• John Thune

    President 2012: Sen John Thune Takes a Pass on Presidential Race

    Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Thune has declined to pursue a bid for president next year. He is joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn

    John Thune, although an up and comer in the national GOP is out as a Presidential contender in 2012.

    John Thune isn’t running for president.

    “For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States,” Thune said in a statement posted on his website today.

    “I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate,” he said. Thune’s statement didn’t indicate who he might support in the 2012 presidential primary.

    Thune had an afternoon conference call to speak with supporters, and he called top donors early Tuesday to inform them of his decision.

    Thune, who beat Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle to win his Senate seat in 2004, has been thinking about a presidential bid for months — but his inquiries were tepid compared to other more organized candidates. Earlier this month, he was tapped to serve on the powerful Finance Committee — and with Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) set to retire next year, there is space for Thune to move up the ranks of the Senate leadership.

    The South Dakotan had made clear in recent weeks that he lacked any burning desire to get on the campaign trail. “I like where I am,” Thune said in an interview with POLITICO earlier this month. “I like what I do. These committee assignments are obviously going to give me a full portfolio for the foreseeable future. … I’m in a place where I think I can make a difference.

    Probably a smart choice where it is apparent that ANY race for the Republican nominee will be tough against the incumbent President Obama. And, besides his Senate responsibilities are not a bad day job.

  • John Thune,  President 2012

    President 2012 South Dakota Poll Watch: Sen. John Thune Leads the Pack Against President Obama

    Senate Budget Committee member Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., walks to his seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, prior to the start of the committee’s hearing titled the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2011-2021. Fellow committee members Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas is at center, Sen. John Ensugn, R-Nev. is at right

    Of course, South Dakota is GOP Senator John Thune’s home state but he is still polling very well against President Obama.

    The one potential candidate who would completely blow Obama out of the water is John Thune. He leads the President by 20 points in a hypothetical contest, 57-37. Thune is the first of the potential Republican candidates we’ve polled who’s really done well in their home state. Tim Pawlenty trails Obama in Minnesota by a wider margin than Romney does. Rick Perry ties Obama in Texas even as the rest of the Republican candidates lead him. Chris Christie is down double digits in New Jersey and doesn’t do any better than Romney or Huckabee. We haven’t tested any head to heads in Alaska but voters there hate Sarah Palin now. Mitt Romney does better than the other Republicans in Masschusetts but still trails by a wide margin and Rick Santorum can’t even finish in the top four for a primary contest in Pennsylvania. So South Dakota’s strong support of a Thune run is more the exception than the rule in our 2012 polling to date.

    Thune’s strong showing is no surprise given that he’s one of the most popular Senators in the country. His home state approval rating is 58% with only 31% of voters disapproving of him. He has near universal support from within his own party but he also gets good marks for his job performance from a third of Democrats, far more support than most folks in his position across the country get from across the aisle.

    Obama’s slightly unpopular in the state with 42% of voters approving of him and 49% disapproving. He’s ahead of both Gingrich and Palin though because they’re more unpopular than that. Gingrich’s favorability is a 31/43 spread and Palin’s is even worse at 37/55. Voters there are positive toward Huckabee, with 40% rating him favorably to 30% with a negative opinion, and a small plurality like Romney as well- 35% favorable, 34% unfavorable.

    A fresh face in the 2012 Presidential race, I just watched him on the Senate floor speaking to the repeal of ObamaCare. He was knowledgeable and articulate.

    Should Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels not run, Thune could very well be the alternative to Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin should Mike Huckabee decide not to run.

  • Barack Obama,  Chris Christie,  John Thune,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Sarah Palin,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012 Poll Watch: Romney 41% Vs. Obama 41%, Christie 43% Vs Obama 40%, Huckabee 39% Vs. Obama 42%

    Not a very good poll for the President.

    On the Republican primary side it breaks out like this:

    • 27% Christie
    • 17% Romney
    • 16% Palin
    • 14% Huckabee
    • 5% Daniels
    • 2% Pawlenty
    • 2% Thune

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who has said he would not be a candidate is doing the best but all of the Republican contenders are within the ballpark.

    The poll, conducted from Dec. 30, 2010 to Jan. 3, 2011, shows Christie leads among conservative Republicans with 28%, followed by Palin (18%), Huckabee (15%) and Romney (14%). Christie also leads among Born-Again Christians with 27%. He also does well with moderate Republicans (23%). Romney leads that group with 28%. 

    Looking at age groups, Christie does best with those 18-29 (36%) and 30-49 (33%).

    Both Christie and Romney lead Obama among independent voters. For Christie, that margin is 42%-29%; and for Romney, 39%-31%. Of the listed Republicans, Palin does the worst against Obama among independents, losing 38%-32%.

    Obama loses to each of the Republicans among voters over age 65; and trails by the biggest margins to Romney (51%-38%) and Christie (49%-39%).

  • Barack Obama,  economics,  John McCain,  John Thune,  Mel Martinez

    GOP Senators Propose Alternative to Democrat/Obama Stimulus Bill – Why Have They Waited So Long?

    McCain and Thune

    Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain (L) walks into the Senate Chamber in the Capitol in Washington October 1, 2008.  McCain returned to Washington to vote on the $700 billion financial rescue package. With McCain is Senator John Thune (R-SD)

    There is now a Senate Republican alternative to the Democrat/Obama economic stimulus bill, S.1..

    A group of Republican U.S. senators on Tuesday offered a $445 billion (308.3 billion pound) alternative plan to boosting the ailing economy, about half of which would be in the form of tax cuts.

    The stimulus package would include cutting payroll and income taxes for a year, as well as lowering the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 25 percent and offering home buyers a tax credit worth $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less.

    Sens. John McCain, John Thune, and Mel Martinez were among the group of lawmakers offering the alternative to the $885 billion package crafted by Democrats who control the Senate.

    Here is Senator McCain’s speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate opposing S. 1 is here.

    Some highlights:

    It is unfortunate that, even in these difficult economic times, Members of Congress could not resist the temptation to load up this bill with hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary spending that will do nothing to stimulate the economy.  Here are just a few of the things that have been included under the guise of stimulus:

    In The House Bill:

    • $400 million for STD prevention;
    • $600 million for new cars for the federal government;
    • $34 million to remodel the Commerce Department headquarters here in DC;
    • $25 million to rehabilitate ATV trails;
    • $150 million for honey bee insurance;
    • $75 million for smoking cessation, and
    • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

    In The Senate Bill:

    • $100 million to assist States with aquaculture losses;
    • $300 million for diesel emission reduction grants;
    • $150 million for facility improvements at Smithsonian museums;
    • $198 million for school food service equipment, and
    • $2.9 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program.

    Flap wonders why McCain and the GOP did not craft such an alternative last October when he was running for President. Was the Bush White House an impediment?

    Instead, McCain gave Obama a pass on the economy and the GOP ticket sank like a stone in the polls.


    But, in comeback mode, McCain wants your support AND contributions.

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