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January 4, 2012

Bachmann Retreats as Majority of Evangelicals Pick Santorum in Iowa

Mitt Romney edged out Rick Santorum for first place in the Iowa caucus by just eight votes yesterday. Just a few weeks ago, a strong Santorum finish was an outcome few envisioned, even among people who supported Santorum. But in the final days before the campaign, enough voters coalesced around the former Pennsylvania senator to push him near the front of the nation's first caucus.

In a crowded field, Romney nosed out Santorum with each receiving around 25 percent of the vote. If the Iowa caucus serves any purpose in the American political system, it is to winnow the field of candidates. Michele Bachmann suspended her campaign this morning.


Going into the caucus, one of the looming questions was whether social conservatives would rally behind a single candidate. Santorum was the candidate they backed. The once long-shot candidate with more time than money invested heavily in the Iowa contest. He now moves onward with little cash on hand and little campaign organization. Still, he beat out both Rick Perry and Bachmann, both of whom once led in national polls. But in the only poll that mattered, Santorum almost received the most votes.

The entrance polls indicate that many evangelicals only recently decided who to support, according to the New York Times.

“Nearly half of the caucusgoers decided whom to support within the last few days. Mr. Santorum was the candidate who benefited the most from these late deciders - a third of them backed him,” Michael Shear reported. “About half of evangelical Christians said they made up their minds within the last few days, while a majority of voters who do not describe themselves that way decided on their vote earlier.”

Entrance polls showed that born-again or evangelical Christians made up a majority of the caucus where six-in-ten Iowa Republican voters described themselves as “born-again or evangelical” Christians. Santorum received a third of the evangelical vote. Ron Paul, who came in third overall, polled second with 18 percent among evangelical voters. Paul's evangelical support was as great as support for Perry (14 percent) and Bachmann (6 percent) put together.

Perry and Bachmann each worked hard to be the “Tim Tebow of Iowa”—a reference to the Denver quarterback known for his evangelical faith and string of last minute wins this NFL season. In an ad, a Super PAC supporting Bachmann compared her to Tebow. "The same could be said of Michele Bachmann: no baggage, Christian, and like Tebow, she keeps fighting and she just keeps winning votes," the ad said. Earlier in the campaign, Rick Perry called himself the “Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses.”

In the final days of the campaign, Bachmann knew that the odds were low that she would win, but she told supporters to expect a miracle. On Monday she told supporters on Facebook and Twitter, “Tomorrow night we are going to see a miracle because we know the one who gives miracles.”

This morning, she announced the end to her campaign. “I will continue fighting to defeat the president's agenda of socialism,” she told her supporters in Iowa.

In his concession speech last night, Perry sounded as though he planned to retreat. He announced that he was not moving on to South Carolina as planned but would instead return to Texas to “assess” his campaign. However after Bachmann's withdrawal from the race today, Perry announced he was returning to the campaign.

Newt Gingrich finished fourth and is clearly taking aim at Romney. In a speech following the caucus, Gingrich called Santorum a “good friend” and someone his campaign admired. But his words for Romney were pointed. Gingrich called Romney “a Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay but has given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any act to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government.”

With Gingrich aiming at Romney, Santorum has room to build on his strong finish in Iowa. Santorum said he will be campaigning in New Hampshire.

The contest moves to New Hampshire next week, but the real test for both Santorum and Romney will be in South Carolina on January 21.


A little bit of a moral victory. It's nice to see that American Evangelicals recognize a raving, uninformed loony when they see one. Bachmann was relegated to nothing status in this race months ago when she proved time and again that she knows nothing about anything. Santorum is still unelectable, however; he was cited as one of the most corrupt members of Congress a few years back, and he's guaranteed zero votes among the gay, immigrant and non-Christian communities, with very few votes among non-evangelical Christians. It's a shame it took the GOP so many months and so much money to wind up guaranteeing Mr. Obama's re-election.

"...he was cited as one of the most corrupt members of Congress a few years back..." Todd, can you provide a link that documents that assertion? I mean not a link to stories that his ethics have been called into question, but specifically that he was cited as one of the most corrupt Congressmen a few years back.

Santorum is knowledgeable in many areas and can articulate positions on many a subject very well. Just because he refuses to bury social issues under the rug does not mean voters primarily concerned aboout the economy are not going to vote for him. I seriously doubt that voters who have been hurt by Obama's policies are going top say to themselves on election day,"Well, Obama policies have failed and are making things worse. Rick Santorum wants to change course, but he's pro-life and defends traditional marriage. I think I'll stick with Obama for another four years." As for immigrants, illegal immigrants will not vote for him because they can't vote. As for legal immigrants, they have been hurt by Obama's policies just as much as anyone else. It would be thinking in sterotypes to assume immigrants would automatically vote for the liberal democrat. Santorum may not receive many votes from the gay community. Yet the gay community has failed to get legalized same-sex marriage in most ballot initiatives. And gay people have been hurt by Obama's policies as much as anyone else. There will be some among them who dislike Santorum's views on marriage who will vote for the economic interests of the country.

September 20, 2006
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its second annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress entitled Beyond DeLay:


i'm curious as to how many of those Evangelicals were Domionists.

you know the funny thing is Romney is a Morman and they've been beaten up by mainstream Christian America over their 'weird' views. Ron Paul's philosophy would let the Mormans do there thing, but if the Mormans ran the USA — just like Domionists —they'd control everyone of use like Bachman wanted to.
really, the Mormans make Statist Christians(Dominionists) look like toddlers when it comes to running a church. you want to see what a 'Christian" nation would look like, go check out Utah. it's not more holy or pure, it's just more underground.

Caleb, I have read the link you provided. It is interesting to note that of the nearly 30 names cited, only four are Democrats. The overwhelming majority are Republicans. Sounds like the group who put this out is a partisan liberal one.

Actually, contrary to the headline, a MAJORITY of evangelicals in Iowa picked someone OTHER THAN Santorum. As the article itself states, and the graph makes clear, and the link to the election stats confirms, Santorum received only 32% of the evangelical vote, which is a PLURALITY, NOT a MAJORITY. A significant majority of Iowa evangelicals, 68%, more than two-thirds, voted for someone other than Santorum.

Also, contrary to the earlier article on "Who Needs to Win Where," which asserted that a "majority of the state [of Iowa], however, does not live in any of the metropolitan areas," a majority of the state DOES live in one of the metropolitan areas, as any brief google search for census/demographic statistics will show. (I was prompted to look this up by seeing the hysterical "Iowa Nice" video that's gone viral, that claims that "5 out of 6 of us live in a city" just before I read the CT article saying the opposite.)

John,you state that "President Obama's policies have failed" as if that were a fact or a universally held understanding- instead of just your opinion.But,given the horrific mess Obama inherited from George W. Bush, I believe he's done a pretty decent job.

Look at where we were three years ago.When Obama took office the entire U.S. financial system was on the brink of collapse because of criminal excesses by execs in the financial service industry. Under Bush, the GOP had repealed many of the regulations in place to keep these sharks from robbing average Americans blind. Since Obama took office some regulation has been restored (despite GOP opposition) & derivatives are now regulated.You may not like the economic stimulus package, but most economists agree that it prevented another Great Depression.Bush got us into a needless war in Iraq. Obama has gotten us out of that war.Under Obama, we've killed bin Laden & other top al Qaeda leaders(something Bush never managed to do).And, under Obama a health care reform law was passed that will guarantee that all Americans can buy affordable health insurance despite pre-existing conditions.That's a pretty significant list of accomplishments (particularly considering the GOP has tried to obstruct everything Obama has proposed).

Now this current crop of GOP presidential candidates all support basically repealing the 20th century & taking us back to the gilded age of robber barons & sweatshops.Their policies overwhelmingly benefit the mega-wealthy, and would hurt middle class Americans. And I,for one,don't see how anyone with a conscience could support that.

Willie, "most economists" do not credit the stimulas from saving us from a great depression, just those that have a partisan slant. Obama promised shovel ready jobs with the stimulas but the plan has been such a failure that Obama later denied he had ever made the promise or used the phrase. Actually, only a small portion of the money raised was actually spent, Obama is waiting to spend the money at election time. As most of the money has not been spent, it could hardly be said that it saved us from a Great Depression. Yes, the beginning of bad times happened under Bush, yet we fail to remember that the Democrats were in control of Congress by then. Obama has managed to spend more in one term than Bush spent in eight years and two wars. Yes, bin Laden and other al quaeda leaders were killed on Obama's watch, yet the organization itself was pretty much taken out under Bush's watch. In fact, the intelligence that first pointed the U.S. in the right direction toward where bin Laden was came from the interogation techniques Bush put in place and which Obama condemned. Despite having a pre-existing condition myself, I, along with the majority of Americans, do not wish to bankrupt the country and place the government in control of who receives treatment and who doesn't.

Guthrie -- You dismiss what you don't agree with by labeling it all "partisan" and demand citations to authoritative reports while not providing any of your own. So, here are the non-partisan reports documenting that, in fact, THERE IS a consensus among economists that the stimulus and Fed action prevented another Great Depression:

From the scrupulously non-partisan Congressional Research Service (a part of the Library of Congress):

"While the current financial downturn has been the most severe in the post-war period by many measures, there are many differences between the recent situation and the Great Depression. Although the stock market crash of 1929 played a role in setting the economic downturn in motion, there is a consensus among economists that policy errors caused the downturn to become the Great Depression.16 ...

By contrast, policymakers have responded aggressively and unconventionally to attempt to contain the current crisis. The Fed has reduced short-term interest rates to nearly zero. Direct Fed assistance outstanding to the financial system has exceeded $1 trillion, and Congress authorized
Treasury to provide an additional $700 billion to the financial system through the Troubled Assets Relief Program.17 Widespread bank runs have not occurred since the introduction of deposit insurance in the 1930s, and similar runs on money market mutual funds in 2008 were circumvented when Treasury temporarily guaranteed their principal. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also temporarily guaranteed certain bank debt to ensure that banks would not lose access to borrowing markets.18

During the Great Depression, policymakers were also reluctant to stimulate the economy through fiscal expansion (a larger structural budget deficit).19 By contrast, the budget deficit increased as a share of GDP from 1.2% in 2007 to 10% in 2009. There was also a belief among some policymakers at the time that recessions were healthy processes that purged the economy of inefficiently allocated resources—a view that fell out of favor as the Depression worsened, and was eventually replaced by the view that prudent policy changes could avoid the needless waste of resources laid idle by recessions."


"The negative shocks the economy received in 2008 and 2009 were, arguably, more severe than what occurred in 1929. However, unlike in 1929, the severe negative impulses did not turn a recession into a depression, arguably because timely and sizable policy responses by the government helped to support aggregate spending and stabilize the financial system.6 That stimulative economic policies would have this beneficial effect on a collapsing economy is consistent with standard macroeconomic theory, but without the counterfactual of the economy’s path in the absence of these policies, it is difficult to establish with precision how effective these policies were."


From USA Today (reporting on the Zandi/Binder report) - "Economists Agree":

"The White House says the multiyear $814 billion stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009 boosted employment by 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs and raised the nation's annual economic output by almost $400 billion. A recent study by two prominent economists generally agrees, crediting the pump-priming with averting "what could have been called Great Depression 2.0. ... Republicans derided the legislation as wasteful spending that would add to ballooning government debt. Eighteen months later, the consensus among economists is that the stimulus worked in staving off a rerun of the 1930s. ...

It's no surprise that the administration would proclaim its own policies a success. But its verdict is backed by economists at Goldman Sachs, IHS Global Insight, JPMorgan Chase and Macroeconomic Advisers, who say the stimulus boosted gross domestic product by 2.1% to 2.7%.

It's impossible to determine precisely how many jobs or how much growth the stimulus program caused. ... But to estimate the answers to such questions, economists rely on models based on historical relationships between various policies and real-world results. Earlier this month, Zandi and co-author Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, released the most detailed assessment of the government's efforts to combat the so-called Great Recession. Neither economist is regarded as a partisan firebrand. Zandi, for example, backed John McCain in the 2008 presidential campaign and has advised members of both parties.

Their conclusion: The fiscal stimulus created 2.7 million jobs and added $460 billion to gross domestic product. Unemployment would be 11% today if the stimulus hadn't been passed and 16.5% if neither the fiscal stimulus nor the banks' rescue had been enacted, according to Zandi and Blinder. "It's pretty hard to deny that it had a measurable impact," Zandi said. As of Aug. 13, almost 64% of the program's original $787 billion had been spent."


Daniel 2:21 says that it is God who "sets up and deposes kings." That is usually overlooked. Also overlooked is the fact that, according to Matthew 4, all nations of the world (except for Israel) are under Satan's control.That includes the USA.

Christian Lawyer, the only time in this discussion I have asked for citations has been for the assertion that Santorum was "cited as one of the most corrupt members of Congress a few years back." The burden of proof rests on those making the charge, not the ones taking issue with the statement. I labeled as partisan the citation used to back it up which listed almost only Republicans as being the most corrupt. Readers can decide for themselves rather what you cite concerning the stimulas is partisan or not. If it had worked, the unemployment rate would have gone down on Obama's watch, not gone up. If it had worked, liberals would not be demanding another stimulas. Voters will certainly see for themselves how the country is doing. And if they don't like what they see, as Obama's poll numbers indicate, Obama is toast. And that is one factor that makes Santorum electable.

The post you made in response to mine is, to put it politely, hyper-partisan right wing propaganda. You're factually challenged to an extreme degree on almost every single point you attempt to make. Your gross distortions on the subject of the Affordable Care Act are particularly glaring.I'm guessing you spend a lot of time watching Fox News, listening to conservative talk radio, & attending Tea Party rallies.

The key question that must be asked in this election is pretty simple:Is the U.S. better off now than it was in 2008?By almost any measure you can use the answer is a resounding YES!We do still face many problems & challenges as a nation, but I think that putting another right wing nut in the White House will make things a lot worse than they are now.And that's clearly something this country can't afford at the moment.

Willie, in reading your response backwards, it says you have nothing substantive with which to reply with so you can do nothing but respond with childish rants against those with whom you disagree. If this is the best Obama's defenders can do, if Santorum is the nominee, he will handily beat Obama on election day. I think I have made my point in this comment feed and will not waste my time with those that cannot disagree in a civil manner.

John, merely calling everything you disagree with "partisan," without offering so much as a single citation to any source at all, places you clearly outside the reality-based ocmmunity for all to see.

Economic policy is not a zero-sum game. If I go camping and bring two blankets because the weather report says there it will be cold, but I end up shivering through the night because it turns out the weather was not just cold, it was one of the worst cold fronts of the season, that doesn't mean the blankets I brought "didn't work"! In fact, those blankets saved me from hypothermia and frostbite. I just needed more of them. It's just the same with the stimulus.

If fact-free debate is all that Obama's detractors can do, Obama will handily beat him on election day.

CL, your partisanship comments have been answered by me in a previous post. Other readers can decide for themselves the validity of your arguments concerning Obama's policies. THey will judge them on how the economy is doing on election day. If the election were held today, these policies would be rejected at the ballot box as Obama's poll numbers indicate. That makes Santorum electable. If he wasn't electable, you would not be taking your time to partake in this conversation.

John Guthrie, it seems to me that the point Willie and CL are making has little to do with whether or not Santorum is electable. That's quite besides the point. The reality is that the right wing propaganda machine is seriously lacking in the facts. Whatever our own particular biases and preferences, as Christians we must trust God with whatever the facts may be like it or not, thereby resisting the temptation to accept only what feeds our own biases.

Velma, that Santorum is electable is the reason I am in this conversation. In fact, by emphasizing the point, I am staying closer to the subject of the article and the first few comments. CL and Willie would like me to focus on what they want to discuss, but I am not in the mood to humor them. Nor am I willing to discuss serious topics with those who resort to childish rants like Willie ( and CL ("...places you outside the reality based community for all to see.")

I think, if you're truly fair minded, you'd have to admit that the LEFT wing propaganda machine is much larger, covers almost all of the tv stations and newspapers, and is also "seriously lacking in the facts". Unless you read information from both "sides", you're getting a very one-sided viewpoint, and missing out on about 95% of what is happening in the world. Most newspapers are only good for lining bird cages these days, where have all the journalists gone?

Nancy, I do read right wing sources as well as left and independent because I believe that one must be open-minded to examining all the facts. As such, in my fallible mind and humble assessment, I have to disagree with you. I find most of the media and press to be more or less independent, not leftwing. To think that there is a vast leftwing conspiracy both here and abroad is just paranoid. There is of course leftwing media and rightwing media on the fringes, both of which are sometimes guilty of manipulating facts to promote their own agenda; however, I find the right to be more guilty than the left because of all the money it has pumping it from behind. And by the way, most Christians outside America find the American rightwing to be exceedingly obnoxious. I happen to know this from extensive contacts overseas. Why is that? A deeper more honest self-examination by the American right under the light of the Holy Spirit would provide the answer.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion about whether or not Santorum is electable. My only point is that both CT and Guthrie misstate the easily verifiable facts in support of their analyses. You are all entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

If you believe it is a "fact" that "'most economists'" do not credit the stimulas from saving us from a great depression, just those that have a partisan slant," then have the integrity to back that up with a citation to some proof. If you believe the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service reports, and the USA Today article, and the Zandi/Binder report I cited are ALL biased, please have the intellectual integrity to back up your claim with a citation to some proof.

I agree with Velma, and I too read news sources from all over the political spectrum. In addition, it's important to go to the actual sources -- the actual text of the legislation, the text of the laws, what actual economists actually said themselves -- rather than what journalists say they said.

Apparently Guthrie has no facts to support his claims. Make of that what you will. At some point, when you keep asserting as "fact" something that cannot be supported by any citation to any proof, it starts to become "bearing false witness." Make of that what you will as well.

It's funny that you have some friends in Europe who think so highly of Obama, because the polls don't reflect that. But, it's easy enough to do a little research and see that he was totally mocked and ridiculed in Germany's 3 main parades a year ago, and you can find youtube videos of Obama in Russia meeting a group of leaders, and each one refused to even shake hands with him. Polls in the middle east show that he has dramatically dropped in popularity there as well. Most of my friends are conservative and they will vote for whoever wins the Republican nomination, no matter who it is.

And even the liberal friends who have sent emails about him, say there is no way they will vote for him. I think the elections will come as a big surprise to those who support him on CT unless something dramatically changes. There are several people who have brought up the scenario of obama even declaring martial law and not holding elections. And if that surprises you, you really aren't keeping up with both sides of the aisle.

Nancy, are you addressing me? Because if you are, did I ever say anything about having "some friends in Europe"? You jumped to a certain conclusion without adequate information. This is precisely what some of us on this forum are talking about. May I refer you to another recent article on CT: "The Cure for Election Madness". It is excellent.

That "born again christians" are involved so much in worldly politics, to the point that customized polls and graphs can be made about who they vote for. To me at least, is nothing more than hogwash made to order in exchange for greenbacks, in the best case scenario.

That someone like Michelle Bachmann finally gets out of the mess is irrelevant, the mess is still messy. But it was a long time due for her to do it.

That a Greco-Roman Culture/Society continues to pretend and wannabe a "christian country" is not surprising anymore to nobody.