Super Tuesday ReadsPosted: March 6, 2012
Today is the day Willard Mitt Romney has been working toward since 1994 when he first ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy. Think of the hundreds of millions of dollars he has poured into his dream of winning the presidency, only to end up on Super Tuesday 2012 with a 28% favorability rating according to the latest NBC-WSJ poll (h/t Dakinikat). Nevertheless, Romney could be the inevitable candidate after tonight–at least the Republican “establishment,” such as it is, hopes he will be.
As you can see in the image above, there are 437 delegates at stake today in the ten Super Tuesday states–that’s more than a third of the total delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.
My home state of Massachusetts holds its primary today, but I’ll be voting on the Democratic side for Elizabeth Warren for Senate. I’m actually getting a little worried about her now that Scott Brown has been leading in the polls for a couple of weeks now.
It looks like Romney will win easily here anyway. In fact, according the Washington Post, “Mass. Republicans hope a big Romney primary win Tuesday could put state into play in November”
Polls show Romney with a commanding lead among GOP primary voters here. His Republican challengers — Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich — have put little money or effort into the state.
But those same polls show Romney trailing President Barack Obama by double digits in a state that has traditionally shunned Republican presidential candidates.
Massachusetts Republicans are hoping that Romney will be able to buck that trend by reeling in voters in the state he governed for four years.
“He’ll put Massachusetts in play,” said state Republican Party Chairman Bob Maginn.
I sure hope not! Romney isn’t popular here, and he wasn’t popular as governor. But if the state ends up being competitive, I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and vote for Obama.
Nate Silver was posting Super Tuesday updates all day yesterday, and his predictions are laid out in a sidebar at his blog. He is forecasting wins for Romney in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia. He expects Santorum to win Wisconsin, Tennesee, Oklahoma, and Gingrich to win his home state of Georgia.
As for the caucus states of North Dakota, Vermont, Idaho, and Alaska, which account for 87 delegates Silver’s colleague Micah Cohen says anything could happen. Personally, I think Romney should take Vermont, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paul or Santorum take North Dakota.
Over at Real Clear Politics you can see a table showing all of the latest Super Tuesday polls. Of course we’ll be live blogging the results tonight here at Sky Dancing, so please join us!
Soooo …. Here are a few headlines to get the big day started.
Howard Fineman says the Republican Party has become America’s First Religious Party
Whatever happens on Super Tuesday, the Republican primary season already has made history. The contest has confirmed the establishment of America’s first overtly religious major political party.
The signs are numerous, but it’s still easy to miss the big picture: that the GOP now is best understood as the American Faith Party (AFP) and its members as conservative Judeo-Christian-Mormon Republicans. The basement of St. Peter’s is just one clubhouse.
“There has never been anything like it in our history,” said Princeton historian Sean Wilentz. “‘God’s Own Party’ now really is just that.”
Fineman says most people don’t seem too thrilled by this idea. Duh!
The new GOP does not seem to be sitting well with the American people as a whole, or even with many traditional Republicans. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine is only the latest non-AFP-type Republican to decide to leave politics and/or the party. In the new ruling class, “revival tent” proponents are driving out the old “big tent” advocates. And a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 40 percent of American adults think less of the party after watching its transformation this electoral season.
Will this spell the end of the GOP?
I happened to watch Hardball last night and to my horror, I saw Willard Mitt Romney in Tennessee reciting the words to an old song I recall from my childhood (but would have preferred to leave there), “Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier.” It came from a Disney movie of the same name. Charlie Pierce hated it too.
Romney is the personification of the word “dork.”
It turns out Ann Romney may have the same problem as her husband. She can’t help making remarks about being rich. Yesterday she appeared on Fox News and claimed, “I don’t even consider myself wealthy.”
Yeah, that’s “an interesting thing.” I wish she’d send me some of the $21 million the Romneys took in last year. Ann Romney is beginning to remind me of Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom.
Just one more Romney link: Sam Stein found a debate from 2008 in which Romney said he likes health care insurance mandates. Romney’s spokesman said it’s not a flip flop. You be the judge. Frankly, I don’t see how Romney can recall which side of an issue he’s on from one minute to the next.
There’s an embarrassing story from Rick Santorum’s history at Huffpo by Jason Cherkis.
For a brief moment Monday afternoon, GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum jettisoned his conservative, culture-warrior talking points to make a down-to-earth connection with Ohio voters. He confessed that as a teenager, he used to cross the Ohio border to buy beer because the state’s legal drinking age was 18. “I used to enjoy going to Ohio,” he said.
That’s funny. We used to do that in Indiana too. Ohio’s drinking age for 3.2 beer was 16 in those days. It was pretty weak stuff but you could still get a buzz from it if you drank enough.
Before he lived in the fraternity house, Santorum lived in a dorm in the center of Penn State’s University Park campus. During his junior year, he roomed with John Koury. “We literally rolled kegs down the dormitory floor,” Koury recalled.
Their room became a party room. “On Fridays, when everyone got back from class, we’d go get a quarter-keg from the distributor,” Koury told HuffPost. “There’d be 20 or 30 of us in the room. We’d drink it and go down to the dining hall.”
Everybody called him “Rooster.” And Rooster liked to chug.
Moving on…. Yesterday must have been the day for wives to defend their husbands. Ann Romney gave an interview to Fox, and Karen Santorum defended her husband’s attitudes toward women for Tuesday’s CBS This Morning.
“They try to corner him and make it look like he doesn’t know anything else” other than conservative social values, Santorum told CBS News political correspondent Jan Crawford in an interview for “CBS This Morning.” “As a wife, mother, an educated woman, it frustrates me that they try to do that.”
She said it’s “unfortunate” that the media tries to “corner” her husband on issues like contraception.
Maybe if he didn’t keep ranting about it all the time, they’d stop asking him about it.
“My husband is brilliant, he knows so much about — you know, like I said — national security, jobs, the economy,” she told Crawford. “You know, every aspect of this race, any issue out there, he’s brilliant.”
Yeah, right. If her husband is “brilliant,” he sure does a good job of hiding it. She also complained about many people’s reaction to the couple’s decision to take their dead 20-month fetus home to show their children.
“We brought Gabriel home from the hospital to have a funeral mass and to bury him. And so they twist it and make it sound like it was some crazy thing,” she said. “We brought him home from the hospital to introduce him to our kids and place him, it was for the funeral mass and the burial. And what is so sad to me Jan is that no one can tell me how to grieve, and I’m not going to tell anyone else how to grieve. It’s not right.”
Well she might not tell anyone how to grieve, but she and her husband seem to wants to tell the rest of us we can’t use birth control or have access to abortion and that women should home school their children instead of working for a living. The Santorums both have martyr complexes. IMO, they should quit whining, live their lives they way they want to, and leave the rest of us alone.
Good old Ron Paul made a bit of news yesterday when he said victims of the recent tornadoes shouldn’t get any federal help.
As Midwestern states face the aftermath of last week’s severe tornado outbreak, Ron Paul said victims of the storms should not look to the federal government for help.
The Texas Republican has often criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency, because, as he says, “they just get in the way.” He made this same argument Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley regarding the recent tornado-spawned devastation in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and several other states.
“To say that any accident that happens in the country, send in FEMA, send in the money, the government has all this money, it’s totally out of control and it’s not efficient,” he said.
Paul argued that the money FEMA spends for disaster relief is stolen from the states and tax payers and is ultimately wasteful.
What a nasty, mean old man! He’s building up some really bad karma.
I know I should have dug up some news about Newt Gingrich too, but I couldn’t find much. He’ll have a nice night in Georgia tonight I guess, and then probably will fade into the sunset.
Other than the primaries, the big story in the news is the conflict between Obama and Netanyahu over attacking Iran, which I find so depressing that I don’t even want to think about it. You can read about it at the link. And here’s a bonus. Mitt Romney has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post called “How I would check Iran’s nuclear ambition.”
So that’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today? And don’t forget to join us this evening as we discuss the results of the Super Tuesday contests!