Thursday, October 6, 2011

The current political landscape

We began the summer with Mr. Romney as a weak front-runner and as we enter October, we again have Mr. Romney as a weak front-runner, but a lot have happened in between.

On July 1st, Mr. Romney had about 20% of the popular vote (a loss of about 4 to 5 point from a few months prior after a few other people had just left the race.) Mr. Romney was just shy of 650 delegates (29%.) Mrs. Palin and Mrs. Bachmann had about 12 % or so of the popular vote. Mrs. Bachmann had just came out of nowhere to cross the 350 mark in delegates, Mrs. Palin sat at just under 350. Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Perry had both cracked the 200 delegate mark with both having 9 or 10 % or the popular. Mr. Cain was not quite at the 200 delegate mark, but close.

Throughout July, August and September, Mr. Romney average popular vote probably never exceeded 20%, but it did not fall under 15% either. In fact, if we take out the extreme outliers at both ends, his range was really a narrow range of 3 points, while other candidate flocculated a little more wildly.

Mr. Perry cracked the 10% mark in terms of popular vote by August 1st, by the 3rd week of August he was within a few points of Mr. Romney and by the end of the month, he jumped to first place. Mr. Perry started September with almost 800 delegates and almost 25% of the popular vote. He spent most of the month close to 30% and came very close to sitting at 1000 delegates. By the end of the month, he slipped to beneath 950 delegates and was back down to close to 25% of the popular vote. He started October with less than 825 delegates. A few day later (after several more polls came out,) he slipped down to about 16 or 17 % or the popular vote and barely had 400 delegates.

Mr. Cain spent most of the summer in the mid to upper single digits and struggled to stay above 100 delegates. On October 1st, he started to threaten to go into double digits in the popular vote and came close to 200 delegates again. A few days later, he overtook Mr. Perry slightly for second place. Both were at about 15 to 16 % just prior to Mrs. Palin’s exit. In terms of delegates, both were over 400 delegates with Mr. Cain slightly ahead.

Mr. Giuliani has spent most of the summer close to or at 10% and he sat at just under 180 delegates prior to Mrs. Palin's exit.

Mrs. Palin started the summer with about 12% of the popular vote, by mid August she got close to the 10% line and by mid to late September, she fall into single digits. In terms of delegates, she started July just under 400, she fell under the 300 mark in August, she dipped down to just over 150 in September and she was at about 175 just before she exited the race.

Dr. Paul and Mr. Gingrich were both around the 7% mark popularity wise with a little over 100 delegates each. And everybody else had less than 100 delegates each.

While we have to wait until the dust settles to see the new political landscape, in the meantime the only thing we can do is divide Palin voters proportionately like undecided voters. With Mrs. Palin out of the picture, Mr. Romney cracks the 22% mark instead of just the 20 and he has almost 740 delegates instead of just 700. Mr. Cain jumps to 480 in part due to stealing former Palin Congressional districts. Mr. Perry goes to about 425 to 430. What is interesting is that Mr. Perry is down to just over 200 delegates in the south, slightly behind both Mr. Romney and Mr. Cain. His high in the South was over 500 delegates in early September so he is getting hit particularly hard in that region. Mr. Giuliani moves close to the 200 mark, but stays under. Dr. Paul and Mr. Gingrich move closer to the 150 mark by cracking the 5% mark in a few more states. Mrs. Bachman is still under 80 delegates.

While Mr. Romney is now in the lead, his popularity is more stable rather than sky-rocketing. At first, Mr. Perry seemed to be benefiting from the non-Romney vote, now it appears that Mr. Cain is. So the basic gravitation towards a Romney candidate and a non Romney candidate is still in play. Having a third of the delegates is not a bad thing at this point, but there also seems to be a bit of a desire to get behind another candidate. Mr. Romney’s advantage is that the non-Romneyites have not gathered around one candidate. With Mrs. Palin out of the race, how many Palinites will go to Mr. Romney and how will the non-Romney candidates fare? It will be interesting to see how these questions get answered. I suspect that most candidates will move to the right in order to appeal to the new batch of undecided voters. We have seen that a move of a few points or so one a candidate can cause the delegate count to shift wildly, so a lot can still happen in the next little while.

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Anonymous said...

nice OJ!

Anonymous said...

Palin "exited" the race? wouldn't that imply she was in it in the first place?

But you're right. She would have quit the race. That is what she does. shes quits.

Perry 2012!

Ohio JOE said...

Ah, I see, Craig has found this site, but does not want to be known as Craig. Interesting.

BOSMAN said...

Nice analysis OJ.

You need to do this more often (c;)

I think that endorsements could be the game changer or at least give a needed boost to help someone break out of the pack:


I believe those are the biggies!

Anonymous said...

and huckabee

Anonymous said...

OJ, nice job.

I don't think Perry will get much of the Palin or Christie supporters. I suspect Cain will get a lot of Palin, and Romney will get a lot of Christie.

Anyway you slice it, I don't think anyone can overcome Romney at this point. But stranger things have happened.


Machtyn said...

OJ: Craig can't change his name around here like he can at R412.

Btw, I, as a strong Romney supporter, knowing you are not, I do agree with your analysis of the situation. Good job.

It certainly has been a good week for Romney and his fans. But there are still 3-4 months before the voting frenzy dies down a bit.

hamaca said...

Thanks for this informative piece, OJ.

marK said...


May I add my compliments on a great analysis. Thanks.

I was not particularly happy when Gov. Palin announced she wasn't running. I had predicted it to be sure, but it gave me no joy. However, if thoughtful, unbiased commentary like this is a by-product of her exiting stage right, then that has to be a plus.

Anonymous said...


Nice piece. I hope you continue to write here.


Anonymous said...


I would agree with you about those endorsements being the big ones. I would even add Huckabee and Haley as well.


Anonymous said...

Nice analysis, OJ. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

Many primary voters--besides us political junkies--are just beginning to pay attention to the GOP Presidential race. More people will be deciding who to vote for. Until now, the media meme is that voters are dissatisfied with the field. Some of that is just media hype. Many voters haven't even been paying attention to the field. We will be seeing a change in that as we get closer to the primaries.

It will be interesting to see where the big money is heading with Christie and Palin out of the race. There are articles about some of the big money Christie supporters who are mostly breaking for Romney. I wonder about Palin's big money supporters. With Perry dropping in the polls, will his donors choose other candidates?

Anyway, thanks again.


Doug NYC GOP said...


I like how you measured the race not only in percentages, but estimating the delegate stregnth as well.

While the landscape has been tumultous to say the least these past few months, I think the path will smooth out now and Romney will benefit from inevitability.

Good post. Please do more.

Doug NYC GOP said...


I think the big money will start falling in behind Romney, especially in light of his ability to beat Obama in national and swing state polls.

GetReal said...

Well done, OJ. I agree with Martha that Christie's support will probably go mostly to Romney, while Cain will likely take more of Palin's supporters, at least the hardcore ones who don't like Romney.

They are pretty similar on most issues that I've seen, but I can't find Cain's positions on everything just yet. With him getting more notice and rising in the polls, perhaps he'll get more opportunities to elaborate in interviews.

Oh, and the likely delegate count you kept track of in this piece was a nice touch.

Ohio JOE said...

Good to see you Get Real. To clarify, I have not been tracking Mr. Christie for a month because he shut the door on running a while ago (before he made it an official certainty.) I am still tracking Mr. Guiliani. Yes, much of his support would go to Mr. Romney (if anybody) when he decides to officially exit the race.

I cannot speak for Palinites as a group and I actually have not even spoken much to my fellow Palinites over to past few days, but yes, I for one am considering Mr. Cain. I had written him off earlier in part because he is Pro-TARP and in part because he failed to sign the SBA pledge, but he gotten his act toghether despite a few loose cannon remarks.

Ideoligically, the next best thing for me would be either Mrs. Bachmann or Mr. Santorum (who has done well lately,) but neither have a good chance. I am also considering holding my nose and voting for Dr, Paul (who'd of thought that 4 years ago.) However, I still find him a bit much despite the fact that he has been doing a decent job lately. I have not entirely ruled out Mr. Perry, but he has got some issues too. He is not as bad as people say, but I expect better in America. I'd rather support American style real McCoy Conservatives instead of European type Conservatives, but I guess we have what we have. Finally, one reason I will not officially join a campaign yet is that I will wait for Mrs. Palin to advise. I won't automatically back the candidate who she endorses, but I will certainly listen to her.

Anonymous said...


Hi OJ, just wanted to know, have you officially ruled out Mr Romney?

Ohio JOE said...

Well, I honestly do not see myself voting for Mr. Romney in the primary, but I should not entirely rule in out either. He is certainly better than Mr. Huntsman and Mr. Gingrich. If it truly came down to just Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry by the time the first Tuesday in March came along, I'd have to do some serious thinking, so I'll be watching both men in the meantime. I always knew that Mr. Perry had both positives and negatives, but his negatives are a bit high right now, so we will see.

Anonymous said...

Thanks OJ