Back for More Crap

James Carville once said running for President is kind of like sex, most people want to do it more than once.  In this spirit, Rick Santorum has decided to get screwed over once again.  The two-term Pennsylvania Republican Senator is going to give it another go in 2016.  Santorum, who shocked the political world by winning the Iowa Caucuses and came with about 2 percentage points in Ohio or Michigan from throwing the 2012 GOP race into chaos, will start out as an underdog.  However, that is where he began last time.

If he is going to be in the mix Santorum will need the support of social conservatives, who were critical to his campaign last time.  Can you get them?  He will certainly have challengers in the form of Cruz, Paul and Huckabee.  One advantage he has is that this isn’t his first rodeo.  Unlike Paul and Cruz, has been through this before so there are no new revelations about him to be unearthed.  If you don’t believe me Google it.

Honestly, Santorum is yesterday’s news who caught the anti-Romney wave in the 2012 primary at just the right time.  This time he won’t have Willard Romney to kick around so I really doubt he’ll get out of single digits in the polls.  He will probably grab the most headlines with his passionate attacks on gay marriage and the GOP becoming more socially moderate.  Surely, he’ll go after any candidate who dears to push the party in that direction.

Iowa is Cruz’s to Lose

You heard it here first.  Ted Cruz is the favorite to win Iowa.  Oh, I know he is not top of any poll among likely Caucus goers.  He certainly is not topping any national polls.  Sure there is no Cruz Fever About to Sweep the Country articles about to appear in Time, the Washington Post or New York Times that libertarians seemingly get for blinking these days.  But none of that matters now.

What matters?

As he demonstrated at the Values Voter Summit this weekend, Cruz is emerging at the choice of social conservatives.  As Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum showed with their wins in 2008 and 2012 that is the key group in Iowa.  Granted both Huckabee and the New Robert Evans will run again (seriously, what else do they have to do with themselves) but they are both retreads.  Cruz is a new fresh face and a much more skilled debater and speaker.

As for the crop of younger challengers, this weekend as demonstrated that Washington-media darling Rand Paul has a great deal of work to do.  His support for legalizing drugs and cutting foreign aid to Israel will remain barriers for him to build support among this social conservatives.  In addition, Paul’s recent ambiguity on gay marriage doesn’t help with social conservatives.  You notice he didn’t even come in second in the straw poll.

Before you know it it’ll be January or February 2016 in Iowa and Ted Cruz will be making his victory speech and the Bush Republicans will be freaking out.  Just remember you heard it here first.

Prayer and Loathing In Iowa

Over the weekend Christian conservatives in Iowa were treated to pandering to 5 potential GOP candidates.  The audience got to hear Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal.  It seems Ted Cruz got many of the biggest applause lines, it helped that he told the crowd that they were actually winning.

Interestingly many speakers took shots at Rand Paul, who was not in there that day.   Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats said  U.S. Rep. Steve King doesn’t run from conversations — a reference to King arguing with young Latina who crossed the border illegally as a child while Paul grabbed his beer and hit the bricks.  In addition, conservative author Joel Rosenberg said people in both parties “are turning against Israel.”

I am guessing that unanimous approval of increased funding Israel doesn’t count.

Going after Paul shows two things.  First, people see him as a threat to the nomination.  Second, they know he is vulnerable to attack on issues involving Israel and his inability to take criticism.

It’s early but storm clouds are already starting to brew.

A Fool And Their Money

We all know the old saying about a fool and their money being soon parted.  Hillary Clinton really wants to prove that.   According to sources she team is renting out offices in mid-town Manhattan that are:

 Her expansive new space includes nine offices, 14 workstations, one large conference room, and features modern finishes and white walls. It also features floor-to-ceiling glass doors, and windows with sweeping views of Times Square

While I am not expert on real estate prices, how much is that going to cost?  Offices in mid-town Manhattan that size will probably run you at least $250,000.00 a month.  That’s at least $3 million a year folks.  Think of how many offices you could open up in other states for that amount.  Or how many staffers you could hire.  Remember that doesn’t include electricity.  That’s at least another $1000 or so a month.

Clinton made this same mistake last time by having a big office just outside DC.  In this age of super pacs and volunteers being able to make phone calls online why would you need an office like that?  Rick Santorum didn’t have a physical campaign office after Iowa and he went on to win another primaries or caucuses in another 10 states.  Just something to think about.

The only question is will someone step up to burst her bubble, again.

Keystone Polling

Public Policy Polling has given us some Pennsylvania numbers.  Here is how the Republican race shapes up right now:

  • Christie at 26%
  • Ted Cruz on 16%
  • Rand Paul at 14%
  • Jeb Bush on 10%
  • Rick Santorum at 8%
  • Marco Rubio with 6%
  • Paul Ryan on 5%
  • Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker at 3%

It is no surprise that Christie is in the lead.  He’s from a neighboring state and is just coming off some great coverage for a big reelection win.  However he is losing self-identified ‘very conservative’ voters, pulling in 11% compared to 23% for Cruz and Paul’s 19%.  Where Christie gets his lead, according to the poll, is from moderates where he swamps Paul and Cruz 45 to 10 and 5 respectively.

This also shows that Cruz can have pull with Republicans across the country.  Given that Cruz has been in the Senate for about 15 minutes the fact that he is out polling much more established figures like Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan shows that his message, and how he delivers it, has some real resonance with Republican voters.

For Rick Santorum these numbers are a reminder of how far he has fallen.  Remember Santorum represented the state in the U.S. Senate for 12 years and can only pull in 8% among Pennsylvania Republicans.

It will be interesting to see where Pennsylvania goes in the process.  If it is an early state that would certainly help Christie and give him a chance to bounce back if he hits any bumps in the road in say South Carolina.

Poll Dancing Tar Heel Style

Our friends at Public Policy Polling have some new numbers out of North Carolina.  They find Chris Christie leads the pack with 20%, followed by Jeb Bush at16%, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz each at 12%,  Rubio on 10%, Paul Ryan at 7%, 6% for Bobby Jindal,with Rick Santorum and Scott Walker bringing up the rear at 2 and 1% respectively.

Given the avalanche of good press Christie has received recently this should not come as a surprise.  Although it does show he may have some traction in the South.  If that is the case he would be hard to stop.

Numbers like this should also tempt Jeb Bush, although I still have my doubts he will do it.  Although Rand Paul leads in some national polls it is interesting to see he’s in the middle of the pack.  Is it the plagiarism that is bringing down his numbers?

Given that North Carolina normally doesn’t go early in the primary calendar these numbers are bound to fluctuate.

The Fix is In

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has a ranking of the GOP candidates. Here they are:

  1. Chris Christie
  2. Rand Paul
  3. Ted Cruz
  4. Scott Walker
  5. Jeb Bush
  6. Marco Rubio
  7. Bobby Jindal
  8. John Kasich
  9. Paul Ryan
  10. Mike Pence

I would switch Paul and Cruz.  Also either Ryan or Bush is probably not running?  Pence should be higher than Kasich or Jindal, as he is probably actually more popular in his home state than either of them.  Look for Pence to use his opposition to Common Core as a way to generate national attention among conservative audiences.

Interestingly, no Peter King, Rick Santorum, or the Ricker.  Where’s the love Fix?