IN SIMPLE TERMS
By BOBBIE McAULIFFE
It is more than two months until Super Tuesday when Oklahoma along with several other states will go to the polls to vote to select a nominee for the next President of the United States.
Some may be surprised to learn three candidates filed to run against Barak Obama on the Democratic ticket; Jim Rogers of Midwest City , Bob Ely of Illinois and Randall Terry of West Virginia.
Seven Republicans filed the paperwork in early December to appear on the Oklahoma ballot,and the upcoming (Jan 3) Iowa Caucus has consumed my attention this week.
A caucus is different from a primary election and only about 4 percent of registered voters will participate. Everyone shows up at the precinct at the same time, people who are not registered Republicans will be allowed to register on the spot and participate. The doors are locked and representatives for the different candidates give their campaign speeches. A vote is taken and if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, candidates who received the lesser of votes is eliminated, more speeches and another vote until one comes out ahead with 50 percent or more of the vote.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ran in 2008 but did not get very far. He has done a lot of work on selling himself and is currently the leader in the Iowa polls, but has not moved up or down even as more undecided are making up their mind.
Libertarian/Republican Ron Paul is nipping at his heels. Congressman Paul has a well organized campaign and no one is going to be surprised if he does win the Iowa Caucus, since the caucus is not much different from a Straw Poll and he nearly always wins Straw Polls.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich polled well when he first entered the race, and is still polling well nationwide, even with all of his baggage.
Texas Governor Rick Perry leaped right to the front when he entered the race, but has not performed well in the debates and lost ground. He is not likely to recover.
Also not likely to recover is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She won the Iowa Straw Poll in August, but has steadily slid to near the bottom.
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, also Libertarian leaning, has spent no time in Iowa, thinking he can make it up in New Hampshire a week later, but only polling third there.
Former PA Senator Rick Santorum has begun to rise in the Iowa polls and is now in third place. I have liked this candidate from the beginning. He is very socially conservative, just as knowledgeable as Newt on foreign policy and affairs, and has an economic plan that will bring manufacturing back to the United States. He opposes any form of amnesty for illegal aliens in our country.
If Iowa were a primary State I believe he would win this thing and wish him well.