Tag Archives: exit polls

Louisiana tells us what we already knew – Romney is weak

Angry at the wrong person

Maybe this is a test for liberals. How is it that conservatives have put together the worst field in a generation and no one from the conservative side is fixing the problem? You have Karl Rove and Dick Armey. These are conservative thinkers. Where’s their solution to Romney, who really, really wants to be president but has the pizzazz of Erkel? There is Ron Paul, who appeals to three to five percent of conservatives. He is consistent, but consistency isn’t the only virtue that Americans are looking for. Gingrich. I’m not sure where to start with him. He was the “thoughtful conservative.” He was the one who would speak the truth (sort of). He said that global warming was a real deal. Now, not so much. I’m not even sure if he knows what he is saying. He seems to be a punch-drunk fighter who is simply swinging wildly at everyone and everything. Romney is milquetoast. He can’t stand firm on any issue. The fact that conservatives aren’t embracing him shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

From TPM:

Rick Santorum easily won the Louisiana primary Saturday — but it may be too late to make much of a difference.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting in Louisiana, Santorum had 49 percent, Romney 26.7 percent, Gingrich 15.9 percent and Paul 6 percent, according to the Associated Press. CNN, Fox News, NBC and CBS projected Santorum the winner as soon as polls closed, based on an overwhelming lead in exit polls.

The Louisiana primary uses a proportional system for delegates, with a minimum threshold of 25 percent for candidates. Romney will therefore still gain some delegates, bringing him closer to the magic number 1,144 needed for nomination, and in either case will maintain his wide delegate lead over Santorum.

Oh, and did you see that Rick Santorum was showing off his macho’ness at a shooting range in West Monroe. While he was proving that he has much more testosterone than Mitt “I shoot varmints” Romney, a lady shouted “pretend (the target) is Obama.” Santorum didn’t hear the comment since he was wearing headphones to protect his ears. (Can you be macho and wear ear protection? I’m just askin’) He later denounced the comment. But seriously, what is this about? We get into this ridiculously stupid mindset that it is our side against their side. We have to win at all costs. If we don’t win all will be lost. Garbage. I have spent more time that I would like to admit to in Monroe and West Monroe Louisiana. There are some very good people down there and many of them are struggling. It doesn’t matter who is in office. They are working hard and getting nowhere. I can tell you that there are few who are getting ahead and they (those few) seem to get ahead no matter who is in office. Republican or Democrat. Look no further than Wall Street and others who do high finance. They are making money hand over fist and are robbing America blind. They are very, very good at suctioning money out of our wallets. Half the time you don’t even know who robbed you. At the end of the day, all you know is that you don’t have any money to show for all of your hard work. then Rush or Sean convince you that the problem is Blacks, Hispanics or/and Democrats. Before you know it, you are yelling something very stupid at a campaign rally. So sad.

What South Carolina means to the GOP

I’m sure that everybody has heard at least 1000 times by now that South Carolina has chosen the Republican nominee every single time dating back to 1980. I haven’t checked the stats, but that’s what the smart people have told us. I don’t know, South Carolina may be the bellwether of the Republican Party again this year. Personally, I think it’s too early to tell. As I mentioned after the Iowa caucuses, this is one mixed-up field. I don’t think we know much more now than we knew after Iowa.

After Iowa we knew that Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were still in the fray. Some pundits continue to believe that Ron Paul can seriously attract Republican voters, though I’ve never thought that Ron Paul could get over 15% of the GOP vote. He is not a true conservative. He is a Libertarian, an outsider. After Iowa, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann were really no longer viable candidates. (Jon Huntsman never caught fire. He could possibly be labeled a moderate Republican, of the variety which has been rejected by the mainstream GOP for the last 20 years. Currently, the moderate Republican is a rare species which should be viewed in the zoo.)

Let’s start with Rick Santorum. From a political standpoint, Rick Santorum simply fumbled the ball. He had momentum out of New Hampshire and simply did nothing with it. It was an epic failure. It is in South Carolina that he should’ve hammered home his religious conservative credentials, but he didn’t seem to do that. South Carolina believes in limiting abortions, states’ rights, not limiting gunowners’ rights, etc. South Carolina is the poster child for these conservative social issues. Rick Santorum should’ve hammered home on these issues. Instead, he tried to appeal to South Carolina voters by hammering Obama on the economy. It’s really hard for Rick Santorum to sell himself as more qualified, on the economy, than Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. Looking at exit polls, there seems to be no conservative demographic that Rick Santorum appealed to more than any other candidate. He was a total washout.

Mitt Romney. The problem with Mitt Romney is that he is milquetoast. He has the voter appeal of John Kerry or possibly Al Gore (he isn’t liberal, but voters are have the same reaction – they yawn). He is completely uncomfortable in front of crowds. He doesn’t seem to be all that comfortable in front of a microphone. Therefore, if you’re going to vote for Mitt Romney, you’re voting for him because you believe that he understands how to fix the economy. Unfortunately for Romney, he simply is not exciting and South Carolina voters wanted somebody who’s going to get them excited. His advisers should have told him to begin to hammer away at Newt Gingrich. Instead, he ignored Newt Gingrich and began to hammer away at Obama. The strategy didn’t work. (BTW, where was all of the support that Nikki Haley was throwing Mitt’s way? She campaigned hard for him and it didn’t seem to help at all.)

Newt Gingrich. In spite of all the baggage that comes with Newt Gingrich, South Carolina loved him. When you look at exit polls, Newt Gingrich won both males and females. He won with voters who are 30 and older. (Ron Paul won the younger voters 18- 24, but Newt Gingrich was second in that category.) Newt Gingrich won those who are college-educated and also won those with no college degree. He appealed to single conservatives those who are married (I found this interesting). The only category in which he lost significantly were those South Carolinians who made more than $200,000 or more (approximate 5% of the electorate). This is the Romney class.

For Mitt Romney, South Carolina was a complete and total failure. He placed a lot of resources and money into South Carolina and he came up second. He came up a distant second. His current strategy is failing miserably. He needs to come up with something else or the Republican nomination will slip through his fingers. I smell panic from the Romney camp.

I believe that this nomination process is far from over. I think for the first time in my adult life, the Republicans are going to have a knock-down, drag-out fight over several months. This is going to be fun.

The Jobs Hole

Unemployed

Last Friday, we got the new jobs numbers. 159,000. The economy made 159,000 private sector jobs in the month of October. It is not time to do the happy dance. The economy still has a lot of work to do. We have a huge hole. Let’s not point fingers at Republicans for their idiotic fiscal policy, which caused the recession in the first place. Instead, it looks like we’re finally getting the fire started. Now, we have to figure out how we bring this fire to a blaze.

Here’s some perspective from EPI:

If the rate of job growth were to continue at October’s rate, the economy would achieve prerecession unemployment rates (5% in December 2007) in roughly 20 years. For the fourth straight month, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.6%.

The labor market remains 7.5 million payroll jobs below where it was at the start of the recession in December 2007, and this number understates the size of the gap in the labor market by failing to take into account the fact that simply to keep up with the growth in the working-age population, the labor market should have added around 3.5 million jobs in the nearly three years since December 2007. This means the labor market is now roughly 11 million jobs below the level needed to restore the pre-recession unemployment rate (5.0% in December 2007). To get down to the pre-recession unemployment rate within five years, the labor market would have to add around 300,000 jobs every month for that entire period.

Exit polls from Tuesday’s election reveal that what voters want is for Congress to create jobs and end high unemployment. Soon Congress will have a good opportunity to do just that. On November 30th, the federally funded extended unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire. These benefits serve two very useful purposes. One is to provide a lifeline to the unemployed and their families during the deepest and longest downturn since the 1930s. But importantly, these benefits also boost spending in the economy and therefore generate jobs. In the paper A Good Deal for All, we estimate that the continuation of unemployment insurance extensions through 2011 will create or save 723,000 full-time-equivalent jobs. With a jobs deficit of 11 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.6%, Congress must seize this opportunity.

CBPP picks up on the unemployment insurance theme:

This week the Federal Reserve acted on its concerns about the sluggish recovery and high unemployment by stepping down harder on the monetary policy accelerator, purchasing $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities in order to lower longer-term interest rates. Congress should not impede these measures by slamming on the fiscal policy brakes.

That’s what would happen, however, if lawmakers let the federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) measures enacted in the recession expire as scheduled at the end of this month. These measures provide additional weeks of federally funded UI benefits to workers who exhaust their 26 weeks of regular state UI before they can find a job.

UI benefits provide important financial assistance to unemployed workers and their families, but they also support higher levels of consumer spending, which boosts economic activity and job creation. Among the 11 fiscal policy measures that the Congressional Budget Office analyzed for increasing economic growth and employment in the next year or two, CBO put aid to the unemployed at the top of the list.