Tag Archives: Michele Bachmann

And That’s Why We Don’t Gamble

Yesterday’s Iowa Caucus results:
Mitt Romney: 24.6% – 30,015
Rick Santorum: 24.5% – 30,008
Ron Paul: 21.4% – 26,219

As you can see above, our Iowa Caucus predictions were not particularly good. My faith in the powers of same day registration and a passionate following proved unfounded as Ron Paul finished third.

Ross at least guessed a Rick Santorum second place finish, but failed to foresee a Mitt Romney victory in the caucuses, let alone one over Santorum.

Also of note, Michele Bachmann suspended her campaign today, and the status of Rick Perry candidacy is unknown after a recent tweet suggesting he was going to continue on in the race.

– Chip Lebovitz


Dismayed at our failure? Then please feel free to send feedback to chross.talk@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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Five Good Questions with Christian Heinze and Jonathan Tobin

As covered earlier on this site, the Ames Straw Poll took place this weekend. Beyond just the straw poll vote though, Rick Perry jumped into the Republican nominating contest, reorienting the entire primary landscape and making it a very busy weekend for the GOP. To get more information about the implications of the weekend and the straw poll’s results, Chip talked to Christian Heinze of the Hill and Jonathan Tobin of Commentary Magazine.

Below is an edited transcript of the two interviews

Chip Lebovitz: Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll with over 6,000 votes. How significant is her victory?

Christian Heinze: It’s significant, but I think it’s going to make things better for her and more difficult for her. It’s going to make it tough to the extent that she’s now considered the frontrunner in Iowa, and she has to win Iowa. Now all the pressure sits to her. Before the pressure was on Tim Pawlenty because everyone said he’s got to win the Iowa straw poll, but now things shift to her so she’s going to be under the gun more.

Jonathan Tobin: Well, you know, it’s easy to dismiss it. It’s a straw poll. It’s not an actual caucus or primary. It’s not a big sample. It’s more a test of organizational ability that voter appeal. You know, all this is all true, but she still won it. All the other candidates would have like to have won it. Romney and Perry stayed out of it because they weren’t sure they could win it. So you have to give her credit. If she hadn’t won it, that would have been a disaster for her. If Ron Paul had won it, not only would it have been a disaster for her, it would have been a disaster for the entire Republican Party, because that would diminish the credibility of the whole exercise. You have to give her credit. Its something everyone else wanted; she got it. It gives her step up. There is a top tier. There is no alternative to Bachman, Perry, or Romney. One of those three will be the Republican nominee. She’s part of the trio.

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Ames Straw Poll Results

A quick update to follow up on our Thursday predictions. Michele Bachmann was victorious in the Ames Straw Poll yesterday with Ron Paul coming in a very close second place. The results mean of course that Jeremy Lerman was spot on with his predictions, so we’ll have to turn to his crystal ball in the future.

In other news, Tim Pawlenty announced he’s dropping out of the race this morning after a disappointing third place finish.

– Chip Lebovitz

The Talk: Minnesota Vice

The Talk: Minnesota Vice
August 12, 2011

Ross Freiman-Mendel: Iowa State University was home to the third Republican debate last night. Chip, what struck you the most about last night’s proceedings?

Chip Lebovitz: How much the candidates value a good performance at the Ames Straw Poll this Saturday. Middling candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum had two credible options in the debate to increase their stature — attack Mitt Romney the front runner or attack Michele Bachmann the straw poll leader (Romney is not actively taking part in the straw poll). All the candidates piled onto Bachmann, signifying that they think an Ames victory Saturday is more important then making up ground in the national polls.

Ross Freiman-Mendel: I think that’s a slight oversimplification, but true none the less. The debate last night was politics as performance at its best — Pawlenty played the rich card against Romney and Gingrich cleverly rebuked the Fox panel on more than one occasion. I thought Bachmann’s performance was underwhelming, and at points she seemed an empty metallic grey suit.

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Ames Straw Poll Predictions

The Republican presidential nomination fight heads into its first real event this weekend with the Ames Straw Poll. Although not an actual primary, Ames has a winnowing effect on the Republican field. The straw poll results ended the campaigns of now Kansas Governor Sam Brownback in 2007 and Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander in 1999. Pictured above is supporters from the campaign of 2007 Straw Poll winner Mitt Romney.

ChrossTalk breaks down the straw poll with our predictions of the first and second place finishers. We’ll try to expand this list throughout the day to get more perspectives for you to peruse.

Jeremy Lerman: With respect to its ability to predict campaign success, the Ames Straw Poll shouldn’t be ignored. Of the five Ames polls that have been held, three of the five winners went on to win the Iowa Caucuses.  Two of those three later captured the Republican nomination. I can’t help but be both troubled and amused by the idea that Michele Bachmann could mispronounce “chutzpah” – an egregious offense to even the most casual employer of Yiddish diction – and still be considered a serious contender for the Republican nomination. Luckily for her, Boca Raton is not the bellwether for the Christian conservative base.

Bachmann is the frontrunner. Given Romney’s calculated decision not to pour money into Iowa, Bachmann’s formiddable contender is Ron Paul. Both Paul and Bachmann are associated with the Tea Party. Make no mistake, these are two very different candidates. When Paul advocates for small government, he walks the walk. We’re talking about a guy who refuses to participate in the lucrative congressional pension and healthcare plans because they are “immoral.” Bachmann espouses smaller government while simultaneously wearing her evangelical politics on her sleeve. While the contradiction is clear to many, it will play well for her in Iowa. The evangelical base likes lower taxes and fewer regulations – as long as they are promised that the administration will use the power of the federal government to ban abortions, prevent gay marriage and censor heterodoxical speech.  While Paul is well funded and incredibly well organized, Bachmann’s broader appeal and superior ability to garner media attention gives her the slight edge over Paul at this point.”

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Full Ed Kilgore Interview

The full interview with Ed Kilgore is now online. Beyond the version of the interview found in Monday’s episode, Kilgore discusses the debt ceiling, the 14th Amendment option, and the demands of writing for multiple publications.

ChrossTalk Episode 5: Ed Kilgore (Full Interview)


Here’s some background on the 14th Amendment option and you can find the Jonathan Chait article referred to in the interview here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog in the top right corner of this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to read more work written by Ed Kilgore? Check out his column at The New Republic and Progressive Fix.

Ed Kilgore

Our interview with Ed Kilgore is online. Kilgore is a columnist for The New Republic, the Progressive Policy Institute’s blog, and is the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist. Tragically, no picture this time around as we talked to Kilgore over the phone.

Ross recorded his questions in the Costa Rican rainforest, so expect a little jungle background noise during his questions.

ChrossTalk Episode 5: Ed Kilgore

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog in the top right corner of this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Special thanks to Matt Sheridan for guest hosting and Ed Kilgore for talking to us.

Want to read more work written by Ed Kilgore? Check out his column at The New Republic and Progressive Fix.