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Political Insiders Poll

February 16, 2012

Between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who is most likely to win the Republican nomination for president?

Democrats (101 votes)

Mitt Romney: 95%
Rick Santorum: 5%

Mitt Romney


“The Republicans always go with the establishment pick, no matter how many hoops they make him jump through or how many times they flirt with the extremists.”

“Romney has too much infrastructure in place, and Santorum has none.”

“Money is still king. But Romney emerges with sky-high negatives.”

“Romney will wear him down. He’s so damaged, though, that he’s toast in the fall.”

“He’ll limp across the finish line.”

“After Super Tuesday, a deal that helps both teams and the party could be in the works.”

“Just barely, Mitt. He is beginning to look like Hillary in this race. Of course, Rick is no Obama, but you get the point.”

“Santorum’s many flaws will appear [now that he’s finally in the spotlight], and Romney’s money will carry him limping through the nomination.”

“He will simply overwhelm with money, but it will continue to take a heavy toll on Romney’s image and poll numbers.”

“Mitt Romney may have wanted to destroy Newt Gingrich a few weeks ago, but today, Newt’s his best friend, because as long as Newt’s in the race, Mitt’s nomination is secure. And if Newt goes away any time soon, Mitt’s nomination will, too.”

“Mitt is still the front-runner and has the money to ride this thing out. The way things are going, though, the GOP may soon be wistfully dreaming about the good old days when they had candidates they could unite behind, like John McCain.”

“It is still Mitt’s to lose, but he is doing a job of losing it.”

Rick Santorum

“Romney just can’t close the deal. Money can’t buy you love!”

“Romney is worse at closing the deal than a high school sophomore.”

“Primaries are all about the base. The GOP base doesn’t trust that Romney is indeed what he is trying to be, and all the money in the world ain’t gonna change that.”


Between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who is most likely to win the Republican nomination for president?

Republicans (102 votes)

Mitt Romney: 89%
Rick Santorum: 9%
Neither (volunteered): 2%

Mitt Romney

“Even though some will not be thrilled with Romney, he has the resources, organization, and momentum, plus a favorable calendar. But it won’t be over for a while.”

“The person with the most money and the best organization STILL has the most delegates. This will never change.”

“More than anything, Republicans want to beat Obama. Increasingly, they realize that neither Rick nor Newt has a snowball’s chance of doing that.”

“Romney keeps tripping over himself. Assuming he can win in Michigan and Arizona, then he should finally start to ascend.”

“In addition to money and organization, Romney has one important asset: Newt’s ego won’t let him give up.”

“Santorum’s campaign is slapdash and sloppy. He can win only with a complete collapse of the Romney machine.”

“Romney, but not with very high odds. Santorum will win Michigan, and I give it a 30 percent chance that the nomination goes all the way to the convention.”

“But if Santorum keeps winning primaries, the convention could be deadlocked and an alternative could emerge.”

“He’ll win on points, not a TKO, in a long grind through many states. He’s relentless and focused and better funded.”

“Santorum is a PT boat circling the HMS Romney. Rick doesn’t have enough torpedoes to sink it.”

Rick Santorum

“Santorum has authenticity. Romney is authenticity-challenged.”

“The president has set up his whole ‘Occupy movement’ campaign to portray Mitt as an uncaring, out-of-touch 1-percenter and to win on class envy. When Mitt loses his electability argument against the president, the base goes with its heart.”


“Hopefully neither, and the convention will save us from ourselves.”


Who will ultimately benefit the most from the controversy over the Obama administration’s new contraception-coverage policy?

Democrats (101 votes)

President Obama: 75%
Republicans: 23%
Other (volunteered): 2%

President Obama

“The issue has become about access to contraception and helps President Obama enormously. It is mobilizing not just the progressive base but also independents, and it may be the single issue powerful enough to move Republican women to vote Democratic.”

“Independent white women have just been reminded that who they vote for matters on a personal level.”

“We are talking about birth control in the year 2012, not 1950. This can’t be good for Republicans, any way you cut it.”

“This is about access to a basic health care need that almost all women need at some point in their lives. Obama will win this election because he will win the women’s vote in a decisive fashion.”

“Women will decide the election, and they like to decide what happens to their bodies as well.”

“The administration may have stumbled onto a winning strategy due to the Republicans once again overreacting and being tone-deaf to the larger concerns of voting Americans.”

“Even Catholic voters support the president’s position.”

“The Republicans are walking into a trap with women voters that they can’t explain in 30 seconds.”

“Are you kidding? You could not have written a better script for alienating female independent voters. This is Mad Men-era political strategy.”

“Come on, Republicans—please focus your time and energy refighting the merits of birth control. Make our day.”


“This rattled even liberal Catholics, and the compromise is an obvious fig leaf. The administration blew this badly, and it will hurt.”

“Because the president’s spine evaporated. Bluster, then pull back. Way to leave your Dem friends who stuck their necks out totally exposed.”

“Unforced errors are becoming a White House specialty.”


“This could go either way. Depends on who frames it best and is not off to either extreme.”


Who will ultimately benefit the most from the controversy over the Obama administration’s new contraception-coverage policy?

Republicans (102 votes) 

President Obama: 15%
Republicans: 84%
Neither (volunteered): 1%

President Obama

“POTUS laughing as GOP tells independent women why they continue to support Obama yet again, instead of talking about jobs.”

“Running down this rabbit hole is exactly what the administration wants the GOP to do. They feel they win the fight about women’s rights. They lose the fight on the economy.”

“Republicans completely took the bait and now look like they are opposed to contraception for women. And the discussion was diverted away from jobs and the economy—the only issues they
can win on.”

“The Republicans always overplay their hand. In this day and age, people would rather err in Obama’s direction on this one.”


“Even disaffected Catholics don’t like the president messing with their church. Bad move for the president. They vote Republican for president in November.”

“Check the poll data in six weeks, after the bishops have beaten this drum awhile.”

“So, let me see, not content to trash the GOP, the White House has taken on every practicing Catholic in the country. What genius.”

“Raising the issue of government intrusion into anything—especially religion—does not work in Obama’s favor.”

“Some single-issue young women will be outraged and vote Obama—if they turn out. More older Catholics, who will certainly turn out, are going to vote to make a statement.”

“A tin-ear policy decision in an election year.”

“This energized pro-lifers and pro-choicers, and will mostly be a wash on that front. But it says something about Obama, and it is an ugly policy that will help the GOP more than Obama.”

“A needless fight for the administration. No upside. GOP is too smart to make this about contraception.”

“Reminds all voters the president is in over his head; tells Catholics the president doesn’t care what they believe.”

“Everyone is now afraid of the full impact of ‘Obamacare.’ ”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcrossˆ, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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