Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.  And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.  It comes one day before what could be a game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.  It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has mastered much of the art of political campaigning, has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.  The problem was timing.  He peeked too early and in the two weeks leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  This time, in South Carolina, thanks to Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich looks like he is peaking just in time to be the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.   All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.  In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.  As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected  “establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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President Obama’s First Reelection Ad Raises a Question. How Dumb Does He Think We Are?

   Bookmark and Share    As he works hard to the raise the money to wage the first billion dollar presidential campaign in history, the Fundraiser-in Chief has already launched the first television ads of his reelection campaign [see ad below].  In it, Billion Buck Barry claims everyone is lying about him and that he has ruled over the most ethical presidential Administration Americans have ever known.   To support his point, the President’s reelection team tries to validate their pitch by using quotes from ABC News and Common Cause, two of the most prolific purveyors of liberal propaganda that those with an axe to grind and leftwing agenda to promote could ever find.

According to President Obama’s political gurus, Americans are suppose to believe that ABC News is a reliable source of “fact checkers” and that Common Cause is a non-partisan judge of fairness and honesty.

This is the same ABC News…….keyword being “news”………. which decided that regurgitating a 2010 Esquire Magazine interview with the disgruntled ex-wife of Speaker Newt Gingrich, two days before a critical primary election, was newsworthy.

This is the same Common Cause which is led by Bob Edgar, a former 6 term liberal Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman, Robert Reich, the former Clinton Labor Secretary who is now a leftwing professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and others like Ric Bainter, a one time liberal Democrat candidate for Secretary of State in Colorado, and other more prominent figures from the liberal elite of Hollywood like Richard Dreyfuss.

Unless you live under rock or spend most of your time standing in line to gain entry in to a Lady Gaga concert or Dennis Kucinich fundraiser, I am not sure how serious one can take the word of ABC News and Common Cause and how they can be viewed as credible guarantors of truth and facts, but that is what the Obama reelection team hopes.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the ad uses the remaining fifteen seconds to convince us that President Obama is one of the most successful managers of America’s energy future.

At one point, the very serious sounding voice narrating this fairytale, claims that President Obama for the first time in 13 years, America’s consumption of foreign oil is below the 50% mark.

That may sound attractive, but what the narration does not disclose is the reason we are consuming less foreign oil is because President Obama has successfully sustained the longest running economic downturns since the Great Depression.  And as a result, with rising prices,  less jobs, and less money available to consumers, Americans are consuming less energy.  Afterall, when President Obama came in to office, gasoline was $1.89 a gallon.  Now, almost four years later, that same gallon of gas costs nearly twice as much.  The reason we are using 50% less foreign oil is simply because our economy is practically 50% as strong as strong as it once was.

To make matters worse, the ad tries to credit President Obama with orchestarting a so-called energy policy that has created 2.7 million jobs.  However the facts show that under President Obama, the nation has had a net loss of just a touch over  2 million jobs and that does not factor in the lack of jobs that still exists for the more than 3 million people who came of age and increased the size of the eligible working population.  Nor does it include the six million people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and dropped out of the working force…….the people who have simply given up and are not factored in to the jobless rate.  Check those facts out, then add them up and  tell me that President Obama created more jobs than he lost since taking office.

But wait!

It all gets worse.

In addition to this ad using the lies of reliably biased liberal front groups and hacks, the Obama reelection team decided to release it one day after the President told our Canadian allies that creating real jobs by allowing the Keystone Pipeline project to proceed so that we could tap in to domestic energy sources, was a bad idea and therefore we will not allow it to move forward.

Just one day after Barack Obama caters to his radical environmentalist political donors and refuses to pursue a policy that kills two birds with one stone by creating jobs and achieving a real degree of energy independence, he runs an ad claiming that he has created jobs and made us less reliant upon foreign oil. Which brings me to my original question.

How dumb does he think we are?

Between the emerging Solyndra scandal, and the Keystone decision, this ad almost seems to be a Saturday Night Live skit.  Yet the President and his people are serious.  They clearly expect a segment of voters to believe his wild claims and outright lies.  They truly believe that people will fall for the ads opening claim that “secretive oil billionaires” are plotting against the President as if we were watching some poorly done episode of Batman with evil villains plotting a takeover of Gotham City by framing the mayor and finally giving The Joker with his chance to begin taking over the world.

Which brings us to another issue the ad neglects to mention.

Was it not President Obama who received a million dollar donation to his presidential campaign from BP, before he gave the Deepwater Horizon oil rig a safety award, and exempted them from certain safety regulations right before that same rig exploded and spent that , “Summer of Recovery” spewing enough oil in to the Gulf of Mexico to create our nation’s greatest environmental disaster?  So who is President Obama kidding?  He has much blood, or in this case oil, on his hands as the next politician who is getting their own palms greased by big oil.

Between the President’s history and his first reelection ad, I am not sure exactly how dumb he thinks we are, but it is quite apparent that he is hoping we are dumber than the people he has filled his Cabinet with.  I also know that when it comes to the two things President Obama tries to address in this commercial, jobs and energy, they are the two issues which he is most vulnerable on and if this is his way of trying to inoculate himself from attacks on those issues, than he just lost the election.

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Video Of Rick Perry’s Decision to Suspend His Campaign and to Endorse Newt Gingrich

Bookmark and Share Below is video of Governor Perry endorsing Speaker Newt Gingrich after annoucning that he was suspending his own campaign for President.

According to Governor Perry;

“I believe Newt is a Conservative visionary who can transform our country.  We’ve had our differences which campaigns will inevitably have, and Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?  The fact is, there is forgiveness for those who seek God.  And I believe in the power of redemption for it is a central tenant of my Christian faith.  I have no question that Newt Gingrich has the heart of a Conservative reformer, the ability to rally and captivate the Conservative movement.  The courage to tell those Washington interests to take a hike if that is in the best interest of our country.”  

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The Mistake That is Iowa: Santorum Beats Romney………Maybe

Bookmark and Share   Up to now, Iowa’s erroneous Caucus results created a narrative that allowed Mitt Romney to be the first non-incumbent Republican presidential candidate to win both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary.  The distinction really did not mean much.  Both New Hampshire and Iowa award delegates on a proportional basis and neither actually determine who the nominee is.  However the public perception of two seeming back to back victories for Mitt Romney had a profound effect on the perception shaping the ongoing nomination contests.  Romney’s strong showing and one time 8 vote victory in Iowa along with his landslide win in New Hampshire, helped to establish him, at least psychologically, as the inevitable Republican presidential nominee.  In turn, that perception gave Mitt a leg up on his opponents by denying them, at least some  momentum and money.

Now it comes out that in an attempt to certify the Iowa Caucus results,  there are 34  more votes for Rick Santorum than Mitt Romney which can be accounted for.

The problem is that there is unknown number of votes from 8 different voting precincts which can’t be accounted for.

This has forced the Iowa G.O.P. to formally declare the Caucus a virtual tie between Romney and Santorum.

However, in his never ending attempt to capitalize on what his undeniably overwhelming finish in Iowa, Rick Santorum is focussing in on the the votes which can be accounted for and give him a technical victory in the Hawkeye State.  Upon the newly unofficial certification of the election results, Santorum released the following email to supporters;

As I stated, between the closeness of the Iowa Caucus and the proportional basis which Iowa awards delegates, makes who won by a handful of votes not very important.  And seeing as how Santorum achieved such a close result by spending hardly any money in the state and still going from the bottom of the pack to the front of the field, Santorum was the real winner regardless of who technically won.  But the perceptions created by the mishandling of the caucus results did have an undue, albeit minimal effect on history and the early stages of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

That fact makes it clear that there was one real big, undeniable, loser here.  it was the Iowa State Republican Party.

Their inability to properly oversee the most basic aspect of our democratic process is a embarrassing blemish that makes one wonder how much we should rely upon their Party Caucus when it comes to selecting a presidential nominee.  If these people can’t even count accurately, I am not too confident in their ability to pick presidents.

Perhaps Jon Huntsman was right when he said that Iowa picks corn while other states pick Presidents.

No matter what, this tabulating error was an inauspicious way to kick off the 2012 presidential election cycle and conjures up fears of another chad-ridden, presidential election in 2000, a repeat of which our troubled nation truly does not need.

Thanks Iowa.

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Newt Surges in South Carolina

Bookmark and Share   A new Rasmussen poll shows that despite nearly forcing another collapse of his campaign with left-wing attacks against Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich is experiencing his second surge in the 2012 election cycle just days before South Carolinians go to the polls to select a republican presidential nominee.

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey shows Mitt Romney holding on to his lead with 30%, but the real story is that Newt Gingrich who two weeks ago was at 16%, has pulled nearly even with Mitt Romney and now has 27% of the vote.

While Romney’s numbers remain virtually unchanged from two weeks ago, the other story aside from Newt’s surge,  is that even though a bloc of evangelical leaders recently voted to endorse Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator seems to be wearing thin on South Carolinians as he backslides going from 21% to his current third place showing at 15%.

As for the remaining candidates in the race Texas Congressman Ron Paul holds steady at 13% support from likely primary voters, and Texas Governor Rick Perry remains in last place with four percent 4%.

According to Rasmussen, another 4% like some other candidate in the race, and  7% are undecided.

Adding to the good news for Gingrich is the fact that these poll numbers were taken before Wednesday evening’s, late night, semi-endorsement of Gingrich in South Carolina by Sarah Palin.

As good as the news seems to be for Gingrich in the short term, the Rasmussen poll does not show any significant signs of long term good news for Newt.

Nationally approximately 70% of all Republicans now expect Romney to ultimately be the nominee and Mitt continues to hold a sizeable lead in Florida, the important Southern primary that will take place on January 31st, ten days after South Carolina holds its contest.

All of this suggests that Romney is still headed for the nomination but clearly, he is not assured of smooth sailing across the finish line, and under the circumstances, if Newt can defeat Romney in the Palmetto State primary, it may indeed turn the nomination contest in to an entirely new contest.  At least until Florida.

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Newt Gingrich Turns Strong Debate Performance In to a Strong Campaign Ad

Bookmark and Share   One of the most powerful performance in the recent Fox News, South Carolina presidential debate came from Newt Gingrich when panelist Juan Williams asked Newt Gingrich if past remarks he made were racially insensitive.  Few knew that what Williams was actually doing was setting the stage for a moment that Newt Gingrich would turn in to debate history.

The intentionally designed, racially charged, question was meant to put the former House Speaker on the spot and confront a sensitive issue.  Yet Gingrich automatically dismissed the premiss of the question by simply answering “no”.  Then what followed that simple word was an example of inspired oratory skill  that was an eloquent and powerful recitation of shared, basic American principles which were stated with the type of ease, conviction, and forcefulness that could only be carried off by someone who is a true believer in those principles.  They were the principles of equality and personal responsibility, principles which Newt Gingrich used to defy liberal thinking with and to  defend conservative ideology with.

Now Newt turned that moment in to a 30 second ad which will air in South Carolina [see the ad below].

It is called “The Moment” and it takes the most powerful portion of Newt’s answer to Juan Williams’ questions and turns it in to a Lincolnesque moment in history.

For me, this is the first time I have seen Newt Gingrich’s campaign coordinate itself well.  It is the first time he has taken a positive event for his candidacy and build upon it in any meaningful way.

Up to now, Newt has failed miserably at maximizing opportunities.  This time he didn’t.

The new ad not only reminds those who saw the debate from which the Gingrich speech in the commercial comes from, but it affords those who did not see it, the opportunity to be inspired by his words the same way that the audience who heard those words live did.

Between the lack of time left in the campaign and the lack of money available to Newt, I am not sure if this ad will be seen by enough people to make the difference between first and second place in South Carolina, but it is  probably the best chance Newt has at making sure his campaign stays alive for even just a little longer.

For those of you who missed the debate that this “moment” comes from, below you will find the entire segment, including the question from Juan Williams which inspired Newt Gingrich’s inspired answer.

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Where New Hampshire Leaves Us

Bookmark and Share    The results of the Live Free or Die State’s first in the nation primary, did little to change minds or establish any great degree of certainty about the final outcome when Republicans gather to nominate a President in September.  Yet despite all the hand ringing, flavors of the many different weeks, sniping about who is to liberal, and general exasperation over the lack of perfection in the presidential field, I do believe that just as was the case in Iowa and now New Hampshire, Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.  However, nothing is set in stone and as masterfully noted in a recent post by MDuminiak, there are a number of unique circumstances facing the now undeniable Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

As I have mentioned in the past, there is a significant possibility for Republicans to see their first brokered convention since 1976.  In his post “Hollow Victories”, MDuminak cites several factors that could lead up to such an event.  They include the penalties which strip several states of half their delegate counts for holding earlier than allowed primaries and the proliferation of states that have moved to a proportional allocation of their delegates rather than the usual winner-take-all system that dominated the process in the past.

Even so, while right now it does look like there is a good possibility for a brokered convention , I am convinced that all the speculation will be proven wrong and by the time September comes along, many will find it hard to remember just how contested the nomination seemed to be, or that most of us tried to make it out to be.

Many may find that hard to believe, but if history is any indication, that is exactly the way it will be when Mitt Romney accepts the nomination and nominates his running mate.  To believe that though, requires an interpretation of exactly where New Hampshire leaves us.

 Mitt Romney:

Romney finally cracked that 25% mark that has helped many to question his electability as a Republican.  But it was in a state friendly to Mitt and that is seen as less conservative than many other states.  Nonetheless, he did exceed his 25% high watermark and achieved what can only be called a landslide victory.

But there is more to consider as Romney moves on to the next battleground.

Mitt has played it safe.  He has not offered a single bold initiative or major reform other than his promise to repeal Obamacare.  This has made it difficult for him to win over the reform minded TEA movement wing of the G.O.P. and nearly impossible for him to tap in to the general anti-establishment mood that permeates the electorate.  His lack of innovative, revolutionary, ideas have left many uninspired by him, myself included.   Yet all that Romney has carefully proposed can not be considered anything less than conservative.  They are just not things that could easily be painted as “extreme”.  That may not be a big hit with conservatives, but it does give Romney an advantage in the general election and that is exactly what Romney is trying to do…….run a general election campaign.  It was, and is a calculated risk that he decided on many months ago. when it became clear that conservatives were not going to have a single conservative alternative to Romney  to unite behind.

So Romney has been playing it safe, and for good reason.

While the rule of thumb is that Republicans must run to the right to get the nomination and then run to the middle to win the election, that old concept may not apply in 2012.

With Barack Obama accumulating a war chest of more than a billion dollars, Romney knows that if he runs too far to the right to get the nomination, Obama’s money may make it impossible for him to run back to the middle.   Obama’s historic spending could go a long way in painting Romney as the extremist who is more out of touch with Americans than the President himself is.

Then there is the fact that Romney is not exactly quite as condemned by conservatives as many would like you to believe.  Here is a man who for several years  priors to 2011, was elected the favorite conservative by CPAC.   In 2008, Mitt Romney was also the conservative alternative to John McCain.  And since then, Romney has only become more conservative, not more liberal.

This is probably why recent exit polling showed Romney beating all other candidates among even conservatives.  In many ways, according to the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is the conservative alternative that conservatives were looking for.

Add to that the most well financed and organized campaign, combined with significant endorsements from people like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and what you have is candidate who can buy,  organize, and win over all the delegates he needs to win the nomination.

Then of course there are all the factors working against each of  Mitt Romney’s rivals;

Ron Paul:

Ron Paul is performing far better than he ever has before.  Some may see this as a sign that his rhetoric is resonating.  And it is.  But not with Republicans.

While Republicans agree with much, if not all of Paul’s fiscal ideas and platitudes about the Constitution, they know that he is really not quite as unique as some of his worshippers think he is.  Many Republicans understand that Paul is more rhetoric than action and that when it comes to foreign policy and national defense, he is just irresponsible.  This is why polling, including exit polls from both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, show :

a).- Ron Paul losses among self identified Republicans.

 b).- Ron Paul loses among self identified conservatives.

c).- Ron Paul, the mythological father of the TEA Party, even loses among those who identify themselves as TEA Party members and supporters.

Which leads us to the electoral irrelevance of Ron Paul.

Ron Paul’s inflated vote totals are arrived at through a unique coalition of liberals, independents, and youth who look upon their parent’s  days as hippie, love and peace, revolutionaries,  with nostalgic admiration and see it as the days when America had meaning.

Some suggest that we must thank Ron Paul for bringing these people in to the Republican Party.   Some do, but I don’t.

First of all, I have no need for liberals in my Party.  It’s bad enough that as a New York born resident of New Jersey, I am living among far too many Rockefeller Republicans already.  But more than that, none of these people are going to stay in the Republican Party, and none of these Paul fanatics are going to ever vote Republican.  They will either cast their lot with President Obama, vote for a third Party candidate, or not vote at all.  No matter which one of those three alternatives they choose, none of them were or are ever going to vote Republican.  Not unless Ron Paul becomes the nominee and that is just not ever going to happen.

So when it comes to Ron Paul, relax.

He has little to do with the G.O.P. and this is still the Republican presidential nomination we are talking about.  Will Ron Paul continue to get his message out?  Yes.  Will it change the results of the Republican presidential nomination contest?  No.

So Ron Paul is merely a distraction.

Jon Huntsman:

Huntsman did well in New Hampshire, but third place behind Ron Paul does not make him a rock a star and while he claimed that third place was his ticket to South Carolina, he better hope it’s a roundtrip ticket.  His 3rd place finish will not swing big money his way as it did for Rick Santorum after Iowa,  and with the lack of money that he has to invest in South Carolina, what you get is a candidate with no momentum and not enough tread on his wheels to get the type of traction he needs in South Carolina.

Huntsman like Paul, is now merely a distraction.

Rick Perry:

At this point, the only reason Perry is still running is because he wants to be there if the other candidates trip and fall as badly as he did.  Perry does not want to miss the chance to become the nominee by default if Romney or any combination of the others become the next Gary Hart and fall out of favor because of “Monkey Business”.

Perry is not even a distraction. He is just standing by and waiting to fill a vacancy that may never open up.  His only other hope is that the field stays relatively muddled until he can rack up a significant number of delegates from Texas and the rest of the deep South, West of Florida.  And even then he has to hope that fate provides him  with a brokered convention that make his delegate count important enough for him to have a big say as to who the nominee is.

Rick Santorum:

Santorum still has a chance to show some life in South Carolina.  Like Iowa, it is dominated by social conservatives and no one else has really  established themselves yet as the social conservative candidate.  On top of that, he now has money.  After raising significant amounts of money following his virtual tie with Romney in Iowa,  he could not spend it in New Hampshire because its primary was so close to Iowa’s caucus, that all the air time was already bought up.  That is not the case in South Carolina.

However, that is about all the momentum Santorum has left going in to South Carolina.  He was unable to turn his strong Iowa showing into a strong New Hampshire finish and coming in behind Newt Gingrich did not help at all.

So Santorum is not likely to defeat Mitt Romney in South Carolina but he could still emerge as a conservative alternative to Romney in Florida.

Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich is fading fast.  He really needed to at least beat Jon Huntsman if not Ron Paul too.  Instead he now goes in to South Carolina as an underfinanced, unorganized, bottom tier candidate. Yet if there is  any place he could turn things around, it is South Carolina.  Sadly though, I do not see him doing that.  Gingrich failed to ever accept the fact that although he may be an unconventional leader, there are some conventional aspects of a campaign that are so basic, that even he, Gingrich the Great, needed to employ them.  But he didn’t.  between that, a lack of structure,as well as a lack of a clear theme and message, and his experiment with attacking Mitt Romney from the left, it looks like South Carolina may be Newt’s last stand.

Even if Newt does surprise us all in South Carolina, I am afraid it is too late for him to do much with it.  Florida will be tougher for Newt and easier for Mitt than South Carolina, and with Newt’s lack of funds and Romney’s abundance of funds, Florida is where the inevitability factor may settle in for Mitt and help to dry up any remaining opportunities that his rivals might still have.

Does this mean it’s all over?

Not at all.

The game will still be played.

If  for nobody other than Ron Paul, the race will remain contested at least until Super Tuesday and probably beyond.  But the game won’t  be a very serious one.  It will mainly be talked up by political junkies like myself and rating starved talking heads who will claim Ron Paul is tearing the G.O.P. in half, and that he may go to the convention with enough delegates to change the Republican platform or determine who the presidential and vice presidential nominees are.  But such talk will be mere fantasy because in the end, Mitt Romney will reach the 1,128 delegates he needs for the Republican presidential nomination by March 20th or earlier.  And if he happens not to get it by then, he will do so no later than Tuesday, April 24th, when 231 delegates are up for grabs in the Mid-Atlantic version of Super Tuesday that will see the Romney rich states of Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island all hold their primaries.

Then, mark my words, all this talk about about how incompetent the Republican field was and how competitive it was, will all be a part of a hard to remember past, and no matter how much you dislike Mitt Romney now, you will not be disliking quite that much after he delivers his acceptance speech in September at the Republican National Convention.

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Live New Hampshire Primary Election Result Updates

286 of 301 Precincts Reporting – 95%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Romney, Mitt GOP 94,252 39%
Paul, Ron GOP 54,511 23%
Huntsman, Jon GOP 40,388 17%
Gingrich, Newt GOP 22,518 9%
Santorum, Rick GOP 22,292 9%
Perry, Rick GOP 1,668 1%
Roemer, Buddy GOP 898 0%
Total Write-ins GOP 788 0%
Bachmann, Michele GOP 341 0%
Karger, Fred GOP 331 0%
Rubash, Kevin GOP 246 0%
Johnson, Gary GOP 175 0%
Cain, Herman GOP 148 0%
Lawman, Jeff GOP 122 0%
Hill, Christopher GOP 103 0%
Linn, Benjamin GOP 82 0%
Meehan, Michael GOP 46 0%
Story, Joe GOP 39 0%
Drummond, Keith GOP 35 0%
Betzler, Bear GOP 29 0%
Robinson, Joe GOP 26 0%
Greenleaf, Stewart GOP 22 0%
Callahan, Mark GOP 18 0%
Swift, Linden GOP 17 0%
Martin, Andy GOP 16 0%
Wuensche, Vern GOP 15 0%
Brewer, Timothy GOP 14 0%
Davis, John GOP 13 0%
Crow, Randy GOP 12 0%
Cort, Hugh GOP 2 0%
Vestermark, James GOP 2 0%

Dixville Notch Opens the New Hampshire Primary With a Win for Romney and Huntsman

Bookmark and Share   With all the pomp and circumstance and meaning of Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire has seen their first in the nation primary begin with the first voting in the state out of Dixville Notch.

Out of the 9 voters in the small town, 4 are Independent, 3 are Republican, and 2 are Democrats.  As is expected, most of the the Independent voters chose to vote in the Republican Primary and so out of the 6 votes cast in that contest, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman tied with 2 votes each.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each received 1 vote.

On the Democratic side, President Obama won in a landslide, receiving all 2 of the registered Democrat voters and 1 Independent voter Dixville Notch.

Historically, Dixville Notch is about as good an indicator of voter sentiments in New Hampshire as Ron Paul is an example of responsible national security…………not at all.  But it is a good example of civic responsibility and participation in the democratic process and that is what’s it all about.  I would still have prefered that Independents were not allowed to influence the selection of who represents my Party but I am nonetheless glad to see that an end to the News Hampshire primary is in sight.  And short of a very unlikely surprise result in the Granite State, I am looking forward to the days leading up to the South Carolina Primary, a state primary contes twhich promises to provide a true proving ground for Mitt Romney and a real opportunity for any of his rivals who are still in the race after New Hampshire.

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McRomney: The Problem With John McCain’s Flip-Flop for Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Back in December, White House 2012 took a look at John McCain’s expected endorsement of Mitt Romney.  At that time, McCain had stated that he would not endorse a candidate until after the Iowa Caucus.  White House 2012 anticipated that Romney might need to rely on the popularity of John McCain  which is really only limited to New Hampshire and Arizona Republicans.

Romney’s surprising virtual tie with underdog Rick Santorum may have been enough to upset the apple cart for Romney that it did become necessary for McCain to endorse Romney in the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary and in the end it will probably will have at most, a minimal benefit for Romney come primary night.

However, some of the drawbacks to a McCain endorsement that we noted back in December, were immediately highlighted by the mainstream media in the wake of the anticipated endorsement.  The main criticism was the hypocrisy involved in what is an ironic flip-flop for Romney by McCain.

At the time, White House 2012 even produced a video documenting the hypocrisy with clips that offer some of the reasons why Romney should not want an endorsement from McCain and why McCain shouldn’t want to endorse Romney.

Ultimately, the McCain endorsement will probably not help Romney much.  Romney should be winning New Hampshire primary regardless of what McCain did.  But there is an underlying risk that Romney takes by receiving John McCain’s seal of approval.  As the perceived moderate, establishment Republican, the approval of another perceived moderate, establishment Republican does little more than reinforce what is an image problem for Romney in this anti-establishment atmosphere.

To put it another way, given the existing mood in the Republican Party, whose endorsement would you rather have……..John McCain’s or Sarah Palin’s.  In my humble opinion, I think the Mama Grizzly would be far more beneficial than the G.O.P.’s establishment, liberal “Maverick”.

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Just What on Earth is a Conservative?

A New Conservatism is needed to stop America going down the road of Welfarism

Iowa is upon us. 2012 is upon us. How will it all end? It may just all end in tears. Tears because Obama wins, or tears because the GOP did    not offer a viable alternative. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure: this is a time to stand up for conservative principles.

But, just what on earth is a conservative, and can one win the White House this year?

To answer this means agreement on just what a conservative is, and your answer to the second part of my question depends on the answer to the first part.

Simply put, Conservatism is a set of instincts and principles guiding decisions, which are applied according to historical context. Today’s conservative may discuss different situations and policy options then an 18th Century conservative, but then they will adhere to some broad principles as if there had been no intervening centuries. The conservative whom is central to American modern conservatism is Edmund Burke, and he spelled out some core conservative elements of thought:

  1. People are basically religious, and religion is the foundation of civil society. A divine sanction infuses the legitimate, existing, social order.
  2. Society is the natural, organic product of slow historical growth, with institutions drawing on the wisdom of previous generations.
  3. People are creatures of instinct and emotion as well as reason. Prudence, prejudice, experience, and habit are better guides than reason, logic, abstractions, and metaphysics. Truth exists not in universal propositions but in concrete experiences.
  4. The community is superior to the individual. Rights derive from duties. Evil is rooted in human nature, not in any particular social institutions.
  5. Apart from an ultimate moral sense, people are unequal. Social organization is a complex of classes, orders, and groups. Hence, differentiation, hierarchy and leadership are the inevitable characteristics of any civil society.
  6. A presumption exists “in favor of any settled scheme of government against any untried project.  “Man’s hopes are high, but his vision is short.”  Thus, efforts to remedy existing evils usually result in even greater ones.

We find echoes of these elements in the influential 1953 essay “The Conservative Mind”, where Russell Kirk offered what he called “six canons of conservative thought”. Like Burke, the divine plays a foundational role:

  1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience
  2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life
  3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes
  4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected and that economic leveling is not economic progress
  5. Faith in prescription and distrust of “sophisters and calculators”
  6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical

In 2012, how many of these foundational canons of thought are taught in our educational system? Again the answer is simple: none. What does happen is that these foundational principles are undermined and dismantled at every level of education and public life. To be a conservative is to swim against the cultural tide, against the consensus which is taught in schools and parlayed by the chattering media.

Winning a political election means appealing to the consensus, and today’s consensus is not tolerant of principles, or even thought for that matter. In today’s climate, a conservative cannot win the election. You can only look at the GOP field and vote for the consensus candidate, in other words the nearest thing to an electable conservative. This is not a ringing endorsement of Mitt Romney, but he is the only candidate who can compete with Obama.

But then in the grand scheme of things the presidential election is a mere sideshow, because the real battles lie ahead in establishing a new conservative agenda for an America systemically in doubt and unsure. The enlightenment trajectory of Europe down the road to Welfarism, with its self-destructive repudiation of civilized principles, is the trajectory America is now following.

The answer is not to be found in this election, a new conservatism that tackles the causes of decline in enlightenment civilization is needed. A new Burke or Kirk is needed, because conservatives cannot simply look at Obama as the cause of America’s identity crisis, he is a symptom of the decay of the principles these thinkers set out so clearly.

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Gingrich Predicts His Own Loss in Iowa and Bachmann Hopes for a Miracle

Bookmark and Share   After more than six weeks as the candidate with the target on his back and nearly 10 million dollars in negative ads against him, New Gingrich saw his Iowa poll numbers fall from a near 30% to his current standing in the mid teens.

The loss of just about half of his support has led Newt to admit now that he is not likely to win the Iowa Caucus but at the same time, he believes that a likely third or even fourth place showing will still it make him possible for him to remain competitive beyond the Hawkeye State’s nomination contest.

That assessment is actually true, but short of a first or second place showing, Newt’s future viability will rely on two things.  First, he must hope that if Mitt Romney wins, he does not win by very much.  Then Newt must hope for a third place showing.  While a fouth place finish will not derail his candidacy, it will make fundraising and the establishment of momentum quite an uphill battle as he moves ahead.

If Newt can fisinsh third or second and keep Romney from winning by a very large margin, he will remain competetive and may be come the benefiicary of an anti-Romney phenomenom.

If opposition to Romney is as strong among conservatives as many believe, victories in Iowa and New Hampshire could finally force the anti-Romney vote to charge behind one final alternative to Romney.  Newt is in the best position to be that alternative candidate but anything less than a fourth place finish in Iowa will make that impossible.

Meanwhile Michele Bachmann says “We’re believing in a miracle because we know, I know, the one who gives miracles,” .

At Oral Roberts University, Bachmann’s alma mater she told ABC ;

“We’re going to see an astounding result on Tuesday night — miraculous,”

Current polling has apparently forced both Bachmann and Gingrich to be unconditionally honest about the results tomorrow, for under the circumstances, Bachmann does in fact need a miracle to pull off a finish above 6th place.  For Gingrich, given the nearly 41 percent of Iowa caucus goers who remain undecided on the eve of the contest, a better than expected showing is not out of the question and as a Gingrich supporter a biased optimism has me still believing that he could surprise everyone with a third or second place finish.  However, when factoring in current voter trends, Newt’s poorly run campaign and lack of an organization on the ground, along with the undeniable momentum behind Rick Santorum, logic would dictate that Newt is right.  He will not win the caucus tomorrow night.

As for the other candidates, Ron Paul is seeing the helium in his balloon be overwhelmed as the weight of the oxygen in the atmosphere surrounding the reality of his reckless national security views and general unelectability brings his number back to the floor.  In an early afternoon speech to supporters, Paul reminded his fans that the Caucus will involve small numbers of people but the message they send will be a big one and he urged his supporters to stick together and be sure to show up at their proper caucus locations.

Mitt Romney spent most of the day trying to remain focussed on the one person which unites him and his rivals together in their desire to defeat in  November…..Barack Obama.  That focus was designed to play on the perception that he is the one Republican who has the best chance of actually being the one who can defeat Obama.  The hope there is that as Romney solidifies his frontrunner status in Iowa, there is a good chance that the large undecided bloc of voters will break in his favor and provide him not only with a win, but a bigger than expected win that could make it  possible to wrap up the nomination sooner rather than later.

Rick Perry, the wildcard going in to tomorrow night, spent his time on the campaign trail trying to make sure that his supporters don’t jump ship and while trying to also give those caught up in the surge for Rick Santorum  reason to think twice about actually casting their ballots for the wrong Rick.  A new Perry ad attacks Santorum for his willingness to defend pork barrel spending.

Perry goes in to tomorrow night as the spoiler.  Between his heavy ad buy and a good deal of retail political campaigning in Iowa, he remains the one candidate left who could perform better than expected and could benefit from a surge that has gone undetected by the polls.  The strength of such an undetected surge will not be enough to allow Perry to finish in one the top two or three positions, but he could pull the type of numbers that may prevent people like Sanoturm and Gingrich from outpolling Ron Paul.

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As I Asked Before, Does It Make Sense to Endorse the People You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share    Last week I was criticized for criticizing now former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson for endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination while at the same time seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination.  I made a bit of a stink about the stupidity of endorsing the candidacy of someone who you intend to oppose.

As it turned out, when Johnson made it official that he was changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian, dropping his bid for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, and seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, he did not come right out and endorse Ron Paul.  That made sense.

However, this week, one day before the Iowa Caucuses, Gary Johnson lived up to expectations and came out with the following statement.

“While Ron Paul and I are both libertarians, we don’t necessarily agree on every single issue.

However, on the overriding issues of restoring our economy by cutting out-of-control spending and the need to get back to Constitutional principles in our government, Ron Paul and I are in lock-step.”

….I am hopeful that in urging my supporters in Iowa to vote for Ron Paul in the coming caucuses, a victory for the principles we share can be won.”

Thank you Gary Johnson.

Thanks for redeeming me and my previous post on this topic.  You have helped make my questions more relevant than ever and it is my greatest hope that you will in eventually  decide whether you want to be President or whether you want Ron Paul to be President. Once you make that decision, maybe you will finally be able to do a little good for either yourself or Ron Paul.  Until then you are  just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Why I Am Endorsing Newt Gingrich for President

Bookmark and Share    This country is in trouble and bold leadership is needed. As someone that has had the privilege to vet these candidates as closely as just about anybody else has, I’ve come to the conclusion there are several good, Christian people running that most years I would vote for.

However, this isn’t most years.

Sadly, there are only two candidates offering a real means by which to actually undo that which the Left has done to this country for the past 50 years, and not just conservative platitudes. One of those candidates is Ron Paul, but his foreign policy is naive at best and reckless at worst. The other is Newt Gingrich, who has campaigned on what I believe is the most important issue facing us as a people—the loss of the rule of law.

The Left has used unelected judges and judicial oligarchy to reinvent the American way of life, from secularism to the loss of the sanctity of life, to the redefining of marriage, the confiscation of private property, and the granting of imaginary rights. There is an entire chapter of my new book devoted to the need for conservatives and Christians to confront judicial oligarchy once and for all. I have spent the past two years of my radio program educating my audience on this issue, and was a vocal proponent of Iowa’s historic judicial retention election last year, and Newt’s assistance with that effort was vital.

After offering every candidate in the race the chance to show they understand the gravity of this issue, Gingrich is the only one who has demonstrated he does, and can also use the bully pulpit of the presidency to educate Americans on the need to return to the rule of law.

I understand Newt has taken positions and done things in his personal life I do not agree with, but to his credit he has come on my radio program and been very transparent about those things, and has shown humility and a willingness to be transparent in the process.

He has signed the Personhood Pledge I advocated for. He has offered one of the most articulate defenses of marriage and the family I have ever read from a candidate. He has agreed to never sign a budget into law that includes a plug nickel for an abortion provider. He has agreed to seek personhood legislation and a stronger defense of marriage act that would limit the judicial oligarchs’ ability to legislate from the bench.

With these steps he has shown the leadership this country desperately needs. Electing another Obamney from the ruling class changes nothing. Electing another nice conservative with no proven ability to govern or a killer instinct to take on the system changes nothing, even if it makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside.

This is a time for leadership, not warm fuzzies. The future is at stake, and we may never get another environment with the country so prepared to challenge the system as we have right now.

I suppose I could stay silent and let the process run its course, as many other so-called leaders are doing, so as to not worry about alienating some of my fellow believers by making this decision. But then I’d have to look my children in the eye years from now and explain to them why I stood by and said nothing when I had the chance, as more hackneyed Obamneys finish off what’s left of the greatest country God has ever shed His grace upon.

I’m willing to take full responsibility for this decision, just as I hope those that have chosen to support other candidates who themselves have fatal flaws are willing to do the same. It is my hope the other Republican candidates will follow Gingrich’s bold leadership in providing the country a true alternative to President Obama.

It is my prayer that next year that for once we actually have something to vote for, and not just something to vote against. I am making this endorsement in the hopes that will be the case. Sometimes the most broken people are the ones God does the most tremendous work through. I know that has been true in my life.

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If It Were Up To Republicans, Ron Paul Would Still Be a Second Tier Candidate

Bookmark and Share   Ron Paul’s recent surge to the front of the pack certainly makes this an exciting time for those who subscribe to his rhetoric and feel that his lack of actual accomplishments makes him an ideal President.  It’s also an exciting time for those who are simply fed up and looking for a way to register a significant protest vote against the system ans politics in general.  But for true conservative Republicans, Paul’s rise in recent Iowa polling is little more than a means of assuring the reelection of President Barack Obama and if left up to them, Ron Paul would still be lumped together with names like Jon Huntsman, Buddy Roemer, and Michele Bachmann in the bottom third of the Republican presidential field.

However, in states like Iowa, and even New Hampshire, the Republican presidential nominee is not chosen just by Republicans.

According to state Party rules governing the Iowa Caucus and several other state nominating contests, only registered Republicans in the state of Iowa can participate in the Republican caucus but individuals registered as Independents or affiliated with other parties, may switch their Party affiliation at the caucus site and cast their vote for the Republican candidate of their choice.  In other words, a non-affiliated voter or a liberal Democrat can walk in out of the snow, change their Party registration,  and vote for Ron Paul.

For some, the opportunity for people of any political affiliation to vote in a partisan primary or caucus is a good thing, and seems logical, but as a proud partisan conservative Republican, I can tell you that it is not.

For the record, while I am an American first and foremost, I must admit that I am a proud and devout, partisan conservative Republican.  My committment to the Party is based on ideology, and I am often not the most politically popular person in the Party because I am often at at odds with many of  its leaders who I believe spend most of their time playing politics and forsaking our conservative based ideology for political expediency.

That stated, I defend my ideological partisanship on the grounds that it is my deep conviction that ultimately, the conservative-Republican ideology is the best thing for America.  So my political partisanship goes hand in hand with my love of country and I do not separate the two.  That’s why I have never supported so-called open primary or caucus contests that allow people of opposing ideologies to choose the nominee that represents  my beliefs and Party.

The way I see it, as a conservative, why should I have the ability to pick the liberal nominee?  If  I had the chance to do that in 2008, I would have done my best to make sure that Dennis Kucinich won the Democratic presidential nomination for President.  Kucinich would have been a sure loser for liberals.

I am of the opinion that if Republicans and Democrats, or for that matter Libertarians, are to nominate the candidate that best represents their beliefs and can be the strongest one to represent their Party, then those who subscribe to the ideologies represented by those parties should be responsible for deciding who represents that Party.  In some ways, these open contests make about as much sense as us opening up the general presidential election to the citizens of other nations.  Which by the way, is not so unfathomable when you consider the lengths to which Democrats are trying to go  in with legislative initiatives designed at specifically making  it possible for illegal immigrants to vote.

Now some of you may be saying that I am blowing this all out of proportion.  Some may even suggest that crediting Ron Paul’s predicted success in Iowa to the opportunity for independents and Democrats to vote in their Caucus is overstated.  To them I must ask…………are you that stupid!!?

One need not look very hard to find that my assertion about the effect of independents and Democrats is true.

A recent American Research Group poll of  Iowa voters makes the case that if left up to Republicans, Ron Paul would not be a real contender.

According to ARG, among Republicans who intend to vote in the Iowa Caucus, Mitt Romney leads with 23% and he is followed by Newt Gingrich who comes in at 19%.

As for Ron Paul, strictly among Republicans, he pulls 12% of the vote which leaves him tied with Rick Santorum.

Among Republicans:

  • Mitt Romney 23%
  • Newt Gingrich 19%
  • Rick Santorum 12%
  • Ron Paul 12%
  • Michele Bachmann 9%
  • Rick Perry 8%
  • Jon Huntsman 6%
  • Buddy Roemer 1%
  • Other 1%
  • Undecided 9%

In the same poll, a deeper look at Iowa Republicans that breaks them down along TEA Party lines finds that Ron Paul does a little better among those voters most focussed on a limited and more constitutional government but not by much.   Ron Paul receives a 16% share of the vote from them,  but that is 9% behind Gingrich and 10% behind Mitt Romney.

Among Tea Party Supporters

  • Mitt Romney 26%
  • Newt Gingrich 25%
  • Ron Paul 16%
  • Michele Bachmann 10%
  • Rick Perry 9%
  • Rick Santorum 7%
  • Jon Huntsman 0%
  • Buddy Roemer 0%
  • Other 0%
  • Undecided 7%

In fact, the only segment of Iowa residents who Ron Paul gets a majority of the vote from in the “Republican” Iowa Caucus are Independents.  Among them, Paul polls 30% of the vote, 8% more than Romney, and 18% more than Newt Gingrich.

Among Independents

  • Ron Paul 30%
  • Mitt Romney 22%
  • Newt Gingrich 12%
  • Rick Perry 11%
  • Michele Bachmann 6%
  • Rick Santorum 6%
  • Jon Huntsman 6%
  • Buddy Roemer 0%
  • Other 1%
  • Undecided 9%

If that is not enough to convince you of the undue influence that non-Republican entities are having on the Republican Caucus in Iowa, maybe you will believe it coming from Ron Paul’s own people?

Back in March of 2011, the hero worshippers behind the propaganda based website entitled The Daily Paul, posted a call to arms entitled “2012 Open Primary States: The key to Ron Paul’s Republican Nomination”.  It basically calls upon Pauliacs to sabotage the Republican nomination process and steal the nomination from the Party by asking Democrats and Independents to flood the primaries and caucuses of the 17 specific states that have open primaries which allow Democrats and Independents to vote without even having to register as a Republican.

The article reads;

“We must organize and put the strongest efforts in these states to encourage Democrats and Independents to vote for Ron Paul and capture all the Delegates of these Open Republican Primary States”

By the count of the author behind the plot, winning those states would give Ron Paul 874 of the 1,212 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.

Fortunately for rational conservatives though, not only is that a substantial number short of the delegates needed, most of the states do not have election laws that allow for opposing parties to easily and blatantly circumvent the democratic process in the general election by sabotaging a Party’s nomination process and leaving them with a nominee who is the weakest possible candidate they could have representing them.

Additional good fortune is the fact that Iowa is one of the few state’s that Ron Paul is actually doing that well in.  Nationally, Ron Paul’s average standing in the polls is half that of Romney and less than half that of Newt Gingrich.  While national polls do not mean much to a process that is based on the collective results of individual state contests, that national average does accurately reflect most state polls.

In the final analysis, while excitement erupts about Ron Paul rising to the top, the truth is that such excitement is based on a lack of any real depth of truth, and thankfully, it is the G.O.P. which will still determine their own nominee.  Even so, I still think it is about time that state parties and their representatives rethink their willingness to allow the political opposition to influence who our own Party’s nominees are.

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Gingrich Super PAC Launches Super Big Ad Buy in Iowa

Bookmark and Share    The individuals behind the pro-Gingrich Super PAC known as Winning Our Future have launched their first ad in Iowa with a reported significant media buy of $250,000.  The ad will run from now through Monday, January 2nd, the day before the Iowa Caucuses.

The ad offers a compelling arguments for those who are still undecided and open to Newt Gingrich’s candidacy.

It tries to play on the strong anti-establishment sentiments that are motivating much of the electorate, including those within the TEA movement.

The ad contends that given the aggressive opposition to Newt’s candidacy that establishment Republicans demonstrated, he is clearly no friend of the establishment.

The point is quite a valid one and one which Newt Gingrich could have and should have run with as soon as the inundation of negative attacks on him began.  Had Newt’s campaign been able to create and focus on a single message that would have defined himself as the anti-establishment candidate, he could have maintained much of the lead that he once held.  But the lack of political discipline and organization of Newt’s campaign failed to capitalize on that and lacked the ability to effectively coordinate such a theme.

Fortunately, the Super PAC, that is not affiliated with Newt’s campaign, has taken it upon themselves to try and do what Newt didn’t and while I think their new ad helps, I believe that it is too little, too late to move Newt’s numbers significantly.  At this stage  of the game in Iowa and New Hampshire, the real focus needs to be on undecided voters and the Get Out the Vote operation.  Unfortunately, Newt lacks the organizational ability to identify those undecided voters and insure that those who are solidly behind him, show up at their precinct’s caucus and make their support official.

Compounding Newt’s problem is his loss of momentum.

If those who are supporting Gingrich come to believe that Newt has slipped so far that it is impossible for him to win, some of those supporters may not bother with the trouble of trudging out to a Caucus on a cold night and listening to an hour of speeches only to see their candidate suffer what they believe is an inevitable defeat.

So while ad likes this can’t hurt, Gingrich needs to somehow excite his supporters and win over a good portion of the very sizeable undecided vote.  Then he needs to make sure they show up at their proper caucus location.  However, at the moment, Newt is conceding the momentum to Ron paul and Mitt Romney and the ground game to Romney, Paul, Bachmann, and Santorum.

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