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Ford O
Ford O'Connell and Steve Pearson
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      Ford O'Connell and Steve Pearson

      Ford O’Connell and Steve Pearson are the co-founders of ProjectVirginia and CivicForumPAC.

Ames Straw Poll: Make-or-break for Bachmann and Pawlenty

10:20 AM 08/11/2011

The Ames Straw Poll's track record of predicting the eventual GOP presidential nominee is on par with President Obama’s track record of predicting job growth. Yet for two candidates in the field, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a poor showing at the event could foretell the imminent derailment of their presidential bids.

The GOP was wise to accept the debt deal

6:24 PM 08/02/2011

Like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and other fiscal conservatives, we detest the debt deal. It is a stopgap measure, not a long-term solution. By itself, it does not make a dent in our debt problem, it hardly curtails federal government spending, it doesn’t prevent a possible credit downgrade and it could eventually lead to higher taxes. All that Congress really accomplished with this deal was to slow down our nation’s fiscal bloodletting.

Offsetting Obama’s cash advantage

10:11 AM 07/21/2011

You can find fault with Barack Obama on a lot of issues, but you can’t argue with his fundraising prowess. The president’s team may have been a bit cocky when they set their 2012 fundraising targets, and they may fall a bit short of those lofty goals. Still, one thing is clear: Whoever wins the GOP nomination will have a significantly smaller bank account than Obama.

Voter fraud is a serious problem

1:58 PM 06/24/2011

It is no secret that Americans are less than 100 percent confident that government is working for them. Allegations of electoral fraud, whether true or not, taint the entire political process by further undermining our collective faith in democracy. A 2005 bipartisan commission spearheaded by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker came to a similar conclusion. Underscoring the point, the commission noted that “[p]hoto IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check. Voting is equally important."

Will GOP primary voters pick a winner in 2012?

8:53 AM 06/17/2011

Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan framed the question as, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Since President Obama assumed office on January 20, 2009, the federal debt has risen by roughly $3.7 trillion, the cost of gasoline has more than doubled, and the national unemployment rate seems to be permanently stuck around nine percent. The question doesn’t need to be repeated for 2012 -- we already know the answer. The question that GOP primary voters do need to ask as they survey the field of candidates is whether their families and wallets can survive another four years of Obama’s progressive fiscal agenda.

Mitt Romney’s primary hurdle

12:25 PM 06/07/2011

Mitt Romney has decided to lose his necktie this time around. Unfortunately, shedding clothing hasn’t proven itself to be a winner for politicians lately. Romney will need to strip away more than just his formal presentation if he wants to win the trust of Republican primary voters. In terms of name recognition, campaign experience and fundraising, Romney leads the GOP field. Unfortunately for Team Romney, the foundation for this frontrunner status is built on a reputation that is out of sync with voters.

NY-26 special election: A time for learning

11:14 PM 05/24/2011

Like a sand boil in a levee, Jane Corwin’s loss tonight portends rough times ahead for Republican Congressional candidates in the run-up to the 2012 elections. What we see in tonight’s election result is the power of the Democrats’ attack politics. What we didn’t see was a concerted effort by the GOP leadership during the past couple of months to control the message and sell its vision of why we need to change our government’s fiscal habits now.

Blame Boehner if Corwin loses special election in NY-26

1:33 PM 05/11/2011

With the GOP holding a commanding 48-seat lead in the United States House of Representatives, one would think that a special election in upstate New York shouldn’t merit much attention. Unfortunately it does and should serve as a wake-up call for Republicans if they want to retain control of the House of Representatives in November 2012.

Tim Pawlenty needs to shine in South Carolina

9:35 AM 05/05/2011

Fox News is promoting tonight’s debate among Republicans in South Carolina as the kickoff to the 2012 primary season. A better description would be to call it the season opener of “American Idol -- Celebrity Candidate Edition.”

Mitt Romney widens the electoral map for the GOP

10:06 AM 04/29/2011

President Obama’s quest for reelection in 2012 could be a real battle in the trenches, but only if the GOP and its eventual presidential nominee are able to get their acts together. At this juncture, President Obama certainly has the upper hand, but if gas prices continue to rise and the economy does not improve, his hold on the Oval Office could be on life-support.

The GOP needs Mike Huckabee in 2012

10:26 AM 04/19/2011

Whether we choose to pay attention or not, poll after poll continues to indicate that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is in fact the Republican 2012 presidential frontrunner, even with the current TMZ-like fetish for all things Donald Trump. As Politico’s Andy Barr recently observed, “Poll the early primary states, and the former Arkansas governor is winning. Match up any of the 2012 [GOP] contenders with President Barack Obama, and Huckabee usually runs strongest.” So why is this bad news for voters hoping to change the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2012?

Hispanic dissatisfaction with Dems puts Colorado in play in 2012

11:42 AM 04/12/2011

Colorado, a state where Democrats have seen numerous victories in recent years, could be ready for a swing in 2012. CivicForumPAC has moved Colorado to the “toss up states” category for the 2012 presidential election, thanks in large part to the fact that Hispanics are beginning to sour on President Obama. The president’s weakening connection with independents doesn’t bode well for him in Colorado either.

Polling the 2012 GOP presidential field — Huck ahead or raising Cain?

12:32 PM 04/07/2011

Contrary to the Beltway media chorus, Gallup’s latest survey indicates that there is in fact a Republican 2012 presidential frontrunner. His name is Mike Huckabee. Politico’s Andy Barr recently made a similar observation: “Poll the early primary states, and the former Arkansas governor is winning. Match up any of the 2012 [GOP] contenders with President Barack Obama, and Huckabee usually runs strongest.”

Could the GOP lose the House in 2012?

4:05 PM 04/06/2011

While the GOP has both eyes on changing the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and capturing control of the U.S. Senate, House Republicans still need to be looking in their rear-view mirror for a rump Democratic caucus itching to bump them off the track.

Obama’s 2012 play for North Carolina

10:13 AM 03/29/2011

In 2008, Barack Obama pulled out a narrow win in North Carolina. Some would call it a fluke, pinning the GOP defeat in the Tar Heel State to John McCain’s dysfunctional field campaign strategy. After all, North Carolina had long been a conservative bastion, and the last Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state prior to Obama was Jimmy Carter, a native Southerner, in 1976. Still, Team Obama surely read something in the “tobacco leaves” because it invested significant resources into a state not typically considered a presidential battleground.