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Friday, October 30, 2015

Election Day November 3, 2015 issues

art credit: montgomerynews.com

Election Day November 3, 2015
For a look at the ballot initiatives that residents of Cuyahoga County will vote on next Tuesday, see a sample ballot in PDF format at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website here.  (You’ll need to enter your ward number and precinct letter; you will have those details on the voter registration card you received in the mail from the BoE.)
Some of the issues on the ballot fall under the Tea Party Patriot platform of fiscal responsibility and free markets.

If you are already confused because ballot Issues #2 (anti-monopoly) and #3 (legalize marijuana in Ohio) seem to be in conflict with each other, below are remarks by Ohio Senator Larry Obhof (R-Ohio Senate District 22) on what voters need to know about Issues 2 and 3 (h/t Ohio Christian Alliance Click here for OCA Voter Guide):
Issue 2 is specifically limited to initiatives that would purport to grant a private interest or group of private interests a “monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel” or a preferential tax rate or commercial right that is not “available to other similarly situated persons.”  It would not affect citizen-led initiatives, unless they are designed to give someone a monopoly or a special tax rate not available to similarly situated persons.
Issue 2 will protect the Ohio Constitution from special interests buying their way into the state’s foundational document.  Frankly, this is long overdue and should have been proposed after the casino amendment a few years ago.  Carve-outs for specific investors, protections from competition, the addresses of particular businesses … these things do not belong in the Ohio Constitution.  
Regardless of one’s position on the Issue, [some of the information being promoted concerning these issues is misleading or incorrect, as per below]:

1.   Statement: “There is no judicial review over the ballot board decision.”
This is simply wrong and is contradicted by the plain text of Issue. Section C clearly provides for judicial review and states that “The supreme court of Ohio shall have original, exclusive jurisdiction in any action that relates to this section.”
2. Statement: “This restriction could extend to issues such as ballot initiatives for workplace freedom, protection of life, etc.”  
Issue 2 would not affect a "workplace freedom amendment."  A workplace freedom amendment would not grant a “monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel” and it would not specify a tax rate or commercial right or license that is not available to similarly situated persons.  And keep in mind that even under Issue 2, one could specify a tax rate or provide commercial rights or licenses.  Issue 2 only affects such initiatives if they would carve out a special tax rate for a small group of people that is not available to other, similarly situated persons.
[Senator Obhof] cannot think of any logical basis for saying that Issue 2 would affect an initiative related to “protection of life.”  It is hard to conceive of a pro-life ballot initiative that would also grant someone a monopoly, or a special tax carve-out or commercial license not available to similarly situated persons.     

3. Statement: “Consider this scenario:  If Issue 2 had been in the Constitution prior to now, the effort that many concerned citizens launched to limit strip clubs’ hours of operation and activities, should it have needed to be placed on the ballot, would be subject to Issue 2’s provisions, as it would be deemed to limit the commercial activity of a state license holder (alcohol establishments).”  
Issue 2 would not apply to this scenario.  Issue 2 only applies to attempts to “grant or create a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel” or a preferential tax rate or commercial right that is not “available to other similarly situated persons.”  It would not affect an initiative to limit clubs’ hours or activities.  It would not even affect a ban on such clubs, unless the ban carved out specific clubs for special treatment (i.e., closing all clubs except for 10 of them, or closing all clubs except those owned by a specific operator or group of operators).   

4. Statement:  “If a citizen’s initiative goes before the Ballot Board there is no judicial recourse for the citizens to challenge the ruling by the Supreme Court.”  
First, this contradicts the earlier statement that there is no judicial review over the ballot board’s decision.  Obviously, review by the Ohio Supreme Court is “judicial review.”   
Second, the scope of review is not more or less under Issue 2 than it is for any other party in Ohio’s court system.  What does it mean to say “there is no judicial recourse … to challenge the ruling by the Supreme Court”?  When does anyone challenge a ruling by the Supreme Court?  On questions of state law, the Ohio Supreme Court is the court of last resort.  That is not any different under Issue 2 than it would be if you and I sued each other under state law.   
Thanks to Sen. Obhof for setting the record straight.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Constituting America Hangout" today, October 28th at 6:15 pm Eastern

The support for the Health Care Compact (HCC) is quickly growing. Seeing the HCC is the only Constitutional way to defeat Obamacare, more and more Congressmen are signing on as co-sponsors at the federal level.  Ohio's Health Care Compact effort (HB 34) has now passed the Ohio House and is in the Ohio Senate Govt Oversight & Reform Committee.

At 6:15pm today actress and radio host Janine Turner and Health Care Compact founder Leo Linbeck III will be hosting an online event, "Constituting America Hangout" where you can get more info on the HCC, ask questions and spend time with fellow patriots working to defeat Obamacare.

From the folks at Health Care Compact:

This evening:  Constituting America Google Hangout with actress and radio host Janine Turner and Health Care Compact founder Leo Linbeck III. To accommodate the presidential debate the same evening, we've moved up the time to 6:15 pm Eastern (5:15 Central) tomorrow - Wednesday, October 28th
Please bring your questions and join us through this link, so you can learn more about the best chance we have to get rid of Obamacare and send health care decisions back to the states. 
In addition to sharing more about the progress of the Health Care Compact on Capitol Hill, Janine and Leo will tell you about steps you can take to ensure your own members get behind our efforts to move health care control out of Washington.
And in case you'd like a quick refresher, Janine published this outstanding column about the Health Care Compact in Friday's Washington Times. Janine has been a devoted champion of states' rights and the Constitution, and we are grateful to have her support.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stop Paul Ryan!

art credit: anaannblog.wordpress 

Stop Paul Ryan!

UPDATE Thurs. Oct 22: Matthew Boyle at Breitbart Big Government reports that "Paul Ryan Sold House Freedom Caucus A Bill Of Goods In Private Meeting On Capitol Hill" -- and the Freedom Caucus declined to endorse. Read the report here

Action Alert from Tea Party Patriots:
In the House Republican Conference Meeting, Paul Ryan announced that he would be willing to accept the position of Speaker of the House if all of his conditions were met. He said he would only agree to be Speaker if he could be the unifying person between the House Freedom Caucus, the Republican Study Committee, and the moderate wing of the GOP conference.
Oh and there's one more thing. He will only agree to be Speaker of the House if the Republican Conference agrees to change the House rules to get rid of the ability for Members to file a motion to vacate the chair. You'll recall this is the very tool that Congressman Mark Meadows ultimately used to force John Boehner to resign.
So, Paul Ryan wants to be Speaker, but he doesn't want to have to pay the consequences if he does a bad job. Not only that, he wants to remove any consequences for any future Speaker of the House. Let's be clear here. He's talking about changing a rule that was initially laid out by Thomas Jefferson in his Rules on Parliamentary Procedure - a set of rules that each Member gets a copy of at the beginning of a new session of Congress!
This is absolutely insane and what's more, we have it on good authority that many Members of the House Freedom Caucus stood and gave Ryan a standing ovation after his speech last night. Now, perhaps it was simply a good gesture, but for them to stand and clap after Ryan talked about changing the rules of the House to remove any accountability for a sitting Speaker is alarming.
We must continue to encourage the House Freedom Caucus to remain strong and to remain en bloc. Paul Ryan has already proven that he isn't willing to change business as usual in Washington; in fact he wants to double down. The House Freedom Caucus and other conservatives in the House must continue to stand and demand a Speaker who will devolve the power structure.
Still, the only person who has laid for such a plan is Daniel Webster. He is the only one who has actually implemented his plan and he may well be the only person in the House qualified to make such a drastic and necessary change.
Call and Tweet the following list of Congressmen listed below. Tell them not to give in to Paul Ryan's demands and tell them to remember why they have their majority.
Here are details for Ohio Representatives:

David Joyce

Steve Stivers

Jim Renacci

Brad Wenstrup

Jim Jordan

Bill Johnson

Bob Gibbs

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tell Your Congressman - Just Say NO to Paul Ryan!

This Thursday, October 15 at noon, we are asking every Tea Party Patriots supporter to visit the local office or call the Republican Congressmen from your state to tell them to choose our next Speaker wisely.
Right now, the talking heads in DC, the establishment Republicans - including outgoing Speaker John Boehner, and even one of the most liberal Democrats - Congressman Luis "Amnesty" Gutierrez are trying to have Congressman Paul Ryan coronated as the next Speaker of the House.

Congressman Ryan has often been viewed as a conservative by the mainstream media, but his record doesn't reflect our definition of conservative. Jenny Beth Martin released a statement yesterday where she laid this out.
“Specifically, his support for No Child Left Behind, the largest expansion of the federal government since Lyndon Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ – that is, Medicare Part D, the Prescription Drug bill – the bailouts, the debt ceiling, and his support of the Gang of 8 amnesty bill demonstrate that Ryan is no different than John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy, whom grassroots conservatives and the GOP conference have already rejected."
We must do everything we can to:
  1. Encourage the House Freedom Caucus and other Conservatives in the House to continue to stick together and stand on principles rather than a personality. Paul Ryan is a personality who is being hand-picked by John Boehner.
  2. Ensure the next Speaker is committed to serious reforms in the House that will decentralize the current top-down structure and allow all Members an opportunity to represent their constituents in the legislative process - Daniel Webster of Florida is the only person who has laid out such a vision and he actually implemented it as Speaker of the House in Florida.
Please plan to visit or call GOP Congressman from your state this Thursday at noon local time.

We've tried to make it as easy as possible for you to make it this Thursday. Simply visit the site, navigate the map to the nearest GOP Congressional Office, click the flag on the map to RSVP. We are working on a toolkit that will be added to the site later today and we will send you an email if you RSVP before the toolkit is finalized. The toolkit will include the following:
  • Sample Letter to the Congressman
  • A guide on visiting your Congressman
  • Sample Tweets
  • Talking points
We are coming off of two huge victories. John Boehner's top-down approach to the House of Representatives and his complete denial to listen to the American people is what ultimately forced him out. Kevin McCarthy's close proximity to Boehner made him a place holder for Boehner, which ultimately forced him out. We have an opportunity here to have an impact on who the next Speaker is and what their agenda will be. Please visit your GOP Congressman this Thursday and tell them to choose our next Speaker wisely. It's time to return the House of Representatives to truly represent the will of the people.
Rep. Steve Chabot, OH-1
D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-2216
D.C. Office Fax: (202) 225-3012
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RepSteveChabot
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/repstevechabot

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, OH -2
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-3164
D.C. Office Fax: (202)225-1992
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepBradWenstrup
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@RepBradWenstrup

Rep. Jim Jordan, OH-4
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-2676
D.C. Office Fax: (202)226-0577
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/repjimjordan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jim_jordan

Rep. Bob Latta, OH-5
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-6405
D.C. Office Fax: (800)278-8203
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boblatta
Twitter: https://twitter.com/boblatta

Rep. Bill Johnson, OH-6
D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-5705
D.C. Office Fax: (202) 225-5907
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RepBillJohnson
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RepBillJohnson

Rep. Bob Gibbs, OH-7
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-6265
D.C. Office Fax: (202)225-3394
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepBobGibbs
Twitter: https://twitter.com/repbobgibbs

Rep. Mike Turner, OH-10
D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-6465
D.C. Office Fax: (202) 225-6754
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepMikeTurner
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RepMikeTurner

Rep. Pat Tiberi, OH-12
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-5355
D.C. Office Fax: (202)226-4523
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepPatTiberi
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiberipress

Rep. Dave Joyce, OH-14
D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-5731

D.C. Office Fax: (202) 225-3307
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepDaveJoyce
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RepDaveJoyce 

Rep. Steve Stivers, OH-15
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-2015
D.C. Office Fax: (202)225-3529
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RepSteveStivers
Website: http://stivers.house.gov 

Rep. Jim Renacci, OH-16
D.C. Office Phone: (202)225-3876
D.C. Office Fax: (202)225-3059
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/repjimrenacci
Website: http://renacci.house.gov

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Democrat Presidential Debate tonight on CNN

Photo credit: weaselzippers.com 

Democrat Presidential Debate tonight on CNN  
at 9pm (preliminaries at 8:30)

The candidates: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley (former Maryland Gov.), Jim Webb  (former Virginia Sen.), and Lincoln Chafee (former Rhode Island Gov.).

If you don’t want to watch (Anderson Cooper is moderating the event), you have other options, among them:

Donald Trump will be Live Tweeting 

Stephen Green will be Drunk Blogging live at Vodkapundit.

# # #

UPDATE Oct-14: Mark Steyn's take on the debate last night is here. A short extract:
It was interesting to me how the Dems' single-digit losers - Webb, Chafee, Martin O'Malley - were so incoherent and unimpressive compared to the GOP's single-digit losers - Jindal, Graham, Santorum, even (God help us) Pataki. Last night, to justify their continued presence in the race, one of these guys had to lay a glove on Hillary. Instead, they all wimped out. Tonally, the sub-text of the debate was that these fellows were too scared of her to challenge her: They communicated only their subservience. 

I often quote the British SAS motto "Who Dares Wins". Hillary dared - she dared these beta-male "progressives" to get in her face - and they all wimped out. So she wins. And it looks like Joe Biden's let his will-he-won't-he Hamlet routine drift on 48 hours too long. The rationale for exhuming his Chiclet choppers and hair-plugs was that Hillary's looking like a loser. But last night the beta Dems allowed Hillary to look like a winner. She dared, she won. Biden didn't dare, he dithered - and lost.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ohio Tea Party Group Deliver Flags of Surrender to US Senate over Iran Deal


For Immediate Release

October 3, 2015

Contact: Bob Connors
(740)579-1173 WTPOV@Reagan.com

Press Advisory
We The People-Ohio Valley accompanied by other concerned groups from Columbus, and Zanesville will travel to Washington DC on Monday, October 5th, to deliver white surrender flags and trophies to the United States Senate offices for failure to stop Iran’s nuclear deal. The group departs on Sunday, October 4th, at 2:45 p.m., from Panera Bread at the Ohio Valley Mall.
President Obama claims that without an agreement there is war; that sanctions can be returned if Iran breaks the agreement, that there will be inspections and this deal will put off Iran’s ability to acquire a nuclear bomb for ten years thus giving time to renegotiate. Questions remain as to who is going to start this war mentioned by President Obama. The sanctions are not likely to be reinstated and it has been disclosed there is no anytime/anywhere inspection agreement.
Because Senate leaders failed to make a forceful public argument Iran now has access to the previously sanctioned $150 billion which will be utilized to finance terrorist groups including Hezbollah. This enormous cash inflow will be used to kill American soldiers just as Iran has done in Iraq and elsewhere. Further, this deal amounts to an agreement for Iran to become a nuclear power triggering a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
As you are aware, Iran is not just another country. Iran is a police state and a terrorist sponsoring state led by Islamic fanatics bent on destroying Israel and America. During these nuclear arms negotiations the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei repeated a clear threat, “death to Israel” and “death to America.” 
Iran is morally indistinguishable from Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda or ISIS plus Iran created Hezbollah specifically to kill as many Jews as possible. This agreement strengthens Iran’s continued sponsorship of more terror attacks, removes the embargo on weapons and missiles, and Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is emboldened.
The historic record indicates that Iran will fail to keep its word. These are religious fanatics who follow Shiite Islam in all aspects including “taqiyya” which means it is permissible and encouraged to use deception and lying as key to their faith. We The People Ohio Valley respectfully requests that the Senate reject the Iran nuclear agreement and move to place stricter sanctions on Iran.
We The People-Ohio Valley is an organization made up of like minded people from all walks of life and political persuasion including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are dedicated to educating the public about current and historic issues.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money! How Boehner Kept Control

The below article from Open Secrets will shed some light on soon to be former Speaker John Boehner and how he was able to maintain support within Congress and the Republican Party. 

Most of all you will see the Speaker position is rarely about "conservatism."  Right or wrong, a Speaker position is more about being able to hold together a coalition of supporters than it is spreading or doing conservative things. 

Boehner was able to hold the his coalition of supporters together through years of building a huge fundraising machine and political patronage. Much of this fundraising and patronage was at the expense of conservative voters.

From Open Secrets -- (Emphasis Added)

Whatever else is said about him, you can’t say he didn’t share.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) raised $97 million for his House campaigns and leadership PAC from the time he received his first donations in 1989, Center for Responsive Politics data shows — far more than any other sitting House member. Only Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have raised more in their careers, and both of them have been presidential candidates.

But the soon-to-be-former speaker’s political money profile depicts a party leader trying to raise most Republican boats with his fundraising tide. No current lawmaker, House or Senate, has given away more money to the party and its congressional candidates, a total of $41.1 million from his campaign committees and PAC — nearly double the gifts of the No. 2 on that list, Rep.
Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

Where’d all the loot come from? Boehner received contributions
from every state in the country. Even when facing an opponent in name only in 2012 — one who spent no money against him — the speaker laid out $21 million that cycle. But he gave most of it — nearly $12 million — to the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 2014, Boehner gave $8.3 million to the NRCC from his campaign account.

Still, Boehner’s power to direct traffic in Congress made him highly popular in the Washington, D.C. metro area in
every election since he assumed the post. Boehner’s Washington fundraising totals jumped from $252,555 in 2010, the year his party took over the House, to $805,481 in 2012 and $707,292 in 2014. In fact, almost five years as speaker were enough to make Washington and its environs Boehner’s all-time top metro area for fundraising at $2.5 million — edging out the $2.4 million he received from the Cincinnati area back in his home state.

Washington’s desire to shower leaders with cash may make for a kind of catch-22 for politicians who need money for the party, not just themselves, yet have to corral members for votes amid an anti-establishment revolt among Republicans. The geography of Boehner’s contributions mirrors more conservative lawmakers’ critiques of the speaker as a Republican too comfortable with Washington’s political culture.

Similar reproaches launched by a relatively unknown outsider helped oust Boehner’s former second-in-command, former Republican House Majority Leader
Eric Cantor, in 2014. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who beat Cantor in part by pillorying him for being too cozy with the Washington money machine, is now a member of the House Freedom Caucus, the far-right wing trying to pull Republican leadership in their direction.

Perhaps like Boehner, Cantor’s generosity with the money he raised couldn’t overcome the criticism: Only
Cantor’s PAC gave away more to fellow Republicans than Boehner’s leadership PAC in 2014. Of the 25 lawmakers who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this year, 19 had received money from Boehner’s leadership PAC.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the name most frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Boehner, and the outgoing speaker game McCarthy his blessing today. But McCarthy may well not be radically right enough for the Freedom Caucus. The top 10 donor industries to both men look remarkably similar; in fact, they share seven in common: securities & investment (aka Wall Street), insurance, real estate , oil & gas, lawyers & law firms, electric utilities and health professionals.


The GOP Final Four?

The Washington Times goes through some of the candidates and rates the Final Four. Do you agree or disagree?  Who are your Final Four?


With the Governors Club members Scott Walker and Rick Perry gone, the bloated Republican presidential field is showing the inevitable signs of radical shrinkage by year's end, with donors' reluctance to bet on long shots.

A few more debates and some bad fundraising reports this fall almost certainly will winnow the field, veteran observers say.

"A number of candidates are having a hard time raising sufficient hard cash," said former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Steve Duprey, a member of the Republican National Committee's governing body.

"I don't see any of them following Walker and Rick Perry out of the race at this moment. But after a couple more debates, it's entirely possible by year's end more candidates will be forced to suspend their campaigns," he said.

Added former Reagan White House official Mary Ann Meloy, a conservative activist from Pennsylvania: "It won't surprise me if the field narrows to five or six or even four by the end of this year — it's the money, or the lack of it, that will force so many out."

The expectation that fundraising organizations would help keep what was once a field of 17 Republican candidates in the race for a long time was dispelled when Mr. Walker abruptly dropped out despite having a healthy super PAC behind him.

With the reality setting in that even the 15-candidate field is unsustainable, Republicans are beginning to contemplate what the Final Four might look like.

Here is a handicapping of who is up and down, and who might not be around by spring.


Bobby Jindal

He can talk policy with the best of conservatives and has an impressive record in Louisiana, but Mr. Jindal just doesn't seem to resonate as presidential material with rank-and-file primary voters. His parents are immigrants from India who retain their Hindu religion even though their son, the governor, became an evangelical Catholic in high school. He has always been a favorite of Republicans looking for someone who is smart, accomplished and conservative and reflects the diversity of America. But the only thing electric about him as a speaker is the microphone he's holding.

"Why he's not getting traction, honestly I don't know," said Louisiana Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere. "He's kept taxes from rising, defunded Planned Parenthood in this state, changed ethics rules for the better, brought new businesses into Louisiana, led the nation on school choice — and on charter schools."

Mr. Jindal seems stuck in low gear, registering no better than 4 percent in early-states polling.

Rand Paul

The latest fall for the senator from Kentucky was a big one. Ed Crane, a founder of the libertarian Cato Institute and of a super PAC backing Mr. Paul's candidacy, has announced that he won't ask major donors for more money because he can't justify the appeal on behalf of a man whose commitments to a freedom-first, noninterventionist agenda he no longer trusts.

Time magazine once named Mr. Paul the most interesting man in politics. He went to Israel a few years ago to assure Israelis and their supporters in the United States that he wasn't to be feared as a presidential contender. A straw poll winner for three years straight at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Paul, 52, was an early favorite, but the endorsement of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentucky Republican, has cost him dearly with many rank-and-file conservatives. His back-and-forth stands in an attempt to sound less doctrinaire than his libertarian father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and his lack of personal warmth have pushed his support into the single digits. Fundraising bumps and an inner-circle gaps only add to his campaign's woes.

Supporters have seen him waffle on some basics of libertarian conservatism. He told the Detroit Economics Club that he favors county-sized enterprise zones with tax breaks that direct capital to some businesses and away from others. He proposed what he styled as a flat, single-rate tax that turned out to be a single rate for individual incomes but a value-added tax for businesses, even though many on the right despise VATs as concealed licenses to raise taxes.

Mr. Paul, banking on the support of younger voters, is the only candidate prodigiously mining high schools and colleges for February's first-in-the-nation contest in Iowa.

He has registered 4 percent in a recent Iowa poll, but supporters prefer to think it is actually 8 percent because surveys don't normally sample people too young to be on voter registration lists.

Mike Huckabee

Polling in the early states in the middle to low single digits, the 60-year-old Mr. Huckabee has done it all before, having been a popular Arkansas governor, a Fox TV show host, a Baptist preacher, a winner of the 2008 Iowa presidential preference caucuses, a second-place finisher in the delegate count behind John McCain and a third-place finisher behind Mitt Romney in the popular vote. Some conservatives in past years labeled him soft on crime — as governor, he pardoned some convicted murderers — and soft on spending and tax restraint. He was the favorite of many evangelical conservatives for years, but they are dividing their vote this cycle mainly among Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. Some are staying with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Mr. Paul and almost everyone else running.

George Pataki

As New York governor, Mr. Pataki, 70, never made a big splash. He has not held an elected office for almost a decade and has not made it on the radar screens of voters outside New York. His is not a name that falls readily from the lips of any conservatives anywhere in the U.S.

He can give a good, coherent speech but rarely generates sparks. He has barely registered in any polls anywhere. His popularity extends mainly to his family and friends.

Rick Santorum

At 57, Mr. Santorum has won a few races, getting elected to the House and then to two terms in the Senate from Pennsylvania. He finished second to Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest and established himself as a full-menu religious conservative. He has barely registered in Iowa polls — though he won the caucuses four years ago — and he's been virtually invisible in New Hampshire polls. He has competence and tenacity without dazzle on the stump. His shelf life for the race is considered somewhere between short and expired.

Lindsey Graham

A talented, knowledgeable hawk and superinterventionist, the 60-year-old senior senator from South Carolina is in the low-to-zero portion of the single-digit poll range in the early primary states. He got no lift out of his sharp-witted, entertaining performance in the undercard debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sept. 16.

He has no political base to speak of and will make an undoubtedly graceful exit soon enough.

Jim Gilmore

Mr. Gilmore, 65, has more resume than performance to his credit and is polling below 1 percent in the early states. This is his second time around the GOP presidential nomination track. He's not showing signs of improvement. More than intellectually competent in any debate on foreign policy, terrorism (he headed a presidential commission on the subject) and constitutionally protected freedoms, he conveys the gravitas but not the magnetism of a serious presidential contender.


Jeb Bush

At 62, the former Florida governor has something of a Scott Walker problem — he isn't turning out to look and talk like what voters remember when he was in Tallahassee and was thought to be the smartest of the Bush boys. Surprised and disappointed Republicans were saying similar things about Mr. Walker when he quit the contest Sept. 21.

Mr. Bush's wake-me-when-it's-my-turn performances on the debate stage and campaign stump and his massive campaign bureaucracy could sink this onetime favorite, but anyone who can raise more than $140 million can't be counted out yet.

Despite Mr. Bush's failing aspiration to be the Energizer Bunny, he has a huge advantage besides money. Two generations of voters will go to the polls in November 2016 having lived under at least one president named Bush. Having a third Bush at the nation's helm will seem only natural and even comforting to many of them.

Rumors have it that even with all that advantage, Mr. Bush faces pressure to start producing in the polls lest major donors start looking elsewhere.

He has had a surprisingly difficult time deciding whether he wants to separate himself from his brother's eight-year presidency and, if so, by how much. His latest take on all this is that the oceans of blood and trillions of dollars expended for the Iraq War were wrong not because regime change unleashed the bloodthirsty sectarianism now threatening the world but because there were no weapons of mass destruction buried in Baghdad bunkers after all. Regime changes in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been unwise in retrospect, but, Mr. Bush notes, his brother did keep America safe.

John Kasich
Mr. Kasich, 63, was a House Budget Committee chairman who managed to bring smiles to liberals, moderates and conservatives. He supported President Clinton's 1995 assault weapons ban that liberals and some moderates loved. He introduced a genuine welfare reform bill that Mr. Clinton finally signed that had moderates and conservatives beaming. In 1997, he made his biggest splash nationally as what he called the "architect" of a deal with Mr. Clinton that balanced the federal budget for the first time since 1969.

Though unpredictably prickly at times, Mr. Kasich is far more popular in Ohio than tough-guy Gov. Chris Christie is in New Jersey or than the union-slaying but sleepy-eyed Mr. Walker is in Wisconsin. Who cares? Ohio has been a make-or-break state in the general election. Conservatives are somewhere between skeptical and downright hostile to Mr. Kasich for stances such as support for Common Core education standards and agreeing to sales, cigarette and fracking taxes. His temper makes even those tempted to consider him as a vice presidential nominee worry that instead of bringing Ohio to the Republican Party, he would manage tick off enough leaners to sink the ticket in a close general election. He is averaging under 3 percent in Iowa and New Hampshire polls and under 4 percent in South Carolina.

Ted Cruz

Some people say that if you close your eyes and listen, Mr. Cruz, 44, sounds a bit like Ronald Reagan. But with eyes wide open, the senator from Texas seems too caustic and finger-waggingly preachy to be a Reagan replica. Glaringly missing is that all-important Reagan likability factor.

Mr. Cruz has gone to the mat for conservative principles since his arrival in the Senate in 2013. He has been able to do much of what Donald Trump so far can only promise to do. Yet Mr. Trump got instant traction while Mr. Cruz has been stuck in the middle-single-digit range in national polls. But Mr. Cruz has raised more money than most of his rivals. He knows the issues better than almost all of his rivals. Mr. Cruz takes on the fights over principle, but he doesn't win. He hasn't shown himself the successful dealmaker in legislating that The Donald has shown himself to be in business.

Apples and oranges? Yes. Who said life's fair?

Chris Christie

Now 53, the former state's attorney was for a few years a favorite of some conservatives and many middle-of-the-roaders for his pugilistic directness in speech and nose-punching in action toward teachers unions as governor of blue-state New Jersey. But his office's ham-fisted retaliation against a Democratic mayor who failed to endorse Mr. Christie for re-election turned off a lot of his fellow Republicans and further convinced movement conservatives that he wasn't one of them.

His ceiling in polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina has been 3 percent. As a presidential aspirant, he seems to have gravitas but more from build than presence. That leaves a lot of hill-climbing for Mr. Christie to do quickly before donors stop huffing and puffing with him.


Donald Trump

The Great Deal Maker, 69, is included in the Final Four for all the unconventional reasons. He successfully defies conventional wisdom about who may run — and how — for the top office in the major leagues of politics. He started out with the name recognition of a big-time entertainer. He talks with supremely self-confident disjointedness and occasional non sequiturs that hit his more-scripted candidates just right.

He also has more money to spend in the expensive media markets of the biggest states than all the other candidates and their super PACs combined.

Mr. Trump is the toughest, most forthright candidate in the field on dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States and on virtually sealing the southwestern border. What makes him the weakest of the projected Final Four is the tarnishing of his image. He began what a few analysts thought would be a downward slide to oblivion when he apologized on the Reagan Library stage to Carly Fiorina for remarks critical of her looks.

On what he calls the "stupidity" of launching a war to remove Saddam Hussein in Iraq, his arguments are at least as firmly enunciated as those of Mr. Paul. The most-feared billionaire turned nonpolitician politician in America, Mr. Trump — even interviewers and news anchors revealingly use the honorific in front of his name — has begun talking more diplomatically in general, sounding to some perked-up ears like the scripted pol he had successfully ranted against.

But the latest polls suggest those who think the wheels have come off the Trumpmobile might want to think again.

Ben Carson
In the year of the anti-politician, a likable former pediatric neurosurgeon who can raise boatloads of money is likely to stick around, even if his policy pitches sound inexperienced and his stage presence at times seems sheepish alongside bigger personalities.

His popularity stems from his obvious intelligence and his ability to learn the crux of campaign issues quickly — but not thoroughly. He is new to the politics craft in a way Donald Trump is not. Mr. Trump dealt all his life with politicians — "buying" them and their favors as he puts it. Until recently, Mr. Carson has stuck to his Bible and to performing near miracles surgically on infant patients. He has disappointed some of his enthusiasts by retreating from or clarifying the clarification of a few of his more contested statements, including his disapproval of a Muslim as president.

A sizable number of the estimated 90 million or more evangelical Christians are predisposed to reject Mr. Carson because they see his Seventh-day Adventist faith as marginally Christian at best and a cult at worst. This is similar to the negative predisposition some evangelicals had toward former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 for his adherence to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.

Carly Fiorina

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, the most fluent and fluid of stump speakers in the Republican field, got the mother of all bounces in the Reagan Library debate by rocketing from low single digits to 15 percent in the CNN postdebate poll. That put her second only to Mr. Trump's 24 percent score.

Ms. Fiorina has been talked about in the press and in political circles as likely to run circles around most of her rivals, including, eventually, The Donald. Though still in the low double digits to high single digits in Iowa and New Hampshire polling, she is expected to climb well into the double digits after the third Republican debate.

Commentators in both parties say she has already shown she has the right stuff when it come to intellect and style. Ms. Fiorina, 61, answers all questions without a pause, in complete, grammatically perfect sentences that contain facts and nuance.

A millionaire but far from a billionaire, she has kept her expenses to a minimum, with a staff of only about 20, though she is ramping up staff and spending now that she is in the top tier of the field.

Her sometimes stern, serious countenance and Iron Lady composure make her a potential American Margaret Thatcher, which many Republicans and independents say would fulfill their dreams that this nation finally elects a woman who can make it great again.

Marco Rubio

Mr. Rubio, 44, has lots going for him. He could satisfy the yearning of the Republican Party to attract the make-or-break Hispanic vote. He has never been shy about reminding audiences that his parents immigrated from Cuba.

(OK, Mexico might have been more electorally useful, but a pol's parentage is what it is, and Mr. Rubio does speak Spanish.) Polls and focus groups are showing that he brings out the motherliness in female voters — a big, unalloyed plus. He talks like a man possessed of more than just a passing acquaintance with the issues that trouble America. But some think he sounds scripted, especially when he is teleprompting his wisdom and insights.

For all his youth and attractiveness, the senator from Florida is still polling in the middle single digits among likely Republican voters in early-state caucuses and primaries, and there are some vulnerabilities in his record.

"If he starts to gain traction, rivals will attack him over his misuse of that state GOP-issued American Express card when he was Florida House speaker," said former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen.

"He used the card many times for personal expenses instead of just party purposes and not just the one time he claimed," Mr. Pullen said, nothing that former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer went to the slammer for credit-card-related hanky-panky.