What’s their problem: As Iowans grow giddy with excitement at the approaching first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, Gallup reports seven out of 10 American can’t wait for the election to be over.
Say what? That’s like Hawkeye fans saying they can’t wait for the game to be over during the pre-game shoot-around. OK, bad example.
Gallup found only 26 percent of those surveyed can’t wait for the campaign to begin. They must be the folks selling advertising in early primary and caucus states.
Among voters in 12 swing states, including Iowa, where the eventual nominees are likely to focus their campaign efforts, bombarding residents of those state with candidate advertisements, events, and grass-roots outreach, the anxiety over a long campaign is even stronger. In those states, 75 percent said they can’t wait for the campaign to be over.
The dread might be connected to the public’s low esteem for politicians Gallup found when it asked Americans to rate the honesty and integrity of various professions. Not surprisingly, 64 percent had a “very low” opinion of members of Congress. That was on par with lobbyists, telemarketers and car salespeople. (To be fair, Gallup found 27 percent of the public had a similar opinion of journalists compared to 26 percent who rated journalists “very high” or “high.”
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the 70 percent, but regardless of how people feel about the campaign and politicians, the campaign won’t be over or for another 11months. At that point, it’s unlikely anyone who can’t wait for the campaign to start.
A man without a party: Although he said he has “no intention” of running as a third-party candidate, Ron Paul’s refusal to pledge allegiance to the eventual GOP nominee has some folks worried the Texas congressman could pull a Ralph Nader on that eventual nominee (OK, just for the sake of argument, we’ll say it won’t be Ron Paul).
After the Fox News/Republican Party of Iowa debate in Sioux City Dec. 15 Paul again declined to 100 percent, absolutely, without exception rule out going the third-party route.
However, a move by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to leave the GOP race to seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination appears to limit the options for Paul, who was the party’s presidential candidate in 1988.
Johnson, for his part, said he’s “pretty put off” by the GOP’s support for him as a candidate. He was included in just two of the 13 GOP debates.
Of course, Paul, who is in a statistical dead heat with Newt Gingrich in some polls, could forge ahead with a presidential bid. However, without slamming the door on a third-party bid, Paul seemed disinclined to that possibility.
Paul explained he doesn’t like to say “‘I absolutely will never do such and such’ — so I am just avoiding the absolute.”
On the calendar:
Rick Perry, 11 a.m., La Chiesa Restaurant, Spencer; 1 p.m., Chrome County Country Inn, Algona; 3:30 p.m., Cabin Coffee Co., Clear Lake; 5:15 p.m., Music Man Square, Mason City
Michele Bachmann, 9 a.m., Hy-Vee, Spencer; 10 a.m., Hey Good Cookies! Espresso & Gift Shop, Spirit Lake; 11 a.m., Cool Beans Coffee House, Estherville; 11:50, Pizza Ranch, Emmetsburg; 12:45, Chocolate Season, Algona; 1:45 p.m., Miller’s Landing, Humboldt; 2:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Pocahontas; 3:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Rockwell City; 4:45 p.m., Sac City Cattleman’s Co. employees, Sac City; 5:45 p.m., Pizza Hut, Ida Grove; 6:45 p.m., Cronk’s Café, Denison; 7:45, Carroll Bowl, Carroll; 8:30 p.m., Abundant Life Ministries, Jefferson
Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., Onawa Public Library; 1 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Carroll; 3:30 p.m., Cronk’s Café, Denison; 6 p.m., Harrison County GOP Christmas party, Logan
Rick Perry, 8 a.m., Evangelical Free Church, Clear Lake; 10:30 a.m., First Wesleyan Church, Charles City; noon, Dave’s Restaurant, Charles City; 2:45 p.m., Chickasaw Events Center, New Hampton; 5 p.m., Winneshiek Hotel, Decorah
Michele Bachmann, 10:45 a.m., Harvest Baptist Church, Fort Dodge; 1 p.m., Grid Iron Sports Lounge, Webster City; 2:15 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Clarion; 3:10 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Garner
Rick Santorum, 11 a.m., Treynor State Bank, Hy-Vee InStore, Council Bluffs; 2:30 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Red Oak; 5:30 p.m., Farmer’s Kitchen Restaurant, Atlantic
Rick Perry, 10:15 a.m., Johnson’s Restaurant, Elkader; noon, Pizza Ranch, Manchester; 4:30 p.m., Country Junction, Dyersville; 6 p.m., MannaJava World Café, Dubuque
Rick Santorum, 7:30 a.m., Windrow Restaurant, Creston; noon, Redman’s Steak House, Osceola; 6 p.m., Indianola Christian Church, Indianola
Newt Gingrich, 2:30 p.m., Global Securities, 1003 W. 4th St., Davenport; 7 pm., town hall and book signing, Level 10 Apparel, 820 N. 20th Ave., Hiawatha
Rick Perry, 11:45 a.m., Hotel Decker, Maquoketa; 1:30 p.m.; Main Street Walk, DeWitt; 3:30 p.m., Candlelight Inn, Clinton; 5:30 p.m., Figge Art Museum, Davenport
Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Hy-Vee, Mount Pleasant; 1 p.m., Al Jon Company, Ottumwa; 4:15 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee House, Oskaloosa; 6 p.m., TBA, Knoxville
Rick Santorum, 9 a.m., Monarch Restaurant, Royal Amsterdam Hotel, Pella; 12:30 p.m., Mount Pleasant Public Library; 4 p.m., health care forum, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport; 6 p.m. house party with 2nd District GOP congressional hopeful John Archer, Bettendorf
Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Madison; noon, Civic Center, Mount Pleasant; 3 p.ml., Washington Public Library, Washington; 7 p.m., Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf
Newt Gingrich, Des Moines
Rick Perry, noon, Port City Underground, Muscatine; 1:30 p.m., Button Factory, Muscatine; 4:15 p.m. De Brito Baking Bistro, Mount Pleasant
Rick Perry, 9 a.m., Drake on the Waterfront, Burlington; noon, Kuhly’s Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; 3 p.m., TPI, Newton
Ron Paul, noon, Grand River Center, Dubuque, 3 p.m., Delaware County Fairgrounds, Manchester; 7 p.m., Hotel Kirkwood, Cedar Rapids
Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola
Newt Gingrich, Iowa
Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa
Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown
Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club
Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone
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