Thursday, January 12, 2012

For Whom Would you Vote in the South Carolina Primary?

The polls just closed in New Hampshire with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the lead, Ron Paul looks to be in second and Jon Huntsman in third. More detailed information should be available soon.

So, where do we go from here? Herman Cain is gone, Michelle Backman is gone and everyone else looks damaged. Mitt Romney keeps winning and leading in the polls, yet I hardly ever hear anyone who seems really thrilled by his candidacy. Will Romney be the nominee? Can you support him? Will South Carolina narrow the field to only one potential competitor to Romney? Who will that be?

As all who follow politics know, the Iowa caucus was won by Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum closely followed. Below are the results of the Iowa caucus.

Mitt Romney30,01524.6%
Rick Santorum30,00724.5%
Ron Paul26,21921.4%
Newt Gingrich16,25113.3%
Rick Perry12,60410.3%
Michele Bachmann
Jon Huntsman
Herman Cain
Buddy Roemer
No Preference

After Santorum's come-from-way- behind win in Iowa, I am going to take a closer look at Santorum but fear his emphasis on social issues will not play well in a general election. I just don't think that is where our party's emphasis should be.  While I do think that one can hold a moral view that is different than one's policy objectives as President, I am still turned off by Santorum's views on birth control. I don't think he would try to ban birth control, mind you; I just have a hard time embracing one with those views. However, that would not be a factor in my support for him if he otherwise inspired or motivated me. I really don't know what it is, but I can't get excited about Santorum. He just doesn't look like the kind of guy I would want to have a beer with.

I have been a supporter of Newt Gingrich, getting on the Newt bandwagon in early November after about a week each of liking Bachman, Cain and Perry. I had a hard time getting very enthused about any of our candidates then I saw a debate between Cain and Gringrich and was so impressed with Gingrich that I remembered why I liked him so much when he was Speaker. I am still hanging in there with Newt but am now a weak supporter. My enthusiasm is waning. I am beginning to think electability is a more important factor than other factors. I am now not so sure Republicans should gamble on Newt. I still think he is the smartest of the bunch, but not sure he can win a general election against Obama. For the many people who primarily vote based on a gut lever reaction rather than thinking much about the issue, I am afraid Newt negatives would outweigh his positives.

No matter that Ron Paul has done well in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, I just do not believe he will be the Republican nominee. He is just too far outside the mainstream. I just hope the libertarian Republicans do not go play in the Libertarian Party. A defection from a defeated Ron Paul would guarantee an Obama election.

I have been opposed to Mitt Romney, but I am not sure there is an alternative who has electability. I so fear that our country will hardly be recognizable if we have four more years of Obama, that I may go with the electable Romney over smart guy Newt.  I also going to give Mitt another chance to convince me he is sufficiently conservative to deserve my support and he will lead the country rather than chase opinion polls. 

I attended First Tuesday last week and a secret poll was taken of those attending. First Tuesday is an important monthly Republican luncheon here in Nashville. It is hard to estimate the attendance but maybe two to three hundred people attend. In the First Tuesday poll, Mitt Romney was the overwhelming favorite. Of course First Tuesday is attended by committed Republican who can take a long lunch break and may reflect a more establishment point of view than the average Republican voter. Still, I was surprised by the level of support for Mitt. I did not take notes but he got about half of all votes cast at this event.

I ran a pre-Iowa poll here on Disgruntled Republican. The poll was up for about ten days and sixty-eight people voted. It ended the day of the Iowa primary. I wanted to see who visitors of this blog supported. Newt Gingrich came in first getting 26% of the votes cast, followed by Ron Paul in second place with 25% and then Mitt Romney.  Below are the totals:

Newt Gingrich        18  (26%)
Ron Paul               17  (25%)
Mitt Romney          12  (17%)
Jon Huntsman          6   (8%)
Rick Perry                6  (8%)
Michele Bachmann  6  (8%)

Rick Santorum         3 (4%)

Please tell me who you support and why I should get behind your candidate. Any good essays will be posted as stand alone post in addition to being printed in the comments section of this post.
I am posted a new poll. If you were voting in the South Carolina Primary, for whom would you votePlease cast your vote in the poll to the left. This poll will run from now through Saturday, January 21, 2012, the day of the South Carolina primary. This poll is only running for ten days. Please vote. Despite withdrawing from the race, the names Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Gary Johnson will still appear on the South Carolina ballot.

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