Pence Pits a Sure Thing for Governor, Against a Not So Sure Bid for President

Bookmark and Share In the Washington Whispers section of U.S. News and World Report, columnist Paul Bedard posted a piece entitled GOP Rep. Pence Is Part Reagan, Part Kennedy. In it he uses two statements to establish the title of his post. Growing up, Congressman Pence recalls being inspired by JFK but as an adult Pence believes that Ronald Reagan was the last president in his lifetime who accounts for a truly good model for a traditional American presidency.

Congressman Mike Pence

But more telling than Bedards appealing title, are Mike Pences own words discussing his future.

In the column, Pence claims that many have been encouraging him to run for Governor of Indiana. But he added Weve also gotten more than a little bit of encouragement to consider running for president. It would seem that the Congressman is trying to suggest that there is more of a popular outcry for him to run President, than there is for him to replace Governor Mitch Daniels who is term limited and prohibited from running for reelection in 2012.

It is hard to draw a conclusion about Pences future based on these statements, but a run for the Republican presidential nomination is possible and if youre a fan of Mike Pence, his emphasis on the encouragement he has received to run for President, than you might say this helps leans toward a Pence presidential candidacy being more likely than less likely. However Pence states that he will make his decision in the Spring.

That decision is probably going to be based on who is actually going to be running for President.

Everyone knows that frontrunner Mitt Romney is running, and its pretty apparent that Romney is not one of those whom Pence would base his decision on. The three whom will most likely have the biggest effect on his decision to run for President are Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, and most of all, Sarah Palin.

With these three names out of the picture, Pence will have a good shot at giving people like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and even Mike Huckabee a run for their money. With those three names or any significant combination of them out, Pence could lock up a substantial segment of the social and fiscal conservative base, a base which will be critical in the early contests of Iowa, new Hampshire, South Carolina and even Florida.

But even if Mike Pence had a clear road to locking up the conservative base vote, history is still against him. Not since 1880 and James Garfield, has a Member of the House of Representatives gone straight from the House, to e White House. But to make the hill Pence would have to climb to get to the Oval Office even steeper is another name to consider in the GOP race for President——Mitch Daniels. As the popular two term Governor of Indiana, if Daniels does run for President, he could stymie some of Pences steam, especially in his own home state of Indiana.

All things considered, I believe Mike Pence is more likely to run for Governor of Indiana and replace Daniels, instead of going up against Daniels or figures like Palin, Barbour or Gingrich. With the House of Representatives as his only springboard, competing against those names for money and the Republican base, will make a run for Governor by Pence, a much safer bet. But still, Pence undoubtedly has White House fever which makes me believe that while Pences mind is made up, its the decisions of others which can change his own mind.

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Early Polling Puts the Pressure on Romney for 2012

Bookmark and Share   Even though most states have not even begun to vote in the 2010 midterm elections, the anticipated Republican tsunami that is at the moment undeniable, has many preparing for the new political landscape that we will be operating in post November 2, 2010. I foresee the G.O.P. taking control of the Senate with 51 seats and winning a whopping 62 seats in the House, a gain that would give Republicans the most seats it has had in the House since 1946.

This Republican rejuvenation has made it hard to contain speculation about 2012 and the presidential election which will begin on November 3rd, 2010.

One entity which is not hiding any early interest in the Republican race for President is Gallup, a veteran polling agency of 70 years.

In their most recent poll of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Gallup selected 12 leading Republicans whom are seriously considering a run for president and in many cases have already stomped in New Hampshire and Iowa, the states with first in the nation presidential primary and caucus.

The question Gallup asked was;

Next I’m going to read a list of people who may be running in the republican primaries for President in the 2012 election. After I read all the names, please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, or if you would support someone else. ( The names were given in random order)

The results were as follows:

    • Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney                19%
    • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin                                     16%
    • Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee                       12%
    • Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich                        9%
    • Texas Congressman Ron Paul                                                      7%
    • Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty                                           3%
    • Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour                                         3%
    • Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum                       2%
    • South Dakota Senator John Thune                                              2%
    • Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels                                                  2%
    • Indiana Congressman Mike Pence                                               1%
    • Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson                        1%

A total of 11% of respondents had no opinion, 7% stated none of them, 4% gave a mix of different names, 1% said any or all of them, and another 1 % volunteered the name of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Gallup also broke these down reults down even and offered the following interesting analysis;

“Romney and Palin are the top choices of both conservative and moderate or liberal Republicans, and in fact their support is similar among both groups. Of the top five candidates, Huckabee receives support that is most divided along ideological lines; he gets significantly more support among conservative Republicans.”

Support for Top Five Potential 2012 Republican Nomination Candidates, by Political Ideology

“Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, likely fares better among conservative Republicans because the group tends to be more religious. Among Republicans who say religion is important in their lives, Huckabee (14%) is essentially tied with Romney (17%) and Palin (16%).”

Candidates Get More Support in Home Regions

“Typically, support for presidential nomination candidates varies geographically, with candidates generally faring best in their home regions. This appears to be the case with most of the current group of GOP contenders, as Palin’s support is highest in the West, and Huckabee gets somewhat higher support in the South. Romney shows particular strength in both the East, where he was governor of Massachusetts, and the West, where he served as chief executive of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games.”

Support for Top Five Potential 2012 Republican Nomination Candidates, by Region

These results are only a snapshoyt of current thinking and that  thinking is surely going to change over the course of two years.  But the current picture offers a glimpse of who has the most to lose and who has the most to gain as the primary process unfolds.  Clearly, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have captured the imaginations of more Republicans than any others, yet Huckabee, Gingrich and Paul have substantial enough support to make Palin’s and Romney’s frontrunner status very flimsy.

Perhaps most telling are Tim Pawlenty’s numbers. 

As a popular Midwest Governor who received national attention when he came close to be John McCain’s pick for Vice President, you would expect him to be much further ahead of the bottom of the pack than he actually is.  This is especially true when you consider that he is openly pursing the GOP nomination much more aggressively than many of the other names on the list.  With only 3% of Republicans uttering his name as their choice, it would seem that Pawlenty probably has a lot more work to do if he expects to catch on, especially as the rest of the field swings into gear.  So far, it would seem that Tim hasn’t been getting as a big a bang for his buck as he should.

But these numbers do not put as much pressure on Pawlenty as they do for Romeny and Palin.  Pawlenty has little room to slide but a lot of room for advancement.  But Palin and Romney are the ones that are faced with insuring that they remain on the top of the hill…………a position that will be tough to hold for long as the rest of the field starts trying to take their place at the top.

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