Beats Bush in Florida; holds massive leads in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.5:27 PM, Aug 5, 2015 • By MICHAEL GRAHAM
A new OpinionSavvy/InsiderAdvantage poll shows Donald Trump doing better in the South than he is nationally. In Georgia, The Donald’s 30 percent is nearly double his closest competitor, Jeb Bush (17 percent), Ben Carson’s at 10 percent, and the rest of the field is single digits—or zero, as in the case of southern boy Lindsey Graham. (Maybe it’s the SEC football rivalry working against him?)
Next door in South Carolina, Trump is at 31 percent, while home state Sen. Graham is at a modest 7 percent. In Alabama, Trump is at a gasp-inducing 38 percent.
Matt Towery at Insider Advantage says they’ve done these polls in 13 states across the South and Southwest, and Donald Trump is at or near the top in every state. “If there’s not a local candidate with home field advantage,” Towery told me, “Trump’s winning.” In Florida, for example, Trump and Bush are neck-and-neck (27-26 percent), while Rubio trails with just 7 percent.
The South used to be “Establishment Country,” where a Dole or a W. could go to rescue a stumbling candidacy after setbacks in Iowa or New Hampshire. But Gingrich’s South Carolina win in 2012 proved that the southern firewall had been forever breached.
It’s hard not to focus on the fact that in both Georgia and South Carolina, Donald Trump has as much support as Cruz, Walker, Christie, Fiorina, Kasich, Paul, Rubio, Jindal, Perry, Graham, Pataki and Santorum combined. But it may be more important—and problematic—that the “conventional wisdom” choices like Walker and Rubio are polling so poorly. Forget how far behind Trump they are. Walker and Rubio combined don’t even match Ben Carson’s numbers. They’re losing to Huckabee.
“With the exception of Bush, who is consistently in second place across the South, the establishment candidates are struggling,” Towery says. “It’s Ben Carson, not Scott Walker, who is currently emerging as the third choice of Republican voters.”
The flip side is that Donald Trump is emerging as the candidate of the South. “When you consider how much he’s out-performing national polls down here, Trump’s numbers must be lower elsewhere.”
How does a flashy, New York billionaire become the candidate of the NASCAR crowd? It’s not the Tea Party. Emily Ekins at the Federalist writes:
Tea Party voters prefer Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (24 percent) to Trump (14 percent). In contrast, Republicans overall favor Trump first (19 percent) followed by Walker (17 percent), according to a PPP poll. Furthermore, Trump does about as well among moderate Republicans as he does among very conservative Republicans (seeABC/WashPo and PPP polls.)
It could be a reflection of the strong anti-GOP-establishment sentiment across the South. It could also be more evidence that Trump is tapping into anger among blue-collar white voters. Ekins also notes that Trump is doing far better with voters without college degrees (32 percent) than with graduates (8 percent).
The knock on some social conservatives like Sen. Cruz and Mike Huckabee is that they’re “regional” candidates who would over-perform in already red Southern states but wash out in the swing states. For the moment, however, the most regional candidate in the GOP race is Donald “The Darling of Dixie” Trump.
Notes on the FloraBama Mullet Toss.2:35 PM, Apr 28, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It was the biggest weekend of the spring, with people coming from all over to a little strip of beach known as “Perdido Key,” for a gathering known as the FloraBama Mullet Toss. It has been going on for three decades and every year it grows; it now claims to draw numbers in the “tens of thousands.” Hard to know if that is an exaggeration, but there is no denying the traffic along the beach highway or the multitude
7:32 AM, Mar 30, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
During President Obama's tenure, religious Americans have been increasingly marginalized by an administration that can be intolerant or at least unaccomodating of beliefs that conflict with its policies, regulations, or legislative goals. Perhaps most notably, President Obama campaigned by expressing support for traditional marriage, more than once citing his Christianity as the basis for his position, a position he later "evolved" away from. This has not stopped the president, however, from invoking scripture in support of other items on his agenda.
A man of policies, ideas, and solutions.Apr 6, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 29 • By FRED BARNES
In 1989, Gary Palmer founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank. By the time he resigned as its president last year, API had become a powerful force on state issues, everything from pensions to prison reform to politics. Palmer led the successful fight against a lottery—Alabama is among the few states without one—and organized the drive that defeated Republican governor Bob Riley’s bid for a whopping tax increase.
9:17 AM, Jan 6, 2015 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
While college football fans were riveted to the two playoff games on New Year’s Day (make that one-and-a-half playoff games, as the second half of the Rose Bowl was hardly must-see T.V.), some commentators could hardly wait to seize the moment to criticize the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), college football’s previous format for determining its national champion.
By 60 to 23 percent margin, fans said they would rather entrust the BCS than a committee. 6:04 PM, Dec 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Most college football fans are happy that the sport has adopted a 4-team playoff. The method of selecting those four teams, however, is another matter. This past offseason, McLaughlin & Associates asked self-described college football fans this question: “As you may know, college football will have a 4-team playoff starting next season.
We need rivalries.4:05 PM, Dec 3, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A few hours before kickoff, my wife and daughter and I went to Gladys Knight’s place in Atlanta for the chicken and waffles (can’t recommend the “Midnight Special” enough) and the room was full. It seemed like every third table was occupied by people wearing crimson or orange. When they caught the attention of someone in similar colors they would utter their war cry. “Roll Tide,” of course, or “War Eagle.”
10:06 AM, Dec 3, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
For the past decade, the Bowl Championship Series unfailingly provided the matchup for college football’s national title game that reflected the public consensus. (In the six years prior to that, the BCS’s record was spottier, but after 2003-04, its formula was wisely streamlined, and its subsequent results were impeccable.) This year, that BCS selection process, which involved 167 polls voters and six compu
10:55 AM, Oct 13, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Half of this college football regular season (7 of 14 weeks) is now in the books, and neither of the two standout teams to date has won a conference championship, let alone a national championship, in the past half-century. Each played in a bowl game in Tennessee last year (the Music City Bowl and Liberty Bowl, respectively), far away from the bright lights of Pasadena, New Orleans, or Dallas. What’s more, the two are separated from each other by only 100 miles geographically and by only .001 in this week’s Anderson & Hester Rankings. Despite their modest pedigrees and expectations, however, few college football fans would deny that #1 Mississippi (6-0, with wins over #7 Alabama and #17 Texas A&M) and #2 Mississippi State (6-0, with wins over #6 Auburn and #17 Texas A&M) have accomplished more so far this season than any other teams in the country.
9:27 AM, Oct 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
After finishing the season ranked #29 last year, the Arizona Wildcats — hot off their upset win at Oregon — have claimed the top spot in the inaugural 2014 Anderson & Hester Rankings. The second and fourth spots are held by two schools from Mississippi — #2 Mississippi and #4 Mississippi State — that went a combined 15-11 last year. Sandwiched in between are the Auburn Tigers, who came within 14 seconds of winning last season’s national championship. TCU, which went 4-8 last year, rounds out the top-5.
5:54 PM, Sep 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions issues this statement in response to President Obama's decision to wait until after the mid-term election to take action on immigration by executive order.
4:01 PM, Aug 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says Americans should be asking where their elected representatives in Washington stand on "executive amnesty," which the Alabama Republican says "could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope." Here's an excerpt from his statement:
9:45 AM, Jul 16, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Gary Palmer, the founder of the conservative Alabama Policy Institute and a candidate for the House of Representatives, won his Republican primary runoff Tuesday against Paul DeMarco. Palmer is running to succeed retiring Republican Spencer Bachus for the GOP-friendly, Birmingham-area district. At National Review Online, Alabama resident Quin Hillyer has more:
8:01 AM, May 22, 2014 • By FRED BARNES
Gary Palmer, who is seeking a House seat in Alabama, is a unique candidate. Until this year, he’d never run for political office. Yet he has a long and impressive record in politics. He was a walk-on for Bear Bryant’s University of Alabama football team – whoops, that’s not politics.
Seven Alabama Republicans are hard to tell apart. May 19, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 34 • By MARIA SANTOS
No House district in the country is more Republican than Alabama’s 6th, where the retirement of Spencer Bachus opens the seat for the first time in 22 years. The district voted 74 percent for Mitt Romney, so whoever captures a majority in the seven-way Republican primary in June—or, in the likely event no one does, whoever wins the runoff in July—can expect to be moving to Washington.