Posts Tagged ‘Santorum’

24th February
2012
written by Sean Noble

Prediction: Romney will win Arizona by double digits and also win Michigan next Tuesday.  That will give him momentum going into Super Tuesday in which he will win more delegates than Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich and continue to lead the delegate count on his way to the Republican nomination.

Here is my problem with Rick Santorum, and it’s personal.  I took vacation time in 2004 to work on Pat Toomey’s Senate campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter.  Rick Santorum, to the surprise of many conservatives, endorsed and cut ads for Specter, as did President George W. Bush.  The argument at the time from the White House was that if Specter was the Republican nominee, Bush would be able to win Pennsylvania.  The counter argument was that if Specter was the nominee, the base Republican voters in Pennsylvania would be unmotivated to turnout and vote.

As a result of Santorum endorsing Specter, Specter won the primary in 2004 by one vote per precinct over Toomey and then Bush went on to lose Pennsylvania to Kerry in the General Election.

I can’t forget Santorum supporting Specter, who not only voted counter to Bush in the following years, but eventually switched to Democrat and was the deciding vote on Obama’s health care bill.

That’s unforgivable.

 

 

11th February
2012
written by Sean Noble

Mitt Romney enjoyed a big day on Saturday.  First he won the straw poll at CPAC – something that no one believed was possible.  Then, later Saturday, he won the Maine caucus, edging out Ron Paul, whom everyone thought was going to win the Maine caucus.  Paul even skipped CPAC to spend time in Maine, and yet lost both.

This puts Romney at more than 100 delegates and Ron Paul with fewer than 20.  Gingrich is under 30 delegates and Santorum has just more than 70.

This makes Arizona and Michigan important contests at the end of the month.  Santorum has predicted he will win Michigan, and he might. But if he doesn’t, Romney will be riding momentum into Super Tuesday with a sure win in Arizona.

One thing is for sure, Gingrich is done.  CPAC is not the establishment crowd – as evidenced by Ron Paul’s straw poll wins in 2010 and 2011 – but the self-proclaimed anti-establishment candidate, Newt Gingrich, only garnered 15% of the vote, for a distant 3rd place finish.

The CPAC straw poll results are very interesting.  Romney winning CPAC challenges the narrative that Mitt Romney can’t get the support of the most conservative elements of the GOP.  CPAC is the most conservative of the base GOP, and handing Romney a solid straw poll victory will give Romney additional momentum.

While this primary contest seems to be dragging on forever, remember, it’s only Feb. 11.  Obama didn’t secure the nomination from Hillary Clinton until June of 2008.  There is still plenty of time for the GOP to resolve the contest and then focus on beating Obama.

 

8th February
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to prove that politics is interesting, Rick Santorum has risen from the ashes and swept three primary/caucus contests yesterday in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

From a delegate count standpoint, it is a pretty meaningless day – but now the supposed two-man race between Romney and Gingrich has shifted to Romney and Santorum.

As I wrote after the South Carolina primary, Romney shouldn’t panic.  With Michigan and Arizona coming up at the end of the month, Romney should be riding the momentum of two solid wins going into Super Tuesday.

The best news coming out of last night is the crushing defeats for Gingrich in Minnesota and Colorado (he wasn’t on the ballot in Missouri).  Gingrich is done.

Congratulations to Santorum.  He now gets a chance to prove whether he can translate wins into a real campaign.

 

31st January
2012
written by Sean Noble

Romney’s solid win in Florida effectively ends the GOP nomination.  Romney is firmly in the driver’s seat, and while Ron Paul will continue to collect delegates for the next month or so, Gingrich and Santorum are essentially done.

The next two big primaries are Michigan and Arizona, both of which Romney will win in a big way, giving him the “big Mo” going into Super Tuesday.

It’s time for Republicans to coalesce behind Romney and focus on beating President Obama in November.

28th January
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitt Romney is on track to wrap up the GOP nomination with a win on Tuesday in Florida.  He had a strong performance in Thursday’s debate and polls out today show him up anywhere between eight and 11 points over Newt Gingrich.

This turnaround demonstrates that he can get the job down, something that will serve him well going into a General Election against President Obama.

As Gingrich enjoyed his surge and win in South Carolina, political observers speculated that he would eventually implode. What worried most GOP operatives was that the implosion would come after he secured the Republican nomination.  As if on cue, he promptly began to sink, and Romney again surged just in time for the Florida primary.

While it has been messy, the process has made Romney a better candidate and better prepared to face the onslaught that awaits him from the Democrats.

After Romney wins Florida, it will be nearly impossible for Santorum or Gingrich to make the case to stay in the race.  Ron Paul will stay in, because he continues to raise enough money to plod along, and he may even do pretty well in some of the upcoming caucuses (Maine, Nevada, Colorado and Minnesota) but Romney will more than likely win the Arizona and Michigan primaries, and he will be an unstoppable force going into Super Tuesday.

It’s been a wild ride – and it’s not quite over, but there are likely very few surprises that can happen now.

27th January
2012
written by Sean Noble

Heading into the Florida Presidential Primary, the soap opera that is the GOP nominating process is becoming a full-on hurricane.

Newt Gingrich’s polling line looks like a heart monitor, Ron Paul is wandering in the sugar cane fields looking for relevance, Rick Santorum can’t think of a place he will actually win and Mitt Romney is starting to get that terrified look in his eye as he realizes this isn’t his just for the taking.

That is one of the more interesting aspects of the last week.  We actually get to see Romney express some emotion, because nothing makes you more emotional than fear.

And guess what?  Newt Gingrich getting the nomination scares the crap out of me.

That’s kind of the story for the last day or two: conservatives realizing “Oh my gosh, Newt might win this!”  And that isn’t a happy exclamation point.

Thursday’s debate didn’t really change the make up of the race, so let’s get Tuesday over with and move on.

19th January
2012
written by Sean Noble

Truth is stranger than fiction.

As recently as the Iowa Straw Poll in August of last year, who, really, could have predicted that on the eve of the South Carolina GOP primary election for President any (let alone all!) of the following?

Michelle Bachman would be a complete non-factor before the Iowa Caucus?

Herman Cain would surge to the lead and fall completely out in less than six weeks?

Mitt Romney would largely write-off Iowa, only to squeak out a win? (I know, wait for it)

Rick Santorum would be left for dead on the side of the road and then come within 8 votes of beating Romney in Iowa, and then actually WIN Iowa (see, told you it was coming) when the results were certified?

Rick Perry, who was the “perfect” alternative to Romney (so much so that his entrance in the race would be cited by both Paul Ryan and Chris Christie as having an impact on their respective decisions to stay out of the race), would become a non-factor in the entire race a few minutes into his third debate?

Jon Huntsman would drop out and endorse Mitt Romney?

Ron Paul would still be around?

Rick Perry would drop out and endorse Newt Gingrich, on the day it comes out that Newt’s second wife claims he wanted an “open marriage”?

Seriously, how ironic is it that the guy everyone is trying to show as the alternative to the “weird Mormon guy” is the one who has actually tried to practice plural marriage?

Folks, this is a circus that has to stop soon, or it’s going to take the whole party down.

 

 

3rd January
2012
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATED

Talk about a photo finish.  Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney ended up with a mere 8 (!) votes separating them as of 1:20 3:00 a.m. EST. After a see-saw night, Romney prevailed, but the story is Santorum.

Santorum’s historic comeback can be attributed to three key factors: he slogged his way through every Iowa city, town and, hamlet over the last few months – something no one else did; the super PAC supporting Santorum peaked at exactly the right time, with the necessary air support; and the Romney super PAC did a very good job of undercutting Newt Gingrich.  (It also helped that Santorum’s opponents all but ignored him, allowing him to escape the Negative Ad Holiday Spectacular with few bruises.)

No single factor made the absolute difference; his near-victory required this perfect trifecta (plus one).

New Hampshire will be interesting.  Romney almost certainly will win, but Gingrich will be looking to avenge his thrashing at the hands of the Romney super PAC.  Santorum will get a bounce, but it’s going to be very muted.  Ron Paul will manage a 2nd or 3rd place win.

Then there’s South Carolina, and it could determine the nomination.  Gingrich is polling strong there, and Romney will struggle.  If Santorum uses his win in Iowa to leverage a big push in South Carolina (again at Newt’s expense), we could end up with a Santorum-Romney-Romney-Santorum result after the first three contests and that makes Florida a complete wild card.

This certainly won’t be boring.

 

 

 

1st January
2012
written by Sean Noble

2012 starts with a bang if you are into politics.  There is mounting anticipation for the Iowa Caucuses and who will be winners and who will be losers.

Amidst all the machinations, there are a couple things that stand out to me.

The collapse of Gingrich in Iowa demonstrates once again that negative campaigning can work.  Newt’s problem has been he has given his opponents way too much material to attack him.  I still think his ad about global warming with Nancy Pelosi from a few years ago is the most damning hit on him.

Santorum’s surge demonstrates the power of the social conservative vote in Iowa.  The active evangelical base in Iowa still can’t stomach voting for Romney and they are starting to coalesce around Santorum as Bachmann and Perry just haven’t proven they can get the job done.

The one mistake that Santorum has made is setting an expectation that he will win Iowa.  He could come in 2nd or even 3rd and get enough of a bounce that if Gingrich continued to falter, he could take advantage of the void.  At this point, because of the expectation of a Santorum win, if he doesn’t, he’s probably done.

While Romney has stayed steady, and the Gingrich threat is dissipating, I think Ron Paul still has a chance to win Iowa.  He has the best ground game there, and he is more likely to attract a broader base of non-Republicans who can show up on Caucus night, register as Republicans, and vote for Paul.

I still think it’s possible that we could have three different winners in the first three contests: Paul or Santorum in Iowa, Romney in New Hampshire and Gingrich in South Carolina (where he still leads in polls, for now).

If Gingrich does win South Carolina, that means we are in for a long, hard slog, not unlike what the Obama-Clinton primary looked like in 2008 when it was June before it was decided.

One thing is certain: 2012 is going to be one of the most interesting political years in modern history.

Buckle up and hang on – it’s going to be a wild ride!

Next