Romney’s Task: Show Perry isn’t Electable

September 12th, 2011 at 9:44 am David Frum | 67 Comments |

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Republicans watched Rick Perry’s stumbling, unprepared performance in last week’s debate – and decided they were watching a president in action.

The latest CNN/Opinion Research poll has Perry at 32% among Republicans nationwide, Romney tumbled deep into second place at 21%. (If Palin entered the race, Perry would still lead Romney 30-18, with Palin drawing 15%.)

Perry’s greatest advantage is his perception as the most electable in the race: 42% of Republicans rate him the most electable, as opposed to only 26% for Romney. Interestingly, Republicans don’t seem to care very much for Perry personally: only 25% see him as the most likeable Republican candidate. (In that sense, Republicans did see on their TV the same testy, anxious presence I saw on mine.)

It’s dangerous to interpret these kinds of open-ended poll questions. Republicans may have many different things in mind when they describe Perry as “electable.”

They may think that the Texas record on job creation will offer an unanswerable argument in 2012. Or they may think that America won’t vote for a Mormon. They may be saying that Perry’s statements on Social Security are the kind of bold truth-telling the country hungers for. Or they may be thinking that the statements are unfortunate, but non-lethal. Who knows?

Whatever the implication, the message for Romney is the same. Either directly on the debating platform tonight – or through ads and other media in the days ahead – he must offer Republicans an advance glimpse of the campaign Barack Obama will wage against Rick Perry in 2012.

It won’t be a pretty sight, but Republicans need to know the full measure of their candidate’s vulnerability before they commit to a nominee whose own words (however carelessly and unmeaningly written) will be used as evidence that the GOP wants to repeal Social Security, Medicare, and the theory of evolution.

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67 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    Perry’s greatest advantage is his perception as the most electable in the race: 42% of Republicans rate him the most electable, as opposed to only 26% for Romney.

    You misjudge the Republican voter.

    They are still convinced that McCain/Palin lost because the ticket was too moderate.

    When they look at electability, they aren’t considering who is most likely to instill confidence in moderates and conservative Democrats … they are considering who is most likely to make a Tea Partier want to come out and vote for them.

    Gods, guns, and gays. And now, God-damned scientists. Perry hits the right notes on all these things. Romney doesn’t. Therefore, the majority of the GOP is going to consider Perry the most electable, because they know that only an extreme left fraction of the country doesn’t want to live in a Christian Country, where environmental and financial and workforce protection regulations are scrapped so that business can prosper and lift all boats all the way up to heaven.

    • overshoot

      “they are considering who is most likely to make a Tea Partier want to come out and vote for them.”

      Because ever since 1980, that’s the way to win. When the so-called moderates vote they’re consistently for one party or the other, but they mostly don’t vote at all.

      With the low turnout in the USA, elections don’t hinge on getting people to change their minds, they hinge on shifting the voting percentages of people who have long since made up their minds. One way is to get the base worked up (the “enthusiasm gap” that decided the 2010 elections) and another is to disenfranchise the people who would vote against you.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        Because ever since 1980, that’s the way to win.

        It ain’t 1980 anymore, you are ignoring the changing face of demographics, America is becoming a minority majority country. You can’t win with the Reagan voting demographic anymore, the Republican base is getting old and dying off, being replaced by hispanics, blacks, and other minorities. It is a numbers game. The teabaggers are dinosaurs doomed for extinction, for now there are enough to maybe make the difference but in 10 years say good bye to that lot.

        • Grace

          Frump, I’d like to think that everything in your second paragraph would have an impact but I keep reading about rapidly spreading and relentlessly enforced efforts to disenfranchise the ‘wrong’ voters. Take Wisconsin — first they enact a voter ID law and then move to close a number of MVD offices in Dem-leaning areas, while leaving those in GOP areas untouched. Pretty blatant, but with control of all the state machinery, they’re you go — mission accomplished on the disenfranchisement front. I believe I also read that they told state employees they cannot tell citizens that free ID cards are available, so as to allow the cost of obtaining the ID to be another barrier to voting. I hope the Dems are really going to throw some resources at legal challenges to the various disenfranchisement schemes they are ginning up. Reducing the number of polling places in Dem friendly areas is another tactic of GOP election officials.

          And those don’t even get into mysterious fires where voting machines are stored, on the eve of the election …

  • Anonne

    Romney needs to come at him hard on the jobs angle. Texas’ “miracle” that isn’t is largely based on a growth in government jobs, and Texas maintains about the same amount of unemployment as New York or Massachusetts. That won’t ring well with Tea Partiers, although it does vindicate Keynes, Hicks and Paul Krugman.

  • Graychin

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Is ROMNEY electable? What does he stand for? Will he stand for the same things tomorrow? Next year?

    You Obama-haters are going to be surprised when it turns out that “I’m not Obama” isn’t a good enough platform for a win.

    • canuckistani

      You are likely correct.

      Junior won in the aftermath of slick Willy and a spectacularly bad campaign by Gore. Very much similar to BHO’s win.

      The American people are in a rut right now, and their leaders reflect this mood. No one wants to mouth the words “we are screwed” (other than Ryan and certain baggers) if we do not cut programs, slash defense and raise taxes across the board. It’s a losing proposition poltically using conventioanl reasoning, but the only course to success for the country.

      Romney was a centrist that attempted to enact real reforms, and the right’s denial of reality is short-sighted and counter to the country’s demands for new management of wanted programs.

      The wall-to-wall coverage yesterday only reinforced we bought the last decade on credit – all of it, without any real sacrifice other than by the dead and the soldiers who volunteered their bodies. When one measures the cost that way, we all have to step up.

    • Grace

      I think it’s entirely possible that Perry is doing exactly what he was brought into the race to do:

      1. Run the clown car of extremists and grifters that now comprise most of the field (Bachmann, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum) out of the ring, so they can’t do any serious damage to the brand when more voters start to pay attention. Rally the hard-right extremists around one hard-right candidate so the elites only need to deal with that consensus candidate.

      2. Keep Palin on the sidelines by presenting a credible, viable alernative to the ‘establishment RINO’ Romney

      AND

      3. Build Romney’s cred with the non-loony traditional GOP voters as a ‘moderate’ in comparison to Perry, so as not to scare them off (and independents when open primaries start to occur).

      After Perry has achieved these things with decent but not inspiring appearances at debates, caucuses, etc., the elites will make a show of going after him on selected issues (Social Security, Gardasil, a few minor others) and if they can knock him down a few points in the polls, base voters who still have at least a tenuous hold on reality will start to worry about Perry.

      As the primaries and caucuses move from small deep red states to larger or swing states with open primaries, Perry won’t be riding as high as he is now while all the talk is confined to the extremists. As the natives grow more restless, Romney picks up steam.

      In the end, Perry becomes the VP candidate to hold the radical base, while Romney tops the ticket to preserve the possibility of keeping moderate R’s and enough indies in the fold at the GE. Perry strikes me as the perfect VP candidate who can step right into Palin’s shoes to throw the red meat to the base during the GE campaign.

      Hard to know if Frum and the writers here are in the loop on such a game plan. Let’s be honest: there’s no real difference between them as to how committed each is to delivering the goods for the mega-donors. Romney has described Social Security as criminal fraud, so other than the fact that Perry puts a more colorful spin on it with “Ponzi scheme”, what’s the difference? I honestly don’t see any meaningful difference between the agendas that each would pursue.

      BTW, on the Social Security issue, I see more honesty and less hypocrisy at RedState than I do here. When Romney attacked Perry over Social Security, they rightfully pointed out that Romney had already made the same claim with his ‘criminal fraud’ description of Social Security. I’ll at least give Perry and the RedState crowd points for honesty about their desire to end Social Security, while Romney just flops around on the deck trying to have it all ways (as usual).

  • MSheridan

    Hal Crowther nailed it in 2008 with this piece: The elephants in the room–How the GOP lost its way.

    http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-elephants-in-the-room/Content?oid=1206428

    This is your party, Mr. Frum:

    They can spar until Jesse Helms endorses Barack Obama, but the Real Republican will never emerge from this pack or any other. In its pursuit of power, the Republican Party has dismembered and reassembled itself so that a thousand livid sutures are showing. It’s not a party but a Frankenstein monster, patched together from dead and discontinued materials, organ transplants that may yet be rejected, rough pieces that look familiar but never match. Since the party’s symbol is the elephant, the parable of the blind men and the elephant is relevant: Touch the thing here and it’s a briefcase, over there a cross, down there a bomb, a gasoline pump, a pistol, a golf club, a fetus—a noose? Republicans are no longer a party but a loose coalition of Americans who hate things—different things—praying that fear and aversion can win them another four years of power and excess.

    • kuri3460

      “Republicans are no longer a party but a loose coalition of Americans who hate things—different things—praying that fear and aversion can win them another four years of power and excess.”

      I’ve often made this same point a different way, that today’s GOP consists of people united in their opposition and refusal to accept various domestic and global developments from the ’60s and ’70s.

      • overshoot

        “today’s GOP consists of people united in their opposition and refusal to accept various domestic and global developments from the ’60s and ’70s.”

        Don’t forget the 30s, 40,s and 50s. Assuming, of course, that you’re not counting the ones who also reject the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

        • canuckistani

          Exactly.
          The revisionism that goes on is amazing. People forget GW was elected by an electorate of 39,000 land-owning white men, probably protestant. It took 11 years from the declaration to the constitution – and it barely passed in several states.
          The country nearly destroyed itself arguing over slavery and it’s complementary commercial disagreements.
          The freehanders sewered the world in 1929, and FDR was elected after the previous regime meandered around the central issues of the day.

          It wasn’t a sudden coup by the bearded marxists, but a clear incremental process to what we have today – and it will take generations to unwind us from it.

  • PracticalGirl

    Whatever the implication, the message for Romney is the same. Either directly on the debating platform tonight – or through ads and other media in the days ahead – he must offer Republicans an advance glimpse of the campaign Barack Obama will wage against Rick Perry in 2012.

    Not likely to happen, and not because Romney couldn’t make the case. It’s because the collective right learned a thing or two from the GOPer Battle Royale of ‘o8. In their zest to capture the nomination without an heir apparent, the last crop beat the hell out of each other over wedge issues…egged on by the right wing media flexing their muscles, still pissed off by the immigration bill offered up in 2006. Senator Brownback became senator Wetback, McCain became McAmnesty, and by the time the nominee was chosen there was enough confusion, even hatred and distrust, over McCain that the support for him was lukewarm at best, and independents were fed up with all the nastiness.

    Rush Limbaugh has spoken to this already. After the last GOP debate he laid down the law: He’ll trash nobody vying for the nomination, because any one of them is preferable to Obama. Like it or not the base (and many of his fellow talkers) takes its cue from Rush. Romney needs help to spread the “Perry is un-electable” narrative. And he’s not going to get it from- nor effectively use it to connect with-a base desperate for a win.

  • ProfNickD

    Perry isn’t electable? Whatever happened to the importance of basing one’s opinions on science and not just wishful thinking, speculation, or, worse, faith?

    Fortunately, we don’t have to resort to such non-science-based speculation, which is the entirety of the basis of Frum’s article. We can rely on science in determining whether Perry is electable:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postabcpoll_090111.html (Question #27)

    and:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_electionperry_44_obama_41_president_leads_other_gop_hopefuls

    See? Issue resolved, thanks to science! So, no need for any more silly articles discussing, without backing by science, the electability of Perry, no?

    • MSheridan

      Your second link is broken. The first link shows the President’s approval rating and what’s your point regarding it? His lowest ever approval rating is higher than the lowest approval rating of every single President since Kennedy.

      • ProfNickD

        http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2012/election_2012_presidential_election/perry_44_obama_41_president_leads_other_gop_hopefuls

        That’s the Rasmussen poll link, fixed — it shows Perry leading Obama by 3.

        The ABC/Washington Post poll shows Perry leading Obama by 1, noted down in question #27.

        The point: science rejects the claim that Perry is unelectable, so Frum should stop making the claim if Frum really is such a fan of science-backed arguments.

        • MSheridan

          Leaving aside the fact that Rasmussen has a reputation for bias in its early polls, let’s take this one at face value. It says that the President leads Perry among voters making less than $40k and among voters making over $100k. Perry leads among voters making $40k-100k. I don’t see that as the demographic that will blithely ignore his opposition to Social Security, now made even more visible than it already was. Older voters are the most reliable voters. I cannot see them, as a group, deciding that Social Security is just not that necessary or important.

          I think Barack Obama could be beaten in 2012, but not by Perry, or anyone else the GOP is likely to put up against him. Right now the GOP is simply in “anyone but him” territory. As the election draws closer, it will find it needs more than that.

    • ottovbvs

      I sincerely hope you get your wish and Perry is the nominee. What more can I say?

  • Smargalicious

    David, as long as it ain’t the half-Kenyan reparationist in Jan 2013, it’s all good.

  • ottovbvs

    “It won’t be a pretty sight, but Republicans need to know the full measure of their candidate’s vulnerability before they commit to a nominee whose own words (however carelessly and unmeaningly written)”

    Carelessly and unmeaningly written? This is Perry’s political testament for godsake which he’s echoed on public platforms. Frum is now panicking as the enormity of the disaster of a potential Perry nomination begins to dawn. So his advice to Romney?….trash Perry. Frum’s problem which he half recognizes is that the Republicans are losing their minds but he refuses to draw the ultimate conclusion. Believe me Frum if you want your mindset to prevail in the GOP the BEST thing would be for Perry to be the nominee. A trainwreck is the only thing that’s going to make these jokers see the light.

  • lilmanny

    Romney is a northern liberal who pushed through something that resembled Obamacare which, we are told, is very bad. He looks like a boss who would fire me to make bonus.
    Perry is folksy and real and tells it like it is. He sounds like a boss who would fight not to fire me, but if he did, he would tell me to my face and call me by my first name.

    This is the calculus. It’s not that confusing. Romney is already tuned out.

    @Practical Girl, Rush can back off all he wants between now and next summer. He’s spent six years of his life to create this experiment, so washing his hands of “the most conservative possible, electability be damned” philosophy he’s spouted is a bit of a 180. I’m glad you noticed that as I had no idea this was the “New Model”. I guess we’ll see whose message wins: old Rush vs. new Rush.

    • Banty

      The Daily Show did a really good spot on that this week. What Dems don’t understand, is that the appeal Perry has, is to the gut.

      Well, lower. But this is well worth watching – -

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-september-8-2011/oh-my-god–rick-perry-is-going-to-be-our-next-president—second-installment

      • balconesfault

        Right now it doesn’t matter what the Dems think (Stewart’s clip of Al Sharpton making a clown comment at the end was rather unpersuasive, given that clown comments are all Al ever makes). Anyway – Stewart was really making fun of the pundits, including the Fox pundits, who I’m pretty sure aren’t Dems.

        It matters what the GOP thinks. And they think Perry is their man.

        I think Obama will be a little smarter in framing the debate than Al Sharpton could ever be.

    • kuri3460

      “Perry is folksy and real and tells it like it is”

      Like how Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, evolution and creationism are equal scientific theories, and that Texas ranks last in the percentage of people with health insurance solely due to vague unnamed Federal regulations (that all the other states have to deal with, BTW)?

      See, this is the problem with Perry. To some, his saying these things might constitute “telling it like it is”, but to me, it sounds more like a broken record repeating intellectually dishonest generalities that poll well with rabid conservatives.

      Rick Perry is to GOP primary voters what phone sex operators are to single overweight men living in their mothers’ basements.

      • Banty

        Yeah, the fascination with the tough-talkers, the “straight-talkers” (never mind that what they are talking may not even be factual, a.k.a. ‘straight’). Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Rummy.

        I call it the “Ogg gene”. Ogg kill mastadon. Ogg scare tribe on other side of hill. Follow Ogg.

      • Banty

        “Texas ranks last in the percentage of people with health insurance solely due to vague unnamed Federal regulations (that all the other states have to deal with, BTW)”

        Yeah I really wish he were pressed on that during the debate.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    I truly hope Perry is the nominee, give Americans a real choice, and if Perry wins then he will likely have a Republican Senate and House to back him up, and then God help the teabaggers for getting exactly what they ased for. Perry will have to live up to his idiotic policy prescriptions because, remember, Bush failed because he wasn’t Conservative enough.

    And if Perry loses to Obama, that will be the end of the Teaparty. In 4 years a more moderate Republican will win and we will go back to having 2 national parties again.

    • lizerdmonk

      From you mouth to God’s ears we need to get back to a moderate and I am not even a Republican and even Jeb Bush looks super moderate to the turkeys running and I think he knows that what is going to happened and I don’t think with this crop of candidates Obama should stay in office and try to finish the job then we can all judge him then I think everyone is way to harsh on him now this was a huge mess that he had to clean up and even if you have issues with the guy he is at least trying and I don’t think changing the guard at this point is going to make a difference.

    • MSheridan

      And if Perry loses to Obama, that will be the end of the Teaparty. In 4 years a more moderate Republican will win and we will go back to having 2 national parties again.

      I don’t think so. True radicals do not moderate their radicalism because they lose an election. And these are radicals, in the Barry Goldwater mode:

      “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

      They will never see their ideology (such as it is) as having failed; despite the failure of low taxes to assure greater national prosperity and despite the calamities brought by lack of sufficient regulation, they only see the nation as having failed their ideology. The Tea Party will die, eventually, but not until the infotainment industry that stokes its narrative changes strategy or until the older people who are its largest core demographic age several years more and lose the numbers and energy required to be the face of the Republican Party. Neither possibility is likely to happen in only one election.

      • Graychin

        The so-called Tea Party may go away, but the right-wing extremism that it gathered around itself never does.

        Call them the Tea Party, the Moral Majority, or the Goldwater Girls, it’s the same old same old, advocating maximum freedom for large corporations and big money, but meddlesome intrusion into the private lives of everyone else.

        • Houndentenor

          I’m from Texas. I hear nothing new from the Tea Party. It’s the same know-nothing mouthing off I’ve heard all my life. What does surprise me is that these folks blind-sided the GOP establishment. Don’t the party leaders ever leave their gated communities and Georgetown cocktail parties long enough to talk to the base of their party? Obviously not.

        • MSheridan

          They weren’t blindsided by their existence. The party leaders deliberately created and fostered this group of “useful idiots,” just as they had earlier fostered other, very similar groups of energized voters based on opposition to abortion, gays, secular humanism and other social conservative boogeymen. Those previous efforts cost them very little in terms of actual effort (and practically nothing in terms of their agenda).

          What has surprised these puppeteers appears to be the fact that their current creation has refused to compliantly get into line behind the uninspiring “party leader”-approved candidate. As far as that goes, good for the Tea Partiers. They are actually alive to the obvious fact that Romney is not on their side and cares nothing for their agenda. They just don’t see that there is no GOP candidate (with the possible exception of Ron Paul) who is on their side, or that the utopian past they yearn for is not only impossible to regain, but was not truly that utopian.

  • lizerdmonk

    Let’s see he thinks Social security is a ponzi Scheme and he wants to force us to give our teenage kids Gardasil. Doesn’t believe in Science or global warming and sleeps like a baby knowing he executed a innocent man on death row. I think he may not be electable and we have not even gotten to immigration which I am sure he that all screwed up as well.

  • Houndentenor

    David David David. Why do you still think that a former Massachusetts governor who once ran for the Senate to the left of Ted Kennedy can get the GOP nomination. It’s not going to happen. He’s currently second in the polls but the candidates behind him have supporters who will go for Perry, not Romney. Barring some huge revelation, Perry is your nominee. Is he electable? In the red states he is. The more you status quo inside the beltway types oppose him the stronger he gets. You still haven’t figured out this Tea Party thing, have you?

  • shocking1p

    I don’t know if Perry can win the Presidency but, if my conservative in laws are any indication, he’ll probably get the Republican nomination. In their opinion Romney is only better than Obama because he’s white but since he’s Mormon he’s a godless heathen. And they believe that the President is Muslim and a Communist to boot. So Perry looks like an angel sent straight from Heaven because he is so vociferously “Christian”. These are educated people and I would have considered them mainstream Reagan Republicans a few years ago. They couldn’t stand Clinton but they HATE Obama. They refer to him as Hitler, Stalin, the devil. How they reconcile this with their Christian faith I couldn’t tell you, they don’t try to rationalize. Anyway my family has always been lefties of varying stripes(yes, Thanksgiving is quite a challenge). And the political conversations my in laws have now remind me very much of the craziness in my family in say 1968 or so. I was young but I could still recognize crazy. The Democratic party veered too sharply to the left in the late 60′s and ultimately lost much of it’s power since then, I believe the Republican party is headed for the same fate. Extremism will eventually cause the collapse of the Republican party.

    • ottovbvs

      “These are educated people”

      I hope your wife is normal!

    • anniemargret

      We are mostly a Democratic progressively minded, ‘educated’ family. Except we got a few of those TPs as well. And yes, they HATE Obama- a visceral from the gut hate. He’s not American enough for them. Palin said he a near-terrorist-and they believe her. He’s ‘hates America”…blah, yadda yadda, blah…

      You get the picture. Yep our holidays are now spent whispering to each other not to bring up politics, because it always end up with the TPs getting red in the face and banging their fists on the table when their points are proved wrong.

      I am beyond believing that any of these folks have a clue. I think it is cultural/religious phenomenon with a bad vibes for this country. They would easily vote against their own interests if it means the ‘the liberals and Obama’ don’t ‘win.’ And if it means bringing down the country to its collective knees to prove their point, hey…why not?

      These are frightened angry people who can’t handle the fact that the face of America is changing…they are desperately trying to bring back the status quo of the past, unable to accept a new global community, a multi-cultural and a less overtly religious society.

      Oh…did I mention that these haters wouldn’t DARE miss church on Sunday?

  • Stewardship

    I don’t think Romney will try to land any blows. The Mittness Protection Program has worked so far. Romney assumes that there are five other people up on the stage who need to make a bigger splash. He’ll have a couple snappy one liners ready to parry Perry, but he’ll count on Huntsman, Bachman (especially), and others to hit Perry hard. He’ll sit back and try to avoid any cowpies in his path.

    • Diomedes

      “He’ll have a couple snappy one liners ready to parry Perry, but he’ll count on Huntsman, Bachman (especially), and others to hit Perry hard. He’ll sit back and try to avoid any cowpies in his path.”

      Agreed. There is no reason to take a fully offensive position at this time. Perry is new to the race and has taken the wind out of the sails of several of the other candidates, including Bachmann. She is now on the defensive and needs to come up with some good attack strategies. It can make or break her candidacy, but invariably, whatever mud she slings will be focussed on Perry. Romney just needs to stay ‘presidential’ for now, and avoid any outright nastiness. Better to let you enemies duke it out and watch the sparks fly than get into the fracas.

      Further downstream, Romney will have to be more aggressive. But I think its an agreed-upon conclusion that it will be Romney/Perry in the final.

    • ottovbvs

      “The Mittness Protection Program has worked so far.”

      Really? This is the first time any of Romney’s opponents has been ahead of him and comfortably ahead since the contest started. So I don’t quite see how the Mitness Protection Program is doing him much good in the face of Perry’s candidacy however effective it might have been in countering Bachmann, Gingrich, Cain et al. Basically Frum is right. If Romney doesn’t derail Perry by demonizing him as a crazy Bachmann or Palin II it could well be too late.

    • Houndentenor

      Mittness Protection Program?

      LOL

      I’m SO stealing that one.

  • medinnus

    “She is now on the defensive and needs to come up with some good attack strategies. It can make or break her candidacy, but invariably, whatever mud she slings will be focussed on Perry.”

    I think this is exactly correct. I daresay that Bachmann might be offered the VP slot on Rpmney’s ticket.

  • mtyson

    Perry/Rubio or Romney/Rubio. There are *very* few Electoral College paths that result in victory for the Republican nominee that doesn’t include winning Florida – and those that don’t require a clean sweep of the western, increasingly hispanic states, among others. I think Rubio is the VP candidate regardless of who wins the nomination. Sets him up on a straight line for the nomination in 2016 if Obama wins, which is still likely.

    Larry Sabuto has a pretty good layout of how the Electoral College plays out right now: http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/ljs2011090801/

    • ottovbvs

      Actually I think it’s more about electoral turnout math than electoral college math. Obama is only in jeopardy if the turnout falls below 125 million. I doubt it will but I guess we’ll find out.

  • think4yourself

    Not sure if Perry wins the nomination or not. He’s ahead now, but that always happens with the flavor of the month. I think Romney’s problem with GOP voters is that he does appear rational, which makes him just like Obama. They want some guy like Braveheart, going to pick a fight, flashing his genitals or shooting down coyotes while in his running shorts.

    Plus I’m not sure that Perry doesn’t have a better chance of beating Obama then Romney. Sure the independent (non partisan), thinking person would prefer Romney over Perry, but that person probably prefers Obama over Romney since Obama is the thinking person already in the office. With Perry, there is a clear difference and maybe that, plus a bad economy is enough to win.

    • Diomedes

      “Not sure if Perry wins the nomination or not. He’s ahead now, but that always happens with the flavor of the month”

      Exactly. Lest we forget, Trump was at the top of the polls not too long ago. As was Palin.

      We are still a full year out from the election. A whole slew of things can occur in the interim. Guiliani was the front runner and perceived ‘shoe in’ for the 2008 candidacy. And he ended up completely imploding. So for now, all bets are off.

  • ottovbvs

    “Plus I’m not sure that Perry doesn’t have a better chance of beating Obama then Romney.”

    You think all those commercials explaining in graphic detail that Perry believes SS and Medicare to be unconstitutional and all his other bizarre ideas about evolution etc etc. will be electorally appealing to a majority of the country? As I’ve observed before it’s not entirely coincidental that almost all the professional Republican activists whose diaries Frum publishes here are scared witless at the prospect of a Perry candidacy. It’s going energize the Democrats, make the center deeply fearful and submerge the down ticket candidacies of other Republicans (and it’s the latter of course that terrifies Frum, Lehrer et al).

  • Romney Must Prove Perry Unelectable | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web

    [...] David Frum: “Either directly on the debating platform tonight — or through ads and other media in the days ahead — Mitt Romney must offer Republicans an advance glimpse of the campaign Barack Obama will wage against Rick Perry in 2012. It won’t be a pretty sight, but Republicans need to know the full measure of their candidate’s vulnerability before they commit to a nominee whose own words (however carelessly and unmeaningly written) will be used as evidence that the GOP wants to repeal Social Security, Medicare, and the theory of evolution.” Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire Tweet This Post Posted in Breaking News Tags: 'unelectable', Must, Perry, prove, Romney « Ron Paul Super PAC slams ‘pretty boys’ Mitt Romney and Rick Perry You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  • PracticalGirl

    My most twisted question of the moment:

    Article after article after article on the FF explaining in detail (and I agree) how problematic a Perry presidency will be for the US. Where will the Frum and the Forum go if the base takes him as their nominee, anyway?

    • ottovbvs

      “Where will the Frum and the Forum go if the base takes him as their nominee, anyway?”

      That’s easy. Frum will vote for Perry. He was quite happy to vote to put Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. When you’ve swallowed the camel why gag at the gnat.

      • Graychin

        Agreed.

        Mr. Frum’s tribal allegiance to the Republican Party will overcome any defects he might see in the Party’s nominee.

        He’d sooner eat a slug than vote for a Democrat.

  • ProfNickD

    @practicalgirl,

    how problematic a Perry presidency will be for the US

    No, that’s not what Frum is claiming. The point of this Frum article is that Perry is unelectable.

    But frum’s claim is speculative, not backed by facts (see the two recent polls I cited above). In fact, the ABC/Washington Post poll shows that Huntsman is less electable than Perry, having about the same chance as does Michelle Bachmann to beat Obama. Yet Frum keeps touting Huntsman, failing, of course, to mention that Huntsman is unelectable — according to the facts.

    This goes to Frum’s hypocrisy on supposedly being in favor of “science-based” politics when he fails to be scientific himself in the claims he makes about the electability of one GOP candidate or another.

    • PracticalGirl

      I certainly can read one article correctly, but as I said “article after article after article…” on FF has painted Perry (in the negative) as an anti-science, climate-change denying slightly nutty egomaniac. It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask: If the base says, “Hell YES, Slick Rick!”, how will the FF respond? Otto has it right, I think.

  • ProfNickD

    @practicalgirl,

    how problematic a Perry presidency will be for the US

    No, that’s not what Frum is claiming. The point of this Frum article is that Perry is unelectable.

    That is simply a speculative claim not backed by facts (see the two recent polls I cited above). In fact, the ABC/Washington Post poll shows that Huntsman is less electable than Perry, having about the same chance as does Michelle Bachmann to beat Obama. Yet Frum keeps touting Huntsman, failing, of course, to mention that Huntsman is unelectable — according to the facts.

    This goes to Frum’s hypocrisy on supposedly being in favor of “science-based” politics when he fails to be scientific himself in the claims he makes about the electability of one GOP candidate or another.

    • ottovbvs

      “That is simply a speculative claim not backed by facts (see the two recent polls I cited above).”

      Your polls are about Obama’s approval and they are by no means disastrous. They say nothing about Perry’s electability. So your claims about Perry’s electability are just as speculative. Frum whose in the business of politics thinks he’s an albatross. On the other hand what are your credentials for political expertise?

      • ProfNickD

        what are your credentials for political expertise?

        Citing scientific data to support my claims, which is something that Mr. Frum, apparently, doesn’t do — even though he wants politics to be based on science and not on speculation and faith. Frum believes that Huntsman is electable, while simultaneously believing that Perry is unelectable, both for no scientific, factual, objective reason.

        BTW, I have the sense that if Perry was polling at the level that Palin is polling, Mr. Frum would be citing those polls.

  • Diomedes

    “The point of this Frum article is that Perry is unelectable”

    I think the point of this article is the vain attempt by right-wingers like Frum trying to give legitimacy to the Republican party.

    Perry is most certainly electable because after years of fear-mongering and goading of the electorate, they now have a skewed view of the universe as seen through Fox News glasses. And like the Frankenstein monster, the right created this albatross in the form of the Religious Right AND the Tea Party, which now is setting unrealistic expectations for the Republican party as a whole.

    It is almost prophetic that their monster has turned on them. Which is why I always said that the Republican party should probably put down Ayn Rand and pick up Mary Shelley.

    Unfortunately, the ‘sane’ voices of the Republican party (people like Frum), are now being drowned out by the lunatics. And honestly, they have no one to blame but themselves. The right became so fixated on just winning elections, that it has forgotten how to govern. Hence the endless stream of nitwits and vacuous morons like Bush, Palin, Bachmann that rabidly spout rubbish on evolution, gays, guns or wars. And the now salivating Pavlovian lapdogs that make up the Republican core bark in unison anytime these doorknobs say anything they like.

    Frum, if you TRULY want to make a difference as opposed to just whining, what you need to do is switch sides. If enough Republicans start to jump ship and go to the other party, the Democratic base will end up including both the left and the center. And then you can sit back and watch what is left of the far right implode onto itself.

    • balconesfault

      Unfortunately, the ’sane’ voices of the Republican party (people like Frum), are now being drowned out by the lunatics. And honestly, they have no one to blame but themselves. The right became so fixated on just winning elections, that it has forgotten how to govern.

      Bingo. They are a combination of Machiavelli Mayberries intentionally carrying water for the wealthy, and foolish tea partiers unintentionally carrying water for the wealthy. And since 1980 they’ve successfully driven the gap between the wealthy and the middle class wider and wider until the economy has become phenomenally unstable as a result.

  • Oldskool

    Even if I were a Republican, I don’t think I could watch these debates. They’re hideous. I’d vote for the NE Patriots first.

    • Grace

      Well, ya gotta admit they showcase the true nature of the ‘base’ (or is that the base nature of the showcase?). Last time out the biggest cheers went to 200+ executions. Tonight, big cheers for a 30-something dying for lack of health insurance. Death by poverty — bring on that good ol’ Texas justice once again! Yeehaw!!

      Funny how Perry can assure us in one breath that government can’t do anything right, and in the next tell us that the Texas justice system never fails to reach a just result. The cognitive dissonance makes my head spin, but it never seems to raise even an eyebrow among the rubes.

      • roubaix

        It actually makes perfect sense. Government is maximally inconsequential to dead citizens.

  • TJ Parker

    Meester Frum: Your error is in thinking that you understand what the Republican Party is. Your GOP died with George W.’s exile. Behold the New GOP: the party of batshit-crazy, theocratic zealots.

    I’ll betcha that the odds are pretty good that, to your own horror, you’ll end up voting against Mr. Perry in 2012. I.e. you’ll join Andrew Sullivan in the Obama camp. To your own horror, of course.

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