Monday, January 23, 2012

The Republican Presidential Primaries - 2012

What should be clear to anyone of voting age in the United States of America is that there have been way too many debates in this election season. What is it, sixteen or seventeen by now? And the same topics come up over and over. When the eventual Republican nominee is finally chosen, he will meet in a debate just two or three times with President Obama, when the voting public should see five or ten of those debates. How wrong is that?

The debates have generally not hurt Mitt Romney, but have catapulted Newt Gingrich from a low percentage, second tier candidate to a top tier, South Carolina winning candidate. Mr. Gingrich received two standing ovations for answers in two subsequent debates which helped him seal the deal in South Carolina.

To date, Herman Cain, a great conservative candidate has been drummed out of the race due to perceived infidelity problems and a subsequent drop in funding. Michele Bachmann is out, so the only shrill badger left in the race is Rick Santorum. Jon Huntsman is out due to consistently low poll and voting numbers. And the latest dropout is Governor Rick Perry due to his poor showing in the New Hampshire Republican primary (where Democrats and Independents can vote for which Republican should run for president).

Mr. Romney had won the Iowa caucus by eight votes in the first week of January, but now that most of the votes have been certified it appears that Mr. Santorum won the Iowa caucus by thirty-something votes. What further muddies the muddy Iowa waters is that a number of counties or districts' votes will never be certified or counted, leaving the question of who actually won the Iowa caucus an answer that perhaps only God knows or cares about.

Mr. Romney went on to win the New Hampshire primary the next week by a comfortable margin over Ron Paul, Mr. Gingrich, and Mr. Santorum.

And this Saturday, Mr. Gingrich stole the show by defeating Romney in the South Carolina primary, with 40% of the vote after the aforementioned recent debate performances. Mr. Romney took 28% of the vote, Mr. Santorum took 17% of the vote, and Mr. Paul took 13%.

The sunshine state of Florida is the next battleground for the Republican hopefuls. The Republican primary there takes place on January 31. One can only hope that the topics in the coming weeks are more focused on what President Obama has done wrong with his administration and to this country, and less on Republican "vulture campaign" tactics, to paraphrase Mr. Perry.

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