AZ for Mitt

A blog dedicated to informing Arizonans about Mitt Romney and the campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A new poll out of Iowa shows Romney leading by 23 percentage points:


A poll by this same organization earlier in the month had Romney leading in New Hampshire by 16% points over second place Giuliani.

Some may point to Romney's lagging beyond national polls as a problem for Mitt, but both Carter and Clinton never topped 6% in national polls prior to the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, and Kerry never topped 13%.

This week Rasmussen had Romney polling as high as 17%, showing a steady climb throughout the year.

Vote for Mitt in this new GOP Bloggers Straw Poll. Click here. He's currently in second.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally, someone else is saying what I've already pointed out:

Here’s my big concern about Fred: I’m very worried about entrusting the most complex CEO job in the world to someone or anyone who’s never run anything bigger than a six person law firm. Thompson has no executive experience, and it shows in the way he’s run his campaign. The indecision, the lack of direction, the organizational incoherence – these are hallmarks of a rookie CEO. Anyone who’s ever run anything knows what I’m talking about. You get better at it as you go along, and there’s a pretty steep learning curve.

Unfortunately for Fred, POTUS isn’t an entry level CEO position. Nor for that matter is running a campaign for the presidency. If you look at the campaigns that have functioned relatively smoothly to date, all of the principals have executive experience...

Today yet another wheel came flying off the Thompson campaign bus as communications director Linda Rozett befell the axe. I’m pretty sure this is something like the 83rd high profile departure from the Thompson campaign in the last two months. When the Thompson “campaign” announced that its pioneers would raise $4 million overnight and then never actually reported on their progress, I told you that it was a sign that the people at Thompson HQ had no idea what they were doing. It took Mitt Romney 18 months to lay the groundwork to raise $6 million “overnight”. It was arrogant, lazy and stupid for the Thompson people to not only think they could re-write the rules, but publicly crow that they would do so...

I’ll leave where I started. Fred will jump into the race and everyone will get to make up their own minds. But Thompson and his team have given no indication that they can run a big-time presidential campaign. Because of his dithering and vacillation, the Republican electorate has grown impatient, and his margin of error has been reduced to zero. If Fred doesn’t knock everyone’s socks off with his announcement and his first debate performance, the Wes Clark comparisons will come fast and furious.

This is interesting out of the NY Times (hat tip to

Rudolph W. Giuliani has been broadcasting radio advertisements in Iowa and other states far from the city he once led stating that as mayor of New York, he “turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion dollar surplus.”

The assertion, which Mr. Giuliani has repeated on the trail as he has promoted his fiscal conservatism, is somewhat misleading, independent fiscal monitors said. In fact, Mr. Giuliani left his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, with a bigger deficit than the one Mr. Giuliani had to deal with when he arrived in 1994. And that deficit would have been large even if the city had not been attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

“He inherited a gap, and he left a gap for his successor,” Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the city’s Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that monitors the city budget, said of Mr. Giuliani. “The city was budgeting as though the good times were not going to end, but sooner or later they always do.”

The Giuliani campaign defended the advertisement, noting that it merely states that Mr. Giuliani created a multibillion-dollar surplus, not that he passed one on to his successor.
Mr. Giuliani’s eight years of fiscal stewardship of the city was initially marked by a new brand of conservative budgeting principles in which he cut spending, cut taxes and cut the payroll. Later, when the booming stock market of the late 1990s pumped revenues into the city’s coffers, Mr. Giuliani was able to cut taxes, increase spending above the rate of inflation, and still post big surpluses.

But the economy cooled near the end of Mr. Giuliani’s second term, and he spent most of the roughly $3 billion surplus he had accumulated to balance his final budget, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002. Even before the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Giuliani projected that his successor would face a $2.8 billion gap the next year. After the attacks, that gap climbed to $4.8 billion in a $42.3 billion budget.

Faced with such a huge deficit, which continued to grow as the economic aftershocks of the attacks continued and the costs of some of the Giuliani administration’s policies came due, the next mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, was forced to take the extraordinary steps of borrowing to pay for operating expenses, cutting programs, and raising property taxes by 18.5 percent to balance the budget.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

There has been much speculation and worry by some evangelical Christians that a Mormon president will lead to an explosion of converts for the LDS Church (and the bloggers at Evangelicals for Mitt have been doing a good job of refuting those claims).

However, all we need to do is look at the growth of the LDS Church in the state of Massachussetts before and during Mitt's governership to determine if there is any validity in such speculation.

The results are interesting. The annual rate of growth from 1993-1995 averaged 3.4%. It increased to 8% from 1995 to 1999. From 1999-2001 it dropped back to down to 3.1% per annum. Then here is the growth at the end of each of the following years covering Romney's campaign and most of his tenure in office:


These numbers are published in the Church's annual almanac, and the year-end numbers for 2006 will be published later this year.

Clearly, quite the opposite of the fearful speculation on some, Romney's time in the governor witnessed a tremendous decrease in LDS Church growth in Massachussetts. Now, to be fair, these are not the numbers of convert baptisms, just overall membership, which would include members moving in and out of the state. Still, Romney improved the economy, which can't be blamed for some kind of Mormon exodus from the Bay State.

One can speculate all one wants to, but when faced with data (as Romney prefers to make decisions from rather than rhetoric and opinion), a Romney presidency, if anything, doesn't bode well for Mormon missionary efforts and will not lead to an explosion of LDS Church growth.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I know that Rudy is running as a 9/11 hero and the nation's best hope for a commander-in-chief tough on terrorism, but personally I've always wondered what exactly he did to protect the nation, be tough on terrorism, and save the day on Sept. 11?

This new piece, while written by someone clearly anti-Rudy and probably anti-Republican, does throw considerable water on the myth of Rudy's heroics. Click here if you want to read it.

If Rudy's main claim to the Oval Office is mostly myth, where does that leave his candidacy?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Romney won a little-heralded but significant straw poll at the Illinois state fair today. Here are the results:

1. Mitt Romney -- 40.35%
2. Fred Thompson -- 19.96%
3. Ron Paul -- 18.87%
4. Rudy Giuliani -- 11.61%
5. John McCain -- 4.12%
6. Mike Huckabee -- 3.04%
7. Sam Brownback -- 1.08%
8. Duncan Hunter -- .65%
9. Tom Tancredo -- .33%

Mitt's margin of victory was bigger than in Iowa, and I find it amazing that despite Rudy's efforts and McCain's organization in the state, they were beat by an undeclared candidate and a candidate whose biggest asset is his popularity on the Internet. Also, either Huckabee didn't get much of a boost from his 2nd place showing at Ames, or 3% is the extent of his boost.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

With the Ames Straw Poll happening today, the expectations game that everyone has been playing (a fancy way to state "dishonesty") is finally over. A few highlights:

Rudy released an internal document stating that Romney would win by an 8-1 margain over the next closest candidate. The media bought the line. Talk about ridiculous.

Newt stated that Mitt had outspent his opponents by 35-1. I'm curious where Newt got the inside campaign finance numbers from all of the GOP candidates to be able to make that statement. Again, trying to build up such an incredible expectation that there's no way Romney can meet it and his win is minimized.

And Brownback, made this bizarre statement noted in the NY Times' blog:

One early prediction: Sam Brownback, the Kansas senator, told reporters that he expected to defeat Mr. Romney. “The less will be that Iowans don’t seem him as a consistent conservative,” said Mr. Brownback.

Obviously the senator doesn't understand the expectations game because he just set the bar for his own performance impossibly high.

One side note, Ron Paul supporters are enouraging each other to get free rides and tickets into Ames by posing as Romney supporters as Mitt has offered free rides and tickets to his team. I find that dishonest.

Monday, August 06, 2007

While Mitt Romney's sons (he has five--no daughters) are actively blogging and touring the country stumping for their father's campaign, Rudy Giuliani's own children either won't help, as in his son Andrew's case, or are tenatively supporting Obama for president, according to this CNN article.

Who knows a person better than their children and their spouse. Romney's are fully behind him. Giuliani's are not (except for spouse #3). That should tell the American public volumes about the comparative character of these two men.