Discussion

Delegate Allocations and State Contest

Romney: 945 delegates

Santorum: 286 delegates

Gingrich: 145 delegates

Paul: 99 delegates

Needed to Win: 1,144 delegates

2012

Mitt Romney
Personal Net Worth: Over $200M

Total Receipts: $63.7M
Total Spent: $55.9M
Cash on hand: $7.6M

Supporting Super PAC:
Restore Our Future
Raised: $36.8M
Spent: $20.5M

Status: Still Running

Ron Paul
Personal Net Worth: Over $3M

Total Receipts: $31.1M
Total Spent: $29.4M
Cash on hand: $1.64M

Supporting Super PAC:
Endorse Liberty Inc.
Raised: $3.4M
Spent: $3.3M

Status: Still Running

Newt Gingrich
Personal Net Worth: Over $7M

Total Receipts: $18.3M
Total Spent: $ 16.5M
Cash on hand: $1.8M

Supporting Super PAC:
Winning Our Future
Raised: $13.1M
Spent: $10.7M

Status: Dropped

Rick Santorum
Personal Net Worth: Over $0.5M 

Total Receipts: $6.7M
Total Spent: $5.2M
Cash on hand: $1.5M 

Supporting Super PAC:
Red, White and Blue Fund
Raised: $2.8M
Spent: $2.2M

Status: Dropped

Rick Perry
Personal Net Worth: Over $1M

Total Receipts: $20.1M
Total Spent: $16.3M
Cash on hand: $3.7M

Supporting Super PAC:
Make Us Great Again
Raised: $5.49M
Spent: $4.88M

Status: Dropped

Jon Huntsman
Personal Net Worth: Over $20M

Total Receipts: $5.92M
Total Spent: $5.81M
Cash on hand: $0.11M

Supporting Super PAC:
Our Destiny
Raised: $2.68M
Spent: $2.55M

Status: Dropped

Michele Bachmann
Personal Net Worth: Over $0.9M

Total Receipts: $9.26M
Total Spent: $8.9M
Cash on hand: $0.36M

Supporting Super PAC:
Citizens for a Working America
-Now Supporting Romney-

Status: Dropped

Herman Cain
Personal Net Worth: Over $2.9M

Total Receipts: $16.86M
Total Spent: $15.88M
Cash on hand: $0.99M

Supporting Super PAC:
9-9-9 FUND
Raised: $0.6M
Spent: $0.4M

Status: Dropped

Totals as of 1/31/11. Source: FEC & msnbc 

The Presumptive Nominee
  • Apr. 3: Romney wins DC, Maryland and Wisconsin contests.
  • Apr. 10: Santorum drops out, citing that his daughters recent health scares caused him and his family to reevaluate things.
  • Apr. 17: Speaker of the House, Boehner endorses Romney.
  • Apr. 24: Romney wins 5 states (NY, CT, PA, DE, RI)
  • Apr. 24: Following losses in 5 states, Gingrich announces an unofficial concession.

April 2: Santorum claims that a majority of Univeristy of California schools don't teach American History. 

Apr. 5: Gingrich think tank, The Center for Health Transformation, files for chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Apr. 10: A $500 Gringrich check to get on the Utah primary bounces, pointing to money problems for the campaign. 

Apr. 17: On a conservative talk radio interview, Romney says that there is a "vast left wing conspiracy" in the media against his campaing. 

The Race for Delegates
  • Mar. 3: Romney wins Washington State caucus.
  • Mar. 4: Eric Cantor endorses Romney.
  • Mar. 6: Super Tuesday Results: Romney wins 6 states (AL, ID, MA, OH, VT, VA), Satorum 3 (ND, OK, TN), Gingrich 1 (GA).
  • Mar. 10: Santorum wins Kansas; Romney wins caucuses in Guam and the Northern Marianas.
  • Mar. 13: Santorum wins Alabama and Mississippi; Romney wins Hawaii and American Samoa.
  • Mar. 16: The Chicago Tribune endorses Romney.
  • Mar. 18: Romney wins Puerto Rico.
  • Mar. 20: Romney wins Illinois.
  • Mar. 21: Jeb Bush endorses Romney.
  • Mar. 21: In an interview with CNN, a Romney adviser likens Romney to an etch-a-sketch, suggesting that the candidate's campaign would be able to restart the campaign for the fall. The comments led to critics from both sides of the isle to conclude that Romney is not committed to his values.
  • Mar. 24: Santorum wins Louisiana.
  • Mar. 28: George HW Bush endorses Romney.

As of mid-March, the current endorsements are as follows: Romney, 109; Santorum 7; Gingrich, 12; Paul 5. This year, governors across the country are holding off on endorsing candidates - a break from the traditional boasting of endorsements. Only a few notables have stepped up to the plate, Romney has nine of those, Santorum has one, Gingrich has two, and Paul has none. This appears to set up the primary to be a referrendum on the direction of the GOP - and it appears governors are hesistant to align themselves on either side of the increasingly nasty primary race, since it can affect their own re-election campaigns. If Santorum wins the nomination, but fails to capture the general election, it could mean that the Tea Party base will be subdued and more conventional centrists may once again reclaim the reigns of the party, which would be a blow to social conservatives. If Romney wins the nomination, but fails to win the general, it could galvanize the base even more, sending it further to the right. It seems that strategically, the party can’t afford to become more conservative and turn off independents, but it also can’t afford lose ideology and have an unenthusiastic base.

This month is proving to be trying for the Gingrich campaign, as there is increasing pressure from pro-Santorum supporters to get Gringrich to drop out of the race and pundits who project there is no scenario in which Gingrich could win the delegate race.

Mar. 15: While campaigning in Puerto Rico, Satorum says that Puerto Rico needs to adopt English as it's primary language if it wants to become a state.

Mar. 16: Santorum calls for a ban on pornagraphy, calling it  an American Pandemic.

 

Primaries Continue
  • Feb. 4: Romney wins the Nevada caucus.
  • Feb. 7: Santorum wins contests in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota.
  • Feb. 9: Following wins, Santorum's website raises $1 million in 24 hours.
  • Feb. 11: Romney wins the CPAC straw with 38 percent of the votes.
  • Feb. 15: The liberal blog, Daily Kos, encourages liberal activist in open primary states to vote for Santorum to prolong the republican primary.
  • Feb. 21: Fresh off of saying that he opposes pre-natal test because they lead to more abortions, Santorum says that Obama's Health Care law is bad for marriage because married couples pay more for insurance than single individuals.
  • Feb. 26: Jan Brewer, Republican Governor of Arizona, endorses Romney.
  • Feb. 26: Gingrich says the Georgia primary on Super Tuesday is key to him staying in the race.
  • Feb. 28: Ahead of the highly contested Michigan Primary, Santorum robo-calls Michigan Democrats asking for their vote as a way to send a message to Romney regarding his editorial about letting the auto industry fail.
  • Feb. 28: Romney wins the Michigan and Arizona primaries, but the delegate count suggest Romney and Santorum are nearly split Michigan.
  • Feb. 29: Romney wins Wyoming Caucuses.

Quickly following a loss in Nevada, Gingrich reassures that he is in the race for the long haul. This statement by Gingrich reveals more about the changes in delegate allocation rather than Gingrich’s determination. Following the 2010 midterm elections, republicans made a hard push to get rid of winner-take-all elections, and instead moved to a proportional distribution of delegates determined by the number of votes each candidate got. Because of the changes, primary candidates are now able to collect delegates even if they don’t win the state, encouraging them to stay in the race longer.

In public opinion polls, Santorum takes the lead, earning him a 10 point lead against Romney in some polls. In an attempt to solidify his first place position and gain more primary voters, Santorum touts his conservative views on religion, contraception, abortion and health care. Strategically, Santorum’s focus on social conservative values gives him an advantage with the republican base, which deems Romney as not conservative enough, but these values don’t seem to resonate very well with the general population, including independents. Santorum also begins to lose support among women, after a string of comments against contraceptives, abortion and pre-natal screenings.

Feb. 1: Romney tries to emphasize his focus on the middle class, by saying he is not concerned about the very rich or the very poor, leading his critics to attack him for saying he’s not concerned about the very poor. He is also glittered bombed by gay rights activist. 

Feb. 24: In a speech in Detroit, Romney addresses the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, with a backdrop of empty seats. His focus is his economic policies, but the speech is given amid stories about his 2008 editorial in the New York Times arguing against the auto bailout.

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The Primaries Begin
  • Jan. 3: After a very tight race in Iowa where Romney was declared the winner by 8 votes, Santorum is eventually certified as the official winner by 34 votes.
  • Jan. 4: John McCain endorses Romney.
  • Jan. 4: Bachmann suspends her campaign after a 6th place finish in Iowa.
  • Jan. 4: Following Romney's perceived win, it is reported that influential conservatives are holding an emergency meeting in Texas to strategize defeating Romney who is seen as not conservative enough.
  • Jan. 10: Romney wins New Hampshire primary.
  • Jan. 15: Huntsman suspends his campaign and endorses Romney.
  • Jan. 19: Perry suspends his campaign and endorses Gingrich.
  • Jan. 21: Gingrich wins South Carolina.
  • Jan. 23: Gingrich's Freddie Mac records are disclosed, revealing a $25 thousand a month contract with the company. They also reveal he made $1.6 million over 8 years.
  • Jan. 24: Romney releases his tax records, which show he paid $6.2 million in taxes on a $42.5 million income.
  • Jan. 25: Speaking to a crowd in Florida, Newt tells the crowd he wants a permanent base on the moon by 2020.
  • Jan. 28: Herman Cain endorses Gingrich.
  • Jan. 31: Romney wins Florida.
  • Jan. 31: The FEC reports that SuperPACs have amassed over $112 million and spent $69 million.

January officially kicked off the primary season with the Iowa caucus- and despite Santorum's caucus win, Romney stole the limelight when most all networks declared him the winner due to a ballot counting error. Quickly following, the open New Hampshire primary was an easy win for Romney given his relatively moderate record and a lack of tea party enthusiasm in New Hampshire.

By the time the primary hits South Carolina, the potential of Super PACs to influence an election becomes clearer when reports say that they are outspending candidates more than 2 to 1. In South Carolina, they spent $7 million, compared to the the $3.2 million spent by the candidates. The inflamitory nature of the ads put out by Super PACs make candidates call out the Super PACs and ask them stop dirty campainging, but those calls are mute as the Super PACs are by nature not tied to the candidates and don't have to follow any directions from candidates as it could be seen as coordinating.

Jan. 9: A sound bite featuring Romney saying he "likes firing people" makes the airwaves. The context of the sound bite was with regard to holding services accountable for the quality of their services and being able to terminate contracts if those services don't meet standards - health insurance in particular. The sound bite is unfortunate given criticism he starts to get over his time at Bain Capital, which profited off downsizing, which included layoffs. 

Jan. 13: A judge denies Perry the ability to sue to get on the Virginia ballot, meaning only Romney and Paul will appear on the Virginia ballot. 

Jan. 21: After almost a month of anticipation, Santorum is officially certified as the winner of the Iowa caucus.

 

The First Primaries Loom.
  • Dec. 3: Cain suspends his bid for President, amid continued allegations of infidelity and sexual assault
  • Dec. 10: During a debate, Romney challenge's Perry to a $10,000 bet regarding individual mandates for health insurance.
  • Dec. 17: The Des Moines Register endorses Mitt Romney.
  • Dec. 17: Gingrich says the $1.6 million he took from Freddie Mac went to cover overhead cost of his business, and that the money did not go directly to him.
  • Dec. 18: Gingrich says he would send US marshals to arrest activist judges, and that he would ignore supreme court rulings that infringe on his role as commander in chief.
  • Dec. 23: Paul says ghost writers wrote racist messages and ads under his name in the 1990s. The ads warned of a coming
  • Dec. 27: Rick Perry sues to get on the Virginia ballot- he is later joined by other candidates who also fail to gather the 10,000 signatures required to make it on the ballot.

With Cain out of the race, questions arise regarding the viability of republicans candidates against Obama. While public opinion polls suggest Romney would be the strongest contender against the president, Republican primary voters seem to seek anyone other than Romney, who is seen as not conservative enough. The candidates resort to attacking each other, and trying to prove they are the most conservative as an attempt to court primary voters. These actions begin to worry the party as the candidates are becoming less appealing to the general public. In October, conservative evangelical, Pat Robertson, noted this and said the candidates needed to tone down their extremism. Robertson’s thoughts are echoed in December by Mike Huckabee calling the race “too toxic,” and The Guardian goes as far as to blame Fox News for fostering a situation where no one can be conservative enough for the republican base and thus creating an unelectable candidate for the general election. 

Dec. 1: Adding to previous comments that low income children should work, Grinch states that poor children have no work ethics.

Michelle starts off the month by facing accusations of using a mailing list for homeschoolers in Iowa without permission, leading the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators to charge the Bachmann Campaign for the emails, and offering all other candidates the opportunity to pay for emails to be sent out to the list.

Dec. 6: Gingrich credits his work in the 1980's as a "supply-sider" with Reagan and Jack Kemp as the reason for Romney wealth.

Dec. 6: Liberals critique Perry's ad "Strong," which is intended to tout Perry's social conservative values, which liberals find offensive.

Dec. 18: Despite leaving Bain Capital in 1999, a New York Times report reveals that Romney continues to profit from the firm due to a deal he made prior to leaving.

 

Allegations, Bachmann and the media, Cain falters as Newt rises.
  • Nov. 2: Three more sexual allegation claims emerge against Cain.
  • Nov. 13: Bachmann issues a press release criticizing CBS's editorial decision to limit her air time in an upcoming debate.
  • Nov. 21: Gingrich suggest poor public school children should take pride in their work and replace unionized janitors, calling child labor laws "truly stupid."

Like the rest of his unconventional campaign, Cain seems to have a public relations issue with addressing allegations of sexual abuse - clearly agitated and having an antagonistic disposition toward the media. The allegations and responses from the Cain campaign are telling the change in the political process within the GOP. The Cain allegations display lack of a vetting process found in years past, when party leadership vetted candidates prior to running them.

While the media seems to pay most attention to the embattled former Pizza executive, Gingrich begins rising in the polls. Gingrich stands as a conventional politician, he has strong orator skills which come in handy during political debates and despite some of his troubled past as a leader in Congress and history of extramarital affairs, the conservative base seems not to care. For the time, Gingrich appears to be the conservative answer that is anyone but Romney. By late November, it appears the public has completely dismissed Perry as a viable candidate. 

Nov. 11: The New York Times reports that Perry bought $1 Million in political ads at Fox News.

Nov. 27: Union Leader, an influential New Hampshire conservative newspaper, endorses Gingrich.

Nov. 28: Ginger White, an Atlanta business woman, brings forth an allegation against Cain, claiming Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair with her -- which Cain denies on CNN.

Perry's number sink, Cain takes lead.
  • Oct. 2: Paul writes a piece for the New York Daily News criticizing the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, noting that it sets a dangerous precedent for killing American citizens without trial.
  • Oct. 3: The AP reports that Perry gave $35 million to subsidize subprime lenders in Texas while he served as governor citing job creation.
  • Oct. 5: Sarah Palin announces she will not seek the nomination, ending months of speculation.
  • Oct. 16: Cain suggests he would electrify the border fence to discourage illegal immigration.
  • Oct. 21: Bachmann's New Hampshire staff quits amid allegations that the candidate was not giving enough attention to the state.
  • Oct. 24: Steve Forbes endorses Perry and signs on as an adviser.
  • Oct. 25: Perry announces his tax plan via a piece in the Wall Street Journal, dubbing it
  • Oct. 31: First allegations of sexual misconduct against Cain surface.

Following a decline in Perry's public poll numbers, Cain's campaign takes the spotlight with an unusual campaign strategy kicked off by a book tour -- outside of his book tour, the Cain campaign seems to lack a clear organizational structure, which may hurt him in the long run. But the lack of a traditional organizational structure for the time being seems to be a non-issue with Tea Party grassroots activist who are enthused by Cain's conservative views.

Contributing to a rise in Cain's popularity seems to be his pedestrian approach to policy; his tax plan is simple: 9-9-9, laws he would sign would be no longer than three pages long, all productive activity would be free of taxation. While the merits of these promises are yet to be seen, they resonate very well with his base: Tea Party activist who are tired of the large bureaucracy in Washington.

Oct. 1: Perry comes under fire due to the insensitive former name of his family camp.

Oct. 24: Former New Hampshire Governor Sununu endorses Romney.

October 26: After not giving a clear answer to reporters regarding curbing union powers in Ohio, Romney clarifies he stands "110 percent" behind Ohio Governor Kasich on limiting collective bargaining through referendum.

October 27: Cain reports that his campaign has collected $3 million in the month of October.

Pawlenty Endorses, GOP Debate crowds raise eyebrows, and the New Contract with America
  • Sep. 12: Bachmann states her opposition to government mandated HPV vaccine for girls -- over the next week, she tones down her criticism due to backlash from the medical community and health advocates.
  • Sep. 28: While in an interview on CNN, Cain says black voters have been brainwashed into voting for Democrats.
  • Sep. 28: Gingrich announces his
  • Leading the field in September is Perry, and with the position come attacks from his fellow contenders at GOP debates on everything from his Texas mandate on the HPV vaccine to his support of in-state tuition help to the children of illegal immigrant, and for the most part Perry is able to hold his ground at the September debates. As the month hits the halfway point, Perry's support of in-state tuition support for the children of illegals and his reference to Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" begin to take a toll in public opinion polls.

Leading the field in September is Perry, and with the position come attacks from his fellow contenders at GOP debates on everything from his Texas mandate on the HPV vaccine to his support of in-state tuition help to the children of illegal immigrant, and for the most part Perry is able to hold his ground at the September debates. As the month hits the halfway point, Perry's support of in-state tuition support for the children of illegals and his reference to Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme" begin to take a toll in public opinion polls.

​Sep. 12: Pawlenty endorses Romney on Fox News.

Perry Enters Race, Pawlenty Bows out, Ames, and Ron Paul raises big money in 24 hours
  • Aug. 5: Republican candidates take the opportunity to attack the President and his handling of the economy following the Standards and Poors credit downgrade of the US
  • Aug. 13: Perry announces his candidacy, and is the last major contender to do so.
  • Aug. 13: Bachmann wins Ames, Iowa straw poll, Ron Paul was a close second.
  • Aug. 31: Huntsman calls for an overhaul of the tax code, eliminating capital gains tax, and creating tax brackets at 8, 14 and 23 percent.

An analysis by ThinkProgress found that under Huntsman's proposed tax plan, the average middle class family would see an average tax increase of $1,890

Aug. 14: Pawlenty drops out of the race for the nomination.

Aug. 20: Ron Paul raises $1.8 million in one day; the effort was made to coincide with his birthday.

Staff Resignations, Fund Raising Reports, Gay Therapy Clinics and Religious Freedom
  • Jul. 3: Top Cain Campaign staff quit over alleged limited engagement on behalf of the candidate.
  • Jul. 6: Mitt Romney reveals raising over $18 million.
  • Jul. 11: LGBT activist speak out against Marcus Bachmann's clinic which provided Christian "ex-gay reparative" therapy. The Bachmann clinic took state and federal subsidies for low-income patients, contradicting Bachmann's position against government sponsored health programs.
  • Jul. 15: The AP reports that Cain supports blocking the construction of a Mosque in Tennessee as it is an "infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion."
  • Jul. 21: Huntsman's campaign manager resigns.

Like the rest of his unconventional campaign, Cain seems to have a public relations issue with addressing allegations of sexual abuse - clearly agitated and having an antagonistic disposition toward the media. The allegations and responses from the Cain campaign are telling the change in the political process within the GOP. The Cain allegations display lack of a vetting process found in years past, when party leadership vetted candidates prior to running them.

Jul. 5: Politico reports that Gingrich was able to raise $2 million in the second fundraising quarter, but was still had about $1 million in debt.

Jul. 15: Cain noted that the building of the mosque in Tennessee was "just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws" -- a few days later on July 17, he told Fox News Sunday that Americans should be able to block mosques from being built.

Straw Polls, Mounting Gingrich Problems, Eyebrow Raising Cain and More Glitter Bombs
  • Jun. 2: Mitt Romney announces his candidacy.
  • Jun. 5: Jon Huntsman announces that he won't be competing in Iowa because he does not "believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol," which led to criticism from Iowa's Secretary of State, Matt Schultz.
  • Jun. 6: Rick Santorum announces his candidacy on ABC's, “Good Morning America.”
  • Jun. 8: At a speech in Pella, Iowa, Cain says the public nor politicians have time to read lengthy bills, therefore under his presidency he would only sign bills under three pages long. ThinkProgress.org notes that bills that meet the cut off requirement include only the simplest bills, such as "naming post offices and the like."
  • Jun. 9: At least 7 of Gingrich's top campaign staff resign amid differences of opinion between staff and Gingrich on deployment of campaign resources and the candidate's commitment of time to the campaign.
  • Jun. 10: Romney announces that he will not partake in any state straw polls.
  • Jun. 12: In an interview with Bloomberg News, Cain states that the reason President Obama is out of touch with the mainstream is because the President was raised in Kenya.
  • Jun. 13: CNN host the first debate in New Hampshire attended by all major declared candidates.
  • Jun. 21: Jon Huntsman announces his candidacy.
  • Jun. 21: Gingrich fundraisers quit the candidate's campaign.

During this month, various candidates adopt interesting strategies. Huntsman announces a strategy to gain momentum by focusing almost exclusively on New Hampshire, it is yet to be seen if this will be an effective strategy, as New Hampshire voters lack Tea Party enthusiasm found in other states required to win the primary. Romney decides he will not participate in any straw polls, so he can focus on campaigning and delivering his message instead. Gingrich faces of allegations from his staff that he lacks organizational structure, and that he doesn't really have a strategy.


Liberal activist continue to glitter bomb republican candidates as a way to protest against the social conservative views on gays and women's reproductive health.

Jun. 16: Pawlenty is the second candidate to fall victim to a glitter bomb during a book signing event in San Francisco. This time, it is executed by CodePink in protest of Pawlenty's policies toward same-sex couples and women's reproductive health.

Jun. 18: Bachmann is glitter bombed at a speaking engagement in Minneapolis by a gay rights activist working with GetEqual.

Candidates, Non-Candidates and Newt's Problems
  • May 3: John Huntsman forms PAC.
  • May 5: First GOP debate, co-sponsored by Fox and the South Carolina Republican Party. Several major contenders were not in attendance.
  • May 5: Fox News ends contracts with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum due to widespread belief that they are looking to run for the presidential candidacy.
  • May 11: Newt Gingrich announces his candidacy.
  • May 13: Ron Paul announces his candidacy.
  • May 14: Mike Huckabee announces that he is not seeking the candidacy of the party.
  • May 17: Without officially announcing his candidacy, Mitt Romney is able to raise $10.25 million in one day.
  • May 17-25: Gingrich faces a slew of problems, starting with an Iowa Republican voter who tells Gingrich on camera that the candidate is an embarrassment to the party and advises him to get out before he makes a
  • May 21: Herman Cain announces his candidacy.

The early months of the campaign are wrought with punditry speculation about potential candidates, as few contenders have stated their intentions. 

While some potential conders, such as Mitt Romney, have started raising money, questions remain regarding the impact of Super PACs during the general election.

Apr. 21: Gary Johnson becomes the first candidate to formally announce his candidacy.

May 16: Donald Trump, who had unofficially campaigned, announced that he would not be running in the Republican Primary due to his passion for his business.

May 23: Tim Pawlenty announces his candidacy.

Political Lexicon for the Left and the Right
  • Left
  • Special Interest: When the left uses this word, it typically means corporations and conservative advocacy groups.
  • Fair Share: Refers to a progressive tax system, which seeks to end opportunities for businesses and wealthy individuals that use lower capital gains tax rates to avoid a higher tax bracket. The term "fair share" is used to promote higher taxes for higher income earners and businesses. Critics argue that increased taxes will stifle growth and encourage companies to move to countries with lower tax rates.
  • Working Families: Broadly, it refers to middle class and working class American's who do not own business or enjoy the lower tax rates of wealthy individuals and business. "Working families" is used to push for stronger social programs, which critics see as an increase in government and encouraging a welfare state. "Working Families" is widely used by pro-labor groups to push for stronger social programs and labor protections.
  • Marriage Equality: A progressive push to get federal and state governments to define marriage as any two consenting adults, regardless of gender. Critics argue it destroys the sanctity of marriage and redefines marriage.
  • Undocumented Immigrant: Individuals who do not have the proper documentation to claim a legal immigration to the United States; they may immigrated illegally or may have been brought to the United States without consent, as is the case with young children unable to consent. Critics argue that "Undocumented Immigrant" is a politically correct device used to soften the illegal status of these individuals.
  • Women's Right to Choose: Refers to an ideology which seeks to make abortion and women's reproductive health options easily accessible. Critics typically oppose the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion; critics believe that a "woman's choice" is a way to undermine what they believe to be person-hood of an unborn fetus.
  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Refers to policy aims which seek to allow easier paths for citizenship and legal residency for migrants. Critics argue that secure boarders are needed before policies for immigration reform can be put in place.
  • Quality Public Services/Regulation: Refers to increasing funding for public programs and providing funding for new/existing public infrastructures. Proponents for "quality public services" are typical proponents of strong regulations to increase protections for labor, consumers and the environment. Critics argue that it increases the size of government, creates unneeded bureaucracy, and is inherently pro-union.
  • Separation of Church and State: Refers to a secular ideology which seeks a secular government. Critics argue it is meant to undermine Christianity and see it as a frontal attack on Christianity and a notion that the founders of the United States intended the United States to have Christian values.
  • Collective Bargaining: Means unionization. Critics argue that collective bargaining stifles job creation and profits because unions create an unneeded bureaucracy at the workplace which stunts the ability for a business/government to make timely decisions with regard to labor, work conditions and labor compensation/benefits.
  • Revenue: Revenue is a word the left likes to use to mask the word "taxes," mostly because tax increases are unpopular. Critics argue that tax increases hurt business by burdening them with taxes which could be used to improve services, pay for more workers and as a result grow the economy.
  • Right
  • Special Interest: When the right uses it, it typically refers to progressive advocacy groups and unions.
  • Pro-Life: Refers to an ideology which seeks to restrict access to abortion, and women's health services which do not promote women to finish out a pregnancy which ends in live birth. Pro-life does not refer to avoiding deaths due to collateral damage as a result of war or preventing deaths due to capital punishment.
  • Right-to-Work: Promoted as the ability for people to choose whether or not they want to be in a union and prevents compulsory unionization for individuals who do not agree with union politics, which tend to be politically progressive. Critics argue it weakens unions as it makes it difficult for unions to form and collect revenue for operational needs.
  • Traditional Marriage: Defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Opposed to same-sex marriage. "Traditional marriage" does not implicitly imply the opposition to same-sex unions.
  • Family values: Refer to hetero-normative, monogamous, conservative family values. "Family values" can also be closely tied to Christian values and priorities for families.  
  • Job Creators: In the broadest sense, it refers business owners. "Job Creators" has also been used to cover for wealthy individuals, regardless of business associations.
  • Elitist: Refers to college educated individuals who tend to rely on scientific data, subscribe to a secular/multicultural understanding of society, and tend to be politically progressive, as opposed to those who tend to have a traditional homogenous understanding of society, with decisions based on tradition and Christian morals.
  • Conscious Objection: Currently being used to argue against forcing employers to pay for employees' health care services which an employer's religion or conscience might object. Critics argue the labor force is unjustly being subjected to their employer's religious views.
  • Religious Freedom: Currently being used as part of the argument against forcing employers to pay for health services which contradict their religious views. Earlier in the primary season, Herman Cain used it to state that communities should have the "religious freedom" to decide whether or not they want a mosque in their neighborhood. Critics argue that "religious freedom" is being used to impose conservative/religious ideologies on individuals who may not share the same religious beliefs as their employers.
  • Privatization/Regulations: Usually refers to privatization of public services. The right argues that it is a way to allow for new business opportunities for entrepreneurs, and shrink the size of the federal government. Critics argue that it does not shrink government spending, as contractors would still be paid by tax payers, and that it is a way to undermine compulsory unionization of workers, which is a likely with federal workers. Proponents of privatization, also tend to argue for fewer regulations as a tactic to grow business and increase jobs. Opponents of deregulation argue that less regulation means decreased accountability for businesses at the expense of consumers, the environment and labor.
  • Activist Judge: Judges which hold a liberal interpretation of the constitution which believe the constitution is a document which is intended to evolve.
  • Secure Boarder: Refers to ensuring that all entry points to the United States have the infrastructure necessary to greatly reduce or completely eliminate illegal immigration. Usually, proponents say a secure boarder is essential before immigration reform can take place. Critics argue that a "secure boarder" as a precondition for immigration reform is a political tool to preventing any legitimate discussion or legislation for immigration reform.
Romney (Background)
  • Born: March 12, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan
  • Lives: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Religion: Mormon
  • Spouse/Children: Married to Ann Romney, 5 sons
  • Education: J.D. 1971 Brigham Young University, B.A.; 1975 Harvard Business School, M.B.A; 1975 Harvard Law School
  • Career/Government Positions: 2003-2007: Governor of Massachusetts
  • http://www.mittromney.com/
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Mitt-Romney/
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/mitt-romney.htm
Romney (Positions)
  • Taxes/Economy: Romney's solution to fixing federal deficit spending is to "cut, cap and balance." His plan includes cutting non-defense discretionary spending by 5% immediately, cap government spending at 20% of GDP, and get a Balance Budget Amendment passed. He wants to cut the corporate tax rate down to 25%, extend the Bush tax cuts, and eliminate taxes on investment income for people making less than $200,000.
  • Foreign Policy: He wants to boost military spending, and reverse current cuts. His approach to strengthening relationships with friendly nations is in part through economic incentives.
  • Health Care: Calls for the repeal of Obama's Health Care Law on the first day by signing executive orders undoing aspects of the law, and allowing states to opt out. He has stated that the difference between the law he passed in Massachusetts and the current law is a difference in State's rights versus federal overreach.
  • Immigration: He supports permanent residency status for highly educated workers who meet needs of employers, but that the government should have stronger policies against employers who hire illegals. He opposes in-state college tuition rates for the children of illegals.
  • Abortion: While Romney is firmly opposed to abortion, he refused to sign an anti-abortion pledge signed by the other candidates.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: He supports a federal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
  • http://www.mittromney.com/
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Mitt-Romney/
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/mitt-romney.htm
Gingrich (Background)
  • Born: June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Lives: McLean, Virginia
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Spouse/Children: Married to Callista Gingrich, 2 daughters
  • Education: 1965 Emory University, B.A.; 1968 Tulane University, M.A.; 1971 Tulane University, Ph.D.
  • Career/Government Positions: 1970-1978 History Professor; 1979-1998 House Representative; 1995-1998 Speaker of the House
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Newt-Gingrich/
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • newt.org
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/newt-gingrich.htm
Gingrich (Positions)
  • Taxes/Economy: Gingrich seeks to make the Bush Tax cuts permanent, balance the budget, cut an unspecified amount of government spending, eliminate capital gains tax, cut the corporate tax rate to 12.5%, give a 100% tax deduction on equipment for business, repeal Obama's Health Care Law and Wall Street Reform Laws.
  • Foreign Policy: He has been critical of US involvement in Lybia, and thinks the United States needs to "marginalize, isolate and defeat radical Islamist." He wants to invest more in infrastructure to protect against new threats, like cyber attacks.
  • Health Care: He has pledged to repeal Obama's Health Care Law, and instead replace it with alternative reforms that include generous tax credits for health care expenses, malpractice reform, investment in medical research, reforms to curb fraud and making insurance more portable across state lines.
  • Immigration: He proposes using local citizen boards to decide which immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country. He supports making English the official language of the US and has pledged to secure the US-Mexico border by January 1st, 2014.
  • Abortion: Opposes abortion, and would seek to defund Planned Parenthood. He voted in favor of a bill that sought to override the president's veto of a bill banning "partial-birth" abortions.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: Supports a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Newt-Gingrich/
  • newt.org
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/newt-gingrich.htm
Paul (Background)
  • Born: August 20, 1935 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Lives: Lake Jackson, Texas
  • Religion: Baptist
  • Spouse/Children: Married to Carolyn Paul, 3 sons and 2 daughters
  • Education: 1957 Gettysburg College, B.A.; 1961 Duke University Medical Center, M.D.
  • Career/Government Positions: OB/GYN; 1976-1977, 1979-1985, 1997-Present US House Representative;
  • http://www.ronpaul2012.com
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Ron-Paul/
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/ron-paul.htm
Paul (Positions)
  • Taxes/Economy: Paul has a long history of calling for a restructuring of the economy and the tax system. He wants to cut the corporate tax rate to 15%, reduce spending by $1 trillion during his first year in office, eliminating 10% of the federal workforce, permanently extend the Bush Tax cuts, eliminate the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard. He voted twice against raising the federal debt ceiling.
  • Foreign Policy: Strong vocal opponent of US military intervention abroad. He favors limiting US aid to other countries.
  • Health Care: Pledged repeal of Obama's Health Care Law; he instead supports tax deductions and tax credits for medical expenses, and buying insurance across state lines. He opposes the federal government tracking medical records.
  • Immigration: While he opposes government aid for illegal immigrants and expansions of the US-Mexico boarder fence, he also opposes the federal government requiring employers to verify the legal status of workers.
  • Abortion: He would support an amendment stating life starts at conception, and would seek to "effectively repeal" Roe v. Wade. Paul has stated that he has delivered over 4,000 infants and has never encountered a case where an abortion was necessary. He says he would support legislation that would transfer the responsibility for states to regulate abortion.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: While Paul opposes same-sex marriage, he does not believe the federal government should regulate marriage-- and instead let states decide.
  • www.ronpaul2012.com
  • http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2012/candidates.html
  • http://elections.msnbc.msn.com/ns/politics/candidate/Ron-Paul/
  • http://www.foxnews.com/topics/us/ron-paul.htm
Santorum (Background)
  • Born: May 10, 1958 in Winchester, Virginia
  • Lives: Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
  • Religion: Catholic
  • Spouse/Children: Married to Karen Santorum, 4 sons, 3 daughters
  • Education: 1980 Pennsylvania State University, B.A. 1981 University of Pittsburgh, M.B.A.; 1986 Dickinson School of Law, J.D.
  • Career/Government Positions: Lawyer; 1991-1995 US House Representative; 1995-2007 US Senator
Santorum (Positions)
  • Taxes/Economy: Believes in cutting down the corporate tax rate for manufacturing corporations. He has stated that he would not raise taxes due to the current economic climate, but would slash government spending. Santorum is also in favor of repealing the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory reform laws and adopting a balanced budget amendment.
  • Foreign Policy: Supporter of the war in Iraq, as he tends to favor US involvement and intervention in foreign affairs, especially when it comes to the "War on Radical Islam."
  • Health Care: Opposes President Obama's Health Care Law, and has stated he would seek to repeal it.
  • Immigration: Opposed to federal and state aid for illegal immigrants. He voted to build additional fences along the US-Mexico boarder.
  • Abortion: Opposes abortion, including in cases involving rape.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: Opposed to same-sex marriage and would support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage; he signed an agreement saying he would uphold a "traditional" view of marriage.

During the months leading up to the  Iowa primary, Santorum never saw his national public opinon polls raise above single digits.

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Alex 4:53 AM - 31 Jan 2012

Test comment for the republican primary page

thisisatest 1:28 PM - 15 Feb 2012

Further comment testing

arizerg 2:38 PM - 27 Feb 2012

You’re a test!

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