Semi-Circular Logic

Jeanine Notter has been called the Michele Bachmann of the New Hampshire House, who has been called the Jack Kimball of the New Hampshire presidential primary, where she is endorsing Rick Santorum, an icky sexual byproduct who shares a name with a politician who wants to censor Google.

Bachmann: Hurricane Irene a Message From God

Michele Bachmann seems to believe Hurricane Irene — and last week’s earthquake — were a message from God to reduce government spending:

"I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending."

Magellan NH Primary Poll: Romney 36%, Perry 18%

In the first survey of likely primary voters since Gov. Rick Perry entered the race, Mitt Romney maintains an 18-point lead over his nearest competitor in the New Hampshire presidential primary.

36% of those surveyed by Magellan Strategies say if the election were held today, they would vote for Romney. Rick Perry (18%), Ron Paul (14%) and Michele Bachmann (10%) trail.

                         8/11    6/11    1/11
Mitt Romney ............. 36%     42%     39%
Rick Perry .............. 18%  
Ron Paul ................ 14%     10%      7%
Michele Bachmann ........ 10%     10% 
Herman Cain .............  3%      4%
Other ...................  3%              4%
Jon Huntsman ............  3%      3%
Newt Gingrich ...........  2%      3%      8%
Rick Santorum ...........  1%      2%      3%
Undecided ............... 10%      8%      8%

Romney has also maintained his high favorabilty rating (66% favorable / 24% unfavorable). Of all the remaining candidates, only Rick Perry (51% / 27%), Michele Bachmann (49% / 39%) and Herman Cain (36% / 34%) have net positive favorability ratings.

The survey results are based on an autodial survey of 613 likely Republican primary voters and undeclared voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The interviews were conducted August 15-16, 2011. This survey has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.96% at the 95 percent confidence interval.

Topline results and crosstabs below the fold.

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NH Presidential Primary: It’s Early

Six months before the New Hampshire presidential primary, John Toole interviews voters shopping in Londonderry to get their take on the Republican candidates.

Who is Romney? ”I think he’s a Democrat. He was governor of, was it Massachusetts? And he ran in the last election,” said Aaron Starkman of Londonderry.

Who is Gingrich? ”He’s a Massachusetts political figure,” said Maureen Glasier of Derry.

Who is Bachmann? ”She is crazy. But that’s all I know,” said Cindy Walker of Derry.

Who is Huntsman? Nobody knew.

Who is Pawlenty? ”Governor of Illinois or something like that,” Glasier said.

His conclusion? It’s early.

Does Kevin Smith Have a Marcus Bachmann Problem?

Marcus Bachmann, the husband of GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, has come under fire for his faith-based counseling clinic where counselors reportedly “pray away the gay,” claiming they can convert gays to heterosexuals through Christian payer.

This so-called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy has been roundly rejected by all mainstream health and mental health professional organizations as unscientific and dangerous.

While lacking support among mainstream organizations, “ex-gay” therapy does have advocates among some conservative fringe groups. In New Hampshire, one need look no further than Cornerstone Policy Research and its legislative action arm, Cornerstone Action.

On the Cornerstone website, the Helpful Links page provides links to discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy groups Love Won Out, National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), Exodus International and Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays. And now we learn Kevin Smith, Cornerstone’s executive director, is “thinking seriously” about running for governor. Let the buyer beware.

(h/t: Good As You)

CNHT Straw Poll Results (Ho Hum)

The New Hampshire Tea Party folks (about 150 of them) got together yesterday for a little politicking. The straw poll held at the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers’ annual picnic is an indication of who’s winning the hearts and minds of the GOP’s extreme right-wing activists. This year, as if to prove their irrelevance, they’re supporting Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

Ron Paul 63 (39%)
Rick Santorum 20 (12%)
Michele Bachmann 17 (11%)
Herman Cain 17 (11%)
Mitt Romney 14 (9%)
Tim Pawlenty 12 (7%)
Gary Johnson 11 (7%)
Thaddeus McCotter 3 (2%)
Rick Perry (write-in) 2 (1%)
Jon Huntsman 1 (1%)
Alan Keyes (write-in) 1 (1%)

Everyone Loves Raymond: Bachmann Returns

Scenes from Michele Bachmann’s first visit to the Granite State after officially launching her 2012 presidential campaign, a house party in Raymond.

On a 12-month income tax holiday:

Former N.H. State Rep. Don Gorman, of Deerfield, said the entire country should put a moratorium on the income tax for a year. Bachmann’s reply: “That’s awesome! … You would have seen an unprecedented level of growth.”

On climate change:

We have a politically correct environmental policy,” she said. “I am not in the camp that believes that human activity is the cause of global warming.”

On packing heat:

Bachmann said she has a concealed weapon permit. “Go Second Amendment!”

State Rep. Bob Elliott, R-Salem, was impressed:

"I don’t know where this woman gets her magnetism from," he said. "She’s Sarah Palin, plus she’s got a deeper intellect.”

Bachmann Returns

Michele Bachmann will be back in the Granite State today for a house party in Raymond. In her campaign roll-out, she has already established a pattern of fact-free commentary to fit her narrative.

Examining 24 of her statements, … found just one to be fully true and 17 to be false (seven of them “pants on fire” false). No other Republican candidate whose statements have been vigorously vetted matched that record of inaccuracy.

But of all Bachmann’s misstatements, her hurtful and ill-informed attacks on the LGBT community stand-out.

ENSLAVEMENT: “Why is it so dangerous? It leads to the personal enslavement of individuals. Because if you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair, and personal enslavement. And that’s why this is so dangerous.”

CHILD ABUSE: “… And so you have a teacher talking about his gayness. He goes home then, and says ‘Hey mom, what’s gayness? We had a teacher talking about this today.’ The mother says, ‘Well, that’s when a man likes other men and they don’t like girls.’ The boy’s 8, he’s thinking, ‘I don’t like girls. I like boys. Maybe I’m gay.’ And you think, that’s way out there. Kid isn’t gonna think that. Are you kidding? That happens all the time. You don’t think that’s intentional, the message that’s being given to these kids? That’s child abuse.”

AN EARTHQUAKE: “This is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever. Because the immediate consequence, if gay marriage goes through, is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal, natural and perhaps they should try it.”

Cross-posted to Blue Hampshire

Magellan: Romney Maintains Big NH Primary Lead

Mitt Romney continues to maintain his front-runner position in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary in a new survey from Magellan Strategies. 42% of those surveyed say if the election were held today, they would vote for Romney. His closest competitors are Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann with 10% each.

Compared to an earlier survey from Magellan, Romney has about the same level of support as he had at the beginning of the year. Michelle Bachmann, who was not included in the January poll, has gained the most, while support for Palin and Gingrich has dropped significantly.

Mitt Romney: 42% (January 2011: 39%)
Ron Paul: 10% (7%)
Michele Bachmann: 10% (n/a)
Sarah Palin 7% (16%)
Rudy Giuliani 6% (n/a)
Tim Pawlenty: 5% (4%)
Herman Cain: 4% (n/a)
Newt Gingrich: 3% (8%)
Jon Huntsman: 3% (n/a)
Rick Santorum: 2% (3%) 

A finding that could play a a significant role in the primary results is that just 63% of these likely voters self-identify as conservative on most issues. 32% identify themselves as moderate and 4% liberal. 72% of the Republicans said they are conservative compared to just 39% of Independents. Undeclared voters, those who are not registered as Republicans or Democrats, are eligible to vote in the GOP primary.

The survey results are based on an autodial survey of 727 likely Republican primary voters and undeclared voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The interviews were conducted June 14-15, 2011. This survey has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.63% at the 95 percent confidence interval.

Michele Bachmann’s Radical Theological Influences

In a recent interview with the Christian Post, Rep. Michele Bachmann identified two spiritual influences, Francis Schaeffer and Ravi Zacharias.

CP: Are there any ministries, authors, or individuals who have contributed to your spiritual growth?

Bachmann: First of all, I would point to the teachings of Jesus Christ and to the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, when my husband and I were in college we were influenced by Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s “How Should We Then Live?” He was one of the greatest philosophers of the last century. I also enjoy listening to Ravi Zacharias.

Francis Schaeffer was an evangelical Christian theologian whose ideas helped spark the rise of the Christian Right. His writings have been cited as an influence by radical Christian Right leaders Tim LaHaye and Randall Terry. In A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer calls for Christians to use civil disobedience to restore Biblical morality.

In A Christian Manifesto, Schaeffer’s argument is simple. The United States began as a nation rooted in Biblical principles. But as society became more pluralistic, with each new wave of immigrants, proponents of a new philosophy of secular humanism gradually came to dominate debate on policy issues. Since humanists place human progress, not God, at the center of their considerations, they pushed American culture in all manner of ungodly directions, the most visible results of which included legalized abortion and the secularization of the public schools.

A Christian Manifesto provided the theological justification for extremists in the anti-abortion movement. Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, was explicit in explaining, “You have to read Schaeffer’s Christian Manifesto if you want to understand Operation Rescue.”

Ravi Zacharias is an evangelical Christian apologist who has argued ardently against the theory of evolution. In November 2009, Zacharias signed the Manhattan Declaration, which endorsed civil disobedience against laws that conflict with their religious convictions including abortion, stem cell research and same-sex marriage. 

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.

Given these extreme influences, it’s fair for New Hampshire voters to ask Bachmann to expound on her theological philosophy and how it would inform her governing a pluralistic, multicultural society.

Quote of the Day: Fire in the Belly

“She’s got the fire in the belly and a message that resonates. For her to get in, the sooner the better.”

Ovide Lamontagne, on likely GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann

Miscellany Blue