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Another Problem for Romney: Climate Change

Via PostPolitics:  Romney draws early fire from conservatives over views on climate change.

When asked about the topic:

the former Massachusetts governor stuck to the position he has held for many years — that he believes the world is getting warmer and that humans are contributing to that pattern.

This will be yet another strike against Romney with many in the GOP base:

So far, Romney’s reviews from the right are not positive. His views about climate change in particular put him at odds with many in his party’s base.

“Bye-bye, nomination,” Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday on his radio talk show after playing a clip of Romney’s climate remark. “Another one down. We’re in the midst here of discovering that this is all a hoax. The last year has established that the whole premise of man-made global warming is a hoax, and we still have presidential candidates that want to buy into it.”

Then came the Club for Growth, which issued a white paper criticizing Romney. “Governor Romney’s regulatory record as governor contains some flaws,” the report said, “including a significant one — his support of ‘global warming’ policies.”

And Conservatives4Palin.com, a blog run by some of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s more active supporters, posted an item charging that Romney is “simpatico” with President Obama after he “totally bought into the man-made global warming hoax.”

Yes, Romney is the poll leader at the moment, but things like this (and add in RomneyCare, the change of position on abortion, and even the religious question) and one does wonder how he is going to fair in actual contests with the Tea Party/populist wing of the party that seems more energized at the moment.

Further, it is important to remember that the Republican nomination process will function under different rules in 2012 than it has in the past.  I have not looked at the changes in detail, but my basic understanding is that more delegates will be allocated by more proportional rules than has been the case in the past (when they were allocated by a plurality winner take-all process, on balance).*  This rules change is likely to disrupt the past GOP pattern, wherein the candidates whose alleged “turn” it is wins the nomination.  At a minimum, it will create a more competitive field of candidates in the early going.

Regardless, Romney is clearly the most mainstream of the candidates with any numbers at the moment, but one does wonder if mainstream has a real chance for the nomination in this cycle.

 

—-

*As I understand it, the early primaries will use more proportional rules, while the later ones will be allowed to use winner-take-all rules.  No doubt I will comment more on this topic later.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Frankly, I’m astounded (and a little impressed) that he hasn’t been forced to walk that back yet. He said it on a Friday, IIRC, and I would’ve given even odds it would be recanted by Monday, but nobody’s really busted his chops about it, sounds like.

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Re: The new rules, see “GOP Tries To Reshuffle 2012 Primary Schedule.”

    GOP caucuses and primaries would be held that month in the 4 early states — the rule codifies IA, NH, SC and NV as states allowed to hold contests in a “pre-window.” Every other state would be allowed to hold their nominating contests on or after the first Tuesday in March.

    But there’s an important caveat, members of the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee said: Any state that holds its nominating contest before the first day of April — that is, any state that rushes to front-load their nominating process — will have to award their delegates on a proportional basis

    It’s an attempt to avoid a race to the front rather than to change the process to make it more representative.

    I hope Romney sticks with this position rather than weaseling it back. Republicans can and possibly should differ with Democrats on what policies we should adopt to deal with a changing climate. Republicans should not, however, have different science.

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  3. @James:

    Those changes in the rules, however, should end up having an effect on the process in terms of who stays in v. drops out early, especially since it will effect the March contests.

    And indeed:

    Republicans can and possibly should differ with Democrats on what policies we should adopt to deal with a changing climate. Republicans should not, however, have different science.

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  4. hey norm says:

    he’s probably getting away with it to now because first paul revere and then weiner have taken all the oxygen out of the room.

    interesting what if…what if romney gets the nomination and subsequently loses to obama? remember – dole was way ahead of clinton at this point leading up to the nov. ’96 election. even rasmussen – the outlier of outliers – has obama and romney neck and neck. more reasonable polls have obama ahead at this point. so if romney loses, do the so-called republicans veer even further to the so-called right because the moderate lost? is that even possible? and if so can they even be considered relevant at that point?

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  5. hey norm says:

    i mean…at that point

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  6. G.A.Phillips says:

    If you believe in man made global warming climate change, I have a Russian weather machine for sale. For those who are interested Call 1-555-yda-kook.

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  7. john personna says:

    American Theocracy again.

    Climate change is contrary to young earth creationism, and that is the root problem.

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  8. ponce says:

    I think Romeny’s biggest problem is that most American’s see him as a shameless weasel.

    The Republican fringe right making him do their spastic idiot dance will just reinforce tat impression.

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  9. hey norm says:

    “…Republicans can and possibly should differ with Democrats on what policies we should adopt to deal with a changing climate. Republicans should not, however, have different science…”
    EXACTLY

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  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    Climate change is contrary to young earth creationism, and that is the root problem.

    Dude the freaking sun heats the earth, how hard is it to understand. Think…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. jwest says:

    Mitt is trying to throw this nomination away.

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  12. ponce says:

    Dude the freaking sun heats the earth, how hard is it to understand. Think…

    As Jesus spake while riding on the back of his favorite dinosaur steed, Gipper (Muttonhead 3:16)

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  13. Tano says:

    Why force Romney to back off now? If he does, the issue is forgotten before the end of summer, and he continues as the frontrunner, now a bit wiser as to what positions are acceptable in his party.

    Far better for his opponents to let him become deeply identified with the warming position, and then they will be able to beat him up over it throughout the primary season.

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  14. Moosebreath says:

    “Republicans can and possibly should differ with Democrats on what policies we should adopt to deal with a changing climate. Republicans should not, however, have different science.”

    The word “should” does lots of work there. Too bad reality is otherwise.

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  15. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Obviously the recent poll showing Romney ahead of Obama has spooked the Internet left into fearing a Romney candidacy. So this point is not at all surprising.

    Regarding the primary, the left here is barking up the wrong tree. Romney could join the Sierra Club, commence driving a Volt and then fly off with Al Gore in a lear jet to carbon footprint conventions and still it wouldn’t be all that major of an issue. McCain after all also had bought into the climate change mythology (and supported amnesty for illegals to boot) yet easily won the nomination.

    The real issue for Romney in the primary is the fact that he’s a Mormon. Religion runs deep in GOP primaries; deeper than tangential policy points.

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  16. Eric Florack says:

    I hope Romney sticks with this position rather than weaseling it back. Republicans can and possibly should differ with Democrats on what policies we should adopt to deal with a changing climate. Republicans should not, however, have different science.

    And given the “science” has been exposed so often as outright fabrications, why shouldn’t they?

    Look, Gang.. If Romeny belives this nonsense, he’s a bigger idiot than I took him for.

    IN any event he is certainly no conservative, and RINO is an accurate description.

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  17. jwest says:

    Eric has it nailed.

    Conservatives are people who rely on reason, logic and real science, not the hysterical mob mentality found in liberals. If Mitt thought that throwing a bone to the left wing media was a good idea by embracing AGW, he’s sorely mistaken.

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  18. James Joyner says:

    @jwest: Does “real science” have something to do with Saul Alinksy? How does it differ from the science taught in American universities and espoused by Nobel laureates in the sciences?

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  19. sam says:

    jwest says:
    Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 13:34

    Eric has it nailed.

    If there was ever any doubt….

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  20. OzarkHillbilly (used to be tom p) says:

    Conservatives are people who rely on reason, logic and real science,

    haahhaahhahahaheehehheeehehehehhee gasp…gasp…. stop it! You’re killing me! Gasp…gasp…

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  21. OzarkHillbilly (used to be tom p) says:

    Ooops, wait a minute, jwest said “conservatives”… I thought he meant “Republicans” or maybe he meant “people who vote for Republicans”?

    Hahaahhaahahaahheeeheheheeheheh gasp gasp gasp hahahahahaheehhehheeheheee gasp….

    Aaaccckkkk… I think I’m having a heart attack!

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  22. Just another reason why Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama and has the best chance, of the announced candidates, for a GOP victory in November. Voters would do well to remember Haley Barbour’s comments about ideological purity.

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  23. jwest says:

    James,

    Real science relies on facts that aren’t hidden or manipulated.

    Real scientists release their base data for review by peers and don’t fight or ignore Freedom of Information Act requests.

    AGW is much more political science than real science.

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  24. @Tal: Indeed.

    @James: Don’t forget, jwest is a noted expert in a variety of fields, so beware.

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  25. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Not a noted expert, but at least not totally ignorant.

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  26. G.A.Phillips says:

    As Jesus spake while riding on the back of his favorite dinosaur steed, Gipper (Muttonhead 3:16)

    ponce, your are another simple creature that has no Idea about creation science.

    @James: Don’t forget, jwest is a noted expert in a variety of fields, so beware.

    he has the logic of what makes up science down.

    Aaaccckkkk… I think I’m having a heart attack!

    lol I got a headache just from seeing the name ponce….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. sam says:

    @GA
    “ponce, your are another simple creature that has no Idea about creation science.

    Remarks of the Honorable Figly Whitesides, Chairman of the Department of Creation Science at Humprock College of East Appalachia, and Director of the National Museum of Creation Science on the museum’s opening.

    I am honored to be here today to celebrate this momentous occasion. This museum and the enduring truths it reflects will stand as a beacon in the intellectual history of our great nation. To all those whose financial contributions made this museum possible, I offer my humble thanks. I would particularly like to acknowledge Mr. Elvis Burnley for his generous donation of the property in which the museum is housed. One could not have chosen a more advantageous location. From the interstate, the three buildings of the former strip mall will be seen by innumerable travelers.

    And to Ms. Cynthia Greenlon, many thanks for the statuary that heralds the museum. The 100-foot tall statue of Adam, whose arm moves in imitation of the Howdy Pard icon of Las Vegas beckoning the passerby, is a masterpiece. The fig leaf is particularly well-rendered. And to those who say it appears to be somewhat large, I say, Piffle. Ms. Greenlon and I had many discussions about this particular aspect of the statue, conversations beginning in the evening and extending into the early hours of the morning. She has executed her task with exactitude. Note the absence of a navel on the statute. As I said, a masterpiece.

    The exhibits represent the cumulative findings of those great pioneers in creation science. In Building One, to Drs. Angela McFarlious (DDS) and Reginald Umnut (DDS) all credit is due for the magnificent geology exhibit, “6,000 Years of Rocks”. If I may, they have left no stone unturned in portraying the geological history of the earth. Worthy of particular praise is the Grand Canyon exhibit, showing without fear of contradiction, that the canyon was created by the keel of Noah’s Ark in the time of the Great Flood.

    In Building Two, to Professor Albert Kinklinch (Biblical Principles of Marketing) we owe profound thanks for the dinosaur exhibit. The display of fossilized dinosaur bones clearly showing the teethmarks of man, will, I think, be particularly appreciated by the viewing public. The battle between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the lions over the carcass of the elephant is breathtaking. Observant viewers will see the band of men in the background poised to race in and carve off part of the kill as the ferocious beasts are otherwise occupied. Well done, sir, well done.

    In Building Three, to Messers Rufus Binkley and Edward Longfunt, brilliant examples of the contribution of the interested amateur, many thanks for the homo sapiens exhibit. Working in close coordination with Professor Kinklinch, they have achieved something for which they should be justifiably be proud. Many a viewer will linger at one exhibit, in sorrow and pity, gazing at the fossilized bones of early man, bones showing clearly the teethmarks of dinosaurs. Visitors will come away with a profound appreciation of the fortitude of those doughty ancestors as they made their way, in triumph, through a world fraught with peril. The charming scenes of dinosaur breaking and riding will entrance the viewer and invoke feelings of payback. The dinosaur saddles on display are remarkable. Of particular interest will be the exhibit of early man in the bosom of his family, grouped around the fire, engaged in what the viewer will imagine were the the homely tasks of that era: Sharpening spears, scraping hides, keeping the brothers and sisters away from each other in the darker recesses of the cave. Truly inspiring.

    In conclusion, let me welcome all to this opening. To make your visit the more enjoyable, our snack bar is open for your convenience. The museum store is, for the moment, being conducted out of the back of Professor Kinklinch’s car. We are in negotiations with the owner of the abandoned gas station on the property and hope to move the store into more ample space in the near future. So, please, enter and be enlightened.

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  28. @jwest:

    Not a noted expert, but at least not totally ignorant.

    Tsk, tsk. Don’t sell yourself short. You have already proven your overwhelming knowledge of the discipline of political science. Now you have shown your expertise on climate science. Who knows what other wonder await us?

    I, for one, am hoping for cold fusion.

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  29. ponce says:

    Now you have shown your expertise on climate science.

    That’s the seductive thing about being a wingnut: Everybody’s an expert on everything.

    Just ask John McCain’s campaign manager, “Joe” the “Plummer.”

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  30. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Considering political science is your chosen field, your lack of knowledge on Alinsky and the Second Amendment should be sufficiently embarrassing without adding climate science to the list.

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  31. @jwest,

    Indeed, your knowledge of polisci is pretty overwhelming.

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  32. Wiley Stoner says:

    taylor, you call political science science? Let see you take a set of circumstances and reproduce the results over and over agaiin. Not science, guess work. If you were scientiists you would know socialism as espoused by Marx does not and can not work.
    If there is science behind AGW, and they make predictions. What happens to the science when the predictions do not come true. Lots of tax dollars were spent creating computer models to inidcate Kilamanjaro’s glaciers would be gone and the oceans would not be swallowing seaside communities. Islands were supposed to disappear by now.
    Looks like Jwest has you pegged. But then that is why you are so well read. Political scientists are nothing but focused historians who either failed to or did not enter the law profession.

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  33. @Wiley:

    Perhaps you could disaggregate your rants into discrete units. I see at least three, perhaps four in there, but they are all rather jumbled.

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  34. Axel Edgren says:

    A real man. To reject stupidity (stupidity being the closest thing to actual evil as it is conceptualized) is the best way to serve the species and your nation.

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  35. steve says:

    “Kilamanjaro’s glaciers would be gone and the oceans would not be swallowing seaside communities. Islands were supposed to disappear by now.”

    I read Nature and Science faithfully for many years. I dont remember anyone credibly making those claims happening “by now”. Who made those claims?

    Steve

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  36. TG Chicago says:

    @Tsar

    The real issue for Romney in the primary is the fact that he’s a Mormon. Religion runs deep in GOP primaries; deeper than tangential policy points.

    It’s nice to see someone on the right admit that tribal identity is far more important to most Republican voters than silly little tangential policy points.

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  37. Ben Wolf says:

    That’s the seductive thing about being a wingnut: Everybody’s an expert on everything

    This is key. There seems to be an innate dislike, even hatred and contempt, for expertise on the radical right. Jwest, JKB and their ilk appear to believe they are just as competent to issue opinions as someone who has spent thirty years working in a given field, even though neither of them have made even the slightest effort to understand the basics.

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  38. anjin-san says:

    Steven… perhaps its time to concede that jwest has done doctoral level work in “buying into Glenn Beck craziness”.

    Jwest’s accomplishments in the field of ignorance are certainly of an elite level. The onto question is did he get there with natural ability, hard work, or a combination of the two?

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  39. Eric Florack says:

    @jwest: Does “real science” have something to do with Saul Alinksy? How does it differ from the science taught in American universities and espoused by Nobel laureates in the sciences?

    Nobel? Is this the same priaze they awarded Obama for… um what was it again?
    What has Nobel awarded in the last 20 years to avowed leftists, versus the rest of us?

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  40. Ben Wolf says:

    @Eric

    Just out of curiosity, what is that vow that you say leftists take? I’d like to have it memorized for when I’m admitted to the club.

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  41. Tano says:

    Florack,

    I note how you dodge the gist of the challange by trying to slime Nobel recipients.

    For the record….the Nobel Peace prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian legislature.

    The science prizes are awarded by the Swedish Academy of Science.

    I know it is not your style, but why not try to get serious about this issue. The rantings of wingnut bloggers, Fox newspeople, and Republican candidates does not trump the opinions of the overwhelming majority of the scientists who work in the field. You are going to need some better arguments against AGW than the fact that Obama got a Peace prize, therefore we should ignore the perspective of scientists.

    Or whatever your point was…

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  42. Scott O. says:

    Does “real science” have something to do with Saul Alinksy?

    It’s more basic than that. Only “real Americans” understand “real science”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. anjin-san says:

    Nobel? Is this the same priaze they awarded Obama for… um what was it again?

    Spoken like a man who has lived a life devoid of distinction.

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