Martinez, Gregg, and Grimm Endorsements Giving Romney an Edge

  Bookmark and Share  Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney received two high profile endorsements today.  One each in the two key early primary states of New Hampshire and Florida.  He also received a third endorsement from a less visible but equally as important freshman Congressman.

In New Hampshire, Judd Gregg, a popular former Governor and three term Senator from the Granite State announced his support
of Romney, and in Florida, former Senator and RNC Chairman Mel Martinez did the same.

Also today, Romney picked up the endorsement of freshman Congressman Michael Grimm.

His endorsement may not attract as much news as Gregg’s and Martinez’s public support but as a former Republican operative in Grimm’s congressional districts which spans Staten Island and Brooklyn, I can tell you, that Grimm’s support is just as important.

Grimm took back the seat formerly held by disgraced Republican Congressman Vito Fossella.   In 2008, the seat went to a Democrat, but in 2010, Michael Grimm won it back for the G.O.P.   The district encompasses the most heavily Republican section of New York City ……all of Staten Island, and the Southwest portion of Brooklyn, which send one of the City’s only Republicans to the New York State Senate.   Beyond that, the political machine that Grimm represents and is controlled by former Congressman Guy Molinari, is an extremely heavy handed, Republican regime with a great deal of influence in the New York G.O.P.  This means that freshman Congressman Mike Grimm’s endorsement of Romney is an early signal of widespread organizational support.  In other words, Romney is locking New York up for himself.

This will help to dissuade others from forcing Romney to spend money on the New York presidential primary, a contest that because of its placement amid very expensive media markets, could be quite expensive.

New York could be important in the nomination process.  It offers 95 delegates, one of the largest in the nation. That’s only four less than Florida,
and because the Sunshine State has violated RNC rules by setting an earlier than allowed date for their primary, they could see their delegate count cut in half.

Unfortunately for Romney though, the New York presidential primary is not held until April 24th.  However; if the early primary contests do not
produce a clear frontrunner thereby allowing us to have a presumptive nominee, New York could be decisive.  In fact mark April 24th on your calendars.  On that day, New York will not be alone in holding its presidential primary.  For the first time, we the 2012 nomination contest will be experiencing a sort of Northeast version of the South’s Super Tuesday.  Call it a Northeast Mega Primary.  On that day 231 delegates will be up for grabs form among  5 Northeastern states:

  • Connecticut – 28 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • Delaware – 17 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • New York – 95 – Primary/Winner-Take-All– Closed
  • Pennsylvania– 72 – PrimaryLoophole Primary – Closed
  • Rhode Island – 19 – Primary/Proportional – Modified

If one of the candidates has not practically wrapped up the nomination by then, Romney could be the one to do it on that day. All 5 of those
states are largely fertile for a Romney.

So while Congressman Grimm’s endorsement may not grab the headlines that Gregg’s and Martinez’s endorsements will, it is as , or even more important.  In the case of Judd Gregg, while he is popular in New Hampshire, his electoral influence is debatable.  In 2000, Judd Gregg, then a sitting U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, endorsed Texas Governor George W. Bush for President and Senator John McCain wound up winning that primary.

Mel Martinez is a different story though.  While how much sway he still has among Florida’s voters is iffy, he does have the potential to influence important parts of the electorate there.  Particularly the higher than average  Cuban-American population. This can only help Romney in a state         where he will need all the help he can to fend off Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

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Republican Presidential Candidates to Attend Spending and Jobs Summit in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share The New Hampshire chapter of the fiscal conservative watchdog group Americans for Prosperity has announced that they will be sponsoring a summit on spending and jobs. Invited to this event are Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Atlanta radio talk show host and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, South Dakota Senator John Thune, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

DeMint had previously stated that he was not interested in running for President in 2012, but as of last week has changed his mind and is now willing to look at a run for the White House as a means to insure that he plays a role in the nomination process and the agenda that the GOP debate is centered around. Without any explanation, the New Hampshire AFP has stated that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has no been invited yet.

The event is planned for April 29th and will be centered around a dinner reception at which the New Hampshire AFP organization will name Ovide LaMontagne as their Conservative of the Year. LaMontagne was the TEA Party backed candidate for the republican nomination to replace retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg. LaMontagne ran a close race but failed to defeat his opponent, Kelly Ayotte. Ayotte went on to win the general election in November.

This unofficial presidential summit on jobs and spending in America will take place approximately one before a WMUR/CNN/Union Leader sponsors what they call a presidential debate.

Currently, Mitt Romney is a seemingly strong frontrunner in New Hampshire. But his hold on frontrunner status is a tentative one that is largely due to an as of yet established field of candidates for him to run against, and the fortune of seeing the most conservative of New Hampshire voters split their support among a host of potential conservative rivals such as Gingrich, Palin, Huckabee, Santorum and other names that many hope ultimately decide to run for President.

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Republican Presidential Hopefuls Headed for Hard Times in the Granite State

Bookmark and Share Campaigning in New Hampshires first in the nation primary is always tough. New Hampshire voters expect to meet a candidate in person at least two or three times before they make a decision on who to nominate for President. But for some, that process is usually made a little easier by favoritism from state Party leaders. Organizational support, even unofficial organizational support, is often half the battle in tight races. For this reason, candidates and potential candidates spend a lot of time schmoozing G.O.P. leaders and members of the New Hampshire Party apparatus.

Long before the 2008 Republican presidential primary, people like Mitt Romney were trying to cozy up to the most influential Republicans leaders in the state. And in Romneys case, he has been continuing to forge such relationships ever since the 2008 presidential election was over.

The problem is that the midterm elections of 2010 changed the entire political landscape of New Hampshire. The state saw a total turn around from the bottom up. It switched both state legislative houses with the Senate going from 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans, to 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats and in the State House of Representatives the G.O.P. picked up 124 states and gained their largest majority ever.

This means that thereis a large new slew of Republican players in the state whom are virtually unknown to the 2012 presidential contenders and little time to start forging those close, valuable political relationships with them.

Even more dramatic then themassive influx of Republican legislators though is thecoming of newleadershipin the state Republican organization, an organization that for decades was powered by the Sununu and Gregg families. But now John Sununu is stepping down as state Chairman and Senator Judd Gregg just retired from politics. So now, with new players taking over, potential G.O.P. presidential candidates have to start forging those organizational relationships allover again.

The man probably most negatively affected by the changing landscape in New Hampshire is the former governor of New Hampshires neighbor—-Massachusetts. Mitt Romney now has to start from scratch in his own New England backyard. But before he or anyone can really get to work on that, the Party leadership must be put in place and that is currently a struggle.

It seems that the Republican establishment is being challenged by the anti-establishment TEA Party movement. They are supporting a TEA Party organizer named Jack Kimball while Sununu and the establishment is supporting the Chairman of the Cheshire County Republican Committee. Currently both the establishment and the anti-establishment have each one a recent battle. The TEA Party lost their primary challenge to incoming U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and the establishment lost their choice for Speaker of the State House of Representatives to a TEA Party backed conservative. So the race for State Party Chairman could determine the balance of power in New Hampshire.

Now the question becomes, are any of the possible presidential contenders willing to put their money on one side over the other in the hopes of the winner being indebted to them? If any of them do, they better make sure they pick the winning team because if they don’t, they could kiss that acceptance speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention goodbye.

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