Swing State Pres

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 04 02 Pre Wisconsion

Is The Wait nearly over?

Can Mitt really put it away tomorrow?  Certainly that is the tenor of all the coverage.  A Romney win in Wisconsin, a state Santorum might have won (and still could win), would go far toward settling the issue for all intents and purposes.  And then no primaries for three weeks, until April 24, which is shaping up to be a huge day for Romney, with near-certain wins in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island, plus the possibility of a win in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, which is now neck and neck.

But before we get into all that, first here is a mea culpa from your faithful correspondent.  The Texas primary is not tomorrow as I said in my last note.  It was originally scheduled for Super Tuesday, but a huge redistricting fight ended up in the courts in Texas, and the primary had to be moved, first to April 3, which I caught, but then again to May 29, which I missed.

The Texas postponement marks the third fortuitous event for Mitt Romney regarding a southern primary.  First, arduous petition requirements resulted in the under-organized Santorum and Gingrich campaigns being left off the Virginia ballot, effectively ceding the state to Romney.  Second, the Missouri caucuses last week went badly from a process standpoint, with the results still up in the air, thus denying Santorum a likely win (at least for now).  And now the Texas primary is postponed, another state that was looking solid for Santorum where victory will be delayed and perhaps even denied.  I don’t think the trajectory of the campaign would have been radically different had things gone Santorum’s way in each, but there’s no doubt the race would be tighter.

Santorum did win Louisiana handily back nine days ago, winning 49% of the vote versus 27% for Romney, but it was the quietest win thus far for anyone.  Steve and I joked that we were the only two people watching Saturday night (though I was also checking out the NCAAs)!  No Wolf Blitzer, no Chuck Todd…very quiet coverage and thus not much hype for that Santorum win.  The Romney win in Illinois that preceded it looms much larger now.

So where does that leave us?  With Mitt Romney in very good shape.  First of all, he has come through a gauntlet of difficult post-Super Tuesday states, largely in the south and Midwest, with almost flying colors.  He won only one major primary, Illinois, yet has 147 delegates in this stretch versus 90 for Santorum, actually increasing the delegate gap.  He did this by winning handily five small offshore contests (Hawaii, Guam, Marianas, American Samoa and US Virgin Islands), taking 43 of the 55 delegates they offered, winning Illinois, and managing to garner about one-third of the delegates in Alabama and Mississippi – two states in which he came in third!!!

And the endorsements continue…Jeb Bush, George H.W. Bush, Paul Ryan…clearly the Republican Party, even conservatives, are ready to get on with the show.

Tomorrow’s Primaries: Wisconsin, Maryland and District of Columbia

And that brings us to tomorrow, which suddenly is looking very good for Mitt.  Mitt could rack up close to 100 delegates to very few for Santorum, stretching out his lead mightily, and truly putting pressure on the other candidates to withdraw.  What is interesting is that at this stage of the cycle, more states tend to be winner-take-all, which is great timing for Mitt as the races tend to be in his wheelhouse, the northeast and west.   Let’s take each of tomorrow’s states in turn:

  • Wisconsin is the one that is getting away for Santorum.  Polling in late February indicated Santorum being well ahead (two polls had him at +16), but the latest set of polls have Romney ahead by anywhere from 5-10.  Wisconsin has 42 delegates and is also winner-take-all.  Now Santorum has surprised before, and has a knack for outperforming the polls, so you can’t cede this one to Romney yet.  And a loss would re-open the questions that Romney is starting to think he has finally answered.
  • District of Columbia, with 19 delegates, winner take all, should be an easy one for Mitt, who tends to win states that are Democratic strongholds, and this is easily the bluest of the blues out there.
  • Maryland, with 37 delegates, also winner-take-all, is a good place for Mitt, too.

So that is potentially 98 delegates to Mitt, and a 400 delegate lead!

Games

We’ll just do Wisconsin….forecasts due by noon tomorrow!

Questions

I’ve received some good comments on “Is Santorum next in line in 2016 (or 2020)” but I’d like to hear more on this….let me know what you think!

Map

Attached is the latest map, updated for Santorum’s Louisiana win.

Song

If the theme of the week is “The Wait,” then the song parody has to be of “The Weight” by The Band…..

Rick pulled into Madison, the polls said he was down ’bout ten
And as for delegates, even a win won’t make a dent
"Hey, mister, can you tell me, can I ever get ahead?"
The man grinned, and shook Rick’s hand, and "No!" was all he said.

Hit the road Santorum, you won’t be the nominee

Hit the road Santorum, (and) (and) and…you might just be Mitt’s VP

Rick took his v-neck, and went lookin' for someone to chide,
When he saw Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul walkin' side by side.
He said, "Hey, Newt and Ron, c’mon now, it’s time for you boys to step down."
Newt said, "I got to run, and m'friend thinks you’re a clown."

Hit the road Santorum, you won’t be the nominee

Hit the road Santorum, (and) (and) and…you might just be Mitt’s VP

We’re just in April, does the thing still have months to go?
Rick hopes Mitt’s gaffing will leave a crack in the window

Right on into Tampa, to let the delegates loose to see
If they turn to Rick, Newt, Jeb or Mitch or Chris Christie!

Hit the road Santorum, you won’t be the nominee

Hit the road Santorum, (and) (and) and…you might just be Mitt’s VP

Give up, Santorum, there's nuthin' much that you can say
Mitt’s got the numbers, let’s get on to Election Day.
Rick said "Republicans, don’t you trust that Mitt Romney."
But Jeb said "Do us a favor, son, woncha let old Mitt be the nominee?"

Hit the road Santorum, you won’t be the nominee

Hit the road Santorum, (and) (and) and…you might just be Mitt’s VP




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