Two man race?

posted at 8:40 am on March 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That’s the question coming from the media today after Rick Santorum unexpectedly won both Southern primaries last night.  Santorum won Alabama by six points over Gingrich, who barely edged past Romney for second place by 1,318 votes, and surprised everyone by winning Mississippi by two points over Gingrich.  Romney’s third-place finish in both gave a black eye to Romney, who had appeared to be winning in Mississippi in the last few days, although Romney went on to win the caucuses in Hawaii by 20 points, and in American Samoa as well.

While Gingrich reiterated that he won’t quit, Matt Lewis says it’s time for him to get out:

At least twice during this GOP primary season, former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign was left for dead. He impressively battled back — against the odds — each time. For demonstrating toughness — and for always injecting energy and new ideas into the GOP debate — Gingrich has earned our respect.

But there won’t be another comeback. Not this year, at least. Having lost two southern states tonight — ostensibly the geographic bloc that should be his base — the time has come for Gingrich to exit the race. …

Newt Gingrich surprised us all by taking a shoestring campaign all the way into March of 2012. He won South Carolina, and his home state of Georgia. He should be proud of the campaign he has run. But if he wants to remain proud of his efforts, it’s important to go out in a classy manner.

The rest of the media isn’t waiting for a concession speech.  The Washington Post has already declared it a two-man race, “symbolically”:

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s twin wins in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday night are almost certain to give him what he has long wanted: A one-on-one race with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The victories by Santorum came in the political backyard of Newt Gingrich and are likely to symbolically — if not literally — end the former speaker’s hopes in the race.

CBS believes that last night sent the Matt Lewis message to both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, and predicts a groundswell among conservatives to rally around Santorum:

Before Newt Gingrich emerged Tuesday night in Birmingham to address supporters following his losses in Mississippi and Alabama, his wife Callista introduced him as “the next president of the United States.”

At this point, you have to wonder if even she still believes it.

Gingrich has won just two states in this primary process, and on Tuesday night he lost the two contests that he needed to win to have any chance to rejuvenate his campaign. Rick Santorum has now unambiguously claimed the mantle of consensus conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, and the race has now been transformed into a two-man battle for delegates, with Gingrich and Ron Paul on the outside looking in.

That’s not how Gingrich says he sees it, of course. In his remarks Tuesday, he dismissed the “elite media” for the coming calls to drop out and vowed to stay in the race until the nominating convention. However, it’s worth noting that the most important calls for Gingrich to exit will likely come not from the media, but the conservative establishment, which will now rally unambiguously behind Santorum.

National Journal thinks it’s a two-man race as well, but that Santorum is still in trouble:

Alabama and Mississippi threw former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum a lifeline Tuesday, knocking Newt Gingrich on his heels and the Republican presidential nomination at least temporarily out of Mitt Romney’s reach.

The twin Southern victories will help Santorum frame the contest going forward as a two-man race against Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has won more states and delegates than any other candidate.

Gingrich, who tried to position himself as the South’s prodigal son after winning South Carolina and his home state of Georgia, will face mounting pressure to exit the race. The former House speaker spent more time in Alabama and Mississippi than any of his rivals. But Santorum has stolen Gingrich’s base out from under him, having also defeated him last week in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

“No question, Santorum has emerged as the conservative challenger to Romney, while Romney remains a weak front-runner no matter how you play the expectations,” said Greg Mueller, a conservative Republican strategist. “He is having trouble energizing conservatives when choices like Santorum and Gingrich are in the race.”

Will this be a two-man race?  I don’t see Gingrich departing before Louisiana on the 24th.  After that, there is a ten-day stretch in which Gingrich will have time to reconsider his chances in the race and think about how much cash he has left.  Santorum already had a small polling lead in Louisiana, and the results from Mississippi and Alabama are likely to enhance his standing in the state, and Romney will almost certainly spend a lot of money in his last chance to win a Deep South state for another two months.  Gingrich might not even place second in Louisiana.

Nevertheless, for all intents and purposes this has become a two-man race, regardless of how many others stick around.  Gingrich’s only chance left was to win the South and then argue that Republicans couldn’t win in November with a nominee who couldn’t win in Dixie.  Now that Santorum has won three states in the South (he won Tennessee last week) to Gingrich’s two, Santorum prevails even on Ginrich’s best argument.  I’d expect to hear that Gingrich will suspend his campaign sometime in the final week of March.


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gryphon, even though Obama will get his base, I’m counting on the bloom being off the rose as far as moderates and independents are concerned. Gas and grocery prices affect almost everybody. I got milk on sale this morning for 3 bucks. Whoop-dee-do.

Lightswitch on March 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Which reminds me…I have to change my voter registration before the end of March if I want to vote in my state’s closed primaries. I change it back right afterward. ;-)

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

gryphon, even though Obama will get his base, I’m counting on the bloom being off the rose as far as moderates and independents are concerned. Gas and grocery prices affect almost everybody. I got milk on sale this morning for 3 bucks. Whoop-dee-do.

Lightswitch on March 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

I wish I could believe that you were right. But that we are even debating which of our candidates could or couldn’t beat Obama, and debating over whether that should influence our voting decisions or not? I don’t hold out a lot of hope. Too much information overload out there.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Romney ain’t gonna get 1144. Many Romney supporters think and hope that it’ll happen, but it won’t. And I anticipate a brokered convention. And we’ll need someone to unite the party.

tommy71 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

This is a trick question.

what does ID,MO,WYO,UT,AR,ND,SD,NEB,KAN,OK,TX,MI,ARK,LA,MISS,WVA,KY,TN,ALA,GA,SC,ALASKA have in common.

drumroll please.

They are all the states that voted for the HATED John McCain in 2008 in his race against OBAMA.

This is when OBAMA was at his highest most favorable point.

Is there any doubt that WHOEVER is the nominee will get those states this time around.

We must pick the nominee who has the best chance of winning IN THE OTHER STATES.

MY opinion is that its Romney.

gerry-mittbot

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

An independent is usually someone who- does not want to be defined by either organization – and who are not sold on the “brand”

FlaMurph on March 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Romney getting a third of the vote in MS & AL (Santorum only got a little more than a third of the vote as well) does not equate to a “candidate who can’t win Dixie” in the GE & anyone who believes it does needs their heads examined. What’s going to happen in the GE, Dixie is going to vote for Obama? LMFAO. Um, No. It isn’t the reliably red state people need to be concerned with re: the GE; it is the Independent votes in the swing state. And Santorum ain’t winning those in the GE.

Dark Star on March 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

An independent is usually someone who- does not want to be defined by either organization – and who are not sold on the “brand”

FlaMurph on March 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

But you just told me they don’t belong to either party. Which technically, I don’t. So your definition apparently doesn’t hold true. The “independents” that we’re supposed to try to court, to the best of my knowledge, don’t like being defined as “liberal” or “conservative.” And there’s the rub. They aren’t a monolithic voting bloc, and pandering to them is a waste of time in my not-so-humble opinion.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Yeah, sorry. It’s pretty desperate.

cicerone on March 14, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Not as desperate as you calling people who won’t support your boy “anti-Romney paranoids.” You’re encouraging people to reject Romney with that kind of rhetoric.

JannyMae on March 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Well I am not a registered member of a political party. It says “independent” on my voter registration card. It’d sure be nice if the “indie” bootlickers were worried about courting me.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

So being an independent, you’ll go for the least principled, most wishy-washy candidate?

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

This is a trick question.

what does ID,MO,WYO,UT,AR,ND,SD,NEB,KAN,OK,TX,MI,ARK,LA,MISS,WVA,KY,TN,ALA,GA,SC,ALASKA have in common.

drumroll please.

They are all the states that voted for the HATED John McCain in 2008 in his race against OBAMA.

This is when OBAMA was at his highest most favorable point.

Is there any doubt that WHOEVER is the nominee will get those states this time around.

We must pick the nominee who has the best chance of winning IN THE OTHER STATES.

MY opinion is that its Romney.

gerry-mittbot

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

That’s a really good point, Gerry. Thing is, some of those states have held their primaries. Others haven’t. I’m telling you, it’s not over.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

mountainaires on March 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Typical lieing piece of sh*t romneycare supporter. You write;

Fact:

Total Votes: Romney ahead in popular vote by 1,190,120 votes

Romney 3,472,365
Santorum 2,282,245
Newt: 947,207

No Goebbals, the ACTUAL total vote is;

Romney 3,472,365
Santorium 2,282,245
newt 2,101,951

Newt & santorium combined have close to a million more votes than romneycare. While both have been outspent by romneycare substantially!

When you have to lie to make a point, your binky is in the toilet1

Danielvito on March 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM

So being an independent, you’ll go for the least principled, most wishy-washy candidate?

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Nope. I reject the premise of the defining independents as “someone who doesn’t belong to a political party.” And though I live in a closed-primary state, I still have time to switch my affiliation. I register as an independent primarily so that I don’t get franked mail from my congressional delegation. That crap annoys the shit out of me.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Not at all. Romney got the most delegates yesterday. The only thing “hard” about the spin cycle today is that certain people insist on downplaying that REALITY.

cicerone on March 14, 2012 at 9:25 AM

And if Romney won both states and Santorum had gotten more of the delegates you would be spinning it the opposite way. Reality? I don’t think you’re too familiar with it.

JannyMae on March 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

This is a trick question.

what does ID,MO,WYO,UT,AR,ND,SD,NEB,KAN,OK,TX,MI,ARK,LA,MISS,WVA,KY,TN,ALA,GA,SC,ALASKA have in common.

drumroll please.

They are all the states that voted for the HATED John McCain in 2008 in his race against OBAMA.

This is when OBAMA was at his highest most favorable point.

Is there any doubt that WHOEVER is the nominee will get those states this time around.

We must pick the nominee who has the best chance of winning IN THE OTHER STATES.

MY opinion is that its Romney.

gerry-mittbot

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

THIS. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Dark Star on March 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM

who cares if romney lost both states last night or the deep south for that matter. when romney gets the nomination, ( i don’t think santorum can catch romney with the delegate count ) then the people in the deep south will pull the lever for the nominee. they want obama out of office just like everyone else.

fwm299 on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

We must pick the nominee who has the best chance of winning IN THE OTHER STATES.

MY opinion is that its Romney.

gerry-mittbot

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

THIS. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Dark Star on March 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I “must” do precisely bupkis, Mittbots. I don’t want the same electoral results we had in 2008 either, but I reject the premise that Mitt is an absolute requirement to ensure that doesn’t happen.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Neither are conservative.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Nor is Ron Paul.

JannyMae on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

who cares if romney lost both states last night or the deep south for that matter. when romney gets the nomination, ( i don’t think santorum can catch romney with the delegate count ) then the people in the deep south will pull the lever for the nominee. they want obama out of office just like everyone else.

fwm299 on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Just a clarification here, folks. I won’t pull the lever FOR the Republican nominee. I will pull the lever AGAINST Obama.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Three takeaways from Tuesday:

1) Romney campaign has failed to articulate their candidate’s policy positions and has failed to compare Romney and Santorum on those positions.

2.) Romney campaign has failed to convey the “family values” image as well as Santorum. Santorum’s entire family is on display for every election night. Why doesn’t Romney do that?

3) “As has been the case in every Republican primary or caucus held this year, beating Barack Obama in November is the most important quality Alabama voters were looking for in a candidate. But when asked which candidate would be most likely to do that, 46 percent chose Mitt Romney, and just 23 percent said Santorum was best positioned to win in November.”

And, “more than four in five of Santorum’s, Gingrich’s or Romney’s voters say they would definitely vote for the Republican nominee in November.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57396871-503544/how-santorum-won-the-alabama-primary/

mountainaires on March 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Irony is thicker than molasses. Mitt bludgeoned Newt, to the point that his guts, flesh and blood are hanging out. Now, he needs Newt to survive. Life is sure interesting, in the least. May all get theirs.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Gryphon202,
I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment about us deserving Obama last time around and maybe again. If the best the Republicans can put up are ideologically ambivalent McCain/Romney squishes against the most radical leftist in our lifetime, our nation is deservedly screwed. I wish my children had a Reaganesque option but the party won’t let that happen. If Romney becomes our nominee I will be an independent. Not that a loss of a conservative Republican vote in California matters much.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Just a clarification here, folks. I won’t pull the lever FOR the Republican nominee. I will pull the lever AGAINST Obama.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Exactly right. All we must do, is get the Manchurian President out of office.

You Mittbots have been snorting Brylcreem again, if you think you can force Southerners, or any other Conservative, for that matter to vote for that flip-floppoin’ squish until we absolutely HAVE to.,

kingsjester on March 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

If Romney becomes our nominee I will be an independent. Not that a loss of a conservative Republican vote in California matters much.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I would encourage you to do what I intend to do, Larry: Vote against Obama. It’s the best shot we have at beginning the long slow process of curing our republic of its rot from within.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Any truth to the rumor that Santorum received congratulatory phone calls from both David Axelrod and Markos Moulitsas? If not, then I’m sure they were thrilled nevertheless.

cicerone on March 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Nah, they want Mitt. They know why. They’d run Obama to his right, because they could.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

If the race has to get settled at the convention, then I would think the delegates from Guam and American Samoa, that are not able to vote in a presidential election, would be immediately discounted. To do otherwise would make about as much sense as, say, campaigning in Berlin in the general election.

And nobody would be that stupid.

Right?

Right?

tom on March 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM

liberal4life on March 14, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Put away the champagne, you and the Romney kittens. You’re all delusional and not good at math.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I’m not talking abouth the primaries.Whoever gets the nomination is sure to get every state mccain won. Its the other states we need to worry about

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

That took 3 seconds. I can find a ton of pledges in the MS and AL primary thread with Mitt supporters saying they’ll sit it out.

hawkdriver on March 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Ah, I see, you’ve found another speck of stardust in your brother’s eye.

Gelsomina on March 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Just a clarification here, folks. I won’t pull the lever FOR the Republican nominee. I will pull the lever AGAINST Obama.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

How about trying to get the guy on the ballot who actually has a chance to win, instead of the useless, and petty, Rick Santorum?

I will gladly pull the lever for Romney. However, if Santorum is the nominee, I will be tempted to check the box by his name, but cross his name out and write “Not Obama” underneath. Especially if I do my research and find that that does not invalidate the vote.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I’m not talking abouth the primaries.Whoever gets the nomination is sure to get every state mccain won. Its the other states we need to worry about

gerrym51 on March 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I am talking about the primaries. And what will happen if, regardless of who is the nominee, that candidate doesn’t win every state that McCain won? It’s possible. Unlikely, but possible. And that’s all leaving out Obama’s utterly atrocious track record of non-leadership. You assert quite a bit not in evidence.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Ah, I see, you’ve found another speck of stardust in your brother’s eye.

Gelsomina on March 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Sawdust. LOL. Maybe Santorum is turning into my unicorn?

Gelsomina on March 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

How about trying to get the guy on the ballot who actually has a chance to win, instead of the useless, and petty, Rick Santorum?

I will gladly pull the lever for Romney. However, if Santorum is the nominee, I will be tempted to check the box by his name, but cross his name out and write “Not Obama” underneath. Especially if I do my research and find that that does not invalidate the vote.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

That’s asking me to vote for someone in the primaries based on voting patterns in the general which you should know by now I refuse to do. No one else’s vote at any point in time determines mine.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I would encourage you to do what I intend to do, Larry: Vote against Obama. It’s the best shot we have at beginning the long slow process of curing our republic of its rot from within.
gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

The only reason I would consider doing that is for judicial picks. Economically, I would prefer a rapid crash and hopefully a rapid recovery akin to the Soviet/Russian example than a slow demise. I do not see Romney stopping this train wreck, just slowing it a bit.
Fortunately, my vote in California is inconsequential due to the current makeup of this state so I can vote purely by conscience. Romney will not get my vote.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

3) “As has been the case in every Republican primary or caucus held this year, beating Barack Obama in November is the most important quality Alabama voters were looking for in a candidate. But when asked which candidate would be most likely to do that, 46 percent chose Mitt Romney, and just 23 percent said Santorum was best positioned to win in November.”

So, lets go inside the mind of an average Alabama voter:

1. I need to vote for the guy that can beat Obama.
2. Mitt Romney is most likely to do that….

3. That settles it, I am voting for Rick Santorum.

How does a rational person who says that beating Obama is the top priority and Mitt Romney is the best candidate to do that, then vote for Rick Santorum? Please, someone explain that rational thinking to me.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

The only reason I would consider doing that is for judicial picks. Economically, I would prefer a rapid crash and hopefully a rapid recovery akin to the Soviet/Russian example than a slow demise. I do not see Romney stopping this train wreck, just slowing it a bit.
Fortunately, my vote in California is inconsequential due to the current makeup of this state so I can vote purely by conscience. Romney will not get my vote.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I’m from a state that sends 3 electors to the college. I’m pretty much in the same boat you are, but I find that to be a poor reason to give up on one’s principles. In any event, good luck and God bless.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:15 PM

How does a rational person who says that beating Obama is the top priority and Mitt Romney is the best candidate to do that, then vote for Rick Santorum? Please, someone explain that rational thinking to me.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

You are proposing “Mitt Romney is the most likely to beat Obama” as axiomatic; a truism. As long as you continue to do that, I will not and indeed can not take your subsequent arguments seriously.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

If you take an honest review of the remaining primaries, for romeycare to get to 1144, he must do the following;

I think I’m being fair

Get 20/52 del. in Mo
Get winner take all 23 Pueto rico
Get 30/69 del. in Ill
Get 15/46 del in Lou
Wiscon is winner take all, I have this going to santorium
Get all in Maryland 37
Get all 19 in Distr of Columbia
Get 45/95 in NY
Get 30/72 in Pa
Delaware I have Santorium winning all 17
Get 15/28 in Ct
Get 13/19 in RI
Get 15/55 in Nc
Get 13/46 in Ind
Get 10/31 in W.Vir
Get 10/35 in Neb
Get 13/28 in Ore
Get 10/45 in Ky
Get 10/36 in Ark
Get 40/155 in Tx
I’ll give him ca and all 172
I’ll give him Nj and all 50
I’ll give him all of utah 40
Get 10/28 S.Dak
Get 10/26 montana
get 10/23 N.Mex

Now currently according to RCP romneycare has 496 delegates. If the favorable outcomes above play out that’s 636 more delegates giving Romneycare 1132 delegates.

So Romneycare has to pick up delegates somewhere else. Further, I think Satorium will do better in Pa.,NJ (neigboring state to Pa and it’s winner take all) and maryland!

just saying Romneycare can’t get their even in the above favorable delegate list.

Danielvito on March 14, 2012 at 1:20 PM

You are proposing “Mitt Romney is the most likely to beat Obama” as axiomatic; a truism. As long as you continue to do that, I will not and indeed can not take your subsequent arguments seriously.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Because based on the polls, with few exceptions, Romney polls better against Obama than Rick Santorum. That makes the premise solid.

And let’s be honest, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, he will have more money, better organization, and the ability to keep the focus on fiscal issues. If Rick Santorum is teh nominee, he will raise less money, have worse organization, and will not be able to keep the focus on fiscal issues. This has all been proven just in the primary. Because of that, Romney’s ability to win will increase, and Santorum’s will decrease, if he is the nominee.

I am doing nothing but looking at polls, and the reality of the campaign to draw the conclusion.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

gryphon,
I do not see it as surrendering ones principles. More like tiring of compromising my principles. I will die as a fiscal conservative. If my party leaves me, I will not follow. My first vote was for Reagan’s re-election. I have seen a steady demise in choices since. I would be a Paulbot except for his 5% of insanity. Anyone that thinks the road to success is found by picking a candidate slightly to the right of Obama doesn’t appreciate how demoralizing that is to the consistently voting base of the party.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Romney ain’t gonna get 1144. Many Romney supporters think and hope that it’ll happen, but it won’t. And I anticipate a brokered convention. And we’ll need someone to unite the party.

tommy71 on March 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

It is becoming more and more evident that you are correct.

Romney is a disaster. He has the backing of 99% of the party apparatus, conservative media, and is outspending his opponents by a HUGE margin. Yet, he ends up in 3rd place in last night’s primaries.

Our best bet at this point is a brokered convention. Newt should drop out and pledge his delegates to Santorum.

Norwegian on March 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I normally resist grammar Nazi duty, mainly because it doesn’t come with a cool uniform. But egregious grammar coupled with the cognitive disability of a liberal commenter is a target impossible for me to resist.

Akzed on March 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM

We shouldn’t focus too much on grammar. But exceptions must be allowed for cases when a commenter makes numerous and egregious errors while calling someone else stupid.

This one was just begging for it.

tom on March 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM

gryphon,
I do not see it as surrendering ones principles. More like tiring of compromising my principles. I will die as a fiscal conservative. If my party leaves me, I will not follow. My first vote was for Reagan’s re-election. I have seen a steady demise in choices since. I would be a Paulbot except for his 5% of insanity. Anyone that thinks the road to success is found by picking a candidate slightly to the right of Obama doesn’t appreciate how demoralizing that is to the consistently voting base of the party.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

My disdain for the electorate at-large isn’t directed at people like yourself, Larry. You seem like a good guy, and at least your heart seems to be in the right place.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I am doing nothing but looking at polls, and the reality of the campaign to draw the conclusion.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

That is exactly my point. Looking at polls does not constitute the kind of principled voting I participate in.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Tsk, tsk, tsk. You people aren’t so good with math. I blame the public schools.

Santorum had a big night, but if he hadn’t, it would have been him with the pressure. But even with the two big wins, and Romney finishing 3rd in both, when you add in the delegates from Guam and Hawaii, Romney won the most last night.

Think about it: huge, earth-shattering night for Santorum, big celebration, and yet Romney expands his delegate lead anyway.

There is a message in there for those who care to see it.

But don’t believe little old me, how about the Wall Street Journal:

The results may mark the most vivid illustration yet of Mr. Romney’s strategy to grab the nomination by gathering delegates wherever he can, no matter how anticlimactic the results. He went into Tuesday’s contests leading Mr. Santorum by 237 delegates and emerged with that lead expanded by at least six more

Adjoran on March 14, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Nope. I reject the premise of the defining independents as “someone who doesn’t belong to a political party.” And though I live in a closed-primary state, I still have time to switch my affiliation. I register as an independent primarily so that I don’t get franked mail from my congressional delegation. That crap annoys the shit out of me.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

It’s not a premise; it’s the definition. To deny that is to be irrational.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I am upset at the rush to silence voices among Republicans. Nobody should be urged to drop out. This election will be decided on Obama’s abysmal record and on the selfish desires of our current “what’s in it for me” electorate. As crazy as Ron Paul is on foreign policy, for example, I welcome the attention he brings to fiscal responsibility and the limits of Constitutional governance. How we deprecate and discard strong and brave voices like Palin brings shame to what the Republican party has become. Let everyone speak. If America still exists, the winner will easily beat the Socialist in Chief in November. If not, she will be missed.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Nor is Ron Paul.

JannyMae on March 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

He is a conservative. It would do you good to read about the history of conservatism and of the leading thinkers of the movement, such as Russell Kirk, before you decide who is and who is not a conservative.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

You Mittbots have been snorting Brylcreem again, if you think you can force Southerners, or any other Conservative, for that matter to vote for that flip-floppoin’ squish until we absolutely HAVE to.,

kingsjester on March 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Have to?

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Danielvito-you are dreaming with your numbers. Romney will get at least 30% in the proportional states and win 7 out of the 8 winner-take-all states. When CA comes around the primary will be over. Also, No way Santorum gets all 17 in Delaware. For cryin out loud, he got 1/3 of the delegates in the deep south states of ALA and MISS-he will do at least that well in the remaining states.

Ta111 on March 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

That is exactly my point. Looking at polls does not constitute the kind of principled voting I participate in.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I realize that. As we have discussed before, you can vote for whoever you want, and use whatever criteria you want. However, if you say that ultimately you will vote for the not-Obama Republican, it seems to make sense to consider the guy who can beat Obama when you make your decision.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

It’s not a premise; it’s the definition. To deny that is to be irrational.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Then I am an independent. And nobody’s courting me. I’m “fringe” and “unreasonable” and “stupid” for not getting on board with the Rombots. You’d better rethinking your definition of “independent.”

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Another myth from the wishful thinkers is that if only Santorum/Gingrich got out of the race, the other would begin to whip Romney with the combined total. Not true.

There are significant numbers who would choose the other “Not Romney” but also plenty who would not. In fact, in the only two states where the question was asked (Ohio and Michigan) in exit polls (as far as I know), more Gingrich supporters put Romney as their second choice.

History also shows that the frontrunner generally gets the lion’s share of support from candidates down the list when they drop out.

But hope springs eternal, and once you’ve deceived yourself into believing that a guy who was part of the Senate leadership with Lott, Frist, and McConnell and voted with them in lockstep, and stayed in DC to take a million$ per year job with a lobbying law firm when he lost his seat, isn’t part of the dreaded Republican Establishment, it isn’t such a big leap to believe God Himself may reach down from Heaven and change Arithmetic so Santorum might win.

Adjoran on March 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I realize that. As we have discussed before, you can vote for whoever you want, and use whatever criteria you want. However, if you say that ultimately you will vote for the not-Obama Republican, it seems to make sense to consider the guy who can beat Obama when you make your decision.

milcus on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Again with the presumption. That is reasonable if beating Obama were my goal. It is not. Beating Obama is a means to an end which I have every intention of making happen, but it is not my goal. Beating Obama won’t necessarily change a thing in the end.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Danielvito-you are dreaming with your numbers. Romney will get at least 30% in the proportional states and win 7 out of the 8 winner-take-all states. When CA comes around the primary will be over. Also, No way Santorum gets all 17 in Delaware. For cryin out loud, he got 1/3 of the delegates in the deep south states of ALA and MISS-he will do at least that well in the remaining states.
Ta111 on March 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

You think it is a good idea for states like California to actually determine the Republican candidate? God help us all

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Well said. That’s the most troubling aspect of this whole kerfuffle to me. Given what he’s done since being in office, it’s incredibly naive to discount what he could do with four more.
changer1701 on March 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Yes, and ironically the Santorum social cons are willing to sacrifice everything while staying faithful to their “true conservative” principles, and simultaneously hand the election over to Obama who could very well be appointing 3 Supreme Court justices. It’s mind-boggling…

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Couldn’t some additional weight be given to delegates in states that have actually voted for a Republican Presidential candidate in, say, the last 30 years. How California, Massachusetts and New York are counted the same as Texas, Georgia and the like is beyond me.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Here’s the text of a recent robocall in Ohio on behalf of Santorum:

“Hi, my name is Brian Camenker; I’m a Jew from Massachusetts.

“And, this is Darcy Brandon; I’m a Christian from California. If you believe as we do that marriage and sexuality should only be between a man and a woman, please help us stop Mitt Romney.

“As Governor, Romney signed ‘Gay Youth Pride Day’ proclamations, promoted homosexuality in our elementary schools, and unconstitutionally ordered state officials to make Massachusetts America’s first same-sex marriage state.

“Romney supports open homosexuality in the military, the appointment of homosexual judges, and the ENDA law, making it illegal to fire a man who wears a dress and high heels to work, even if he’s your kid’s teacher.

“When you vote tomorrow, please vote for social sanity and Rick Santorum, NOT for homosexuality and Mitt Romney.

“Rick Santorum is the ONLY candidate who can be trusted to uphold traditional marriage, a straight military, and the rights of American children to have both a mother and a father.

“This message paid for by Jews and Christians Together.org and not authorized by any candidate. To get the facts before you vote, visit Jews and Christians Together.org.”

You want to know how to lose a general election? That’s exactly how you do it.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Danish – why is it only the conservative -fiscal or social – being asked to sacrifice. Maybe the Mittbots could try a conservative candidate for a change. We gave them McCain with such success. Isn’t it our turn at bat?

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Again with the presumption. That is reasonable if beating Obama were my goal. It is not. Beating Obama is a means to an end which I have every intention of making happen, but it is not my goal. Beating Obama won’t necessarily change a thing in the end.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Especially if you have a president who is not much different from the democrat only puts a republican face on it and continuing with Obamacare, etc. And if we don’t get a solid republican majority in Congress, Rmoney would be played like a violin. Now that’s destructive.

mozalf on March 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Then I am an independent. And nobody’s courting me. I’m “fringe” and “unreasonable” and “stupid” for not getting on board with the Rombots. You’d better rethinking your definition of “independent.”

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Nobody’s courting you? What do you want, flowers? Dinner and a movie? Any issue you have with a candidate’s supporters is your issue alone.

An independent is someone who is not a member of a political party. Simple as that. There is no need to rethink the definition because that IS the definition. If you choose to be irrational, that’s your choice.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Tell me that isn’t a real robocall.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 2:03 PM

You want to know how to lose a general election? That’s exactly how you do it.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

If that’s accurate (not impugning your honesty, but I have not heard it myself, and being an attorney, am therefore loathe to attest to the veracity of the quote) it’s pretty appalling.

Santorum turns me off. This is one Newtiebrank that will transfer my vote and support to Mitt (God help me) if and when Newt drops out.

totherightofthem on March 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM

An independent is someone who is not a member of a political party. Simple as that. There is no need to rethink the definition because that IS the definition. If you choose to be irrational, that’s your choice.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Nope. Nobody is courting me. And I still believe that the true definition of “independent” is someone who refuses to identify as either conservative or liberal. If you’ve made up your mind, you’re not an “independent.” As for what I’d like, I’d just like to be able to reasonably believe that a Republican candidate will follow the constitution — also a reason for me to assert that we deserve four more years of Obama.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Nope. Nobody is courting me. And I still believe that the true definition of “independent” is someone who refuses to identify as either conservative or liberal. If you’ve made up your mind, you’re not an “independent.” As for what I’d like, I’d just like to be able to reasonably believe that a Republican candidate will follow the constitution — also a reason for me to assert that we deserve four more years of Obama.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

To know a truth and to be presented with a truth, but to deny the truth is to be irrational. As I said, if you choose to embrace the irrational, that is your choice. Conservative and liberal are labels based on ideologies; independent is not based on an ideology. How can you even discuss concepts when you don’t know what the meaning of words are?

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

You want to know how to lose a general election? That’s exactly how you do it.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I do not like the substance of this robocall, but I want to make sure people do not get the impression that the Santorum campaign is putting this out. I just traced this robocall to Mass Resistance, a Massachusetts pro-family group that has been against Romney for a very long time. This is not a pro-Santorum pac or campaign effort.

KickandSwimMom on March 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Homosexual judges?
So what?

As long as their views are that of originalist, I could care less.

“Social Conservatism” or “Moral Conservatism” does not appeal to me or most Americans. This is why Rick Santorum cannot win in a general election.

CABE on March 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

To know a truth and to be presented with a truth, but to deny the truth is to be irrational. As I said, if you choose to embrace the irrational, that is your choice. Conservative and liberal are labels based on ideologies; independent is not based on an ideology. How can you even discuss concepts when you don’t know what the meaning of words are?

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

If Independent is not based on an ideology, then how come both political parties supposedly try so hard to win them over? Why all the pandering? Unless I’m confusing “independent” with “moderate,” which terms are conflated by the media all the time anyway. It’s jut another rabbit trail in the end. My first allegiance, politically speaking, is to the constitution of the United States of America. And I have yet to encounter a national candidate in my entire adult lifetime (my first presidential election was in 1996) who can convince me they feel the same.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Homosexual judges?
So what?

As long as their views are that of originalist, I could care less.

“Social Conservatism” or “Moral Conservatism” does not appeal to me or most Americans. This is why Rick Santorum cannot win in a general election.

CABE on March 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

And yet you’ll vote for him if he secures the nomination. Right? Right?!

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

And no, nobody is courting me. Not until some candidate can give a stump speech somewhere and say “I believe in following the constitution” and convince me to believe it.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

And no, nobody is courting me. Not until some candidate can give a stump speech somewhere and say “I believe in following the constitution” and convince me to believe it.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:22 PM

There is not only a candidate who does say that, but his actions and votes back it up.

If Independent is not based on an ideology, then how come both political parties supposedly try so hard to win them over? Why all the pandering? Unless I’m confusing “independent” with “moderate,” which terms are conflated by the media all the time anyway. It’s jut another rabbit trail in the end. My first allegiance, politically speaking, is to the constitution of the United States of America. And I have yet to encounter a national candidate in my entire adult lifetime (my first presidential election was in 1996) who can convince me they feel the same.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:20 PM

You’re asking the wrong questions. Well, if your first presidential election was 1996, then you have led a very short life.

Dante on March 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Couldn’t some additional weight be given to delegates in states that have actually voted for a Republican Presidential candidate in, say, the last 30 years. How California, Massachusetts and New York are counted the same as Texas, Georgia and the like is beyond me.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Um, do you live in a cave? States ARE weighted by their recent past record of going Republican. How do you think Georgia has more delegates than Ohio with a lower population? Because Ohio has gone for Democrats when Georgia has not.

I believe they only go back four or five cycles, though, because things can change. Maine used to be one of the most dependably Republican states in the country, for instance. Go back a bit more, and the whole South was Democratic territory.

Adjoran on March 14, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Can we expect Barry to call Santorum to apologize for Heilemann’s and tell him his parents would be proud of him?

Colony14 on March 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Parasites versus producers on election day. The candidates have become largely irrelevant. The voters who want “free stuff” vote one way, and those who have to pay for it vote the other way. If the parasites outnumber the producers not only is the election over, so is the nation.

Colony14 on March 14, 2012 at 4:04 PM

And yet you’ll vote for him if he secures the nomination. Right? Right?!

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

No.

CABE on March 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Um, do you live in a cave? States ARE weighted by their recent past record of going Republican. How do you think Georgia has more delegates than Ohio with a lower population? Because Ohio has gone for Democrats when Georgia has not.

I believe they only go back four or five cycles, though, because things can change. Maine used to be one of the most dependably Republican states in the country, for instance. Go back a bit more, and the whole South was Democratic territory.

Adjoran

Adjoran,

It is news to me. I thought it was determined by the number of party voters, not necessarily by the success or failure of Republican candidates in the state. The party voter scheme gives a small weight to states with a greater percentage of Republican voters but this is a minor weight difference. I know that the party cut delegate counts in half in early voting states but why should Cali get a ton of Republican delegates just because we have a huge population which nearly never goes Republican on the national level.

LarryinLA on March 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM

I do not like the substance of this robocall, but I want to make sure people do not get the impression that the Santorum campaign is putting this out. I just traced this robocall to Mass Resistance, a Massachusetts pro-family group that has been against Romney for a very long time. This is not a pro-Santorum pac or campaign effort.
KickandSwimMom on March 14, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Yes, it’s from the loons at MassResistance, and anti-Romney folks cut and paste “info” from MassResistance right here at Hot Air all the time here to misrepresent and distort his record, notably when it comes to the topic of abortion and RomneyCare.

I’d like to hear Santorum denounce this robocall (listen here!) which allegedly were also dialed in Alabama (see 3/12 press release for that detail, and oh so much more!).

I guarantee you, if someone promoting Romney created a robocall like this it would be headline news – just as Newt’s PAC’s Florida holocaust survivor robocall became quite the hot topic of discussion.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

And yet you’ll vote for him if he secures the nomination. Right? Right?!

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 3:21 PM

No.

CABE on March 14, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Then don’t piss and moan at me the next time an ABR refuses to vote for Mitt in the general. That’s barking up the wrong tree with me. I’ll put my money where my mouth is when it comes to defeating Obama in the general, unlike some of you whiny Rombots.

gryphon202 on March 14, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Jennifer Rubin–much as Santo-Bots hate to hear it–is right.

mountainaires on March 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

mountainaires quoting Jenifer Rubin approvingly. Shocking!

Santorum ONLY appeals to social conservatives ONLY! Except all those unions he appeals to!

But only social conservatives vote for him!

And on and on……

Get some new material.

tom on March 14, 2012 at 8:39 PM

If the Supremes knock down Obamacare in June, probably a 50-50 proposition, then Santorum has nothing to run on and the public fever is over.

If the Supremes uphold Obamacare, Romney is as well-positioned on this issue as Santorum, but for different reasons.

Overall: advantage Romney.

matthew8787 on March 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

If the Supremes knock down Obamacare, we will all do cartwheels. Santorum (and Newt) can still run on energy issues, foreign policy, and the massive debt Obama has rung up. There’s a lot more too.

If the Supremes uphold Obamacare, Romney is not well-positioned to do anything. There will be quotes and pics of him tying him to Teddy Kennedy. The template for Obamacare comes from Romney. It’s a loser.

Lightswitch on March 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

The even more troubling question to me is, if SCOTUS says the individual mandate is Constitutional, how hard would Romney try to repeal Obamacare? Remember that he defended Romneycare as a state program, because it is Constitutional to do this at a state level. So if SCOTUS says, “It’s just as Constitutional at the federal level,” then wouldn’t Romney have all the political cover he wanted to reverse his pledge to repeal Obamacare?

Can a liberal change his spots?

tom on March 14, 2012 at 8:43 PM

The even more troubling question to me is, if SCOTUS says the individual mandate is Constitutional, how hard would Romney try to repeal Obamacare? Remember that he defended Romneycare as a state program, because it is Constitutional to do this at a state level. So if SCOTUS says, “It’s just as Constitutional at the federal level,” then wouldn’t Romney have all the political cover he wanted to reverse his pledge to repeal Obamacare?

Can a liberal change his spots?

tom on March 14, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Phew. That’s some convoluted logic you got going there. Golly, I can’t imagine what incentive he would have to repeal it. It’s not like he ran on repealing it, it’s projected to cost a mere $1.6 trillion and is over the top unpopular… Oh Wait! Moreover, I have repeatedly pointed out, his Georgia Co-Chair is Attorney General, Sam Olens, who is arguing for ObamaCare’s repeal to the Supremes. If that’s not enough for you, I don’t know what else to say.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

And if we don’t get a solid republican majority in Congress, Rmoney would be played like a violin. Now that’s destructive.

mozalf on March 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

we have the house and weepy boner doesn’t know what to do with it ….

conservative tarheel on March 14, 2012 at 9:22 PM

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