Odds and ends number 34

Believe it or not, I have been besieged with another plethora of items which deserve perhaps an paragraph or three of comment on my part. So let me get crackin’ on them.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him in person, I would suggest that those of you who are political activists consider attending David Craig’s campaign school. It will make a stop here on the Lower Eastern Shore at the Comfort Inn in Cambridge this Saturday (October 1st) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s absolutely free and includes lunch too. You can sign up for the event here.

You know, I’d be curious to know if any liberals show up because it’s a freebie. But if it’s conducted like the “Bloggers and Burgers” confab you should leave the Craig campaign school neither hungry nor uninformed.

Speaking of liberals and freebies, there’s 116 people in Salisbury who really must suffer from terminal ignorance. I got this in my e-mail the other day, simply because September 30 is coming:

Here’s something you don’t have in common with 116 other supporters of this movement who tell us they live in Salisbury, MD.

That many of your neighbors have decided to own a piece of this campaign by making a donation of whatever they could afford. For some, that meant just $5. For others, it meant $100 or more. But each had their own personal reason for giving.

Our records show that you aren’t one of the 116 people where you’re from who have stepped up for 2012. Now’s your chance to change that.

Since the e-mail came from Jim Messina of the Obama 2012 campaign, don’t hold your breath waiting for my gift. I might give a little to Herman Cain, though.

It makes me curious, though – how many of my readers have donated to a Presidential campaign? I haven’t done so yet this cycle, but I did donate to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s ill-fated bid last time. He was my first.

Continue reading “Odds and ends number 34”

T-Paw first to go

I suppose third wasn’t good enough and the impact of Rick Perry entering the race was too much for Tim Pawlenty to overcome. Today he announced he was ending his Presidential bid.

Like Tommy Thompson four years ago, the former governor of a state adjacent to Iowa didn’t carry the day as he thought he would. While Tim received nearly 2,300 votes of the 16,800 or so cast, he lost the battle to his fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann by a better than 2:1 margin. That’s likely what sealed his fate.

It’s likely that Pawlenty’s support may drift mostly in two directions, since he didn’t endorse a candidate in his announcement. I think the portion that already wasn’t leaning toward Rick Perry will just go ahead and embrace the Perry campaign, while others may help Jon Huntsman keep his flailing bid alive.

Meanwhile, despite his puny 35-vote performance, bottom-feeder Thad McCotter is going to continue his long-shot bid. His campaign had its predictable spin on the results:

“For this campaign, the Straw Poll was not about votes, it was about introducing our candidate to the public in our first large forum,” said Christopher Rants, McCotter senior adviser. “For a campaign that has only just begun, it was important that we show the people of Iowa – and the rest of the country – that this was a serious candidate ready to address serious issues for our country. By any measure, we did that this weekend.”

I’m sorry, Christopher, but getting 35 votes is lousy. Rick Perry’s campaign has just begun as well and he got over 700 – as a write-in who didn’t even campaign in Iowa this week. Try again.

So we still have the same net number of hopefuls we did last week as the one who entered was countered by an early exit.

Bachmann takes Iowa, but Paul a close second

Well, the results of the Ames Straw Poll are in, and they’re not a complete surprise.

  1. Michele Bachmann, 4823 votes (28.55%)
  2. Ron Paul, 4671 votes (27.65%)
  3. Tim Pawlenty, 2293 votes (13.57%)
  4. Rick Santorum, 1657 votes (9.81%)
  5. Herman Cain, 1456 votes (8.62%)
  6. Rick Perry, 718 votes (3.62%) – write-in
  7. Mitt Romney, 567 votes (3.36%) – skipped event
  8. Newt Gingrich, 385 votes  (2.28%) – skipped event
  9. Jon Huntsman, 69 votes (0.41%) – skipped event
  10. Thad McCotter, 35 votes (0.21%)

By dividing the vote totals by the percentages of the top two finishers, I’ve deduced there are roughly 187 votes for candidates not listed. That means Sarah Palin (if she received all of them, which I’m sure she did not) would have finished well back in the pack and ahead of just Huntsman and McCotter. Considering Rick Perry finished sixth without being on the ballot, perhaps she’s not the formidable “Mama Grizzly” we may have thought she’d be.

While Bachmann and Pawlenty were expected to do well, Rick Santorum probably raised a lot of eyebrows by coming in fourth. Surely Pawlenty’s team has to be disappointed by how badly he was trounced by Michele Bachmann, though – being the second-most popular Minnesotan in Iowa is bad enough, but he lost by a better than 2-to-1 margin.

Having Ron Paul come in second is no real surprise, as he tends to do quite well in a situation where voting is confined to a small space that can be packed by his rabid following. But Paul tripled his 2007 performance in Ames, going from 9.1% to 27.7 percent. Perhaps he’s more of a player this time, but most likely still not good enough to win the nomination.

A few months back in the spring, it looked like Herman Cain was the “it” candidate, but apparently his support has cooled off. It’s likely Bachmann’s entrance has cut heavily into his support and he may be an early casualty in the race because of this result.

In looking at the bottom five, you have the newly-announced write-in (Rick Perry) who did reasonably well. It would have been interesting, though, to see how he would have done had he been on the ballot. I’m sure he wouldn’t have beaten Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul but I think he would’ve knocked Pawlenty down to a fourth or fifth place finish.

The next three did not represent themselves in Ames, so their campaigns will chalk their poor finishes up to that factor and not how much they may or may not have appealed to the Republican regulars who attended. In that respect, I’m not surprised at the order in which they finished. However, with only 1/5 or so of the votes of the next person up, the much-ballyhooed campaign of Jon Huntsman may be in trouble because it’s not catching fire with the grassroots.

I’ve checked Thad McCotter’s website over the last hour, and aside from a Tweet congratulating “my colleagues” Bachmann and Paul on their finishes, there’s no indication of his future plans. But such a poor finish when he spoke for himself at the event doesn’t bode well for his chances. When your votes are outnumbered 138 to 1 by the winner’s, that’s a pretty big hill to climb.

So I suppose the silly season has begun in earnest. As I said yesterday, the only shoe which may need to drop on the GOP side is whether Sarah Palin will make a late entry into the race.

(On the Democratic side, there’s always a chance that Barack Obama may have a primary challenge from the left. If nothing else I’d just like to hear Obama say “I’ll whip his ass” like Jimmy Carter did regarding Ted Kennedy’s longshot bid. That might be the only ass our President whips since SEAL Team 6 isn’t available anymore.)

Once I get back to doing my candidate rankings I’ll add Perry in and see who I select. At the moment I’m backing the frontrunner but it’s all subject to change.