Nel's New Day

September 28, 2011

Which Candidate Will Survive

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 5:20 PM

If you think that the roller-coaster ride of the Dow Jones has been wild during the past few months, just watch the polling for the Republican presidential candidates. Nobody seems more fickle than the conservatives as they swerve from one candidate to another. (Makes you wonder what their marriages are like!) No matter how people denigrate polls, they are vital in fundraising, the sole goal of any candidate in the 21st century.

Only three candidates are getting any campaign money these days: Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul. With Friday for a critical fundraising deadline, Romney says that he can raise $18 million. Perry donors think that he can get $10 million, but his advisers say it won’t be that much. Paul got $1.6 million on just one day, his birthday on August 20. (He’s 76, headed for 78 if he managed to be inaugurated as president.)

The other candidates are underwater with only two of them, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman, able to bankroll themselves. Huntsman wrote himself a half-million dollar check to keep his campaign moving, and Cain has loaned himself hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep afloat. Michele Bachmann spent most of her money in Iowa, Newt Gingrich is deep in debt, and Rick Santorum’s team admitted that he is barely scraping by.

The Huffington Post reports that politically engaged Republican activists have decisively soured on Rick Perry and warmed to Mitt Romney over the last few weeks. Although the survey was not a scientific poll, reports like this are why advisors are downgrading Perry’s fundraising ability. He even had trouble getting 28 people to attend a $10,000 dinner at the Willard (known by its beginning of lobbying) in Washington, D.C. last night.

The Hill writes that Perry’s Republican opponents are ganging up on him—and it’s working. Romney hit Perry on illegal immigration, Bachmann attacked him on the HPV vaccine, Paul criticized him on taxes, and Huntsman attacked his jobs record. Combine this with Perry’s problems at the most recent debate in Orlando, and he’s shooting down on that roller coaster. Even worse than his ability to articulate an answer on international affairs is that he thinks helping some undocumented people could be a good thing.

“If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they’ve been brought here by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said at the Orlando debate. The suggestion that not helping these people is a morally inferior position will seriously offend his conservative base. After the Perry/Romney duel, Cain came out with 37 percent of the Floridastraw poll, followed by Perry with 15 percent and Romney with 14 percent.

The polls have shifted radically in the past month after Perry’s entry. He rode in like the guy in the white hat only to lose half to two-thirds of his lead during a few short weeks. Bachmann went down and stayed there after her success at the Iowa vote. Known as “the Republican who believes in science” (a rare bird these days), Huntsman consistently stays at the bottom but is rising in New Hampshire, polling ahead of Perry in that state. Romney comes in on top, but he’s a neighbor and even owns a house in the Granite State.

Both Romney and Perry are upping the ante by sending their wives out on the campaign trail. Anita Perry was in Iowa yesterday, and Ann Romney will head for South Carolina tomorrow.

After the Ames (IA) event and three debates, conservatives are back to shopping, but the pool is like the aftermath of a going-out-of-business sale. Sarah Palin has never said that she won’t run, but even Republicans question her ability to successfully join in the fray. Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist and advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said on The Rachel Maddow Show, “She`s known by 100 percent of Republican primary voters and you look at some of the new polling out today. Republicans overwhelmingly do not  want to see her in the race. If she gets in the race, her poll numbers are in the second or somewhere between the second and third tier of the candidates.” Granted, there was no love lost between Schmidt and Palin, but he’s pretty on target. “She`s not going to be the Republican nominee. If she runs,  she`s in a space somewhere between Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain right now.”

Meanwhile New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie played cute as he sidestepped directly answering whether he would run for president in 2012 at his speech in the Ronald Reagan Library, instead referring to a montage of statements where he vigorously denied any intention to run. David Koch declared Christie “my kind of guy” at the secret June meeting in Colorado. Perry was at the same meeting, but maybe he isn’t Koch’s “kind of guy” because he has a heart—something that Christie proudly refuses to display. (He has since apologized for having a heart.) We’ll wait for the roller coaster to briefly stop, watch who gets off and on, and then see who gets to slowly ratchet up the tracks. For some of us, it’s our amusement for the next year.

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