On The Race To 2012: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

We are now less than a year from the 2012 General Election.  Right now, the polls stand where there’s essentially a three-man race between Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich.  Never say never, but I have serious doubts on there being a President Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman, or even Paul.  However, any one of those folks would be better than the current occupant of the White House, but my fellow Republicans shouldn’t get too cocky about winning in 2012.

In discussing the 2012 race with a co-worker a few months back, he noted that the Republicans basically had a lock on the White House because of President Obama’s unpopular policies.  The only problem with that thinking is, Republicans aren’t still exactly the most popular folks either.  Looking at the RealClearPolitics polling averages, a “generic” Republican beats the President, but when you replace “generic” with the candidates, the President runs away with the win in most cases.  Not to mention, the Generic Congressional Ballot gives Democrats the advantage (as of earlier this week).

Although it’s nice to see that the GOP has a slight advantage heading into 2012, “Generic” won’t be running for President any time soon.  In fact, I could bet that most folks see “Generic” as the cousin of “None of the Above”.  I hear that he won’t be running in 2012 either.

2010 was a banner year for Republicans.  Most were predicting similar results come 2012 especially with redistricting.  Unfortunately, it looks like Republicans won’t be benefiting too much from the decennial reapportionment process.  We might increase our majority a little bit in the House, but I don’t expect huge wins come Election Night 2012.  I expect the Senate to shake out around a slight Republican majority of about 53-47.

Let’s be real on two fronts.  First, this is November 2011.  Most folks aren’t even thinking about Christmas 2011 let alone Election 2012.  Things could start to shake out better towards the Republican side and we could still see the potential for large wins.  Second, let’s keep reality in sight as we talk about 2012.  I’m optimistic about 2012, and I plan on working hard for the eventual Republican candidate, but let’s be realistic in our expectations.  We’re facing an incumbent presidential candidate who is still able to raise a pantload of money, who is still popular among the younger people, and who has a political campaign machine behind him.  Just remember, it’s still hard to beat an incumbent…even if he does have less than 50% in public opinion polls.

It’s not fun throwing a bucket of cold water on the face of your party, but I believe it’s something that Republicans should keep in mind.  We, as Republicans, have a lot of work to do in 2012.

39 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Why conservatives need to think twice about voting for Gingrich. Two examples:

    Gingrich & Freddie & Fannie
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/gingrich-fannie-and-freddie/2011/11/10/gIQAYxw28M_blog.html

    Then there’s this. The following from an article by Jim Galloway in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, dated June 11, 2011.

    Steve Anthony served as chief of staff for one of the most of the most Democratic partisans who ever walked the red clay – the late House speaker Tom Murphy. Anthony is now a political consultant and lecturer at Georgia State University.

    He thinks that Gingrich was ill-served by the staff that quit him.

    “[Gingrich] is brilliant. For them to say he isn’t doing it right, they’re only saying he’s not doing it the way they want it done. If he wants to do it a different way, he’s proven that he can envision ‘way down the road and map out a plan and achieve it,” Anthony said.

    Anthony was once a student of Gingrich’s at West Georgia College.

    “He was liberal.” In ‘72, I wake up one morning. I get the Carrollton paper, and it says, ‘Local professor to head [Richard] Nixon re-elect.’ I went into his office, and I put the paper on his desk, and I say, ‘What the hell is this?’” Anthony recounted.

    He said, ‘I have a plan. I’m going to be in Congress one day, and I’m going to be in Congress as a Republican because that’s where this state is headed. Furthermore, I’m going to be Speaker on day.’” Anthony said. “This was 1972.”

    • TheEiger says:

      You are taking the word of a former COF for Murphy. Are you familiar with the fact that Murphy tried to redistrict Newt out of his seat in both 80 and 90 and hated Newt with a passion? Why would you trust anything Anthony has to say about Newt. I would say his opinion and word is tainted in the fact that the worked for Murphy. Let’s think about our thoughts before we post nonsense again.

      • Harry says:

        Keep in mind that Galloway posted this material right after it appeared Gingrich’s campaign was dead. Sure, Anthony and Galloway are not Republicans. Galloway was trying to point out that Gingrich is an opportunist who would take any side in order to advance his career and his bank account. It’s just one more example of what we know of Gingrich’s mercurial personality. He pandered up to Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Shirley Franklin, DC special interests….whatever. He and his wife live in a monster megahouse in Virginia. At his wife’s insistence he ran up a huge account at Tiffany’s and took a multiweek cruise in the Mediterranean while his now-departed staff was trying to jump-start his campaign. Fool me once.

  2. jeff says:

    “He was liberal.” In ‘72, I wake up one morning. I get the Carrollton paper, and it says, ‘Local professor to head [Richard] Nixon re-elect.’ I went into his office, and I put the paper on his desk, and I say, ‘What the hell is this?’” Anthony recounted.

    He said, ‘I have a plan. I’m going to be in Congress one day, and I’m going to be in Congress as a Republican because that’s where this state is headed. Furthermore, I’m going to be Speaker on day.’” Anthony said. “This was 1972.”

    This in a nutshell is exactly what is wrong in Washington and in Atlanta. We no longer have true representatives. What we have are political opportunists that are looking to further their own personal agenda. Both Gingrich and Cain are nothing more than political opportunists looking to boost their name recognition in an effort to increase speaking fees and book sales. They are both trying to pass themselves off as the voice of a conservative movement but in all reality could care less and are only looking to capitalize on the current mood of the nation.

  3. cheapseats says:

    OK, now I’m undecided. I was planning to support Abstained for the GOP nomination but maybe I need to get on board with Generic.

    Right now, those are the only 2 choices that look good to me.

    • Calypso says:

      Take a good look at “Who gives a rat’s assh*le with mayonnaise?”. I think he’ll be the front-runner by early next year.

  4. AMB says:

    Gingrich is dead in the water. The GOP had better start tossing people out of the clown car and get serious.
    You are starting to look like a traveling sideshow rather than a presidential race.

  5. politicoga says:

    There’s no doubt this will be a tough election. However, last weekend’s polling shows that Mitt Romney performs well in the swing states. There’s no doubt Romney gives the GOP the best shot at making Obama a one termer.

      • Ken says:

        bene,

        Romney says he will give blanket exemptions on the first day and begin the repeal process immediately. That’s pretty much the GOP position across the board except for Congresswoman Bachmann who has said that she will go back in time and undo it six months ago.

        Bottom line is that if Obama is gone, the new President will work to repeal Obamacare ASAP.

  6. Patch says:

    I like Romney. Of the Republicans in the field, I think he has the best chance on unifying the divisions in the party and appealing to independent voters. I think his history on economics is strong and that will be the premiere issue of the campaign. Herman Cain brings up interesting points, but is relatively politically inexperienced. Newt has the experience, but has been incognito for much of the early campaign and might have trouble attracting independents. Perry’s debate troubles will only be magnified against Obama. If the president excels at anything, it is in the media spotlight. I think Romney is the strongest on all of these points. Either way, primary season should be interesting to watch.

    • Ken says:

      Patch,

      Romney’s history in business is strong. His understanding of economic theory is unproven and he doesn’t seem to talk much about economic philosophy or theory.

      • 22bons says:

        True. And I’ll take an experienced entrepreneurial guy like Mitt over the economic theorist every time. We don’t need any more “imagine we had a can opener” solutions to our problems….

  7. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    The problem is the TP wing of the GOP is so arrogant to think their hard line views are more in line with the American people than that of the far left wack-jobs that ran Washington just a couple of years ago. The American people what compromise, not dread lock. The good news is word around the Hill is that Repub. leadership in both the House and Senate finally realize this and are talking about revenues(not tax increases…but eliminated loopholes in a revenue positive way) and compromising to Go Big on cutting a deal in the super committee, but if the hard right the run the House doesn’t allow such a deal I’m going to have to agree with the Dem. talking point of the obstructionist Congress.

    • Calypso says:

      “The American people what compromise, not dread lock.”

      A subliminal slap against Obama, I presume? 😉

    • Three Jack says:

      kd, why is it considered ‘arrogant’, ‘hard line’ and ‘obstructionist’ to support spending cuts over revenue increases. the so-called ‘tp wing’ was founded on the basic principle of downsizing government just as so many private sector corporations have been forced to do.

      i’m really fed up with folks like you and joe scarborough who constantly berate the ‘tp wing’ for standing up to an out of control government. if not for the ‘tp wing’, it is highly probable that those of us paying taxes would be paying much more. because of the ‘tp wing’, we might get a very minor spending rollback ($1t over 10 years, even $4t over 10 years is nothing relative to the amount being spent). and on top of that, we very well might finally get around to a major tax system overhaul that will bring back some of the 47% not paying income taxes now into paying again. tell me how that is ‘arrogant’ and ‘hard line’.

        • Three Jack says:

          i’m for tax equity, get a significant portion of those riding for free to contribute as they should. call it a tax increase if you like, i call it much needed reform.

            • Three Jack says:

              gd, if you want to play semantics as so many do these days with regard to tax reform, go for it. i could play the same game and say it is a decrease in the burden facing the other 53% who do pay. thus net, net a decrease in taxes for the majority since we will likely see rates go down with the influx of revenue from those not currently paying. we can do this all day.

              • griftdrift says:

                I’m “playing semantics” yet you are the one that says they are getting a “free ride” and they are “not currently paying”.

                Those aren’t even semantics. They are just blatantly false.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        No tg, I’m for a big deficit reduction plan of at least 4 trillion, that is never going to pass without giving something to the dems in the form of revenue. If we hold of to the Gover or TP line of no, never; we are going to have more small status quo plan which are somehow palatable to the extremes of both parties. The problem is the TP isn’t focused on getting actual cuts, just not increasing revenues or hoping and praying revenues will magically go up.

        • Three Jack says:

          kd, $4t over 10 years is not a ‘big deficit reduction plan’. that may simply prevent the budget from continuing it’s unfettered rise, but nothing more. it is a decent start though.

          the tp is a very diverse group of people with many like myself fully supportive of tax reform that brings more people into the system, thus creating an environment for job growth which will lead to an increase in revenues to really pay down the debt. there is no single spokesperson representing the tp, so it is impossible to claim tp as a whole is for or against anything.

    • Ken says:

      KD,

      The GOP has been talking about a flatter rate structure with closed loopholes in the income tax for some time now.

      The rumor – and it is a rumor – is that the GOP offered $500 billion in revenue increases through the removal of some deductions and that the Dems on the so-called “Super Committee” have turned up their noses and walked away.

      I’m all for the removal of specialized “tax breaks”. Take every one of them out that every American doesn’t have an opportunity to use. We can start with that ethanol crap and go from there. Oh, and the “special deals” cut for Obamacare: The “Louisiana Purchase”? Gone. The “Cornhusker Kickback”? Gone (or did Nebraska turn it down already?). “Gator Aid”? Gone.

      Farm subsidies? Kill ’em. Any exemptions for unions? Throw ’em out. Federally subsidized loans of any type? Buh-bye! The market can handle it if Uncle Sam would get his long, bony nose out of the way.

      If we would just get rid of spending and regulations that encourage behavior that hurts individuals, families and the economy we would put a huge dent in the deficit.

      While we’re at it, do we really need to own 95% of Nevada? Nope. Didn’t think so. Sell it all but Area 51, where I’m sure we subsidize housing for small green people.

      • KD_fiscal conservative says:

        Ken, I completely agree with you, but the problem is some Members of Congress are scared to dead of Grover Norquist of his little pledge, and he’s going around saying an elimination of loopholes and unfair tax breaks is somehow the same as raising taxes. Now I’m not saying the Dems are significantly better but their boogey man has always been cutting entitlements and from what I can see, many Dems have openly discussed the idea of reforming Medicare and S.S.

        • Ken says:

          KD,

          Republicans have agreed in public to removing tax breaks for special interests in exchange for lower rates. It’s not new.

          I met Norquist last weekend. He didn’t seem very scary to me; just determined. I also think personally that eliminating tax breaks fro special interest is an investment in smaller government, so I’m all for it (as you can tell from above). Norquist is wrong in his approach on this particular subject.

  8. slyram says:

    In my local newspaper today, Kathleen Parker wrote about Romney being a nice guy. She included a story about him wait in a staffer home garage during a photo shoot on a hot day. When they came to get him 30 minutes later, Romney had cleaned and organized the garage. It was Romney and Paul who tried to help Perry at the debate. While the GOP voters want a red meat, get tough candidate, Huntsman is the guy who would appeal to the center and Romney might not be too far behind.

    http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2011/nov/10/romney-uniquely-kind-political-world/?opinion

    • Harry says:

      As you know, I’m a right-wing TP type but I’m supporting Romney right now. Here’s why:

      1. As your article says, he’s a nice guy.

      3. Romney is making conservative noises. Let’s hope he continues with it during the general election campaign, or he else will lose the conservatives such as myself.

      2. I spoke today with a moderate independent who is registered to vote in Florida, which as you know is a swing state. This guy is really turned off with Obama’s rhetoric and with Obama administration policy decisions. However, if the GOP runs Perry, Gingrich, or Cain, he will not vote GOP. But he will vote for Romney.

        • SallyForth says:

          And I agree with both of you. But what do I know? I also thought tp was something on a roll in the bathroom.

      • Ken says:

        Barring a massive economic recovery that I find extremely unlikely, there should be a GOP majority in both the house and senate. It’s an opportunity to actually reduce government rather than just slow its growth with a Republican president.

        I’d like a conservative rather than a moderate for that reason. Otherwise, we will continue to slide toward more debt, more centralized power and a less free people. A repeat of another Bush 43-type administration that grows government and there will almost assuredly be a third party that emerges out of sheer frustration. That will help no one but the left whose prescription for too much government will assuredly be yet more government.

        • Harry says:

          We need bottom-up reform in every sector of government. The entire DC metro, other than those institutions bordering on the national mall, is a blood-sucking leech and should be laid waste. But this is a political ship of state and only turns gradually. What moves it more than anything will be the economic realities, not electing Mitt or Herman or Newt.

  9. saltycracker says:

    K.I.S.S.

    Question for the candidate:

    We can translate the National budget to a houshold budget by removing EIGHT zeros.
    How would you fix this problem ?

    Annual family income: $21,700
    Family expenditures: $38,200
    New credit card debt: $16,500
    Credit card outstanding balance: $142,710
    Total budget cuts agreed to: $385

    1. Would you expect the credit card company write off the balance and/or increase the limit ?
    2. Would you expect your employer to increase your pay 40% ?
    3. Would you expect your employer to pay on a clear work monetized scale without rationalizing variances and you to begin spending no more than taken in ?

  10. Herb says:

    “On The Race To 2012: Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch”

    I think I can safely call it a year out. Obama wins in a blowout over everyone with at least the same numbers as 2008.

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