Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Super Chooseday: Voters Pick Mitt Romney

No matter how you look at what happened last night,  Mitt Romney had a spectacular night last night. He won 6 out of the ten states up for grabs last night: Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Alaska, Idaho and Ohio. Rick Santorum only won three states last night:  North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Newt Gingrich only won his home state of Georgia. Ron Paul did not win any states.
Mitt Romney's Super Tuesday Success
There are a few significant points in Mitt Romney's victory that is worth mentioning.
Last week, the media created a narrative that Mitt Romney had to win his homes state of Michigan or else his campaign was doomed. Rick Santorum had a double digit lead over Mitt Romney before his lead evaporated and Romney snatched defeat away from Santorum.  The media created the same drama over in Ohio in which Mitt Romney had the win that state or else it would be bad news for Mitt Romney. Once again, Santorum had a significant lead almost won that state until the very last minute when Romney snatched victory away from Rick Santorum. 
There's one more similarity between Michigan and Ohio. In both states, Democrats tried to interfere with the Republican primary system by voting for Rick Santorum. From what I understand, 5 percent of those turning out for the Republican contest identified themselves as Democrats. These Democratic voters overwhelmingly supported Santorum over Romney 47 percent to 27 percent. If these Democratic voters had not cast ballots in the Republican primary, Romney would have won Ohio by roughly a 3-point margin.
An even more embarrassing similarity between Michigan and Ohio is that Catholics voted for the Mormon candidate than the Catholic candidate in both Michigan and Ohio. But then again, Rick Santorum has always performed lower among Catholics than Protestants.
Its also important to note that Mitt Romney won Massachusetts. This is important because the citizens voted for the former governor who gave them RomneyCare." Numerous polls taken in Massachusetts show that the citizens of that state like RomneyCare and Mitt's victory is just the latest proof of its popularity.
Mitt Romney not only did well in winning 6 out of the 10 states last night, but he did extremely well in amassing the delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination. 
Its All About The Delegates
Mitt Romney also racked up a lot of delegates on Super Tuesday. 419 delegates up were for grabs and he won a majority of all delegates available last night:
Romney won at least 212 Super Tuesday delegates and Santorum won at least 84. Gingrich won at least 72 delegates and Texas Rep. Ron Paul got at least 22.
So far, Romney is winning 54 percent of the Super Tuesday delegates; Santorum is winning 22 percent.
Given that it takes 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney is in the lead by a huge margin in which he possesses 415 delegates. That number includes endorsements tallied by the Associated Press from members of the Republican Party who can support any candidate. Rick Santorum is in second place with 176 delegates while Newt Gingrich has 105, and Ron Paul has 47. Its worth noting that for some reason MSNBC is reporting that Mitt Romney has won 327 delegates last night. 
If you want to see how well Mitt Romney did in picking up delegates, look at the number of delegates he had before Super Tuesday and how many he got afterwards: 
Due to the organizational incompetence of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, they freely gave away Virginia's 46 delegates to Mitt Romney because both candidates failed to qualify for the ballot.  
Rick Santorum hurt himself last night because lost the chance at picking up another 18 delegates in Ohio, because he failed to file full delegate slates as a result of his organizational incompetence.
Even though Mitt Romney lost in Georgia in which it offered the largest prize of 76 delegates, he might be winning a larger share of the delegates than Newt Gingrich according to MSNBC:
Casual followers of politics might assume that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for example, won most of the 76 delegates Tuesday night in his home state, Georgia — and he would have under the winner-take-all system. But the Republican National Committee has tried to steer the state parties toward district allocations that more accurately reflect the popular vote.
The upshot is that even though Gingrich won Georgia, according to NBC News' projection Tuesday night, he could end up with fewer than half its delegates. Romney, meanwhile — despite finishing second or third — could come away with a quarter of them or more.
Despite whatever you hear on the news about Super Tuesday, the Republican Primary isn't about who has won the most states. It has always been about the delegates. Moreover, We're past the "momentum" and "narrative" phase of the race. It really does matter who's getting the most delegate and that is all that matters in this election. More importantly, Mitt Romney is ahead in the delegate count. That matters because Mitt Romney is less than half way to collecting 1,114 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.
Ever since Mitt Romney dropped out of the race in 2008 and then entered the 2012 Presidential race, its been clear that he's been super focused on winning those delegates. Some people say that Mitt Romney studied how Obama won the 2008 Democratic primary and is following Obama's playbook.  Others believe that Romney path to the Republican nomination is similar to Michael Dukakis primary path to the Democratic nomination in 1988. However, it doesn't really how Mitt travels down the path to the nomination, what matters is that Mitt has the ability to cross the finish line while Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul can't.
The media has tried to spin Santorum's Super Tuesday night as being a positive thing for him. It isn't. He may have won three states but it was a Phyrric victory since he did poorly in gathering the delegates he needs. As I explained above, his organizational incompetence and poor leadership skills allowed Mitt Romney to free and uncontested delegates from Virginia and he didn't get as many delegates as he could have in Ohio. That has serious implications for voters in later primary elections who are looking for someone who knows how to lead. The other long lasting consequence is that it makes it difficult, not easier, for Santorum to get the necessary delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination.
Newt Gingrich is trying to portray himself as making a third comeback in this race after winning Georgia. However, Newt has even greater uphill climb than Rick Santorum does in getting the delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination. Having Rick Santorum in the race doesn't make it any easier for him to catch up on getting those delegates either. But then again, having Newt Gingrich in the race doesn't help Rick Santorum either. However, both men are determined not drop out of the race and the time will soon come when both men will need a miracle to win the nomination. However, the only miracle that would help them is if Mitt Romney drops out of the race but that isn't going to happen.
As for Ron Paul, Super Tuesday was a disaster for him. He's admitted that he isn't in the race to become President but that he's in the race for the sole purpose of amassing enough delegates so that he can use his delegates as a way of getting the Republican party to adopt his libertarian views on foreign policy, economics and other issues. Recently, Ron Paul admitted on Fox News that he doesn't want the power of being the President but to have the power to influence our nation on matters he considers important. However, if that is his goal, Ron Paul is failing miserably since he only has 47 delegates right now. By the time the GOP convention rolls around, the amount of Delegates Ron Paul won't have enough delegates to manipulate the Republican party into accepting his views on the national platform.
While many conservative and liberal bloggers and journalist are trying to put a negative spin on Mitt Romney's Super Tuesday victories, its clear that whatever weaknesses Romney appears to have, his Republican rivals are even more weaker than Mitt and have not proven themselves that they can defeat Obama.

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