Swing State Pres

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 03 14 Pre Illinois


in·ex·o·ra·ble/ / [in-ek-ser-uh-buhl] adjective

1. unyielding; unalterable: inexorable truth; inexorable justice.

This is a word you all know.  The Romney camp wants everyone on America, and in particularly upcoming Republican primary voters and caucus attendees, to be muttering this word morning, noon, night and in their sleep.  Those Romney folks reflect their leader:  they are strategists, tacticians, mathematicians, statisticians, spreadsheeters, advisors, consultants and calculators (now that I look at this list, I realize that I’ve been called many of these things myself!).  They believe the inexorable truth -- the cold, hard math of delegate counting -- is a Mitt nomination any way rack it up.  And to the extent that the contest continues as it has been plodding along – Romney winning the northeast and west, Santorum taking the south, and the two splitting the midwest -- they are right.

The Santorum side dismisses this view.  What they seem to believe is that at some point “Momentum” will kick in.  Momentum has been a very modest player in this campaign, far less important that other “players,” such as “Super PAC” and “Percentage of Christian Conservatives in the State.”  But the only way Santorum can win is for some “certain Romney” states – notably California -- to suddenly go for Santorum by virtue of the momentum of a string of wins.  But barring a huge gaffe on Mitt’s part – and while he is prone to small gaffes, in six years of running for President he has not committed a doozy yet – that will not happen.  

(In that manner, Mitt is not his father, Governor George Romney of Michigan, who torpedoed his own promising national political career in 1967 by admitting that "…when I came back from Viet Nam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get."  I think about that “brainwashing” quote every time I hear Mitt say he will “listen to the commanders on the ground” when it comes to establishing his Afghanistan withdrawal timetable, and wonder if he recognizes the echo.)

The Gingrich camp has a more realistic idea.  He’s the smart one in the group.  He has correctly figured out that if he drops out of the race, Romney does indeed march – yes, inexorably – to the 1,144 delegates he needs.  Santorum and Gingrich do not precisely “split the conservative vote” – if Gingrich dropped out, some of his supporters – say 25-30% - would actually go to Romney, and that would significantly up his delegate total – a huge difference on the margin, and we are indeed on the margin.  If Gingrich does indeed stay in until Tampa, Romney could well fall 25-100 delegates short of 1,144.

Gingrich has bluntly said his game is to deny Romney those 1,144 committed delegates, so the convention is thrown wide open after the first ballot – presumably turning to the guy those mostly conservative delegates want to see debating Obama in the fall:  him.  (This is where Newt’s thought process gets a little fuzzy.)


New News

Romney took in another 20 delegates on Sunday, easily winning the Puerto Rico primary.  The Missouri caucus was a mess – their first caucus in 16 years and it showed, with some caucuses shut down due to unruliness and several Paul supporters arrested.  St. Charles County, a large one, was a particular disaster, and they may have to schedule another caucus there, and thus Missouri results may not be announced for some time.  That was not a good outcome for Rick Santorum, who wanted to take a win there (he won the “beauty contest” as part of his non-binding trifecta of wins a month ago) into Illinois.

So Mitt continues to rack up more delegates than Santorum, widening his lead.  His march to the nomination is indeed looking, well….{see dictionary-defined word above}.

Illinois

The big prize of the week is Illinois, with a primary tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20.  There are 69 delegates at stake, and it is a “loophole” primary, meaning….well, try as I might, I can’t figure it out.  Here’s the most complete explanation I could Google my way to:
Illinois has more delegates at stake than any other so far this year except Georgia, but there's an odd twist to how those delegates are awarded. Illinois is a so-called "loophole" primary, which means there will be a popular vote - and a separate vote for delegates, and the popular vote doesn't determine who gets those delegates.
Ah, yes. Thank you.

The polling has been in Romney’s favor, as he is spending at a fantastic rate and has devoted a great deal of face time in the state.  The polls I’ve seen have shown his lead increasing, from margin-of-error territory to +15 point leads.  But the NY Times reported one today that had a recent poll back down to +4, within the margin of error.  Santorum has tended to outperform his poll numbers of late at Romney’s expense (see:  Alabama, Mississippi), so it could be a close one.  But the average of the recent polls in are this range:  Romney 40%, Santorum 30%, Gingrich 13%, Paul 8%.

We have quite an Illinois contingent on this list, so I welcome any local insight from Allie, Brandon or Tom!

Projections

We have a hearty band of forecasters – typically Tom, Steve, Eric and Larry – and I invite them as well as any of the rest of you to make your predictions for Illinois.  Send in a forecast by noon tomorrow for each of the four candidates as well as “other,” taking careful note that the five numbers add up to 100%.  And we can all see who Tom puts forth as a potential Illinois write-in, made all the more fascinating for the fact that it is his home state!  (Allie might offer up her favorite politician, jail-bound Rod “Blago” Blagojevich...)


Map

I have also revised my map for the Romney wins in far-off places (Pacific and Caribbean islands) as well as corrected a mistake my sharp-eyed brother Steve pointed out – I had neglected to give Gingrich his rightful green in winning South Carolina.  Well done!  The map is in an attached file.

Campaign Song

With delegate math the topic du jour (or du mois, for that matter), I thought the old Len Barry hit “One Two Three” might be ripe for parody….

One two three,
Oh, that's how element'ry
It's gonna be
’Leven hundred and forty-four
It's easy (it's so easy)
Don’t need no spreadsheet (don’t need no spreadsheet!) or an MBA!

A-B-C (A-B-C)
Doing the delegate math
Was easy for Mitt (easy for Mitt!)
Wish Rick would do it too,
"Cause it's easy (it's so easy!)
Don’t need no spreadsheet (don’t need no spreadsheet!) or an MBA!

Baby, there's a simply set of hard facts
Basic'ly, it's as easy as dough
The hard part is winning without PAC’s
Without those PACs, babe, Mitt's a loser we all know!


(One two three) (One two three)
It's easy (it's so easy)
Don’t need no spreadsheet (don’t need no spreadsheet!) or an MBA!

One and one are two (one and one are two!)
Newt knows the darn math too and oh,
Oh, he’s got a view (he’s got a view!)
He’ll try to fight it
'Cause he’s sleazy (he’s so sleazy!)
Wants to deny Mitt (wants to deny Mitt!), like a baby!

One two three,
Oh, that's how element'ry
It's gonna be
’Leven hundred and forty-four
It's easy (it's so easy)
Don’t need no spreadsheet (don’t need no spreadsheet!) or an MBA!












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