News / USA

Republican Presidential Race Muddled Six Weeks Before First Vote

Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during the Thanksgiving Family Forum sponsored by The Family Leader as former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain looks on,  in Des Moines, Iowa, November 19, 2011.
Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during the Thanksgiving Family Forum sponsored by The Family Leader as former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain looks on, in Des Moines, Iowa, November 19, 2011.

Republican voters in the Midwestern state of Iowa hold their party caucus in six weeks, the first actual voting test for the Republican Party’s presidential contenders. Even as the caucus draws near, the race for the presidential nomination appears as muddled as ever.

Republican contenders

The Republican presidential contenders will increasingly focus on two important early contests in the presidential race - the Iowa caucuses on January 3 and the New Hampshire primary on January 10.

In the latest national poll by the USA Today newspaper and the Gallup Organization, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged into first place with 22 percent of Republican voters backing him. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is right behind with 21 percent, followed by Georgia businessman Herman Cain with 16 percent and Texas Congressman Ron Paul at nine percent. The rest of the field trails in single digits.

“The Republican race has been the most chaotic that I have ever seen and the most unpredictable," said Stuart Rothenberg, the editor and publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, a non-partisan political newsletter. "The race in one respect is pretty clear: a quarter of the Republican Party wants Mitt Romney and the other three-quarters want to have nothing to do with him.”

Herman Cain

Herman Cain had been seen as a top rival to Romney until recently when he was forced to respond to allegations of sexual harassment dating back to the late 1990’s.

Cain also had some awkward moments on foreign policy including a brief memory lapse when asked to comment on President Barack Obama’s policy on Libya.

Cain has slipped a bit in the polls but remains defiant on the campaign trail.

“You know what makes the liberals mad and you know what makes some of my competitors mad? All of the junk that they have thrown at me the last two weeks and I’m still smiling and I’m still inspired!” he said.

ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd says Cain has been hurt in recent weeks, which in part explains the rise of Newt Gingrich in the polls.

“I think his star has faded and so now I think it is a two-person race, fascinating, between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney after all that has gone on over the summer,” said Dowd.

Survey

A recent survey of Iowa Republicans shows Gingrich, Romney, Cain and Paul all bunched near the top of the rankings, where a victory could give one of the Republican candidates a huge boost.

But a Bloomberg News survey found that 60 percent of Republicans who plan to vote in the Iowa caucuses could still change their minds, suggesting a fluid and uncertain race.

Analyst Rothenberg says the Republican race remains unpredictable because so many conservative Republicans still seem reluctant to support Mitt Romney.

“They don’t see him as instinctively conservative," said Rothenberg. "They think he will say whatever you want him to say or whatever he thinks that you want him to say, and that makes them nervous. If and when he gets into the White House, then they can’t be sure he’s going to pursue an agenda that they will really like.”

The Iowa caucuses begin a process of Republicans choosing a party nominee to face off against President Obama in November of 2012.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid