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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)  

February 23, 2012

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.”

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.”

“They rise. They fall. They rise. They fall. Americans hold both parties and the oil industry responsible equally.”

Hurt a little

“A cloud blocking an otherwise bright future for Obama and the Dems.”

“Any negative economic news is not good for those in power. That said, the R’s are hooked pretty close to Big Oil and are about as credible on energy issues relating to consumers as Bernie Madoff is on ethics.”

“Gas prices are like the economy writ large: The president can do little to affect them but is held responsible anyway.”

“To the extent that they tamp down the recovery, they will hurt.”

“Obama must sure think it hurts him, or he wouldn’t have felt the need to cave to the oil interests on drilling.”

“Rising gas prices will always be a reminder of stagnant wages, and it makes an economic recovery harder to feel. Voter frustration rises along with gas prices, and tends to be taken out on the incumbent, so even in a recovering economy, this could be a problem for the president.”

“There’s a bigger fish to fry than gas prices, and if the economic indicators continue to point north, so will Obama’s prospects.”

Hurt a lot

“Gas prices could screw up the economic recovery big time, and President Obama will pay the price at the pump and in the voting booth.”

“Bad times and high prices hurt the president’s party, unless a war follows.”


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

Republicans (103 votes) 

Help a lot: 47%
Help a little: 49%
No impact: 4%
Hurt a little: 1%
Hurt a lot: 0%

Help a lot

“Obama’s Mideast policy failures and [the Keystone] pipeline decision make him uniquely vulnerable on the issue.”

“This is a real and painful economic hit for working families that Obama will own, particularly in light of his decision on Keystone.”

“Keystone XL rallying cry will be the new ‘Tippecanoe and Tyler too.’ ”

“High gas prices hurt incumbents and may stall any potential economic recovery, thereby damaging the president.”

“High oil prices in 2008 hurt the GOP badly and stirred “Drill, baby, drill.” For the first time in a generation, North America could actually be energy independent in 15 to 20 years. This is a debate that will cut against the Obama administration and make Solyndra relevant again.”

“A reality check every time a voter fills the tank.”

Help a little

“We seem to be having less luck making this a problem for Obama than in the past. Maybe if the party wasn’t so caught up in a primary battle, they would be more effective.”

“The higher prices go, the more the wrong-track measure in polling will increase. In the end, the party in power suffers when events like this occur. The GOP must, however, have a credible way to lower prices, as opposed to simply blaming Obama.”

“Rising gas prices in a bad economy is kryptonite to Obama. However, if the economy continues an upward trend, it only helps the GOP at the margins.”

“Gas prices are always a story in the summer and are out of cycle by Election Day.”

“If what now looks like an economic recovery is interrupted—by high gas prices or foreclosures or whatever—that reality will wash away all of Obama’s advantages.”

No impact

“It’s all about unemployment at this point.”


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 Norcross, 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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