As I type, Intrade has moved The Donald Trump over our arbitrary 4% probability requirement to be taken seriously as a Phony Candidate. This comes—literally—at the expense of Newt Gingrich, who dropped below 4%, and we bid Newt farewell from our table for now.
(Geeky aside: The Intrade probabilities for all candidates add up to 100%, at least roughly; otherwise Intrade gurus could arbitrage themselves some risk-free money. So one candidate's rise is necessarily matched by a fall by one or more others.)
And Mitt Romney staged a mini-surge this week to capture fifth place from Tim Pawlenty:
|Query String||Hit Count||Change Since
|"Barack Obama" phony||4,480,000||0|
|"Sarah Palin" phony||3,030,000||-90,000|
|"Mike Huckabee" phony||2,020,000||-20,000|
|"Michele Bachmann" phony||1,320,000||+70,000|
|"Mitt Romney" phony||647,000||+32,000|
|"Tim Pawlenty" phony||626,000||-36,000|
|"Haley Barbour" phony||495,000||-36,000|
|"Mitch Daniels" phony||476,000||+22,000|
|"Donald Trump" phony||417,000||---|
|"Jon Huntsman" phony||174,000||+7,000|
Trump's breakout into at-least-semi-serious candidate
territory was undoubtedly caused by a couple polls
showing him nipping at front-runner Mitt Romney's heels among
GOP primary voters.
Prof Bainbridge is unimpressed with Trump's 17% showing: "At least 17% of Republicans are idiots."
Given that the recent winners of the NH GOP-side primary include John McCain and Pat Buchanan, who am I to disagree? But Allahpundit is kinder and gentler, and sees a silver lining:I assume that a big chunk of Trump’s support is coming from the “Not Mitt” (or “Not Anyone”) contingent, which, if true, is probably good news for Pawlenty when voters finally get to know him. He’s the cipher in the race; once Trump decides he’s not running or the base decides that they’re not going to nominate, um, Donald Trump, the “pox on all their houses” vote should logically gravitate to T-Paw.
Immigration issues have dropped off the radar lately, but
some people are keeping their eyes on it, specifically Ruben Navarrette;
he's a syndicated columnist specializing in issues Latino.
He recently decried President Obama's "phony immigration two-step."
That's where he panders to Latino voters by criticizing the GOP for being too tough on immigration enforcement while also pandering to non-Latinos by being even tougher. It's where Obama tells Latino audiences that he's a champion of comprehensive reform while doing everything he can to keep it off the Democrats' agenda in Congress. It's where Obama portrays his immigration policy as a kind and gentle version that doesn't divide families while the Department of Homeland Security does just that by deporting undocumented parents and leaving their U.S.-born children in this country.
And the scales fall from more eyes…
Chait takes Michelle Bachmann seriously:
The best parallel I think consider is Howard Dean. No, Dean is not anywhere near as crazy as Bachmann. [Editor's note: Oh yeah? I demand Chait's evidence.] That's not the point. Both tap deeply into a well of activist anger against a sitting president that is not being fully satisfied by other candidates. Both inspire passionate activist volunteers, and make their rivals look phony by comparison. And both inspire terror among the party leadership -- Democrats in 2003 considered Dean just as unelectable as Republicans now consider Bachmann.
Chait is known primarily for letting his petty hatreds drive his politics, so take it with a big grain of salt.
Although Newt Gingrich may be on the way out, I enjoyed this
bold stand from his website:
Newt's not afraid to take sides on controversial issues. ("A is A" would have probably grabbed him some Objectivist support, though.)