Jon Stewart takes apart Rick Perry after his debate gaffe. Just brutal.
“If you want a manager, Mitt is a competent manager. I will bring about change.”
— Newt Gingrich, in an interview with Laura Ingraham.
A new set of GS Strategy polls paid for by the AARP finds Mitt Romney and Herman Cain leading in the early states.
In Iowa, Cain leads Romney, 25% to 22%, with all other candidates in the single digits.
In New Hampshire, Romney is running away with 43% to Cain’s 18%.
In South Carolina, Cain edges Romney, 28% to 27%, with all other candidates in the single digits.
In Florida, Romney leads Cain, 31% to 29%, with Newt Gingrich at 12%.
A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds the Republican presidential race is being shaken up again, with Mitt Romney retaking the lead, Newt Gingrich surging into second place, and Herman Cain dropping to third place.
Romney leads with 23%, followed by Gingrich at 19% and Cain at 17%. They are followed by Ron Paul at 10%, Rick Perry at 8% and Michele Bachmann at 5%.
Said pollster Lee Miringoff: “Clearly this race has taken yet another dramatic turn. The top tier has gotten more crowded.”
A new Poll Position survey shows the same top tier, but in a different order: Herman Cain at 24%, Mitt Romney at 20% and Newt Gingrich at 19%.
“Something funny could happen on the way to the Republican presidential nomination next year,” CNN reports. “Mitt Romney might actually win South Carolina.”
“A triumph by the former Massachusetts governor in the first-in-the-South primary state has long been considered unthinkable by Republican insiders here, where Romney’s northern pedigree and evolving positions on core conservative issues have been viewed with skepticism since his last White House bid in 2008.”
“But, as in Iowa, Romney is holding steady at or near the top of the polls in the Palmetto State with roughly a quarter of the GOP vote in his corner. And crucially, no other candidate has managed to rally conservatives and emerge as a serious alternative to the presumed front-runner.”
First Read: “After Herman Cain’s defiant news conference on Tuesday and after Rick Perry’s brain freeze at Wednesday night’s CNBC debate, Mitt Romney’s path to the GOP presidential nomination is now WIDE open. In fact, not since Bob Dole in 1996 has a candidate been such a clear front-runner right before the primaries and caucuses begin. The ’96 comparison is also instructive: Dole still lost New Hampshire to Pat Buchanan.”
“What this all means: While Romney looks to be on his way to the nomination — and the Obama campaign and the DNC have been under that impression for months — we’re still likely to have plenty of twists and turns ahead. And keep this in mind: If Romney doesn’t win either Iowa or South Carolina, there’s a much greater chance of a long primary season, because not winning EITHER early state dominated by conservatives will be the BIG sign that Romney hasn’t sealed the deal with heart and soul of the Republican electorate. But as things stand right now, Romney’s also very capable of winning an Iowa or South Carolina. And if he does, and couples it with wins in BOTH New Hampshire and Florida, this race will be over by Feb. 1.”
A new CBS News poll shows three candidates in the top tier of the Republican presidential race: Herman Cain at 18%, Mitt Romney at 15% and Newt Gingrich at 15%.
“Support for both Cain and Romney has declined since late last month,
and Gingrich is the only one of the top three whose support is steadily —
if slowly — on the upswing.”
Key finding: 61% of Republican primary voters say the sexual harassment accusations against Cain won’t make any difference in their vote, but 30% say the charges make them less likely to back him.
A new Quinnipiac poll in Florida finds Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leading Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) in the U.S. Senate race next year by just two points, 42% to 40%.
Said pollster Peter Brown: “The entrance of Congressman Connie Mack into the Senate race changes what had been shaping up as an easy reelection for Sen. Bill Nelson into a tough fight that the incumbent could lose. The fact that Mack is essentially tied with Nelson, who has been a statewide political figure for two decades, should set off warning bells at Democratic headquarters.”
Out later this month: Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism by Ralph Nader.
The Washington Post says the book “is a beautiful blend of the colloquial and the wonky — a perfect reflection of Nader himself through the years. And the message remains vintage Nader. The man who led the charge to get legislation to mandate seatbelts and other safety features in cars is still going after corporate America.”
A Hart Research survey of Ohio voters who voted in Tuesday’s election finds Democrats nearly unanimous in opposing restrictions on collective bargaining, 94% to 6%, and that independent voters also decisively rejected the measure, 57% to 43%.
There is also significant political fallout for Gov. John Kasich (R). Among those who voted for Kasich last year but voted against the measure, his job approval rating has fallen to just 28%.
Just two months ago, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) “wrote to the White House and nominated Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor,” Politico reports.
Today, “less than 24 hours after the legendary football coach was fired following allegations that an assistant coach sexually abused multiple boys — that they were rescinding their support for Paterno’s nomination.”
Private polling shared with the Associated Press shows Herman Cain’s support in
Iowa “has declined since last month. Internal polls of likely Republican
caucus-goers showed Cain’s support consistent with The Des Moines
Register‘s poll in late October, which showed him narrowly leading in
the state with 23 percent. The private polls showed Cain still in double
digits in Iowa, but markedly lower.”
“First, it isn’t really a forecasting model because the growth rate of the economy during the year of the election won’t be known until long after the election is over. In addition, the measure of the opposition candidate’s extremism is highly subjective… More importantly, Silver’s model may underestimate Barack Obama’s chances of winning a second term in the White House because it does not take into account the advantage enjoyed by first-term incumbents. And that advantage, as we have seen, is quite substantial.”
Brendan Nyhan and Jacob Montgomery have similar concerns: “Ultimately, almost every analyst agrees at this point that it is still too soon to say with much confidence whether President Obama will win in November. In particular, there is still too much uncertainty about the state of the economy next year. However, both theory and data suggest that the conservatism of his opponent is likely to matter less than Silver’s model suggests.”
A Smart Politics review of the last five presidential debates finds Mitt Romney averaging approximately four minutes more speaking time per debate (14 minutes, 40 seconds) than his closest rival for the cameras, Rick Perry (10 min. 46 sec.), and averaging greater than six minutes more speaking time per debate compared to each of the remaining six members of the GOP field.
Politico sums up the GOP presidential race: “Romney rivals continue to implode.”
☑️ Life in the Middle: Marginalized Moderate Senators In the Era of Polarization is available on Amazon. It takes a deep dive into the power of moderates and why we see them behave so precariously.