far too many Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi think that Barack Obama is a Muslim:Sigh. Depressing news that
The poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 52% said they believe Obama is a Muslim, 36% weren’t sure and only 12% said they believe he is a Christian. He fared slightly better in Alabama, where 45% said he is a Muslim, 41% weren’t sure, and 14% said he is a Christian.
whether or not he likes catfish. In South Carolina he’s not that into catfish. But in Alabama this week, catfish is “delicious”.Mitt Romney can’t even get it straight
Maybe this is the first post-modern presidential primary, where there is no connection between what candidates say and what they do?
Not content with banning teleprompters, Rick Santorum is now just making stuff up:
In response to the obvious reply of “Ha ha ha ha, seriously, what has Rick Santorum ever been commander in chief of exactly?” the Santorum campaign says Santorum was “referring specifically to his service on the Senate Armed Services Committee”.
Ah, that was quick.
Alabama governor Robert Bentley said Mitt Romney‘s religion remains a “problem”:It’s that Mormon business again – in answer to a question on Fox News earlier today,
I think that’s a very subtle issue that probably – may be a problem in many states, not just in Alabama. But I do believe that Republicans are looking to see who can win the presidency and they’re going to look at that more than anything else.
Bentley says he thinks Romney will win the Alabama primary, although he hasn’t endorsed him.
via the Washington Post and a long and – let’s be honest – deeply tedious article about Ann Romney’s interest in equestrian sports:A brief glimpse inside the happy home life of the Romney family,
The best gift her husband ever gave her was a horse, Ann Romney told the New York Times late last year. Her son Josh told another New York Times reporter in 2007 that he had given his dad a rubber horse mask so that if he wore it, “maybe Mom will pay as much attention to you as she does to the horses.”
That is the highlight. The rest of the article is basically just cut and paste from a lawsuit in which Ann Romney gave testimony.
You may be thinking, “really, who cares?” and you’d be right. Tye bad news is there is more fodder for Gail Collins’s equally tedious obsession with that story about Mitt Romney strapping the family dog to the roof of the car:
In one harrowing episode, [Ann Romney] recalled, Marco Polo, the other German horse, was in a container that tipped on an airport runway during transit.
TV ad spending in Alabama and Mississippi. Surprise, surprise, Mitt Romney and his campaign have spent about $2.5m, while Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have spent about $1.3m combined.Buzzfeed Politics has some figures on
Ana Marie Cox rounds up some of the harshest ads of the last few months.The 2012 Republican primaries have been the season of the Super Pac attack ad – and the Guardian’s
An ad’s effectiveness is rated on a 1 to 5 “Horton Scale”, so named after the devastating “Willie Horton” ad implemented against Michael Dukakis in 1988. An ad with a “5” rating is, of course, the highest and has the potential to fatally wound a candidacy. An ad at the other end of the scale – “1” – has the effectiveness of the 2010 ad by California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina against rival primary rival Tom Campbell, known as the “Demon Sheep ad”: hilarious, potentially viral, dubious impact.
Mitt Romney is still working on that connecting with the voters down South thing, as AP reports:
As is often the case, Romney showed an engaging side and stiffness, at almost the same time. When the rain-soaked crowd sang “Happy Birthday,” Romney exclaimed: “That’s a fine Alabama good morning,” as if such greetings are somehow different in other states.
Moments later, he showed good-natured self-awareness, saying he hoped to go hunting with an Alabama friend who “can actually show me which end of the rifle to point.”
No word whether the trees of Alabama were the right height.
Finally, a GOP presidential contender takes a brave stance on the real issues of this election: teleprompters.
No seriously, Rick Santorum really did say this on Sunday, in public, in Gulfport, Mississippi:
See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you’re doing is reading someone else’s words to people.
You know, when you’re running for president, people should know not what someone’s writing for you after they’ve had pollsters and speech writers test it.
You know who used teleprompters? Ronald Reagan.
But according to Rick: “You’re choosing a leader. A leader isn’t just about what’s written on a piece of paper.”
But what if the candidate writes their own words? Shouldn’t it be speechwriters who are banned? But we risk taking this at all seriously, when it is obviously mad.
The former Pennsylvania senator will arrive in Puerto Rico on Wednesday and will meet with Governor Luis Fortuño at La Fortaleza. After a press conference, Santorum will visit the Veterans Hospital in Río Piedras.
Santorum and the governor worked together in Congress when Fortuño served as resident commissioner and are friends. Still, the governor has endorsed the presidential bid by Mitt Romney, the front-runner who is also scheduled to stump in Puerto Rico this week.
new polls of Alabama and Mississippi today from ARG, which has done a good job forecasting this election cycle so far:Mitt Romney is doing pretty well in the Deep South, according to
• Alabama: Newt Gingrich leads with 34%, followed by Mitt Romney with 31%, Rick Santorum with 24%, and Ron Paul with 6%
• Mississippi: Mitt Romney leads with 34%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 32%, Rick Santorum with 22% and Ron Paul with 8%
ARG finds lower levels of support for Rick Santorum in both states than the earlier PPP polls out today, which suggests a different likely-voter model.
On ARG’s Mississippi result, an earlier survey by the same firm conducted on 7-8 March found Gingrich was leading Romney 35% to 31%. That’s some change in four days, but within the margins of error.
ARG finds that in Alabama, Romney is winning the most support from Democrats and independents: “Among self-identified independents and Democrats, Romney leads with 33%, followed by Santorum with 28%, Gingrich with 17%, and Paul with 15%.”
So the delegate math says that Mitt Romney is the inevitable nominee? That may be so but people such as Rick Santorum aren’t dissuaded by things like “math” or “science” or “fact” – these are people who deny climate change and evolution, so what would you expect?
Santorum strategist John Yob argues that Santorum will win … by seeding the convention with stealth delegates who will switch to Santorum after the first convention ballot is cast, and they are no longer bound. This is, to be blunt, nonsense.
Yes but that’s from what the Bush administration once called “the reality-based community,” and so should be disregarded.
The party that nominated self-described “maverick” John McCain and swaggering George W Bush – and that reveres Ronald Reagan for his clarity and fortitude – looks set in 2012 to choose someone who never met a constituency he was prepared to offend.
this New York Times piece on a low-key lunch meeting between President Obama and the New York City mayor:I’d like to start the latest “Mike Bloomberg for Treasury Secretary” rumour, on the back of
Over a long private lunch at the White House, President Obama posed a question to Mayor Michael R Bloomberg: what are you interested in doing next?
Mr Bloomberg’s precise response is unknown. But their meeting a few weeks ago, confirmed by aides to both leaders and previously undisclosed, was potentially significant for both men, as Mr Obama seeks support for his presidential campaign and Mr Bloomberg ponders his post-mayoral career.
And then Mike Bloomberg can run as a Democrat for the 2016 presidential nomination.
I think we now know why Rick Santorum decided to run for the Republican nomination: to improve his Google ranking.
Prior to the 2012 primary season, as you may recall, the top Google.com search result for Santorum was the result of a Dan Savage prank, defining Santorum as “frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter”. Now, though, thanks to all the news stories about Santorum’s nomination bid. that site has slipped way down the Google results front page and is not far off dropping onto the second page (which no one ever reads in Google searches).
All he has to worry about now is the Wikipedia page “Campaign for ‘santorum’ neologism” which still comes in second.
• Alabama: A virtual three-way tie with Mitt Romney at 31%, Newt Gingrich at 30% and 29% for Rick Santorum, with Ron Paul way back with 8%.
• Mississippi: Newt Gingrich holds a slim lead with 33% to 31% for Romney, 27% for Santorum, and just 7% for Ron Paul.
So any combination of results is possible, from Mitt Romney winning both – and perhaps ending the GOP race right there – to Romney coming third in both contests behind Santorum and Gingrich, which would ensure it continues for some time to come.
Here’s PPP’s analysis of why Romney is competitive, despite Gingrich and Santorum both being more popular than Romney in each states:
The reason Romney has a chance to win despite being less popular in both states is the split in the conservative vote. In Mississippi 44% of voters describe themselves as ‘very conservative’ and Romney’s getting only 26% with them. But he’s still in the mix because Gingrich leads Santorum only 35-32 with them. In Alabama where 45% of voters identify as ‘very conservative,’ Romney’s at just 24%. But again he remains competitive overall because his opponents are so tightly packed with those voters, with Santorum at 37% and Gingrich at 31%.
It’s not really clear who, if anyone, has the momentum in these states. In Mississippi folks who’ve decided in the last few days go for Gingrich over Santorum 37-29 with Romney at only 15%. But in Alabama the late deciders go 38-29 for Romney over Santorum with Gingrich at 23%.
It’s the final day of campaigning in the Southern states of Mississippi and Alabama, the latest set of must-win primaries between GOP contenders Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
With the polls showing a tight race between the three, after a weekend that saw wins for Romney and Santorum, we’ll be following the candidates and their campaigns live.
Here’s a summary of the latest events from Ryan Devereaux:
• The GOP’s presidential hopefuls are working to secure southern voters ahead of tomorrow’s primaries in Mississippi and Alabama. Depending on how they play out, the contests could narrow the field or lead to more weeks of inter-party fighting. National polls have the leading candidates in a virtual dead heat, suggesting tomorrow come down to the wire.
• Over the weekend, Santorum continued his efforts to urge Newt Gingrich to drop out of the race. On Sunday, Santorum said a one-on-one race between himself and Romney would need to “occur sooner rather than later”. The day before Santorum decisively won the Kansas caucuses. For his part, Gingrich has remained defiant but losing tomorrow’s contests could spell the end for the former house speaker’s campaign. Meanwhile, if Mitt Romney manages to come out on top tomorrow it could effectively seal the nomination for the former Massachusetts governor.
• Romney is reported to be looking to Illinois to make his stand against Santorum, in the event that he can’t seal the deal tomorrow. Taking the midwestern state, however, may prove difficult for the Romney campaign. A new Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll finds little space between the two candidates. According to the survey Romney has the support of 35% of likely voters, while Santroum has 31%, well within the 4% margin for error.
• Despite the muddled appearance of the race for the Republican nomination, Santorum has predicted that he will be the victor if the party remains undecided by the time the Republican national convention rolls around this summer. Despite trailing Romney by more than 200 delegates, Santorum told NBC’s Today Show this morning: “We’re going to be the nominee. Governor Romney will not make it.”
• A new ABC News/Washington post poll finds a steep decline in support for the war in Afghanistan, even among Republicans, which could change the landscape of the battle for president. According to the poll, 60% of Americans do not feel the war efforts have been been worth their immense costs in blood and treasure, nearly double those who feel the opposite. For the first time in five years, Republicans are evenly divided on whether the war has been worth it. As reports surfaced of a US army sergeant massacring over a dozen Afghan civilians–including numerous women and children–over the weekend, Newt Gingrich expressed a surprisingly critical analysis of the war. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Gingrich said, “I think it’s very likely that we have lost, tragically lost, the lives and suffered injuries to a considerable number of young Americans on a mission that we’re going to discover is not doable.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010