After a meandering debate performance in which Rick Perry dared to show an ounce of humanity, media outlets have been quick to proclaim that he's lost his chances of gaining the GOP nomination. That narrative was backed up by the polls released over the past week, which have shown Perry dropping from his front-runner status.
For years, liberals have entertained the possibility that Mitt Romney is secretly a moderate whom they could actually agree with. After all, he was for abortion before he was against it, and Romneycare is no conservative achievement.
Jonathan Chait may have just unlockedMitt Romney's strategy:
Yes, conservatives have developed a series of policy stances — say, that subsidizing and regulating private health insurance is the greatest threat to freedom in American history. Rather than treat this as a principled view, Romney simply treats it as an atavistic expression of hostility toward Obama. He defends his Massachusetts plan by pointing out that it involves private insurance. That makes it exactly the same as Obama's plan, but Romney probably figures most conservative voters don't know that, and he's probably right...
According to a new survey from Quinnipiac University, in Florida Rick Perry’s Social Security message -- “it’s a Ponzi scheme” -- resonates with a whole lot of GOP voters. Among Republicans, the only voters allowed to participate in the state’s Republican primary, 52 percent say that a “Ponzi scheme” is a fair way to describe the retirement program.
Since entering the Republican presidential primary in August, Rick Perry has led the pack in South Carolina -- according to Public Policy Polling’s most recent survey of the state, Perry led the entire field by at least twenty points.
Shortly after that poll was released, I spent some time in South Carolina, and found that -- among the rank-and-fle at least -- opinions weren’t as cut and dry. Admiration for Perry was widespread, but there was plenty of ambivalence about his ability to lead when compared to more established candidates like Mitt Romney or Michele Bachmann.
Rick Perry is apparently amping up his attacks on the health reform Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts, explaining that "the model for socialized medicine has been tried before … whether it was in western Europe or in Massachusetts." This is, of course, complete nonsense, as Trudy Lieberman of the Columbia Journalism Reviewtries to explain. It isn't like we haven't heard this before, but since Perry and Romney are running for president, maybe reporters could demand some clarification from the Texas governor.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is still the front-runner in the Republican presidential contest, but according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey, his standing has slipped in head-to-head matchups with President Obama.
I think Jamelle's post below perfectly captures the flavor of last night's GOP debate, in which what was generally a contest to see who could be more wingnutty was occasionally interrupted by a candidate put on the defensive because they had done or said something reasonable. I'm not surprised, given this, that one challenge Michele Bachmann made to Mitt Romney has gotten less attention.
When it comes to Republican presidential debates, we’re reaching a point where the behavior of the audience overshadows the rhetoric of the candidates. At last week’s debate in California, for example, audience members cheered when Texas Governor Rick Perry defended his frequent use of the death penalty.
A decade ago, political scientists Lawrence Jacobs and Robert Shapiro wrote an excellent book called Politicians Don't Pander, in which they argued convincingly that the popular image of politicians slavishly following public opinion to determine where they should change their positions was bunk. That, however, was before Mitt Romney emerged on the scene. Yes, Mitt has a pandering problem, but if you're a Republican, it's really two problems.
(AP Images) GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry at the MSNBC GOP Presidential Candidates Debate
With the specter of Ronald Reagan -- or at least the looming presence of his old airplane -- as the backdrop, the Republican presidential candidates met in California last night for a debate cohosted by NBC News and Politico. It was the fourth of this campaign, but the first to include all the major candidates; Texas Governor Rick Perry, the current frontrunner in national polls, took to the stage for the first time, and whereas past debates had largely showed the degree to which the candidates agreed with each other, last night they began -- finally -- to attack each other on policy.
Before we get into this post about polling in the presidential race, please understand that I'm not saying that anything we're seeing today predicts what will happen next November. With that out of the way, let me point out something interesting.