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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Dennis J. Goldford
The polls show Republican voters in New Hampshire seem to prefer Mitt Romney in the presidential election, but earlier this month, the state's largest paper issued a high-profile endorsement of his chief rival, Newt Gingrich.
The Iowa caucuses are a mere 600 hours away — give or take few minutes — a fact that weighs heavily on a half-dozen Republican presidential hopefuls as they meet Saturday night for debate No. 14 in Des Moines.
Rep. Michele Bachmann says she is winning the kind of crossover support from disgruntled Democrats and independents that will be needed to defeat President Obama next year, but pollsters and political analysts don't think the claim — at least for now — pans out.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann's war of words comes as GOP presidential candidates jockey for position before the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll — the circuslike event in Iowa that some have billed the "Minnesota Primary."
Dennis J. Goldford, a politics professor at Drake University in Des Moines, said the emerging slate of candidates is more conservative than the 2012 field and that could make it harder for Mr. Santorum to expand upon his strong support among social conservatives.
"Republicans and conservatives consider the Des Moines Register to be a liberal newspaper," Mr. Goldford said. "So they certainly tend not to take their guidance from what the Des Moines Register says. It not that the Register's endorsement would be a kiss of death necessarily for a candidate, but Republicans would not be disposed to pay a lot of attention to what the Register said anyway."