Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Republicans Vote Again

Today Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota go to the primary polls. T-Rav's Sockpuppets are taking a well-deserved day off, so we're going to make this an open thread for comments on these elections and any input you feel appropriate from the prior elections. Missouri has a non-binding primary ("beauty contest"), while the other two states have caucuses. Much may be decided today, or nothing. You can tell us what you think.

I'm predicting a Romney win in Colorado, by a fairly large margin. In Missouri, I'm predicting a Santorum victory, and Gingrich isn't on the ballot. In Minnesota, I'm calling it "too close" with either Romney or Santorum winning, but Paul and Gingrich close behind. Please feel free to agree with me or tell me I'm nuts. It's all just in good fun, isn't it? On the other hand, the fun may stop very quickly if Gingrich loses two and gets no votes at all in the third.

88 comments:

T-Rav said...

Yay, open-ish thread!

I'm still here, I just figured it wouldn't be a good idea to do the sockpuppet thing for every primary/caucus, seeing as there's going to be like thirty more. The sockpuppets are going to have their union reps after me, anyway.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey have fun at the caucus! Take pictures and name names! Will you get to wear a funny hat? I imagine that there is lots of smoking and drinking and funny hats at caucuses (caucii? caucae?)

Kittens Disorganized said...

Confederacy!! Confederacy!! Confederacy!!

Scarlett O'Hara's Ghost said...

The South will rise ag'in one kitten at ah tahme!

LawHawkRFD said...

Sockpuppet Knitters: Kindly refrain from using the word "union." It causes my computer to overheat and crash. Or was that your intention?

LawHawkRFD said...

No handicappers out there? I was hoping for some other predictions so I won't look so foolish when I turn out to have gotten all three races wrong.

rlaWTX said...

I think that all of the races should be on the same day. No counting until the next morning.

Or something more organized than the present insanity...

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I'd like to see a more organized method, but politics is itself chaotic. I want to retain primaries (and caucuses) so that small states have a voice as the Founders intended (ensconced in the Electoral College for the general election), so I wouldn't want to see all the primaries on the same day. But there has to be a better way than the current system.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I think your predictions are spot-on. In Colorado, the only thing to watch for is if Santorum or Gingrich take second. I'm going to go ahead and predict a win in Minnesota for Santorum--some people were saying the winter weather there might weaken turnout and mix things up, but come on. It's Minnesota. I'm pretty sure warm weather would be more likely to lower turnout.

As for Missouri, I'm back down in MS and thus wasn't able to cast my ballot, but I've been listening to STL talk radio on my computer most of the day, and Santorum appears to be making out like a bandit. It's non-binding--we don't have our caucus until mid-March--but I think the results are still worth watching. I'm partial, of course; but MO is fairly representative of the nation at large, and since Newt didn't make the ballot, this could be a test run of what happens when the Not-Romney forces have no choice but to coalesce around a single candidate. If Santorum can get around 50%--which he may very well do--and can get second in CO and first in MN, he can reasonably present himself as the last Romney alternative standing.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Weirder still is that the current Rasmussen poll shows Santorum as the only one beating Obama. His polls tend to be accurate, but like all polls, are a reflection of the moment and aren't accurately predictive of a general election this far away.

Koshcat said...

Ugh, I got a robocall last night from Michelle Malkin asking me to support Santorum.

I am not sure if I am going to the caucus tonight due to work related responsibilities. Which begs the question, who are the people who trudge out into the cold after a long day at work to argue over who should be the nominie? Crazy people that's who! Therefore, it will be the rabid Santorum, Gingrich and Paul fans that will be the loudest. Still, Romney won Colorado's last caucus so he should be the front runner.

Are there any two people that couldn't be different than Santorum and Ron Paul? And they say the GOP doesn't have a big tent!

Newt said...

IF I DON'T WIN, YOU CHEATED AND I'M GOING TO TELL ON YOU!!!

Koshcat said...

Dem Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper: I Wouldn't Have Voted for Obamacare If I'd Known About HHS Regulation


Well, it's a little late now to read the bill and develop a conscience. I'm not sure what is worse, being a believer and voting for a bill like Obamacare or being ignorant and voting for it. At least the former is being honest if not being really intelligent.

T-Rav said...

Koshcat, you do know Andrew's going to the Colorado caucus, right? ;-)

Rhett Butler's Ghost said...

Frankly, deah kittens, ah doan't give a damn.

tryanmax said...

I got nuthin'. I've been too busy following the drama surrounding Ben Nelson's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat. Seems the state Democrats can't find a candidate. (Though speculation about Bob Kerry was just ridiculous from the outset.)

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I really think the Nebraska Democrats are screwed this time. Or at least, I sincerely hope so.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: We don't get robocalls out here in the sticks. I think they long ago wrote us [conservatives] off.

I don't know if those people you describe are crazy or just determined. But either way, they do stir up the pot. Crazy Andrew is already headed for his caucus. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Newt: We only cheated on the votes. You cheated on your wife. So there. Nyah, nyah, nyah.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: See what happens when you read the bill after it's been passed? Dahlkemper may be upset, but she has only herself (and her party) to blame. On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi was delighted to find all the socialist and anti-religious provisions in the bill.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I think Nelson may have been the last gasp for blue dog democrats in Nebraska for awhile. He wasn't really that blue anyway. Let's hope a Republican can pick up that Senate seat.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I'm with ya, brother.

T-Rav said...

Well, a few results are starting to trickle in. Santorum has a slight lead over Romney in MO (though he's averaging 50-60 percent in the rural counties), and a much bigger lead in MN, where Romney is currently in third place. It's still very early on, though.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, the local party seems to be operating on the assumption that whoever wins the GOP primary will take the seat. Someone needs to declare by the end of the month or November's will be a lopsided ballot. The two guys who say they are considering are unknown to anyone besides their constituents and political junkies--and that's debatable.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Missouri does have a strong evangelical element, largely in the rural areas, so I guess that's not a big surprise even if it holds up. Minnesota has elected Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty as governor. So I simply don't know what to make of them, but I do know they have a long labor-farm coalition that tends to vote liberal and Democrat. Libertarians seem to be very strong in Minnesota, while conservatives are less influential. How that stacks up for Romney vs. Santorum we'll soon see.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I hope you'll keep us updated on the Nebraska candidates as we get closer to the elections.

tryanmax said...

This google elections utility is pretty handy. I'm just leaving it up and going about my business.

In the Minnesota counties that have already reported, Santorum is just trouncing Romney. How much do you suppose this has to do with that Rasmussen poll? I'd venture: everything.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I personally stopped trying to understand Minnesota when they elected Al Franken to the Senate.

Some more results are in at home, meanwhile, and Santorum now has an outright majority at 51 percent. Whether that will hold or not, I don't know, but for the moment, he is certainly overperforming. My own county voted for him over Romney, 60-25 percent. In general, he's winning the more conservative rural counties and Romney is taking the more moderate urban areas. But there's still a lot of votes to be counted.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: There is a synergistic relationship between polls and votes, and it's often hard to decide which influenced the other more.

T-Rav said...

And with 41 percent of precincts in, Santorum is beating Romney in Missouri, 54 to 26 percent. Some urban areas haven't reported yet, but so far, he's winning the KC area handily, which I had not expected. This may turn into a blowout.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I'm not convinced Minnesota elected Al Franken at all, but it would have been close if it weren't for efficient Democratic vote-stealing and court interference in the process.

The results of today's Minnesota caucuses is throwing off my prediction of a close call between Santorum and Romney. I expected it to be much closer, but as you said, there are plenty of precincts yet to report.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I predicted a Santorum victory in Missouri, but I didn't foresee a runaway. Again, it will be interesting to see the final result.

T-Rav said...

Hannity and company on Fox News are saying the MO victory means Santorum will stick around for a long time and may establish himself as the Romney alternative. Wouldn't call myself a Santorum supporter, but....yeah, I won't lie, I'm feeling a swell of pride right now.

tryanmax said...

Still, so much for Ron Paul's enthusiasm over the caucus states.

LawHawkRFD said...

Not only are my predictions turning out to be far from correct, but I'm beginning to think this primary season is even more volatile than I thought. So far, I've only gotten Colorado right. Is .333 a good batting average? LOL

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, after consideration, I'll split the credit between the polls and the right-wing talkers. For some reason several of them have slid over to Santorum, summarily declared his voting record irrelevant, and declared him the most conservative candidate.

I'm particularly miffed with Levin for this (and I haven't listened in over a month, now) because on one particular show he was laying into Romney for being a flip-flopper and in the next breath--with no trace of irony--he started defending Santorum's flip-flops. I didn't just blow-up either, I heard him out. I figured he'd have a cogent distinction to make. But instead, he simply declared that Santorum's flops must be ignored, no explanation given. Grrr!

I don't care who you are, I just hate hypocrisy wherever it crops up.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, what news are you watching? Because the Google map is at odds with your assertion over Colorado.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I wasn't surprised by Santorum's victory in Missouri, but the margin caught me flat-footed. I think it's the margin rather than the victory itself that matters. Big wins = enthusiasm = campaign funds. I'm sure he will stick around now, particularly since those results do paint him rather than Gingrich as the anti-Romney candidate. The next time somebody tells me these primaries are dull, I'm going to ask him what planet he's from.

LawHawkRFD said...

Another thought: Santorum's big numbers may also indicate that my faith in the American people should remain unshaken as to religious freedom. I thought that the Obama plan to force birth control/sterilization/abortifacients on unwilling religious institutions was being ignored. I think these results may be a reflection of the public's scrutiny of things I thought would be mere footnotes. Way to go, Americans.

tryanmax said...

Good point, LawHawk. I hadn't thought of that. Santorum is the most logical response to that issue. Whether he's the most logical choice for POTUS...

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: re Paul and caucuses. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I must have been hallucinating. I saw one early result that looked good for Romney in Colorado. Now I'm 0 for 3. Yeek! Could this mean the Rasmussen poll was right?

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I carefully limited my comment to "as to religious freedom." I have many reservations about Santorum's record on other conservative issues. That said, I stick by my position that I will support any of the current candidates in the general election (or an unlikely dark horse) with the strong exception of Paul. That doesn't mean that I would vote for Obama over Paul.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I'm just as confused as you are. I recommend taking a look at the Google Elections page (tryanmax has the link) and hitting the results for Missouri. The purple counties are Santorum. That's a level of uniformity I promise you will never find in our elections, and I'm at a loss as to how it occurred. For him to be winning Minnesota by the margin he is, and to currently be up in Colorado on top of that....well, well, well, this turned out to be somewhat more interesting than I expected.

Also, if Santorum does go 3-for-3, I think someone needs to find Andrew's address. And also a defibrillator.

tryanmax said...

It's just stunning how awful Obama is that even these GOP candidates are all better. I think it is crazy how, just as I am warming up to Romney, suddenly his supposed inevitability fizzles out. Come election day, I'm gonna wince as I fill in the bubble for the GOP candidate no matter what, now. But Santorum would make me wince a bit harder than Romney (and about the same as Newt, but less than Paul).

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I did that shortly after I put my foot in my mouth about Romney in Colorado. You and I both need to go back to prognosticator school. LOL I got Missouri right, but I never expected that kind of margin, so I'm still scoring myself 0 for 3.

I hope Andrew cast his vote before hearing the results.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, the Missouri map--we pronounce it "Misery" up here ;)--makes me wonder if the Mayans were onto something...?

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: When I think of all the fine candidates who dropped out or never entered, I do get a little depressed looking at the remaining field. But like you, I still think any one of them (with the possible exception of Paul) would be better than an Obama re-election.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Bite your tongue while knocking on wood.

LawHawkRFD said...

I can't wait to hear what Gingrich has to say.

Kitty Kelly said...

Adnrew! STOP! Take an aspirin, sit down, and call 911 before you look at any results.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, Oh, I've done my knocking on wood. And I have the forehead-shaped dents to prove it. Not so sure it would be wise to bite my tongue at the same time, though.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk and tryanmax, sometimes I wonder. It has been a bizarre past few weeks. But really, that statewide graphic literally makes no sense to me. We don't get results like that. And now Minnesota has been officially called for Santorum, so even if Romney gets Colorado, that's still two out of three.

Serious question: What do you guys think this means for Newt? The pressure on him to drop out after tonight, I expect, will become tremendous. The base has been looking for months for a single Not-Romney to rally around, instead of multiple Not-Romneys to split up the field, and....well, now we've got one. Seems to me that if Newt's goal at this point is to do Romney all the damage he can, he's got a fairly easy means of doing it. Drop out and endorse Santorum.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I concur. The only thing is, Newt was never in it to hurt Romney. While he may not have gotten in to win (I think he got in to sell books) since Newt has gotten a whiff of potential victory, he won't drop out until he is forced out. Embarrassing as tonight should be for him, I doubt it will be enough.

tryanmax said...

Santorum started his speech by saying "Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota!" If only I could be certain that conservatism is alive and well in Santorum. *sigh*

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I have just proven that I'm not very good at predictions, but my guess is that Gingrich will stick around until the money runs out. I don't think that will take very long. My worry is that if and when he gets the message, he'll go down in flames while attempting to take the front-runners with him.

tryanmax said...

Santorum is giving a fairly entertaining speech. He's getting good audience feedback.

Rick: When Obama did ______, did he listen to you?

Audience: NO!

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I agree, and I think it will be lack of money or potential campaign funds that will finally force him out. And ditto on Santorum's conservativism.

T-Rav said...

It's a fairly good speech, I'll have to agree. He's focusing on Obama and not attacking the others too much, except to say he has a better chance at winning than they do. I have my doubts about that, but otherwise, not bad.

LawHawkRFD said...

At this point, both Fox News and Google are showing less that eight percent of the votes are in in Colorado with barely 400 votes counted so far. I'm not sure if that means anything, but I wouldn't call it based on either the totals or the demographics yet.

tryanmax said...

"Freedom is at stake in this election." *applause*

tryanmax said...

Now that was a good laugh line from Santorum. (I'm not asking you to pledge your lives. Maybe your fortunes...) It flows naturally from the speech, and doubles as a nicely woven plug for his website, too. As a marketeer, I'm impressed.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I caught that too. How right he is.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Proof that Santorum can come up with a humorous paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence without mocking it (unlike Obama).

T-Rav said...

I enjoyed that line too.

LawHawk, they've been frozen at those numbers for I-don't-know-how-long. It must be amateur hour out there.

tryanmax said...

He-e-e-e-ere's Ronny!

Y'know, I always picture him being wheeled around on a hand truck backstage in a straight-jacket and bite-mask which his handlers remove at the curtain's edge before releasing him onstage.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I switched over to NCIS.

tryanmax said...

Is this a speech or just an old man rambling?

tryanmax said...

I'm hanging on in case Newt gives a speech. I'll clue everyone in if they'd rather watch something more entertaining.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I think Andrew is holding up the votes until they come out his way. LOL

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, do you really need to ask?

I already changed the channel.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Since you're doing a great job, I'd rather read your summary of the post-Santorum speeches than listen to them. Particularly Gingrich's.

T-Rav said...

Okay, Colorado is FINALLY starting to come in. 25% reporting, Santorum still leads Romney 43-28. Incidentally, the reason it didn't seem so many precincts could be in--turnout is abysmally low. A bunch of counties are totaling fifty, sixty votes. So why the heck is it taking so long?

tryanmax said...

Romney is up, but my connection is suddenly wonky.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, he basically downplayed the MO and MN results, focused on Obama, and offered up the standard "I believe in America" stuff. Did it fairly well, I thought. All in all, it was about the best he could do under the circumstances.

tryanmax said...

Romney’s speech in brief:
- Starts out doing a nice job of flaying 0bama with his own words.
- Attempts to re-establish himself as an outsider.
- Makes a case for his own experience contrasted against 0bama “learning on the job”
- Solid rhetoric about America’s greatness and optimism for the future.
- Overall, not as energetic as Santorum’s speech, but good. Also, points for brevity.

BTW: Paul’s speech left me with nothing. Just an old man rambling.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: It's about time. Maybe Andrew can explain the delay to us since he's in the middle of it. Doesn't look like there's going to be much of a change at the top spot.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: About what I would expect from Romney. He's still playing it safe. Whether that's wise or not remains to be seen. Paul makes no sense to me most of the time. I like some of his libertarian positions, but he needs to get a speech-writer and stop saying outrageous things off the top of his head.

tryanmax said...

Well, they just announced there will be no speech from Newt. G'night all!

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Aw shucks. Either he's planning a really nasty blast tomorrow, or he had an aneurysm.

T-Rav said...

Romney may pull off Colorado, but it's going to be very close. And considering how wide a margin he won it by in '08, that's not good news for him at all. However you slice it, this was a big win for Santorum.

And now I've got to knock off, or I'll get nothing done tomorrow. Good night all!

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I'm with you. I have to get up at the crack of dawn to take Niko the Wonder Dog to the vet for what he thinks is his regular checkup. Actually, it's neutering day, so he will be pouting for awhile.

No matter how this day finally turns out, and regardless of spin, this was a very big day for Rick Santorum.

LawHawkRFD said...

Well, I was going to sign off, and then updated results put Romney narrowly ahead in Colorado. It looks like he'll win after all, but I don't think he's going to get that large margin I predicted. So I guess I'll hang around a little longer.

LawHawkRFD said...

And now Santorum's ahead again in Colorado with about 60% of the precincts reporting. Two point lead on Google, three on Fox.

T-Rav said...

I think I'm going to chew Andrew out tomorrow as a stand-in for all Coloradans. Get your freaking votes counted already.

I really feel sorry for the Fox panel waiting around for this to finish and trying to fill the time. I expect that in another 30 minutes or so, Krauthammer or someone will throw up his hands and say, "Yeah, I got nothin'."

T-Rav said...

Final Colorado numbers: Santorum 40, Romney 35. More to say in the morning. Good night and good luck.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Saw that. I'm looking forward to everyone's comments tomorrow. Especially Andrew's.

rlaWTX said...

just read through all of this from last night - I have decided that my choice to watch NCIS, NCIS:LA, and Justified was the perfect choice for me!!!!!! [NCIS was really pretty great if you're a fan of the show!]

as for the results... no comment

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