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Republican Primary

BOR POLL: Republican Primary Voters Support Right-Wing Anti-Government Perspective


Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:15 PM CDT

(ICYMI, BOR PAC and People Calling People conducted a survey of likely Republican primary voters. We defined "likely voter" to mean a registered voter who had voted in at least two of the last three Republican Primaries (2006, 2008, 2010). Calls were placed to a random subset of those voters May 15-16, 2012. Read the results of our electoral questions here.)

Rounding out our statewide Republican primary poll, BOR PAC asked Republican primary voters to rate the importance of a range of issue positions and organizations active in their party's primary process. All questions were phrased as follows:

"Now we are going to list some things that voters consider in choosing a candidate. After each one, if it's very important to you, press 1; quite important, press 2; fairly important, press 3; slightly important, press 4; not at all important, press 5.

The results make clear that Republican primary voters are more supportive of right-wing, extremist positions that threaten the very existence of government than they are anything that might lead to functional policy or sanity. But then, we already knew that.

Here are the results:

"The ability to compromise and get things done"
Very Important40%
Quite Important24%
Fairly Important18%
Slightly Important8%
Not At All Important9%
TOTAL (MOE 4.7%, 433 responses)100%
"Commitment to conservative principles"
Very Important71%
Quite Important16%
Fairly Important7%
Slightly Important1%
Not At All Important4%
TOTAL (MOE 4.8%, 423 responses)100%

Want to understand why Republicans keep sending obstructionist Congressmen and Legislators to our national and state capitol? Look no further than these two questions, which demonstrate how Republicans feel more strongly about supporting candidates who will stick with their conservative principles rather than compromise to get things done. This is why the Republican Party keeps bringing the country to the brink of shutting down the government, refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and basically refusing to govern in a responsible manner.

"Closing unfair corporate tax loopholes"
Very Important45%
Quite Important23%
Fairly Important18%
Slightly Important7%
Not At All Important6%
TOTAL (MOE 4.8%, 420 responses)100%
"Keeping business taxes low"
Very Important65%
Quite Important21%
Fairly Important9%
Slightly Important3%
Not At All Important2%
TOTAL (MOE 4.8%, 413 responses)100%

When push comes to shove, Republicans care more about the abstract concept of "keeping business taxes low" than making sure that no one is cheating the system through unfair tax loopholes. The Republican base is clearly drunk on the anti-tax Kool Aid, and apparently even if corporations are getting away without paying their fair share, that's no problem as long as taxes stay low.

Realistically though, given the Republican majority in the Legislature, one can see how this is going to make it difficult on Speaker Straus -- should he survive his primary -- to get enough members of the Republican caucus to go along with efforts to close tax loopholes to do things like fund education and keep even a semblance of the social safety net. Answers like this -- and the survey results above -- demonstrate how difficult it is for Republican legislators to do anything remotely sensible in the house and not risk getting tossed out by a salivating GOP base hungry for red meat, no matter the cost to civilization. Speaking of anti-civilization....

"Endorsement of Texans for Lawsuit Reform"
Very Important48%
Quite Important27%
Fairly Important16%
Slightly Important4%
Not At All Important6%
TOTAL (MOE 4.9%, 405 responses)100%
"Endorsement of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility"
Very Important63%
Quite Important20%
Fairly Important9%
Slightly Important4%
Not At All Important5%
TOTAL (MOE 4.8%, 410 responses)100%

While both TLR and TFR (aka Empower Texans, aka Michael Quinn Sullivan) are Republican organizations, TLR is absolutely the more moderate of the two, in the sense that they're not fully against civilization in all of its forms. These results show that Republican primary voters are consistently more supportive of the extremist, right-wing factions of their party, over anything that tiptoes towards good government.

Democrats and Independents, you wonder why Republicans keep electing crazy right-wingers bent on destroying the state and the nation, who won't stop until the Pink Dome is a smoldering ash heap? These polling results show you exactly why.

But hey, what do you expect from a Republican electorate in which 81% don't know for sure that the President was born in the United States?

Support more polls and more projects like this. Make a donation to the Burnt Orange Polling Fund today!

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Could Ron Paul's Landslide Delegate Victories Complicate Mitt Romney's Nomination?

by: Katherine Haenschen

Mon May 07, 2012 at 06:25 PM CDT

The last Texan standing in the Republican presidential primary scored some big wins at the Nevada and Maine Republican state conventions this past weekend. Ron Paul's enthusiastic supporters continue to make gains for the Southeast Texas congressman via the convention process, such that he's sending supporters to the Republican National Committee convention that vastly outperform his results in the actual primaries and caucuses. Here's a quick list of some of his landslides so far:

    Ron Paul Delegate Totals As Of May 7, 2012:
    Nevada: 22 of 25 delegates
    Maine: 21 of 24 delegates
    Minnesota: 20 of 24 delegates (based on congressional district conventions)
    Louisiana: 17 of 46 (swept all spots in 4 of 6 congressional districts; final delegation to be determined at June 2 state convention)
    Massachusetts: 16 of 19 delegates (based on congressional district selection process)
    Washington: Majority win reported, but no numbers available

The Massachusetts win for Paul has to be particularly stinging for Romney, since that's his home state. Perhaps it's because they experienced his record as Governor firsthand? Louisiana, Minnesota, and Massachusetts still have state conventions to conduct, wherein Paul supporters can extend their leads. Procedurally this is a big deal because if Paul can win 50% or more delegates in five states, his name is officially entered into nomination at the Republican National Convention. With other caucus states still waiting to hold their state conventions, Paul still has room to grow his delegate count and continue sending more supporters to the RNC than expected. Furthermore, the anti-Romney voters who backed Santorum or Gingrich can also throw their support behind Paul in the district and state conventions. If Santorum or Gingrich release their delegates, they would in some states be free to vote for Paul as well. In Louisiana, Santorum won the March primary overwhelmingly. If he releases the 10 delegates he won via the primary, they could switch to Paul at the state convention, or Romney. Or anyone else, I suppose.

So, the big question: can Ron Paul supporters block Mitt Romney from winning the RNC convention nomination? Probably not.

The reasons are severalfold. RNC convention rules prevent bound delegates from changing their vote or abstaining on the first ballot, so plenty of those Paul supporters will still have to vote for Romney, to whom they are pledged. According to The New York Times' delegate tracker, Romney leads with 856 delegates to Santorum's 257, Gingrich's 130, and Paul's 94. Romney is less than 100 delegates away from winning the nomination outright. However, the sheer spectacle of Paul supporters on the floor of the RNC convention in Tampa loudly and emphatically demonstrating their support for the iconoclastic libertarian might not be the image Romney wants to project to the country. As Steve Kornacki in Salon points out, "Paul-aligned delegates could make their hostility to the GOP establishment clear during the convention's primetime hours."

And by the way, Paul supporters, don't be surprised if RNC rule changes before 2016 further marginalize your participation in their nominating process. The Republican National Committee is already threatening to unseat the entire Nevada GOP delegation if they try to abstain from the first round of balloting in order to help Paul. Romney supporters apparently make up the bulk of alternate positions. While the GOP could be praising Paul supporters for their grassroots enthusiasm and organizational prowess -- hey, Paul's army managed to get their guy on the ballot in every state, which is more than Perry, Gingrich, or Santorum can say -- instead national Republicans are suggesting that the support for Paul will be damaging to Romney come November.

Look, I am no Ron Paul fan, but I have to hand it to his supporters for their strong grassroots organizing tactics. Paul has seriously enthusiastic supporters, who have thrown themselves into mastering the arcane procedures of presidential nominating contests. If enthusiasm alone was what determined the Republican nominee, I think we can all be pretty certain that Paul would be in the lead, and Mitt Romney would be trailing even Buddy Roemer in the delegate standings.  

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Burnt Orange Report's Guide to Texas's 2012 State House Races: Part I

by: Katherine Haenschen

Thu May 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM CDT

Part I: Names, Nods, and Numbers

The 2012 State House elections here in Texas will have a huge impact on the next Legislative session. This is true not merely in the simple partisan breakdown of the lower chamber, but more importantly in the ideological make-up of the body and its collective willingness to consider bold solutions to the challenges facing Texas. While Democrats are poised to reclaim at least 6 to 10 seats (and possibly more depending on how individual races shake out), Republicans are extremely likely to continue to control the Speaker's gavel. However, the Republican primaries will determine what kind of representatives dominate the majority party -- anti-spending zealots intent on cutting the budget until every public school and nursing home shuts down, or a more reasonable group of statesmen and women determined to find actual answers to the huge problems they'll face in the budget, education, public health and human services, and a host of other issues.

Today, we begin BOR's series on the State House elections with a look at who's running, the basic partisan voting trends of the districts, and early endorsements from five groups that give an indication of where the important primaries and general elections will be. 326 Democrats and Republicans are vying for 150 seats in the Texas Legislature this cycle. Due to redistricting and a spate of retirements, there are a lot of open seats and a lot of contested primaries. As Chaille Jolink noted recently, a lot of good Democrats and Republicans (yes, they exist) retired after this last session. It's hard to blame the moderate Republicans, who might rather retire than face brutal primaries from the extremists in their party who demand 100% ideological fealty.

The big questions are as follows. Who survives the contested Republican primaries -- public servants willing to consider additional revenue to fund public education and public health, or anti-spending zealots who would rather close more schools and fire more teachers and spend their time railing against the Feds, rather than working for common sense solutions. Additionally, given that this is a Presidential year and Democrats tend to perform better in these cycles, how many seats can the D's take back? Can we reach 2008's high water mark of 74 seats? If not, can we pick up enough seats and work with a few sensible Republicans (surely they exist) to pro-actively address critical needs?

Below the fold you'll find a chart with every candidate running, the margin in the 2008 Presidential, 2008 SCOTX, 2010 Gubernatorial, and 2010 SCOTX elections, and a basic partisan rating of the district. I've also listed endorsements to date from five groups to give a sense of where the races stand at this point, and who has institutional support.

We aren't rating the races in terms of relative hotness yet: that comes in Part II, when we'll take a closer look at the more interesting primary and general election match-ups that will exert the most influence on the 2013 Legislative session.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 5622 words in story)

Railroad Commish Candidate Vows Not to Pee on Electric Fence

by: Katherine Haenschen

Wed May 02, 2012 at 09:30 AM CDT

Oh dear Lord. When Railroad Commissioner candidate Roland Sledge saw Warren Chisum's B-movie style campaign ad featuring shotguns and hard-hats, I guess Sledge figured he needed to really up the ante to catch voters' attention. Here's his entry in the 5-way Republican primary for Railroad Commish:  

Ren & Stimpy have declined to comment on the video.

Now, to be fair, the Texas Railroad Commission probably has more to do with peeing on fences than the actual railroad. Slagle' experience in the actual oil and gas industry may make him legitimately qualified for the job (arguably a risk in Republican primaries). But in reality, serving on the Railroad Commission is about refusing to regulate our oil and gas industries and threatening the EPA.

The Texas Tribune reports that at a forum in Wichita Falls, candidates were tripping over each other to diss the EPA and President Obama:

"Let me tell you, these people can ruin your life," state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, said last week at a forum in Wichita Falls that was organized by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. "If they ever require an EPA permit before you drill a well, your lease will expire."

Roland Sledge, a Houston lawyer who has specialized in oil and gas for 35 years, spoke repeatedly of the "relentless assault" by the EPA on the oil and gas industry.

Christi Craddick, another candidate, went up another level. "Let's get rid of [President] Obama if we do nothing else," said Craddick, a lawyer specializing in oil, gas and water and who is the daughter of state Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland. "This man hates the state. ... I want to make sure he gets on a solar-powered airplane and flies someplace else," like China.

Lest we forget, the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with protecting human health and the environment. They're making sure that we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, healthy land to farm, and as little hazardous waste in your backyard as possible. Evidently, these Republicans want to do away with all of those things. But that's cool, because we can privatize the air, right?

Now that Chisum and Sledge have made their mark on TV, I can only wonder what Christi "Daughter of Tom" Craddick has up her sleeve. Maybe she can turn her "Send Obama to China" comment into a TV spot. I'd encourage all remaining candidates to refer to the single best commissioner ad of all time ever, Dale Peterson's ad for Alabama Ag Commissioner.

Remember, Republicans, if the Democrats are laughing at your ads, that means they're working!  

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Remaining GOP Presidential Candidates Hostile to Immigration, Latino Issues

by: Katherine Haenschen

Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 02:05 PM CST

Tomorrow night, the remaining Republican candidates for President will debate in Arizona, the state that has become internationally infamous for draconian immigration laws. One can only expect that the debate will result in GOP candidates reaching new lows in terms of their anti-immigration and anti-Latino rhetoric. Before the debate starts, let's get up to date on the four remaining candidates and their positions on immigration. To find all of their views in one quick and handy place, I recommend you bookmark these two resources:

  • ThinkProgress has compiled Republican nominees' positions on immigration issues and a host of quotes on a range of immigration-related topics here.
  • The New York Times has a list summing up their positions on immigration and every other major issue here.

Mitt Romney

Mitt has taken some of the strongest anti-immigration positions on the campaign trail. He's currently under fire from Latino Republicans and Latino Mormons for his opposition to the DREAM Act. He attacked Rick Perry in a previous debate over our governor's support for allowing undocumented students to get in-state tuition, which Romney described as providing "a magnet for illegal immigrants." Romney's campaign also attacked Gingrich for his more moderate position supporting a path towards legal citizenship. Ironically, Mitt previously supported a path to citizenship during past campaigns, but given the fervent anti-immigration attitude of the GOP base, he's clearly changed his mind. Romney even introduced the laughable concept of "self deportation," in which undocumented immigrants simply send themselves home. I guess that's what passes for fiscal responsibility?

Romney on Immigration:

    Opposes a path to citizenship, though he previously supported it
    Opposes tuition breaks to in-state undocumented immigrants
    Opposes the DREAM Act and in-state tuition for undocumented students
    Opposes birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants
    Supports self-deportation, which arguably is not a real policy proposal

Rick Santorum

Santorum's immigration stance falls in line with the general, hard-line positions held by most GOP hopefuls on the issue. He actually supports creating more  broken families through a relentless policy of deportation. He also wants to finish building the border fence. (Gotta keep those Canadians out somehow!)

Santorum on Immigration:

    Opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
    Supports building more fencing along the border
    Supports making English the official national language
    Opposes the DREAM Act and in-state tuition for undocumented students
    Voted in 2006 against establishing a Guest Worker program that provided a path to citizenship

Newt Gingrich

In a clown-car full of crazies, Newt Gingrich has actually espoused the least inhumane immigration policies, and drawn serious heat from Romney as a result. Gingrich does support a border that he claims can be "100% controlled" by the National Guard. However, he opposes mass deportation, stating that deporting 11 million people is not logistically or economically feasible. As a result, he's been endorsed by Somos Republicans, the Hispanic GOP organization, simply because he's the least inhumane. Ironically, Gingrich is better on immigration than he is on child labor -- he's not asking undocumented immigrants to work as janitors in exchange for a public education.

Gingrich on Immigration:

    Opposes mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants
    Supports residency permits for undocumented immigrants rather than citizenship
    Supports making English the official national language
    Wants to outsource E-Verify system to credit card corporations
    Supports work visas for highly skilled immigrants

Ron Paul

Immigration isn't a big issue for Paul, who's too busy trying to reinstate the gold standard. He does want to bring our troops home from abroad to patrol the Mexican border, but doesn't want to spend money to build a border fence. However, he loses points for his racist newsletters, just because.

Paul on Immigration:

    Opposes the DREAM Act and in-state tuition for undocumented students
    Opposes mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants
    Supports immigrants who can "take care of themselves," opposes blanket amnesty due to welfare cost concerns
    Does not endorse "open borders," what he terms the "purist Libertarian" view
    Voted in 2006 for Secure Fence Act, but says he does not support building a fence
    Voted in 2004 for a bill that required hospitals to report undocumented immigrants


Misery loves company, so join BOR here in Austin as we watch the debate at Angie's in East Austin. All the details are on Facebook. Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support of this event!  

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Entire 2008 McCain Opposition File On Mitt Romney Released, And It Is Good

by: Adam Schwitters

Tue Jan 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM CST

This evening, Buzzfeed posted one of the juiciest political gotchas of the new year, the entire 200 page opposition research file from the 2008 McCain campaign on one Willard “Mittens” Romney.  The theme is pretty simple:


Romney Has Been Criticized For Sending "Mixed Messages" And Having "Seemingly Inconsistent” Positions

The bulk of the file consists of news clippings highlighting his ever shifting views on abortion, immigration, campaign finance reform, education, and pretty much every other topic salient to the 2008 Republican Primary.  

While much of it concerns his record as Governor of Massachusetts, and statements made during his runs for the Senate in 1994 and the 2008 primary campaign, there is a particularly epic overview of his work with the infamous firm, Bain Capital.

There is just too much good stuff in here to post all of it, but here are some highlights from the file on abortion.

  • In 1994, Romney Claimed He Supported Legalizing Abortion Before Roe v. Wade Decision. ROMNEY: "I joined my mother in 1970 when she said she was in favor of legalizing abortion." (Scot Lehigh, "Romney Labeled A 'Pretender' On Abortion Rights," The Boston Globe, 10/12/94)
  • As Romney Considered Run For Office In Utah In 2002, He Told Local Paper He Did Not "Wish To Be Labeled Pro-Choice." "After Romney lost the Senate race, he decamped to Utah to run the Winter Olympics. When it was rumored he might seek political office there, he wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake City Tribune: 'I do not wish to be labeled prochoice.'" (Joan Vennochi, "Romney's Revolving World," The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)
  • Announcing For Massachusetts Governor In 2002, Romney Reaffirmed His Pro-Choice Position. "[A]s Governor of the Commonwealth, I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the Commonwealth." (Joan Vennochi, "Romney's Revolving World," The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)
  • Romney Says He "Simply Changed His Mind" On Abortion One Day In November 2004. "On abortion, Romney says he simply changed his mind. He recalls that it happened in a single revelatory moment, during a Nov. 9, 2004, meeting with an embryonic-stem-cell researcher who said he didn't believe therapeutic cloning presented a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. 'It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,' Romney says." (Karen Tumulty, "What Romney Believes," Time, 5/21/07)
  • The Doctor, Harvard's Douglas Melton, Claimed Romney "Mischaracterized My Position." "Governor Romney has mischaracterized my position; we didn't discuss killing or anything related to it. … I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases." (Scott Helman, "Romney's Journey To The Right," The Boston Globe, 12/17/06)
  • Republican Strategist Keith Appell Said Romney Airing Pro-Choice Views After Abortion "Epiphany" Begs Question: "How Many Epiphanies Have You Had?" "If he was still taking actions that appear to reflect his old, 'pro-choice' views after November 2004, it raises an important question for Republicans, Appell said. 'It's part of Romney's challenge: How many epiphanies have you had?' he said." (Rick Klein and Jake Tapper, "Romney's Pro- Life Conversion: Myth Or Reality?" ABC News, 6/14/07)

As you can see, this is some really great stuff, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing here. This is the most fun I’ve had reading about Mitt Romney.   Ok, well, at least since this.

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Good for Perry, Bad for Texans

by: David Kobierowski

Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:52 AM CDT

Texas Dmoecratic Party Chair Boyd Richie authored a solid op-ed in yesterday's Austin American-Statesman (Sat., Aug. 1st) titled "Texans Lose Helping Hand Because of GOP Finder-pointing".

Richie makes a lot of interesting points in the letter.  Some include:

Here's the Republican primary politics price tag on just this one issue.  The state will have to borrow - with interest - as much as $2B to cover the shortfall in our unemployment fund.  Texas employers will pay a "Republican Primary Tax Hike" because our tax dollars went to other states.

The unemployment fund fiasco should send an ominous warning to voters about what happens when politicians stay in office so long that they put their political careers ahead of what's right for Texas.

Today, we are paying the prices for a Republican primary between two politicians who have shown neither the character nor the leadership that made Texas great.

My Take:

Realize, what Rick Perry did, as horrible as it is for Texans, was politically brilliant.  This is candy for his 400,000+ Republican primary votes he'll need to secure his win over Hutchison.    

Perry was down by as much as 25% before this, and up at least 10% after.  

Smart move for Perry, horrible for Texans.  This is the reason Perry will win the Repub Primary in March 10'.  He will do anything to win.

Can you blame Gov. Perry for wanting to win and doing whatever it takes to win?  A lot of folks in that position might have done the same thing.  He's simply pandering to his conservative primary base.

What would you do if you were in his shoes, knowing this act would likely help you win the Governor's seat?

David Kobierowski

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