In South Carolina, Santorum Wins. Barbour Loses

Bookmark and Share Republicans in Greenville, South Carolina held their county convention this weekend and addressing the more than 500 attendees were Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum.

Not long after each of the three potential Republican presidential contenders spoke, 413 of those in attendance at the convention voted in a straw poll that produced a big win for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum won 31 % of the vote and coming in second, far behind him, was Newt Gingrich with 14%.

Santorum impressed the GOP activists in attendance with a bombastic speech that touched upon the most important issues of the day. H, ,along with Gingrich and Barbour, praised House Republicans for their handling of the budget negotiations and credited them with getting Democrats to cave and give in to some of the biggest budget cuts in history. But Santorum also roused the crowd with his anti-Obamacare points. He received some of the loudest applause when he spoke of his own healthcare plan which he calls You Care. As Santorum tells it, it is called You Care because you know how to care for yourself better than the government.

Between his good performance and 13 previous visits to South Carolina, more than any other potential presidential rival, Santorum still did surprising well, especially given his lead which was more than double that of the second place finisher.

While Santorum won big, and Newt Gingrich faired decently in the straw poll, Haley Barbour, the third soon to be presidential candidate to address the convention, lost and he lost big. Barbour has been focusing much of his efforts on the G.O.P. establishment leadership in both South Carolina and Florida. He has made numerous trips to both states and is constantly talking to legislative and Party leaders in both states. Yet in the straw poll he pulled a mere 5% of the vote, tying for 6th place with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. The only major name who had a more disappointing total was Sarah Palin who received 4%.

Part of the reason for Barbours loss, despite being there to personally address the straw poll voters, is his lackluster oratory skills. While what Barbour says is popular with the G.O.P. base, how he says is uninspiring and as a result, so are his vote totals.

Common thinking is that Haley Barbour actually has a better chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee than does Rick Santorum. Barbour has solid roots within the establishment and among Party leadership and numerous Republican Governors. He also has a fundraising network unmatched by anyone, including President Obama. Barbour also has a direct line to some of the top talent in politics. All that is in addition to his own superior political strategic skills. But unless Barbour can begin addressing voters in a way that crerates some visuals and inspiration, all his potential will be wasted. Barbour is in desperate need of skilled wordsmiths, people who can phrase the great thoughts that Barbour has in a way that makes people jump to their feet and in a way that can communicate his message to other regions of the country in a way that makes them forget the Southern drawl that dominates his bland message.

The final results of the Greenville Straw Poll were as follows:

  • Santorum – 31%
  • Gingrich – 14%
  • Bachmann – 7%
  • Trump- 7%
  • Romney- 6%
  • Christie- 6%
  • Barbour – 5%
  • Ron Paul- 5%
  • Huckabee – 5%
  • Palin- 4%
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Barbour Plans a Southern Strategy

Bookmark and Share Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has again trekked to Florida where he has visited State Senate and House leaders. He was escorted by Sally Bradshaw, a well known, top advisor of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. During his trip he told reporters, I’ll be in or out by the end of April, but I won’t make a decision until the end of April.”

On Thursday the Mississippi state legislative season ended and so now Governor Barbour, is free to dedicate more time than he already has on the campaign trail a trail which has so far been pretty extensive. Having already hit California, Nevada, Illlinois, Georgia,and Iowa, Barbour has spent a considerably disproportionate amount of time and effort in South Carolina and Florida. In May he is scheduled to make his first appearance in New Hampshire. So while it would seem that Barbour will certainly not be ignoring the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is apparently relying on a Southern strategy to propel him the rest of the way through the Republican presidential nominating contest.

While it is still unknown exactly how competitive Governor Barbour will be in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it is a pretty sure bet that he will quite completive in the two primaries that followSouth Carolina and Florida and that is exactly where it would seem Barbour staked his campaign. Barbour has been concentrating on lobbying lawmakers in both states with personal visits and phone calls, and state and county Party appearances and speeches, since at least October of 2010.

Unless Governor Barbour finds a particular roadblock in South Carolina and Florida expect his decision at the end of the month to be in the affirmative.

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Barbour’s Presidential Campaign is Clear for Takeoff

Bookmark and Share After two weeks of rancorous debate that had Governor Haley Barbour and State Senate Republicans saying that State House members wanted to spend too much money, and they saying Republicans and the Governor were undercutting education and accusing the Governor of being out of state too much, Mississippi’s state legislature finally passed a state budget in what was called a “low-key” legislative session.

Along with passage of the $5.5 billion state budget, the legislature also approved $38 millions in bonds for one of Barbour’s top priorities of his last year in office, the construction of a civil rights museum.

The establishment of a Mississippi civil rights museum has been in the works for some time now, but problems with obtaining the property to build it in and a finding a proper location have derailed the project. But at the beginning of the year, Governor Barbour made clear in his state of the state address, that those problems were resolved and that finally seeing the civil rights museum come to fruition was an item that he wanted made a priority on the legislative agenda.

Passage of the bonds needed to build the civil rights museum, give Barbour the talking point that he wanted to bring to the presidential campaign. He desperately needed something that could boost his sagging image on the issue of civil rights and race relations. But it is the passage of the budget that now marks the final hurdle to a Haley Barbour presidential campaign. With that out of the way, Barbour will now have more time to crisscross the country and make up his mind on whether or not he will run.

Expect a decision from Barbour to create a presidential exploratory committee within the next 2 to 4 weeks.

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Marsha Barbour Reluctant About Haley’s Running For President

Bookmark and Share While making ones own mind up about running President is an enormously burdensome decision, it only becomes increasinglly tougher for a person who is in an committed relationship and whose spouse must also be a part of the decision. If ones spouse is not open to the idea of a run for President, it is nealry impossible for their partner to embark on such a venture.

Such is the case with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

In an interview with WLOX in Mississippi, Governor Barbour’s wife Marsha says that the prospect of her husband running for President “horrifies” her.

Mississippi’s First Lady understands the invasive, and greuling path that the road to the White House and foir these reasons, she is justifiably reluctant and she makes it cleare that if Halley is not passionate about it, theres no reason for him to run.

Marsha’s good friend, the Fisrt Lady of Indiana has had similiar sentiments about the prospects of her husband, Governor Mitch Daniels ruinning for President. The Daniels and the barbours are close friends who go back to the Reagan days and have often vacationed together.

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Haley Barbour Reschedules His First Campaign Swing in New Hampshire

Bookmark and Share After scuttling his first schedule swing through New Hampshire because of difficulty with budget negotiations in his state, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has rescheduled his New Hampshire trip for April 13th and 14th.

In this clip from New Hampshires WMUR News Barbour discusses the importance of such importance campaigning especially among Granite State voters.

As noted in this clip, Governor Barbour is expected to make a decision on a run for President by the end of this month.

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Haley Barbour…….Coast to Coast

Bookmark and Share If Haley Barbour isnt running for President, someone ought to tell him because he obviously doesnt know that. The Mississippi Governor happens to be allover the map, going to places that even some of the other major presidential contenders are not traveling to.

This past weekend, Barbour addressed Republicans at the California Republican State Convention. After the 2010 elections which saw a Republican Wave that stopped short of the West Coast, Californias G.O.P. is depressed and divided. Yet its 172 delegates to the Republican National Convention is the largest of any state and they will certainly carry a lot of weight when the winner of that states Republican presidential primary gets a hold of them. Yet aside from John Bolton who is at most, a possible second tier candidate, Haley Barbour was the only other potential candidate to take advantage of the opportunity to address California Republicans.

In his remarks, Barbour slammed Mitt Romney for Obama-care, declared that the ticket to winning the presidency will be insuring that Republicans focus on the economy, and he tried to encourage California Republicans to believe that they can get their message out in elections to come.

Tomorrow Barbour will be heading to Nevada where he will meet with the Silver States Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval (a very likely name in the G.O.P. veepstakes), and other Party and elected officials. Nevada is an important early state. It will hold the fourth nominating contests, and its caucus will be much more important than it has in the past when its results were nonbinding. This time around they are binding and apparently, Haley Barbour thinks he may be able to compete and force Mitt Romney to spend in the state. Romney won Nevada last time around.

But Barbour isnt stopping there. Having already made several trips to the early and important primary states of South Carolina and Florida, the Mississippi Governor will be heading to Iowa by weeks end and in April, when he is slated to make a decision about a run for President official, he willmake his first tripto the all important first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire.

As for Florida, in addition to his heavy working of the phones among key state legislative leaders, Barbour has now snatched up Sally Bradshaw, a top 2008 Romney supporter who is an experienced veteran of Florida politics and top notch strategists. This would mark the second defection from Romneys 2008 campaign, to the 2012 candidacy of one of his potential opponents. Little more than a month ago a veteran Republican activist in New Hampshire, left the Romney camp for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

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Surprising Results in Evangelical Poll

The Barna Group is perhaps the most respected Christian Evangelical research group. That makes their recent poll findings particularly startling when it comes to who Christians might support in 2012.

Perhaps not the results you expected

In a poll of Catholic and Protestant Christians, the candidates with the highest negatives were Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. This is especially surprising considering the incredible support these two have put behind traditional family values.

Newt’s unfavorable ratings in the mid 40’s very likely relate to his nagging marital infidelity issues from 16 years ago. While most political bases find such things to be easily forgivable, the Christian base is not so forgiving nor will they defend Newt’s actions. This could make a Christian grass roots support base difficult to build.

Palin’s highest negatives are even more surprising. When it comes to Evangelical Christians, most pundits would consider Palin to have that category wrapped up going into this race. However, this poll is reminiscient of the Family Research Counsel’s straw poll that put Palin behind Romney, Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in a straw poll won by non-contender Mike Pence.

This is not a mainstream media poll and it was not reported by mainstream media. Perhaps the message to Sarah Palin coming from Christians is that whether they agree with her or not, they don’t want her to run. At any rate, without the Christian vote, she does not have a prayer.

Perhaps what I found most surprising was the favorable rating for Mitt Romney. I don’t think anyone was shocked to see Huckabee do well in a poll of Christians. Romney on the other hand struggled to get Evangelicals to vote for him in 2008 due to his liberal history and Mormonism.

My suspicion is that many Christians have resigned themselves to the possibility that they will not be voting for their favorite candidate in 2012, but instead will be voting for the best candidate who can defeat Barack Obama. When this poll is viewed in that light, it makes sense that front runner Mitt Romney would get high ratings; as would Huckabee who Christians love but acknowledge will likely not even run.

George Barna suggests that no matter who the Republican candidate in 2012 might be, they will be “bloody and half-poor” coming out of the primary.

 

 

What do you think? Are you a Christian or values voter? Leave a comment and tell us if you are planning on voting for the candidate who most represents your values, or a candidate who is not Barack Obama but can beat him.

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