• Chris Christie,  Karl Rove,  Paul Ryan,  President 2012,  Rudy Giuliani,  Sarah Palin

    President 2012: Karl Rove Expects Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and/or Paul Ryan to Enter Presidential Race?

    GOP Political operative Karl Rove on Fox News Channel last night

    Texas Governor is the candidate of the hour, but Karl Rove makes the case that more may enter the Presidential arena.

    ROVE: We’ve got a good field. I don’t think that’s the end, though, of the field. I think we’re likely to see several other candidates think seriously about getting in, and frankly, they have time to do so.

    November 22 is the first deadline to file papers to get on a ballot — that’s the last day somebody could get in without starting to lose their place in some of the early primaries or caucuses.

    I suspect we’re likely to see an early September, late August — people taking it seriously.

    SEAN HANNITY: All right, who are these people you suspect might get in?

    ROVE: I think Palin.

    HANNITY: You do think Palin?

    ROVE: Well, I think she’s going to look seriously at it. I don’t know if any of these are going to actually get in, but I think that the nature of the field, and the fact that we’ve now got three candidates when we could have had four, five, or six major candidates is going to lead people to say “Well, I could be in that contest.”

    Palin has got a pretty active schedule in early September. I think Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are going to look at it again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all three of them gave serious consideration to it….

    HANNITY: I’ve talked to Governor Christie a lot and he says “No way”.

    I was more convinced Gov. Palin after I saw her and interviewed her Friday night at the Iowa state fair that she might get in now.

    Paul Ryan, I don’t think has given any indication. What makes you think those two will get in — meaning Ryan and Christie.

    ROVE: Well, two things. There was an event in New York — [co-founder of Home Depot] Ken Langone pulled together some big moneyraisers and met with Christie and said “you need to think seriously about this.”

    And it’s not just the meeting. What happened afterwards — from what I picked up around the country — I talked to a number of people who had picked up the phone and called Christie to tell him they thought that he ought to run. These are Republican activists, Republican donors, movers and shakers, activists around the country.

    And the same on Paul Ryan, and I’m starting to pick up some sort of vibrations that these kinds of conversations are causing Christie and Ryan to tell the people who are calling them “Well, you know what, I owe it to you. I think I will take a look at it.”

    Whether or not that happens or not, I don’t know, but I’m just picking that up that people have some sense, some belief that these two guys are going to take a look at it.

    I agree that Sarah Palin is a wild card in the race fro 2012 and should Sarah enter the race, the conservative field would be scattered all over the map. I, also, predict that should Palin run, so would Rudy Giuliani which would really divide the GOP Presidential delegate distribution.

    I can foresee a scenario where the GOP nomination comes down to the California GOP primary election in June (likely, a winner take all election) or a “brokered” convention – much like Ford Vs. Reagan in 1976.

  • Chris Christie,  President 2012,  Rick Perry,  Rudy Giuliani

    President 2012: Rudy Giuliani to Meet with Chris Christie and Rick Perry Today

    Rudy Giuliani when he endorsed soon to be elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2009

    Well, Rudy endorsed Chris Christie when he ran for New Jersey Governor and Texas Governor Rick Perry endorsed Rudy in 2008 when Giuliani ran for President. So, hence the meetings since Rudy continues to show interest in a 2012 Presidential race.

    Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, two former federal prosecutors and two similar political models, are set to have lunch Wednesday, sources confirmed.

    The meeting will be on the heels of a Giuliani meeting with Rick Perry. Both men are considering a presidential run.

    Christie has said repeatedly that he isn’t.

    But the Giuliani and Christie meeting comes at a time when the former mayor has said he is seriously looking at his political future, and as some national Republicans are still hoping to lure the New Jersey governor into the race.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall during these meetings.

    But, my guess is Rudy is lining up support should Sarah Palin decide to throw her hat in the ring and divide the conservative vote in the GOP primaries. Otherwise, Rudy will be on board with either Perry or Christie should one of them decide to run and Rudy doesn’t.

    Rudy would go on the stump in Florida for Rick Perry and would definitely hurt Mitt Romney there. And, could deliver a goodly number of East Coast and California GOP delegates for the Texas Governor.

    Giuliani will make a terrific Attorney General or Vice President.

  • Chris Christie,  Newt Gingrich,  President 2012,  Rick Perry,  Rudy Giuliani

    President 2012: South Carolina Pols To Draft Chris Christie?

    Some South Carolina POLS will try to persuade the New Jersey Governor.

    Multiple South Carolina state representatives plan on holding a news conference next week to urge New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to enter the presidential race.

    Republican state Rep. Kris Crawford told POLITICO the goal was to entice a candidate capable of going “toe to toe with the Obama political machine,” and at least a few state lawmakers think Christie fits the bill.

    Crawford and state Rep. Phyllis Henderson — who previously told Roll Call she hoped to spark a Christie draft — have scheduled a “Draft Chris Christie for President” event from the statehouse steps at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Crawford said he and Henderson are taking point for the event, but hope that between half a dozen and a dozen legislators show up.

    “Having had conversations on the floor for the last two months, I know that there’s interest out there,” Crawford said. “Here’s a guy who’s willing to have the hard conversation, speak the truth and take on what is, frankly, going to be a really tough political operation on the Democratic side.”

    Yesterday it was Rudy Giuliani, today it is Texas Governor Rick Perry, next week it is Chris Christie.

    The GOP Presidential field is growing and getting a little crowded, although the race probably lost one today in Newt Gingrich.

  • Chris Christie,  Herman Cain,  Jeb Bush,  Mitt Romney,  Newt Gingrich,  Paul Ryan,  Polling,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012 Iowa GOP Poll Watch: Romney 21% Cain 15% Palin 15% Gingrich 12%

    According to the latest PPP Poll.

    Favorable Vs. Unfavorable:

    • Newt Gingrich – 39% Vs. 41%
    • Sarah Palin – 59% Vs. 31%
    • Mitt Romney – 51% Vs. 34%
    • Tim Pawlenty – 48% Vs. 18%
    • Herman Cain – 38% Vs. 24% Vs Not Sure = 38%
    • Michele Bachmann – 53% Vs. 16%
    • Jeb Bush – 51% Vs. 20%
    • Ron Paul – 42% Vs. 29%
    • Rick Santorum – 29% Vs. 18% Vs. Not Sure = 53%
    • Rudy Giuliani – 49% Vs. 31%
    • Donald Trump – 28% vs. 56%
    • Jon Huntsman – 7% Vs. 23% Vs. Not Sure = 70%
    • Chris Christie – 42% Vs. 12% Vs. Not Sure = 46%
    • Rick Perry – 21% Vs. 16% Vs. Not Sure = 63%
    • Paul Ryan – 42% Vs. 14% Vs. Not Sure = 45%

    GOP Primary Caucus Head to Head:

    Given the choices of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney, who would you most like to see as
    the Republican candidate for President next year?

    • Romney – 21%
    • Palin – 15%
    • Cain – 15%
    • Gingrich -12%
    • Pawlenty – 10%
    • Ron Paul – 8%
    • Jon Huntsman – 0%

    If Sarah Palin does not run then?

    • Romney – 26%
    • Cain – 16%
    • Gingrich – 15%
    • Bachmann – 14%
    • Pawlenty – 10%
    • Paul – 11%
    • Huntsman – 1%

    If the Republican nomination came down to Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who would you vote for?

    • Romney – 48% Vs. Palin – 41% Vs. Not Sure = 11%

    If the Republican nomination came down to Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, who would you vote for?

    • Romney – 41% Vs. Pawlenty – 41% Vs. Not Sure = 18%

    If the Republican nomination came down to Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, who would you vote for?

    • Romney – 48% Vs. Cain – 34% Vs. Not Sure = 19%

    If the Republican nomination came down to Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, who would you vote for?

    Romney – 46% Vs. Bachmann – 38% Vs. Not Sure = 16%

    Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa ever since Mike Huckabee exited the race, but he is being challenged by a surging Herman Cain. Iowa will be the first primary state for the 2012 Presidential nominee and is a caucus state.

    Cain and Palin have been the biggest beneficiaries in Iowa of Huckabee and Trump’s decisions not to run. Cain is at 15% now despite not even having been included on our last poll. Palin’s gained 7 points in the six weeks since our last poll compared to 5 point gains for Romney, Pawlenty, and Bachmann, a 3 point gain for Gingrich, and a 2 point bump for Paul.

    Romney’s leading in Iowa based on his strength with centrist and center right Republican voters. With moderates he’s at 34% to 16% for Palin, 13% for Paul, and 11% for Gingrich. With ‘somewhat conservative’ voters he’s at 24% to 15% for Pawlenty, 13% for Palin, and 12% for Gingrich and Cain. His strength with those two groups outweighs his continuing weakness with the furthest right group of voters in the state, which constitute the largest segment of the Republican electorate at 41%. With those ‘very conservative’ folks Romney can muster only a fourth place finish at 13%. Cain and Palin tie for the lead with that group of voters at 19% followed by Bachmann at 15%.

    I would think one would have to say that while Mitt Romney is leading, conservative candidates Cain, Palin and Bachmann are splitting votes. If Iowa conservatives were to consolidate on one candidate, then Romney is in trouble. Surprisingly, Tim Pawlenty, a moderate-conservative does the best head to head with Romney though.

    Here is a summary of the favorable vs unfavorable data:

    So, what does this all mean?

    There is definitely room for the entry of a “new” candidate like Paul Ryan, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush. The $1 million question is whether Sarah Palin runs and if she does, whether the GOP establishment then run someone else against her, ie. Ryan,Christie or Bush?

    Tim Pawlenty is not catching fire and Jon Huntsman fledgling campaign is on life support – at least in Iowa.

    The entire poll is here.

  • Chris Christie,  Mitch Daniels,  Paul Ryan,  President 2012

    President 2012: Should Paul Ryan Run for President?

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils the House Republican budget blueprint in the Capitol in Washington April 5, 2011

    Yes, and the case for a duty call is obvious.

    Jennifer Rubin makes the case as well.

    In a very practical sense, the question for Ryan is: Why not give his party and the country six months (September 2011 to February 2012)? By then he’ll either have failed to catch fire or he’ll have a clear path to the presidential nomination. Six months. Twenty-four weeks. For a politician constantly at work in Congress, in town halls and in media appearances, that doesn’t sound like that much. (In fact, I would venture that his schedule is more rigorous now than the average presidential contender’s.)

    You see, there is no good reason for Ryan to avoid a presidential run. Sometimes, if you don’t see the opening and seize it, a better one never comes along. Bill Clinton understood this in 1992.

    Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan should all consider running for the Presidency. Obama is wounded and the GOP needs popular and articulate candidates.

    Duty Calls.

  • Chris Christie,  John Kasich,  Michele Bachmann,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Newt Gingrich,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin,  Scott Walker

    President 2012: Huckabee is Out – Michele, Newt and Mitch In?

    Yeah, particularly in Iowa.

    The presidential nominating process is a lot like the US Open tennis tournament. There is a final (the Republican v. Obama), a semifinal (the top conservative against the top moderate for the GOP nomination) and a quarter final (the conservatives against each other and the moderates competing together for the right to enter the semis).

    Mitt Romney and Donald Trump are centrists. Businessmen, economic growth free market types who will vie with each other for the moderate nomination. In 2008, Romney fought and lost to Huckabee for the conservative nod to oppose McCain. But, because of his health care position, he now has to fight it out on the moderate court.

    Mike Huckabee’s withdrawal opens the way on the right court for Gingrich, Bachmann, and Daniels. Had Mike run, he would have easily carried the day and faced Romney/Trump for the nomination. But, with Mike out, it’s an open field.

    Bachmann has the most to gain from Huckabee’s withdrawal. Polling shows that the Tea Party types and the evangelicals are more or less the same people. With Mike out, Michele has a clear shot at their support (once they get over Herman Cain and Ron Paul, neither of whom can win — and Paul shouldn’t win). As the odd-woman-out dissenting from the Boehner deals with Obama, holding out for fiscal conservatism and tough Republican bargaining, she can pick up a lot of ground in a hurry.

    Gingrich’s announcement puts the onus on him to dispel the negatives that dog his campaign. All agree that he would be the best opponent to Obama in a debate and that he is the brightest, best candidate would have. But many are scared off because of the negatives. He has six months to show them that they are wrong.

    And then there is Mitch Daniels, potentially, the conservative establishment’s answer to Romney. Despite an absence of charisma, his extraordinary record as governor puts him right in the thick of the hunt for the nomination. He, along with his supporters (Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, and John Kasich of Ohio), have walked the walk not just talked the talk. His candidacy is a most attractive one.

    And, if Sarah Palin decides to come in now, I would say the battle for the social conservatives will really heat up.

    Newt Gingrich with his personal baggage should be used as a foil against Obama but he is unelectable – too old and too damaged.

    Mitt Romney will have to compete in Iowa and will probably take a loss there even with Huckabee not in the race. Romney will be vulnerable in South Carolina too –then on to Florida.

    Exit question: Will Mitch Daniels with Scott Walker, John Kasich and Chris Christie endorsing him be able to beat Michele Bachmann in Iowa?

  • Chris Christie,  Donald Trump,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Polling,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012 Poll Watch: 65% will Not Vote for Sarah Palin, 64% Will Not Vote for Donald Trump

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    More than 6 in 10 registered voters nationwide say they would definitely not vote for Donald Trump or Sarah Palin for president in 2012, significantly more than say the same about possible Republican candidates Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee, or about President Barack Obama.

    This is not really surprising but I doubt it means much. I doubt Sarah Palin or Donald Trump will be candidates for the GOP nomination for President.

    What is most interesting to me is that 46% of Americans polled say they will NOT vote for President Obama which is about the same for Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

    While the Donald Trump show has been amuzing the past few weeks, it has served as an outlet for Americans who have decided that they do not wish to re-elect President Obama. There are sufficient Republican canddates in Huckabee and Romney who can make a credible run against the President. I, also believe, there will be other candidates who will emerge within the next 30-60 days who have accomplished records that can also be viewed as viable candidates, including Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan.

    Trump’s attention-grabbing, high-visibility statements and his ability to generate large amounts of news coverage cut two ways. On the one hand, Trump has undeniably dominated news coverage of the Republican race in the last several weeks, vaulting him into the middle of political and election news discussion and coverage. On the other hand, Trump’s ability to generate publicity apparently has its costs, as his image has turned more negative and as more than 6 in 10 voters across the country already say they would definitely not vote for him.

    Trump also faces apparent obstacles in his efforts to gain the Republican nomination, should he decide to run. Almost half of Republican registered voters at this point say they would definitely not vote for him, the highest of any of the four possible GOP candidates measured in this survey.

  • Barack Obama,  Chris Christie,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Newt Gingrich,  Polling,  President 2012,  Rand Paul,  Sarah Palin

    President 2012 Poll Watch: Barack Obama 48% Vs. Mike Huckabee 43%, Barack Obama 47% Vs. Mitt Romney 41%

    Chart from Pollster

    According to the latest PPP Poll.

    Job Approval Vs. Disapproval:

    • President Barack Obama – 47% Vs. 48%

    GOP Favorable Vs. Unfavorable:

    • Mike Huckabee – 36% Vs. 42%
    • Mitt Romney – 32% Vs. 43%
    • Sarah Palin – 31% Vs. 61%
    • Newt Gingrich – 28% vs. 55%
    • Rand Paul – 26% Vs. 45%
    • Chris Christie – 28% Vs. 30%

    General Election Head to Head:

    • Obama – 48% Vs. Huckabee – 43%
    • Obama – 47% Vs. Romney 41%
    • Obama – 54% Vs. Palin – 36%
    • Obama – 52% Vs. Gingrich – 38%
    • Obama – 48% Vs. Paul – 38%
    • Obama – 48% Vs Christie – 39%

    Again, this is an aggregate national poll but it shows a couple of things:

    • Obama has a negative approval rating
    • This GOP candidate field is weak against the President in the general election.

    Additionally, President Obama is doing well with independent voters.

    The president wins by racking up the independent vote by double-digit margins against everyone but Christie, who holds him to a seven-point advantage. The others trail with this group by ten (Huckabee and Romney) to a whopping 28 points (Palin). Obama also pads his leads by getting double-digit GOP support against Gingrich and Palin.

    If the GOP wants to beat Obama in 2012, they had better develop a better candidate field, consolidate behind him or her and be ready to hit the ground running after Labor Day 2011. The delay in the GOP selection process may allow say a Rep. Paul Ryan or Governor Mitch Daniels to jump into the field and become the fresh face of the GOP.

    The GOP needs such a candidate, if they wish to win next year.

  • Barack Obama,  Chris Christie,  Mitch Daniels,  Polling,  President 2012

    President 2012 Poll Watch: President Obama as a Strong Leader = Not So Much

    According to the latest Gallup Poll.

    Americans have grown increasingly less likely to view President Obama as a strong and decisive leader since he took office. Roughly half now believe this aptly describes, him compared with 60% a year ago and 73% in April 2009.

    And, only 36% say Obama has a clear plan for solving America’s problems.

    So, what does this mean?

    Throughout this year in office, President Obama’s ratings on several dimensions, including job approval and most personal characteristics, trended downward, but have since more or less stabilized. One notable exception to that general pattern is perception of the president as a strong and decisive leader, which has continued to drop, and now only a slim majority of Americans rate him positively in this regard.

    Given the timing of the two most recent ratings on Obama as a strong and decisive leader (March 2010 and 2011), it is not clear how much the recent events in the Middle East have contributed to this perception. Obama’s overall job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking has fluctuated since mid-March, roughly coinciding with the military campaign in Libya. For the week of March 21-27, though, Obama averaged 45% approval and 47% disapproval, his worst since December.

    Moreover, Obama’s ratings for handling the situations in Libya and Egypt have not been stellar but also not poor. In any case, much of the 2011 news coverage has focused on major international events and President Obama’s response to these events has been a key element of that coverage.

    Politically, it means the President is vulnerable – if the Republicans can get their act together and nominate a strong leader = hello Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.