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POLITICAL INSIDERS POLL

Political Insiders Poll: Insiders Pick States that Will Determine GOP Presidential Nominee

Rank the importance of the following four states in determining the Republican nominee for president.

DEMOCRATS (100 VOTES)

RANK                        INDEX SCORE *

 

1. Florida: 66
2. Iowa: 65
3. New Hampshire: 63
4. South Carolina: 56

“Iowa sets the field; Florida sets the nomination.”

“First is still first. With both front-runners being so vulnerable, someone will be hurt in the Hawkeye State. New Hampshire will either correct or not, with Florida set to deliver a decisive blow.”

 

“Iowa usually eliminates someone; New Hampshire and South Carolina winnow; but Florida is the new ‘decider.’ ”

“Increasingly, the question in this race is coming down to this: Is there anybody who can be a credible challenger to Romney from his right? From [Donald] Trump, to [Mitch] Daniels, to [Paul] Ryan, to [Chris] Christie, to [Michele] Bachmann, to [Tim] Pawlenty, the answer has been no. Perry is probably the last option, and if Perry can’t win Florida and Iowa, I don’t see the path for him.”

“The three early states will define the top two candidates, and then there will be a one-on-one that will be a protracted battle.”

“Iowa will identify the losers. New Hampshire will make clear who the final two are. And South Carolina will pick the winner. New Hampshire will be winning the pennant and South Carolina the World Series.”

 

“With Bachman flagging, Iowa will become the first showdown between Romney and Perry. A convincing win by Romney will all but dry up Perry’s money and assure that New Hampshire can virtually close this contest down.”

“I also think Perry has an excellent opportunity to exceed expectations in New Hampshire like Bill Clinton did in 1992 and come out of it the story.”

“Florida is a key electoral state that is up for grabs in the GOP primary. Iowa will be largely irrelevant, and New Hampshire is a lock for Romney. South Carolina is a must-win for Perry.”

“Iowa will tell us whether Romney can, or can’t, win with evangelicals. Either way, it is a big deal.”

“Should Iowa even be included in a list of influential nominating states anymore? Will any serious candidate ever make the mistake of competing in that straw poll again?”

*Methodology: In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 4 points, a second-place vote was worth 3 points, and so on. The index score reflects the percentage of points that each state received out of the maximum possible. For example, Florida scored an index rating of 80 among Republicans, meaning it received 80 percent of the possible 448 points.


Rank the importance of the following four states in determining the Republican nominee for president.

REPUBLICANS (112 VOTES)

RANK                        INDEX SCORE *

1. Florida: 80
2. New Hampshire: 66
3. South Carolina:59
4. Iowa: 45

“The Florida winner will be nominated. Romney gets to Florida through New Hampshire, Perry through either South Carolina or Iowa.”

“Any campaign can drum up enough resources to play somewhat in smaller states, but it takes a real budget to play in Florida and nationally. This is where Romney, Perry, and Huntsman will or will not demonstrate their national ability—and all the others will be forced to watch from the sidelines because they don’t have the money to play.”

“Anything less than a Romney blowout in N.H. is a big problem for him. Florida is the state where they have to campaign like they would in the general because it is so big and diverse.”

“South Carolina could be the booster rocket for Perry or any other conservative challenging Romney’s steady ascendancy. But Florida will be the decisive test of endurance. Iowa and New Hampshire still matter, but early debates and other preseason events are stealing their limelight.”

“The Iowa caucuses are going the way of the Iowa straw poll—decreasingly relevant to the ultimate outcome.”

“This could be the cycle where Iowa loses its right to early determination. The straw poll is useless, and the caucuses are an oversampling of the conservative wing of the party.”

“For those who doubt the importance of Iowa, imagine if Romney won it as he nearly did four years ago.”

“New Hampshire is first base, and just like putting a move on your girlfriend, if you can’t get to first base, you will never score the nomination.”

“This nomination will go to a long-distance runner. Florida is where the process begins, not ends.”

*Methodology: In tallying the rankings, a first-place vote was worth 4 points, a second-place vote was worth 3 points, and so on. The index score reflects the percentage of points that each state received out of the maximum possible. For example, Florida scored an index rating of 80 among Republicans, meaning it received 80 percent of the possible 448 points.

 

Who is most responsible for Americans’ record-low opinions of Congress?

DEMOCRATS (100 VOTES)

Congressional Democrats: 0%
Congressional Republicans: 68%
President Obama:2%
All about equally: 30%

This article appears in the October 1, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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