Saturday, January 28, 2012

The 2012 Republican primary debate schedule

The last one, Jan. 22, Jacksonville, FL:
8 PM ET on CNN

Feb. 22 at the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona [before the Arizona and Michigan primaries]
8 PM ET on CNN. Sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona.

Cancelled: March 1, at a Georgia location [before March 6, Super-Tuesday]
8 PM ET on CNN
All but Gingrich pulled out of the debate; see this National Journal report.

Cancelled: March 5, at Reagan Library, Simi, California [also preceding Super Tuesday]

March 19, at Portland, Oregon
9 PM ET on PBS. Sponsored by: Oregon Public Broadcasting, NPR, PBS, The Washington Times and the Oregon Republican Party.


* * *
Righty groups endorsements for 2012 Republican presidential nominee:
CPU's CPAC February 9 to 11 in the Marriott in Washington DC: they chose Mitt Romney over Rick Santorum, 38 percent over 31 percent.
Here's their meeting's program:

Earlier post:
Reportage on them; they are getting nervous about the nomination and President Obama. They might surprise us and endorse Romney; they've endorsed him in the past.

But then, see how the evangelicals' endorsement of Rick Santorum was ineffectual. They endorsed, and Gingrich swept the next primary, South Carolina.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

BREAKING: Court: Only Romney & Paul Qualify for Va. Ballot - No Newt or Rick in Virginia

Just in:
A court ruling today (January 21, 2012) confirms that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia GOP primary ballot. Thus, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will not be on the ballot.
Virginia law requires 10,000 signatures to get a candidate onto the ballot.
Source:, from Christian Science Monitor (

The Missouri caucus (March 17) also does not have former House Speaker Gingrich. Yet, it has everyone else on the ballot, even orthodox libertarian Gary Johnson. (The state has a non-binding primary on February 7.)

Ah, the chickens come home: Remember how much Republicans wanted loyalty oaths from Americans from the 1940s to the 1960s (and in some places until the 1980s)?
Well, now that courts are keeping the super Tuesday (March 6) primary a two-man race Virginia politicians are embarrassed by the oaths they wanted to impose on voters, binding them to support the Republican nominee for president.
A divisive “loyalty oath” requiring voters in Virginia’s March Republican presidential primary to support the eventual GOP nominee is being removed from the ballot in an expedited, last-minute request from the state Republican Party.

Scrambling to meet a Friday deadline for finalizing primary ballots, Virginia Republican chairman Pat Mullins and the party’s executive director, Dave Rexrode, polled the state party’s governing central committee by phone and e-mail.
The committee voted overwhelmingly to reverse its December decision to place the pledge on the GOP ballots, and the Virginia Republican executive committee made the decision official.

The central committee had planned to vote at a special meeting on Saturday, said Lee E. Goodman, an attorney and longtime adviser to the party, “but that would have been too late. The ballots are sent out on Friday.”

Rexrode rushed the executive committee’s authorization to Donald Palmer, executive secretary of the State Board of Elections, who said the proviso was being struck from the ballot.

Republicans, long suspicious that independents and Democrats were meddling with their nominating process in primaries, saw the pledge as a way to address the concern in a state where voters do not register by party affiliation. Virginia Republicans sometimes hold statewide conventions to ensure that only credentialed Republicans select their nominees.

Mullins began working to reverse the decision when it drew condemnation from across the political spectrum.

The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the GOP unless it was rescinded. Democrats ridiculed it, saying it defines the GOP as an exclusionary party.
Read the full link below for end of the AP story.
From the Washington Post, from the AP, January 17, 2012: "Va. Republicans ask state elections board to delete loyalty oath from March primary ballot".

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Update: Best page for 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries dates, # of delegates, winner-take-all or proportional

My developing table on 2012 Primaries and Caucuses for the Republican Presidential Nomination: (parentheses = probably)
The Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida, August 27 (Monday) to 30 (Thursday), 2012.
State Date (Sat. elections in italics) Caucus or primary Open or closed Winner-Take-All or proportional Number of delegates
Iowa evangelical January 3 Caucus Closed Proportional 28
New Hampshire libertarian but New England January 10 Primary Open to Republi- cans and Indepen- dents Proportional 12
South Carolina evangelical January 21 Primary Open Winner-take-all 25
Florida evangelical, Old South north; cosmopolitan southern section January 31 Primary Closed Winner-take-all 50
Nevada libertarian West; besieged with foreclosures February 4 Caucus Closed Proportional 28
Maine (municipal level) February 4 to 11 Caucus Closed Determined at precinct level (Likely WTA) 24
Colorado social conserv., but libertarian February 7 Caucus Closed Unbound 36
Minnesota February 7 Caucus Open Unbound 40
Missouri (non-binding, see 3/17 cauc.) February 7 Primary Modified Alloct. at convention 52
Arizona February 28 Primary Closed WTA 29
Michigan February 28 Primary Closed Proportional (15% threshold) 30
Washington March 3 Caucus Closed Mixed WTA/Proportional 43
Alaska March 6 Caucus 27
Georgia March 6 Primary 76
Idaho March 6 Caucus 32
Massachusetts March 6 Primary 41
North Dakota March 6 Caucus 28
Ohio March 6 Primary 66
Oklahoma March 6 Primary 43
Tennessee March 6 Primary 58
Vermont March 6 Primary 17
Virginia March 6 Primary 49
Wyoming March 6 to March 10 Caucus (County Convention) 29
Table in progress. Corrections, comments are welcome.
Aside from the above table,
the following is the link for THE best site for the races for the 2012 Republican presidential nominating convention:
The Florida and Virginia primaries (January 31 and March 6, and 50 delegates and 46 delegates, respectively) will be pivotal. Florida will be a winner-take-all state.
Florida polls hours: they are open 7 AM to 7 PM (yet, the West Florida Panhandle votes has a later deadline, as the 7 PM Central Time closing time is 8 PM Eastern Time.
Virginia winner-take-all at the district level; WTA at state level if a candidate gets a majority. These Virginia rules will be moot, since Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only ones that qualified for the ballot, one of the two will get a majority, of course.
So, in essence, Virginia is throwing the nomination to Romney, with its ballot qualification rules.

The following states had their allotted delegate counts reduced by 50 percent for moving their primary election dates earlier: New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Michigan.
1,128 delegates are needed for the Republican nomination; 2,255 delegates are available.

The site, "The Green Papers: Presidential Primaries 2012: Republican Delegate Selection and Voter Eligibility", gives a wide range of important details: not just election date, but also indications for primary or caucus, winner take all or proportional, number of delegates:

Other authoritative reference: --but only for first five elections

Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum

Gentically modified food may be harming our health

And when shopping, do we know which foods are modified and if so how?
"How Genetically Modified Foods Could Affect Our Health in Unexpected Ways: Yet another reason to test GMOs for safety.
January 11, 2012 from AlterNet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Primaries, the Whiteness of Iowa, NH; Low Unemployment Rates

It is very curious that we are giving so much first in the nation stock to two states that are hardly representative of the United States.

Iowa and New Hampshire both have white populations of over 90 percent (IA: 92.6%, NH: 94.8%, for the 2005 to 2009 year range). The national figure for the white population is 74.5 percent. In Iowa and New Hampshire, of the other groups, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or Latino and Native American, none exceed five percent.

(See, for example, this Fact Sheet at the U.S. Census' FactFinder site:
(By the way, on January 20, 2012, the Census' new portal will be : )

More diverse Florida and Nevada
At the end of January and at the beginning of February, will come the primaries in Florida and Nevada.
Florida of course has a larger percentage of Latino voters, as compared to Iowa or New Hampshire.
Nevada will also be a more diverse state than the first primary or caucus states. It has become a magnet for Asian heritage Americans. Demographers in a USA Today article ("In a twist, USA's Asians are heading to the Mountain West" [7/6/2008], ) hypothesize that Asians are doing what middle class whites have done for decades: moved to different states, to find easier costs of living. Nevada in the 2004 to 2009 period had an Asian percentage (6.2 %) higher than the national average of 4.4 percent. (Las Vegas' Asian percentage is 5.9 percent.
The 2008 USA Today article reports:
Filipinos are the largest Asian group here, at about 45%. Chinese are the next at 15%, Japanese and Koreans make up 9% each, Asian Indians and Vietnamese represent about 5% each, and other Asians make up 12%.

Because the Asian community is still relatively small in numbers, ethnic divisions are not as distinct as in places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York.
Given voting patterns that we have seen in California and New Jersey, a "purple" or swing state status, between Republican red and Democratic blue could be in the cards for Nevada. The state might be a potential President Obama win in November and the Democrats might take the Republican senate seat there this year.

Ah hah!: Iowa and New Hampshire unemployment rates out of sync with the nation
Will the unemployment rates of South Carolina, Florida and Nevada provide a contrast in voting patterns to voting patterns in low unemployment states of Iowa and Hampshire?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site ( ), which uses December 20, 2011 data for the latest reported state-by-state unemployment figures:
The first states had some of the lower unemployment statistics:
Iowa, number 6 for lowest unemployment: 5.7 percent
New Hampshire was number 4 with 5.4 percent unemployed

South Carolina's primary (January 21) should bring out more of the mood affected by unemployment: ranking 42 in lowest unemployment (translation: one of the ten worst states for joblessness) with 9.9 percent unemployed.
Florida's rate (the state has its primary on January 31): 10.0 percent without jobs.
Nevada's caucuses (February 4) likewise has 13.0 percent unemployment, the worst in the nation.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Romney and demographics in NH primary vote; demogs & past votes for anticipating 1/21 SC and 1/31 FL votes

What exit polls tell us on which candidate did well with which voters:
In the 2012 NH primary Romney went very well with Catholic voters; this should portend well for him in central and southern Florida.

Looking at voting patterns: Romney did well in college educated towns; these predominate throughout central and southern NH (see map in census page). (scroll down on this page for the key quote:

South Carolina does not look like that: these are only in Columbia and the Atlantic coast.
In the January 19, 2008 primary Romney placed fourth there with 15.3 percent (on other hand his mirror, McCain led the field there -3 points ahead of Huckabee).
Gingrich will probably pull ahead of Santorum: he's from next door; Santorum is from Penn, and has an Italian name. Giuliani, a media darling in '08 placed sixth behind Ron Paul.
In South Carolina, expect a Gingrich-Romney battle for first, followed by Santorum, Paul, Huntsman.
In Florida, however, in 2008 Giuliani placed third. Expect Romney to win in Florida. Huntsman should show his best showing since NH in Florida.

Expect Ron Paul to slow down in the south: he place 7.8 in NH in '08; and half that in SC and FL. Anyway, word is that Paul is slowing down his race, shifting emphasis to the caucus states, which return on the 2012 scene next month in Nevada and Maine. Speaking of Nevada, expect Romney to pull ahead there, as he took the state in '08. Paul got his highest percentage of votes up to that point, 13.73 percent.

Border paranoia really doesn't play first place. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, 2008 specialists in the immigrants and border card, got miniscule percentages in South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. Hunter dropped out of race after SC.

Friday, January 6, 2012

South Carolina Time Bomb for Romney in Bain-Created Job Losses?

Under Romney, Bain Capital Made Millions From South Carolina Business That Shut Down, Laid Off 150 Workers --From ThinkProgress, December 19, 2011.

Wonder if laid off South Carolina workers will tell neighbors in Gaffney, S.C. (in Cherokee County on the I-85 path between Greenville and Charlotte north of the border in North Carolina) about how good Bain Capital was to Holson Burns Group workers, and how Republican primary voters there will act on January 21, on hearing the news .... (Romney sounds like more of job killer than a job creator.)
In a wayward attempt to rebrand himself as a middle-class hero, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is running headlong into his history with Bain Capital. Not only does the firm have a history of making millions by buying up and gutting companies, but Romney also secured a plush retirement deal from Bain that brought him “millions of dollars in income each year.”

Of course, Romney has tried to spin his private sector role as that of a “job creator.” But a closer look at Bain’s modus operandi reveals that firm spent a lot of time laying off company employees rather than hiring them — all while turning a profit. More than 20 years ago, Bain — with Romney at the helm — opened a new plant in Gaffney, South Carolina with the promise of “highly anticipated manufacturing jobs,” only to shut down that plant four years later, laying off 150 workers while making millions:

More than two decades ago, Mitt Romney’s business venture came to town with a bounty of highly anticipated manufacturing jobs. The new plant, just past the gas station off Interstate 85, needed skilled workers to churn out thousands of photo albums.

Four years later, the Holson Burns Group Inc. – the company controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital LLC – closed the factory and laid off about 150 workers. Some jobs were sent north, where months later many of those were also eliminated. Other operations went overseas. [...]

For Bain, the plan was a financial success: Holson Burnes raised $24 million from its initial public offering on the over-the-counter trading market, with Bain executives retaining the majority of the company’s shares. Bain, in the end, reaped more than double the return on its initial investment. But workers were left jobless just as the local economy began to slump.

“In the real world, some things don’t make it,” Romney offered as an explanation for the layoffs he had overseen as Bain’s CEO. However, the plant in South Carolina is not an isolated incident. Under Romney, “four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs.” But documents show that “Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy.” Indeed, the firm pointedly made higher profits “by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits.”

As Romney’s own business partner stated, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation.” It’ll be an interesting display of acrobatics to see how Romney explains to South Carolinians that the profit his company made off the backs of 150 laid off workers proves his bona fides as a job creator.

* * *
And do not forget the impact of lies with statistics in this instance:
From DemocraticUnderground (, citing ThinkProgress and Washington Post:
"Romney Camp Admits That Its Bain Job Creation Number Is Bogus"
"The Romney camp . . . admitted that the statistic is nothing but cherry-picked job growth from a few companies that did well after they were bought by Bain.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Statistics Slap Gingrich in the Face Over Labeling Blacks as Food Stamp Users

Newt Gingrich appeared in Laconia, New Hampshire and generalized African-Americans as a community needing lecturing about the importance of having a job rather than using food stamps.

(Before we get to the race angle, we should point out to Newt that seeking the two are not mutually exclusive. Wages are so low for millions of employed Americans that they must use food stamps to keep up their food intake. We would like Newt and other politicians, Republican and Democratic, to seek living wage legislation across the nation.)

Multiple times last year former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich labeled Barack Obama as the "food stamps president". But truthfully, since we are speaking about the races and food stamps, we should note that it was Obama's white mother that briefly was impoverished to the point that she used food stamps.

From Daily Kos, here is Gingrich's stereotype-laden quote:
“I will go to the NAACP convention, and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps."

But as Joy-Ann Reid in the blog, the Grio today (January 5, 2012) reported in "Newt Gingrich: 'I will tell black people to demand paychecks instead of food stamps'",
A 2009 study found that 1 in 8 Americans, and 1 in 4 children -- of all races -- received food assistance, in the wake of the 2007 recession. The study found that 28 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Hispanics, and 8 percent of whites, received food assistance that year.

When it comes to total welfare receipts, Whites receive 34 percent of federal food assistance benefits, African-Americans 22 percent, and Hispanics 17 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NRA Gun Policy is Killing Cops in 2011

The Second Amendment to the Constitution has language safeguarding an armed militia.

Interpreted in the 20th and 21st centuries has been allowing the loosest restrictions of high-powered firearm weaponry access. Practically speaking the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America have been opposing restrictions upon just about the most destructive guns.

All the hysterical lies that President Barack Obama will take away Americans' guns has the White House handicapped in critiquing the gun plague that even centrists such as New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg has.

So, to ABC TV News' report on "World News with Diane Sawyer" (January 5, 2012), about a spike in shootings of police we must cite the gun law laxity.

If this keeps up, we will probably see more police officers' associations lobbying for candidates that push stronger gun control laws, at least on high-powered "cop-killer" rifles.

South Carolina's Winner-Take-All Nail-BIter

The January 21 South Carolina Republican primary will be a nail biter.

The state's 25 delegates will ALL go to the highest winner. (Its delegate count got chopped in half from 50 because S.C. GOP moved its date early, to preserve its first in the South status.)
It's an open primary, which brings in Independents and Democrats in a no Democratic contest year. This is the only plus factor for Mitt Romney, and maybe for Ron Paul. But this is the evangelical Protestant Christian South, so look more to the avowedly social conservatives.
It's set for a Saturday, which should bring in more blue collar voters. A plus again for the social conservatives.

Hard to say who will win the state.

Easier to address who will have trouble:
RON PAUL: the libertarian won't win because of --as the New York Times pointed out on January 4, the day after the Iowa caucuses-- the high military enrollments and the military base(s) in the state. He hasn't had any peaking period. His controversial newsletters and emails shouldn't be a problem in this very conservative state. He only peaked at 12 percent in December.
RICK PERRY: will be seen as a goof because of his debate and memory goofs/flubs (which caused him to sink from his S.C. polled high of 50 percent at the end of August --and this was in a selection of a field narrowed to Perry, Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann, so a poll excluding Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich). The last time he polled 10 percent or more was in October.

ROMNEY: He peaked in the polls at 27 percent on September 20. Plenty of flip-flops, expect an onslaught of Gingrich TV ads bringing up Romney's liberal or moderate positions on guns, abortions, and maybe gay and lesbian civil unions.

So the race is really between Gingrich and Santorum. The question is whether the former House Speaker's bitter, vengeful vendetta tone against Romney will backfire. Look also to who polls third (Gingrich or Santorum) in New Hampshire.
In SC expect Gingrich and Santorum to have 55 percent easily to split between the two of them.
(How long will the new charges against Santorum as a tax and spend beltway insider stick? They're dubious criticisms when you consider the interest group ratings of him and Newt. google: the no-partisan Project Vote Smart. The two Washington veterans have VERY similar records. But Gingrich has more heterodox positions that might hurt him, such as his perceived leniency on illegal immigrant families and his positive comments about Massachusetts' "RomneyCare" health program.)

Poll sources: (drawing from different polls, albeit latest poll was December 20, 2011 amidst the Newt Gingrich surge (and before the Romney machine ad money barrage vs. Gingrich))

Monday, January 2, 2012

Challenging Conventional (Traditional) Wisdom on NH & Primaries

Time was professors and pundits intoned that the New Hampshire primary (January 10 in 2012) mattered do deeply because the victors turned out to be the major political parties' presidential nominees.

However, in recent years, that axiom is showing not to true. South Carolina (held on January 21 in 2012) is the better bellwether state.

In 1996, conservative political commentator Patrick ("Pat") Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary. In 2000 Arizona Senator John McCain won that primary.
The Democratic primary victors have differed from the eventual nominee in more contests: in 1984, Sen. Gary Hart won; in 1994 Sen. Paul Tsongas won; in 2008 Sen. Hilary Clinton won.

By contrast, in South Carolina the Republican primary race winners at least since 1980 have all eventually become the nominees.
For Democrats, however, South Carolina primary or caucus results have not matched the eventual nominess: in 1988 the South Carolina Democrats held a caucus and chose Rev. Jesse Jackson. In 2004 the primary winner was Sen. John Edwards.

(One practical resource: