Sorry I haven’t added any news stories in the past two days, but I have been busy. Anyway from Massachusetts to Georgia to Idaho, and Alaska; ten states will be making thier voices heard in the ongoing Republican Presidential nominating process.
Tonight is that quadrennial event that begins the national near Darwinian struggle with the arrows of campaign cash, good press, and the feeling of inevitablity fed by primary and caucus victories; that will take a large step towards deciding who the Republican candidate will be that faces President Barack Obama in Nov.
Based on both on my own anecdotal evidence as well as other reports, turnout and enthusiasm in the Massachusetts Republican primary has been lackluster. This could be due to the fact that only 11.33% of Bay state voters are Republicans (though voters unaffiliated with any political party can vote in the primaries), and the fact that the candidates have avoided campaigning here has generated little enthusiasm or even knowledge that the primary is today.
Many see that a Romney win in Massachusetts tonight is all but inevitable, however it doesn’t appear that will be a victory without euphoria from the electorate in the state. When I went down to my polling place in Chicopee poll workers said turn out was ‘very light’ and as of about 1PM today only 91 people had cast ballots since that polling station opened at 7am this morning.
Four candidates will face off tonight. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich looking to score a second victory,more than a month after his win in South Carolina briefly put wind in his sails only to have his campaign peter out a week later in Florida. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor looking to close the sale with the party base and big donors, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, fueled by the outrage of those who seek a return to traditional moral values rooted in the soil of Christianity, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul with his small but dedicated cadre of supporters looking to amass more delegate and perhaps win in a cacus state or two tonight.
Eleven states: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and Vermont comprise a total of 424 delgates that could advance things closer to one of the four candidates clasping the needed 1,444 delegates needed to capture the nomination.
By the standards of recent history it has been a bruising fight for the nomination, made all the more so by conservatives seeking a candidate who best fits thier mold, while simalteaneoulsy having the political acumen to persuade independents and defeat an incumbent President that they say has enlarged the federal government, impeded economic growth, trampled on religious freedoms, and weakened America’s strength on the world stage.
Tonight prognosticators say that Romney will likely win Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia (where he and Congressman Ron Paul are the only candidates on the ballot, Idaho, and possibly North Dakota. Santorum they say, will likely prevail in Oaklahoma where he supposedly has a double digit lead in at least one poll and perhaps North Dakota or Tennessee playing on his strength in the rural and culturally conservative blue collar heartland of the nation.
Gingrich meanwhile will win the state of Georgia and maybe Tennessee, while Paul meanwhile could make strong showings in Alaska and North Dakota.
Big prizes to look at tonight are Ohio and Tennessee.
Just as I have in the past few contests I will live blog the early results as they develop both locally and nationally. First polls will be closing in Georgia, Vermont, and perhaps Virginia at 8PM/ET.
Wednesday 2:56PM- Just thought I would check back in to record the final results of last night’s Republican Caucuses and primary contests. In short nobody dropped out and everybody seemed to have one something.
Romney: in terms of the number of actual victories and delegate math won six of last night’s contests (Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and Virginia). and netted 195 additional delegates, though he still didn’t seem to win the hearts of conservatives, at best he appeared to only get thier tacid approval.
Total number of delegates: 404.
States won last night: Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, and Vermont.
Santorum: avoided being swept out of the race, exceeding expectations in Ohio and showing considerable strength in rural areas of both the South and the mountain west which is where the most fervent supporters of the party lay. He emerged victorious in the states of: North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Added to his wins in Iowa, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, his level of strength in Ohio, and the fact he is from Pennsylvania; Santorum is perhaps the candidate whose wins are the most geographically diverse of the entire Republican field. In terms of delegates he gained 61 Tuesday night.
Total Number of Delegates: 161.
States won last night: North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Gingrich: Had his second win and his first victory since South Carolina. That seemed good enough for him as Gingrich displayed his own unique brand of Nixonian disdain for the ‘elites’ with a ‘cheerful twist’. (Walking towards the apocalypse smiling as wide as ever). Gingrich’s win in the peach state gave him 76 additional delegates. Given this was the state he had represented in the U.S House of Represenatives for two decades one could deem it an unremarkable or at least unsurprising victory, but one nonetheless that will keep the checks from Sheldon Adelson coming for at least a little longer.
Total number of delegates: 105.
States won last night: Georgia
Paul: The Texas Congressman had the least to show for his efforts last night carrying no states. Still, Paul has stated his real objective is to amass as many delegates as he can in the caucus states leading up to the party’s August convention in Tampa. Last night he won just 18 delegates. Given that there are only eight more caucuses left with the last one coming up on April 07 in the Virgin Islands, it seems Paul’s chances to get enough delegates to make a difference are getting fewer and fewer.
Still his emphasis remains as it did in his 2008 run to be on ideology and addhereance to it. As long as he stays with that and doesn’t compromise that in a desperate attempt to get the actual nomination, he will retain his small but fervant pool of support.
Total Number of Delegates: 61
States won last night: None
President Obama: Last night showed that the race for the Republican nomination which has been marked by attempts to placate the base while simaltaneously driving away moderates and independents, and solidifying the President’s own base, ensures that the eventual nominee will emrge from the primary season at least somewhat damaged no matter who they may be.
12AM- Okay I will update this tommorow. In short everyone seems to live to fight another day.
11:57PM- Ohio still too close with 92 percent of the vote counted, Alaska caucus results likely to come in soon.
11:43PM/ET- In Massachusetts here are the final (or near final) results –
Democratic Presidential Primary:
Barack Obama: 89 percent
No Preference: 11 percent
Republican Presidential Primary:
Mitt Romney: 72 percent
Rick Santorum:12 percent
Ron Paul: 10 percent
Newt Gingrich: 5 percent
*Jon Huntsman: 1 percent
No Preference: 1,691 votes
* Rick Perry: 929 votes
* Michele Bachmann: 836 votes
* out of the race.
10:50PM/ET- Martin Bashir calls Mitt Romney ‘the Prince Charles of the Republican Party’.
10:33PM/ET- Ohio still too close to call, portends a long night in Nov.
10:29PM/ET- NBC News says Rick Santorum has won the North Dakota caucuses.
10:25PM/ET- FACT: Seven U.S Presidents have come from Ohio: William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A Garfield, Benjamin Harrison William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G Harding.
10:23PM/ET- Ohio 70% of vote in and still too close to call, Santorum ahead by 15,442.
9:52PM/ET- Romney to the jobless and those struggling financially: “You have not failed, you have a president that has failed you.”
9:51PM/ET- Refers to ‘Stagnant Obama economy’.
9:50PM/ET- Romney mentions some guy named ‘Norm Burns’ who has over 100 patents.
9:49PM/ET- Romney: “We’re going to take your vote, a huge victory in Massachusetts tonight, and we’re going to take it all the way to Washington.”
9:45PM/ET- Romney speaks before a crowd of cheering supporters in Boston. MA.
9:30PM/ET- Santorum: Election is about ‘fundamental liberty’.
9:26PM/ET- Santorum predicts that over the next few years as health care reform is implemented it will mean ‘the end of liberty’.
9:20PM/ET- Santorum: “This was a big night tonight, lots of states. We’re going to win some and we’re going to lose some.”
9:17PM/ET- Santorum addressing supporters in Stubenvile, Ohio
9:11PM/ET- On Gingrich’s comment that Obama said he thought higher gas prices were a problem because it endangers his re-election. MSNBC said Obama didn’t say it. According to a transcript of today’s press conference on the White House website of what the President said:
“Look, here’s the bottom line with respect to gas prices. I want gas prices lower because they hurt families; because I meet folks every day who have to drive a long way to get to work and them filling up this gas tank gets more and more painful, and it’s a tax out of their pocketbooks, out of their paychecks, and a lot of folks are already operating on the margins right now.
And it’s not good for the overall economy, because when gas prices go up, consumer spending oftentimes pulls back. And we’re in the midst right now of a recovery that is starting to build up steam, and we don’t want to reverse it.”
Haven’t you ever heard of video or the internet Mr. Speaker? It looks like yes you did make this up.
9:04PM/ET- Practical, doable, and cautious? Sounds like three things Gingrich is not.
9:02PM/ET- Ouch, ‘this isn’t pandering, it’s leading’ Newt’s swipe at Romney over criticism of his plan to lower gas to $2.50.
8:56PM/ET- Gingrich calling someone ‘shallow and self serving’ is like Bill Cosby telling me my sweater is ugly.
8:55PM/ET- Gingrich going to Alabama tommorow.
8:53PM/ET- Says Gov Romney strategy of outspending and destroying opponents.
8:49PM/ET- Fact: Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia endorsed Newt Gingrich.
8:49PM/ET- Newt against negativity?
8:48PM/ET- Oklahoma went from being a territory to a state in 1917.
8:46PM/ET- Gingrich’s litany of resentment: national media, Wall Street, Romney, etc. Also refers to himself in third person. When he gets out of the race we won’t ‘ have Newt to kick around anymore’.
8:46PM/ET- Rick Santorum is projected to win Oklahoma.
8:45PM/ET- Gingrich lashes out at Wall Street.
Newt Gingrich as former House Speaker = Man of the People?
8:44PM/ET- Career goes back to 1959? Was it destiny that brought Newt to this point.
8:42PM/ET- Gingrich says he survived ‘national elite’s attempts to kill us in the Summer’. Well not really kill him, he is speaking metaphorically.
8:41PM/ET- Newt Gingrich ‘rebuilding’ America? Does she forget the 1990s.
8:40PM/ET- Calista Gingrich says “we are committed to removing him [Barack Obama] from the White House.
8:38PM/ET- Newt Gingrich about to speak before crowd at his campaign headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
8:36PM- Fact: Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson were from Tennessee, while Tennessee was also the home state of former Vice President and 2000 Presidential candidate Al Gore.
8:34PM/ET- NBC News projects Rick Santorum will win the Tennessee Primary.
8:27PM/ET- News from Western Mass, Masslive.com: With 1% of the vote in Romney garnering 72 percent of the vote in Massachusetts.
8:15PM/ET- Romney to speak to unemployed finacially strapped Americans in his speech tonight telling them ‘you have not failed, the President has failed you’, that President Obama thinks he is ‘unchecked by the Constitution’, and that Obama ‘operates by command and not consensus.’
8:11PM/ET- FACT: Clinton carried Tennessee in his bid for re-election in 1996 (Clinton: 48.00 percent, Dole 45.59 percent, and Perot 5.59 percent).
8:08PM/ET- Romney currently ahead of Santorum 40-37percent in Ohio.
8:07PM/ET- Fact: No Democratic candidate for President has carried Oklahoma since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
8:05PM/ET- If Santorum gets at least 15 percent of the vote in Massachusetts he could win a few delegates.
8:01PM/ET- Fact:Oklahoma is home to 38 Federally recognized American Indian tribes.
8:00PM/ET- Mitt Romney now projected winner in Massachusetts, Santorum ahead in Oklahoma but too early to call.
8:00PM/ET- Polls have closed.
7:58PM/ET- Polls in Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Oklahoma to close in literally one minute.
7:52PM/ET- An old classmate of mine on Facebook mentioned the possibility of a brokered Republican convention in Tampa, FL in Aug; invoking the very contentious 1924 Democratic convention ‘Klanbake’ in New York that exposed regional and ideological divides in the party.
7:50PM/ET- Daily Beast: Romney outspent Santorum 4 to 1 in Ohio and 63 percent more than Gingrich in the state of Georgia.
7:45PM/ET- Daily Beast article: Romney Super PAC spent $7.82 million in ‘Super Tuesday’ states, Santorum Super PAC and the Susan B. Anthony List (which has endorsed Santorum) have spent $1.84 million, and Gingrich PAC spends $2.76 million.
7:45PM/ET- With 1 percent of votes in 70 votes separate Santorum and Romney in the ‘Buck eye state’ (that is Ohio).
7:41PM/ET- Santorum’s verbal gaffes ahead of MI primary and his bare bones campaign infrastructure have cost him.
7:39PM/ET- Dewine says that Romney is winning tonight merely because Republicans want the Primary process to end.
7:37PM/ET- Former Senator and current Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine who supported Romney before switching to Santorum calls Romney a ‘fundamentally flawed’ candidate. Ouch!
7:36PM/ET- NBC projects Mitt Romney will win the Vermont Republican primary.
7:32PM/ET-NBC Exit Polling in Ohio: 27 percent have decided in the last few days. Of those who decided in the last few weeks they went for Romney 45 percent and Santorum 34 percent.
7:30PM/ET- Caucuses begin in North Dakota and polls close in Ohio.
7:27PM/ET- Fact: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only candidates on tyhe ballot in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
7:30PM/ET- Polls to close in Ohio and Cacuses to end in North Dakota in minutes.
7:16PM/ET- NBC News projects Romney will win the Republican Primary in the state of Virginia.
7:07PM/ET- Looks like Gingrich will stay in the race playing on his strength in the southeast.
7PM/ET- NBC News says Virginia and Vermont too early to call
7PM/ET- NBC News projects Newt Gingrich will win the Georgia Republican primary.