2:14 AM, Jan 4, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As caucusgoers gathered Tuesday night in Iowa, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign here tries to maintain its focus on the first in the nation New Hampshire primary. In the campaign office on Elm Street, a cadre of young, college-aged volunteers works the phones and snacks on pizza. Except for the communal television which is tuned to Fox News to check in on Iowa, and which only attracts the scattered attention of a few staffers, work goes on as usual.
Tom Rath, attorney general of New Hampshire over three decades ago and a senior Romney adviser, points to a Suffolk University poll released Tuesday morning, which showed Romney widening his lead in New Hampshire to 43 percent, over Ron Paul with 16 percent and Jon Huntsman at 10 percent. “I think our vote is firming [up] here,” says Rath.
Rath says the results of Iowa may “up the ante” for Romney in New Hampshire, but the campaign seems to think that voters here won’t let Romney’s narrow finish alongside Rick Santorum in the caucuses influence their choice too much.
Yet Rath also plays down expectations. The campaign expects Romney's lead to shrink over the next week, Rath tells me, but is confident New Hampshire will vote for the former Massachusetts governor.
The campaign is preparing for the coming onslaught from Romney’s GOP rivals this week, developing what Rath calls an “inoculation” strategy that will include plenty of paid ads to counter the criticisms. Those attacks, he says, won’t do much to change New Hampshire voters’ minds about Romney. “They’ve had a long time to take a good luck at Mitt Romney,” Rath says.
But that isn’t stopping Newt Gingrich from ramping up his assault on Romney, with the campaign taking out this full-page ad in Wednesday’s New Hampshire Union Leader. Gingrich himself has already been turning up the heat on Romney, and in his speech following his fourth place finish in Iowa, he called Romney a "Massachusetts moderate."
Expect other Republican candidates to pile on Romney, too. Coming off his surprising performance in Iowa, Santorum is also likely to focus on Romney in New Hampshire. Add Huntsman, who has practically moved here and has been knocking Romney left and right in the Granite State for the last several weeks, and it seems the Romney campaign will have a lot of inoculating to do in the next few days.
8:08 AM, Jan 3, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich lowered the boom on Mitt Romney in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. Gingrich criticized his GOP rival as a "Massachusetts moderate" while touting himself as a "Southern conservative." Asked if he ought to be responding more aggressively to attacks from Romney and the other Republican candidates, Gingrich said he would need to fight back, as some aides have reportedly been urging him to do.
2:31 PM, Jan 2, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
CNN's Dana Bash touted her interview with Texas congressman Ron Paul and his son, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, by noting on Twitter that the elder Paul "ruled out running outside" the Republican party if he fails to win the GOP nomination for president. But that's not exactly what Ron Paul said. Here's the quotation (emphasis mine):
8:16 AM, Jan 2, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
It’s likely that no candidate will win so much as 30 percent of the votes cast in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses. Yet you can bet that the press corps will crown as the big winner the candidate who gets perhaps one-quarter of the votes of caucus-goers in a state that’s half the size of the average state. Meanwhile, those who get one-sixth, or one-seventh, or one-eighth, of that same vote, will be labeled as losers who might want to think about dropping out of the national race. This, of course, is foolishness.
11:00 PM, Dec 31, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The latest poll of Republican Iowa caucusgoers by the Des Moines Register finds Mitt Romney maintaining a slight lead over his Republican rivals with 24 percent support. In the survey, conducted over four days in the last week, Ron Paul comes in a close second with 22 percent, and Rick Santorum sees his numbers improve to 15 percent ahead of Tuesday's caucuses. Here's more from the Register:
4:16 PM, Dec 28, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The latest CNN poll of Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans show Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, in the lead in both states. The New Hampshire poll confirms Romney's long-held advantage over his GOP opponents at 44 percent, 9 points up from a similar poll conducted by CNN earlier this month.
7:18 PM, Dec 27, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Newt Gingrich has released a 30-second ad that will air on television in Iowa starting on Wednesday. The ad focuses on his jobs plan and reminds Iowa Republicans of Gingrich's strong debate performances this past fall. Watch the video below:
Ignore the caucus results. They won’t matter. Jan 2, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 16 • By FRED BARNES
When Senator Paul Simon of Illinois was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, one of his first stops was in the backyard of a residence in Wartburg, Iowa. About 100 people had assembled to hear him. The first question: What’s up in Namibia?
7:55 AM, Dec 16, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Mitt Romney had a strong performance Thursday night in the final debate before the January 3 Iowa caucuses. From Medicare reform to foreign policy to the economy, Romney provided mostly succinct answers within the mainstream of Republican ideas. And because he did not spend much time engaging his opponents, he also avoided missteps like his infamous “$10,000 bet” with Rick Perry at last week’s debate.
3:09 PM, Dec 2, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former Iowa governor Robert Ray has endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Ray is a moderate Republican who served as governor of the Hawkeye State for 14 years. "I want our next president to be someone whose character and judgment I respect and whose ideas are valid for our country," Ray said in a statement. "I believe Mitt Romney offers the personal qualities and vision to become a truly great president."
Newtmentum?9:01 AM, Nov 11, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new national CBS News poll shows a close three-man race for the Republican nomination for president among Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich. Cain received 18 percent support, while Romney and Gingrich are both tied at 15 percent.
9:00 PM, Oct 17, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Matt Strawn, the chairman of the Iowa Republican party, announced the 2012 Iowa caucuses will be held on January 3, moving up from the planned February 6 date. From the press release: