Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recent 2012 Straw Poll (Family Research Council)

I found this interesting out of Politco

Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy victory in a presidential straw poll taken among attendees at a social conservative conference, beating a group of four other Republican contenders by an over two-to-one margin.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a 2008 presidential candidate, won with just over 28 percent of the 597 votes cast by attendees at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up, narrowly edging out Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. and Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, and House Minority Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.). The four all received about 12% of the vote.

There was a fairly large political conference with the Family Research Council which is a social conservative organization. I didn't hear much about it, but they said it drew 1800 registrants. Their event was called the Values Voter Summit in DC. I ally with them heavily on abortion and the courts, but I do clash with them heavily on censorship/FCC issues with my less government views.

I went to their website and found the official straw poll results. They were interesting to say the least.

1. Mike Huckabee 170 28.48%
2. Mitt Romney 74 12.40%
3. Tim Pawlenty 73 12.23%
4. Sarah Palin 72 12.06%
5. Mike Pence 71 11.89%
6. Newt Gingrich 40 6.70%
7. Bobby Jindal 28 4.69%
8. Rick Santorum 15 2.51%
9. Ron Paul 13 2.18%
10. Undecided 31 5.19%
11. Other 10 1.68%

While nobody got a majority, Huckabee ran away with it with twice the votes of the nearest competitor. That's not a surprise. He was the favorite in 08 among a large number of social conservatives who voted mostly on those lines. The gripes on him were on economic issues.

It's not surprising to see Gingrich, Jindal, Santorum, and Paul back in the pack. Newt and Jindal's bread and butter are on fiscal issues. Santorum lost bad in 2006. Ron Paul is a libertarian.

What's interesting is numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5.

2. Mitt Romney 74 12.40%
3. Tim Pawlenty 73 12.23%
4. Sarah Palin 72 12.06%
5. Mike Pence 71 11.89%

I thought Palin would have challenged Huckabee. I wonder if her gubernatorial resignation hurt her. I did not support that decision at all if she's running for president. I'd have no problem if she decided not to run in 2010, but if you are planning a 2012 run, finish your term that ends two years earlier. Palin has her die-hard supporters who defend everything she does and her fanatical obsessed detractors that need to check into a mental hospital, but finishing behind Mitt and Pawlenty showed something.

Mitt likes to flood people in to events to win these straw polls, so he usually does well at them. A second place finish at one of these events helps him, but he already had high name recognition and with his organization, should have been able to close the deal back in 08. The nomination was his for the taking, and frankly for whatever reason. He blew it. He lost to McCain in a republican primary (so did Huckabee). That says something, and it's not positive. It wasn't just "democrat crossovers" like many on the right complain about either.

The big winners here were two Midwesterners. Tim Pawlenty and Mike Pence. I'm glad to see these two do well. I'm strongly looking at new blood for 2012. Nobody from 08. No retreads. Pawlenty is Minnesota's governor. I like seeing that name moving up if for no other reason than this. Governors become presidents. Senators rarely do. The last sitting senator to win before Obama was Kennedy (Nixon/LBJ were senators at one time, but also VP's), and Obama beat another senator. Pawlenty has a good shot to make a move on the 08 retreads.

Mike Pence I've talked about about on this blog before. It was good to see Pence do well here as he's more known for the economic issues than social issues. Whoever is the nominee in 08 will have to unite enough of the budget hawks, anti-tax and spenders, social conservatives, libertarians, anti-federalists (often what is called federalism today is really anti-federalism), second amendment supporters, national security conservatives, law and order types, and the rest of the base, and the independents who support some, but oppose other of the base issues.

My comment when Mark Sanford wrecked his career was this. "Damn. Maybe Mike Pence will run." If Pence runs, he'll have my support. Pence fought the bailouts that killed us. When Bush and the congressional leadership destroyed the GOP credibility on economic issues that is taking so long to gain back (more due to democrats than anything else - and it's still not what it was in the mid 90's), it was Pence fighting in the trenches. In 2006, Mike Pence and the Republican Study Committee proposed get this....a balanced budget. What happened to that? It got voted down by both parties, but the GOP was in control then. How many Republicans were tossed in 06 and 08? A lot. Who's still standing, in a district that Obama might have won and a district centered in a county (Delaware County - home of Ball State) that Obama did win? Mike Pence. With 65%.

It's still three years away from 2012, and a lot can change, especially with 2010 around the corner, but it is good to see new names going near the top of these 2012 lists.

1 comment:

Dan Sheill said...

Mike Pence has probably the best chance of uniting the disparate GOP factions (except on immigration). It's no surprise that he did well here among social conservatives. He often says he's "A Christian, a conservative, and a Republican. In that order!"