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63 responses to “I suppose we really ought to have a US primaries thread”

  1. dk.au

    I wasn’t really interested until American politics until this



  2. dylwah

    I am rather enjoying the attacks on Romney for being . . . gasp . . . a capitalist. Not just any type of capitalist, a vulture capitalist, according to Rick Perry. Now a Super PAC supporting Gingrich has released a doco about four of the companies that got the Bain treatment while Romney was in charge. what’s next? Ron Paul singing Woody Guthrie?

  3. David Irving (no relation)

    Ron Paul singing Woody Guthrie?

    I live in hope, dylwah, but I doubt he has the wit to understand it.

    On a serious note, I don’t think we need a thread related to the US primaries. The Rethuglicans are cornpone nazis (thanks to the Teabaggers), and whoever they anoint will (I hope) be unelectable.

  4. Lefty E

    Bar scene from Star Wars.

  5. MH

    There’s an actual presidential election in Taiwan on Saturday that is probably just as significant for Australia as the GOP primaries.

  6. Wantok

    The GOP circus must be convincing sensible Americans – the silent majority – that the President they currently have is their best prospect for resurrecting the American economy and doing so without divine intervention.

  7. Robert Merkel

    It’s hard to get terribly excited about these primaries. It seems overwhelmingly likely that Romney will win; and, furthermore, the GOP will unite behind him based on the shared enemy – Obama and the Democrats. Both major parties have managed to do so effectively in recent times.

    The only thing that might upset the applecart is if Ron Paul runs as a third-party candidate. The betting is that it won’t happen – he’d jeopardize the political career of his son, the junior GOP Senator from Kentucky, if he did so – but that would change the dynamics of the general election significantly, in ways that would complicate matters for both Obama and Romney.

    Anyway, it’s a very long way from the general election, and a great deal could happen in the intervening period.

    Intrade has Obama as virtually a 50/50 chance to win the general election. For what it’s worth making predictions a year out from the other side of the world about swing states that I’ve mostly never visited, I think that’s an underestimate of Obama’s chances.

    And, yes, it does matter. If the GOP candidate wins, there’s little likelihood of a global climate deal at least to 2017, and more likely 2021. Not that it’s anything like guaranteed that the US will take action even if Obama wins a second term, but a GOP White House will actively seek to sabotage any domestic action on climate change and ruin the chances of a deal. That, my friends, is panic stations stuff.

  8. Robert Merkel

    As for Taiwan, it’s all a bit weird. The KMT incumbent, Ma Ying-jeou and the opposition DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen appear to be neck and neck. However, there’s a third party candidate running, James Soong, drawing significant support that might otherwise go to the KMT. His 2004 run helped to get DPP candidate Chen Shui-bian elected in the same way.

    Duverger’s Law doesn’t seem to apply in Taiwan.

  9. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    The Republican primaries: the fix is it for Romney:

    In brief, Saturday night may have been the most naked piece of point-shaving and game-throwing since the 1919 World Series. I’ve seen fixed prizefights where the issue was more in doubt. The other candidates went so far into the tank for Willard that they may not dry off until next August. In the 1950’s, Frankie Carbo would have had them all killed because they made it look so damned obvious. Where was the promised Gingrich assault on the frontrunner? Where was the blood, the guts, the glory? Where was the damn slasher film we all anticipated? This was a waltz, and a clumsy one. If the people in that audience had any pride at all, they’d have attacked the ABC platform and demanded satisfaction for this massive piece of consumer fraud.

    Rather than where they stand in the polls, what do they stand for?

    If one uses the Political Compass’s methodology, everybody’s Authoritarian Right. All of them – Ron Paul and Barack Obama included. Some are nearer the top right corner than others.

  10. MH

    @9, this is a really different election from 2000, with the conservative James Soong this time capturing a small protest vote that is drawing votes away from both the KMT and DPP, unless his vote gets above 5%, in which case he starts to hurt the incumbent Ma Ying-jeou, of the KMT.

    Strategically or otherwise, neither side seems confident of the outcome (I am here in Taiwan now) so the issue will be the narrative that the result produces – a victory for Ma becomes either an endorsement of the last four years and a mandate for continued rapprochement with mainland China or a warning that the opposition DPP is back in the game.

    An election blog is here:
    Voting counting at the last election:

  11. dylwah

    Robert @8 I can’t be certain about this, but i strongly doubt that Ron Paul will go third party on the GOP’s ass. I’ve heard several times lately that he is on pretty good terms with Gary Johnson, the former Gov of New Mexico who is running for the Libertarian nomination. Johnson was decidedly underwhelming in the Repub race last year, he never even got his chance to be the “Not Mitt” of the day.

  12. Robert Merkel

    MH, `is that how the election is viewed domestically, or how it is viewed by the outside world?

    Is “cross-strait relations” really the only thing that partisan politics in Taiwan divides upon?

  13. MH

    Good questions. Both sides have tried hard to make the election not about cross-straits relations, esp. the DPP. The KMT president Ma made comments about a China Taiwan “peace” agreement that had his poll numbers fall off a cliff in October and since then he has avoided the topic too. The DPP has very deliberately run on income inequality, housing affordability, anti-nuclear power, and other social and economic justice issues.

    Foreign governments, including our own, see little other than cross-straits relations, however, and will read the election result accordingly. Australia has a bipartisan very strong pro-KMT stance.

  14. John D

    I realized just how bad the Republicans had become when I found myself thinking that it was a good thing when Gingrich began surging in the polls. (Think it is even better now that the Tea Party candidates and Gringich are all going backwards.)
    I remember an Australian election some time ago when the commentators were suggesting that the best thing would be to vote for the party most likely to break their promises. The same could be said for the Republican primaries.

  15. wmmbb

    The winner takes all system usually ignores what proportion of the vote each candidate achieves. For example, The Washington Post reported:

    Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday with 39.3 percent of the vote, finishing well ahead of Ron Paul (22.8 percent) and Jon Huntsman (16.9 percent).

    There could be a democratic conspiracy in play. While PR may be unthinkable, the seeds of the idea may be planted in the minds of American voters. Alternatively the notion of an absolute majority and preferential voting may seem reasonable.

  16. FFranklin

    Does anyone have any info (link!) as to the actual numbers of people voting in these primaries, what percentage of the potential voting public it represents and how it compares to previous primaries etc. One of the things I’ve noticed here in OZ over time (since Carter/Reagan times!!) has been the increasing difficulty in getting simple information such as this. I can remember in the 80’s having numerous discussions at my workplace (industrial) and socially about the legitimacy of Raygun based on the historically low voter turnout for the USA and comically so for a compulsory voting country such as ours. This was info that appeared prominently on front pages and was included in nightly tv news summaries. In the most recent mid-termers other than a one line comment on PBludger which claimed 35% turnout I couldn’t find anything and eventually forgot about it. It wasn’t until a couple of months later when reading an article on alternet.org that I saw the 35% figure confirmed. The author made the telling comment that rather than Obama being thrashed it was simply ~9million voters (mainly young) who voted for him in the pres. elections who decided not to turn up this time. Try telling the average front-bar Aussie that a majority ie.51%, of this 35% represents a (seismic!!) repudiation and illegitimacy. Perhaps this is the reason we no longer get this info on our front pages and on our nightly news.

  17. Fran Barlow

    Robert said:

    If the GOP candidate wins, there’s little likelihood of a global climate deal at least to 2017, and more likely 2021. Not that it’s anything like guaranteed that the US will take action even if Obama wins a second term

    I don’t doubt that is true but sadly, this side of some sort of cultural ‘earthquake’ in the US I don’t see a 2nd term Obama administration making the running on this either. If they were going to do that, they’d have gone hard in 2008 against the Repugs.

    If such an ‘earthquake’ occurred in the US, doubtless the Congressional Repugs and Blue Dogs would adapt, rendering the president’s position moot.

    One can hope that OWS will damage the right enough to make this happen, but I’ll not be holding my breath in anticipation.

  18. John D

    This poll had comedian Stephan Colbert ahead of Jon Huntsman. What is interesting is the reasons advanced to explain this:

    Colbert’s key, the company said, would have been to attract Democratic voters to the South Carolina primary, which is open. Thirty-four percent of Democrats who planned to vote in the GOP contest supported Colbert, compared with 15 percent for Romney.

    Huntsman recently appeared on Colbert’s show and joked about whether it would boost his fortunes, a phenomenon Colbert calls the “Colbert bump.” He joked about getting such a bump in South Carolina when he was asked about the poll on Fox News.

    Colbert had also pushed to get a referendum on South Carolina’s ballot that “Corporations are people,” a reference to a comment by Romney and the slogan of Colbert’s fund-raising Super PAC. The PPP poll found that 33 percent of likely voters agreed that corporations are people. Sixty-seven percent of South Carolina voters agreed that “only people are people.”

    If Labor ends up going to open primaries Labor could end up with Tony Abbott as its candidate?

  19. dylwah

    [email protected] – I’m running from memory here, but I think New Hampshire sends four delegates to the national convention and they are handed out proportionally, so Mitt gets two and Paul and Huntsman get one each, hence Huntsman’s “Ticket to Ride” line the other day. [Wasn’t the Beatles’ song about sex (aren’t they all), what would Freud say, prob sometimes a political soundbite is just a soundbite. At least he wasn’t talking about froth.] The rules for awarding each states delegates is either winner takes all or proportional. California’s delegates are now apportioned proportionally rather than winner takes all.

  20. Katz

    Ron Paul singing Woody Guthrie?

    Well, Arlo Guthrie DOES endorse Ron Paul.


    Lest your head be in danger of exploding at that news, be aware of just how dishonest and dangerous are the likely candidates of both major parties.

  21. dylwah

    Ok Katz, that was weird. I wonder if he still does. Paul is the only anti war candidate, that was pretty much the case with 08 too. By this point in 08 both Obama and Clinton had indicated that Iraq would be BAU and Obama was clear about his intention to expand the Afghanistan conflict into Pakistan esp via drones and special forces.

  22. Occam's Blunt Razor

    If Primaries continue to go as the first two then Romney has it sewn up. South Carolina should just about seal the deal. However, I don’t doubt that a number of the candidates will plug on, possibly through March, until they realise the futility of their efforts. The sooner they concede, the better off will be the Republican effort to win back the White House. Maybe they’ll get the message after Florida.

    Romney is an excellent choice by the Republicans. No one is going to please everyone. He is a solid compromise candidate. I just hope he picks a solid runnning mate. I think there are a lot of voters who, for whatever reason voted for Obama, could easily support Romney this time.

    I will be suprised if he is unable to beat Obama. Obama rode in on a wave of his own rhetoric, his colour, and the GFC. His failure to back up his rhetoric, the fact that his colour no longer matters, and the poor economic performance under his leadership combined with voluntary voting, means he is pushing it up hill with a pointy stick.

    As for the Tea Party push – they will already have identified that they need to control the Congress, not the White House. So, not having their preffered candidate isn’t the end of the world, even if they want to call him a RINO – as long as a Republican POTUS gets sworn in.

  23. Justin

    [email protected], Ron Paul is not anti-war, he’s anti federal government. If the great state of Texas wanted to go to war against Mexico (or Alabama against those uppity ex-slaves), he’d have no problem.

  24. Justin

    One of the curiosities of the primaries is the early states are all quite small – Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Between them they have less than half the delegates of Florida (the fourth state). But the media-driven demand for an instant result means that if Romney wins in SC as expected, he will be considered the candidate-elect even though only something like 1% of registered Republicans will have had a chance to have input.

    I vaguely recall after the 2008 election some states that are near the end wanted to move forward to January so they could have some relevance to proceedings, but I never heard what happened to that.

  25. alfred venison

    dear editor
    re the old adage that goes something like: “whoever wins new hampshire (or iowa) wins the gig”. that may be true, due to a fluke, or true due to something substantial, i don’t know. but, in any case, it was formulated from a history of results from contests run at a time when candidates cleaved to one or another of the main-stream christian denominations. today’s fact, of course, is that romney’s a morman. so, in my court of personal opinion, the jury’s out on whether this adage holds true in the current contest, when the candidate doesn’t cleave to one of the main-stream christian denominations. i know iowa’s deeply religious too, and romney led the pack there, but the iowa primary rules allow anyone to register & vote, not just card-carrying republicans.

    so, i’m looking now with keen interest to the results forthcoming from deeply religious (southern baptist) states like the carolinas to see how the morman performs in a contest in a state where only registered (southern baptist) republicans are allowed to vote. if he carries these with a good lead then there may be life in the old adage yet.

    and as for ole ron paul. well, well, well, ron paul, eh? the agèd dadaist in me says: “go ron, go” – “sock it to ’em, baby!” “cat among the pigeons, yippee!”. of course he’s wacko, but i just love that “close foreign bases” & “stop being the world’s super-copper” rhetoric. and, apparently, so too do a lot of war veterans, who demonstrably cheer paul on at his rallies when he hits that topic. and nobody but ron paul is talking about the war this time around.

    i’m looking to see how ron paul does in the carolinas & west virginia where the are very many military bases & military families. (its obvious to me he’ll do poorly in washington & oregon where the defence contractors hang out, if he gets that far). for if paul scores well in the traditional military recruiting states, with the message he’s not afraid to speak, then the game will become very interesting indeed. obama surprisingly scored well in west virginia in districts where there are military bases, some which had never voted democratic before, despite his undertaking to wind down iraq. well, that ron paul’s got an even more radical disengagement policy, so it’ll be interesting, to be sure, given his popularity with war veterans, how that line will go down with base families in the military heartland.

    gingrich is from pennsylvania but represents georgia so i reckon he’s expecting to score his own personal best in georgia, the carolinas and other southern states when they come to vote. this i reckon is why he’s running the anti-romney attack ads so hard now.

    morbid fascination. that’s what i call it. and that’s what i’ve got. but, yes, imo the usa primaries get far too much prominence on the abc. but then this year’s is a contest between republicans only (no democrat primaries this year) so abc right whingers must relish being able to saturate their bulletins with stories about republicans, republicans, republicans, tea party, ron paul, republicans, republicans, republicans. it doesn’t warrant this profile in canadia, their next door neighbour, where, unless they punch each other in the face, its covered below the fold & after the bush plane/school bus/car crash in chicoutimi / kamloops / kicking horse pass or wherever. something, anything, local first.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  26. Justin

    In other news, Stephen Colbert is threatening to run again…

  27. dylwah

    Justin @23 Ok, could we find common ground with; anti foreign wars of choice that drain the public purse and distract the nation from the proper adherence to the Monroe Doctrine and the USA’s manifest destiny, notwithstanding the right of Texas to devolve onto several states with the additional senatorial representation?

    J @24 Iowa used to be in spring, or nearly. there was some leapfrogging and Iowa is now on the 2nd Jan, it was messy.

    Mr Venison, I have some time for the ‘“close foreign bases” & “stop being the world’s super-copper” rhetoric.’ and his approach to prohibition. In 2000, i thought Bush could do little more damage than halfway bankrupt the country with his tax cuts, so please excuse me if i am a little too spooked to be sanguine about any Republican package, no matter the attractive baubles.

    It must be hard for the Republicans to face their reality. their only hope is Huntsman chucking a Bradbury.

  28. JKUU

    I thought (briefly) about changing my party affiliation from Democrat to Republican just so I’d have something to do during the primary season. However, the temptation to write “none of the above” in the write-in section of the primary ballot does not to overcome the nausea induced by surveying the list of candidates. I guess I’ll wait for the main event in November.

  29. Fran Barlow

    Is the perennial Mike Gravel running JKUU? I always found him amusing.

  30. Adrien


    Romney said that the defense budget is now about 3.8 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and he would like to see that figure rise to 4 percent. “I don’t believe we can economize on securing our nation,” he said in the conservative, early primary state of South Carolina.


    Obama unveiled the results of an eight-month defense strategy review that is intended to guide decisions on cutting hundreds of billions from planned Pentagon spending over the coming decade…. In about every major war or defense speech Obama hits themes intended to resonate with American voters – mainly, that the United States is turning a page from two wars, and that any nation-building will focus on improving the United States, not strategic allies abroad.

    The theme for the Presidential election 2012?

  31. alfred venison

    dear dylwah
    please don’t let me be misunderstood (da-da-dum, da-da-dum) :-). i wouldn’t “endorse” a republican in a blue fit; its all about the schadenfreud, really. whatever woody’s boy does.

    i like how uncomfortable ron paul seems to make the establishment, the military industrial complex would be sorely affected if he were boss, they’d have to get honest jobs for a start & give up their huge gov’t subsidies. of course that’s just the kind of thing the establishment politicians on both sides abhor (thar’s jobs in them thar defence contracts for their districts). and so the msm writes him out of their bulletins & marginalize him in their coverage, except when they can’t, like when he scores second place in an actual primary.

    but people have their c-span there & they can see him speak for themselves. and he hangs in & garners support like a rolling stone & scores his 24%. that’s a constituency among republicans. and if it should be romney on the republican side who doesn’t address their concerns, then, from what Adrien says above, it looks like obama could be in a position to advantage himself by poaching that consituency with his “reduce military expenditure & focus on america” line.

    if the scores continue to be morman first, outlier second, then they’ll have to truck with him. that’s why he’s in this, not necessarily to win or even to get vp spot, but to hang in long enough to mobilise enough support that they can’t ignore his agenda completely. imo.

    just thinking “aloud” here, but it could turn out to be a good thing he ran & a better thing he lost, if his bid unlooses a kind of “reduce the military” meme into the national buzz. not to mention the prohibition thing, you mention. whew, i’d like to see that.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  32. Terangeree

    Reuters (UK) reports that the KMT’s Ma Ying-jeou has claimed victory.

  33. paul walter

    It’s a shrewd guess by TigTog, this thread. It relies on enough of the LP readership having the sort of access to the US that comes through blogs and social media as well as the older forms, to be both intrigued and confused by the US system.
    Tig Tog is screaming for analysis, but for many people FB etc represents the first substantial contact with Americans and other off-shorers and a chance to see outwardly different systems from the inside. Definitely both very simple and incredibly complex, US politics, it seems.
    Early, I’d commend Robert Merkel, ( oddly, Razors’ take is interesting, too, if cynical ) just say that my FB list informs that my US friends are neither dumb or passionless and they are saddled with a system they have to negotiate as best they can, as we must with our increasingly top down politics.
    As with us, they’ve seen the cooption and shopfronting of their captured system and pol parties, and like us fight back through conversation, info sharing, analysis, humour and satire; participation in their political parties and movements like OWS.
    I mentioned Razor’s take, fair enough, but he sees their situation without the sinister undertones meself and others see, with Romney as a coldblooded crowned Gordon Gecko and Obama, a potential Jimmy Carter.
    I wonder if Obama realises the damage he did himself in not vetoing the vile set of arbitrary detention laws- in doing this he has shown how similar he is to local centrist politicians in eschewing principle for the line of least resistance, at the crunch. He had a Beazley moment with that one.

  34. MH

    Yes, the KMT and Ma Ying-jeou had a solid victory with a 7% lead over the opposition Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP.

  35. alfred venison

    dear editor
    looks like it ain’t gonna be no slam dunk / foregone conclusion / lay down misere for the morman in south carolina. a hundred high level evangelicals met in houston over the weekend & voted unanimously to support the guy with the hilarious name against the morman next week. in the name of unity, of course.
    no word on the outlier.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  36. dylwah

    No Mr Venison, not a conclusion i jumped to.

    some of the candidates have not made it onto all the ballots . only a few small ones, but it don’t look too good.

  37. alfred venison

    dear dylwah
    didn’t think you had/would. thanks for the link. so, they have, some of them, trouble getting on all the ballots, eh? well what do you know. but not, it seems according to the article, a problem for the outlier. i vaguely recall reading something last march about the ron paul people booking hotel floors along the early part of primary trail for now; back when it wasn’t clear whether he’d run or not. he’s a grade “a”, blue ribbon gadfly that guy. by the way the outlier’s a baptist, too.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  38. dylwah

    Mr Venison – Yes, no organisational problems for the gadfly. he has been in for the long haul for a while, even when he couldn’t get a run as the not mitt during the debate season.

    In the meantime, Colbert has released an attack ad. Mitt the serial killer

  39. MH

    I know LP readers aren’t really interested in politics unless they is done in English, but I feel the need to educate. Here’s how democracy works in a Chinese-speaking country:

  40. Lefty E

    Not that I care much, but the way Fox are ignoring Ron Paul really is an extraordinarily blatant example of censorship.

  41. Justin

    Not just Fox, Lefty E. Pretty much the entire MSM.

  42. Lefty E

    Really, Justin? Wow.

    Hardly needs be said, but that illustrates amply how the military-industrial complex frames political debate. We can hardly have an isolationist as President, for shame!

    Would love to see an actual ‘people’s revolt’ (not the Fox puppet Tea Party one) and see him up against Obama. Now that’d be news.

  43. alfred venison

    dear editor
    this rag reports a reuters/ipsos weekend poll that shows the outlier going into south carolina tied for second place with the candidate with the hilarious name. with comments, too.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  44. Occam's Blunt Razor

    Huntsman has read the tea leaves correctly and pulled the pin. I expect to see most of his support going to Romney because he is endorsing Romney and Romney is the logical next best fit for Huntsman style Republicans.

  45. John D

    The ABC says Huntsman is about to drop out of the race. The CV in the link makes him look like someone who would have made a good candidate.

  46. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @47 – I really can’t believe that Huntsman ever thought that he might be a front runner given he worked for Obama. Any rational analysis of the political judgmenet of Huntsman has to mark him down just for that complete misreading of the electorate. As has bene stated elsewhere – this election isn’t about voting anyone in, it is about voting Obama out.

    Unfortunately for which ever Republican wins the election they are going to be saddled with the same economy as Obama – the real esate market is still completely rooted, which impacts directly on consumer and investor sentiment. The debt burden of the Federal Government and a number of states means they are currently hamstrung and pump priming ain’t working. The Gordian Knot of House/Senate/Whitehouse legislative processes is not going to be reformed so any real action towards cutting taxes and cutting spending even harder is unlikely to occur. The ongoing international debt crisis is not going to be solved for at least a decade. And all of that adds up to a lack of investor confidence which is the current weakness in the US economy leading to a lack of jobs growth.

    Hopefully all Candidates have learned the lessons of Obama’s rhetoric – nice for a campaign but you gotta deliver.

  47. Katz

    Romney will have to mend fences with the Republican Right. Perhaps choosing Santorum as his running mate will do that trick, especially in light of conservative Christians’ endorsement of Santorum. If the base stays home in November, then Romney is toast.

    Gaining CC endorsement was no mean feat for the Catholic Santorum. Formalising this entente between Protestants and a leading figure of American Catholicism is a novel feature of this election cycle. It will be interesting to view how this impulse works its way through the coming political battles. Will the Republican base buy a Catholic and a Mormon as their moral champions?

    Obama may yet be a one-term president. But Romney has to do everything right to defeat Obama. He has little margin for error. Obama is still fairly skinny odds-on to win in November.

    But Obama has to find some way of scaring the independents into getting out to vote without at the same time provoking a backlash from the restive Republican base. How does one mount a mild scare campaign?

  48. Martin B

    I really can’t believe that Huntsman ever thought that he might be a front runner given he worked for Obama. Any rational analysis of the political judgmenet of Huntsman has to mark him down just for that complete misreading of the electorate.

    Except that it is very nearly mandatory for a Republican nominee to lose one before they win one. GWB is the only exception to this in the modern era. Huntsman’s done enough to be a credible contender in 2016 if Obama wins and by then the mood of the electorate may well have changed.

  49. Martin B

    I very much doubt Romney’s VP will be Santorum but they will be southern and conservative. Marco Rubio would be ideal if Romney can twist his arm.

  50. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @49 – Christie16!!!

  51. dylwah

    Martin, I think Rubio is at least two dimensional, but he brings the same catholic baggage as Santorum. Christie does too. I’m currently leaning towards a few southern or Midwestern male wasps, but we are a little ahead of ourselves.

    Speaking of which: Razor, I presume “Christie16!!!” means that you too have written off the GOP for this cycle 😉

    All these attacks on Romney re Bain have been reminding of the attacks on Obama in ’08 re his links to radicals. Back then it seemed that many republicans thought those links effectively disqualified Obama for the presidency, yet they were ineffective. If Romney wins SC easy I reckon that his team will think they can weather any attack from that direction. They’ll be wrong tho.

  52. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @52 – your presumption is wrong. I merely put up Christie16 in reply to you putting up Huntsman for 2016.

    Romney is about as a safe bet to get the Republican nomination as there has been in living memory. Once he is the nominee, then I will start paying attention to the Romney v Obama polling. Even now, with the near certainty of the nomination, the polling has to be discounted as not very credible. The betting currently favours Obama, but I put that in with the current polling – wait until Romney is confirmed.

  53. Martin B

    Bobby Jindal? Jim Demint? Tom Coburn?

    Sure we’re getting ahead of ourselves… But after SC there isn’t going to be much else to think about. :-)

  54. John D

    Just in case you missed the dumbing down of the Republican party, Reuters world news reports that Gringrich has mocked Romney for speaking French.
    I guess the rednecks don’t want the US turning into another Canada?
    By the way it was Republican Abe Lincoln who set up the US Science Foundation as well as doing other things that Gringrich probably wouldn’t approve of.

  55. alfred venison

    dear John D
    so, romney speaks french, eh? mon dieu, tabernac, that forces an iota of respect out of me. “the rednecks don’t want the US turning into another Canada?” comte de romney or not, they needn’t worry about that at the moment, imo – rather just relax & watch steve harper drive “convergence” all the way from his end. oh yeah, and gingrich doesn’t really want to win friends & influence people in louisiana does he?
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  56. John D

    Alfred: Apparently the Grinch speaks French too. But this is hardly likely to stop him attacking Romney for speaking French.

  57. alfred venison

    dear John D
    you’re right – its always “open season” on the frenchies. perhaps he doesn’t like romney speaking french with a massachusetts accent. like kerry’s? but you’re right (again) – l’ironie, l’ironie!
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  58. Katz

    Santorum’s endorsement by the Fundos appears to be mobilising the base.

    Santorum is also polling quite well in Ohio, a large state whose primary is at the end of Feb. If Santorum takes Ohio, a crucial swing state, then it’s game on in the GOP.

    But so far as the GOP is concerned, these are the politics of despair, where conviction trumps the desire for electoral victory.

    Is there an adult Republican who can save the Republicans from themselves? Would large parts of the GOP base give two hoots even if such a figure did emerge?

    The Republican Party is composed of cults at war with each other.

  59. alfred venison

    dear anyone
    this article republican delegate allocation ruleshas a table listing all states, in order of primary vote date, together with the numbers of delegates of each different gop flavor returned by each state, and whether a state’s vote is caucus or winner takes all or proportional & upon what basis its proportional if it is.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  60. alfred venison

    dear gop primary followers
    in maine:-
    2,190 = mitt romney
    1,996 = ron paul
    north maine is populated with rugged outdoors/individualist types; south maine is more genteel.
    ron paul has staff & resources pre-positioned in all states.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison