- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2011

THE NEXT REAGAN?

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is more like Ronald Reagan than any of his rivals, according to a new survey of Republican voters in Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire - an indicator that could reveal the power of nostalgia, not to mention the emotionally charged leanings of skittish conservatives.

“We decided to see who among the GOP candidates comes closest to being the next Reagan, and the results were decisive,” says Bill Pascoe, president of Citizens for the Republic, which polled the 500 likely voters. “In each of the three early primary and caucus states we polled, likely Republican voters answered with one name more than any other - and that candidate was Newt Gingrich.”

In the race for conservative standard-bearer and “the next Reagan,” Mitt Romney came in second in Iowa and New Hampshire and third in South Carolina; Herman Cain placed second in that state. Rep. Ron Paul had a strong showing, however, placing third in Iowa and New Hampshire in the three surveys, conducted Nov. 18-21.

TWITTER FEEDING

“Hey Tweeps: Looking for outlandish/incorrect predictions from Newt Gingrich’s past. Any ideas for me?” asked Washington Post political blogger Aaron Blake in a tweet to his 8,796 followers on Monday, later thanking them for “tips on Newt’s many predictions.”

The practice of creative outsourcing to research the candidate did not sit well with Newsbusters analyst Noel Sheppard.

“Still in the camp that doesn’t believe the media are liberally biased?” he asks. “As for the Post, what would one expect from a newspaper that only five months ago called for readers to sift through former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s email messages? Why should we be surprised that they’d be looking for dirt on the current Republican presidential front-runner?”

PRIEBUS PRESENTS

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus himself is urging procrastinators to hasten to the online GOP Store for Christmas and holiday gift ideas “for all the patriotic Republicans” they know. Among the goodies: the collectible “Take Back the White House” ornament, emblazoned with a fearless “Merry Christmas” and a symbol of what tops Mr. Priebus’ wish list.

In addition, there’s a GOP elephant cookie cutter, a “Cook right” chef’s apron, a “Weepublican” bib for baby, plus stickers, buttons, polo shirts, hoodies, a snappy GOP camouflage cap and T-shirts of many persuasions, including a “Peace Through Strength” shirt featuring the menacing silhouette of a sleek B-52. Hey, once upon a time, such things were only available on, say, Carswell Air Force Base.

See it all here: www.gopstore.com

FRANKLY SPEAKING

“American taxpayers say good riddance,” proclaims Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson, in the wake of Rep. Barney Frank’s decision not to seek re-election. “Frank leaves behind a disastrous record that will have consequences for years if not decades to come. His departure comes about 20 years too late.”

Mr. Wilson calls the Massachusetts Democrat a “staunch defender” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who “ignored the warning signs of the crisis” and later led the House’s efforts to bail out them out.

“We can expect to see more longtime Washington insiders retiring before next year’s elections. Although he may well have personal reasons for leaving, Frank is smart enough to see that the public is disgusted with Congress and its inability to rein in spending,” observes S.T. Karnick, research director for the Heartland Institute. “His high-spending voting record would have been an intolerable millstone in any forthcoming challenge for his seat.”

TRAVELOGUE

“If every president, whether it’s President Obama or his successor, or any successor after that, were to simply say, ‘Oh, I can’t travel to any state that might be contested in the next election,’ then the president would have to spend most of his time here in Washington, D.C. And I don’t think that any president should do that.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney, responding to the idea that Mr. Obama “is campaigning on the taxpayer dime more than any other President has done,” during the press briefing Monday

HOLA, SENOR ROMNEY

Yes, Newt Gingrich is riding in an armored tank of popularity across the campaign battlefield after multiple positive polls. But there’s more. In the first public opinion poll since Mr. Gingrich garnered an endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader, he bests Mitt Romney by a 32 percent to 23 percent margin, says analyst Eason Jordan of Poll Position, which queried 499 GOP voters on Sunday night.

The “crosstabs” reveal interesting dynamics. Mr. Gingrich garners his strongest support - 39 percent - among those over 65, followed by male voters. Mr. Romney, however, triumphs among Hispanic voters with a whopping 58 percent of their vote, and he earns the highest favorability among female voters - 30 percent - of any of the GOP candidates. See the numbers here: http://pollposition.com

POLL DU JOUR

• 52 percent of Americans say they have the same “holiday spirit” this year as in years past.

• 34 percent have less spirit; 10 percent have more.

• 50 percent have not started their holiday shopping yet; 42 percent have begun.

• 49 percent plan to spend the same amount on gifts this year as they did in the past.

• 35 percent will spend less; 7 percent will spend more.

• 34 percent will make most of their gift purchases online; 26 percent will shop at retail stores; 26 percent will shop at both.

• 8 percent plan no holiday shopping.

Source: A IBOPE Zogby International poll of 2,100 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 23-28.

Comments, complaints, gift suggestions to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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