8. Gas prices anyone??
9. Obama vows to speed up permit process to get the Oklahoma portion of the Keystone pipeline passed.

Those are just the issues that pop into my head. There's still dozens of other major hot topics out there. And yet, we've got Santorum and Gingrich making headlines about the Etch a Sketch comment!
As for the actual real issues above, here is what the candidates have said, or more accurately, this is what the media has reported them saying.
Gingrich calls Obama remarks on Trayvon Martin disgraceful.
Romney and Santorum basically say nothing about Trayvon Martin.
And that's about it. There are dozens of articles about the Etch a Sketch comment, and nearly nothing on the real issues.
I'm not the only one getting tired of the GOP talking about nothing when there are major issues that need attention. Peggy Noonan talks about it in "Kvetch a Sketch" in the Wall Street Journal.
Candidates- break the trend! Step up and be a real leader!

**Added Later**
As I sit here, finishing this post, I am watching Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN. And she is leading off the night with a conversation on exactly this subject. Why are the Republicans talking about nothing, and letting the Travyon issue pass them by?

*This is part of an ongoing poll by Gallup. At least 1,000 registered Republican voters are polled on a daily basis, and the poll drops the oldest of five days each day and adds results from the most recent day of polling.
In the latest survey, Gallup questioned 1,157 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents by telephone March 18-22, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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