Monday, January 31, 2011

Mitt Romney Winning PAC Fundraising Race For 2009-2010 Cycle

Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney share more than a few things in common. All three names can be found on any worthwhile list of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates that has been produced to date. All three have also formed political action committees to raise money. With the final campaign finance reports of the 2009-2010 cycle due today, expect that money to be in the spotlight this week. Here is a look at the PAC fundraising totals for the top contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, keeping in mind that these may need to be updated as the final reports roll in: 

Updated February 1, 2011: 

Mitt Romney: Free and Strong America PAC Inc. $9,133,778**

Sarah Palin: Sarah PAC $5,685,213**

Tim Pawlenty: Freedom First PAC $3,376,545**

Rick Santorum: America's Foundation PAC $2,619,088*

Mike Huckabee: Huck PAC $1,803,030**

Haley Barbour: Haley’s PAC $1,081,643**

John Thune: Heartland Values PAC $877,649**

* Through 11/22/2010
** Through 12/31/2010

Political action committees are not the only way to go about raising money. Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future, a 527 group, has raked in tens of millions of dollars over the years, according to Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel. Gary Johnson is using the 501(c)(4) approach to raise money. 

The FEC website features a user friendly search tool any citizen can use to track the latest campaign finance reports and data. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Randall Terry, Barack Obama and Super Bowl XLV

Move over Budweiser Clydesdales, Superbowl XLV will introduce the world to a new set of stars: aborted fetuses. That is, if Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry gets his way. The anti-abortion activist is mounting a primary challenge to President Barack Obama, a move he hopes will force FOX to air graphic anti-abortion ads during the Super Bowl. Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules require broadcasters to provide eligible candidates with uncensored ad time, according to ABC News. However, there is nothing on the FEC website to indicate that the ads must run during the Super Bowl.

In other words, you probably don't have to worry about the Black Eyed Pea's half time performance being followed directly by disturbing images of aborted fetuses. With this in mind, Randall Terry has posted the following prototype Super Bowl XLV ads on his new campaign website:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Presidential Candidate Visits For February 2011

A look at the potential 2012 presidential candidates visiting New Hampshire in the month of February:

Herman Cain: 

The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and popular Atlanta based radio talk show host will be the special guest speaker at the Pemi-Baker Valley Republican Committee's Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner on February 12. Cain has launched a presidential exploratory committee.

Gary Johnson:

The former Governor of New Mexico and 2012 GOP presidential hopeful will make his sixth trip to New Hampshire from February 23-26, 2011. Johnson will join NH GOP Chairman Jack Kimball for a reception with the New Hampshire Republican Volunteer Coalition at Murphy's Taproom on Elm St. in Manchester on Saturday, February 26. The event is slated to kick off at 11 AM.

Fred Karger:

The man who wants to become the first openly gay president of the United States will be in New Hampshire from February 16-21. This is Karger's 12th visit to the Granite State. He'll be at the State House in Concord on 2/17 to testify against two bills. Later in the day, he'll travel to Hanover for a 7:30 rally with Dartmouth College Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. The groups have united across party lines to oppose a bill aimed at blocking students from voting where they attend school, according to Karger.

Andy Martin:

The king of the birther movement is the only Republican who has officially announced his candidacy for president. He'll be bringing his anti-Obama conspiracy theory roadshow to the next meeting of the Contoocook Valley Republican Committee on February 21.

Mitt Romney:

He'll be in the Granite State for one on one meetings with Republican activists, but isn't scheduled to make any public appearances (so far).

Rick Santorum: 

Santorum has spent so much time in New Hampshire over the past few months that he may want to think about renting out Mitt Romney's vacation home in Wolfeboro. He'll be back again February 12 for the Rockingham County Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner.

Mitch Daniels TV Ad to Air in NH (Video)

The first television ad of the 2012 election cycle is set to air in Indiana, Iowa, and New Hampshire this weekend. Paid for by the Students for Mitch Daniels PAC, the ad is part of an initiative aimed at urging Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to run for president in 2012.

Mike Pence will not run for president in 2012

Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) has decided not to run for president in 2012. He broke the news to supporters via email yesterday afternoon, according the Los Angeles Times.

Pence stood little chance of winning the 2012 presidential election. Only one sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives has been elected president. That was James Garfield way back in 1881. Still, presidential campaigns have provided some of the House’s more animated members with the opportunity to build nationwide networks of supporters, a la Dennis Kucinich in 2004 and Ron Paul in 2008.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mitt Romney Headed To New Hampshire

Mitt Romney is planning to make a below the radar trip to New Hampshire next week, according to today's edition of John Distaso's Granite Status. He'll be meeting with local GOP activists, with no public appearances scheduled during the visit. No word yet on just when Romney will announce his plans for 2012, but it could happen when he speaks at the the Carrol County Republican Committee Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on March 5.

The former Massachusetts governor placed first in last weekend's NH GOP Straw Poll.


Photo of Mitt Romney marching in the Milford Labor Day Parade back in 2007. Courtesy of Dave Delay

Sharron Angle's PAC To Open NH Office

Sharron Angle may have failed to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2010, but the loss hasn't stifled her political ambitions. In December, Angle launched the Patriot Caucus PAC to help the Tea Party get organized in advanced of the 2012 election. The new PAC is scheduled to open offices in Florida, Iowa, and New Hampshire in early 2011.

Some are speculating that Angle may even be planning to run for president in 2012, a rumor she neither confirmed nor denied at a recent event in Iowa.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Video of Tim Pawlenty's Speech in Concord, NH

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty delivered the following speech to members of Merrimack County Republican Committee during a January 24th, 2011 reception at the Grappone Center in Concord, New Hampshire. Pawlenty was ostensibly in the state to promote his new book, Courage to Stand: An American Story, but openly acknowledges that he may run for president in 2012.

Video posted on YouTube by New Hampshire Watchdog

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tim Pawlenty At Politics & Eggs Today

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is in the middle of a two day trip to New Hampshire. Yesterday, Pawlenty signed copies of his new book Courage to Stand: An American Story at Barnes & Noble in Manchester before heading over to Concord for a reception hosted by the Merrimack County Republican Committee. Today, the 2012 presidential hopeful is scheduled to speak at Politics and Eggs, an event the New Hampshire Political Library calls a "must stop" on the road to the White House.

Several of Tim Pawlenty's potential rivals for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination spoke at Politics and Eggs in 2010, including Rick Santorum, George Pataki, and Gary Johnson.

Pawlenty finished third place in Saturday's WMUR, ABC News, NH GOP 2012 Straw Poll.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mitt Romney, Ron Paul Lead 2012 NH GOP Straw Poll

The results of yesterday’s WMUR, ABC News, NH GOP 2012 Straw Poll basically confirm what we already know:  Mitt Romney is looking strong as the early stages of the 2012 presidential primary get underway in New Hampshire. Only 273 of the 500 Republicans who were eligible cast ballots at Saturday’s New Hampshire Republican Party 2011 Annual Meeting in Derry participated in the nonscientific poll.


Mitt Romney 35%  = 95 votes

Ron Paul 11% = 30 votes

Tim Pawlenty 8% = 21 votes

Sarah Palin 7%  = 19 votes

Michelle Bachmann, Jim Demint 5% = 13 votes each

Herman Cain 4% = 10 votes

Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich 3% = 8 votes each

Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Judd Gregg, Gary Johnson 2% = 5 votes each

Donald Trump, Haley Barbour 1% = 2 votes each

*Note = vote count is estimated based upon percentage of vote each candidate received
Mitt Romney also dominated his potential opponents for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in the five scientific surveys of New Hampshire voters that have been conducted since April of 2010. Much will probably be made of Ron Paul’s second place finish in the straw poll, but only 9 votes separated him from Tim Pawlenty, who took third place. Two previous polls found only 6-7 percent of Granite State voters saying that they'd support Paul in 2012. That’s consistent with the results of the 2008 New Hampshire Primary, when he received 8 percent of the vote. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

2012 NH GOP Presidential Straw Poll

The Republican Party of New Hampshire will hold its first ever presidential straw poll on January 22, 2011. The close to 500 Republicans who participate in Saturday's NH GOP Annual Meeting in Derry will have the opportunity to name their preferred candidate for president, according to ABC News. The results will be posted on sometime on Saturday afternoon, as well as on Twitter @amyewalter.

Ron Paul 2012 Petition

A new website dubbed is working to "gather 100,000 signatures for Ron Paul to run for President in 2012." More than 11,000 signatures have been recorded since the Ron Paul 2012 Petition was launched on January 7, 2011. The Facebook group has been liked by 2,000+ users.

Ron Paul had a modest showing in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary, garnering 8 percent of the vote. Supporters say the Texas Congressman could have received more votes if he hadn't been excluded from participating in a final debate hosted by Fox News. They maintain that many voters were led to believe that Paul had dropped out of the race. That claim may or may not have some credence to it. His exclusion from the debate may have been unfair, but it did result in an enormous amount of publicity for his campaign, especially after the New Hampshire Republican Party backed out of the event as a result.


Ron Paul signs autographs after a 2007 campaign event in New Hampshire

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PPP Poll: Obama's Largest Lead Over Republican Rivals Since 2009

The latest nationwide PPP Poll shows President Barack Obama enjoying his largest lead over the top four contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination since 2009. Here’s how the numbers break down:

Obama 48% Mitt Romney 43%

Obama 49% Mike Huckabee 44%

Obama 51% Newt Gingrich 39%

Obama 55% Sarah Palin 38%

The poll also measured support for Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who trailed Obama 51-33 percent. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rick Santorum Announces New PAC Chair in New Hampshire

Washington, DC – Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) announced today that longtime Republican activist, Claira Monier, will serve as chairwoman of his political action committee, America’s Foundation, in New Hampshire. In this volunteer position, Monier will connect Senator Santorum with grassroots activists across the state as he continues to explore a run for president in 2012.
“I am honored to have Claira as a part of our team in New Hampshire. Her roots in the Granite State run deep, and there is no doubt her connection to many grassroots activists and party leaders will be a great asset as I continue to consider a run for president,” said Senator Santorum.
Claira Monier has served New Hampshire in many capacities and is a veteran of both state and local politics. A former aide to Republican Gov. Meldrim Thomson and the widow of Senate President Bob Monier, Claira Monier is well acquainted with the politics of New Hampshire. She also served as regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Reagan administration and for 20 years, she was the executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. From 1989 to 1991, she chaired U.S. Senator Judd Gregg’s commissions on Health Care Costs and Availability and is also the past Chair of the Manchester Chapter of the American Red Cross. Her honors include the 2004 Citizen of the Year award from the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe Rick Santorum’s conservative message is resonating well in New Hampshire. He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the many challenges our country faces – both domestically and internationally – and I believe he has the right message for our state and our country at this critical time,” said Claira Monier. “I look forward to working closely with him in the weeks and months ahead.”
“Claira Monier understands New Hampshire politics and like most activists here, she takes her endorsement seriously. I am thrilled to have her helping to guide us through this exploratory effort. Her tremendous knowledge of the names, faces and issues that make the First in the Nation Primary so special will be invaluable,” said Mike Biundo, State Director of America’s Foundation for New Hampshire. “I am truly looking forward to working with her.”
In the 2008 election cycle, Claira Monier supported former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
To learn more about former Senator Rick Santorum, please visit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A new website dubbed popped up over the weekend. The site's creator  is one Tom Schultz, a student at Brigham Young University who also just happens to be the brother of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. It's not entirely clear why anyone needs to "draft" Rick Santorum to run for president in 2012. The former Republican Senator may not have officially declared his candidacy just yet, but he's already out there campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In a press release, Schultz explains that the purpose of is "to help identify and mobilize supporters and volunteers in the early caucus and primary states who support former Senator Rick Santorum." Whatever the reason for its existence, Shultz's new site is at least as well put together as Santorum's own official website. Maybe he's trying to land a job as an online organizer on Santorum's presidential campaign?

Rudy Giuliani for President in 2012?

The list of potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012 is beginning to look awfully familiar. Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney are all said to be contemplating another run at the White House. Even Rudy Giuliani is thinking about jumping back in the mix.

If he does run, Giuliani probably won't receive much support here in New Hampshire. In 2008, Giuliani came in a distant fourth place here, garnering just 8 percent of the vote. Once considered a frontrunner, he just barely managed to outperform the insurgent Ron Paul. Giuliani's quest for the White House would end just a few weeks later.

Don't run, Rudy, don't run!

Rudy Giuliani

Monday, January 17, 2011

Draft Mike Pence for President

If you are among those who hope to see Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) run for president in 2012, be sure and check out It's a new website launched by the America's President Committee. The group appears to be a two man operation consisting of former Representative Jim Ryun (R-KS) and Ralph Benko, who played various roles in Washington under the Reagan and Bush II administrations. Their website includes a petition urging Pence to run.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Sarah Palin Poll

President Barack Obama enjoys an edge over the top three contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, according to a new McClatchy-Maris poll. If the election were held today, Obama would defeat Palin, 56-30 percent. Obama also enjoyed a 10 to 12 point lead over Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney in the nationwide poll.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Video of Rick Santorum in New Hampshire

Here is a new video of former Senator and 2012 Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum talking to voters at a Granite Oath PAC house party hosted by Ovide Lamontagne on January 11, 2011.

Herman Cain Presidential Exploratory Committee

At the age of 65, Herman Cain is looking to add another line to his already impressive resume. Yesterday, the longtime food industry entrepreneur and radio talk show host announced the formation of the Herman Cain Presidential Exploratory Committee.

Cain's bio is the stuff of American dreams, the rags to riches tale of a poor African American boy from Atlanta who would go on to work his way to the top of some of the nation's leading corporations, including Burger King, Coco Cola, and the Pillsbury Company. As CEO and President of Godfather's Pizza, he pulled a struggling company back from the abyss and returned it to profitability in just 14 months. Now Cain wants to do the same for America.

If he does run, Cain looks to focus heavily on the issue of taxes. You can find information about his FairTax plan on

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich plans visits to Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire

The road to the Republican presidential nomination will run straight through Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in 2012, three early voting states that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to visit in early 2011. Last November, Gingrich told USA Today that he'd make a decision about his own plans for 2012 sometime in February or March.

On January 13th, Gingrich will speak to Grand Stand Business Association in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Details

On January 25th, Gingrich plans to speak at the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association's annual summit in Des Moines, Iowa. Details

On March 17, Gingrich will be the featured special guest at the PLUS Co. annual Wild Irish Breakfast in Nashua, New Hampshire. Details

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Gallup poll: Mike Huckabee most liked among Republican voters

A new Gallup Poll has ranked Mike Huckabee as the most liked of the potential Republican presidential candidates for 2012. However, the poll also showed Sarah Palin with a slight edge in name recognition over Huckabee.

Tim Pawlenty's book tour includes stop in Manchester, NH

Former Minnesota Governor and 2012 presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty will be back in New Hampshire on Monday, January 24th. He will be signing copies of his new book Courage to Stand: An American Story at the Barnes & Noble location on Willow Street in Manchester starting at 12:00 PM. Pawlenty visited New Hampshire at least four times in 2010, according to National Journal, but this will be his first trip to the Granite State in 2011.

Palwenty's new book is scheduled for release on January 11th. You can preorder copies on Amazon:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mitt Romney leads in early poll

Mitt Romney is dominating the competition in New Hampshire, according to a new Magellan Strategies poll commissioned by the NH Journal. The poll asked voters to weigh in on eight Republicans who are currently considering running for president in 2012:

Mitt Romney 39%
Sarah Palin 16%
Mike Huckabee 10%
Newt Gingrich 8%
Ron Paul 7%
Tim Pawlenty 4%
Rick Santorum 3%
Haley Barbour 1%
Other 4-8%

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Answers 2012 Question on FOX News

Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) dismissed rumors that she might be considering a run for president during an interview with FOX News yesterday... sort of. Bachmann is scheduled to deliver a speech in her home state of Iowa, where Republican presidential candidates will face off in the first big political fight of the 2012 election season. The Tea Party favorite declined to answer the question directly. Instead, she adopted the Sarah Palin approach of criticizing the media, saying reporters are too focused on 2012.

PPP Poll: Sarah Palin trails Obama in Pennsylvania

A new PPP Poll shows Sarah Palin trailing President Obama in support among Pennsylvania voters by a margin of 51-36 percent. In fact, Obama led all five of the potential Republican candidates for president mentioned in the poll, including The Keystone State's own former Senator Rick Santorum. Here's how the rest of the numbers break down:

Obama 50% New Gingrich 40%

Obama 48% Rick Santorum 40%

Obama 46% Mitt Romney 42%

Obama 47% Mike Huckabee 44%

The last time a Republican presidential candidate won in the state was in 1988, when George H. W. Bush narrowly beat out Michael Dukakis, 50-48 percent.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rick Santorum Hires First Staffer in New Hampshire

Earlier today, former Senator Rick Santorum hired Mike Biundo as the New Hampshire state director for his America's Foundation PAC. Santorum, who is considering running for president in 2012, has been working the grassroots in the Granite State for some time now. He made at least seven trips to the Granite State in 2010 and is scheduled to visit the state two more times early 2011.

Biundo, a veteran political operative, reportedly worked on Republican Frank Guinta's successful congressional campaign in 2010, according to Sunshine State News. The Union Leader published a profile of Biundo back in 2007.

Gary Johnson Visits New Hampshire

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is in New Hampshire this week testing the waters for a possible presidential run. He'll be in Manchester tonight for the New Hampshire Young Republicans Christmas Party. Johnson is also scheduled to make stops in Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.

Johnson is not your typical Republican presidential candidate. During a meeting with the editorial board of the Concord Monitor on Tuesday, Johnson expressed his support for ending the war in Afghanistan and legalizing marijuana. He is also fiscally conservative to the extreme, calling for a 43 percent cut in government spending.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rick Santorum Plans More Visits To New Hampshire

Former Senator Rick Santorum is planning at least two more visits the Granite State in early 2011. Santorum, who is considering a run for president, will return to New Hampshire on January 11th to attend a Granite Oath PAC house party at the home of Ovide Lamontagne and a monthly meeting of the Bedford Republican Committee. He'll be back again on February 12th to speak at the Rockingham County Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner.

Santorum made at least seven trips to New Hampshire in 2010.