Romney wins Wyoming caucus, Santorum poised for Washington win

posted at 9:50 am on March 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Mitt Romney sailed to an easy win in Wyoming last night, capturing nearly 40% of the vote in the state caucus.  The victory provided Romney some claim to momentum after his Tuesday sweep in Arizona and Michigan:

Mitt Romney has won a nonbinding vote of Republican activists who turned out for precinct caucuses across Wyoming during the past two weeks.

The former Massachusetts governor was the favorite of 39 percent of the 2,108 caucus goers, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished second with 32 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 21 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 8 percent.

The caucuses also elected delegates to county conventions, which meet next week to select 12 delegates and 11 alternates to the Republican National Convention. Twelve county conventions will elect one delegate each, and the other 11 will each select an alternate.

The caucus was, as most are, non-binding.  No delegates got assigned from this vote, although the actual delegate assignment will take place more quickly in Wyoming than in other caucus states.  Iowa and Minnesota, for instance, won’t get around to officially assigning delegates until later in the spring, and even though Rick Santorum won both, the delegates to their state conventions have no obligation to vote for Santorum when they elect delegates to the national convention.

The next event on the Republican schedule is the caucus in Washington on Saturday, which Santorum is expected to win.  He will campaign there today, even as Super Tuesday looms:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will be in the Tri-Cities tomorrow. He will be speaking at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco at 6 p.m.  It’s estimated 1,000-1,500 people will attend the event. The number of attendees will be capped at 1,500 and any additional people will be turned away.

Santorum comes off a tough loss in Michigan, but also off of a very successful fundraising month in February, raising $9 million.  A win in Washington won’t add any bound delegates to Santorum’s total, but it could give him an argument that he’s connecting better in tough-to-win places for Republicans.  My friend Eric Ostermeier at Smart Politics offers an interesting analysis of Santorum’s performance in the primaries:

Mitt Romney has won more contests than Rick Santorum, has received 740,000+ more votes, and has amassed approximately twice as many delegates in the early stages of the 2012 Republican primary season.

There is, however, one metric on Romney’s electoral scorecard in which he is losing quite badly to his chief challenger – a metric which perhaps symbolizes his inability thus far to unite Republican voters behind his campaign.

A Smart Politics tabulation of voting through the first 11 Republican primaries and caucuses of the 2012 presidential cycle finds that Rick Santorum has won more than twice as many counties (360) as Mitt Romney (145) and nearly 60 percent of all counties to date.

Five candidates have carried counties in the contests thus far, with Newt Gingrich in third with 79 (all but two from South Carolina and Florida), Ron Paul with 31, and Rick Perry with two.

Obviously, it’s votes that count and not counties, but it’s still an interesting look at the basis of support for both men.  At any rate, now that we’re pushing through to more actual primaries — seven of the ten Super Tuesday contests are binding primaries that directly produce delegate assignments — these caucuses will become much less important … as they should be.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Question to the romneycare azz lickers.

Danielvito on March 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

So you think that anybody is going to engage you in a discussion when that’s your opener? Good luck with that. Vote for the loser of your choice and leave the grown ups alone.

MJBrutus on March 1, 2012 at 6:35 PM

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