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Political Insiders Poll


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks to supporters at his Florida primary primary night rally in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)  

How likely is it that Republicans will finalize their presidential nomination with a contested convention?

Democrats (97 votes)

Very likely: 5%
Somewhat likely: 19%
Somewhat unlikely: 35%
Very unlikely: 41%


Very likely

“The Republicans are in chaos, and this will carry over into the convention.”

Somewhat likely


“Mitt Romney’s problem is that the base of the Republican Party seems to like other Republican candidates more. Romney’s solution is that each of the other candidates is so flawed that the base only likes each of them for a couple weeks at a time.”

“It is clear that Republicans are not ready to circle their wagons quite yet. Unless Romney cuts a deal with Rick Santorum for VP or a Cabinet position, this could be a fight to the bitter end.”

Somewhat unlikely

“It’s hard to imagine them not settling on a candidate by August. If their indecision and division goes on that long, the final three months belong to Obama.”


“It’s a political junkie’s fondest wish every four years, but the Republicans have every incentive to make sure our wishes do not come true.”

“Most of the delegates are still up for grabs, and there’s plenty of time and money for Romney to get a steamroller moving.”

“One candidate would basically have to shoot the moon, and that is not going to happen.”

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Very unlikely

“For all the hand-wringing among the GOP about Mitt Romney, in the end, he will be the Republican nominee before the convention. Too bad no one likes him.”

“The expansiveness of the ground operation will eventually win out for Romney. It just may take longer than anyone expected.”

“Romney will still pull it out because Santorum’s unacceptable views will become more and more apparent.”

“Even though the R’s are playing Russian roulette, the chamber with the bullet will never get fired.”


How likely is it that Republicans will finalize their presidential nomination with a contested convention?

Republicans (103 votes)

Very likely: 3%
Somewhat likely: 17%
Somewhat unlikely: 27%
Very unlikely: 53%

Very likely

“Watch for the new entry!”

Somewhat likely

“Depends on the next three weeks. If Romney loses Michigan or wins narrowly, the likelihood increases dramatically.”

“Rick Santorum’s surge is largely due to the dissatisfaction with Mitt Romney as our nominee. He represents that feeling just as Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich once did, and now serves as the placeholder for a new acceptable candidate at the convention.”

Somewhat unlikely

“Still too early to tell, but the RNC rules requiring proportionality in early primaries makes it possible.”

“It won’t be pretty, but Romney will grind down the Santorum surge in March, giving him time to repair fences and rebuild his image.”

“The structure of the primaries still favors Romney, but someone has to buy him a clue.”

Very unlikely

“The next three weeks will largely end a brokered-convention discussion. There is a reason why we haven’t had one in a long time, and that reason will not permit one this time.”

“The idea that a white knight swoops in at the last minute, survives a solar flare of media scrutiny, sweeps up enough delegates, and does so all while pressured to raise millions and assemble a national organization is just Beltway martini babble.”

“This issue is more a result of fatigue by the media in covering the campaign than it is something that is a real possibility.”

“The vast majority of GOP activists don’t want that, and they should be able to figure out how to settle it—though, it’s depressingly true, also, that World War I started despite the general opposition of almost all parties.”


How will rising gas prices affect your party’s prospects for the 2012 elections?

Democrats (97 votes)

Help a lot: 0%
Help a little: 2%
No impact: 19%
Hurt a little: 67%
Hurt a lot: 12%

No impact

“While the early coverage of this development suggests it may imperil the president, years of watching focus groups suggests that voters will blame everyone in Washington, including the Republican House. If the price spike persists and voters remain angry about it in the fall, it will be bad news for incumbents, irrespective of party.”

This article appears in the February 25, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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