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Presidential campaign, note #1

February 1, 2012

Many of us non Republicans began making a habit last year of watching the frequently staged debates among the candidates for the Republican party’s nomination for President. With characters like Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, and Ron Paul, these debates became addictive for me and I suspect for an unusual number of others, given what the ratings reports revealed. The drama of these debates and of the campaigning altogether has often seemed like what Rachel Maddow referred to as a performance art project (her characterization of the Herman Cain campaign in particular).

As of today, there have been four states selecting their delegates, first the caucus in Iowa (Santorum winning), then primaries in New Hampshire (Romney winning), South Carolina (Gingrich winning) and Florida (Romney winning). Romney’s campaign and supporting Super PACs have now carpetbombed Newt Gingrich on the airwaves in at least two states, so the former Speaker is angrily staying in the race as are Rick Santorum and Ron Paul (both without Newt’s anger, though).

Recent polling numbers show Obama leading Romney in a national matchup, 49% to 42% and about dead even in the 11 states considered swing or up for grabs. Romney’s favorability ratings are going down and down among independent voters as more information into Romney’s background comes to the surface (especially related to his business career and financial wealth).

Way too much money is going to be spent with the SuperPacs again allowed to do business fueled by wealthy people making unlimited donations. The best potential Republican candidates for President sat it out this time as most pundits (including Republican ones) seem to feel Obama is in a strong position to be re elected. Mitt Romney right now does much better than Gingrich and Santorum in matchups with Obama. Ron Paul surprisingly does about the same as Romney against Obama, lagging only several percentage points behind Obama nationally!

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