The Republican Establishment, like the “international community,” is more of a figment than a reality. Whom did the so-called establishment support in 2008? Do conservative voters believe that Republican elites somehow engineered the selection of the least loyal and reliable Republican in the U.S. Senate? And how did that work exactly? John McCain was considered the frontrunner in early 2007. Yet by the summer he was languishing in the polls and so broke that he was forced to take out loans. Was it the establishment that earned McCain the nomination or was it the fact that Rudolph Giuliani ran a terrible campaign, Fred Thompson never got airborne, and Mike Huckabee undermined Mitt Romney’s Iowa sling-shot strategy?
Jay Cost looks at the data and demonstrates that those who voted for Romney yesterday fit the same demographic framework as those who voted for him last time.
Thus, Iowa is a metaphor for the whole 2012 Republican nomination campaign. It is not as though Mitt Romney has increased the breadth or depth of his support relative to 2012. At least not yet. Instead, his advantage is due primarily to the weakness of his opposition.
Richard Epstein highlights an interesting attempt to challenge rent control laws before the Supreme Court.
Peter Robinson, a former Reagan speechwriter, grades the GOP candidates on their speaking ability.