Monday, February 13, 2012

As things get a little more interesting, Mr. Romney hangs on to first place nationally and Mr. Santorum surpasses Mr. Gingrich for second place.

Mr. Romney lost a bit more than a per cent age point this week to sit at 33.7%. Mr. Santorum gains almost 10 points for the week to sit at 27.9%. Mr. Gingrich drops over 7 points to sit at 21.9% and Dr. Paul slips a tad to sit at 13.7% nationally. This past week we had 4 contests. Mr. Romney underperformed a bit with regards to Tuesday’s three contests, Dr. Paul over preformed, but the big story was the collapse of the Gingrich vote and Mr. Santorum benefiting from that. There was not a whole lot of recent polling on Maine, but there were no big surprise from the Northern New England state. Tuesday’s contests were a bit unique because they were essentially, one straw poll and two caucuses. While MO did not elect any delegates, it is inaccurate to say that the other two contests were meaningless. MN and CO elected delegates to be delegates and barring any serious surprises, Mr. Santorum should not have much trouble clearing 50 delegates from those two states. By the end of the week, polling suggesting that the states that voted Tuesday had a national impact. I am pleasantly surprised, skeptical. Even though anti-Santorumites predicted a good week for Santorum, I was surprised that he actually surpassed Mr. Gingrich. At least up until now, I was among those who believed that if Mr. Romney was going to get aeven a serious run for his money, it would come from Mr. Gingrich, not Mr. Santorum. Sure, the reality is that Mr. Gingrich is to the Left of both of them, but he is a more exciting speaker than both of them and more articulate. Mr. Gingrich may not be a Conservative or a man of the people, but he can play the part.

While we do not know where things will unfold next exactly, it was not a good week for Mr. Romney in many respects, but it was not a bad week either in many respects. In short, it was a double edge sword for him. He lost a bit of support and momentum, but his opponents are divided (at least for now.) On the one hand it means he is now projected to win more CD delegates than before, but on the other, as things currently stand, it will be more challenging to win as many statewide delegates in many states because now both Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich are on track to crack statewide thresholds. On the regional level, while Mr. Romney lost delegates and or projected delegates in both the West and Northeast, his popularity in close to 40% in both regions and he should still clear 55% of the delegates in those two regions. In the rest of the country which elects at least 2 in 5 elected delegates, Mr. Romney is less than 33% of the popular vote and is projected to win less than 40% of the delegates. As Doug suggested earlier, it was a decent week in the South for Mr. Romney. His popular vote remained steady unlike the rest of the country and he is now in first place in the South mainly due to the Gingrich collapse. Mr. Santorum gained almost 100 delegates in the Midwest and thus he is now in first place in one region of the country in terms of both popularity and projected delegates.

All in all Mr. Romney slips slightly to 955 delegates (45% of the elected delegates.) Mr. Santorum jumps to 511 (more than double last week’s total.) Mr. Gingrich loses more than 200 to sit at 499. He benefits with delegate efficiency. And Dr. Paul loses a few or so to sit at 156. So on the surface of it, we are a little closer to a brokerage Convention, but it is still too early to predict such. The Gingrich vote will be critical in the weeks to come with regards to seeing how things unfold. Note, if we do have a brokerage convention, I doubt it will be messy. There would be only two ballots and I doubt somebody off the street will save the day. We are essentially stuck with the candidates we have.

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Anonymous said...

just a little criticism of your writing style, you need to seriously drop the "mr" "dr" thing. It sounds like a 5 year old girl playing make-believe with her dolls at a tea party.

I get formality but its super redundant to use "mr" for each mention of the candidates name. Once is enough.

Right Wingnut said...


You may be interested in this article about the power struggles and Romney's difficulties in Ohio. It's the inside baseball stuff that you often talk about.

Jerald said...

Ohio Joe,

Santorum might have difficulty picking up 50 delegates from CO and MN.

The problem is that while he did well in the straw poll (what was reported), he had almost no organization in those two states and after the straw poll was over, the folks in the precincts overwhelming voted in loyal Romney and Paul people to serve as the delegates going to the state conventions and evetually Tampa to vote for a candidate.
Since those delegates are not obligated to vote for a certain candidate (thus they are called "non-binding", they can vote for whomever they want. If they are loyal to Romney or Paul in the first place, Santorum will have to win them over in the coming months to earn their vote.

This means that Paul and Romney could end up actually getting lots of delegates from those states.

Call it the submarine vote if you will, but if the race is tight going into the summer, Team Santorum could find itself being torpedoed come May and June.

Another interestin thought: Have you noticed how Paul and Romney are not attacking each other? Have you seen the reports where the Pauls and the Romneys have shared dinners during the campaign and seem to get along?

If Paul views Romney as the defacto-Nominee and Romney views Paul as somebody who will play an important part at the convention and the platform, Team Santorum might be in a whole world of hurt it can't do anything about...

Right Wingnut said...

Jerald, Nonsense. In my precinct in MN, every delegate and every alternate voted for Santorum. There may be exceptions where your scenario played out, but not enough to net Mitt enough delegates at the precinct level to have much of an effect on the vote at the district level. His only hope is for Santorum to fall off the cliff between now and the the district conventions.

Right Wingnut said...

I acknowledge that CO was tighter, and could be more up for grabs, but c'mon...Mitt lost MN by nearly 30 points. He may not get any delegates here.

Machtyn said...

If any of you have ever played Diplomacy, you will see a lot of tactics being utilized in this race that can also be utilized in the game (which is generally modeled after WW1 diplomatic dynamics.) You may also notice hints of Survivor dynamics going on here.

Whatever the case, there is a newspaper article released a couple of weeks ago that do state Ron Paul and Mitt Romney (and their wives) struck a friendship during the 2008 run. Interestingly, the dynamics have barely changed, the media ostracize both candidates, and both are perceived outsiders to the DC political insiders.

I imagine that Ron Paul will be in this until Romney gets the necessary delegates. Gingrich doesn't know when to quit. Santorum, by playing the snail appears like a comeback kid and is surging. I'm not sure what he will do come April when the delegate count is strongly not in his favor.

In 2008, even though Romney had the advantage and a strong 2nd place standing over Huckabee, he still dropped out for the good of the party and endorsed McCain. Very disappointing because those Romney supporters knew that McCain was a dud. The party only revitalized when Palin came on board, but quickly fizzled under media pressure and how the debate turned from Obama vs McCain to Obama vs Palin. (You can't win the presidency on the VP choice.) My point here is, will Santorum drop out for the good of the party or will he fight this tooth and nail to the end with Gingrich.

Super Tuesday will be very interesting with Santorum and Gingrich both fighting for the same Southern voter.

Anonymous said...

The unreported story of this campaign is that the Paul and Romney campaigns have quietly agreed to not criticize each other. Romney, for his part, has gone out of his way to play nice with the Paulians, and the Paulians have concentrated their fire on Gingrich. In fact, much of the anti-Gingrich advertising came from the Paul campaign, and Romney got the blame for it. Paul is next going to work on Santorum, and Paul has the money to do it.

The agreement between the Romney and Paul campaigns is very hush-hush, but it probably involves Paul getting a prime speech slot at the convention.

Teemu said...

I don't think Romney is going to get out more delegates from MN than Santorum but Paul might.

The results might vary a lot by precinct. Santorum performed 8.3% points better in RWN's precinct (53.23%) than in Minnesota overall (44.95%). From different precincts it takes more effort to get to the district or state conventions than from others.

The reports from Paul supporters might be precinct grabbing might be rare exceptions, or they might not be. Didn't the Paul supporters manage to "hijack" 3 district conventions in 2008, when they got just 15.68% of the straw poll, compared to this years 27.11%?

Ohio JOE said...

Thank RW, I know all about that article and I myself might write further on the subject.

dgenetaylor said...

Joe-Joe, Just so I know where you're at:
will you vote for Mitt Romney if he gets the GOP Nomination? I promise to vote for your guy, if he wins.
Wingnut, same question. Are you on-board if Mitt wins?
Seriously, are you in, or are you sitting home?

Anonymous said...

I am going third party if the lies about Romney succeed... so what ever. I see no reason to stay in this party of hypocrites who pretend conservatism and reject the most rounded conservative.

And if the Republican Party sells it's soul to keep Romney out... it will never win another election.

We will start another party and leave the hypocrites to themselves.

Ideology for the sake of ideology is useless anyway. No matter how conservative someone is, if they dont' know how to do it, it won't get it done.

Politicians can not do the job, if they could, we would not be where we are right now. Plenty of good intentions and no results. NO RESULTS! In fact we are going backwards.

Mitt is the only hope. No polician of any ideology can fix this country. Romney is the only one with the skill and knowledge to actually get it done.

The Party should be falling all over themselves to get his skills in the Whitehouse to actually get the job done this time.

Ohio JOE said...

Well Mr. Taylor, I certainly will not stay home. I'd probably vote for Mr. Romney in the general because he is certainly more Pro-Life than Mr. Obama, but neither have good economic policies.

Ohio JOE said...

"Mitt is the only hope. No politician of any ideology can fix this country. Romney is the only one with the skill and knowledge to actually get it done." This is pure fantacy, Mr. Santorum is barely Right Wing enough himself to solve our economic problems, Mr. Romney is certainly not Right Wing enough to shock the economy into prosperity.

dgenetaylor said...

What does than mean--"shock the economy"? Like Ron Paul, are you talking about cutting $1 trillion dollars year-1? Killing the patient is not a solution.
One of the problems Romney has is that his solutions are "real world solutions," not campaign rhetoric. He said $500 billion in cuts the first year. The government has taken over so much of the economy (37%), you can't jump down instantly to the 25% Romney is targeting. Shocking the economy, like "Doctor" Paul has suggested is red-meat-speak; it sounds great; like something Sara would shout out--but not a real-world economic solution.

dgenetaylor said...

Anonymous, I feel your pain. But the "scorched earth" policy won't work in the end. Think of it this way: assume your candidate gets the nomination. Romney will need all ultra conservative GOP folks (and moderates) to come on board in order to beat President Obama. Therefore, a more conciliatory tone is needed.
Look, I admit that privately I have given in to name calling; "Scrotorum" because he has been dumping sacks of crap on my candidate, while pretending to be a Boy Scout who would never tell a lie. But in public I realize that's not a good idea because OhioJoe and WingNut are members of our party. There's no 3rd party. We have to play fair and realize we are still on the same side, after all. That's why I will most certainly vote for their guy, if he wins.

Ohio JOE said...

With respect Mr. Taylor, if we do not shock the economy to some degree, we will eventually end up like Greece. We simple cannot go on this current path on steriods for much longer.

Haha, BTW, I kinda like the name Scrotorum; like your sense of humor.