Super Tuesday

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.

It’s Super Tuesday: Is the end of the race around the corner?

It’s Super Tuesday, and hopefully the beginning of the end of the long and disasterous primary for the Republican Party. No one can deny that this cycle has been interesting process; well, most party primaries are. But this one has been especially painful to watch — especially recently, when the economy is the most pressing issue for voters, but some of the GOP candidates are focused on wedge social issues.

It’s hard to predict what will happen tonight, but observers say that Mitt Romney will have a good night and Newt Gingrich may re-establish himself if he manages to win more delegates that Rick Santorum, which looks like a very real possibility. On the other hand, we’ve seen so many twist and turns in this primary, would anyone be surprised to see a last minute surge for Santorum in Ohio or Gingrich not win Georgia by as substantial of a margin that polls indicate?

These three candidates — Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum — are a collective mess. While Gingrich generally respected amongst GOP voters and manages to gain enough support to remain relevant, national polls show him as toxic against Barack Obama.

Santorum isn’t much different. Polls show him doing decent in head-to-head matchups against Obama, but that’s largely because voters aren’t familiar with him. His socially conservative message isn’t one that will push independents to Republicans, and his numbers would fall even lower.

It’s going to be a close one tonight in Alabama and Mississippi

Coming off of a good Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney hopes to further entrench himself at the frontrunner for the Republican nomination tonight as Alabama and Mississippi voters head to the polls to cast their ballots. But various surveys in these two Southern states show that it’ll be a close race, one that has Romney running right along Rick Santorum in Newt Gingrich.

Santorum had a good weekend, picking up an overwhelming win in Kansas, while Romney won Wyoming and some United States territories. For Gingrich, however, tonight’s primaries are a “must win” if he hopes to avoid more calls to drop out of the race. And the latest polls out of Alabama and Mississippi certainly do show the former Speaker hanging with the rest of the field.

Here are the final numbers out of the two states, provided by Public Policy Polling. As noted above, it’s going to go down to the wire in Alabama:

  • Mitt Romney: 31%
  • Newt Gingrich: 30%
  • Rick Santotrum: 29%
  • Ron Paul: 8%

And Gingrich holds a small lead in Mississippi, though within the margin of error, over Romney with Santorum six back:

Delegate math clearly in Romney’s favor

The dust from Super Tuesday is still settling. Some conservatives are trying to downplay Mitt Romney’s wins and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are arguing about who should drop out of the race. But there is one common theme — observers are sensing that the writing is on the wall for anti-Romney candidates.

Despite being the conservative alternative to John McCain just four years ago, Romney has been their boogeyman in 2012. Some of the criticism is justified and understandable, specifically that dealing with RomneyCare and ObamaCare. But in the face of the criticism, Romney now holds a 1.2+ million vote lead in the primary and the delegate math says that he should coast to the nomination.

Of course, Romney path to the nomination may still have a bump in the road. As noted above, Santorum’s “super PAC” has called on Gingrich to drop out. He declined, and there is certainly a case to be made to backup his decision. But that doesn’t mean that Gingrich would deal with reality if he performs poorly next week and if Santorum does well.

Super Tuesday Live Blog

Welcome to United Liberty’s Super Tuesday Live Blog. We’ll be getting started around 6:30pm or so. But before you join in on the conversation, here are some links to read on things to look for this evening.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver lays out the various scenarios that could unfold tonight, including delegate projections for all four candidates. Politico has a list of 10 things to watch for tonight, including Ohio, where a win could help Romney put the race to bed much quicker. CNN only gives three things for us to watch, but one of them (voter turnout) could obviously be a game-changer.

Watch returns come in:

Romney relatives for Ron Paul

You may recall that back in January, Rick Santorum’s nephew came out in support for Ron Paul because of his uncle’s very statist record. Well, Ron Paul can now boast the support of some of Mitt Romney’s cousins, who came out for him ahead of Super Tuesday:

Ron Paul announced Monday that the Texas congressman had earned the endorsement from a group of who seem like they should be solidly in the corner of rival Mitt Romney: the former Massachusetts governor’s own family members.

Five distant cousins of Romney will all appear in Idaho on Monday in support of Paul’s presidential bid.

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.

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:

Newt Gingrich is imploding

After finishing a distant second to Mitt Romney in Nevada on Saturday, Newt Gingrich became unhinged during an evening press conference, promising a prolonged battle for the Republican nomination:

Newt Gingrich vowed again to stay in the Republican presidential contest until the convention in August and said he will spend the next several months engaged in a bitter battle with Mitt Romney.

Speaking to the press after the Nevada caucuses Saturday, Mr. Gingrich repeatedly hammered Mr. Romney as a pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-taxes candidate who has the backing of the Republican establishment.

“I am a candidate for president of the United States,” he said. “I will be a candidate for president of the United States. I will go to Tampa.”

Mr. Romney ignored Mr. Gingrich in his victory speech tonight. But Mr. Gingrich seemed insistent on making sure that his rival cannot simply look the other way.

He accused Mr. Romney of purposely leaking false information about Mr. Gingrich’s plans to drop out of the presidential race, calling that Mr. Romney’s “greatest fantasy” in the race.

And Mr. Gingrich said that recent meetings he held with donors were meant to map out a plan to continue getting his message out despite Mr. Romney’s superior fund-raising.

“The entire establishment will be against us,” he predicted. But he said that by appearing on national television and doing interviews in newspapers, he will spread his agenda.

“The American people want somebody who is genuinely conservative, who is prepared to change Washington,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Looking ahead in the race for the GOP nomination

As had come to be expected in days prior, Mitt Romney took Florida easily last night over Newt Gingrich, who defiantly promised to press on for the forseeable future despite the struggling to win a state where he had a lead a week before the primary.

Here are the results of the Florida Republican primary:

  • Mitt Romney: 46%
  • Newt Gingrich: 32%
  • Rick Santorum: 13%
  • Ron Paul: 7%

Romney wins all of the state’s 50 delegates, which was cut by 50% per Republican National Committee rules due to the Florida GOP holding its primary before March 6th (Super Tuesday). Gingrich wins nothing and the momentum he had built after South Carolina has been squandered after a couple bad debate performances, particularly the one in Jacksonville last Thursday.

So where is the race as it stands now? It appears that Gingrich doesn’t have high hopes for the Nevada and Minnesota caucuses. You’d have to expect Ron Paul to be a factor in both of those states, where his campaign directed its focus instead of competing Florida. However, Super Tuesday, which will include his home state of Georgia, may offer more to Gingrich. We’ll get a clearer picture of what to expect next month in the coming days as polling firms will no doubt provide us with plenty of numbers.

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