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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid