Open thread: Stupor Tuesday; Update: Newt wins GA; Update: Romney wins VA, VT, MA; Update: Santorum wins OK, TN, ND; Update: Exit polls added; Update: Romney wins Ohio

posted at 6:26 pm on March 6, 2012 by Allahpundit

I wish I could take credit for that phrase but it belongs to Joseph Curl. We’re all very, very tired of this process, I know, but look on the “bright” side — if Romney rolls, this may well be the last night of election returns you need to follow until November. Yay, Mitt?

There are endless preview posts out there worth recommending but I’ll stick with two rather than inundate you. First, Guy Benson has a useful at-a-glance summary of which candidates are favored where, punctuated by the jump-ball states of Ohio and Tennessee. Whoever overperforms in those two will control the narrative tomorrow; if Romney wins both he’ll be touted as the de facto nominee, especially having now proved that he can win in the south. Second, refer to the charts in Nate Silver’s post for numerical benchmarks on how each candidate’s expected to do given current polling. Romney’s got a real shot at winning a majority of delegates tonight while Newt, because of his dominance in Georgia, could end up taking more delegates overall than Santorum. Any sharp deviations from those expectations may signal a new surge for one of them tomorrow or may even end a campaign. (If Gingrich somehow lost Georgia, which is unlikely in the extreme, he’s finished by his own admission.) As it is, 65 percent of Republican likely voters expect Romney will be the nominee compared to just 54 percent last week. The higher that number goes, the harder it is for Santorum and Gingrich to animate the base to stop him. In fact, no matter how Mitt does tonight, his campaign’s got a handy talking point for tomorrow: Realistically, it’s already too late for anyone else to win the nomination.

The bottom line here is that Romney has enough of a delegate advantage right now and especially coming out of today’s contests that it is very unlikely that anyone will catch him, much less catch him and get to 1144. The latter seems particularly far-fetched given the above scenarios. And that is a problem in this race. Well, a problem for Gingrich and Santorum anyway. If all either of them can take to voters is an argument that all they can do is prevent Romney from getting to 1144, then neither has a winning strategy. That sort of strategy has a half life; one that will grow less effective as, in this case, Romney approaches 1144. Complicating this scenario even further for Gingrich and Santorum is the fact that if neither can get to 1144 or even close to it, neither is all that likely to be the candidate to emerge as the nominee at any — unlikely though it may be — contested convention.

These contests today may not be decisive in terms of settling the nomination, but they very much represent a mental hurdle in this race. That Santorum and Gingrich cannot get to 1144 without vastly over-performing in the remaining contests (relative to how well they have done in the contests thus far) ushers in a new phase in the race.

The first polls close tonight at 7 p.m. ET in Virginia, Vermont, and Georgia — all three of which are likely to be called promptly at the top of the hour (the first two for Romney and the third for Newt). Things get interesting at 7:30, when Ohio starts to roll in, and then again at 8 when Tennessee starts counting. Here’s your handy Google Elections page to follow it all; lots of updates coming below, needless to say. While we wait, via Greg Hengler, here’s The One wishing Romney well at today’s presser. He seems pretty excited to face him. I wonder why.

Update: If you’re bored with the race, Democrats are lovin’ it.

The Republican nomination battle is rallying Democrats behind Barack Obama. Currently, 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better. Just 36% of Democrats expressed this view in December, before the Republican primaries began.

In contrast, there has been virtually no change in Republicans’ views of the GOP field during this period. Just 26% of Republicans say their impression of the GOP field has improved as they have learned more about the candidates. That is largely unchanged from December (30%).

Among indies, 10 percent say their views of the field has improved as the race has worn on — compared to 28 percent who say they’ve gotten worse. (In fairness, the numbers were nearly identical in December.)

Update: Tasty exit poll data from Ohio via Jake Tapper: Fully 53 percent say Romney has the best chance of beating Obama versus just 23 percent who say Santorum. But when asked which candidate best understands average Americans’ problems, Santorum wins 32/23.

Update: Romney tormentor Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed digs up yet another example of Mitt pushing RomneyCare as a model for national health care, this time in a speech to House Republicans in 2009:

We should be first to propose a Republican plan to bring health insurance to all Americans, one based on market dynamics, free choice, and personal responsibility. I think what we did in Massachusetts is a good model to start from, but whatever direction we take, let’s not simply react to what the Democrats do. Their own plan would undoubtedly create a vast new system of costly entitlements and bureaucratic dictates, burdening the people and threatening the economy. Americans will be looking for a better alternative. Let’s give it to them.

Santorum went after Romney hard on Laura Ingraham’s show today for his dishonesty about using RomneyCare as a model, saying, “we are going to give away the most important issue in this election.” B-b-b-but, electability!

And since we’re rapidly approaching the moment when criticizing Romney will be treated as high treason on the right, go ahead and read this excellent Dan McLaughlin piece at Red State analyzing Mitt as a salesman for conservative policies while you still can. The bottom line: He’s not going to win any converts. If the GOP takes back the White House, it’ll be because Obama somehow blew it, not because Romney talked centrists into embracing moving right.

Update: Good lord. It really is Stupor Tuesday.

Update: It’s 7 p.m. and all’s well for Newt. He’s won Georgia. A mild surprise in Virginia and Vermont, though — Fox News says they’re both too close to call. Remember, only Ron Paul was on the Virginia ballot with Romney; right now Fox says he’s running a “strong second.” Hmmmm. Revisit this old post from January speculating that Paul would do much better head to head against Romney, if only as a protest vote against his inevitability, than people expected. Needless to say, if he shocked the world by knocking off Mitt in a key swing state like VA, it would shatter Romney’s narrative tomorrow about Republicans coming around to him as nominee.

Update: A splash of cold water from Dave Weigel: Apparently, Virginia exit polls show Romney winning … 63/37. Is that possible? Surely the networks wouldn’t say that race is too close to call.

Update: So much for “too close to call.” At 7:18, Fox and NBC both call Virginia for Romney. I’m curious to see the final margin.

Update: Ten minutes later, despite another fleeting challenge from Paul, Romney wins in his backyard of Vermont.

Update: CNN.com now has links posted on its front page to exit polls from Virginia, Georgia, Vermont — and Ohio. In Ohio, Romney and Santorum are dead even at 36 percent among men but Mitt wins women by three points. Not sure how that adds up to the four-point win that CNN is projecting (40/36), but there you go. The killer data bite:

This one’s fascinating too:

You would think older voters might gravitate to the more socially conservative Santorum, but nope. Unsurprisingly, electability was the most important quality to a plurality of voters (42 percent) and Romney wins that 53/27. On the question of who’s the true conservative, Santorum wins 50/13.

Update: Here’s the Romney vs. Paul Virginia exit poll. Not surprisingly, Paul wins younger voters, unmarrieds, and independents. Mitt wins most everyone else, and on the electability question, wins 84/16. Looks like he’s headed for 20-point or so win.

Update: It’s 8 p.m. and two more races are promptly called, Massachusetts for Romney and, surprisingly, Oklahoma for Santorum. Santorum was supposed to win there but it wasn’t a mortal lock. Stand by for exit polls.

Update: And here’s the Oklahoma exit poll now. Newt and Mitt each took roughly 25 percent of men and women and Santorum cleaned up with the rest. It’s worth clicking through and scrolling down to see how remarkably consistent he was across all sorts of demographics. In Ohio, he and Romney predictably split the vote among those without and with college degrees, but in Oklahoma, Santorum won both groups easily. The two notable areas in which Romney beat him are among those who said a candidate’s religious beliefs matter not much or not at all and, of course, on electability. White evangelicals made up 72 percent of the electorate; Santorum beat Romney 41/24 among them.

Update: Big news for Santorum given the grimness of those Ohio numbers: He’s on track to win Tennessee by four or five points according to their exit poll. Again he wins both college grads and non-grads, and again he crushes Romney among the heavy “white evangelical” majority (73 percent) of the electorate. Interesting:

As usual, Romney’s the runaway winner on electability and Santorum’s the runaway winner on who’s the true conservative.

Update: The Examiner’s Mark Tapscott flags this tasty tidbit from the Massachusetts exit poll. Yes, granted, Romney is cruising, but note the results in the first column here:

Fully half of Republican primary voters in Massachusetts say RomneyCare went too far.

Update: Assuming all the exit polls hold, what’s Newt’s argument for going forward with his campaign? He won South Carolina six weeks ago and tonight he won his home state, but he lost Florida badly and now, apparently, he’s set to lose Tennessee too. Santorum at least has appeal beyond a single region: He’s won in the midwest, he’s poised to win in the south, and thanks to Oklahoma, he’s got a win in the gateway to the southwest too. He won’t win the nomination but as a Not Romney he’s got wider reach than Gingrich seems to have.

Update: At 8:35 ET, NBC calls Tennessee for Santorum. Big win. And given how close the exits are in Ohio, he’s still got a shot there too.

Update: The mood of primary voters in one line, per this depressing WSJ piece: “We don’t have great choices, but it’s anyone but Obama for me.”

Update: Philip Klein looks at Romney’s take among evangelical voters tonight and finds … it ain’t good:

OHIO: Santorum 47%, Romney 31%

TENNESSEE: Santorum 40%, Romney 24%, Gingrich 24%

OKLAHOMA: Santorum 41%, Romney 24%, Gingrich 24%

Says Klein, “The bottom line: evangelicals are still soft on Romney, and where they make up a critical mass of the electorate, he loses.” Fair enough, but the south is a cinch to stay red no matter who the nominee is against O. Then again, when you put it this way, is does seem absurd, doesn’t it?

Update: Ohio’s the cliffhanger of the evening so let’s start paying attention. With a little more than 11 percent in, it’s Santorum who leads by nearly 2,000 votes.

Update: Santorum’s lead is now nearly 5,000 votes with nearly 14 percent in, but use Google’s election map and zoom in on the state to see the district-by-district voting. The urban areas like Cleveland and Cincinnati where Romney is typically strong have barely started reporting yet. He’ll pile up votes there once they start coming in.

Update: David Frum, Romney fan, isn’t happy with what he sees:

This is shaping up as a scary night for those who think that Mitt Romney is the only conceivable Republican nominee in 2012. The Republican Party does not agree. Not winning Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma … that’s troubling. There’s still no path for anybody else to the Republican nomination. But ouch, ouch, ouch, what a bumpy path for the guy it’s going to have to be.

I can give him a pass on Georgia because it’s Newt’s home state but Tennessee would have been a huge narrative-builder for Romney as proof that he can win in the south. (The real south, not Florida.) As it is, it’s just one reminder after another that deep red states don’t trust him.

Update: More than 26 percent reporting in Ohio now and Santorum leads by 13,000 votes. And yet … still no numbers from the cities. There’s going to be a big swing towards Romney once they come in. Only question is how big.

Update: Virginia is nearly entirely in now and, with 99.8 percent reporting, Ron Paul’s managed to take 40.6 percent from the presumptive nominee. (In my post in January, I said, “Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the margin is closer to 10-15 points than 30.”)

Update: Ben Domenech: “If you are struggling to beat *Rick Santorum* in Ohio, you are not a strong campaign.”

Update: Shortly after 10 p.m. ET, there’s been a surge in returns from Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located. With 40.8 percent reporting, Romney leads Santorum there 47/31, a margin of 7,000 votes. That’s a lot, but statewide Santorum still leads by more than 10,000; in fact, as of 20 minutes ago, Nate Silver gave him a 60-70 percent chance of holding on to win. That seems overly optimistic to me given that Hamilton County, which contains Cincinnati, has barely started reporting yet.

Update: And there’s another state for Santorum: With more than 50 percent reporting, CNN calls North Dakota for him. Go look at the Google Elections map. Middle America is getting purpler with each primary.

Update: More than 65 percent reporting now in Ohio and Santorum’s 15,000-vote lead is steady. Lots of Cuyahoga County is still out but Hamilton County is nearly 50 percent in and his lead there is only 4,000 votes. Is he really going to lose both of the jump-ball states on what was supposed to be coronation night?

John Fund wonders how a guy whose campaign is so well-armed can fare this badly:

He lost Oklahoma to Rick Santorum, despite the endorsement of the state’s most popular politician — populist U.S. senator Tom Coburn.

He won Virginia, where his only opponent was Ron Paul, by only 59 percent to 41 percent. He lost significant cities ranging from upper-crust Charlottesville to working-class Lynchburg.

Late-reporting urban areas may still give Romney a win in Ohio, but it is striking that he is struggling so much in a state where he carpet-bombed Rick Santorum the way he did. And in Ohio — unlike Michigan — there was no semi-organized effort among Democrats to embarrass him by casting votes for Santorum. Romney won among those voters who saw electability in November as their prime concern; his problem was that many voters had other priorities. Evangelicals continued to resist him, as did many blue-collar workers and the most conservative of voters.

Romney should consider himself very, very lucky that Santorum couldn’t organize well enough to get on the ballot in Virginia. If he had beaten Romney there too — and that’s entirely possible given that he would have swept up Paul’s protest vote plus some reluctant Paul-hating Romney voters — the headlines tomorrow about Mitt dropping not one but two crucial swing states would have been disastrous.

Update: Another chunk of Hamilton County just came back and put a dent in Santorum’s lead. He’s down to 7,000 votes statewide with still more than half of Cuyahoga to come.

Update: And just like that, Santorum’s lead is down to 2,000 votes. 77 percent of precincts have reported but still nothing new from Cuyahoga. Romney suddenly looks like he’s in good shape to win. And if Santorum does hold on, he might owe it to … Democrats:

According to exit polls, Democrats constituted 5 percent of the Ohio primary electorate, and 45 percent of them voted for Mr. Santorum. Just 25 percent voted for Mitt Romney.

That translates roughly into a 1 or 2 percentage point bump for Mr. Santorum.

Update: Comeback complete. According to CNN’s ticker, with 86 percent in, Romney now leads by less than 2,000 votes. Another chunk of Cuyahoga county came back and propelled him to the top. And 40 percent of the precincts there still have yet to report.

Update: More good news for Romney: NBC just projected that he’ll win the Idaho caucuses. 32 more delegates.

Update: With 88 percent in, Romney now leads by 5,000 votes. Scroll through CNN’s table of Ohio counties and you’ll see that the only ones where any significant number of votes are still to come in are Romney counties, capped of course by Cuyahoga. Realistically, there’s no way for Santorum to come back. I’d be surprised if we don’t get a call from the networks soon.

Update: I didn’t see it but Andrew Kaczynski says Erick Erickson acknowledged on CNN a few minutes ago that Romney will be the nominee.

Update: It’s a quarter to midnight on the east coast and there’s still no call in Ohio, but like I said above, it’s a done deal. It’s amusing as a political junkie to watch a few thousand votes in a few counties reshape an entire national narrative. Had Mitt dropped this state and Tennessee and Oklahoma, I thought we’d finally see the long-promised round of “panicked GOP establishment looks to replace Romney with white knight” stories that were on tap in case he lost Michigan to Santorum. As it is, there’ll be plenty of well deserved doomsaying tomorrow about Romney struggling to beat a bare-bones operation like Team Sweater Vest in a key battleground state despite a huge financial advantage, but it’ll all be tempered by the fact that (a) Romney did in fact win and (b) he continues to pile up delegates, to the point where Gingrich and Santorum are fighting on to no realistic end except possibly to deny him an outright majority, which won’t make much of a difference at the convention anyway. (Caveat: Team Santorum tells NBC that they’re going to start pressuring Newt to drop out, which is the last best hope of keeping things interesting.) Regardless of what happens in Ohio, though, the fundamentals of the race are clear enough: An awful lot of Republicans, especially in the south, clearly have no confidence in Romney, and Team Mitt just as clearly is unperturbed by the fact. All they need to do is get to 1,144 — if the only way is to carpet-bomb the opposition until they all seem as ideologically suspect as Romney is, so be it — and then the incantation of “Anybody but Obama” will work its magic to guarantee turnout in November. It’s a brute test of wills with conservatives and they’re winning. Barely, but still. In its own way, it’s really impressive.

Update: And there you go. At 12:33 ET, CNN finally calls Ohio for Romney.


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submit. that is all. thank you.

gatorboy on March 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

DURRRRR how du wy talk abut Stuporrrr 2sdae?!?!?!?

The Nerve on March 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Headline of the year.

meci on March 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

did people really bother to go vote? Peeps were really complaining about the negative ads on Rush’s show today.

karenhasfreedom on March 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

But when asked which candidate best understands average Americans’ problems, Santorum wins 32/23.

Cuz we’re always electing a therapist-in-chief. How about asking who best understands Americans’ ambitions?

Rational Thought on March 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

If Obama really wanted to face Romney, he wouldnt be so obvious about it. Obama knew exactly what he was doing by wishing Romney “good luck.” Just like Mark Halperin did this morning claiming Obama has a “mountain” of oppo research on Romney. Yeah, ok then. If they wanted to face Romney so bad, they wouldnt have launched whichmitt.com, Axlerod and the rest wouldnt be going after him like they are and they wouldnt be forecasting how much “oppo” they have on him. They are trying to hurt him going into today. Beyond obvious what the Chicago squad is doing.

nswider on March 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Mitt catches MS from his wife Ann (it’s highly contagious, you know), and drops out of the race, and Sarah Palin jumps in and becomes the new frontrunner.

Paul-Cincy on March 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Standard “Drinking Game” rules apply ladies and gentlemen…

… Extra shots if anyone brings up the “War on Women” tonight.

(Hang in there Newt…!!!)

:)

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Polls get stranger and stranger..no one caring any more about most of them. Tiresome and pesty.

jeanie on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

My favorite poll — if the election were held today, no one would show up, because the election isn’t for another 9 months.

Paul-Cincy on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Polls get stranger and stranger..no one caring any more about most of them. Tiresome and pesty.

jeanie on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Sleepy time for Newt.

Newt sleeps at AIPAC

NickDeringer on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Just voted here in Falls Church, VA (Romney). They told me they wanted to keep the totals on the 2 machines “about even”. I was #22 on the machine where I voted at about 6:15PM – that’s from all day. I don’t know what’s normal turnout.

They also do paper ballots, so I’m not sure how many more of those they have. But, I think it’s reasonable to say there were probably about 60 votes all day until the time I arrived. I realize I live in the soviet part of the state….

The Count on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Somehow I find it hard to believe that Democrats were considering the Republican until they learned more about them and now they think Obama is better… Right…

sandee on March 6, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I hate to even ask, but do you even consider using da humpbot tonight?

ted c on March 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

LOL Stupor Tuesday! From the old Daffy Duck cartoon I guess.

bgibbs1000 on March 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Just voted here in Falls Church, VA (Romney). They told me they wanted to keep the totals on the 2 machines “about even”. I was #22 on the machine where I voted at about 6:15PM – that’s from all day. I don’t know what’s normal turnout.

The Count on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

In Ohio over lunch, the place was deserted.

Paul-Cincy on March 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

I am SO ready for this primary to be over, and to have this instead focus on Obama’s record.

ZachV on March 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Remember, it doesn’t matter who the nominee is. We have to vote for him. Why? Because the Supreme Court is up for grabs in the next 4 years. You think things are terrible now? If more liberal judges are appointed to the court, things are going to be a lot worse.

Also, prod your reps to repeal ObamaCare.

Mirimichi on March 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Allah, tomorrow, please consider a righteous comedy gold post. Brutha man, it’s time…..

ted c on March 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

I didn’t need to take the time in JUNE to vote anyways I guess.

MontanaMmmm on March 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

if Romney rolls, this may well be the last night of election returns you need to follow until November. Yay, Mitt?

The fat lady hasn’t even woken up yet.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Man, Allah’s not pulling out any stops with his Mitt pile on tonight. He’s really giving it just about everything he’s got. In fact, he and Jazz have been especially active on the ‘throw every possible thing Romney’s said or has had said about him tonight in a negative spin’ front tonight.

Taking bets on whether they’re inhaling a gallon of ice cream right now?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

AP, thank god you’re here.

JFS61 on March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

AP, you are going to have a bad evening.

Sorry.

But, winners win, losers whine and blame the media, and geeks fall asleep and use the word “fundamental” a lot.

Jailbreak on March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

AP, thank god you’re here.

JFS61 on March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Even though he puts up with a lot of foolishness, you’re right.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:40 PM

NickDeringer on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Sleepin’ standin’ uup?!? Thasis liek ummm wow, liek um, one of them um flamingoes or somethin’ liek that.

The Nerve on March 6, 2012 at 6:41 PM

So after tonight we give up and focus on the House and Senate, agreed?

ThePrez on March 6, 2012 at 6:41 PM

So many polls! My head hurts!

why why why? When we know they are completely inaccurate.

Romney will be the nominee, and Obama will lose. <= Period

kirkill on March 6, 2012 at 6:41 PM

here’s The One wishing Romney well at today’s presser. He seems pretty excited to face him. I wonder why.

Because he’s a passive-aggressive narcissistic prince, who knows another to perfection.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Kensington on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

yeah, but you better eat your peas!

kirkill on March 6, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Well, at least this is Mitt’s last turn. Hopefully we survive until 2016

Southernblogger on March 6, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Remember when we lived in a country where the government couldn’t force you to buy health insurance? I’m going to miss that.

And I’m really going to savor living in a country where the government doesn’t force you to eat brussel sprouts, either. For as long as I can.

Kensington on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Quote: “we are going to give away the most important issue in this election.” B-b-b-but, electability!

But it’s not the most important issue in this election. The economy ranks highest on the list of what concerns people most, as it should.

changer1701 on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

So after tonight we give up and focus on the House and Senate, agreed?

ThePrez on March 6, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Agreed.

Mirimichi on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Remember when we lived in a country where the government couldn’t force you to buy health insurance?

Kensington on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

No but I remember I didn’t have to buy car insurance. THOSE were the days! Just me my horse and my buggy.

hanzblinx on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Wow, Greg Hengler is so dumb he actually believes the spin from Obama. Does he believe everything Obama says or just about who he wants to face in the election. What. a. dummy.

Jailbreak on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Mirimichi on March 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Unless it`s a veto-proof majority, it`s pretty much pointless as well.

ThePrez on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Just voted here in Falls Church, VA (Romney). They told me they wanted to keep the totals on the 2 machines “about even”. I was #22 on the machine where I voted at about 6:15PM – that’s from all day. I don’t know what’s normal turnout.

I went to vote at 5:00 PM and was number 19 at my Virginia precinct. A poll worker told me they were open for an hour and a half before the first voter appeared.

Christina_M on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Hey AP: Is Curl still curled up in a fetal position?

galtani on March 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Stinky Tuesday is more like it.

Mitt perfumed the land, mixed with horseturd whiff.

A platinum/gold gilded horseturd wreath still stinks.

Axelturd will run Obama to the right of Mitt, because he can.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I know I intend to get wasted before tonight’s fun. Anyone else?

MadisonConservative on March 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

“rapidly approaching the moment when criticizing Romney will be treated as high treason on the right”

…it might be time time to accept that charge for the sake of voting values over party

deuce on March 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Just did my duty in Ohio and have a bottle of Malbec handy.

antisense on March 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Exit poll show Romney winning Catholics by 9% in OH and tied at 39% with those very conservative with Santorum. Looks like it is going to be a good night for Mitt.

tpw on March 6, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Man, Allah’s not pulling out any stops with his Mitt pile on tonight. He’s really giving it just about everything he’s got. In fact, he and Jazz have been especially active on the ‘throw every possible thing Romney’s said or has had said about him tonight in a negative spin’ front tonight.

Taking bets on whether they’re inhaling a gallon of ice cream right now?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

And doing so without making the case for an alternative. The defeatism among the base and right-leaning blogs is nauseating.

changer1701 on March 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Currently, 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better.

Who writes this rubbish? Democrats have no spine, no conviction – they stand for nothing! Of course the lemmings are going to follow the president no matter what he does to our country.

VibrioCocci on March 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I went to vote at 5:00 PM and was number 19 at my Virginia precinct. A poll worker told me they were open for an hour and a half before the first voter appeared.

Christina_M on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I voted at around 8:30 AM at my rural VA precinct and it was a ghost town…absolutely no other voters, which has never happened. I don’t know what number I was, but had to be among the first few.

changer1701 on March 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

We should be first to propose a Republican plan to bring health insurance to all Americans, one based on market dynamics, free choice, and personal responsibility. I think what we did in Massachusetts is a good model to start from, but whatever direction we take, let’s not simply react to what the Democrats do. Their own plan would undoubtedly create a vast new system of costly entitlements and bureaucratic dictates, burdening the people and threatening the economy. Americans will be looking for a better alternative. Let’s give it to them.

OMG. Blockbuster!/

Buy Danish on March 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

changer1701 on March 6, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Yeah, I think I could stand it all if they weren’t being so utterly nihilist about all this. At least Ed and Tina when they have their posts are one actually pretty balanced with what they say about Mitt (I can’t imagine that Ed would view Romney’s ‘I’m not going to say anything outrageous’ statement as negatively as Jazz tried to make it out to be) and have a candidate they’re willing to push. Even then they’re ready and willing to line up behind Mitt if he wins.

Allah and Jazz are just pissing and moaning without putting forth an alternative that isn’t totally rock stupid (i.e., brokered convention. I’m sorry, but they have to know it’s a stupid idea that will turn out just about a million times worse than whatever we’re facing with the current field). Apparently they’ve never heard the statement ‘march with the army you’ve got, not the one you wish you had’.

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Prediction:

Romney wins the give-me states of Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.

He then edges Santorum in both Ohio and Tennessee and narrowly misses beating him in Oklahoma.

Romney finishes second in Georgia with about 28% of the vote.

Romney then proceeds to win everywhere else: ND, Idaho and Alaska.

Santorum drops out and Gingrich is for all intents and purposes the only conservative left in the race. But it won’t matter. The Mitt Romney train is now picking up steam and roaring down the tracks at a thousand miles an hour with the GOP establishment and the MSM completely on board his train.

And more conservatives, evangelicals and TP supporters will now be completely on board with Mitt.

Mitt Romney will win the nomination in regulation time and lose to Obama in a close election in the fall.

technopeasant on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Sounds like Newt is determined to keep it going…not sure that’s the best idea right now.

Carlos C on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Update: Good lord. It really is Stupor Tuesday.

Good night America. If once couldn’t be apathetic/cynical, one would have to die of a broken heart.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

You guys just absolutely HAVE to toss in some kind of dig against Romney at every single opportunity. I wouldn’t mind if he were back in the pack someplace, but he is going to be our party’s candidate for President. What you are doing is undercutting him from his own side and I have been seeing that here all primary long.

The reason why you are tired of this process is because people have made this process miserable and are likely to continue doing whatever they can to get Obama elected by doing whatever then can do dampen Republican enthusiasm while calling themselves “conservatives”. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

crosspatch on March 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Yay, Mitt?

Nay Mitt.

evergreenland on March 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Delicious tears from AP and and Ed tonight as sweaters ponders the future of his political career. Y u so mad hotair staff?

Maybe you can still vote for santy in the general. Obama could ask him to replace Biden as vp to shore up the union vote.

1984 in real life on March 6, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Santorum went after Romney hard on Laura Ingraham’s show today for his dishonesty about using RomneyCare as a model, saying, “we are going to give away the most important issue in this election.” B-b-b-but, electability!

Absolutely.

And since we’re rapidly approaching the moment when criticizing Romney will be treated as high treason on the right,

Um, why would the Mittens want help from those whom they consider to be stupid, uneducated, idiotic morons? (I know I’ve forgotten a few adjectives).

go ahead and read this excellent Dan McLaughlin piece at Red State analyzing Mitt as a salesman for conservative policies. The bottom line: He’s not going to win any converts. If the GOP takes back the White House, it’ll be because Obama somehow blew it, not because Romney talked centrists into embracing moving right.

Dan McLaughlin did do an excellent job—so much so that I went and looked at the five part series he did on Romney in 2007. I’ve already used some quotes from them in threads.

In fact, this series and the Integrity Gap series he did on Sarah Palin, Obama, Biden & McCain, are both so good he should have gotten serious recognition for them.

INC on March 6, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Unless it`s a veto-proof majority, it`s pretty much pointless as well.

ThePrez on March 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I hear what you are saying, but we have to try.

Mirimichi on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

And since we’re rapidly approaching the moment when criticizing Romney will be treated as high treason on the right, go ahead and read this excellent Dan McLaughlin piece at Red State analyzing Mitt as a salesman for conservative policies while you still can.

That horse picture is soooo telling. If oly it were platinum.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Yeah, yeah. “Mitt Romney’s a wuss, he can’t win, Obama will wreck him, stupid Rinos, Palin’s great, blah blah blah”.

I swear, I’m actually starting to be able to set my watch by how cyclical these lamentations. One of those times I can set my time is “4:00 – Allah starts pissing and moaning about Mitt Romney, other ‘True Cons’ join in”

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

The next few months will be tragic and hilarious.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:39 PM

They’ve really been giving it all they’ve got.

Desperado.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE-U5e78WHc

Syzygy on March 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

MadisonConservative on March 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

You still sober??? I started 2 hours ago. May as well dull the pain.

Southernblogger on March 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

AP headlines, top/center

Heart of election territory: ‘I’m not excited about any of them’

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

shannon76 on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Okay, send us a post card from wherever you’ll be secluding yourself in your own self pity. You won’t be missed.

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

nswider on March 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I swear, Obama would be the worst poker player of all time. The man who says, “I don’t bluff” right before he bluffs. Now he’s dumb enough to look at republican primary voters now and say, “I dont bluff. Really, I want mitt.”

I wonder how many people here on this site would lose to Obama at poker. The comments should make it easy to figure out.

Zetterson on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Here’s what I will offer to my fellow ABR’s…

If our worst dreams our realized…still an IF…but if it does happen, and that RINO d-bag is the nominee, then we have to get behind…..

Oh, who am I kidding, I can’t go along with this. 2012 was supposed to be the year where we had a candidate who, at minimum, could make the case against Obamacare. We have to go into this fight without it…

All I can say is…hope the GOP takes over congress in full, Romney/Rubio beats Obama (which I think is extremely unlikely unless the economy tanks again, gas sustains at $6, and unemployment spikes back over 9%.), scare Romney straight into behaving like an actual *CONSERVATIVE*…and then we have to have a legit candidate from our “deep bench” challenge President Mittens. As in, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, or Allen West.

Here’s hoping Santorum pulls off a surprise tonight.

(BTW..nice to see the ebb and flow of the Mitt-botts coming and disappearing like a Romney flip-flop…here’s hoping you guys focus your annoying and irritating qualities on the Obama-bots..enjoy the fight w/o me).

shannon76 on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I’ll stick with two rather than inundate you.

Why stop now? This has to be some kind of record as the world’s longest primary bender.

/

Christien on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Zetterson on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Yeah. At a table featuring Obama versus the Hot Air crowd, it’s looking like Obama’d go home with all their rent money every single game.

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

The long road to low expectations is paved with the slobber of Mitt botts.

That being said, I congratulate Mitt Romney for being the sacrificial Republican to run against Obama.

portlandon on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Sleepy time for Newt.

Newt sleeps at AIPAC

NickDeringer on March 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM

no, he is just resting his eyes.

cheetah2 on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Mitt Romney will win the nomination in regulation time and lose to Obama in a close election in the fall.

technopeasant on March 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Yep, 51.5% is my guess, unfortunately.

OldEnglish on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Mormon readers, prepare to have your theology laid bare as the Obama machine start talking about LDS like it’s LSD.

You think they won’t stoop that low, look what happened to Catholics last month, and that was only one issue.

The Schaef on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Now that Putin is back we need a VP that can see him from her kitchen window and reads all of them when it comes to newspapers and magazines.

hanzblinx on March 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM

The reason why you are tired of this process is because people have made this process miserable and are likely to continue doing whatever they can to get Obama elected by doing whatever then can do dampen Republican enthusiasm while calling themselves “conservatives”. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

crosspatch on March 6, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Agreed. Well said.

changer1701 on March 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Watch the odd and, awkward clip below via ABC:

I need a drink…

Seven Percent Solution on March 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Romney 99.82%

That’s my call, and I’m sticking with it.

Christien on March 6, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Yeah, yeah. “Mitt Romney’s a wuss, he can’t win, Obama will wreck him, stupid Rinos, Palin’s great, blah blah blah”.

I swear, I’m actually starting to be able to set my watch by how cyclical these lamentations. One of those times I can set my time is “4:00 – Allah starts pissing and moaning about Mitt Romney, other ‘True Cons’ join in”

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Great idea. What time can I usually count on the anti Mormon comments? I love a good stormfront troll

1984 in real life on March 6, 2012 at 7:01 PM

What Newt can’t even get 50% in his home state?

tpw on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Why is this a good thing for the gop?

PappyD61 on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Please.. this is getting old…Try some new material…

sandee on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

The Schaef on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Yes, and Obama ended up quite the success in that round of combat didn’t he?

Oh, no, wait, no he didn’t.

Also, anyone else getting kind of annoyed at how jumbled Hot Air is getting with comments being posted?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Mittbots…….please explain your embrace of the PROGRESSIVE Mitt Romney and tell me why his selection as the nominee or election would be a positive thing for this country?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMcjJEXt9To

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJSHaxRZQVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4DJQo4HjVU&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Over and over and over again Romney tells us he’s a Big Government Solutions Progressive in the Rockefeller/Bush/New England squishy “get along” with the left (cause they are lefties at heart).

Why is this a good thing for the gop?

PappyD61 on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

RP and Mitt too close to call in Va and Vermont. We are really going to nominate Mitt?????????? Bwahahahahaha

Southernblogger on March 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Yeah. At a table featuring Obama versus the Hot Air crowd, it’s looking like Obama’d go home with all their rent money every single game.
WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Not mine. Only the ones who’s otherwise good judgement has been blinded by Romney hatred.

Zetterson on March 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Newtonian won Georgia.

athenadelphi on March 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Okay, send us a post card from wherever you’ll be secluding yourself in your own self pity. You won’t be missed.

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Whatever you say RINO-MITTBOT.

shannon76 on March 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Don’t set your watch based on your discernment. Not a Palin fan here. Just ask the Palin kids.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Just tell me why I don’t like ANY of the people we have? I like Newt because he does take it to the press like Christie but he has thin skin. I hate Romney as he voted for Romneycare the precursor of Obamacare and we can’t hit Obama with the BIGGEST issue if we have Romney. Santorum is a nice guy but he can’t shout loud enough to change the media discourse that pens him in. Getting back to Mitt – he just said he won’t get mean against Obama. well. we just lost to obama. CAN WE GET CHRISTIE??????????

athenadelphi on March 6, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Surely the melting chocolate rabbit will be seen tonight.?.?

Vigilante on March 6, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Also, anyone else getting kind of annoyed at how jumbled Hot Air is getting with comments being posted?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

A little. But for those of us who’ve been here the longest we’re more annoyed with the grating Mittbotts like yourself.

shannon76 on March 6, 2012 at 7:06 PM

[H]ere’s The One wishing Romney well at today’s presser. He seems pretty excited to face him. I wonder why.

.
He seemed pretty smug and smirky about it, too. I wonder if he will be as smug and smirky if Mitt goes all negative on his a$$ or if the Breitbart tapes make his campaign frustrating and unwinnable. Let’s see that smirk, then, Ø.
.
Isn’t it nice to fantasize that our nominee will actually do something to win?

ExpressoBold on March 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

[H]ere’s The One wishing Romney well at today’s presser. He seems pretty excited to face him. I wonder why.

.
He seemed pretty smug and smirky about it, too. I wonder if he will be as smug and smirky if Mitt goes all negative on his a$$ or if the Breitbart tapes make his campaign frustrating and unwinnable. Let’s see that smirk, then, Ø.
.
Isn’t it nice to fantasize that our nominee will actually do something to win?

ExpressoBold on March 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Sorry ExpressBold – your guy Mittens said that he wouldn’t be mean to Obama so Mittens would probably distance himself from the tapes and not use them for traction. We’ve lost with Mittens.

athenadelphi on March 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

hanzblinx on March 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Rent free.
*channeling idesign*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Well, it is what it is. Newt will probably make it numerically impossible for anyone else to get to 1144 tonight. One thing for sure, this experiment to make our primary last as long as the Obama Hillary primary was probably not a good idea.

Rancher on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Also, anyone else getting kind of annoyed at how jumbled Hot Air is getting with comments being posted?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Yes, in addition to the very annoying “you’re posting too fast” when it’s minutes later, and still not able to post.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

In honor of the freaky-deaky time warp, post humpbot, followed by melting bunny…or vice versa.

Christien on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Also, anyone else getting kind of annoyed at how jumbled Hot Air is getting with comments being posted?

WealthofNations on March 6, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Yes! Also, having to circumvent auto-reload!

OldEnglish on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Gingrich winning Georgia isn’t Stupid – it’s great! South Carolina has a buddy on the election map…

The Nerve on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Mitt will make it impossible! PIMF!

Rancher on March 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Now, here it is in 2012 and what is the party poised to do again?

America…………death spiral.

PappyD61 on March 6, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Enjoy the ride, pal. Just be prepared.

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

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