December, 2011

Romney Leads in Iowa Poll, Santorum Surging

A new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Mitt Romney leading at 24%, followed by Ron Paul at 22%, Rick Santorum at 15%, Newt Gingrich at 12%, Rick Perry at 11%, Michele Bachmann at 7%.

“But the four-day results don’t reflect just how quickly momentum is shifting in a race that has remained highly fluid for months. If the final two days of polling are considered separately, Santorum rises to second place, with 21%, pushing Paul to third, at 18%. Romney remains the same, at 24%.”

Like Father, Like Son?

A reader flags this passage from Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President 1968, which was published in 1969, on Gov. George Romney, Mitt’s father:
“Above all, he looked like a President. Handsome, silver-haired, robust, masculine, smiling or stern, he seemed cast for the part by Hollywood’s Central Casting. Correspondents who liked him called him ‘Mr. Straight Arrow;’ those whose flesh crawled at his pieties called him ‘Mr. Square,’ or worse… He would make a forthright statement one day, then, like a man making up his mind in public, contradict it or modify it on another.”

Perry Bets on His Ground Game

Rick Perry has signed up 1,500 precinct leaders in Iowa, a source inside the campaign tells CNN. There are a total 1,774 Republican caucus precincts around the state, about 900 of which are combined.

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have put in similar efforts to build a ground operation for the caucuses on Tuesday.

The Perry campaign also has 470 out-of-state volunteers descending on Iowa this weekend.

Gingrich Would Consider Palin for Veep

Newt Gingrich said he “would consider asking Sarah Palin to serve as his number two or in his Cabinet if he became president,” CBS News reports.

Said Gingrich: “She is certainly one of the people you would look at. I am a great admirer of hers and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska, she’s somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities.”

The Biggest Poll of the Campaign Season

The Des Moines Register Iowa Poll is out at 8 pm ET.

Four years ago, as recounted by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in The Audacity to Win: “Back at the office, our press staff kept refreshing the Register website. The Register poll never, ever leaks — which is very rare with polls — nor does the paper’s staff send it out to the campaigns a few minutes before they post it on their site. Everyone gets the results at the same time. I was told later that throughout the evening hundreds of thousands of people across the country were frantically hitting refresh on their browsers to update the Des Moines Register website.”

Meanwhile, Yahoo News interviews Ann Selzer, the woman behind the poll, and notes “the outsize attention paid to the paper’s poll findings is in direct
proportion to the accuracy it has had in foreshadowing the actual caucus
results in elections past.”