Yesterday’s big news on the Mitt Romney veepstakes front was John McCain’s hearty endorsement of New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte to be Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
The Boston Herald followed up by quoting Granite State Republicans urging Ayotte to “steer clear” of McCain lest she be “tainted” by McCain’s 2008 Sarah Palin pick. Not to worry, responded New Hampshire-based Republican consultant Paul Young:
“Nothing against John McCain, but what he said or didn’t say won’t have any bearing on whether she is chosen as vice president,” Young said. He said of Palin and Ayotte, “There’s no comparison. They’re two completely different people.”
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.
When word leaked out that a secret Sarah Palin documentary is set to premiere in Iowa, pundits wondered if the film was setting the stage for Palin to enter the presidential race. The New York Post’s film critic says she better not be counting on a bounce from this dog.
[I]ts tone is an excruciating combination of bombast and whining, it’s so outlandishly partisan that it makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln and its febrile rush of images — not excluding earthquakes, car wrecks, volcanic eruption and attacking Rottweilers — reminded me of the brainwash movie Alex is forced to sit through in “A Clockwork Orange.” Except no one came along to refresh my pupils with eyedrops.
If you’re hopeful (or worried) that this movie is the secret trigger for a Palin relaunch, don’t be. Even if you fixed the blaring soundtrack and took out all the symbols of the cataclysmic evil opposing Palin (barking dogs, disaster footage, a closeup of Rosie O’Donnell), you’d still be left with a hopeless sputtering jumble.
Rick Santorum suggesting Sarah Palin turned down the the keynote speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference because of more lucrative business opportunities and family responsibilities:
“I have a feeling she has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them. I’m sure that she’s doing what’s best for her and her family. … I wouldn’t have turned it down, but I don’t live in Alaska. I’m not the mother to all these kids. And I don’t have … other business opportunities.”
Speaking in Laconia, Frank Guinta says his kids, ages 5 and 6, shouldn’t even know what Medicare is. Hey, at least he’s consistent.
A Florida judge rules the Affordable Care Act individual mandate is unconstitutional and voids the entire law. Remember when conservatives demanded judicial restraint? That was before they could win victories in the courts that they couldn’t win at the ballot box.
A GOP-sponsored Congressional bill restricts the use of government funds for abortion by redefining rape. The Daily Show’s Kristen Schaal responds: “You’d be surprised how many drugged, underage or mentally handicapped young women have been gaming the system. Sorry, ladies, the free abortion ride is over.”
Everything Sarah Palin does is more consistent with becoming the next Oprah Winfrey rather than the next Ronald Reagan.
[Sarah Palin] has catapulted over most politicians to a status of entertainment icon. She has become a brand — and she’s trying to protect it by trademarking her name.
For Sarah Palin’s application, there are two classes of commercial service for which her name would be a registered trademark. One is for “information about political elections” and “providing a website featuring information about political issues.” The second is for “educational and entertainment services … providing motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich handicaps the 2012 GOP presidential field:
“Romney’s the front-runner in fundraising, Palin is the front-runner in celebrity status, and Huckabee is the front-runner in polling data,” Gingrich said. “All three of them should feel pretty good about where they’re positioned right now.”
Regarding his own plans for a presidential run, Gingrich says he is “looking at it very seriously.” Chris Cillizza says:
Make no mistake: Gingrich is running.
Gingrich’s next scheduled visit to New Hampshire is on St. Patrick’s Day for the “Wild Irish Breakfast” charity breakfast in Nashua.
Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen looks at the polling for the New Hampshire presidential primary and says,
“[W]e don’t need another poll showing that Mitt Romney is the mid-30s with everyone else at least 20 points back.”
But we’ve got one anyway. Newcomer Strategic National is out with a poll showing just that. Matching earlier surveys from Magellan and PPP, the automated survey of 940 “typical New Hampshire Republican primary voters” give Romney 34% support. The triumvirate of Mike Huckabee (14%), Sarah Palin (13%), and Next Gingrich (9%) make up the second tier. Mitch Daniels (2%), Rick Santorum (1%) Haley Barbour (1%), and John Thune (0%) bring up the rear.
Strategic National has no track record and is not listed in Nate Silver’s pollster ratings. Strategic clients have included Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. The survey was conducted on January 19, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.
Politico takes note of how Sarah Palin has avoided setting foot in the Granite State since her vice presidential run, and wonders if it might cost her when the 2012 presidential primary rolls around.
If Sarah Palin decides to run for president, she could quickly find that it’s not Arizona, but New Hampshire that poses the bigger threat to her candidacy.
That’s because in all of her travels since the 2008 election -– during the midterm campaign and across two expansive book tours –- the former Alaska governor has not once set foot in the first-in-the-nation primary state. And residents have noticed.
After all, this is a state where the voters like to have a cup of coffee and chat with the candidates before casting their vote. But could this be the year that political celebrity trumps retail politicking?
Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid says it’s possible, and points to Dwight Eisenhower and Henry Cabot Lodge who won without appearing in the state. Regardless, he says, there’s still plenty of time. “[A] high-profile person like Gov. Palin doesn’t need to come here that early.”
Or may she does. In Saturday’s straw poll of more than 400 Republican committee members, Palin received about 20 votes.