GOP primary

Mark Sanford Wins GOP Run-Off, Faces Colbert Busch In May

Mark Sanford

Around 8:30 pm eastern time last night, MSNBC declared former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford as the winner of the GOP primary run-off in the state’s 1st District over former city council member Curtis Bostic.

Sanford will now face Democratic nominee and sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the general election on May 7th. Early polling has indicated a close race between the two with perhaps a slight edge going to Colbert Busch.

It’s too early to be sure however if her apparent support is merely the result of celebrity by proxy or her message is truly resonating with voters in the 1st District.

Though running as a Democrat it’s obvious she’s aware of the electorate in the area. The 1st district hasn’t sent a Democrat to Congress since before 1980 and Colbert Busch appears to be reaching out to conservative voters in hopes of changing this trend. On her campaign website she pledges to help small businesses create jobs by lowering taxes and cutting waste—unusual rhetoric for most Democrats but necessary in a Repulblican stronghold like South Carolina if she has any hope of winning.

When it comes to satisfying fiscally conservative voters, few have done it as consistently as Mark Sanford. As National Review’s Deroy Murdock noted recently,

A view of the Ron Paul Revolution, Pt. I

So right off the bat, let me just disclose the following: I am a proud Ron Paul supporter. I’ve been aware of Dr. Paul since the turn of the century. I’ve been reading “Texas Straight Talk,” his weekly correspondence, for going on a decade, and have been known, from time to time, to actually call the number that has his weekly, pre-recorded message in order to actually hear the man, in his own words, speak those wonderful words of truth and freedom.

I was involved with the grassroots effort of his 2008 run and donated to that campaign and his congressional campaign as well. Now, four years later, I am currently serving as my county’s coordinator for the Georgia for Ron Paul grassroots group and have made multiple donations to the RP2012 campaign.

Simply put—I’m a fan.

For many out there, the Ron Paul Revolution is all but dead. A minor historical footnote. How wrong these people are.  For you see, this thing is still growing. It really is. Despite a virtual, media blackout and more dirty tricks by the GOP establishment than you can shake a stick at, this beautiful, organic phenomenon is still growing.

Let’s start with delegates. FOX News and many other outlets are grossly under-reporting Dr. Paul’s delegate count at around 50; however, CNN, as it has been during this entire cycle, has a more accurate count of 71. But they’re all wrong. We won’t know for sure until all of the district and state conventions wrap up, but Dr. Paul could very well be looking at a count in the several hundreds. It is most likely that the Paul campaign will have a strong majority of delegates in the following states: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, and several others. Hell, if it goes to a contested convention with multiple ballots, there will be Ron Paul delegates waiting in the wings in the Georgia Delegation. And there are several contests left where Paul could pick up more delegates.

BREAKING: Rick Santorum to drop out of presidential race

Various media outlets are reporting that Rick Santorum, who received a boost late in the presidental race from social conservatives, is suspending his presidential campaign. The announcement comes just days after Santorum met with prominent conservatives about his campaign and his young daughter’s hospital stay.

Santorum’s decision to put his campaign on hold leaves only Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich as challengers to Mitt Romney, who is, for all intents and purposes, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Why the GOP race is over — It’s the math, stupid

Various people are debating whether having Gingrich in the race helps or hurts Romney’s chances of reaching 1,144 delegates and clinching the GOP nomination. Many of Santorum’s supporters think that Gingrich is robbing him of delegates that he needs to stop Romney, while Gingrich supporters are arguing that splitting the delegates makes it more difficult for Romney to win. The fact is, it does not matter, because barring finding Romney in bed with a dead girl or live boy, as Edwin Edwards once put it, he has clinched it mathematically.

Taking a look at the current standings, estimated by TheGreenPapers.com we have:

  • Romney: 493 - 51%
  • Santorum: 235 - 24%
  • Gingrich: 157 - 16%
  • Paul: 77 - 8%

That’s 962 decided delegates with 1,324 remaining.

With that many delegates remaining, how can it be over?

Well, there are two ways to allocate the delegates that remain. One is by a proportional system where each candidate gets some amount of delegates that are in proportion to each candidates share of the vote. So, if 30 delegates are at stake and three candidates split evenly, each would get 10. The other is winner take all, where the person securing the plurality (the most) of the vote gets all of the delegates.

The winner take all states that remain are: DC, MD, WI, DE, IN, CA, NJ, UT.

If a single candidate gets a majority in the following states, is it winner take all, but proportional otherwise: PR, CT, NY.

Let’s assume that Gingrich and Paul stay in and therefore PR, CT and NY will stay proportional.  Of the WTA states, Romney is all but assured victory in DC, DE, CA, NJ, and UT. Together, those are 298 delegates. Being as generous as possible and giving Santorum the other 125 WTA delegates we have:

Recapping Super Tuesday

If you’re like me, you went to bed before the Alaska, Idaho, and North Dakota results started to tricke in. It wasn’t hard to see at that point that last night was a good night for Mitt Romney, though he didn’t deliver the “knock out” punch to end the race quickly. We’re probably going to see this thing drag out between he and Rick Santorum for at least the rest of this month.

Had Romney won in Tennessee, it would be a different story. However, exit polls showed that socially conservative voters came out pretty strong in that state. Additionally, Romney’s win in Ohio was very close. So while he may get to claim the state and it certainly helps with momentum, it shows that he is still just getting by.

Santorum is going to keep trucking. As he said last night, he won a few states and got “silver medals” in others. His biggest issue is money. While his team says they’re willing to take the race all the way to Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, he may not have the resources to get that far.

Of course, Santorum’s biggest obstacle isn’t Romney, it’s Gingrich. Conventional wisdom says that if Gingrich drops out that Santorum will be the beneficiary. That’s probably true, but only to a certain extent. Gingrich was defiant last night, but the writing is on the wall. He’s not going to win, especially after five last place finishes. Yes, he won Georgia, but he didn’t get the 50% needed to take all of his home state’s delegates.

Ron Paul’s strategy of focusing on caucus states hasn’t panned out the way his campaign had hoped. Granted, Paul was strong in several states last night, but he still doesn’t have a win in either a caucus or a primary. But as we’ve said before, Paul’s support has grown substantially since his run four years ago and he can no longer be ignored by Republicans.

GOP Presidential Power Rankings

We’re coming down to the final days before Republicans in Florida, at least those that didn’t vote early, head to the polls. As you can see below, the numbers provided by Real Clear Politics show that Gingrich has an advantage, but much can change in a short time.

What Would USA Today Say about Howard Dean’s Performance in Iowa?

As Jason noted earlier, the results are in — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has handily taken top honors in the 2011 Ames Straw Poll, edging out Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and obliterating former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Bachmann became the first woman in history to win the straw poll in the home of America’s first caucus, according to the National Journal.

Aside from the various problems with straw polls in a general sense, and how poorly the Ames Straw Poll serves as an indicator of eventual primary winners (note: the CPAC straw poll has the same problem), what does this really mean? Probably not much at all.

But that hasn’t stopped the editorial board at USA Today from getting their digs in while they can.

They editorialize, opining the attention “fringe candidates” receive in Iowa:

 

Of the candidates actively participating this year, only Pawlenty has any kind of background of centrism, and he has taken a right turn since announcing his candidacy. Much of the attention will be on Bachmann, who has been doing well in recent Iowa polls, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the darling of libertarians.

NE Senate: Republican primary heats up between Osborn, Sasse

 "Nebraska Way"

The Republican Senate primary in Nebraska has been one of the more interesting races of the current cycle. This comes down to  Shane Osborn, a former state treasurer and Navy veteran, against Ben Sasse, a former Bush administration official and college president.

The primary race had remained cordial and issues focused. Politico noted last month that “the Nebraska Senate candidates are trying to avoid the appearance of running negative campaigns, adding that the four candidates in the race “kept their focus on Obama rather than each other” at a recent debate.

“They do not want a repeat of Nebraska’s 2012 Senate primary, when little-known Deb Fischer won a crowded primary after the front-runners, backed by millions in outside money, spent weeks attacking each other,” Politico added.

Once considered the frontrunner in the race, Osborn is now trying to beat back Sasse, who seemingly has the momentum in his corner, thanks to a string of high-profile endorsements from Republicans and outside conservative groups.

The race is no longer as friendly as it once seemed. Osborn and Sasse are trying to label each other as a “D.C insider,” hoping to hit the nerves of populist voters. That back and forth spilled over last week when Osborn ran an ad in which he called Sasse a “Washington Bureaucrat” and slammed the presence of “special interests in Washington.”

OH-08: John Boehner’s “electile disfunction”

Winteregg ad

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has an “electile dysfunction” problem, according to his conservative primary opponent, J.D. Winteregg, who has rolled out a humorous new ad spoofing Cialis commercials.

“You make a great team. It’s been that day since the day you met. But your electile dysfunction, it could be a question of blood flow,” says the narrator. “Sometimes, when a politician has been in D.C. too long, it goes to his head, and they just can’t seem to get the job done.”

The ad features video of Boehner and President Barack Obama laughing with each other and shaking hands mixed in with couples hanging out and flirting. The narrator highlights a list of Winteregg’s more conservative positions, including pledges to defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood.

“Other signs of electile dysfunction include skin discoloration, the inability to punch one’s self out of a wet paper bag, or maintain a spine in the fact of liberal opposition,” the narrator continues. “If you have a Boehner lasting longer than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention.”

MS Senate: Conservative groups blast Thad Cochran on spending, decades in Washington

Thad Cochran

Two influential conservative groups, Club for Growth Action and FreedomWorks for America, unveiled separate ads yesterday taking aim at Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) horrible record on spending and the decades he’s spent in Washington, D.C.

The stakes have been raised in Mississippi in recent days. Cochran unveiled an ad taking aim at his Republican primary opponent, Chris McDaniel, over disaster relief funding for the Gulf Coast, including Mississippi. But these conservative groups, both of which are backing McDaniel’s campaign, have taken aim at Cochran.

In what’s described as a “large, six-figure ad buy,” Club for Growth Action points out that Cochran, who has served in Congress since 1973, voted for President Jimmy Carter’s expansion of federal education and President George H.W. Bush’s tax hikes.

“Today,” says the narrator, “Cochran votes with Obama to raise the national debt by trillions. Thad Cochran — five decades in Washington is enough.”


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