Rick Santorum

What can we expect on Super Tuesday?

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a very interesting day in the race for the GOP’s nomination for president. Mitt Romney has momentum on his side heading to Super Tuesday, but some of the states that are heading to the polls aren’t exactly ones that you would think that he’d be running very strong in.

Nevertheless, Romney is running on a high after four straight wins, and Nate Silver explains that, despite the states voting tomorrow, Romney still could come out with a majority of the 422 delegates on the table tomorrow.

Other candidates in the race are just hoping that they can slow Romney down, but they have their on problems to deal with. Rick Santorum is trying to refocus his message after a few weeks of fighting to explain his position on social issues, where no candidates needs to be given the volitility of the economy. Newt Gingrich is just trying to prove that he’s still a viable candidate.

Ron Paul serves his purpose in the race, but it seems that many of his supporters are planning to go underground to try to become delegates at the Republican National Convention and hijack the delegate vote for the nomination.

Here is a look at states heading to the polls on Super Tuesday and what we can expect by the end of the night; some it’s straightforward, others, not so much.

Alaska (27 Delegates): If Ron Paul hopes to have an impact on Super Tuesday, it’ll most likely be in Alaska and Idaho, which both hold a caucus, where his campaign has been focusing.

Mitt Romney’s American Delusion

Republican voters are being put through the pincers. We are back to 2008. Heaps of strong candidates, but no consensus. Great speeches, but no substance. PAC money spent by the millions, but no conclusive results. GOP candidates are even welcoming Democratic voters, to smear each other, to add to their victories, or to just plainly embitter each other. The Republican race is not going to get any more civil. Once, we see these subterfuges, we can ask the real questions: what will it take to unseat Obama in November, and who can best do this?

In America the conservative movement has been changing. Neo-conservatives, who had for roughly two decades (1980-2000) held the strongarm of the party, are gone with the Bush Administration’s doctrine of “pre-emptive strike” and the PATRIOT ACT. We are in the midst of the dregs. Still trying to find out which direction this country will spill it’s spirit of changelessness.

For all his grandeur, Mitt Romney just has not taken his campaign to the next level. Rick Santorum has peaked, but more likely will not hold his miniscule leads. Newt Gingrinch’s populism and Ron Paul’s constitutionalism, so similar to each other, are self-negating. None is in charge. Marginal candidates can’t win delegates, nor the RNC party’s nomination. Mitt Romney, the ever-chameleon like business mogul, can’t strike a human touch to save his life and political prospects.

If Mitt Romney is the front runner of the wolves, ready to flay Obama; what is his version of the American Dream? How does he see this country, through which prism? Is it a legalistic, rigidly technocratic, institutional approach? It seems, his advantage is not his base, his character, anything as much as his warchest. He won’t run out of steam. Even if the delegate count gets close in Tampa, FL this spring; he’ll be able to resurrect himself, make the necessary promises and sail away with the nomination.

GOP has voter enthusiasm on its side

While President Barack Obama is leading his possible Republican competitors in head-to-head matchups in most polls, a new Gallup poll shows that the GOP still has an important advantage in voter enthusiasm:

By 53% to 45%, Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, are slightly more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say they are “more enthusiastic than usual about voting” this year. Republicans have consistently led Democrats in voting enthusiasm since last fall, but to varying degrees.

Enthusiasm About Voting in 2012 Presidential Election -- Trend by Party ID

The 53% of Republicans who feel more enthusiastic about voting today — as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are engaged in a pitched nomination battle — is greater than the 44% found in February 2008 when John McCain and Mike Huckabee were still dueling in the primaries.

This poll really means nothing this early on, but is an indicator that Republicans are motivated to out Obama. And for all of the talk about a brokered convention or supporters of one candidate threatening not to vote for another, I’m willing to bet that this will quiet down the closer we get to the fall as ousting Obama will become a common objective.

Romney retakes lead in new Rasmussen poll

While some Republicans are still looking for another candidate to emerge this late in the ballgame, hoping that a brokered convention can unseat other candidates that they are not so happy with; it looks like Mitt Romney has momentum in his corner. At least for now.

The latest national poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Romney jumping to a 16-point lead over Rick Santorum, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul lagging behind (numbers from the previous Rasmussen poll are off to the side):

  • Romney: 40% (+13)
  • Santorum: 24% (-15)
  • Gingrich: 16% (-1)
  • Paul: 10% (-2)

In mid-February, Santorum was crusing at 39%, a 12-point lead over Romney. So you’re looking at a 15-point drop for him and a 13-point gain for Romney. So we’re still seeing a lot of volatility in the race.

But Romney’s momentum could be short-lived if he doesn’t do well on Super Tuesday. Polls out of states that will vote next week show that Santorum and Gingrich will most likely do well, but Romney may be weighed down; and that suggests that Santorum may see another bump.

Santorum has some hurdles facing him; however, at least concerning electability. The focus on social issues, which he wrongly blames on the media, is going to hurt him in a general election. And his reaction to questions about his views on contraception, which apparently includes lashing out at a talk show host, will be used against him; a point that he doesn’t seem to understand:

Ron Paul slams Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper

Much has been made of the supposed alliance between Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Mitt Romney. Some are alleging that Romney has promised something to Paul, either a spot for himself on the ticket or for his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), or a spot on the cabinet.

Paul has dismissed the allegations of an alliance with Romney, going so far to say that it’s a conspiracy theory being advanced by Rick Santorum’s campaign. And if there is a deal in place between he and Romney, Paul’s campaign apparently didn’t get the memo as his team has unveiled a new ad slamming the former Massachusetts Governor as a “flip-flopper”:

Gallup: “It’s the economy, stupid”

As we’ve noted before, the race for the Republican presidential nomination has gotten sidetracked on social issues, thanks to the contraceptive issue thats has come around in the last few weeks.

But with gas prices rising, and congressional Democrats realizing the potential ramifications of inaction, and an unemployment rate that is unlikely to fall much between now and election day, Republicans need to turn their attention back to the economy. Perhaps there is no better reminder that this election needs to be a referendum on that very specific issue than the latest numbers from Gallup showing Americans’ top concern:

Someone may want to let Rick Santorum know that voters aren’t concerned about social issues and tell him to get serious on economic policy, where he is clearly falling short.

Democrats for Santorum (and four more years of Obama)

If you listen to Rick Santorum, he’s insistant that the number of Michigan Democrats that turned out for him on Tuesday night is a sign that he has some sort of crossover appeal. As you know Santorum’s campaign reached out to Democrats in a last minute effort to win the state, and it appears that enough came out for Santorum to tie with Mitt Romney in the delegate count, where he would have otherwise lost handily.

And while It’s true that many of his big government leanings are very similiar to Left, Santorum’s “support” from Democrats comes mostly because they believe he is a weaker candidate than Romney.

For his part, Romney isn’t letting Santorum’s now cozy relationship with Democrats slide. His campaign rolled out this new web ad yesterday with quotes from Michigan Democrats explaining their support for Santorum:

Roger Stone: Brokered GOP convention a possibility

There has been a lot of talk recently that we may see a brokered Republican convention this August. Most Republicans, including Karl Rove and Chris Christie, have dismissed the thought almost out of hand. But Roger Stone, a long-time Republican strategist, recently looked at the math and explained why this may be an issue that Republicans may have to face, though he agrees that it’s unlikely.

Stone discussed the prospect further last week on Fox and Friends:

A recently Gallup poll showed that a majority of Republicans don’t want a brokered convention. But with the dissatisfaction among Republicans towards the candidates may be too much for many to deal with come time for delegates to cast their votes in Tampa.

Romney wins primaries in Arizona and Michigan

It wasn’t without drama in days leading up to Tuesday, but Mitt Romney won primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Polls in recent days, specifically in Michigan — Romney’s birth state, showed a close matchup between the former Massachusetts Governor and Rick Santorum, who had encouraged Democrats to cross the aisle to vote for him.

Arizona

  • Romney: 47%
  • Santorum: 27%
  • Gingrich: 16%
  • Paul: 8%

Michigan

  • Romney: 41%
  • Santorum: 38%
  • Paul: 12%
  • Gingrich: 7%

These results don’t mean that Romney is out of hot water. Super Tuesday (March 6th) looks like it will be a tough day for him, and it may become even tougher if Newt Gingrich decides to drop out of the race after what may be a poor showing. Conventional wisdom is that much of Gingrich’s support would go to Santorum.

But it doesn’t look like the race for the Republican nomination for president is going to end anytime soon, which bodes ill for the party. A nasty, prolonged race helps President Barack Obama and also hurts the GOP’s chances of holding the House and taking the Senate.

Santorum to Democrats: Vote for me!

Now this is an interesting strategy. Faced with a increasingly tight primary in Mitt Romney’s home state of Michigan, Rick Santorum is reaching out to Democrats in a robocall in hopes to gain support ahead of the state’s primary next week:

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum hopes Michigan Democrats can help him earn a victory in Tuesday’s primary.

That’s right. The former Pennsylvania senator’s campaign paid for a robocall asking Democrats to vote for him in Tuesday’s primary.

Recent polls show chief rival and Michigan native Mitt Romney and Santorum virtually even heading into the primary.

“We know that if we can get a Reagan Democrat in the primary, we can get them in the fall,” said Hogan Gidley, communications director for Santorum. He confirmed the campaign paid for the call.

Political observers say the move is just another sign of how close the GOP race is — and a “logical ploy.”

As Santorum has done during numerous Michigan visits the past two weeks, the call attacked Romney’s stance on the auto bailouts, saying the former Massachusetts governor’s opposition “was a slap in the face” to Michigan workers, according to audio obtained by online political news outlet Talking Points Memo.

Many believe that Santorum would be President Barack Obama’s weakest opponent in a general election matchup due to his controversial positions on social issues, which would be unattractive to voters concerned about the economy. Needless to say, Michigan Democrats may be happy to oblige.

 


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.