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Santorum wins Southern Caucuses: March 13, 2012

Romney wins Hawaii and American Samoa

Romney was rejected by Southern conservatives in the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, won caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa to claim about a third of the total delegates available and maintain his lead. However, Santorum's twin primary triumphs -- while narrow -- reframed the GOP race as a one-on-one battle between the socially conservative former Pennsylvania senator and the more moderate Romney, with Gingrich's chances fading fast.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian champion, continued to trail well behind the other three candidates in the campaign to face President Barack Obama in November.

"There is no end in sight," noted Ari Fleischer, a CNN contributor who was White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. "... For Republicans who thought that maybe Mitt Romney could come South and make this race look like it was coming to an end, this race is going on and on and on."

OnTheIssues notes: The total for the day, in all four contests, was 43 delegates for Romney and 36 delegates for Santorum.

The delegate counts:

Jan.-Feb.Super TuesdayLast WeekALHISamoaMSTotal
Mitt Romney147 22333 119914 446
Rick Santorum84 8933 194013 242
Newt Gingrich29 740 120012 127
Ron Paul18 231 0100 48
Total278 40967 4214939 863

Sources: Tom Cohen, Jason Hanna and John Helton, on CNN, and OnTheIssues archives.
Click for FAQs on the Primary Process.

Santorum wins Kansas Caucus: March 11, 2012

Romney wins 3 primaries in U.S. Territories

Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses in a rout on Saturday Final returns in Kansas showed Santorum with 51% support, far outpacing Romney, who had 21%. Newt Gingrich had 14% and Ron Paul trailed with 13%.

Santorum picked up 33 of the state’s 40 delegates at stake, cutting slightly into Romney’s overwhelming’s advantage.

Romney’s totals included 22 that he picked up in the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The delegate counts:

Jan.-Feb.Super TuesdayKSGuamVirgin IslandsMarianasTotal
Mitt Romney147 223 7989 403
Rick Santorum84 89 33000 206
Newt Gingrich29 74 0000 103
Ron Paul18 23 0010 47
Total278 409 40999 759

Sources: OnTheIssues FAQs
Click for FAQ on Brokered Conventions.

Dennis Kucinich (D, OH) loses primary: Mar. 7, 2012

First of eleven incumbent-vs.-incumbent races due to redistricting

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.

With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).

The election is the first of 13 House races in 2012 that pit a sitting lawmaker against another sitting lawmaker. Eleven of those races are primary battles, seven Democratic and four Republican. The additional two races, in Iowa and Ohio, pit a sitting Democratic and Republican incumbent against each other in the general election.

These races guarantee that 13 incumbent lawmakers will not return next year, setting the stage for an election season of bruising and negative member-on-member campaigns that occur every 10 years. The races are:

March 6Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10)vs.Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9)
March 20Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, IL-11)vs.Rep. Don Manzullo (R, IL-16)
April 24Rep. Mark Critz (D, PA-12)vs.Rep. Jason Altmire (D, PA-4)
June 5Rep. Steve Rothman (D, NJ-9)vs.Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D, NJ-8)
June 5Rep. Howard Berman (D, CA-28)vs.Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA-27)
June 5Rep. Janice Hahn (D, CA-36)vs.Rep. Laura Richardson (D, CA-37)
Aug. 7Rep. William Lacy Clay (D, MO-1)vs.Rep. Russ Carnahan (D, MO-3)
Aug. 7Rep. Gary Peters (D, MI-9)vs.Rep. Hansen Clarke (D, MI-13)
Aug. 14Rep. Sandy Adams (R, FL-24)vs.Rep. John Mica (R, FL-7)
Aug. 28Rep. David Schweikert (R, AZ-5)vs.Rep. Ben Quayle (R, AZ-3)
Nov. 6Rep. Jeff Landry (R, LA-3)vs.Rep. Charles Boustany (R, LA-7)

Sources: USA Today (Mar. 2); Associated Press (Mar. 5); Washington Post (Mar. 7); and OnTheIssues.org archives (Mar. 8)
Click for all House races.

Super Tuesday: March 6, 2012

Romney wins 6; Santorum wins 3; Gingrich wins 1; Paul wins 0

The delegate counts from Super Tuesday:

Mitt Romney815324173513129438223
Rick Santorum73001121142640389
Newt Gingrich347002013900074
Ron Paul6000801043123

Sources: OnTheIssues FAQs
Click for FAQ on Brokered Conventions.

Olympia Snowe (R, ME) announces retirement: Mar. 1, 2012

Click for Olympia Snowe's issue stances

Moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's decision to step down from her long-held Senate seat in a high-stakes election year is reverberating like an earthquake across Maine's political landscape. The departure of the popular incumbent, who faced little opposition for her party's nomination--and that polls indicated stood a good chance of winning re-election--throws the race for her much-coveted Senate seat wide open.

Among those expressing interest in jumping into the race: Maine's two Democratic U.S. House representatives, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.

But major party candidates are coming up on a March 15 deadline to file signatures for entering the race. So far, Scott D'Amboise is the only GOP candidate left in the race, but some prominent Republicans, including Maine's current secretary of state, Charlie Summers, are being mentioned as potential candidates.

In Nebraska, Former senator and New York City college administrator Bob Kerrey (D) completed a remarkable turnaround, declaring he will run for the Democratic nomination for his old seat.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced his retirement some time ago.

Sources: Maine Public Broadcasting Network (Feb. 28); Huffington Post (Feb. 29); and OnTheIssues.org archives (Mar. 2)
Click for all issues stances by Olympia Snowe and issues stances by Bob Kerrey.

Mitt Romney wins Michigan and Arizona: Feb. 28, 2012

Super Tuesday arrives in one week

Mitt Romney won both the Michigan primary and the Arizona winner-take-all primary.

Romney continues to lead his foes in the delegate hunt, adding at least three dozen to his total after beating Rick Santorum in Michigan and Arizona.

But with 437 delegates on the table next Tuesday, and with most of them allocated according to each candidate's share of the vote, all four of the GOP contenders are certain to boost their delegate counts, giving everyone in the field a rationale, however thin, to move forward.

The Super Tuesday map features both bright spots and traps for every candidate -- Romney is expected to coast to easy wins in Massachusetts and Virginia, for instance, but faces a tough slog in states like Ohio and Tennessee -- meaning that no one is likely to emerge as an outright victor when the smoke clears.

The delegate count as of the two new primaries:

Mitt Romney127250 149112913147
Rick Santorum13000 355001384
Newt Gingrich00230 6000029
Ron Paul0300 50100018
Jon Huntsman0200 000002

Sources: OnTheIssues FAQs
Click for FAQ on Brokered Conventions.

Four-way debate in Arizona: Feb. 22, 2012

Click for excerpts of CNN debate on eve of Arizona primary

The Republican presidential candidates take the stage for another debate, the last one before Super Tuesday. After 19 previous debates, that may be a relief or a disappointment, depending on your appetite for debates. But this debate in Mesa, Arizona, could have far-reaching consequences. It comes less than a week before primaries in Arizona and Michigan, and less than two weeks before voters in 10 states go to the polls.

Santorum is in a heated contest against Romney in what has essentially turned into a two-man contest for the nomination to challenge President Obama, surging in recent polls both nationally and in key primary states.

But Romney, who has a wide lead in Arizona, is claiming he's got something none of his opponents has -- a business background. Romney said if he were president, he would go through every single federal program and ask if it is affordable or whether it's worth borrowing money to pay for it.

Sources: NPR's All Things Considered (Feb. 22) & Fox News (Feb. 23)
Click for CNN Arizona GOP primary debate.

Donald Trump reconsiders re-entering race: Feb. 21, 2012

Will re-enter race if Rick Santorum wins nomination

Donald Trump told CNBC he would "seriously, seriously" consider jumping into the White House race if Rick Santorum wins the GOP presidential nomination.

Said Trump: "Honestly, if Santorum got it, I would seriously, seriously consider it. We need someone that's really going to be great. This is the most important election in my opinion that this country has ever had. Santorum is not the right person."

He added that he is a "free agent" after his Apprentice show ends its season on May 16.

Sources: PoliticalWire.com reporting on CNBC interview
Click for all Donald Trump's issue stances or Donald Trump's book, "Time To Get Tough".

Mitt Romney squeaks to victory in Maine Caucuses: Feb. 12, 2012

Ron Paul promises to stay until Tampa; FAQ on Brokered Conventions

Ron Paul and Mitt Romney battled to a near-tie in the Maine caucuses on Feb. 12, 2012. The press declared Romney the victor by 196 votes, but the caucuses were just a "beauty contest" -- the popular vote awarded no delegates yet. The actual delegate count won't be known for several weeks; our figures below are just estimates. The Ron Paul campaign claimed they still may win the delegate count victory, based on the town-by-town results and one snowed-out caucus in a Paul-favorable district. We'll follow the mainstream media estimate of delegates for Maine, and award a near-even split between Romney and Paul:

Mitt Romney127250 14911105
Rick Santorum13000 355071
Newt Gingrich00230 60029
Ron Paul0300 501018
Jon Huntsman0200 0002

Romney has only won 4 out of 9 contests so far, and something of a pattern has emerged: Ron Paul heavily contests caucus states such as Maine; Rick Santorum heavily contests Christian conservative states such as Colorado; and Newt Gingrich heavily contests hard-core "red states" such as South Carolina. That pattern means that Romney has a fight on his hands in just about every upcoming state, and none of his three opponents seem likely to withdraw anytime soon.

So what happens? The pundits have started talking about a "brokered convention," which means that the primaries don't choose a nominee, so a nominee is selected at the Republican National Convention. For details click below....

Sources: OnTheIssues FAQs
Click for FAQ on Brokered Conventions.

Rick Santorum wins triple header: Feb. 10, 2012

Santorum wins MN, MO, and CO

Santorum won caucus votes Tuesday in Minnesota and Colorado and a primary in Missouri. Santorum had been seen surging in the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Missouri thanks to support from evangelical Christians, but few expected him to win in the Rocky Mountain west.

It was a bitter blow for Romney, who had romped home in Colorado and Minnesota during his 2008 bid with large leads in the final counts. The triple win catapulted Santorum at least for the moment past former House speaker Newt Gingrich into the role of Romney's main rival.

Rick Santorum has surged nationally in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination after his three-state sweep this week, while Mitt Romney has lost ground among GOP primary voters. In addition, most GOP voters say the nomination race isn’t over -- someone other than Romney could still win.

The latest delegate counts appear below.

Mitt Romney127250 14691
Rick Santorum13000 32844
Newt Gingrich00230 6029
Ron Paul0300 508
Jon Huntsman0200 002

Missouri will not award delegates until a later caucus on March 17, so its primary was just a "beauty contest".

Sources: Fox News, canada.com, and OnTheIssues FAQs
Click for Sen. Santorum's issue stances.

Mitt Romney wins Nevada Caucus: Feb. 5, 2012

Click for our analysis of Open vs. Closed primaries.

Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses, but since it's a proportional caucus, the three other contenders -- Sen. Rick Santorum, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Ron Paul -- also gained a few delegates each. The delegate score after the Nevada caucuses is:

Mitt Romney127250 1485
Newt Gingrich00230 629
Rick Santorum13000 316
Ron Paul0300 58
Jon Huntsman0200 02

Nevada holds "closed caucuses", which means only voters who had previously registered as Republicans can vote. Closed caucuses have fewer participants than open caucuses, and caucuses have fewer participants than primaries. So a closed caucus is the smallest of all contests -- only 33,000 people voted in Nevada, compared to 250,000 in New Hampshire. For more on Open vs. Closed Primaries in anticipation of Super Tuesday, see link below....

Sources: OnTheIssues Frequently Asked Questions
Click for our Open vs. Closed primaries FAQ.

Suzanne Bonamici (D, OR) wins special election: Feb. 1, 2012

Click for Suzanne Bonamici's issue stances

Democrat Suzanne Bonamici swept to victory Tuesday in Oregon's 1st Congressional District, continuing her party's nearly four-decade-long hold on the seat covering the northwestern corner of the state.

With the bulk of ballots counted [from the all-mail-in balloting], Bonamici was defeating Republican Rob Cornilles by about 15 percentage points in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Democrat David Wu in August.

Elsewhere, three members of the House announced their retirement this week. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the House for her medical recovery.; Gov. Jan Brewer (R, AZ)announced the date for the special primary will be April 17 and the special general election will be on June 12.

Redistricting has caused two new House resignations: Rep. Brad Miller (D, NC) and Rep. Dan Burton (R, IN) both announced that they will not seek re-election. Redisticting in both those states caused overlapping districts in which the incumbent would have to fight over another incumbent. Redistricting may claim some additional incumbents as the district races get sorted out; see our House of Representatives page for a rough outline.

Sources: The Oregonian, San Pedro Valley News-Sun (AZ), and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issues stances by Suzanne Bonamici

Mitt Romney wins Florida primary: Jan. 31, 2012

Click for excerpts from GOP primary debate in Jacksonville Florida

Mitt Romney won all 50 delegates in the Florida primary, the first statewide winner-take-all primary. Here is the delegate count post-Florida:

Mitt Romney12725071
Newt Gingrich0023023
Rick Santorum1300013
Ron Paul03003
Jon Huntsman02002

For more on Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primaries, see link below....

Sources: OnTheIssues Frequently Asked Questions
Click for excerpts from the Florida debate or our Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primary FAQ.

President Obama delivers State of the Union speech: Jan. 24, 2012

Click for excerpts from State of the Union speech and GOP Response

It was a wish list, not a to-do list. President Obama's array of plans in his State of the Union speech was light on a key piece of context -- namely, that his hands are so tied ahead of the election that it is doubtful many if any of them can be done in the remainder of his term. There can be little more than wishful thinking behind his call to end oil industry subsidies -- something he could not get through a Democratic Congress, much less today's divided Congress, much less in this election year.

Sources: FOx News Fact Check
Click for all issues stances by Barack Obama or complete excerpts from the State of the Union

Rep. Gabby Giffords (R, AZ) announces resignation: Jan. 22, 2012

Click for excerpts from Gabby Giffords voting record

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the three-term Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt, announced Sunday that she will resign from Congress this week in order to focus on her continuing recovery. She plans to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday and will resign sometime after that.

Giffords' resignation will force a special election to fill her seat in the 8th Congressional District. Republican candidates state Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, and Dave Sitton, a University of Arizona sports broadcaster, already had formed exploratory committees for the November general election to test the waters for a possible run in her district. Jesse Kelly, Giffords' 2010 GOP opponent also might run again. Republican Adam Hansen of Bisbee also has announced his candidacy.

On the Democratic side, state legislators Paula Aboud, Steve Farley and Matt Heinz of Tucson have been mentioned as possible Giffords replacements. Mark Kelly, Giffords' retired astronaut husband, Pia Carusone, her congressional chief of staff, and Ron Barber, her state director, also have been mentioned as possibilities, although Kelly particularly has indicated he isn't interested in running.

According to state law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) must set a date for a special election primary 80 to 90 days after Giffords formally steps down, and a general election will be set for 50 to 60 days after the primary. So the primary election for Giffords seat will likely be held in late April with the general election in June.

The state’s independent redistricting comission made Giffords’ swing seat slightly more Democratic. But that map is under dispute, and a special election for Giffords’ seat will be held under the old lines. That’s the map under which Giffords was reelected in 2010 by a mere 1.3 percent margin. Her district voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

But the special circumstances — Giffords has become a national hero since the assassination attempt against her last January — surrounding the seat could give Democrats something of a boost.

Sources: Arizona Republica and Washington Post
Click for all issues stances by Gabby Giffords

Newt Gingrich wins South Carolina primary: Jan. 21, 2012

FAQ: How did the S.C. primary differ from the previous ones?

After the South Carolina primary (Jan. 21, 2012), the pundits breathlessly assert, "It's all tied up: One for Newt; one for Mitt; and one for Santorum." (Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary; Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary; Rick Santorum retroactively won the Iowa caucus). So is that true, that it's all tied up?

No, of course not. The way to keep score is to count delegates, not to count states. South Carolina has 25 delegates -- more than any one candidate had after the New Hampshire and Iowa contests. And furthermore, South Carolina was a "district-winner-take-all" primary -- so almost all of its delegates went to Newt; whereas the other two contests were "proportional" -- so their delegates were split. Hence Newt Gingrich is well in the lead -- but it won't matter in a few weeks, when Super Tuesday arrives! Here is the delegate count post-South Carolina:

Newt Gingrich002323
Mitt Romney127221
Rick Santorum130013
Ron Paul0303
Jon Huntsman0202

For more on Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primaries, see link below....

Sources: OnTheIssues Frequently Asked Questions
Click for excerpts from the South Carolina debate or our Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primary FAQ or other FAQs from previous elections.

Gov. Rick Perry exits presidential race: Jan. 19, 2012

Former Senator Rick Santorum retroactively wins Iowa caucus

Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican presidential race Thursday, saying he saw no way forward. The same day, the Iowa Republican party announced that Mitt Romney is no longer the winner of the caucuses there.

[Perhaps, on the eve of the South Carolina primary, Perry] wanted to spare himself the indignity of a bad finish. And actually determine the terms of his exit and to have everybody care about what he says as he leaves, and that's what endorsing Newt Gingrich does for him. It's not like Rick Perry had a lot of votes to give to Gingrich.

In Iowa, with the primary more than two weeks ago, now, we find out that it was not Romney's win. That it was actually Santorum's, although we may never really know who won because it's being called a statistical tie. When they did a re-canvas, which is part of the normal process--it's not a recount--the tally comes in Santorum 34 points ahead.

Sources: National Public Radio NPR.org
Click for all issue stances from Rick Perry or Rick Santorum

Jon Huntsman exits presidential race: Jan. 15, 2012

Former Governor of Utah withdraws after 3rd place showing in N.H.

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.

The campaign manager to Mr. Huntsman confirmed the decision in an interview Sunday evening. “The governor and his family, at this point in the race, decided it was time for Republicans to rally around a candidate who could beat Barack Obama and turn around the economy. That candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney.”

A third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary last week failed to jump start Mr. Huntsman’s flagging candidacy, aides said, and his campaign limped into South Carolina with little money. Mr. Huntsman has spent days pondering his future in the race, but aides said that he concluded he was unlikely to topple Mitt Romney or match the momentum of his Republican rivals in the conservative Southern primary.

The decision from Mr. Huntsman came on the same day that he received the endorsement from The State, the newspaper in the capital of Columbia. He had campaigned in South Carolina over the weekend, not giving any indication that the end was near.

Voters also seemed wary of a candidacy by a man whose most recent service was to the very many he now wanted to oust. Fawning letters that Mr. Huntsman wrote about Mr. Obama’s leadership did not help that case.

Mr. Huntsman did better in New Hampshire than polls might have suggested, but he came in a distant third behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

Click for all issue stances from Jon Huntsman

Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire primary: Jan. 12, 2012

FAQ: How do primaries differ from caucuses?

The Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary was the first primary in the 2012 presidential race. It followed the Iowa caucus, but represents different political skills than a caucus; we'll discuss the differences below.

Mitt Romney won both Iowa and N.H. (statistics below) and now has 20 delegates. Rick Santorum has 12 delegates from Iowa but gained none in N.H.; Ron Paul & Jon Huntsman gained their first few delegates each.

Primaries differ substantially from caucuses. The key differences, and their political implications, are:

  • Fewer people vote in caucuses than in primaries.
  • Caucuses measures fervency (depth) of support, while primaries measure a larger cross-section (breadth) of support.
  • Caucuses take place at odd locations at appointed times, not all day.
  • Participants must be informed beforehand.
  • Therefore caucuses require far more volunteers.
  • A campaign's organizational ability does not necessarily require money!
For more on primaries vs. caucuses, see link below....

Sources: OnTheIssues Frequently Asked Questions
Click for Primary vs. Caucus FAQ or other FAQs from previous elections.

Meet the Pres GOP Primary Debate: Jan. 8, 2012

Candidates debate on Meet the Press

This Sunday, a special edition of MEET THE PRESS live from New Hampshire, the last debate before the first in the nation Republican presidential primary. Voting here is just 48 hours away. We come to the Granite State where nearly one in five voters remains undecided despite seeing these candidates face-to-face in town halls, coffee shops and even in their living rooms, a small state that will have a big impact on the race. Their motto, "Live free or die." The issues: jobs and the economy, America's role in the world, and which of these candidates is best suited to take on President Obama. This morning, a debate in partnership with Facebook, the world's number one social platform, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. The candidates, the issues and your questions.

All six candidates are here; and before we begin, you know the drill, we quickly go through the rules. Each candidate will have one minute, 60 seconds, to make their statement, to respond to questions and, at my discretion, 30 seconds for follow-ups or rebuttals. We're on a pretty tight schedule, so I will ask the candidates to stay within their allotted time, and we'll see how that goes.

Sources: Meet the Press coverage and OnTheIssues Archive
Click for debate excerpts.

New Hampshire Primary Debate: Jan. 7, 2012

Candidates debate on WMUR-NH TV

Protesters gathered in Manchester on Saturday hours before the Republican presidential candidates met to debate.

Occupy New Hampshire rallied at Veterans Park in downtown Manchester, saying that the 99 percent need a voice not only during the first-in-the-nation primary but during the general election, as well.

"We're saying they're controlled by lobbyists, by the 1 percent corporation and that our voice doesn't matter," said protester Grace Braley.

The gathering included Democrats, Republicans and independents, all saying they were protesting against what they called the establishment. They said the money spent on politics and getting into the White House has gotten out of control.

During the debate, protesters and supporters of the campaigns chanted outside St. Anselm College.

Sources: WMUR.com coverage and OnTheIssues Archive
Click for debate excerpts.

What does the Iowa caucus mean?: Jan. 6, 2012

Our first FAQ of 2012

On Jan. 3, 2012, the Iowa caucuses represented the first vote in the 2012 presidential primary. The mainstream media breathlessly reported "Romney won by 8 votes over Santorum! And Ron Paul placed a respectable third!"

As usual, the mainstream media got it wrong.

The mainstream media reported on the popular vote -- the number of actual people voting for each candidate. But the real result is the delegate count. It's the same as the electoral college vs. the popular vote in the general election -- the popular vote is what's reported, but it doesn't actually count.

The presidential campaigns focus on getting above the "magic number" of 1,143 delegates. The Iowa caucus, despite all the media hoopla, assigned only 25 delegates -- 13 to Romney and 12 to Santorum. Iowa is a small state and so is New Hampshire -- the N.H. Republican primary on Jan. 10 will assign only another 12 delegates.

Click for more detais and the popular vote count, and the delegate vote count, from the Iowa caucus.

This is the first in a series of FAQs about the 2012 election. We will update our previous election cycle's FAQs for 2012, too, over the coming weeks.

Sources: OnTheIssues Frequently Asked Questions
Click for Iowa caucus FAQ or other FAQs from previous elections.

Michele Bachmann drops out after Iowa caucus: Jan. 4, 2012

Iowa caucus results: Mitt Romney 1st; Rick Santorum 2nd; Ron Paul 3rd

A day after lackluster showings in the Iowa caucuses, Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race Wednesday, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent several hours reassessing his candidacy before announcing he would remain in the contest.

Both onetime front-runners in Iowa, Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry had tried to consolidate the state's bloc of socially conservative voters. But those voters split among multiple candidates, with former Sen. Rick Santorum drawing a big enough share to claim second place in the caucuses behind Mitt Romney.

Sources: Kasie Hunt on Bloomberg Businessweek, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for Michele Bachmann's issues stances.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D, NE) announces retirement: Dec. 28, 2011

Click for excerpts from Ben Nelson's voting record

Democrats lamented U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson's decision to retire rather than seek a third term in Nebraska, fearing the move sets up Republicans for an easy and crucial victory in their effort to reclaim control of the chamber next year.

Nelson, the lone Democrat in Nebraska's five-member congressional delegation, faced a tough re-election campaign against a large group of Republican challengers who have spent the past several months attacking his support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and federal stimulus legislation.

While some floated the names of state Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha and Nelson's former lieutenant governor, Kim Robak, as possible contenders, many said it was too early to know who might run. Messages seeking comment were left for Lathrop and Robak.

A dream candidate for Democrats: former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey. Traveling in India on Tuesday, Kerrey told The Washington Post, "Ben's retirement is a huge loss for Nebraska. I am very sad he's leaving. That is as far as I am going (right now)."

Sources: Associated Press on Fox News
Click for all issues stances by Ben Nelson

Jill Stein interview: Dec. 22, 2011

OnTheIssues interviews the Green Party nominee

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson will abandon his GOP presidential bid and seek the White House under the Libertarian Party banner.

Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee for President of the United States in 2012.

She ran as the Green Party nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010 prior to entering the Presidential race.

Dr. Stein is a medical doctor who resides in Lexington Massachusetts.

This interview, which took place on Dec. 21, 2012, addresses our usual VoteMatch quiz plus the AmericansElect.org questions.

Sources: USA Today
Click for all Jill Stein's issue stances or Interview Excerpts or outline of the Green Party's issue stances.

Gary Johnson withdraws from GOP race: Dec. 21, 2011

Will run as Libertarian Party nominee

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson will abandon his GOP presidential bid and seek the White House under the Libertarian Party banner.

Johnson has drawn scant attention in the race for the Republican Party nomination and barely registered in national public opinion polls, which are often used as a criteria for participation in debates.

The former two-term governor participated in two of the 13 GOP debates this year: the first, in May in South Carolina, which lacked many of the big-name candidates, and most recently in Florida in September.

Sources: USA Today
Click for all Gary Johnson's issue stances or an outline of the Libertarian Party's issue stances.

Past Presidential Coverage: Dec. 17, 2011

OnTheIssues.org initiates coverage of past presidents

OnTheIssues.org today expands our coverage to include past presidents back to 1960. Please check out our new President's page.

1961-1963 John F. Kennedy Democrat
1963-1969 Lyndon Johnson Democrat
1969-1974 Richard Nixon Republican
1974-1977 Gerald Ford Republican
1977-1981 Jimmy Carter Democrat
1981-1989 Ronald Reagan Republican
1989-1993 George Bush Sr. Republican
1993-2001 Bill Clinton Democrat
2001-2009 George W. Bush Republican

Sources: OnTheIssues archives.
Click for all President's issue stances.

Mayoral Coverage: Dec. 16, 2011

OnTheIssues.org initiates coverage of big-city mayors

OnTheIssues.org today expands our coverage to include a dozen big-city mayors. Please check out our new Mayor's page which includes current mayors and numerous past mayors.

The long past mayor's list, of course, is why we cover mayors -- because they often "graduate" to higher offices which we already cover. Our new coverage includes:

Boston MA Tom Menino
Chicago IL Rahm Emanuel
Dallas TX Mike Rawlings
Houston TX Annise Parker
Los Angeles CA Antonio Villaraigosa
New York City NY Mike Bloomberg
New York City NY Rudy Giuliani
Newark NJ Cory Booker
Philadelphia PA Michael Nutter
Phoenix AZ Phil Gordon
Salt Lake City UT Rocky Anderson
San Antonio TX Julian Castro
San Diego CA Jerry Sanders

Sources: Mayoral press releases, Mayoral websites, and State of the City speeches.
Click for all Mayor's issue stances.

Your-Voice-Your-Vote debate: Dec. 10, 2011

Click for excerpts from Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa

Debate in Iowa "Your Voice Your Vote", sponsored by the Des Moines Register, ABC News, Yahoo! News, and Republican Party of Iowa; Moderated by George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.

The highlight of this debate was a $10,000 bet offered by Mitt Romney to Rick Perry, in an attempt by Romney to prove Perry wrong about RomneyCare being the model for national healthcare.

Democrats and Republicans alike are accusing Mitt Romney of being out of touch after he said during this weekend's debate that he would make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry even as millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet in a troubled economy.

Romney shrugged off the comment Sunday -- but says he's been reminded he's not a good gambler. "After the debate was over, Ann came up and gave me a kiss," Romney said, referring to his wife. "And she said, `there are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn't one of them.'"

Romney's bet -- for a sum that represents more than two months' salary for Americans with mid-range incomes --has ignited a discussion about whether Romney, a wealthy businessman whose worth is estimated at more than $200 million, is out of step with the challenges facing the millions of struggling or unemployed Americans who are having trouble providing for their families in an ailing economy.

"I would suggest to you that $10,000 is pocket change for Mitt," said Perry, the Texas governor, who was campaigning in Iowa on Sunday. "Having an extra $10,000 to throw down on a bet seems very out of the ordinary."

Sources: Kasie Hunt on Bloomberg Businessweek, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for Yahoo Iowa GOP primary debate

Rahm Emanuel's book excerpted: Dec. 9, 2011

Click for excerpts from The Plan, by Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel is the mayor of Chicago. But he wrote this book while he was a member of Congress. In between those two, he served as Pres. Obama's chief of staff, which is the highest post one can have and not be in the Cabinet.

Emanuel served Obama primarily as a strategist -- i.e., a political role rather than a policy-making role. He falls into the category of politician known as "bulldog" -- he gets things done by brashly pushing things through. Emanuel is perhaps most famous for cussing explicitly and frequently (but not in this book!).

Presumably Emanuel has another Plan, for his own personal political future. He left a powerful White House position to run for mayor of Chicago. That gives him "executive experience," as the politicians call it, which is a credential usually reserved for governors but also gets bestowed on mayors of very large cities, such as Rudy Giuliani of NYC. He also has legislative experience and White House experience -- a strong combination to run for president some day. So stay tuned....

Sources: The Plan, by Rahm Emanuel, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Rahm Emanuel

Condi's book excerpted: Dec. 7, 2011

Click for excerpts from No Higher Honor, by Condi Rice

Those looking for insight into Condoleezza Rice's personal history won't find it in this autobiography. It's "A Memoir of My Years in Washington", so it starts with Bush's 2000 campaign for the White House. There's nothing about Condi's early life, nor even much about her life outside the White House.

The book does cover Condi's years as National Security Advisor (Bush's first term) and her years as Secretary of State (Bush's second term). Condi writes about everything she did in those two roles -- in other words, there's hardly anything on domestic policy either.

I complained about Tom Ridge's naivete on foreign policy matters as expressed in his book, The Test of our Times. Condi is not naive about foreign policy. I complained about Tom RIdge that I knew more about foreign countries than him. Condi knows more about foreign countries than me, or than just about anyone. Condi thrilled me by using the term "Pashtunistan" -- the only time I've ever seen the term in print except in my own article on Pashtunistan. ("Pashtunistan" means the ethnically-defined region that spans the Pakistan-Afghan border; both countries' presidents perfer to include "Greater Pashtunistan" in their own country, according to Condi, pp. 445-6).

Sources: No Higher Honor, by Condi Rice, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Condi Rice

Herman Cain "suspends" campaign: Dec. 3, 2011

In English, "suspends" means "drops out" of race

Ending days of intense speculation, Herman Cain announced he would suspend his campaign, a legal maneuver that allows him to request federal matching funds. The move followed accusations of sexual harassment, groping and, this week, a 13-year affair with a woman Cain insisted was merely a friend.

Defiant and at times angry, Cain told the crowd that his Plan A — becoming president — would have to give way to Plan B, which he described as changing Washington from the outside. "I am not going to be silenced and I am not going away," said Cain, who announced the launch of a new website, TheCainSolutions.com.

Because Cain's support was already waning, it's unclear how his withdrawal will affect the race. Many strategists expect his supporters to migrate to Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, rather than to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Cain said he would soon endorse a candidate.

Instead of concentrating on the early-voting states, Cain launched a book tour in September, making stops all over the country that fed speculation he wasn't serious about the nomination. Cain, who disputed that, subtitled his memoir "My Journey to the White House."

Sources: Los Angeles Times, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issues stances by Herman Cain

Jesse Ventura's book excerpted: Dec. 2, 2011

Click for excerpts from 63 Documents, by Gov. Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura has taken on a new role as truthseeker against the US government. And this book establishes that the US government has many secrets which need exposure by a truthseeker. Ventura establishes here that most of those secrets are not kept for "national security" reasons, but instead are kept to hide the truth about ulterior motives for war; or to hide misdeeds with shady foreign leaders; or to hide some other embarrassment of the US government. Ventura details how it's the American government which hides the truth for its own benefit -- and NOT the American people. Ventura's purpose in writing this book is to get the American people to be aware that the American government keeps secrets from them, and to insist that it stop.

The title "63 Documents" refers to 1963, the year in which JFK was assassinated. Gov. Ventura holds deep suspicions that the US government still maintains secrets about the JFK assassination. And about Iran-Contra. And about 9-11. Those all border on conspiracy theories -- hence the title of his previous book, American Conspiracies -- but Ventura establishes the paper trail of evidence. This book shows the actual original documents -- plus references to sources so you can find them yourself. This book exposes issues from the 1960s because, after decades of FOIA requests and delays, some of those "secret" documents were finally released. Ventura makes it clear that the US government carries on its inappropriate secrecy today -- which we'll only know about decades hence, after the next generation of FOIA requests and delays.

Sources: 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want To Read, by Gov. Jesse Ventura, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Jesse Ventura

Arnold Schwarzenegger book excerpted: Dec. 1, 2011

Click for excerpts from The Governator, by Ian Halperin

This book is Arnold Schwarzenegger's biography, not just his political biography. It includes stories from his time as a bodybuilder, through his time as an actor, and then as governor. The book's purpose is to explore Arnold's political future after he retires from as California Governor in January 2011. The book is unambiguous in its message about that future: Arnold wants to be President, and a Constitutional Amendment is needed to accomplish that.

The book portrays Arnold as a true independent. He has been a Republican since hearing Nixon's economic views in 1968 (p. 172) but is no hard-core social conservative, with liberal stances on everything from abortion to healthcare. The book provides background for why Arnold came to be pro-gay rights (mostly) and pro-choice (mostly) but pro-economic freedom (mostly). Arnold's independence is perhaps best encapsulated by his justification for supporting ObamaCare: "I'm a public servant; not a party servant." (p. 307).

The book's author, Ian Halperin, is a liberal, who never attended a Republican event until he went "under cover" to attend a Tea Party rally to research this book--but the book is primarily observational rather than partisan. A great read for fans of independent politics, or just for fans of the Terminator series.

Sources: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Barney Frank announces his retirement: Nov. 30, 2011

Click for list of other House retirees

After three decades serving in Congress, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank has announced his retirement. The liberal Democrat will leave behind a legislative legacy that includes financial regulation and memorable sparring matches with both colleagues and constituents.

He announced his retirement in his hometown of Newton, Mass., where he said redistricting played a major role in his decision.

Frank beat back an aggressive Republican challenge to keep his seat in 2010 in what was otherwise a disastrous year for Democrats. He told reporters he thought he would have won again in 2012, but conceded, “it would have been a tough campaign.” He said he knew he would want to retire after the next Congress and thought it would be unfair to ask new constituents in a redrawn district to support him for just one more term.

This announcement brings the number of retirements to 24 out of 435 members of the House. 17 are Democrats; 7 are Republicans. 12 are running for Senate; 2 are running for Governor; 1 is running for Mayor; 9 are retiring to private life.

Sources: NPR.org, and TheHill.com, and OnTheIssues archives
Click for all issues stances by Barney Frank

Lyndon Johnson's biography excerpted: Nov. 26, 2011

Click for excerpts from A Very Human President, by Jack Valenti

OnTheIssues.org introduces its coverage of past presidents with a series of biographies:

Sources: A Very Human President, by Jack Valenti, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts
or all issues stances by Lyndon Johnson

GOP National Security debate: Nov. 22, 2011

Republican contenders debate on CNN

National Security debate: Moderated by Wolf Blitzer of CNN; hosted by Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

According to Nielsen Fast National data, CNN’s GOP National Security Debate (8:00-10:00pm EST), moderated by Wolf Blitzer, delivered 3.599 million total viewers and 1.041 million in the key demographic 25-54 last night, Tuesday, November 22. This debate topped CNBC’s 11/09 debate (993k), CNN’s 6/13 debate (918k) and FNC’s 5/5 debate (854k) in the key demo 25-54. CNN was, by far, #1 during the 8-10pm time period last night among cable news networks.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives and Bill Gorman, Cable News Ratings / Network TV Press Releases
Click for debate excerpts

Howard Schultz's book excerpted: Nov. 19, 2011

Click for excerpts from Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz is the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Inc., the coffeeshop chain. This book is about coffee, but it's also about Schultz's business philosophy and his political philosophy. Schultz's point in the book is that one can run a business with an underlying political philosophy. Schultz describes that philosophy, and his rationale for writing this book, on pp. 7-8:

"I decided that now was a good time to tell the Starbucks story. First, I want to inspire people to pursue their dreams. Second, and more profoundly, I hope to inspire leaders of enterprises to aim high. Success is empty if you arrive at the finish line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners. The more winners you can bring with you--whether they're employees, customers, shareholders, or readers--the more gratifying the victory."

Perhaps Schultz will run for office someday; in the meantime, he has positioned himself as a political opinion leader with this book. A must-read for coffee aficionados (sorry, we don't excerpt those parts here!) that may become a must-read if Schultz ever makes the leap and enters the arena.

Sources: Pour Your Heart Into It, by Howard Schultz, and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Howard Schultz

Pat Buchanan's book excerpted: Nov. 18, 2011

Click for excerpts from Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan

I love Pat Buchanan because he's loudly explicit about his views, unlike most politicians. But yikes, this book makes me cringe in chapter after chapter because he sounds so racist. Buchanan is careful never to say anything blatantly racist, but the undertone is… well, it's racist. Buchanan's thesis is that America is committing suicide because white Christians are not keeping up with the population increase of non-white non-Christian Americans, and that applies to other countries in the West (meaning mostly Europe, but also Japan).

Buchanan's purpose in writing the book is encapsulated in his opening statement: "What happened to the country we grew up in?" (p. vii). Conservatives have been pining for the 1950s for decades now, but Buchanan makes it clear that the aspect of the 1950s that he prefers was the white majority. Buchanan says America chose "replacement of her departing native born with millions of immigrants" (p. 169). So much so that we will become "a Third World America" (p. 236), meaning most of those immigrants come from non-European countries. Which means the white population is declining, which Buchanan calls "suicide."

Buchanan's one saving grace is that he's a Catholic, and recognizes that Catholics have also been victims of racism. (He also decries that Catholicism is on its way to becoming a Third World religion (p. 122), meaning a non-white religion). I wish I could say I liked this book. But it made me cringe so often from racist undertone that I cringe again just writing this review. Too much on race--it makes the book unreadable for its otherwise strong content.

Sources: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan
Click for book excerpts and the full book review
or all issues stances by Pat Buchanan

GOP Foreign Policy debate: Nov. 12, 2011

Republican contenders debate in S.C.

CBS aired a primary debate in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Foreign Policy, with 8 GOP presidential contenders.

Held at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Moderated by Scott Pelley of CBS News and Major Garrett of National Journal.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for debate excerpts

Your-Money-Your-Vote debate: Nov. 9, 2011

GOP contenders debate in Michigan

CNBC aired a debate entitled "Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate", live from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Moderated by Maria Bartiromo & John Hardwood; plus Jim Cramer, the host of "Mad Money."

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for debate excerpts

Four gubernatorial elections : Nov. 8, 2011

No incumbent party changes in four autumn elections

    Four gubernatorial elections took place in October and November, resulting in one new governor-elect but no changes in party holding any of the four governorships:
  • Mississippi: Phil Bryant (R) was elected; he is currently the Lt. Governor.
  • Mississippi: Haley Barbour (R) will retire in January; he is a leading contender for Vice President. If Romney is nominated, look for the "Mass-Miss" connection!
  • Kentucky: Steve Beshear (D) was re-elected on Tuesday's election day.
  • Louisiana: Bobby Jindal (R) was re-elected in a runoff election in late October. His large margin of victory in the runoff precluded an election on November's election day.
  • West Virginia: Earl Ray Tomblin (D) was elected in a special election in October; he was already acting governor since Joe Manchin resigned to take a Senate seat.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from all 50 Governors

Gubernatorial biographies excerpted: Nov. 7, 2011

Excerpts from two Governors' books

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from all 50 Governors

Head-to-head debate: Nov. 5, 2011

Herman Cain vs. Newt Gingrich, head-to-head

This debate on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011, had Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich in a one-on-one matchup. It was hosted by the Texas Patriot PAC and held in Houston Texas; moderated by Iowa Congressman Steve King.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for debate excerpts, or for issue stances from Herman Cain (R, GA) or Speaker Newt Gingrich (R, GA)

Romney's book excerpted: Nov. 2, 2011

Excerpts from No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney

This book, published in 2010, outlines Mitt Romney's case against Obama for the 2012 election. Its title makes Romney's case that Obama is an apologist for America (pp.24-33) whereas Romney would instead "proudly defend her." If the title sounds arrogant, that too is Romney's intent: he claims that Obama is too weak in missile defense (p. 18); in defense spending (p. 31); in the War on Terror (p. 64); and in just about everything.

While this book focuses heavily on foreign policy and military issues, Romney also makes the domestic case against Obama. Romney reinforces his conservative credentials against abortion (p. 265) and against gay marriage (p. 269), since those credentials need substantial reinforcement in the view of many hard-line conservatives (Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for the Massachusetts Senate seat in 1994 as a pro-gay, pro-choice Republican). But mostly Romney focuses on healthcare. And mostly he focuses on how RomneyCare (the Massachusetts healthcare plan initiated by Romney as Governor) is not the same as ObamaCare (p. 176). Mostly Romney's opponents will focus on how ObamaCare is based heavily on RomneyCare: the 2012 Republican primary voters will have to decide which view prevails.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from No Apology, by Gov. Mitt Romney

Book excerpts "The 100": Oct. 25, 2011

"The 100 Greatest Speeches Ever" including John F. Kennedy

This book analyzes political speeches, but more from a speechmaking perspective than a political perspective. It's about the 100 greatest speeches of history, which were mostly delivered by politicians or political activists. But the book's focus is on how rhetorical techniques accomplished the speaking goals, not on any political goals.

    Those excerpted include:
  • Barack Obama
  • Bill Clinton
  • Colin Powell
  • George Bush Sr.
  • John F. Kennedy
  • John McCain
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Rudy Giuliani

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excertps from The 100, by Simon Maier and Jeremy Kourdi

Republican debate: Oct. 11, 2011

GOP presidential contenders in Dartmouth NH

Broadcast Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 8pm- 10p.m. at Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College will be an important stop this fall for the Republican presidential candidates when it co-hosts a debate on October 11 at 8:00 p.m. with the U.S. economy as the focus. The event will be broadcast nationally and around the globe by Bloomberg Television and streamed online by Washingtonpostlive.com. WBIN in Derry, N.H., will broadcast the debate throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Sources: http://www.dartmouth.edu/debates/
Click for issue stances for GOP contenders in N.H. debate

Sarah Palin opts out of presidential race: Oct. 5, 2011

Former Governor of Alaska formally declares she's not running

In a statement to supporters, the 2008 vice presidential nominee said she would not seek the Republican nomination for the White House by entering what is already a crowded field.

Instead, Palin said she can be more effective helping other Republicans win office "from the nation's governors to congressional seats and the presidency."

Her statement from Wasilla, Alaska, was a shorter retreat than New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's bowing-out on Tuesday, which came at a lengthy press conference in Trenton.

Taken together, the twin Shermanesque statements leave Republicans facing what's likely to be the complete GOP field — dominated by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and with pizza magnate Herman Cain rising in the polls.

Most Republicans had not expected Palin to run ever since Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota got into the race and soared to the top in the Iowa straw poll. But Bachmann's stumbles since then opened the door a bit for another female contender with strong conservative credentials.

Palin's path to the nomination would have been complicated by the presence of Perry and others — including Bachmann, Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich— destined to split the conservative vote.

Sources: Richard Wolf and Jackie Kucinich, USA TODAY
Click for issue stances for Gov. Sarah Palin (R, AK)

Democrat wins West Virginia Gubernatorial Special Election: Oct. 4, 2011

Appointee Earl Ray Tomblin elecfted for special one-year term

Democrat and Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin won the race for West Virginia’s next governor in Tuesday’s special election. Tomblin won over Republican challenger Bill Maloney.

Though Tomblin and Maloney were the front runners in the race, they were not the only candidates. The remaining candidates were: New Haven’s Marla D. Ingels (Independent); Bob H. Barber (Mountain Party); and Harry V. Bertram (American Third Position Party).

Tomblin will serve out the remaining year of the term won by former Gov. Joe Manchin who now sits in the US Senate.

Sources: Point Pleasant (W.V.) Register
Click for complete excerpts from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin or Sen. Joe Manchin

Punditocracy anoints Chris Christie for President: Sept. 28, 2011

Governor of New Jersey declared the flavor of the week

The mainstream media has become breathless again, "reporting" on the possible presidential candidacy of Gov. Chris Christie (R, NJ).

Gov. Christie has repeatedly stated, unambiguously, that he is not running. He also promised the people of New Jersey, during his election campaign, that he would serve out his term.

Despite the repeated denials, radio talk show hosts and newspaper editorialists nationwide are reporting this week how people in the audiences ask, "Might you run?" and any other such "news."

We note that, as usual, the mainstream media only report on the horserace -- who says Christie might run, and who says he won't, and isn't it all so exciting! -- without actually reporting anything about what Christie believes.

We report here Gov. Chris Christie's issue stances, so you can decide for yourself if you'd like to form a draft movement.

[On Oct. 4, Gov. Christie formally declared he will not run for president in 2012].

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue stances for Gov. Chris Christie (R, NJ)

Republicans debate in Florida; straw poll results: Sept. 24, 2011

First major debate to feature Gov. Gary Johnson

The Fox News-Google GOP Presidential debate took place on September 22, 2011 at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. It was sponsored by Fox News and Google in conjunction with the Florida Republican Party. It aired on the Fox News Channel, streamed on YouTube.com/FoxNews, and broadcast on Fox News Radio.

The debate was in anticipation of the Florida Straw Poll which took place the next day, with the following results:

Candidate     Straw Poll Result  
Herman Cain37%
Gov. Rick Perry15%
Gov. Mitt Romney14%
Sen. Rick Santorum11%
Rep. Ron Paul10.5%
Speaker Newt Gingrich8.5%
Gov. Jon Huntsman2%
Rep. Michele Bachmann   1%

According to Fox News, Romney and Bachmann had both left Florida before the voting began and their campaigns discounted the straw poll's role in the campaign. Previous straw polls have predicted the GOP nominee. Ronald Reagan won in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Kansas Sen. Bob Dole in 1995. The Republican Party of Florida, however, has not organized the test vote in recent years.

Sources: Fox News and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for issue excerpts from Google Orlando debate

Republicans win two special House elections: Sept. 15, 2011

Special election results from New York and Nevada

A little-known Republican businessman from Queens, channeling voter discontent with President Obama into an upset, won election to Congress on Tuesday from the heavily Democratic district in New York City last represented by Anthony D. Weiner.

The Republican, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, defeated Assemblyman David I. Weprin, the scion of a prominent Democratic family in Queens, in a nationally watched special election. With 92 percent of the precincts counted, Mr. Turner was leading Mr. Weprin by 53 percent to 47 percent, according to The Associated Press. National Republican leaders immediately trumpeted the victory as a sign of trouble for Mr. Obama’s re-election effort.

Mr. Turner capitalized on discontent in some corners of the Jewish community with Mr. Obama’s posture toward Israel and his handling of the Middle East peace process. Former Mayor Edward I. Koch, a Democrat, urged voters to rebuke the president by voting for Mr. Turner.

A rural northern Nevada district did what it has always done and sent a Republican to Congress Tuesday, but that didn't stop the GOP from heralding the predictable finish as a victory against President Barack Obama.

Former state Sen. Mark Amodei emerged as the winner of Nevada's 2nd Congressional District special election, easily sweeping past Democrat Kate Marshall in this economically-wounded state where Obama's popularity is sinking.

Amodei took 58 percent of the vote to Marshall's 36 percent after campaigning to stand up to Obama and other Washington Democrats. History was on his side. The district made up of conservative voters has never elected a Democrat and Republicans had a 32,000-vote registration edge heading into Election Day.

Amodei said he would travel to Washington, D.C., Wednesday and hoped to be sworn in Thursday. The candidates were competing to replace Republican Dean Heller, who was promoted from the House to the Senate in May after former Republican Sen. John Ensign resigned over a sex scandal with a former staffer. Amodei will serve the remainder of Heller's term and will have to seek re-election in 2012 to keep the seat.

Sources: Josh Haner, New York Times; Associated Press on CBS News
Click for issue stances of Rep. Mark Amodei (R, NV) and Bob Turner (R, NY)

GOP Candidates debate: Sept. 12, 2011

Debate sponsored by Tea Party Express

Moderator: Wolf Blitzer:
"Welcome to the Florida State Fairgrounds here in Tampa, the site of the first ever Tea Party/Republican presidential debate. One year from now, right here in Tampa, the Republican National Convention will nominate the Republican candidate for president of the United States. Tonight, eight contenders will be on this stage to try to convince voters he or she is the best choice to hold the highest office in the country. And joining them inside this hall, Tea Party activists from Florida and across the nation.

"Tonight's debate is airing on CNN, CNN International, CNN en Espanol, and the American Forces Network seen on U.S. military bases in 175 countries and aboard Navy ships at sea around the globe. We also want to welcome our co-sponsors, the Tea Party Express, and more than 100 state and local Tea Party groups from across the United States."

Sources: CNN Debate Transcript
Click for all excerpts from the Tea Party debate in Tampa.

Obama address Joint Session of Congress: Sep. 8, 2011

Excerpts from Obama's Jobs proposal plus GOP response

President Obama presented his jobs plan to Congress Thursday evening. It proposes tax cuts to businesses that hire new employees, reforms to the unemployment insurance system and investments in schools and infrastructure.

Sources: NPR.org, White House press release, and GOP websites
Click for complete excerpts from presidential contenders on the American Jobs Act

GOP Candidates debate: Sept. 7, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry makes first appearance

Rick Perry arrived at his first presidential debate packing heat. The Texas governor who once shot a threatening coyote while jogging came armed, rhetorically, for his debut on the national political scene. He blasted rival Mitt Romney on job creation, doubled down on his critique of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme and defended his record on everything from education to climate change.

Perry's performance Wednesday night in the forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., demonstrated not only his considerable strength in the Republican primaries — he has rocketed to the top of the national polls little more than three weeks after announcing his candidacy — but also his clear vulnerabilities in a general election. And it illustrated the changing shape of the GOP contest for the nomination to take on President Obama in 2012. The spotlight was on Perry and Romney, the man he dislodged as frontrunner in national polls. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party favorite who was the star of the first debate, was largely eclipsed and the other contenders often had to battle to get into the conversation

The debate was Perry's chance to make a first impression on many Americans. Before he announced he was running for president last month, only about half of Republican and Republican-leaning voters even knew who he was, according to the Gallup Poll. Now three of four have heard of him, and most like what they see.

Sources: USA Today
Click for all excerpts from presidential primary debate at Reagan Library.

Senate Challengers: Sept. 6, 2011

Senate first-time challenger pages added

OnTheIssues.org covers first-time Senate challengers by excerpting their websites, and then sending them a VoteMatch quiz to fill in. Below are links for the newly-covered Senate challengers; check back in a week or two for the ones who responded to our VoteMatch request. In the following months, we'll cover the Senate debates as they occur.

Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Dick Cheney releases his book: Sept. 1, 2011

Former Vice President's memoir: "In My Time"

Dick Cheney is on book tour this week for his new memoir, In My Time. In it, Bush's V.P. discusses the Iraq War, the War on Terror, and numerous other controversial topics.

Also on book tour this week is the former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell for her book, Troublemaker, her memoir of her Tea Party-based race in which you'll recall she was accused of being a witch.

And we've completed book excerpts from all of the presidential candidates; they're all listed below with our book reviews in the links. Finally, we include a couple of excerpts from a new book by our favorite troublemaker, Jesse Ventura. We'll be filling in more excerpts from all the new books over the next few weeks.

Liberty DefinedRep. Ron Paul (R, TX)
It Takes A FamilySen. Rick Santorum (R, PA_
On My HonorGov. Rick Perry (R, TX)
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R, MI)
TroublemakerChristine O'Donnell (R, DE)
63 DocumentsGov. Jesse Ventura (I, MN)
In My TimeV. P. Dick Cheney (R, WY)

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, or the 2012 presidential candidates.

WI Senate Challengers: Aug. 30, 2011

Senate challenger pages added for Wisconsin

The incumbent Senator from Wisconsin is retiring; the field of challengers has now formed:

WI Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Senate Challengers: Aug. 28, 2011

Senate challenger pages added

OnTheIssues.org covers Senate challengers who are former incumbents or candidates by newly excerpting their websites, and then collating their previous voting records. Below are links for the newly-covered Senate challengers; check back in a week or two for the ones who responded to our VoteMatch request. In the following months, we'll cover the Senate debates as they occur.

Senate Challenger

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Background Politicians: Aug. 16, 2011

Political philosopher pages added

OnTheIssues.org attempts to establish the source of current politicians' philosophies by documenting the original political philosophers. This election cycle, we've added five new people. All five have been routinely cited by the presidential candidates (especially Pres. Kennedy!) so we allow our readers to look at the original. We will add materials over the course of the presidential election cycle.

Political PhilosopherCited in these current sources
Milton Friedman
(Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist)
and Ayn Rand
(Founder of Objectivism and Tea Party favorite)
Tea Party
(Outline of the movement's beliefs)
Pres. John F. Kennedy
and Pres. Lyndon Johnson

Sources: Library of Congress
Click for all Senators' issues for all incumbents.

Tim Pawlenty withdraws from race: Aug. 14, 2011

Former Governor of Minnesota is out

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty told supporters this morning that he will end his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, according to Politico.

He finished a disappointing and distant third in yesterday's Iowa presidential straw poll, well behind his Minnesota rival, Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Courage to Stand,
by Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Governor Tim Pawlenty:
The Sam's Club Republican,
by J. A. McClure

Source: USA Today and OnTheIssues.org archives
Click for all issue stances from Tim Pawlenty

Iowa Straw Poll results: Aug. 13, 2011

Bachmann wins; Pawlenty loses

Michele Bachmann4,82329%
Ron Paul4,67128%
Tim Pawlenty2,29314%
Rick Santorum1,65710%
Herman Cain1,4569%
Rick Perry7184%
Mitt Romney5673%
Newt Gingrich3852%
Jon Huntsman680.4%
Thaddeus McCotter350.2%
Total:16,892 votes cast

Sources: CBS News Political Hot Sheet
Click for all issue stances from the Iowa Straw Poll debate

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