Iowa Caucus 2012

January 4, 2:36 am (CST):  Well, the votes have been tallied and posted

1) Mitt Romney – 30,015 votes (24.6%)

2) Rick Santorum – 30,007 votes (24.5%)

Mitt Romney spent some money in Iowa, but Santorum ran an effective ground game. For all practical purposes, they tied for 1st place, but since we don’t like ties, the win goes to Mitt Romney by 8 votes.

3) Ron Paul – 26,219 votes (21.4%)

Ron Paul’s supporters developed a strategy of bringing in Democrats and Independents in a cross-over effort. In Iowa, caucus goer’s declare a political party as they enter the caucus. As such, his was essentially an effort to hijack the results. His campaign almost pulled it off, but in the end the best they could do was a strong 3rd place showing.

4) Newt Gingrich – 16,251 votes (13.3%)

Newt Gingrich, in spite of a recent surge in the polling, struggled to bring in a 4th place showing. Although not a strong finish which would have been preferred, he none-the-less heads to South Carolina (January 21) leading the polling and still a contender.  Mitt Romney is expected to sweep New Hampshire next week, but the 2nd place finish is the prize there. Right now, Paul has the edge in polling there, but Gingrich is a contender for 3rd.

5) Rick Perry – 12,604 votes (10.3%)

Rick Perry did not get much of a return for his dollar investment in Iowa. He is not expected to do well in New Hampshire either, so his hopes lie with Gingrich in South Carolina.  However, he is polling very poorly even there. Unless something dramatic happens over the next few weeks, Perry is no longer a contender.

6) Michele Bachmann – 6,073 votes (5%)

7) Jon Huntsman – 745 votes (0.6%)

For Bachmann and Huntsman, it is over. Time to pack up and call it day.

Update January 3, 8:52 am (CST): The Des Moines Register has a complete guide to the Caucuses and how they work.

Update 11:43(CST): And Donald Trump Has some strong feelings about Ron Paul in Iowa ….

On the eve of the Iowa Caucuses I wanted to start a post in preparation for the first “poll” that counts in the 2012 Election cycle. It has been something of a roller-coaster ride over the past 6 months with first one candidate and then the other rising to the forefront. The only consistency has been the “anybody but Romney” mood. However, all of the polling has shown him to hold a consistent 20 – 25% of the vote and that may well be enough to give him a win in Iowa. Why? Because conservatives have failed to coalesce around a conservative alternative.

So, here are my picks for the nomination in order of personal preference along with my opinion of their chances tomorrow.

1) Rick Perry – Although Perry surged and peaked in Iowa at the end of October, his polling dropped during his dismal early debate performances to below 10%. However, he has in recent weeks shown a slight but steady rise in the polling to a statistical tie with Newt Gingrich for a 4th place finish.

2) Newt Gingrich – Gingrich peaked out the second week of December at 31%, but has since plummeted in the polls after weeks of intense negative advertising from the Romney and Ron Paul camps. Right now, it is a statistical heat between he and Santorum for 3rd place, or Perry for 5th place. He seems to be more inclined to push Santorum out of 3rd at this point if the last 3 polls are any indication.

I did entertain Santorum as my 3rd pick for awhile, but after hearing some of his remarks the past few days, I really can’t call him a preference. I can certainly support him, Bachmann or Huntsman as the nominee, but I really would rather not.

Iowa is really all about the ground game. The person with the best ground game wins, in spite of the polling. If polling is all that is considered, then either Romney or Paul (God help us) are poised to take the 1st and 2nd place wins tomorrow evening. Then it is on to New Hampshire where both Romney and Paul are positioned to take 1st and 2nd respectively. Not the most desirable outcomes, but we always have South Carolina to look forward to.

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GOP Primary: Perry 29%, Romney 18%, Bachmann 13% – Rasmussen Reports™

And yet, there is silence in the mainstream media. I guess they are trying to decide how to react to the new sheriff in town 🙂

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary voters, taken Monday night, finds Perry with 29% support. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, earns 18% of the vote, while Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who won the high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa on Saturday, picks up 13%.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was a close second to Bachmann on Saturday, has the support of nine percent (9%) of Likely Primary Voters, followed by Georgia businessman Herman Cain at six percent (6%) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with five percent (5%). Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, and ex-Utah Governor Jon Huntsman each get one percent (1%) support, while Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter comes in statistically at zero.

via GOP Primary: Perry 29%, Romney 18%, Bachmann 13% – Rasmussen Reports™.

50 States And Their Debt

I’m seeing an internet hit piece that is conveying a lot of false information (if it is on the internet it must be true, right?) about Texas debt. Texas is a big state, so it is going to have a bigger debt than say, Tennessee. What is important, is the ratio to the state’s GDP. Tennessee ranks 50th (the lowest) and Texas 48th. In other words, Tennessee and Texas are in great shape financially.

Click image for larger version

Perry Signals Intent to Enter G.O.P. Campaign

Now I can get excited about 2012 ….

DES MOINES — Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign on Monday by signaling that he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the same day his rivals are battling for survival in the Iowa Straw Poll.

via Perry Signals Intent to Enter G.O.P. Campaign – NYTimes.com.