January 21, 2012

3 states, 3 winners: Why is that so bad?

So, Santorum won Iowa, Romney New Hampshire, and Gingrich South Carolina, with Paul hanging in there in all three. In other words, Republican voters haven't made up their minds yet, and why is that so intolerable? 47 states haven't had a say yet and the election isn't for almost 300 more days. 

There's such a market for media prognostications in election campaigns (Perry Is Obviously Unbeatable! Romney Has the Big Mo!) that there is always a lot of irritation when voters in the first few states don't wrap things all up. But why shouldn't primary campaigns go on for months and months like the Democrats in 2008?

Does it really do a party good to have momentum run away with the decision in the winter? For example, John F. Kerry's sudden emergence as the Inevitable victor in the winter of 2004 didn't do the Democrats any good. For about three weeks he appeared to be Mr. Unstoppable, but after that he just turned out to be as big a stiff as he'd been before his hot spell. John McCain fluked his way into the nomination by February 5, 2008 by winning narrowly in some winner-take-all states, and then just got older for the next nine months. 

The reforms that we really need are ones that would let new candidates get onto all future primary ballots after the first few states are done with. All we've learned so far is what we knew at this point in 2008: Romney seems like the most plausible President among the current contenders, but he doesn't inspire many people.

In this Computer Age, there's no reason that we need the huge lead times that dominate the current nominating process. The party that re-engineers the nominating process to be longer and more flexible, and thus more dramatic, would gain a modest advantage. In Presidential politics, nothing besides the economy, war, and whether or not the public is kind of sick of your party moves the needle much. But I could well imagine that the party that comes up with a primary process that climaxes in June rather than January on average might average a percentage point better in November over the long run.

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

A lengthier primary might actually help the Republican candidate by keeping them in the news and exhausting all the issues before the general election, in the way that Jeremiah Wright became a non-issue (with full complicity of the MSM, of course) before Spring was even over.

Even so, at this point Romney is by far the likeliest nominee. Gingrich, whom I despise, and Santorum, who I want to like, have both sucked eggs in the 2 states they didn't win. Gingrich received only 13.3% in Iowa and 9.4% in New Hampshire. Santorum did 17% in SC and 9.4% in NH. Romney has had respectable, 2nd place showings in all 3 states.

Romney's weak spot in SC was with Born Again/Evangelical Christians, who were 65% of GOP voters. He got 22% of those who said they were, but 38% of those who weren't. Evangelicals presumably preferred the thrice-married proponent of traditional, Biblically-inspired "open marriages."

26% of SC voters stated that it matters that a candidate share their religious beliefs, and only 10% voted for Romney. 40% said it mattered little or not at all, and 39% of them chose Romney.

My guess, though, is that Romney seals the nomination by the Nevada primary or possibly even Florida.

Reg C├Žsar said...

But why shouldn't primary campaigns go on for months and months like the Democrats in 2008?

Or 2012... Lost in all the fuss and bluster is the little-known fact that there is competition in the other party as well.

Anyone know the immigration policies of Darcy Richardson, Randall Terry or Vermin Supreme?

Steve Sailer said...

Why, yes, I do happen to know the platform of Democratic Presidential contender Vermin Supreme. From Wikipedia:

"He also campaigned in 2012 on a platform of zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research,[8] and he promises a pony for every American."

How do I get a Vermin Supreme lawn sign?

Sid said...

"There's such a market for media prognostications in election campaigns (Perry Is Obviously Unbeatable! Romney Has the Big Mo!) that there is always a lot of irritation when voters in the first few states don't wrap things all up."

I think the people who get irritated by this are the guys who want a Republican, any Republican, to win. They figure that it is best to the prior year deciding whom will have your vote, and then wrap it all up in the winter of the actual election year. They think that Republicans fighting with each other will waste time, money and reputation, as they're tearing each other apart and not Obama. These guys, I imagine, tend to be party insiders, but Half Sigma seems to have this viewpoint, and I admire his independent-mindedness (he supports Romney).

I think the mainstream media is delighted to see the Republicans vie tenaciously for the nomination. After all, it makes for a more enticing story to see them fight with each other, in contrast with Romney simply marching in and becoming the nominee without a hurdle.

I think your point is on the mark, Steve, but I must confess that my favorite part of the 2008 campaign was seeing the Democrats duke it out. Hillary supporters accused Obama supporters of being sexist, and Obama supporters accused their enemies of being racist. It was delightful schadenfreude, I will confess, to see them hurling those insults at each other after having been on the receiving end of those petty insults for so long.

I like Romney, myself, but he definitely needs to figure out what to say about Bain and his tax returns before Obama nukes him with those issues.

Anonymous said...

Steve, this is slightly OT so I apologize but I think it matters:

In the general election (it's probably already too late for the primaries), there needs to be an 'Obama-vs-GOP nominee' debate which is moderated by non-MSM leading lights from the well-known blogospheric alt-right (or simply the well informed non-left if you prefer).

I strongly believe that a panel made up of yourself, Ann Althouse, Andy McCarthy and Michelle Malkin would be an extremely beneficial service to American voters.

It's the sort of thing which needs energetic pushing forward now, in order to be realized come say September.

Are you game?

Say you'll do it, man!!

Hail said...

The story no one talks about: The oldest candidate, Ron Paul, wins the Under-30 vote...again.

http://edition.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/epolls/sc

Bantam said...

Whatever the next President, he'd better show the strongest support for Israel.

or else . . .

Wes said...

First, why are none of the other candidates talking about the zombie apocalypse? Are they in bed with the zombies?

One advantage of a later date for the Republicans is that it gives the MSM hacks less time to destroy the GOP candidate.

Ed said...

"But why shouldn't primary campaigns go on for months and months like the Democrats in 2008?"

Big media is now part of the power structure, they don't just report on the power structure. The party bigwigs are interested in what the rank and file voters think, otherwise they would find some way to get rid of primaries altogether, but they don't want them actually deciding the nominee. So the whole system is engineered to minimize the impact of actual votes, one of the ways by greatly exaggerating the importance of a few of the early state results.

Voters themselves should not be falling for this and should stop ratifying the results of Iowa and New Hampshire. Democratic primary voters have been worse recently than Republican primary voters in this regard, as you pointed out with the 2004 primaries.

It used to be that the June contests were important and that you could come in late. Hubert Humphrey in 1972 and Jerry Brown in 1976 had late starting campaigns that nearly upset candidates who had seemed to wrap things up. They failed, but it says something about the relative openness of the system them that something like this was conceivable. Ronald Reagan lost the early contests in 1976, but then revived his campaign with a late victory in North Carolina and took his campaign to the convention. But the 1970s was the decade in American history where the country came closest to being a democracy.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole primary system should be thrown out. Parties are supposed to have a platform, these days the platform just is whatever the candidate believes. I'd rather have a system of debates in each state over the platform, and then the party leadership can hire someone who is smart and well-spoken to be the advocate for the platform as the candidate.

RandyB said...

The Republican nomination always goes to the best financed and organized candidate, once the early retail politics phase ends. Reagan in 80, Bush in 88, Dole in 96, Bush II in 00, McCain in 08. They all did barely OK in the first three weeks, then rolled to easy wins.

After Super Tuesday, we'll wonder what all the noise was about. And it will be time to construct the Big Tent, by having moderate suburban women talk about how diverse the party is.

Catperson said...

The only republicans candidate I could support is Ron Paul. All the rest of them are puppets for the neocons who betray America every time they parrot their neocon talking points.

dearieme said...

Cheer up, none of them are as awful as John Kerry.

P.S. Why does "awful" mean bad and "awesome" good?

Shawn said...

I would like to see the states' primaries happen at the same time, about 3 months before the general election.

Sword said...

If the GOP leadership wants to increase the chances of a GOP candidate, any candidate, to win the 2016 election they should move to take control of primary dates.

Then, they should move all GOP primaries to one single primary day, in August 2016.

This accomplishes several things.
1. The non-incumbent DEM nomination winner will be known, and all GOP candidates can focus on him/her. However, that DEM candidate can not focus on his one opponent, since there are many of them.
2. There will be little time after the GOP nomination, so the various GOP candidates will be forced to start running a presidential campaign before their nomination. Therefore, there will be less intraparty fighting on the right. The GOP candidates will be forced to use more positive campaigning.
3. The MSM can not focus on one GOP contender to tear down.
4. With so little time between the nomination and the presidential election, GOP candidates will not be able to use the usual tactic of going right during primaries, then tack sharply to the center for the presidential campaign, which causes flipflopping accusations. with less of those, the ultimate GOP candidate will present a more coherent narrative to the electorate.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand how anyone can like Gingrich on any level. He's a career politician whose views have flip-flopped as much if not more than Romneys, his personal life is sleazy and tawdry, and he comes across as an arrogant a**hole. Obama would take the female vote if Newt gets nominated, and his ham-fisted racial comments will ensure he loses Hispanics and Asians at the rate he'll lose blacks. White males will be turned off by his soft illegal immigrant, amnesty policy. Who on earth would vote for this guy besides someone terrified of a Mormon or easily swayed by good debating skills?

RWF said...

Most of the reforms that should happen to the promary process can't happen until the RNC & DNC take control of the process from state organisations.

Ideally my primary time table would look something like this:

Early March: 4 smallish states hold primaries. Helps eliminate poor campaigners & gives low budget candidates a chance to gain traction.

Pause: Gives new candidates a chance to enter.

Early April: A few more states including a couple of big ones hold primaries to get rid of those who can't raise money.

Pause

May to early June: The rest of the primaries at fairly regular intervals- may be irrelevent by then but if there are two strong candidates it could be an enthralling contest.

Anonymous said...

Not surprising in South Carolina, evangelical Christians hate Mormons, they think they are not Christians, so to them even a Catholic or Orthodox Christian candidate would be far preferable. Additionally, the Mainstream Media rather foolishly tried to carpet bomb Gingrich with yet another infidelity allegation ( No doubt true, BTW ) right before the final debate, furnishing him with a chance to blast New York and Washington media elites right in front of economically hurting poor white Baptists in the heart of Dixie, that pretty much clinched it for Newt. I think after 8 years of Bush Jr., an inept campaign by Old Man McCain and his brain dead pick of ditzy weather chick Palin the MSM had begun to believe their own perceptions of GOP candidates. Gingrich may be a lot of things, but stupid he isn't, he possesses a Ph.D in History from Tulane, not generally regarded as a warm body university. In fact, if Gingrich were to be the nominee he would probably bludgeon Obama in any debate. Would this be enough to overcome all of Newt's baggage, I don't know, but the MSM may have just inadvertenly set the wheels in motion to find out.

Matt said...

Horse-race journalism is the easiest kind of journalism to do, and the safest.

Journalists are lazy sycophants who don't want to piss off their bosses.

Anonymous said...

The GOP is in the process of meltdown. On issues other than no tax increases and lotsa wars in the Mideast, they've been betraying their constituency for 30 years.

One thing you can say for the Democrats is they actually do go out and enact all the giveaways, social degeneracy, and Orwellian nonsense that their supporters want.

Kylie said...

"In other words, Republican voters haven't made up their minds yet, and why is that so intolerable?"

I think you underestimate the intense urgency many feel about getting Obama and his gang out of office. I have been reading comments--not in the right-wing blogosphere but in newspaper comment sections--along the lines of "Can't wait til we get Obama out of the White House" literally for years. Sure, you always get some of that, especially with a polarizing--I mean, post-racial--president but it's been really noticeable with this one.

"In Presidential politics, nothing besides the economy, war, and whether or not the public is kind of sick of your party moves the needle much."

Usually that is the case. Again, I think this year is different. Hence, the GOP scrambling to find a candidate they can get behind. I'm not sure they've taken into account yet (or ever will) how the antagonism many feel toward Obama could work against them. It's not enough this time just to nominate a non-Obama; they'll have to come up with an anti-Obama. Many on the right now considered the GOP as the Dems Lite party and say they plan to sit the election out or vote for a third-party candidate if the GOP doesn't pony up and give them a candidate conservative enough.

anony-mouse said...

Three of the four remaining GOP contenders are clearly high IQ guys (Gingrich, Paul, Romney) and Santorum isn't dumb either.

So, HBDers, how come none of them can figure a way of easily beating Obama?

Anonymous said...

In the general election (it's probably already too late for the primaries), there needs to be an 'Obama-vs-GOP nominee' debate which is moderated by non-MSM leading lights from the well-known blogospheric alt-right (or simply the well informed non-left if you prefer).

I strongly believe that a panel made up of yourself, Ann Althouse, Andy McCarthy and Michelle Malkin would be an extremely beneficial service to American voters.


No point fantasizing over things that shall never be.

Oh, and Evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon plus Ron Paul will probably run as a 3rd party choice. This is probably his last election cycle and he's got some momentum.

Anonymous said...

Longer primaries hurt the party because the contest sucks up fundraising dollars.

Truth said...

Jeb vs. Barry?

Harry Baldwin said...

Steve Sailer said... How do I get a Vermin Supreme lawn sign?

They have Vermin Supreme junk over at cafe press.

SFG said...

Serious question for the lot of you: why not just do 'em all at once?

Prof. Woland said...

Steve, if you put a Vermin Supreme lawn sign out in front of your home your neighbors will probably think you mean Obama. You might need to put up a second sign explaining who VS is and why his policies are better.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing Newt's victory might do is force Romney to play offense, something he'll have to be good at in the general if he wants to win. He has to stop worrying about driving up his negatives and attack Newt.

All in all, the GOP died the second Newt Gingrich attacked Bain.


I used to think the far right wing fundamentalists would start a third party one day; then, with the rise of the crazier elements of the Tea Party (most people who identify with the beliefs of the Tea Party-fiscal restraint--I find quite sane), I concluded any such third party crazies would align themselves with the fundies.

Now, if Romney loses the nomination, I can see the more socially moderate forces of the GOP splintering off one day to form their own party or, more likely to take over the center of the Democrat party (because with the retirement of a guy like Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, there really IS no center of the Democratic Party anymore).

Out of all of this, I am hoping there will arise a moderate to right portion of the Dems.

I know it won't happen, but wouldn't it be fun if Romney, should he lose the GOP nomination, run third party? Go Ross Perot on both Newt and Barry? I think Romney would actually be a much better candidate freed from the mess that is the GOP. I know a lot of people who won't vote at all if it's a contest between Gingrich and Obama.

Why Tea Partiers think Newt is their answer is beyond me. No one enjoys power at the federal level more than he. He's a textbook narcissist with manic tendencies.

Anonymous said...

"The story no one talks about: The oldest candidate, Ron Paul, wins the Under-30 vote...again."

It's all about the drugs, man, and the fact that those youngsters love going against the tide since they haven't their own families yet.

Being under 30 is like being under 20 to my generation, maybe more like being under 17. These are guys who spend their playing hours of Madden.

Anonymous said...

"I like Romney, myself, but he definitely needs to figure out what to say about Bain and his tax returns before Obama nukes him with those issues."

I do too, but he needs to simplify it and say, "I was raised in an America that told me to get out and make a living, to go make a success out of myself. I was raised in an American that said it was fine to make money as long as you didn't make it stealing. The America I see today is one that figures they ought to be able to live off another's hard work."

BTW, he needs to say something he said just this Friday, something I didn't know and which, I assume, other voters didn't know either, that he didn't inherit his wealth, that daddy didn't give him money.

That's worth knowing.

Anonymous said...

3 states, 3 winners: Why is that so bad?


If one of the winners is a rabid open borders enthusiast of the George W Bush sort, that strikes me as being self-evidently bad.

And that's exactly what Gingrich is. Santorum and Romney have at least paid lip-service to the immigration issue. Newty brags about how he's going to pass another amnesty.

Anonymous said...

From Jan 13-17, a poll in Florida showed the race as Romney > Santorum > Gingrich, 43-19-18.

Then they head to Nevada, where about 10% of registered Republicans are Mormon, and Maine, which is Romney's back yard. It should be 3 straight solid victories for Romney. After that Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri - nearly all of which should go Romney.

This may be the shortest-lived resurgence since the Battle of the Bulge.

Romney did best among voters who were secular and/or well-educated. That's precisely the demo the Republican nominee needs to bring back to the GOP column. I really don't see evangelicals abandoning Republicans in November, especially with Obama still on the ticket and especially if Romney picks a satisfactory veep.

Anonymous said...

First, why are none of the other candidates talking about the zombie apocalypse? Are they in bed with the zombies?

Antizombism should not be dignified with a response.

Propeller Island said...

The story no one talks about: The oldest candidate, Ron Paul, wins the Under-30 vote...again.

To the extent this is meaningful, it's an argument against Paul.

Lucius said...

The problem is, the Iowa caucuses serve as a two, or even three or more, season nominating contest unto themselves.

You take 9, 10, or 12 contenders, put them through a legion of debates, let the Iowa cornpickers grab them by the ears and look them over, and the whole thing is basically televised (for those who want to follow minutely) or at least editorialized to death.

Psychologically, we're primed (I'm not saying by intention; this is just a necessary effect) to feel as though we're caught in an emergency if a clear nominee isn't almost immediately established.

The thief has come in the night, and why are the lamps unlit?

Incidentally, speaking for myself there's that gnawing sense that Gingrich is insane and Santorum could even be helped by Lacan. If you were a Dem in '04, you could at least be sure Dr. Dean could be trusted with a knife. In this race, the anti-Kerrys (as it were) are a bit more intensely frightening.

Anonymous said...

"Born Again/Evangelical Christians"

I'd never given much thought to the whole rapture thing but when you do it's amazingly selfish. If i was Jeebus i wouldn't let any of them in.

Anonymous said...

Any such advantage will be quickly negated by the party which elects more new voters for itsself...

Whiskey said...

None of that is true Steve. You of all people, who have written extensively of how the Parties have broken down into two competing, warring, and mutually exclusive camps, based largely on race, ought to know that only the swing voters determine losses or wins. As you've written many times, Blacks and Hispanics don't switch from Dems, they can't because that's their best deal as the anti-White guy party. White men and blue collar White women, vote Republican as White people with nothing to gain from Dems about 70% or so.

It is White Professional WOMEN who switch, because the goodies as the anti-White party are bare by the time big-shots and Blacks/Hispanics have cut the pie, meanwhile Republicans tick them off with restrictions on sexual behavior and Welfare State (that employs them and allows Nice White Lady(tm Steve Sailer) behavior).

Professional White women base their votes on who is the most Alpha (or least annoying Beta Male): JFK over Nixon, LBJ over Goldwater, Nixon over Humphrey, Carter over Ford, Reagan over Carter and Mondale, Bush over Dukakis, Clinton over Bush and Dole, Bush over Gore and Kerry, Obama over McCain. I knew McCain was doomed the moment some woman (a younger Asian chick) in a Frank Lutz focus group said she liked Obama because he was younger and more masculine, hip and cool, and McCain was old and "icky."

Like it or not, White Professional Women are the only ones who switch. And they switch based on Alpha/Beta male preferences (hence Gore's Naomi Wolfe "Alpha Male" inspired behavior that was fake and laughable). See Scott Brown, in MA.

Whiskey said...

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum are all bad for Republicans. Already Dems are laughing and talking of a fifty state blowout victory over Republicans, and having a vast majority in the Senate, retaking the House by a wide margin. Simply because Gingrich is repulsive to most women, in the general election. A fat, ugly, old, and media-hated guy in favor of "open marriage" who dumped his wives when they got sick in favor of younger, newer mistresses? Please.

Women forgive Alpha males ANYTHING, but the trick is to be an Alpha Male. Admired by other famous people, fawned over by the Media, and worshiped as a "Lightworker" -- not mocked on Letterman as humping vending machines.

Santorum (rigid Christian ideologue whose wife had a six year live-in relationship with the abortion doctor who delivered her as an infant) and Paul (rigid old loony "racist") are poison to women. Just existing turns them off from voting for a guy like Romney.

Steve Dems have a built in advantage. Most White professional women voters are "low-information." They spend more time on Oprah's network, or E!, or Entertainment Tonight (the Golden Globes got 17 million viewers, on a par with a big regular season NFL game on cable) -- and the Dem-biased views there matter. Anyone expecting these voters to vote on economic issues unless there is a total collapse is fooling themselves. Survival yes, but hard times no -- they vote Alpha Male all the way.

Romney is the only guy competitive -- the reason the base hates him -- cool, "above it all," not much "passion," tall, rich, insider-ish, makes him attractive to White Professional Voters who will go Scott Brown, but NOT: Sharon Angle, or Sarah Palin, or Tom Tancredo. I don't love Romney either, but I FEAR Obama.

Anonymous said...

you are idiots & should stop publishing your ridiculous thoughts

Catperson said...

"The story no one talks about: The oldest candidate, Ron Paul, wins the Under-30 vote...again."

The Flynn Effect

Petunia said...

A primary season where there is no incumbent to stay loyal to is really the only time any discussion about core principals can come about.

Kylie got at one part of the angst and I would add that another part is the factional war within over direction and principals.

This is why, as a pundit at National Review noted last night, Paul was genuinely enjoying his moment despite coming in last.

As a paleoconservative, I want it to go down to the wire, more debates, etc. I also think that it makes people more interested in the personalities, discuss them at the water cooler, and will be beneficial to the Republicans in the long run.

NOTA said...

RP has several different sets of issues that appeal to younger people:

a. Libertarianism appeals more to young people, who are still more likley to be trying to get out from under someone else making choices for them than trying to impose choices on their knuckleheaded teenaged kids, say.

b. RP is actually serious about stopping the deficit spending and transfer programs that amount to running up a big bill today and handing it to future generations. That sounds great to a 60 year old who wants to retire with generous medicare benefits, but lousy to a 25 year old who suspects he'll pay into the system his whole life but then get shorted at the end.

c. Values are changing over time--drugs and gay marriage are both much more acceptable to younger people than older ones, for reasons that are at least as much about changing values as about differences in perspectives between younger and older people.

d. Younger people are more inclined toward idealism and wanting honesty from theit politicians. Santorum and Paul seem to actually beleive what they say; Romney and Gingrich are transparent hypocrites.

TGGP said...

Women are not swing voters, their preferences are fairly stable. It's the male vote that's volatile. And there's more to elections than "swing" voters, turning out the base is hugely important.

Anonymous said...

Gingrich may be a lot of things, but stupid he isn't


Unfortunately, among the lot of things he is is an open borders shill. I'm be lot happier if he was stupid.

And I'd be a lot happier of the dimwitted Republican primary voters would base their votes on something more than their ignorant perceptions of how much of a "fighter" a candidate is.

Anonymous said...

Many on the right now considered the GOP as the Dems Lite party and say they plan to sit the election out or vote for a third-party candidate if the GOP doesn't pony up and give them a candidate conservative enough.



So they vote for .... Newt Gingrich, by far the most liberal of the four remaining candidates?

Get Off My Lawn! said...

I think the whole primary system should be thrown out.

I agree. Let's go back to smoke-filled rooms. (Not kidding. Many of the problems of modern America are caused by too much democracy, in particular democracy that is not filtered or edited by the intelligent and well-informed. A whole bunch of changes, the primary system being only one, have given stupid people way too much power.)

If we're going to have primaries, I like the idea of ONE for each party, held a few months before the election. Let all the candidates duke it out via debates, etc., for a few months, then all the Repubs and all the Dems vote and choose the nominees of their parties.

That sounds great to a 60 year old who wants to retire with generous medicare benefits, but lousy to a 25 year old who suspects he'll pay into the system his whole life but then get shorted at the end.

I know that's what the young'uns think, and they may be right. However, as it happens, people have been saying that since I was 25, and that was a long enough time ago that I am now pretty close to the "more benefits, please" age bracket.

Jack Aubrey said...

"So, HBDers, how come none of them [smart Repubicans] can figure a way of easily beating Obama?"

Because they need a majority?

It's really hard to say, Sport, because none of them have been given a chance at Obama yet. So how would you know if they've figured it out or not?

"I'd never given much thought to the whole rapture thing but when you do it's amazingly selfish. If i was Jeebus i wouldn't let any of them in."

I would not worship a God who would do to nonbelievers what Born Agains want him to do to nonbelievers. Christianity all in all is not a bad religion, but it has been ruined by the fundamentalist strain. They have dumbed it down and drained it of much of its cultural usefulness. Its not the words in the Bible that matter. Leviticus is all but ignored by everyone. It's the traditions, and those mostly aren't of the bIble.

Anonymous said...

"I can't understand how anyone can like Gingrich on any level."

I'm a nerd, Newt's a nerd, so guess what? I like Newt. It works on the subconscious level. Intellectually I understand that he has been an unprincipled sellout, but his personality appeals to me. Plus, he's the smartest man in the race. And in the public sphere Romney has been just as unprincipled as Newt. Paul is my first preference, but yeah, I do like Gingrich on some levels.

"...and his ham-fisted racial comments will ensure he loses Hispanics and Asians at the rate he'll lose blacks."

Are you referring to Newt's dust-up with Juan Williams? Newt's suggestion that the poor (or whatever euphemism he used) could benefit from some work can't offend Asians or Mexicans as groups, I don't think. Perhaps it could even draw some of them to him. They do work. Rather a lot. How can the Chinese be offended by someone disparaging poor work ethic?

Also, the media will only call a politician's racial comments "ham-fisted" if they ring true and can bring some benefit to that politician. If some talking head is calling that ham-fisted, then guess what, that confirms that Newt has scored. With voters. Racial comments that don't score with any voters would be characterized as sobering, soul-searching, etc.

Jack Aubrey said...

"I agree. Let's go back to smoke-filled rooms. (Not kidding. Many of the problems of modern America are caused by too much democracy, in particular democracy that is not filtered or edited by the intelligent and well-informed."

The problem is that the men in the smoke-filled rooms, who were never entirely selfless in their actions to begin with, are even less selfless today. Going back to the Costa Concordia/Titanic thread: if 20 or so members of Congress and the Forbes 400 were asked to give up their places on a lifeboat how many would do so? Far fewer than did so in 1912, that's for sure.

And that's why the smoke-filled rooms can never be.

Anonymous said...

Romney or Santorum is still going to get the nomination. The entire country isn't as comfortable with rank hypocrisy and pious frauds (Gingrich) as the South apparently continues to be. Gingrich's successes in the South should come as no surprise.Somewhere Mencken's ghost has to be chuckling over a frosty beer.



Speaking as a conservative, I think people should just write off the South. There are a few good politicians like Paul, but we shouldn't fool ourselves. Southerners manage to combine the worst aspects of Jacobin populism with bellicose authoritarianism and community destroying corporatist boosterism.

Anonymous said...

I'd never given much thought to the whole rapture thing but when you do it's amazingly selfish.


Leaving aside the fact that you're contradicting yourself - huh?

Anonymous said...

The thing with Newt is that all he does is inspire the party's right-wing, Obama-hating base with his ability to get down and get dirty. He doesn't inspire them with ideas, either.

All he keeps saying is, "I have bold ideas" but he has never revealed any of them.

Anonymous said...

"And I'd be a lot happier of the dimwitted Republican primary voters would base their votes on something more than their ignorant perceptions of how much of a "fighter" a candidate is."

Agreed. Actually, it's that very proclivity of Newt that will make him the antithesis of what democrat swing voters are looking for in a candidate, but the GOP's evangelicals don't see it that way.

Funny, evangelicals go for the serial adulterer while the good husband Mormon is not acceptable to them.

I do believe it's not at all about their problem with what they feel is the Mormon perception of the divinity of Christ. It's about Mormonism's success in their evangelical pursuits globally and the failure of Protestant evangelicalism to prosper the way they once thought it would.

Dutch Boy said...

Evangelicals presumably preferred the thrice-married proponent of traditional, Biblically-inspired "open marriages."

The Old Testament is full of such arrangements (polygamy and slave girls).

Anonymous said...

"(Not kidding. Many of the problems of modern America are caused by too much democracy, in particular democracy that is not filtered or edited by the intelligent and well-informed. "

It's obvious from your frequent comments that you're not anywhere close to being part of the intellectual elite. Stop making an ass of yourself.

Semi-employed White Guy said...

Well, it was bad in 2008 when the media coronated McCain after he won the evangelical-Israel-first-nutbag-stupid-goyim vote in SC. After that the Republican primary season was decided (by the media) to be over. And now Newt has won that same vote, but we have slimy corporate drone Romney in there to split the delegates. So the media can not coronate a pro-Israel candidate...yet.

Thank God for Ron Paul. If you are an America-first liberal, conservative, moderate, populist,etc, then the ONLY candidate for you is Ron Paul.

Ron Paul 2012... or more of the same!

Anonymous said...

I'm a nerd, Newt's a nerd, so guess what? I like Newt.


I'm a conservative, Newt's a liberal. So guess what? I don't like Newt.

Anonymous said...

in the public sphere Romney has been just as unprincipled as Newt


No, he hasn't. Nobody has been as unprincipled as Newt. Newt makes Romney look like Mr Consistency.

Anonymous said...

I could see myself supporting Romney, Santorum, or Paul. Gingrich is just embarassing.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Newt will continue to have an advantage in the South. Temperamentally (and perhaps genetically?) Newt is a rebel, a fighter, a proud badass (though a nerdy one), someone who enjoys flashing a naughty smile at people. Romney is disciplined, earnest, bland, responsible. It's the old Scots-Irish/Yankee dichotomy, isn't it? SC could have never voted for Romney. Can you imagine a naughty smile on Mitt Romney's face?

Newt's biofather was surnamed McPherson. Gingrich is his stepdad's name. His mother's maiden name was Daugherty. According to this page, the McPherson line does go back to Scotland, though through PA, not the South. There are also some PA Germans in his genealogy.

Anonymous said...

The Rebel/Yankee contrast in cartoon form.

Mr. Anon said...

Newt Gingrich reminds me of that annoying, pudgy, know-it-all kid that we all knew from elementary school. Like Martin Prince in the Simpsons:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpqBsU1JeE0

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, among the lot of things he is is an open borders shill. I'm be lot happier if he was stupid.

They are all open borders shills except ironically the libertarian Paul, who is opposed to birthright citizenship and wants a border fence. Romney actually seems more easily corrupted by the political class than even Gingrich, precisely because he is a card carrying member of the economic elite and they all want the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department to make good any investments they have that go south.

Anonymous said...

They are all open borders shills except ironically the libertarian Paul, who is opposed to birthright citizenship and wants a border fence.


No, they are NOT all open borders shills.

And Paul is quite poor on immigration.


Romney actually seems more easily corrupted by the political class than even Gingrich


Except for the fact that he's not. Which is why Romney is taking a hard line on immigration, while Gingrich is bragging about his devotion to Amnesty.

But then, you don't seem to trouble yourself much with the details of the candidates records.

Anonymous said...

Temperamentally (and perhaps genetically?) Newt is a rebel, a fighter, a proud badass (though a nerdy one)



I don't give a damn about the mans temperament. I care about his politics. And his politics suck.

The reason why the GOP keeps nominating (and sometimes electing) liberal candidates is because of people like you, who just don't care what a man believes as long as he's a "fighter". We got stuck with Juan MCain in 2008 for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

If you are an America-first liberal, conservative, moderate, populist,etc, then the ONLY candidate for you is Ron Paul.


A lot of people have some seriously mistaken ideas about what Ron Paul believes. Now he's a libertarian populist?

Anonymous said...

Still write VDARE articles?

Jack Aubrey said...

"The Old Testament is full of such arrangements (polygamy and slave girls)."

Yes, that part of the Old Testament which the Biblical literalists conveniently ignore.

"Well, it was bad in 2008 when the media coronated McCain after he won the evangelical-Israel-first-nutbag-stupid-goyim vote in SC"

In fairness to SC, 60% of them did not vote for Newt.

Anonymous said...

that part of the Old Testament which the Biblical literalists conveniently ignore


Since your entire body of knowledge about "Biblical literalists" could fit on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare, why don't you just pipe down?

Anonymous said...

"Still write VDARE articles?"

Sailer is definitely not my friend but even I wouldn't accuse him of spewing out the tripe that's been on this blog for months on end now.

beowulf said...

"He also campaigned in 2012 on a platform of zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research"

I can actually see Newt Gingrich endorsing that platform.

Anonymous said...

Women forgive Alpha males ANYTHING, but the trick is to be an Alpha Male.

Whiskey, are you an alpha?

Anonymous said...

Making chop suey of iSteve since 2008ish.

beowulf said...

One thing in Romney's favor is that he's too rich to be corrupted. That seems like a small point until you remember that after he left office (the point when politicians can be legally paid off) Newt Gingrich "the historian" took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac.

The 15% tax rate on capital income (actually lower since Romney's tithing would drop his effective rate) will be a crusher in the general election campaign.
The only way from under it is for Romney to pull a Milo Minderbender and bomb his own airfield.

That is, endorse raising capital income rate to ordinary income tax rates (and no doubt use the additional revenue to cut taxes on the middle class). After all, in America we all own a share in the Syndicate. :o)

Truth said...

"One thing in Romney's favor is that he's too rich to be corrupted."

No, they get rich because the were corrupted.

kinda agnostic said...

"It's about Mormonism's success in their evangelical pursuits globally and the failure of Protestant evangelicalism to prosper the way they once thought it would."

I don't know where you live so I can't speak for everywhere, however, in my neck of the woods, you will find any number of large baptist and assembly of God churches followed by the occasional oddball denomination, i.e. Nazarenes. Now, while I frequently see Mormon missionaries on bikes, I only know of one Mormon church hidden way back in the back of the neighborhood where it has resided for some 20 years. Meanwhile, the two small Baptist churches that were built about the same time have multiplied like tribbles. And the Catholic church, of similar dimensions back in the 80s, has morphed into a Cathedral of gothic proportions.

Anonymous said...

"It's about Mormonism's success in their evangelical pursuits globally and the failure of Protestant evangelicalism to prosper the way they once thought it would."

I back up what kinda agnostic has to say. The growth of Mormonism in First World countries has slowed, and what growth there is mostly is due to birth rates. Talk to any Mormon who served a mission in Europe or Japan or an English-speaking mission in the US and you get the same story repeatedly - they get maybe 1-2 baptisms for their entire 2 year stint (or 18 months in the case of women). That's it - one baptism, per missionary, per year, tops. That was already the case in the early 90s before the internet made it even easier to check into the history of the LDS Church.

In the Third World their recruitment is dramatically better, but the retention rates are quite low.

I don't think the evangelical dislike for Mormonism is related to competition for believers. I think it's mostly due to their obsession with rooting out heretics.

"No, they [Romney, etc.] get rich because the were corrupted."

Not necessarily. Romney got rich in large part because he earned a good reputation at Bain & Co which lead to him being tapped to be CEO of the newly-formed Bain Capital. And that gave him a salary and access to capital which he used to get rich.

Romney's wealth may make him less corruptible, though his worldview will still probably be pro-finance. Many politicians do favors for big business while in office because they know that after they leave they'll get the ex post facto bribes - lobbying jobs, lucrative speaking gigs, and board memberships. Clinton made at least $50 million in 5 years doing that, and Gore did at least as well. For a guy already worth over $200 million the temptation won't be as great.

Anonymous said...

"The 15% tax rate on capital income (actually lower since Romney's tithing would drop his effective rate)"

Romney would shave about 1.5% off his taxes by giving 10% to the LDS Church, for an effective rate of, oh, 23.5%. Sounds like genius.

Jay Park said...

I always knew this field was weak but its the slimming down to four candidates that's really made it obvious. Romney seems the only viable option, unless I am a dreaded coastal elitist out of touch with Gingrich's ability to simultaneously rally the troops and swing independents in the purple states, which...seems a tad unlikely given his reputation.

still with Romney you can't help but feel the guy is just destined to lose, even if it's narrow.

beowulf said...

T-Paw must spend many a night at Filipino dives, filled with regret that he dropped out of the presidential race so early.

On the other hand, if Romney wins he's going to be either VP or, if Huckabee gets that,his pick of a cabinet dept so T-Paw will land on his feet.

Kylie said...

""Still write VDARE articles?"

Sailer is definitely not my friend but even I wouldn't accuse him of spewing out the tripe that's been on this blog for months on end now."


So you've spent months reading what you disparage as tripe.

Anonymous said...

Paul = fewer stupid wars + annoy the bankstas.

alonzo portfolio said...

So far nobody here has said what a couple of conservative local radio hosts were saying today in the Bay Area, i.e. that Romney is inarticulate as hell. He positively thrashes for his linguistic balance when hit with questions he's had to see coming for years. For those solely concerned with beating Obama, this is scary.

Jack Aubrey said...

Here's Mitt's problem in a nutshell. His web page. What's his solution to high unemployment? Immigration boosterism.

Straight from his web page: "Lawful immigrants as share of the population: 8%. Immigrants as share of founders of leading high-tech firms: 16%. Immigrants as share of lead engineers and CEOs of high-tech firms: 25%"

Or his 90 page PDF, again filled with immigration boosterism, loaded with more tax cuts for businesses, more anti-union rhetoric, and nothing that indicates any real concern for American workers. We've had all this crap before - under George W. Bush. How'd it work?

Mitt Romney's like the corporate consultant (not that he's ever had a job as one) who comes into your company and presents a plan that slashes payroll, sends all the manufacturing overseas, and replaces the Americans in IT with Indian H1B's.

Of course companies are supposed to look after the shareholders, not the employees. But the shareholders of Ameica are its citizens, and Romney gives not much indication he grasps that, or that he much cares about the average citizen. If on his watch GDP doubled, corporate profits quadrupled, and the budget was balanced, he'd define that as a success even if 15% were unemployed and half of us were in poverty.

I wanna like the guy. He's certainly the best bet to beat Obama, but everytime I visit his website I remember why I don't like him much.

Anonymous said...

I wanna like the guy. He's certainly the best bet to beat Obama, but everytime I visit his website I remember why I don't like him much.


Well, there's your problem. Compared to your theoretical and imaginary perfect candidate, Romney looks rather poor.

He only starts to look good if you take the trouble to compare him to the other actual candidates, at which point he begins to look very good indeed.

Anonymous said...

So far nobody here has said what a couple of conservative local radio hosts were saying today in the Bay Area, i.e. that Romney is inarticulate as hell. He positively thrashes for his linguistic balance when hit with questions he's had to see coming for years. For those solely concerned with beating Obama, this is scary.


When are these "conservative local radio hosts" going to notice that the only reason Gingrich is acting so angry and combative is to distract people from the fact that, on the issues, he's by far the most liberal candidate left?

I guess I'm not concerned solely with beating Obama. I actually want to replace him with somebody better. And I'm not at all sure that Gingrich would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

"A lot of people have some seriously mistaken ideas about what Ron Paul believes. Now he's a libertarian populist?"

You know perfectly well what he meant. ANY AMERICA FIRSTER of any stripe should like Ron Paul more than any other candidate. America-First populists don't have to be ideological libertarians to note that Paul's anti-"Fed", anti-fiat money, anti-corporate welfare stance is very populist.

There was a time when a bright libertarian and a bright populist may have disagreed, on rural electrification or something. That's not really the issue now, is it? Mass immigration, fueled by monopolism and welfare, is anti-libertarian and anti-populist. Affirmative Anglo-bashing is anti-lib and anti-populist. PATRIOT Cracked is anti-lib and anti-populist, etc.

You who think Romney is the only viable candidate have a lot of explaining to do. Paul is more electable than Romney, because Romney spends so much time defending what libertarians and ordinary Americans can't stand.