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29 Feb 2012 01:30


Politics: Unsurprisingly, female voters like Romney more than Santorum–at least in Michigan

  • 1% margin by which Mitt Romney won the male vote tonight in Michigan
  • 5% margin by which Romney won the female vote source
  • » Why? Well, these statements in opposition to placing female soldiers on the front lines of battle may have had something to do with it. Or maybe it’s his opposition to abortion, or his opposition to contraception. Santorum may be aware of this deficit he faces: As Molly Ball at The Atlantic notes, “Santorum began his speech by thanking his mother, his wife, and his eldest daughter at length, emphasizing their professional bona fides. He seemed to be implicitly going out of his way to assure women he took a modern view of their place in the workplace and role in society.”

27 Feb 2012 16:03


Politics: Ron Paul hasn’t attacked Romney once during the debates

  • Ron and Mitt, bosom buddies: A lot has been made of the mysterious affinity between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. In addition Romney offering his private jet for Paul’s use, many note that, despite sharing almost none of the same policy positions, the two rarely go after each other during debates. ThinkProgress analyzed the forums, and its findings seem to confirm this: During the 20 Republican forums, Paul hasn’t attacked Romney once. We’d like to learn more about their methodology before drawing any hard conclusions from this (what counts as an “attack?”); we’re also curious as to why candidates like Jon Huntsman and Herman Cain weren’t included in the analysis [Edit: Herman Cain is actually represented on the chart; thanks to robajob for pointing that out]. Nevertheless, it is a rather odd phenomena, with explanations ranging from “they’re just friends” to “Romney promised Ron Paul’s son the VP slot” (which seems rather far-fetched, but not altogether impossible). It’s nice to have some numbers to back up the observation, and it’ll be interesting to see how the two handle Virginia’s primary, where they’re the only two candidates on the ballot. [many thanks to ThinkProgress, both for the analysis and the image] source

29 Jan 2012 23:09


Politics: Conservative columnist: Newt, please shut up

  • Time is not Newt Gingrich’s friend, because the more time he has, the more he talks.
  • George Will on “This Week”• Regarding the hazardous effects of Newt Gingrich’s prolonged loquacity. Will was reacting in part to Gingrich’s allegation, made earlier on the same show, that Mitt Romney is a “maniacal liar.”  Just last month, Gingrich had pledged to run “a positive campaign focused on our country’s future;” guess that’s easy to say when you’re the frontrunner.  source

20 Dec 2011 22:47


Politics: Supervillain? Or Newt Gingrich?

  • “Celebrating our next president’s best ideas:” This wonderful little website presents you with a proposal, and then asks you to guess whether it came from Newt Gingrich, or a supervillain from a movie/comic book/etc. It’s harder than it looks; we follow Gingrich pretty well, and we only scored 50%. source

13 Dec 2011 21:15


Politics: Newt stumbles, Paul and Santorum gain

  • Newtiny on the bounty? This is the second poll this week indicating a slip in Newt Gingrich’s support. The winners are Ron Paul and Rick Santorum (and, to a lesser degree, Jon Huntsman), all of whom saw gains since the beginning of the month. Gingrich’s favorability dropped 19 points in the last week, and on the question of who has “stronger values,” Romney beats him by 21 points. Meanwhile, the oft-forgotten Gary Johnson–who, it’s worth saying, is a libertarian who holds many of the same positions as Paul–is still stuck at 1%. source

13 Dec 2011 20:51


Politics: This 1995 profile of Newt Gingrich is a fun read

  • I would really love to spend six months to a year in the Amazon basin, just being able to spend the day watching tree sloths.
  • Newt Gingrich • In a 1995 Vanity Fair profile. There are lots of fun tidbits in this piece. Even back then, Gingrich was thinking of a presidential run, but his then-wife Marrianne didn’t approve. “I don’t want him to be president,” she said, “and I don’t think he should be” (he eventually divorced her). Newt often describes himself oddly journalistic terms, as if he’s a pundit writing an op-ed column, and this was true in 1995 as well.  He says here that he’s “a mythical person,” “a psychodrama living out a fantasy,” and that “what makes me unusually intense is that I personalize the pain of war, the pain of children being killed.” source

13 Dec 2011 17:45


Politics: Is Newt Gingrich beginning to fade?

  • 37.7% Newt’s support from Nov. 30-Dec. 3; that is, in the couple of days before Herman Cain withdrew from the race
  • 24.4% Newt’s support–in the same poll–from Dec. 3-Dec. 7, the first few days after Cain withdrew source
  • » What’s going on here? Actually, we’re not sure. Common wisdom says that Cain’s support flocked to Gingrich after the former dropped out of the race (or, sorry, “suspended” his campaign). So how come the same University of Iowa poll–taken in the state over a weeklong period–shows a drastic fall in the former House Speaker’s support after Cain’s exit? Of course, the standard “this is just one poll” disclaimer still applies; this could just be an anomaly. But a 13.3% decline in one week is significant, and outside the poll’s margin of error. Given the boom-bust tendency of the GOP field this year, we can’t help but wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Newt (note: it’s rather unusual for a polling house to make available the intra-week trends of a single poll; much respect to Reuters, who co-sponsored this poll, for doing so).

07 Dec 2011 17:51


Politics: Gingrich and Pelosi, reachin’ across the aisle

  • 418 bills co-sponsored by Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich source
  • » Bipartisan support: For twelve years, Pelosi and Gingrich served together in the House of Representatives, and supported a total of 418 bills together. That’s an average of 34.83 pieces of legislation per year that enjoyed Pelosi/Gingrich support (at least, that’s what our team of math experts tells us; we didn’t have time to check their work). One such bill was the Global Warming Prevention act of 1989, the memory of which probably won’t do Gingrich any favors in the Republican primary (relatedly, neither will this). It should be noted, however, that much of this was non-contentious legislation, such as one honoring the 50th anniversary of the National Heart, Lung and Blood instituted.

05 Dec 2011 14:15


Politics: Gingrich leads in Iowa…but so what?

  • 8 points Newt Gingrich’s  (average) lead in Iowa, one month before the caucuses
  • 73% historical win record (in Iowa) of presidential candidates who lead one month out. However…
  • 40% historical win record of candidates, like Gingrich, who only lead by single-digits source
  • » The point here isn’t that Gingrich won’t win. It’s that that attempting to predict election results based on polls is tricky, and remains tricky even when you factor in historical precedent. To drive the point home even further: Ronald Reagan led in Iowa polls by about 9 points a month prior to the caucuses. He ended up losing (to his future VP, George H.W. Bush), but then ultimately came back to win the nomination, making his Iowa loss more or less irrelevant. Every election has its own quirks and nuances; Gingrich is looking good in Iowa right now, no doubt, but so was Herman Cain before him, and Rick Perry before him, and Michele Bachmann before him.

21 Nov 2011 14:14


Politics: The pun we were all waiting for

  • This is, in fact, the official name of Gingrich’s New Hampshire effort. Hopefully, “Mitt Hampshire” will follow, maybe with a banner image that’s a little less self-parodical. source