Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad fires a torpedo at a potential Steve King senate campaign.
Political Wire: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) appeared to suggest that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “either is not running or should not run for the U.S. Senate,” Radio Iowa reports.
Said Branstad: “I really believe that Iowans want somebody that will serve in the Senate that will be an Iowa problem solver, not another congressman. You know congress is a mess. We’ve seen them spend a trillion dollars more than they take in every year and so the Democrats have decided, ‘Well, we’re going to send up another congressman.’ That’s the last thing we need is another congressman in the United States Senate.”
My money’s on Branstad saying King “should not run.” You don’t say that congress critters like Steve King suck and everyone hates them if you’re a big fan of the man. It looks a lot more like he’s trying to sabotage any potential King campaign.
And why wouldn’t he? Steve King is Michele Bachmann in boxer shorts. The guy is rightwing loon and everyone in the GOP with any brains predicts he’d become the next Todd Akin if he ran for Senate. It would most likely be a disaster. He’d blow the seat and embarrass the party at the same time.
It’s not that “the last thing we need is another congressman in the United States Senate,” it’s that the last thing Republicans need is this congressman on the campaign trail, being himself.
Winning over women voters: you’re doing it wrong.
A bill introduced by nine Republican state lawmakers in Iowa on Wednesday would define abortion as “murder,” sending doctors and raped women who terminate pregnancies to jail.
The bill defines a “person” as “an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death.”
“Murder includes killing another person through any means that terminates the life of the other person including but not limited to the use of abortion-inducing drugs,” the measure states without making any exceptions for rape or incest.
Republican state Rep. Rob Bacon, who is co-sponsoring the bill, told the Ames Tribune that he wanted to “protect the life of the unborn” because “[t]here’s still some of us that believe life begins at conception.”
Remember, Republicans are totally different now, so women are encouraged to flock to the party. How are they different? Well, don’t you worry your pretty little head over that. Just remember that the GOP has a big tent and the only price of admission is a kick in the head — provided you’re not a white male. They still get in for free.
A bad day for Mitt Romney.
Republican Mitt Romney is struggling in the swing state of Iowa at a perilous point: just as voters there start casting early ballots in the presidential race.
President Barack Obama has a clear lead in Iowa opinion polls, helped by the fact that the state’s economy is far more robust than that of other battleground states. The president’s polling edge is so wide, it has prompted grumbling among Iowa Republicans who fault Romney for failing to take advantage of Obama’s weakened standing in the four years since Iowa launched his bid for the White House in 2008.
“There still is time to win, but we are in the fourth quarter,” said Nick Ryan, a veteran Iowa Republican strategist.
That’s a not quite accurate metaphor. According to the report, “A Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll taken last week found Romney trailing Obama by 8 percentage points, a finding that mirrored recent internal polls from Democrats and Republicans alike. The poll also found that just 40% had positive feelings about Romney, down from 43% in May. Conversely, Obama saw his favorability rating improve to 53% from 48% over that same period.”
So Romney’s down 8 and voting is happening right now. Mitt needs to make up a lot of lost ground and every minute, as voters cast their ballots, that ground is becoming more and more unrecoverable, because every time a vote is cast, it represents one more mind that it’s too late to change.
The Secret Service said they would ask to make sure we got to be introduced and get a picture. I don’t care as much about the picture but at least let me meet the guy who I tore my place up for.
Use the restaurant for a photo-op, treat the owners like peasants — this is who you’re telling us to vote for, conservatives.
I ain’ta gonna do it.
There is still time for conservatives if we act now to win this primary to make sure our party doesn’t nominate a Massachusetts Moderate to run against Obama… It truly frightens me to think what’ll happen if Mitt Romney is the nominee.
Did Romney really win the Iowa popular vote?
KCCI, Des Moines:
Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.
“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.
“This is huge,” True said. “It essentially changes who won.”
You’d think so, but then that would mean you didn’t understand the Iowa caucuses very well. The votes aren’t binding, it’s basically a straw poll sent to the party. If the Iowa GOP wants to ignore everyone and give all the votes to Rick Perry, for example, then Rick Perry wins the Iowa caucuses and you get to shut up about it.
For their part, the Iowa GOP says the vote total will stand.
Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said he does not expect the results of the two-week certification process to change Tuesday’s outcome. Romney won the caucuses by eight votes.
“Iowa GOP officials have been in contact with Appanoose County Republican officials tonight and do not have any reason to believe the final, certified results of Appanoose County will change the outcome of Tuesday’s vote,” Strawn said in a statement Thursday.
“Iowa GOP rules provide for a two-week certification process for each of the 1,774 precincts. The Iowa GOP will announce the final, certified results of the 2012 Iowa Causes following this process. Out of respect to the candidates involved, party officials we will not respond to every rumor, innuendo or allegation during the two week process,” Strawn said in the release.
So did Mittens win the popular vote or didn’t he? The answer is that it doesn’t matter. A word of advice to Iowans; you want elections, not caucuses. Demand democracy, you might like it.
Sweeping Up After Iowa
I’m tempted to say that the big winner in last night’s Iowa caucuses was not-Romney. Newt Gingrich — the old not-Romney — got 16,251 votes. Rick Santorum — the new not-Romney — pulled in 30,007. Mitt Romney barely won, with 30,015 (we won’t include Ron Paul as a not-Romney, because Paul voters were almost certainly voting for Paul, not against Romney). It’s probably too simplistic to say that, had there been a single not-Romney, he would’ve won with by 16,000 or better, but I don’t think Mittens would’ve won. I doubt anyone on Team Romney is feeling extremely triumphant today. The phrase of the day is probably “a win is a win.” They’re probably right. The Iowa caucuses aren’t even representative of Iowa.
A few other observations from around the web:
Michael Li: Wow. Paid media $/vote so far: Santorum $1.65, Bachmann $8, Romney $113.07, Gingrich $139 Paul $227, Perry $817. [Numbers calculated last night with about 80% of the vote in]
Associated Press: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has won most of the delegates in the Iowa Republican caucuses, edging former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Romney won a projected 13 delegates and Santorum won 12. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was shut out.
Paul Begala: The Romney-inevitability stories will now be tempered by chin-stroking about the candidate’s weakness. He is basically tied with a guy who supports banning contraception and another guy who attacks the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If Mitt Romney can’t beat them, he ought to find another party to run in.
Wonkette headline: “Romney Beats Santorum By Just 0.000002667% of U.S. Population.”
Dave Weigel: Four years ago, a depressed GOP went to the precinct caucuses, very well aware that Democrats had all the energy. The total GOP vote: 119,188. This year, Republicans should be psyched about the chance to uproot Barack Obama. There will be something above 122,000 total votes. An improvement, right? Well… in 2008, 86 percent of the people who chose the GOP caucuses were Republicans. This year, 75 percent of the electorate was Republican, with the rest of the vote coming from independents and Democrats. What the hell happened?
John Dickerson: As if to solidify Romney’s position as the candidate the base isn’t excited about, shortly before the final votes were counted Ben Smith reported that John McCain would endorse Romney. McCain, too, had trouble firing up GOP voters.
Josh Marshall: Going into tonight the idea was that Romney could come in first, second or maybe even third and still ‘win’. There was a decent logic to that. But as I hear the conventional wisdom taking shape, the result in practice (which could still quite likely be a numerical victory for Romney) seems considerably worse for Romney than one might have expected. It feels like a significant setback. In the big picture, still very hard to see how someone else gets the nomination. But a tie for first, which seemed like it would be still pretty good for Romney, doesn’t look so good in the event.
Steve Benen: Time will tell where Bachmann’s remaining supporters go, but it’s unlikely they’ll gravitate towards Mitt Romney. Indeed, the fact that the GOP field is shrinking at all is not what Romney wants to see. As we discussed earlier, because the former governor’s support in his party is so limited, Romney benefits greatly from as large a field as possible — the more the anti-Romney vote is divided among many candidates, the easier it is for him.
Right Wing Watch headline: “Religious Right Leaders to Meet and Plot Strategy on How to Stop Romney.”
Not sure what to add after all that, other than to say I’m less inclined to think the Iowa caucuses were meaningless than I was before. If there had been a clear winner, I think I’d feel safer in making that assertion. But given that it was basically a tie, I think the least we can take out of it is that the search for a viable not-Romney is still on and the GOP primary is very much in flux.