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With one day left, Iowa contest is wide open

By DOUG THOMPSON
A Capitol Hill Blue News Analysis
January 2, 2012

Mitt Romney: Can he win Iowa?

With a day to go before the Iowa caucuses, the only thing that anyone can say for sure that will happen is that anything can happen.

Mitt Romney, never considered strong in Iowa, is leading the latest polls by a slight margin over  Ron Paul but Rick Santorum is surging and threatening to capture at least second if not an upset win.

Paul, under constant attack for his foreign policy views and unanswered questions about his role in the racist-tinged newsletters that bore his name in the 1980s and 1990s, appears to be fading in the stretch.

“The increased media scrutiny of Ron Paul is hurting him, there’s no doubt about that,” Iowa GOP political activist Don Haskell tells Capitol Hill Blue. “That’s helping Rick Santorum but Romney is benefiting as well.”

But this is Iowa, where anything can — and often does — happen.  The latest Des Moines Register poll shows at least 41 percent of likely caucus goers still undecided on their choice for the GOP Presidential nomination.

With one day to go, Romney leads at 24 percent, Paul is second at 22 percent and Santorum at 17 percent.  Former front-runner Newt Gingrich continues his collapse — down to 14 percent — and everybody else is an also-ran.

Going into the final day of campaigning, Romney appeared the most relaxed.  He drew the largest crowds of any candidate at weekend campaign stops while Ron Paul made the weekend talk show circuit but came across as agitated and uneasy when questioned about his newsletters and extreme positions.

Questioned by ABC’s Jake Tapper about reports that he supported 9/11 conspiracy theories, Paul lost his cool, calling the reports “nonsense.”  Paul has grown increasingly short-tempered as questions increase over his newsletters, his support for conspiracy theories and his isolationist foreign policy.

Santorum raised eyebrows over the weekend when he suggested President Barack Obama, “as black man,” should be pro-life.  Some critics found the remark racially-tinged.

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21 Responses to With one day left, Iowa contest is wide open

  1. Sandune

    January 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

    41% undecided! Still! I wonder if a Fiscal Conservativre unencumbered by social issures would not take the whole thing, if one could be found.

    Happy New Year, Chief. It should be an interesting and wonderful year for political news and debate.

  2. Hal Brown

    January 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Anyone else here ever actually been in Iowa? I drove through the center of the state on Route 80 on my coast to coast journey in June. I stopped at a lovely well-maintained rest stop. There’s an interesting sign about the Godly Iowa Amana communal colonies whose constitution declared the God should remain forever the foundation of their civil union.

    I posted a few photos on my Facebook page which is the usual Facebook logon followed by /halb

    • Danny Adams

      January 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Hal–I’ve been to Burlington, which is where my grandmother and her father’s family came from. It’s a small, gorgeous city on the Mississippi River that used to be a major riverboat stop. If for some reason I couldn’t live in Virginia, then Burlington, Iowa would be tied at the top of my list of a new home with a very few other locales.

  3. Sandune

    January 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Never been through there, Hal but I do know from being aware of the Caucus actions from 1999 to the present time that the voters are very much the center of the bible belt.

    There is a tragic story about Senator Santorum that could have a sad ending for his candidacy. His wife became very ill during the last months of one of her pregnancies and a massive infection would have killed her and the fetus unless action was taken to end the pregnancy. Rick did the only thing he should and could have done and it resulted in the termination of the pregnancy.

    He is now running on an agenda of no abortions for any reasons and that is very sad for me to swallow as I am a woman and have dealt with many situations like this within my work and friends. I lost a baby when I fell off a ladder and the emotions flooded through me with such a horror that I still have trouble with what happened.

    Woman across America will not vote for this man who put the fear of God into the family of Terri Shaivo when her husband wanted her body to be allowed to die as her brain was long dead. It is the reason I will work for the Separation of Church and State as long as I can.

  4. woody188

    January 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Is it increased media scrutiny or increased media misrepresentation that is hurting Ron Paul?

    Isolationist is not equal to Non-interventionist. Media should educate itself on this point or prove themselves more irrelevant.

    The only 9/11 theory Paul has supported is the one put forward by Junior Bush and Mayor Guiliani. That’s the one where the terrorist ID card fell right in front of them all the while claiming the fire was hot enough to melt steel. You know, that one that the 9/11 Commission Report members said they were being obstructed from investigating?

    Paul didn’t storm off from the CNN interview. After 8 minutes of questioning, many of which were spent repeating the same answer to the same question concerning the newsletters, Paul attempts to remove his microphone. A CNN staffer offers to help him remove the microphone and does, at which point the reporter asks him if he understands that they have to ask those questions. He replies, “I understand…it’s how the system works.” He then walks off camera. The full clip is readily available.

    Are sound money, real defense not empire, restoring and maintaining our Constitution, and living within our means extremist positions?

    Let’s keep it honest and educated folks. Just because politicians lie and dumb things down doesn’t mean we should do the same.

    • Doug Thompson

      January 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Woody:

      We never claimed he “stormed out.” We said he “walked out,” which is exactly what he did. If you’re going to accuse us of misrepresenting Saint Ron make sure you’re not misrepresenting us.

      • woody188

        January 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        Perhaps it was the use of words and phrases like “testy, short-tempered, and lost his cool” in the recent articles that led me to the use of “stormed.” I stand corrected.

        That said, you must admit the continued use of “isolationist” to describe Paul is inaccurate.

        While I do support many of the same ideas as Paul, I don’t necessarily support the candidate. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that someone that has been in Congress as long as Dr. Paul can’t be what he claims.

        Unfortunately, Paul is the only one that is even partially credible that might actually do something beneficial for myself, a middle-class US citizen. All the others I might as well expect to own only Chinese made goods, send my two boys to war, and expect no privacy, justice or due process. That’s just the sad state of affairs we have today. It’s really no choice at all. No sainthood required.

        • Doug Thompson

          January 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

          Considering how you Paulites like to parse the words of others , I’m surprised you excuse yourself so easily. :)

          Sorry, but I do admit Paul is not an isolationist. You might be able to spin others here with the claim that he is not but I’m not falling for it. In my opinion, he is a classic isolationist and will be called one here.

          • Carl Nemo **==

            January 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm

            Why has the word “isolationism” become so repugnant to some folks?

            Surely they’ve seen what globalism along with planetary labor arbitrage has done to them, especially U.S. citizens.

            Militarily we’ve got our nose in everyone’s business while destroying our nation financially iln the process. Real smart…no? Chinese military strategists are laughing their butts off watching us self-destruct.

            Thousands of U.S. cities and communities have been gutted out and destroyed by offshoring and outsourcing of in house functions to China, India, Malaysia, Viet Nam and the Philippines. H1-b visas issued to professionals so they can take the higher paying jobs from our college grads and our credentialed work force.

            We live in a twisted world where globalist slanted, right-thoughtedness has become that which damages us as a nation while anything that’s linked to protectionism, isolationism, tariffs or America first has been relegated to that of being politically incorrect or worse. Seemingly Ron Paul is a traitor relative to corporate America; I.E., manufacturing, banking, brokerage, insurers, the MIC and the ‘oil patch’ and just about anyone else that will sell out this nation all for a buck, euro, shekel or yuan more.

            I’m sure George Orwell is marveling beyond the grave, knowing his “1984” societal construct has become a reality. / : |

            Carl Nemo **==

    • Bill Cravener

      January 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      “Are sound money, real defense not empire, restoring and maintaining our Constitution, and living within our means extremist positions?”

      No, but what I find ludicrous is that the Paulites honestly believe that Ron Paul as President could achieve any of that. We see division in our government now please explain to me how RP could do anything what-so-ever to make our government work. Its delusional desperation to think Saint Paul could save us. He’s a odd little old man who would never accomplish a thing except divide.

      • woody188

        January 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        There is that one power, called a veto, that would allow him to limit the damage that Congress is causing to our Constitution. Dr. No might be just what we need to stop things like the NDAA from getting enacted.

      • woody188

        January 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

        I guess I’m saying I’d rather see no progress than further progress into tyranny. What’s the point of moving forward if you are going in the wrong direction?

      • griff

        January 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

        The same could well be said about Obama’s “historic” campaign and subsequent election in 2008. Of course I knew at the time that nothing would change in terms of fiscal and foreign policy; other than making things worse, that is. Mainstream Democrats are as fake as mainstream Republicans when it comes to “Change” for the better.

        Personally, I believe that a change in rhetoric, a change in the dialog in Washington, and a change in philosophy is worth the effort and support. What we have now is not working, and it hasn’t in a very long time. No one promises any thing but more of the same.

        Will Paul be able to do much? Probably not by himself. But what of the American People? Have we any more say? Have we had enough yet? Are we really interested in righting what’s wrong in this country? Do we have the balls for real change, or are we content to be told what to believe and what to think, what is right and what is wrong?

        The system is rotten. Every one knows it. No one truly wants to change it. It won’t change overnight, and restoring this country will take hard work and determination over many years. But it has to start some where, and that will require the American People to wake up to the reality of our situation and take the first step.

        The reality is that both parties have played their own part in getting us to this point. Neither party has any definitive solution.

        Tinkering with the tax code won’t do it.

        Bombing our way across the planet won’t do it.

        Playing second fiddle to China won’t do it.

        Printing endless amounts of Monopoly money won’t do it.

        Time to put on your big boy pants, America!

        • griff

          January 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

          And living in fear won’t do it…

  5. Carl Nemo **==

    January 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    “The increased [media scrutiny] of Ron Paul is hurting him, there’s no doubt about that,” Iowa GOP political activist Don Haskell tells Capitol Hill Blue. “That’s helping Rick Santorum but Romney is benefiting as well.” …extract from article my brackets

    Obviously as usual the ‘fix is in’…no? The shadowy powerbrokers that own this nation lock, stock and barrel use their solely owned MSM outlets to steer the unwashed masses towards their preordained choices. In the end the general election is simply used to allow the electorate to indemnify their corporatist friendly selections. These guys could seemingly get a ‘ham sandwich’ elected to our highest office.

    A few weeks back Mitt was the man, then Newt, then Paul (oops)!? Now we have Rick Santorum popping towards the top out of nowhere? / : | I suggest folks in Iowa select ‘ham sandwich’ for the nomination. It will be far more palatable then the ‘junk food’ candidates we are now being offered.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. woody188

    January 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Someone at PPP forgot to modify their graphic to match their claims that Romney was ahead of Paul. Doh!

    The claim was Romney leads with 19 percent, followed by Paul with 18 percent and Santorum with 17 percent.

    Which leads one to think that perhaps they shaved 2 points off Paul’s total. That’s classic poll manipulation. They do the same thing when counting actual votes. The rule is one can’t change an election except about 10 percent from the actual total because the people figure it out. Ask any dictator.

  7. Sandune

    January 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    How Paul does in Iowa is redundant. I will be anticipating a better set of numbers in Illinois, Florida and California. I am not impressed with that silly man who was appointed head of the Republican National Committee when it comes down to the final decision.

    I remember the morning that Goldwater got the nomination for the 1964 Republican election. I woke up that morning with a very slight back ache and jumped into the shower and came out to fix Ray’s breakfast when I knew I may not make it to the hospital. I made it out of the car and then whamo here came J.J.in the lobby. I got cleaned up and caught a ride home to watch the Convention and the excitement of having a candidate. My mother and step father drove over and realized I had left the baby at the hospital. It was the best idea as I had a problem with being O negative and they wanted to keep her overnight. I picked her up the next day and was pleased I was able to watch the whole convention from San Francisco. It was a date to remember.

  8. eve

    January 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    You can’t trust polls.
    They can be manipulated.
    The MSM reporting them is owned by the “Shadowy” figures who also fund the campaigns and send in lobbyists like mercenaries looking to put a hit on US citizen representation.

    Paul is better than the rest of the candidates (in my opinion) although this is NO achievement because hey are mostly liars and scoundrels.

    Their words would say differently, but their works/votes prove otherwise.

  9. Sandune

    January 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    good comments Eve. I’m not so certain that expensive television ads are going to win anyone the seat. Tomorrow Gingrich is putting all his money in nasty ads to take down Romney. It will come back and hurt him in the long run. Romney has a teflon coating but may be the only Conservative standing who will ignore the social issues.

    Romney is a Mormon and has faced the bigotry from the Christians all his life and like many Jews that I know, have been made stronger for it. For years, my own grandparents hid their Mormonism until WW2 and then they put their survival training to use and became great neighbors to all others.

    I agree that Ron Paul is not a game player and has been consistent for the last 25 years on his agenda.

  10. Gregg

    January 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

    IMHO, the primary will be seen as anticlimatic and/or just plain deflating for the voters.

    And, of course, the media will turn it into a provocative circus that will immediately lead into speculations on the outcome of the next primary.

    Can you image the billions in revenue the media would lose if true political campaign fund reform (allowing only voters to donate a limited amount) was passed?

  11. Sandune

    January 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    The Republicans have gone ape chit crazy today. One of my LP sites just blew up at me for mentioning Ron Paul’s name I told him I was a Secular Humanist and he gave me a full paragraph about how Christians will demand that America destroy Islam and for that reason they must have control of the White House. I can’t even quote his words as they were terrible. The guy runs a Libertarian site and he is loco nuts. I emailed Lew Rockwell (an old friend) and Lew explained that the guy was a heavy-duty Republican. No wonder I left the Party. One of my oldest friends is on the war path with all the LP members as they too want out of all the other nations.

    I thought last night’s football game was exciting but it can’t hold a candle to the caucus results tonight.