At the beginning of this month, Public Policy Polling surveyed 481 Iowa Republicans to gauge their support of the presidential hopefuls. Of that number, 480 voted for either Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul or Tim Pawlenty. As for the 481st Iowan? He was the only one who signed up to support Jon Huntsman, a former Utah governor who gave up his post as President Barack Obama's ambassador to China to run for president.
In the most recent issue of Newsweek, Bill Clintonoffers 14 ideas for creating jobs and reviving the economy. A few of the ideas, like corporate tax cuts (lower rates with fewer loopholes) and greater skills training, are conventional. But the rest are worth checking out. In particular, Clinton suggests a faster approval process for federal construction projects, environmental retrofitting for inefficient buildings (including buildings like schools and hospitals), and loan guarantees for banks to lend money to businesses to modernize buildings.
Unlike most people, Matt Bai is bullish on erstwhile presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. The New York Times reporter joined the former Utah governor on the campaign trail and came away convinced that he'd be viable in the Republican presidential primary despite his conciliatory rhetoric and reputation for moderation. For Bai, Huntsman's potential as a presidential nominee comes from his ability to connect with GOP elites, who view him as a more compelling alternative to Mitt Romney -- someone who would appeal to independents and moderate Republicans in a general election.
According to a new report from the National Federation of Independent Business, small businesses are still struggling under the weight of a poor economy:
In May, the share of companies that planned to shrink their work forces was one percentage point higher than the share of companies that planned to expand them, the first time since last September that this indicator was negative. And even though it was slightly negative, this index, a fairly reliable indicator of hiring decisions, has been trending downward all year.
Last night's Republican presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire was the first to feature the full cast of GOP presidential hopefuls, but that doesn't mean it featured a full slate of ideas. The debate ran through familiar Republican tropes about the evils of taxes, regulation, and abortion. But early debates aren't meant to showcase policy; they're meant to influence party elites.