Archive for January, 2012

Perry, stuck in 5th, will move on to South Carolina after Iowa

GOP presidential nominee hopefuls are still vying for the top spot in Iowa.

Meanwhile, the most recent Des Moines Register poll, released last weekend, shows the following breakdown:

• Mitt Romney – 24 percent
• Ron Paul – 22 percent
• Rick Santorum – 15 percent
• Newt Gingrich – 12 percent
• Rick Perry – 11 percent
• Michele Bachmann – 7 percent

The polling was conducted from Dec. 27 – Dec. 30. The newspaper reported that if the final two days of polling stood alone, Santorum would be in second place and Paul would be in third.

The newspaper also reported that 41 percent of those polled could be swayed in a different direction.

Perry and Bachmann plan to make their next, and possibly last, stands in South Carolina instead of chasing the rest of the GOP presidential pack to New Hampshire.

Neither candidate is a sure bet to survive Tuesday’s lead-off Iowa caucuses, but both say they’ll jump ahead to the first Southern state to vote, recognizing they have little hope of making up ground in the nine days before New Hampshire’s primary.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney is heavily favored in his neighboring state, but a few others are in pursuit.

Perry will head straight to Greenville, S.C. Wednesday. Bachmann will spend part of three days in that state beginning Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

On the Agenda: GOP unhappiness with Republicans in Congress gives Obama opportunity

Commentary: It’s not any big secret that President Barack Obama is going to campaign against a do-nothing Congress in this election.

Seventy percent of voters tell pollsters that the country is heading in the wrong direction, and only 13 percent approve of the job done by Congress. It makes Obama’s average 45 percent approval rating look stratospheric.

Persistently high unemployment should make this a cake walk year for Republicans. The anti-Obama passion already has self-identified Republicans impatiently awaiting the 2012 election.

Dispirited Democrats didn’t turn out in 2010 creating a Republican tidal wave. It’s not at all clear yet that the president can revive the passions that made his first election possible.

While no one likes either party in Congress, it’s become a more serious problem for Republicans than Democrats.

A recent Pew Research Center poll frames the issue.

Pew reported two in three voters think most members of Congress should be voted out of office. The number of voters who want to fire their own congressman or woman matches two years ago when a record 58 incumbents were defeated

Here is the GOP problem. The poll concluded, “By wide margins, the GOP is seen as the party that is more extreme in its positions, less willing to work with the other side to get things done and less honest and ethical in the way it governs.”

That is a problem for the GOP, but the news actually gets even worse. According to the poll, 60 percent of Democrats approve of their congressional leadership while less than half of Republicans approve of theirs.

The flip side of the coin is President Obama’s approval, among the independent voter that will actually decide who wins the 2012 election, is still dismal.

Anything can happen, but as of today, it looks like the Republican nominee will need to separate himself from his party in congress, and that’s tough when you need to unify your party to win.

Perry denies reports of campaign infighting

Gov. Rick Perry is denying a Politico report that there’s a civil war raging in the Perry campaign.

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