The Washington Post’s Dan Balz, in writing that Mitt Romney’s rivals lack broad support to clinch the GOP nomination, has tallied up the race so far.
Governor Romney has won six of the 11 contests to date. He finished second in four others and third once, in Minnesota’s caucuses. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, has won four contests, finished second in two others, and run third four times and fourth once. (Santorum’s sweep of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on the same day “provided a huge psychological boost,” Balz points out, “but no delegates.”) Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, finished second in the two contests that followed his South Carolina victory (Florida and Nevada) but finished third or fourth in all the contests since. Ron Paul has a pair of seconds in two contests in the Northeast, but the rest of his finishes are thirds or fourths.
Earlier this week, the director-general of Britain’s license fee-funded BBC, Mark Thompson, gave an astonishing interview, revealing that the BBC consciously and deliberately treats Muslim themes more sensitively than those pertaining to Christianity. A practicing Catholic, he treats Christianity with less sensitivity because it is ‘‘pretty broad-shouldered.’’ Islam, however, is a different story.
Non-Christian faiths are more aligned with ethnicity, he explained, and race is more sensitive, therefore careful treatment is warranted. Moreover, broadcasters must consider the possibility of ”violent threats” when crafting satire:
‘‘Without question, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms,’ is different from, ‘I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write.’ This definitely raises the stakes.’’ Read More
There’s a lot of talk these days among pundits that Mitt Romney has “lost his general election narrative.” We’re told he is “suddenly headed for the kind of political and ideological cul-de-sac that losing presidential candidates often end up occupying.” And that despite winning Michigan, “his path to the White House has narrowed considerably.”
So just for fun, I went back and checked where Ronald Reagan stood in March 1980. And here’s what I found (courtesy of Craig Shirley’s excellent book Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America). As Shirley reports,
Reagan may have been doing well with Republican primary voters, but he still wasn’t breaking through to the general population, according to a new poll in the Chicago Sun-Times. The survey showed that in a matchup against Carter, Reagan would get blown out in Illinois, 60-34. [George H.W.] Bush was doing much better against Carter in Illinois, down only 42-36; Anderson was actually doing better than Carter in Illinois.
On Election Day 1980, Reagan beat Carter 50 percent v. 42 percent in Illinois, with John Anderson winning 7 percent of the vote. Reagan, by the way, beat Carter 489 v. 49 in the Electoral College vote.
Proving once again how fluid the GOP race is, Mitt Romney is now leading Rick Santorum by 16 percent nationally, according to Rasmussen. Just two weeks ago, Santorum was beating Romney in the same poll.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, coming off his primary wins in Arizona and Michigan, has jumped to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters shows Romney with 40 percent support to 24 percent for the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. This is Romney’s biggest lead to date and the highest level of support any GOP candidate has earned in regular surveying of the race. Two weeks ago, it was Santorum 39 percent, Romney 27 percent.
There are two interesting polls from Gallup today worth highlighting.
The first shows that by 53 percent to 45 percent, Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, are more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they are “more enthusiastic than usual about voting” this year. The 53 percent of Republicans who feel more enthusiastic about voting today — as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are engaged in a pitched nomination battle — is greater than the 44 percent found in February 2008, when John McCain and Mike Huckabee were still facing off in the primaries.
Gallup points out that the enthusiasm question is important because, in the last several presidential and midterm elections, the party whose rank-and-file members showed the most enthusiasm about voting toward the end of the campaign either gained congressional seats or won the presidency. It’s important to note, too, that enthusiasm is down among key parts of Barack Obama’s 2008 coalition, including non-whites (down 26 percent compared to this time four years ago) and 18-29 year olds (down 28 percent compared to this time four years ago).
On Tuesday, I discussed the principled decision of the Robert M. Beren Academy, a Jewish Day School in Houston, to forego a chance to win the Texas state parochial and private school basketball championship because their semi-final game was scheduled to be played on Friday night, thereby violating the Sabbath. The team’s willingness to put their religion above sports honored their Orthodox Jewish faith and served as a sterling example to the nation of what religious values really mean.
It is highly unfortunate that the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, which sponsors the state tournament, couldn’t have seen their way to moving up the game’s start to allow it to be completed before sundown on Friday. But a state court has now stepped in to rectify this injustice. After a number of parents of the boys on the Beren Stars team sued the association over its willingness to discriminate against a Jewish school, a judge on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order requiring the group to reschedule the game. In compliance with the judicial fiat, the game will now be played at 2 p.m. on Friday–with Beren on the court.
I wrote earlier this week about the reaction of a representative of Americans for Peace Now about the Arab League’s conference on Jerusalem. The Israel-bashing and denial of Jewish rights and history was so awful it even shocked the representative of a group that is desperately trying to ignore the truth about the unwillingness of the Arab and Muslim world to make peace with Israel. But while less naïve observers expect that from the Arab League, the news that a person connected to the U.S. State Department delivered a vicious denunciation of Israel at the same conference ought to disturb all Americans.
Kenneth R. Insley Jr., was listed on the Doha conference program as a representative of the State Department though his connection with the administration is somewhat tenuous. But a reading of his remarks at the Arab League conference should call into question any future business between his firm and an administration that has been going all out lately to assert the dubious proposition that the president is the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House. Given that his speech was put forward as representing the views of the State Department, Secretary of State Clinton should repudiate Insley’s assertion that Israel is an apartheid state and his assertion that Jews are racist.
This is my second post on this topic, wherein is a discussion on why survey wording matters. The last post dealt with the “Obama is quantitatively ahead of his GOP rivals spin,” which wasn’t technically true and would be irrelevant if it was. This one deals with an issue that’s a little more tangled and open to interpretation – but not much. The question is whether Israelis favor an attack on Iran without the prospect of gaining U.S. support, which they don’t.
This finding is being spun to show they don’t favor an attack over current U.S. public objections. The data shows, bluntly, the opposite.
A new poll [PPT] shows: (a) that Israelis oppose a strike on Iran unless it has American backing, which is being spun as showing that Israelis oppose a strike given Obama’s current stance; and (b) that Israelis prefer President Obama to anyone in the GOP field, which is being spun as showing that Israeli distrust of Obama has been wildly exaggerated. The anti-Israel left is even crowing that the poll undercuts Netanyahu on the eve of his meeting with the president.
The only problem is the survey shows exactly the opposite. On both issues.
The final tally was 51 to 48, on a motion to table an amendment that would allow employers to opt out of an ObamaCare rule mandating them to cover birth control under their health insurance plans. As expected, the vote broke down mainly on party lines:
Leading pro-life organizations called on the Senate to vote for the amendment to the mandate the Obama administration issued, but Democrats banded together against [R]epublicans to defeat it on a 51 to 48 margin by adopting a motion to table, or kill, it. …
The text of the Blunt Amendment consists of the language taken from the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467, H.R. 1179). It would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.
Needless to say, this isn’t a fight Catholic organizations are going to give up on so easily. If anything, this will probably help Republicans during the presidential election by increasing the opposition to ObamaCare. Obviously many Catholic organizations that initially supported the health care reform now have an incentive to support its repeal.
Andrew Breitbart was a revolutionary, and I mean that almost literally. He was one of the few people who seemed to understand in his marrow the transformation of the way we would get and understand news and politics—and how that transformation would undercut the ideological narrowness that was the dominating condition of the media in the second half of the 20th century. And he helped bring about that transformation.
He was also my dear friend—garrulous, cheerful, raging, enthusiastic, hysterical, joyful, frenetic, passionate, untamed, smart, personally modest, technologically ambitious, weirdly visionary, compulsively pugnacious, monomaniacal—hard to take at times, and impossible not to love at all times.
I get that Michigan was a tight race, but come on now:
“You can only look at Michigan and move it from a win for Mitt Romney to a tie race,” [Santorum adviser John] Brabender said on a conference call with reporters. “If we can do this well in Romney’s home state we clearly think this bodes well for Super Tuesday states.”
The latest estimates from CNN showed both candidates with 15 Wolverine State delegates, while Romney is ahead in the popular vote with 41 percent to Santorum’s 38 percent. That leaves none of the 30 total Michigan delegates still in play.
President Obama has received a storm of criticism for apologizing for the accidental Koran burning in Afghanistan, and some of it has been unfair. Mistakes were made at the Bagram Air Base, Afghans were offended, and the president wasn’t necessarily wrong at the time to acknowledge the error.
But it’s quite another thing for Obama to insist his apology worked to quell anti-American violence — and in a sense downplay the horrific way Afghan extremists have used the Koran burning incident to justify attacks on our troops — which he did last night during an interview with ABC:
While Republican presidential candidates and others have criticized Obama’s action, the president told ABC that his letter to [President] Karzai has “calmed things down.”
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Obama said. “But my criteria in any decision I make, getting recommendations from folks who are actually on the ground, is what is going to best protect our folks and make sure that they can accomplish their mission.”
Earlier this week, my colleague Jonathan Tobin wrote about the expansion of the nanny state, this time with the government policing what food stamps recipients can and cannot buy. There is no denying that government food police exist – I don’t need to look further than my hometown of New York City for the proof. Mayor Bloomberg has banned transfats, required restaurants to post their Health Department ratings in their windows, required fast food chains to post their nutritional information on their menus, and the list goes on. I have to disagree with Jonathan, however, on the idea that setting limits on what can be purchased with food stamps by a conservative in the Florida legislature fits into the expansion of nanny state behavior.
The proposed restrictions on food stamps, limiting recipients from buying candy, chips or soda would help eliminate waste and help the program do what it originally set out to do: provide food (not snacks) to the needy. I’m reminded of a post written late last year by a young woman, a college student, who spent two summers working at Walmart. The writer, Christine Rousselle, became a conservative internet sensation writing about how working the register at the low-end retailer reaffirmed her conservative values. She describes incidents she witnessed consistently during the course of her summer job:
People using TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) money to buy such necessities such as earrings, KitKat bars, beer, WWE figurines, and, my personal favorite, a slip n’ slide. TANF money does not have restrictions like food stamps on what can be bought with it.
Extravagant purchases made with food stamps; including, but not limited to: steaks, lobsters, and giant birthday cakes.