The Union-Leader Bump

Nate Silver runs the numbers and thinks that the Manchester Union-Leader endorsement is probably worth about an 11 point bump in the polls. Here’s a polltracker from TPM:

As you can see, Romney (in black) has been consistently outpolling all the others, and fairly resistant to the candidate du jour. The question is whether his current shallow dive is going to deepen as Newt (in red) rises. My guess is that if it does, that tells us something about what the elusive “sane” Republicans think of Mitt vs Newt. The Republicans in New Hampshire know Romney about as well as anyone, since a lot of that state gets Massachusetts media. Now that Newt is raising front-runner money, he’s putting staff into New Hampshire, and if he can take a moment from his book tour to do some actual campaigning, the “sane” crew that’s been sticking with Mitt will have the opportunity to take another taste of essence of Newt. Of course, for the same reason that I was rooting for Cain, I’ve changed my fickle allegiance to the former Speaker, since he would be much easier to beat than Romney. I expect this ridiculous man-child to implode in the next few days, but if he doesn’t, New Hampshire might live up to their reputation as a bellwether.

43 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    So.. not Palin, not Daniels, not Christie, not Perry, not Cain, and not Romney. It’s bracing to see that Noot isn’t embarrassed at being everyone’s seventh choice.

  2. 2
    Amir Khalid says:

    Better to be da Noot, seventh choice, than to be Jon Huntsman, a plausibly serious candidate but nobody’s choice.

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    I’m still chuckling about those Twitters collected on Gawker yesterday. Why are Unions supporting Newt? Don’t we hate Unions? Did we change talking points?


  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    Thankfully, “The Great Grifter” comes with an easily accessible self-destruct switch he can reach.

    I’d waiting for the moment in a debate when he tries to show how much smarter he is than everyone else and basically pulls a Daffy Duck, and screams, “THOOOOOOOT ME NOW!!!”

    Of course, it might be fun to watch the faux smart man win the nomination and have to debate a real smart man, like Obama.

    But the rubes will never know, because The Great Grifter looks like what a smart man would look like to a rube.

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yeah, LOL!!!

    He probably lost a few points in the polls because the rubes saw “Union Leader” and wondered why The Great Grifter would want that kind of support.

  6. 6
    Comrade Mary says:

    OT but important: can someone please front-page this?

    Regulars and friends of Rumproast who have been following along know that our dear friend, co-blogger, and mainstay, StrangeAppar8us, has been grappling with a serious illness. We have kept the exact details of his illness from our readers out of respect for his privacy (and that of his family), but now we can let you know that StrangeAppar8us suffered a severe traumatic brain injury on November 3rd. It is true that he is out of danger. He has already undergone one operation that went very well. He is able to speak, hold very short conversations, and his motor skills seem to be unaffected. His wit, intelligence, and the core sweetness of his character are also intact. It’s true that he is showing some improvement every day, but he is still hospitalized and has a permanent disability as a result of this injury that will require years of rehabilitation. We are heartbroken to report to you that his vision has been affected, and he is blind.
    Rumproast, our jolly little blog, has been incredibly lucky to have been graced by Strange’s wild, weird, magnificent writing and wicked sense of humor. He has been a huge part of this blog since he first arrived as a commenter here back in August of 2008. We miss him terribly.
    We know that we’ll never raise enough money to offset Strange’s massive hospital bills or pay for the extensive rehabilitation that will be required, but we’d like to do whatever we can financially to help our good pal out. Hopefully, with the help of the blogging community, we can help get enough money together to buy Strange specialized computer equipment so that he can start writing again (the guy has a helluva autobiography in him!), a companion dog, or anything else to make his transition as easy as possible.

  7. 7
    David says:

    Better quit while you’re ahead, Newt. Look for a daily drip of ever more horrifying details about your life to emerge from Mitt’s smear machine.

  8. 8
    dmsilev says:

    Hmmm. So, it appears that the not-Romneys are trending towards shorter and sharper rise/falls in the polls, with constant integrated area. If we take the limit as date->primary, it’s clear that the behavior will approach a Dirac Delta.

    (for the non math-or-physics types, that would roughly speaking be a candidate that is polling at zero right up until the moment of the primary but would take all of the votes at the actual primary. Derivation of the name of this candidate is left as an exercise for the reader)

  9. 9
    rikryah says:

    I’ll say it again: the genius of states like Iowa and NH – you don’t need a lot of money.

    I will remind folks that Huckabee won Iowa with 10% of the money that Willard put in there in 2007….in Iowa, all you need is a dedicated bunch of ’ believers’, and the other piece of news last week was that the Holy Rollers in Iowa got together for a ’ secret meeting’, the topic of conversation being – how to stop Willard Romney. If Newt can get the Holy Rollers to choose him, money won’t matter in Iowa…and, if he does some appearances in NH, it won’t matter there either. Money doesn’t matter until Florida. That’s why the first few contests are so interesting – you need dedicated ’ believers’ over money…because they will help you get out the other ’ dedicated believers’.

  10. 10
    MattF says:

    @dmsilev: The Nootularity. Maybe I’ll write a book about that.

  11. 11
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @dmsilev: My guess would be Romney. BTW what kind of physics do you do?

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Experimental condensed matter. Mainly quantum magnetism stuff.

  13. 13
    Napoleon says:


    quantum magnetism stuff

    You must be a George Carlin fan.

  14. 14
    Ken says:

    Notice that Paul and Huntsman are in a slow trend up. Any bets which one will become not-Romney after the inevitable Gingrich implosion?

    (Perry’s line is just sad. Something about the tiny uptick after the big crash.)

  15. 15
    dmsilev says:

    @Ken: No way it’s Huntsman. He truly is the Romney among the not-Romenys. I don’t see Senator Frothy Mixture on that plot; is it time for a surge of Santorum?


  16. 16
    Violet says:

    I think Santorum could definitely be the next Not Romney. Paul has his supporters never seems to break out of the pack, and Huntsman worked for the Kenyan soshulist so he’ll never be taken seriously by the wingnuts.

  17. 17
    DanielX says:

    Newt. Formerly the name of a small aquatic amphibian of the family Salamandridae, now more commonly the name of a balloon-like creature of the family Grifterae. Known for nonsensical bloviation and serial adultery. Shares with the Phoenix the ability to rise from the ashes of (always self inflicted) defeat, although this semi-miraculous quality is shared with some few other denizens of the toxic swamp known as Sodom on the Potomac.

  18. 18
    Birthmarker says:

    See, I don’t think Gingrich wants the nom. I think the immigration stance was to cut the momentum . Why should he take the pay cut?
    If the poll numbers hold he’ll come out for the Health Care reform act.

  19. 19
    Redshift says:


    Known for nonsensical bloviation and serial adultery.

    Or alternatively, “The newt does not mate for life.”

  20. 20
    Redshift says:

    @redshirt: Yeah, that was hilarious!

  21. 21
    me says:

    @Ken: Well, that’s New Hampshire. Huntsman is probably polling negative in South Carolina.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    OT, but the GOS and other sources are saying Barney Frank will announce his retirement today. Well, he will announce today that he’s not running in 2012.

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Note that his replacement will be picked in a year that the democrats are likely to do well. Contrast that with Evan Bayh.

    Some people DO know how to play this game.

    Also, the more Newt campaigns, the less popular he will become. He is like Giuliani that way.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @catclub: Barney Frank represents a pretty liberal chunk of the Boston area. Barring a campaigner more inept than Martha Coakley, a Republican in that district is a long shot at best.

  25. 25
    Glen Tomkins says:

    Be careful what you wish for.

    In the 1980 campaign, Reagan was the extremist with lots of baggage (need I say more than “Bedtime for Bonzo”) that Dems wished would win the R nomination so that our endangered incumbent would have a better chance. That didn’t work out too well for us back then. And compared to Reagan, Newt is Mr. Resume, Mr. Sane Establishment Figure.

    The economy is in the toilet, with very little prospect of gettng better by next Labor Day, and lots of prospects of getting much worse. Any incumbent president would have trouble against anyone that the other major party nominates under those conditions. That other major party nomination will, by itself, confer considerable Sane Establishment cred on whoever the party picks.

    No amount of objective, inherent nutbaggery in their nominee will get much traction against the overriding fact that one of the two major parties that define the center in American political life nominated the guy or gal. Very few voters, and still fewer of the swing voters, are paying enough attention to be able to separate out true inherent nutbaggery from the much clearer and much more “objective” credential of winning a major party nomination. Both parties always call the nominee of the other party an extremist.

    This is not to say that it is pointless to even try to get relatively low attention voters to both not blame Obama disproportionally for the economy, and to give the R wacko proportionate scrutiny of his or her wackitude. But both of these are tricky propositions, things our side has to pay loads of attention to, and work very hard at pulling off.

    FDR managed to get re-elected in even worse economic conditions. But he had far more fortunate timing, in that Hoover was in office for the whole unraveling, while Obama took over just as the mere initial shock had occurred. And took considerable pains to build a narrative explaining that the economy was in such bad shape, that just keeping the wold from the door was an achievement, one that the Rs had muffed and would muff if given another shot at running things. Obama seems to finally be paying some attention to that first task, to building a narrative with the electorate, but he squandered the first three years of his administration with happy talk when he should have been appropriately low balling the expectations for the meager stimulus package he was able to get.

    As to the second task, convincing swing voters to not accept the mere fact of a candidate’s winning the R nomination as any guarantee of sanity, that’s not something our side can take the lead on. Swing voters will inherently discount anything we have to say on the subject. We can only hope that their process this year has been so revealing of the wild asymmetry of extremist control of the two parties, that they will thereby tarnish their brand’s inherent credibility as certifying their eventual winner as presumptively middle of the road.

    Unfortunately, Newt is probably their best candidate at defusing that line that their whole party is insane. The guy was Speaker of the House. With Romney as their nominee, our side decertifies their party by pointing out how far to the right their crazies pulled him, making him renounce Romneycare to cater to their Obama Derangment Syndrome. Newt’s policy positions may be more extreme, but there is no broad and simple narrative that casts his party as tugging this obviously centrist figure (a former Speaker of the House) to any radical extremes.

  26. 26

    Newt is the former speaker of the house, who in the 90’s helped balance the budget, and Romney is a former Governor who helped save the Olympics. Get over your severse case of partisanship and name-calling and grow up and start judging and evaluating the candidates based on thier policies and proposals, instead of just taking money from the DNC.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    Newt is the former speaker of the house

    Why did he become “former” again? I can’t recall the exact circumstances, so please remind me.

  28. 28
    dmsilev says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: Wait, money from the DNC? My check must have gotten lost in the mail or something.

    Newt is a blowhard pseudo-intellectual who was forced out of the Speakership in disgrace by his own party and has spent the intervening decade grifting off of marks. Romney is a robotic chameleon.

  29. 29
    redshirt says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: I hope this is sarcastic, but I suspect it’s not.

    There is no reality any more. Just a bunch of spin. Sure! Newt’s PRESIDENTIAL! He’s wicked smart too – but not like, Liberal smart. We hate them, right?

  30. 30
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @Glen Tomkins: I’m an actual ward heeler, in the sense that I have worn out the heels of many pairs of shoes walking around canvassing for the party in my magisterial district (which is what we call wards here in VA). Sad to say, I have yet to see my first envelope of cash, from the DNC or from anyone else.

    I have always objected to that arrangment, and if, as you say, the DNC is handing out evelopes to mere bloggers, I am definitely going to switch from walking to blogging.

  31. 31
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: Whoops! My last comment was meant for the Conmservatiove Teacher, not as a reply to myself.

    All that ward heeling is bad for the health of the mind, it would appear.

  32. 32
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @dmsilev: Are you saying that Dirac will win the R nod this year?

    Stranger things have happened, and their party sure could do a lot worse. But I think that if they go with a dead person as their nominee, it will probably be Jesus Christ.

  33. 33
    Chyron HR says:

    @A Conservative Teacher:

    Romney is a former Governor who helped save the Olympics.

    Not, you know, the Olympics that a Republican blew up, but other Olympics. You didn’t hear about it because he’s like Batman and stuff.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    @dmsilev: I think the polling numbers of not Romney candidates will approach sin(1/time), where time is defined as ‘time until next election’, going to zero as the next primary election approaches. Creating multiple episodes of chaos, and repeated rifts in the the US Politico/’win the morning’ (or whatever slogan it is) information continuum.

    Thus, it is reasonable to expect that the Mayan apocalypse will ensue sometime in 2012. The prophecy may only rule the New World, in which case the US will be taken over by bankrupt European bankers (which will be easy, since the European invaders will have the advantage due to a European induced contagion of insanity among US bankers).

    I for one welcome our new overlords, same as the old overlords, but with more dash and style, and who allow some amenities to assuage our future life of shit sandwiches amidst the rubble.

  35. 35
    Glen Tomkins says:

    @jl: Smart investors are even now scoping out and laying claim to the best sites for future rubble piles. When sorting through rubble for scraps of food is the last best way to eke out subsistence, those who own the best rubble pile will be kings and queens of the new economy.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @Glen Tomkins: thanks for the heads up. Where can I buy rubble options?

  37. 37
    Joel says:

    I’m not so enthused about Newt getting the nomination. He scares me more than Romney, to be honest.

  38. 38
    EconWatcher says:


    I’m with you. Especially in current conditions, with Europe threatening to take us to 1932, I’m not down with the idea of rooting for the worst possible GOP nominee. We may very well end up with him as President.

    I’m pretty sure we’d survive President Willard. Newt, not so much.

  39. 39
    lol says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    He went after Clinton for impeachment and campaigned heavily on it. In the 98 mid-terms, Dems ended up netting five House seat and fighting the Senate to a standstill. It was a big victory for the Dems.

    Newt had nearly been dethroned by his enemies in a power struggle a year or two before – this was the final straw and he was forced to step down and resign.

    The DC press was helpfully burying any reporting of his ongoing affair with a House committee staffer so I don’t think that had much to do with the decision.

  40. 40
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @lol: Thanks, but my question was rhetorical, trying to goad “Conservative Teacher” into responding.

  41. 41
    feebog says:

    @ Glen Tompkins:

    I have a couple quibbles with your assumptions in post 25. First, the economy is getting better, despite consistent Republican attempts to keep it in the toliet. I will concede that it is much too slow, but I would be surprised if the unemployment rate is above 8.5% by November 2012. Obama can win the election by placing the blame for the slow recovery squarely on the backs of Republicans.

    There have been several recent polls confirming that more voters blame Bush than Obama for the current economy. Whether that will be the case a year from now is anyones guess, but that is another point that Obama needs to keep hammering on.

    This is going to be a tough election, no matter who the Republican nominee is. While I still think it will be Romney, I can see a couple scenarios where he loses. I just don’t think Newt has the chops to maintain his momentum. He has a tendency to show us all that he is the smartest kid in the class, and proceed to say something that pisses off his base (like his comments on the Ryan plan). Newt has an ego that is just waiting to be pricked like a ballon. And like a ballon, it will go poof!. Or maybe jet around the room a couple times before deflating.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    Nerull says:


    You assume that Bayh didn’t intend exactly the outcome we got.

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