At 10:08 PM Rick Santorum was hanging on to a two percentage point lead in Ohio, but it was a very good night for Santorum no matter what happens as the rest of Ohio’s votes are counted.
The pre-game analysis – by me – was that Romney would probably win Ohio fairly easily – by four or five percentage points. He had closed a double-digit gap over the past 10 days and I thought he was catching Super Tuesday on an upswing.
I was wrong.
I also thought that he would have a good chance of picking off Tennessee where he had been doing well among late deciders. I was wrong. The high-level of Evangelical voters there boosted Santorum to an easy 9 percentage point win.
I thought Ron Paul might pick up his first win in North Dakota. I was wrong. Santorum won there, too. Even though only about 10,000 people participated, Santorum got about 40% of them. Continue reading →
We haven’t had any election activity since February 7 when Rick Santorum led the pack in the popular votes in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado.
That led to a Perry-like, Cain-like, Gingrich-like spike in the polls for Rick Santorum who, in the ensuing three weeks, built a double-digit lead ahead of Mitt Romney in the Gallup national tracking poll, a double-digit lead in some of the polls in Michigan, and closed the gap to low single digits against Romney in Arizona.
That, in turn, led to 37 billion words being written about the possibility of a brokered convention largely because there was nothing else to write about.
Then came the debate in Arizona last week and, although I didn’t think Santorum stunk out the place, I did think he was below par. Everyone else apparently thought he stunk out the joint because since that debate five days ago Santorum’s leads in the Gallup poll has completely disappeared – in Sunday afternoon’s report Romney was leading 31-29. Gingrich and Paul are battling for third at 15 percent to 11 percent respectively. Continue reading →
BY JOHN FEEHERY
Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com
Mitt Romney will address CPAC later today.
For those who don’t know, CPAC is an annual meeting of young and old conservatives. The young guys are usually college students or recent graduates who are looking for honest work and are passionate about their conservative beliefs. The old guys are folks who have made their living at conservative politics and use CPAC to confirm their worth or to sell their wares.
Ever since George Bush left the White House, CPAC has endorsed Ron Paul to be the standard bearer for the party. So that gives you a sense of CPAC’s grounding reality.
Romney is addressing CPAC because if he didn’t, it would have been a big story about how he has dissed conservatives once again. That’s not a great story for the former Massachusetts governor, so he is going to preach to a choir that usually sings a different song from the one he is preaching. Continue reading →
There were election events last night in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado.
Missouri was a primary, but it was a state-wide beauty contest. No delegates were at stake. I’m not certain why the state of Missouri thought it might be a good idea to have what was essentially a spring training election costing millions of dollars, but there you are.
Rick Santorum won the Missouri contest. Gingrich wasn’t organized enough to even get on the Missouri ballot. Colorado and Minnesota had caucuses – and we know how well those have gone so far – but there are 36 delegates in play in Colorado and 40 in Minnesota.
When the day began the delegate count was:
Mitt Romney – 100 , Newt Gingrich – 35 , Ron Paul – 15 , Rick Santorum – 11
A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to claim the nomination, so we have a way to go.
If I had been advising Romney (which I am not) I would have said, “Let’s let Santorum win Missouri. There are no delegates at stake, but he gets the bragging rights and can claim two wins in the first seven states. That means Gingrich has to deal with Santorum before he can deal with us. Thus, losing to Santorum in Missouri is a win.” Continue reading →
As the primary contest goes on to Nevada, one has to wonder what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign must do to stop former Gov. Mitt Romney’s momentum after his overwhelming victory in Florida. If the Gingrich campaign has an effective fundraising plan, solid organizational structures in Super Tuesday states, and reconfigures his message to appeal to voters, then he should remain in the race. However, if he simply chooses to remain in the race because he wants to needle the Romney campaign until the convention, most GOP voters will not have the stomach for it. Romney allies took Gingrich down in Iowa and Gingrich returned the favor in South Carolina. Both waged an extremely negative campaign in Florida and Romney won. Continue reading →
If only these debates were important, or moved votes, or caused some changes in the race, I might not mind that they come about every 18 hours.
You know what happened in South Carolina: In five days, including two debates, the race turned upside down and what appeared to have been a easy, if surprising, win for Mitt Romney turned into a huge, if surprising win, for Newt Gingrich.
The moderator of this debate was NBC’s Brian Williams. I am prepared to institute a law that says no one may moderate a political debate whose name is not Brian Williams or Wolf Blitzer.
Unlike the audiences in South Carolina which sounded like they were watching a World Wrestling Federation steel-cage death match; the audience last night was mostly silent, allowing the candidates to answer the questions and not vie against each other for the best applause line.
At long last, real voters cast real votes on behalf of real candidates. One down, 49 to go and that doesn’t include American Somoa, Guam, the District of Columbia and other U.S. holdings.
You already know what happened last night: Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Rick Santorum essentially tied for first with 25 percent apiece. Rep. Ron Paul faded to third with about 2 percent. Speaker Newt Gingrich preserved a semblance of a win by beating out Gov. Rick Perry about 13 percent to 10 percent with Rep. Michele Bachmann coming in sixth with about five percent of the votes.
The Santorum story here – and it’s a good story – is, months and months of hard work and long road trips finally paid off. After Conservatives in Iowa kicked the tires of the four other candidates: Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Gingrich; they decided to take a look at Santorum and decided he was as good as they were likely to get and they made their choice pretty clear. Continue reading →
The final debate prior to the January 3 Iowa Caucuses was held in Sioux City last night. The race is no less fluid with 19 days to go than it was last summer. Newt Gingrich had jumped out to a huge lead a week ago, but that lead has (depending upon which poll you look at) has either diminished, or evaporated altogether.
After the first 20 minutes of Kumbaya, the questions turned to Gingrich. The second tier candidates were unabashed about piling on.
Here’s how I think the seven candidates did last night.
Newt Gingrich: (26.0% in the RealClearPolitics.com summary of Iowa Polls) Last week we were waiting to see how Newt handled being the front-runner and he handled it pretty darned well. Last night we were waiting to see how he handled watching his support erode in the face of a determined opposition. Continue reading →
The thing about telling you that I watched the GOP debate that took place in Des Moines, Iowa Saturday night is I have to admit I had nothing else to do Saturday night.
— Attend Joint Chiefs of Staff Christmas Party – Pentagon
— Fly to New York to see “Spiderman” – Broadway
— Weekend cruise to friend’s private island – Caribbean
— Feed the cat
— Make a meat loaf
— Watch GOP debate
Here’s the shorthand version of what I think happened.
Newt Gingrich won. No surprise. Gingrich is leading the pack because there have been 217 debates and he’s been great in all of them. Anyone who thought he was going to suddenly collapse under the weight of being the frontrunner simply doesn’t understand the Tao of Newt.
The Twitter-verse exploded when Mitt Romney offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 on who was right about what was in Romney’s book regarding a national individual mandate for health care. Continue reading →
BY RICH GALEN
Reprinted from Mullings.com & Townhall.com
I was in Las Vegas Friday night as the guest of the conservative Citizen Outreach organization. We got to talking about the importance which may be visited upon the Nevada caucuses this year which, on the GOP side of the ledger has never been that big a deal.
A couple of weeks ago Florida decided to move its GOP primary up by about a month to January 31. That set all the other early states into a frenzy trying to figure out when they should hold their caucuses (Iowa and Nevada) or primaries (New Hampshire and South Carolina).
As of this writing the guessing is, Iowa will move its caucuses up to January 3; New Hampshire to January 7; Nevada to the 14th; and, South Carolina to January 21.
That means, the week between Christmas and New Year will be spent in places like Red Oak and Clear Lake, Iowa; and Claremont and Gottstown, New Hampshire.
As Mullfave Ed Rollins pointed out last week, “you can’t live off the land in Florida like you can in the other early states.”
Nevada’s population is centered around Clark County (Las Vegas and its environs) and Washoe County (Reno) so you can organize there pretty easily. South Carolina’s population is more than four million and spread out throughout the state, but SC is geographically the 10th smallest state so driving from point A to point M (or wherever) is not much of a challenge.
To succeed in America – to truly succeed in America – you have to be more than excellent at what you do; you have to be a carnival barker making certain that every single person in each of the 50 states knows that you are excellent at what you do.