Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Independents equal good news for GOP?

Hello. Welcome to O-Pinion, the Observer editorial board's blog. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host for today.

The first votes in the New Hampshire Primary were cast just after midnight Tuesday, and if you haven't heard, it was a tie. According to the Huffington Post, of the nine registered voters in Dixville Notch, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman each got two votes! Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each got one. And three Democratic ballots were cast for Barack Obama. Let's see how the rest of the primary unfolds. The Associated Press handicaps the race with a few tips on what will be factors: How independents will vote (Huntsman is counting on them), the impact of super PACs that are pouring money into TV and radio ads targeting certain candidates, and Mitt Romney's "slip" of the tongue in saying to a group of voters he liked "firing" people (Romney said it was in reference to businesses that gave him poor service; his opponents said it was in relationship to how he ran a former business.)

The latest Suffolk University tracking poll released this morning confirms what many expected: Mitt Romney, it says, is "primed to complete the political perfecta of winning both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, according to the final two-day tracking poll of likely voters in New Hampshire. "

Romney (37 percent) led Ron Paul (18 percent), Jon Huntsman (16 percent), Rick Santorum (11 percent), and Newt Gingrich (9 percent), while Rick Perry and Buddy Roemer each had 1 percent, with 7 percent undecided.

Huntsman, though, is positioned to overtake Paul for second place if his movement up over the last few weeks is an indication. He made a strong showing in the debate Sunday, which also has helped him, said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “The battle for second place will be determined by which candidate has the best field organization to bring out the votes today,” Paleologos said. “A good get-out-the-vote-operation accounts for up to 5 points, which can impact an expected outcome.”

Although Huntsman polled quite well among independents (26 percent), he had a poor relative showing among registered Republicans (9 percent).


Closer to home John Hood of the John Locke Foundation based in Raleigh has a column today in the Carolina Journal called "Gallup's Good News for the GOP." As you can deduce, he finds new Gallup poll findings favorable to Republicans.

This contradicted what he said was "mainstream media outlets and political commentators" assessments. Hood said they "seized on the Gallup release to spin the upcoming 2012 elections. Some argued that the data predicted Democratic triumph. Some argued that the data made the case for Mitt Romney over his GOP rivals, on the grounds that he would have the easiest time wooing moderate swing voters. Some concluded that the Republican brand had been seriously tarnished by Tea Party intransigence. And some conservatives blasted Gallup and the media for partisan bias, because the 2010 GOP wave proved it was impossible for the Republican brand to have been as badly tarnished as the survey suggested."

He said the truth was down further in the Gallup poll release: "If they had (read to the end of the release), they would have read another passage from Gallup that also accurately reflected its survey findings: 'Despite the Democratic advantage in party identification, proportionately more American independents lean to the Republican Party than to the Democratic Party. Thus, when independents’ party leanings are taken into account and combined with the party’s core identifiers, the parties end up tied.'

..."The real news is that independents are leaning Republican, fully offsetting the Democratic edge in party affiliation," Hood said. "When that happens, the GOP usually has a good year."


kantstanzya said...

Two things:

The key is not in party identification..Democrat/Republican/Independent. The key is in how people describe themselves...as conservative/liberal or moderate. In that regard conservatives have a wide edge over liberals. Moderates will not care about the D or the R, they will only care that Barack Obama has proved himself not only a liberal...but left of "liberal"

Secondly: Ms. Flono please read your own paper. Even though one had to read to the very end of the article they did accurately quote Romney. He was talking about wanting people to be able to chose their insurance company.."That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you don't like what they do you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I'm going to get somebody else to provide that service to me."

There was nothing ambiguous about the statement when he said it and no matter how many times the media, the Dems and unfortunately his desperate GOP opponents call it a "slip of the tongue" it was no such thing. He said it perfectly clearly.

Scott Adams, Dilbert creator, remarked back in September that he was observing a trend. In talking about the flap over Rick Perry calling social security a "ponzi scheme" and Mitt Romney saying "corporations are people" he said "I remember a time when a gaffe meant you were wrong. But apparently being 100% right isn't a defense if you are a conservative."