Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting it exactly wrong

On Friday, the day after the GOP presidential debate in Iowa, All Things Considered aired a segment purporting to capture the sentiments of Republican voters a day before the much hyped Ames straw poll.

With the exception of one woman who found Mitt Romney a little too low key for her tastes, the insinuated consensus was that the bickering between the two from Minnesota was uncalled for and unhelpful, turning prospective backers of both of them away, while Romney by far looked the most presidential of the bunch. Ron Paul, unsurprisingly, went completely unmentioned (see the entire transcript here).

Well, we know how the story ended. Bachman won, with the unmentionable Ron Paul only half a pace behind. Pawlenty finished third. Romney was beaten by Rick Perry, who wasn't even on the ballot and had to be written in.

Small wonder those who get their news from NPR are clueless (in actuality, it's largely because NPR's listenership skews more heavily female than that of other media outlets, and women are less informed than men are).

Parenthetically, this is the last bit of whining about media bias for awhile, promise.


The Reluctant Apostate said...

Romney won the straw poll in 2007 after spending a good deal of money and effort on it and yet the consequence of it was the emergence of Huckabee as the social conservative candidate because of his second place finish, so he (wisely in my opinion) decided to skip it this year.

Bachman and Pawlenty invested quite a bit in the straw poll this year and Pawlenty in particular staked his campaign on the result (hence his dropping out of the race) and Paul's supporters are almost all activists, so they will overperform in activist venues like the straw poll, but I am pretty sure that he won't take the actual Caucuses, which thought still biased towards activists relative to a full primary have a much higher participation and don't require participants to buy tickets.

Rick Perry's write-in showing is interesting, but I am pretty bearish about his actual chances of winning the nomination. I think that he's a hot commodity at the moment because he's a fresh unknown in a race full of unsatisfying knowns. Once he's scrutinized, his star will fall a bit.

Ultimately, I think that Bachman looks likely to win the Iowa Caucuses barring some unforeseen event (unforeseen events are quite common in campaigns, even if most of the time is occupied repeating the same mantra over and over to different people in different places) and Romney will be looking to do well in other venues. Ron Paul will be a gadfly that performs better than the mainstream gives him credit for, but it won't matter, since he'll still lose.

As for what ultimately happens, we'll have to sit and wait and see.

Ed Tom Kowalsky said...

O, Thaddeus McCotter, where art thou?

Audacious Epigone said...


Solid analysis, I don't see anything to disagree with. Thanks.


He managed a whopping 35 votes. But at least he showed up on all the press graphics instead of being grouped in the "others" category. It's probably the first time the vast majority of people have ever seen his name.

read it said...

The first primary should be Texas, not Iowa or New Hampshire. Texas' demographics are much closer to national averages than Iowa or New Hampshire. Really though the first primary should be random and not determined until like 18 months before the election. A permanent political machine has been set up in Iowa and New Hampshire. It would be good for politicians to have to go the primaries in a new completely different and altogether unexpected order for each election cycle.