Santorum likely to get Kansas boost today

posted at 10:45 am on March 10, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

There hasn’t been much polling for Kansas’ primary, but that’s probably because there isn’t much doubt about its eventual result.  Rick Santorum has been the only candidate to seriously campaign in the conservative state, and that puts him in position to win today’s proportional-allocation contest:

Rick Santorum is favored to win the Kansas caucuses this weekend, if only by default.

The former Pennsylvania senator’s main rivals have left him pretty much alone to woo the socially conservative voters most likely to turn out for the Sunflower State’s GOP caucus.

While Ron Paul is barnstorming the state on Friday, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both opted to skip last-minute visits to Kansas and instead focus their campaigns on Tuesday’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

“Romney looked at it like Oklahoma — this is all red meat and it’ll be a waste of time,” said former Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Santorum backer and national GOP committeeman.

Thanks to the lack of polling, it’s difficult to see exactly how the vote will roll out today, but Politico’s analysts believe that Santorum will win the popular vote and at least two of the state’s four Congressional districts.  That should give Santorum a nice majority of the 40 delegates, and he may potentially win them all.  That would be a nice feather in his cap and yet another argument that he plays better than Gingrich nationally.  It’s also yet another reminder that since Gingrich pledged to fight in every state after his Florida loss, he’s become an almost exclusively Southern candidate.

On the other end of the spectrum, Romney won the non-binding caucuses of Guam and North Mariana Islands overnight, as Jazz noted earlier:

The clean sweep by Romney in the U.S. territory – one of five that award Republican National Convention delegates in the nomination battle – comes as one of Romney’s sons, Matt, is paying a visit to the island to stump on his dad’s behalf.

Romney’s camp was the only one that sent any surrogates to the distant Pacific island.

In a statement, Mitt Romney called the win “an important milestone in my quest to restore America to the principles and practices that made us great.”

Romney has the resources to have done more campaigning in Kansas, but it was probably smarter to focus on Alabama and Mississippi.  A win in either state would almost certainly be a death knell for Gingrich, and possibly Santorum as well.  Today, though, Rick Santorum should own the headlines for at least a little while, and that might give him a boost in both Southern states as the conservative around which voters can consolidate.

Update: Quin Hillyer reports on an unusual end to a Santorum speech in Alabama yesterday:

Just as candidate Rick Santorum was obviously building up to a compelling “grand finale” today in a speech at the Pavilion of the Battleship USS Alabama in Mobile this morning, there was a commotion in front of him and to his left. A middle-aged black woman had fainted dead-out, flat onto the concrete floor (it was a bit muggy; raining outside). A lot of candidates would have looked out, stopped talking, asked people to go see if she were okay, and then perhaps continued speaking once it was clear that responsible people were seeing to her well-being.

Not Santorum. He stopped his remarks dead in his tracks, just before reaching a planned crescendo:

“Oh — well everybody, thank you and God Bless,” he quickly mumbled, already leaving the podium. And then he leapt down the stairs and rushed to the lady’s aid, just about the fifth person to reach her side.

(The lady was soon back on her feet and emergency medical people were making sure she was okay. Thank goodness, it seemed as if she were indeed okay. Santorum never re-took the podium, instead just wading into the crowd to meet people and shake hands.)


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“40 delegates in toto” made me laugh. Nice one, Ed.

SnarkVader on March 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

a capella on March 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Kansas has an exciting history too. Can’t beat Dodge City for western history.

Lightswitch on March 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Have you ever read the Book of Mormon?

Confutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

No but I’ve seen the play.

EddieC on March 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Heh. That would make you roughly as well informed as someone who has only read “Bored of the Rings” would be in a discussion of the differences between Tolkein’s work and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of it.

Confutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM

does not make me a bigot
liberal4life on March 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM

…since your diaper is on your head…and that IS full…I won’t bother going over numerous instances of your old posts. That’s one benefit when we have a poster like you…that has sh!t for brains!
(We don’t have to bother reminding you…you would forget a minute later if it’s not written down).

KOOLAID2 on March 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

“Oh — well everybody, thank you and God Bless,” he quickly mumbled, already leaving the podium. And then he leapt down the stairs and rushed to the lady’s aid, just about the fifth person to reach her side.

Santorum’s reaction in this circumstance speaks well of his character to me–very decent, appropriate way to handle it.

ghostwriter on March 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

The success depends in part on how long they can keep people from getting curious about what Mormons really believe.

Confutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Really not that much wierder than what most Catholics believe.

JFS61 on March 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Uh, no.

I voted for Mitt last time. His religion wasn’t a factor. Why is Santorum called a bigot? Can someone give me a short explanation?

Lightswitch on March 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

ATTN: ED MORRISSEY and other HotAir Bloggers

This important piece of news deserves a separate post:

With the perception growing that he will be the GOP nominee, Romney leads President Obama by five points in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. Today’s numbers show Romney at 48%, Obama at 43%. That’s Romney’s largest lead since December.

details below…

BREAKING: Romney Beats Obama by 5 in Rasmussen Tracking Poll

bluegill on March 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

This a breaking news? A poll about an election that is still nearly 8 months away?? Sure, if you say so…

ghostwriter on March 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Try again. The fact that you threw this post out from the beginning: “The Mormon is uncomfortable in the Bible belt I hear. He will still be the nominee”, shows you to be a bigot. You weren’t merely pointing out your opinion that Mormonism isn’t Christianity.

Bitter Clinger on March 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Spot on.

ghostwriter on March 10, 2012 at 1:20 PM

The success depends in part on how long they can keep people from getting curious about what Mormons really believe.

Confutus on March 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Really not that much wierder than what most Catholics believe.

JFS61 on March 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I don’t know about that. A lot of the history is in the Book of Mormon is virtually impossible to corroborate historically, and very difficult to recononcile with what we do know. It seems pretty far-fetched, starting with the Book of Mormon popping up in Smith’s hands in the nineteenth century. In contrast, most of the basic history of Catholicism is pretty well-documented, with a pretty well-established historical chain. In a sense Mormonish is to Christianity what the Nation of Islam is to Islam: A fairly recent American innovation in understanding an established religion.

At any rate, none of this matters very much, beyond some interesting historical questions. What does matter is the fruit that is borne of this Mormon faith, and most of it seems pretty good: Decent people living productive lives and raising healthy families. What’s wrong with that? Does belief in the angel Moroni invalidate all of their good works? Does belief in the angel Moroni make them that different from the rest of us?

ghostwriter on March 10, 2012 at 1:34 PM

There’s a lot of religious bigotry on the far fringe of the right. I think everyone knows it. But I also think Romney is the best man for the position of President. Not because of his religious beliefs or his positions on social issues, but because he is an executive that has shown that he can get things done. And he can walk and chew gum at the same time (work on multiple difficult problems at the same time).

I don’t see the social issues right now as the greatest threat to America right now. We don’t have an economy in the toilet and a record debt and deficit because of abortion or contraceptives. We haven’t alienated our allies because of people’s position on gay marriage. We have serious problems and these social values issues are just a distraction. We could end up nominating the wrong man for the wrong reasons.

We need Romney’s experience and ability right now more than we need Santorum’s position on social issues.

crosspatch on March 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Do you believe angel Moroni delivered the plates of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith a few yards from his home?

Nice parry. Whether you or I believe the Book of Mormon or the story of its origin is irrelevant to this particular discussion, and off topic for a political discussion anyway.

What is relevant is that I have read it and know what’s in it. If you have and don’t believe a word, you are at least informed on what it does and doesn’t say, and what Mormons, including Romney, do and don’t believe. If you have not, then you don’t know what you are talking about and can’t even tell honest disagreement from pure lying propaganda.

Confutus on March 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM

The Mormon is uncomfortable in the Bible belt I hear. He will see be the nominee

liberal4life on March 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM

The results of leftie schools, in front of your eyes.

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Ed Morrissey-wants to be Santorums VP. Thats the only reason I can think of.

Gerry-mittbot-knows Ed is delusional

gerrym51 on March 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Ed is not delusional, but you are.

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Emperor Norton on March 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Thanks for the answer.

Lightswitch on March 10, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Marxism is a cult too.

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Mormonism is one of Romney’s assets. There are 1001 reasons to be against him, not this one.

Unless one is for sharia, it s/b no one’s business what people’s religions are, or aren’t.

Lefties are the most illiberal of all the people on Earth.

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Mormonism is one of Romney’s assets.

It’s irrelevant to me, but the dems will use it. Of course, Obama will go out there and say there is no place for religious bigotry. Meanwhile, his buddies will do the work for him.

Lightswitch on March 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Santi up over 20 pints, race will likey be called early…

http://www.policymic.com/articles/5277/live-kansas-caucus-results-ron-paul-aims-for-first-win/latest_articles

MGardner on March 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Great summation of the meaning of places like Guam and M. Islands:

“But Romney’s sweeps in the obscure caucuses are part of the reason that the Republican professional class has begun to write off the nomination. With the exception of a strong showing in the non-binding Minnesota caucuses, the victories of Romney’s main rival, Rick Santorum, have been symbolic; Romney’s victories and second-place finishes have brought him the currency of the nomination fight, delegates.

Now Romney, with 481 delegates by the Washington Post’s (necessarily fuzzy) count, has more than his rivals’ combined, and more than twice what Santorum has. As the race wears on, delegates matter more and momentum matters less.

Here’s a list that illustrates that point: These are the states in order of the margin between Romney and Santorum. This isn’t a perfect measure — Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are excluded, but their delegates too go to the convention, and what’s more many delegates aren’t technically “bound” to a candidate but it’s an illustration of how Romney is putting Santorum away.

Florida: Romney +50
Virginia: Romney +43
Massachusetts: Romney +41
Minnesota: Santorum +37
Idaho: Romney +32
Arizona: Romney +29
Washington: Romney +25
Tennessee: Santorum +15
Ohio: Romney +14
Georgia: Romney +12
Maine: Romney +12
Nevada: Romney +11
Northern Marianas: Romney +9
Guam: Romney +9
Colorado: Santorum +9
New Hampshire: Romney +7
Vermont: Romney +5
South Carolina: Romney +2
North Dakota: Santorum +4
Iowa: Santorum +2
Michigan: Romney +2
Alaska: Romney +1
Oklahoma: Santorum +1
Santorum’s big win in Iowa is near the bottom; his upset victory in North Dakota is basically a curiousity. Romney, meanwhile, won a huge delegate cache from his boring triumphs in Massachusetts and Virginia, and from his sweep in the obscure and complex Idaho caucuses. His two wins in the Pacific Islands this week mean more than Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, and North Dakota combined.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/how-mitt-guamney-is-putting-santorum-away

THIS. is how you run a Presidential campaign.

So even IF Santorum picks up 40 delegates really his NET gain will be approx 20-22 because of Romney’s 18 last night. So RS is not going to gain the nomination this route. :o)

g2825m on March 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Another reason, like my post at 2:31pm shows, is why you CANNOT pick and choose which states you want to run in as NG and RS have done. This is NO WAY to run a NATIONAL campaign and expect to also be a leader of our country. It almost gives the appearance of how the Dems run a campaign by sticking to CA, IL, NY, NJ, WA, OR, MA, RI, CT, MI and pulling out the nomination…our candidates are aiming for the BIG delegate states while ignoring campaigning for ALL Republicans except for Romney.

g2825m on March 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

I’ve noticed a phenomenon Santorum’s folks may well want to exploit. It could win the nomination for him. When Santorum faces no challenge, he wins. Remember when he won Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado when he campaigned almost unopposed? Awesome. And now he’s all alone in Kansas. I’d bet money on him. I would.

jan3 on March 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

I’ve noticed a phenomenon Santorum’s folks may well want to exploit. It could win the nomination for him. When Santorum faces no challenge, he wins. Remember when he won Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado when he campaigned almost unopposed? Awesome. And now he’s all alone in Kansas. I’d bet money on him. I would.

jan3 on March 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Yet somehow he won Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and North Dakota with opposition. And Romney won Guam unopposed. Some phenomenon you’ve stumble onto there.

Bitter Clinger on March 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Russell County Republican caucus results: Rick Santorum 52, Ron Paul 15, Newt Gingrich 30, Mitt Romney 30, Hermam Cain 4, Uncommitted 2. Total 133 Plus one provisional ballot that will be counted in Topeka because that person wasn’t registered for Russell County (Lincoln county didn’t have a caucus today, so I think that person came to Russell County from there.)

cptacek on March 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I’ve noticed a phenomenon Santorum’s folks may well want to exploit. It could win the nomination for him. When Santorum faces no challenge, he wins. Remember when he won Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado when he campaigned almost unopposed? Awesome. And now he’s all alone in Kansas. I’d bet money on him. I would.

jan3 on March 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

There is no one there bc the other candidates internal polls showed they would lose…

MGardner on March 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Romney wins Wyoming and US Territories = Yawn

Santorum wins Kansas = Political triumph of the new millenia

JFS61 on March 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Fun Fact of the day…Santorum gets 30 out of Kansas. Romney gets about 20 out of Wyoming. Romney gets 18 out of Guam and Marianas and coming up on another 9 in the Virgin Islands. Add it up…Romney is closer to the nomination at the end of the day and enhances his delegate lead.
Competence.

camaraderie on March 10, 2012 at 6:25 PM

To call Iowa a win for Santorum is a stretchfact.

galtani on March 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Already indulging in conspiracy theories?

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 10, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Fun Fact of the day…Santorum gets 30 out of Kansas. Romney gets about 20 out of Wyoming. Romney gets 18 out of Guam and Marianas and coming up on another 9 in the Virgin Islands. Add it up…Romney is closer to the nomination at the end of the day and enhances his delegate lead.
Competence.

camaraderie on March 10, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Doesn’t HotAir care about their friends in Wyoming? If we’re going to talk about conspiracy theories, I will say this- I live in Kansas, and there was nothing on the news or in the Kansas City Star about today’s caucus, BUT my neighbors church had two bus’s to take members to the caucus. Santorum’s fans are loyal, I’ll give them that.

BettyRuth on March 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

BREAKING: Romney Beats Obama by 5 in Rasmussen Tracking Poll
bluegill on March 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

.
Drama queen.

listens2glenn on March 10, 2012 at 8:17 PM

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