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And the Nomination Race Begins!

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. LKD

    LKD New Member

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    Tight race in Ohio!
     
  2. The Shaman

    The Shaman New Member

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    News here are calling it for Romney - is there any chance that Santorum may get it yet?
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot <font color="#FFFFFF">Mod Reviewer</font><br>Armed

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    It looks like Romney in Ohio - by less than 1% of the vote - but that's a huge win for him. Romney's problem areas are the south and the midwest. The GOP isn't too concerned about the south, as those vote heavily Republican, so they feel they'll win most of those states in the general election. The midwest is a whole other story. You've got to be able to win some of the states in the midwest if you're going to win the presidency. Up until now, the only midwest state he won was Michigan, which is his home state, and so this was big.

    Romney also won Alaska in a squeaker. He won comfortably in Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

    Santorum notched three wins, all rather comfortably - North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

    Gingrich won Georgia, his home state, which is only his second win of the primary season (along with South Carolina). I believe Alabama and Mississippi vote next week, and I suppose those contests might be decently favorable to him as well.

    No matter how long this goes on, I don't see a way Romney isn't going to win this. He's winning a little over half of the delegates, and if he continues on this trajectory he's the nominee. He doesn't need any more big wins, he just can't get shellacked somewhere. The result in Tennessee is fine. He didn't win - in fact he lost by nearly 10% and was 1% away from 3rd place - but he got over 20% of the vote, which is the threshold in Tennessee for getting a piece of the delegate pie. That's the strategy at this point. Win where you're supposed to win, and get a portion of the delegates in states that are unfavorable to you. That's enough at this point. It's Gingrich and/or Santorum that need to pull off a big win somewhere.

    Also keep in mind that about 1/4 of the delegates are super delegates, and are not bound by the popular vote. Even that could push Romney over the top. For example, say things go downhill for Romney a bit. He's winning about 55% of the delegates now, but say he only finishes with 45% of the delegates. Assuming no one else has even 35% of the delegates, (that's likely - even Ron Paul has won a few) then he still will finish with over half the total delegates if the super delegates break his way.
     
  4. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    I'm pretty amazed this thing has dragged out as long as it has. I still have little doubt Romney will be the nominee. The only thing that will change that would be either a brokered convention, or Gingrich bowing out right now and throwing all of his support and delegates behind Santorum. But there's no way his ego would allow him to suffer such an indignity, and so he'll stay in.

    I truly underestimated how self-destructive and chaotic the Republican party is at this time. I really thought that after Florida they'd all decide to stop screwing around and back one of these guys - but it continues. I also underestimated the size of Newt Gingrich's ego. There is no possible way he can win but he's still chugging along, dragging this thing out. His campaign to me is the linchpin that's holding the stalemate in place. If he bowed out, the anti-Romney vote could consolidate behind Santorum. But he won't. Paul has largely been a non-factor.

    I also truly underestimated what a bad candidate Mitt Romney is. I've always thought he was a buffoon but even I'm amazed at the number of unforced errors, cringe-worthy gaffes and missed opportunities to connect with the base he has racked up. Considering how much money he's been spending - 5-1 vs. Santorum! - and the fact that he's essentially been running for President for 6 solid years, he should be doing much, much better than he is.

    He's SAYING all the right things – Obama's a socialist, he apologizes for America, he has no Israel strategy, he has no Iran strategy, he's the most feckless President EVAH, he wants to model America after Europe, etc. - all complete horsesh*t of course, but these are the things you need to say to be credible to the GOP base... and they simply don't believe him. It's one thing to say this crap, but you have to say it convincingly. Santorum is a nutter but he clearly believes what he's saying. Romney just comes off as a guy who feels he needs to tell the rubes what they want to hear as long as he gets their vote. All politicians do this to varying degrees, of course - but Romney just oozes it. All that money, all that polish, all those consultants... and he just can't pull it off.

    I don't see that changing much in the general, either. But I could be wrong.
     
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again

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    At first I found it rather comical that Paul was still wasting money. But now I think he has to have another agenda here. I mean, what is he doing? He is not pulling votes out of anyone else's pocket, at least not enough to matter. What is his reasoning for staying around? He is too old for the next election, so is he trying to setup a platform for his son to follow up on in future elections?
     
  6. LKD

    LKD New Member

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    Romney underwhelmed me in most of what he said last night. I guess it's a fair criticism to say that he's a weak candidate because he's failed to really shellac his opposition. OK, fine, a lot of the GOP voters don't like him. But the blindingly obvious fact is that in the entire field of candidates, there is no one they like more! In other words, a lot MORE GOP voters dislike Santorum, and even more don't like Newt. Paul doesn't even bear mentioning. So a part of me wants to say: "Give Romney some slack!"

    And don't get me started about Palin's moronic comments about waiting until the convention. She can't be that venally retarded, she just can't. It's gotta be drugs of some sort.
     
  7. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    I think a more apt way to put it is... there is no one they dislike less.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk

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    Isn't this just the GOP selecting a sacrificial lamb among candidates too dim or too desperate to know better?
     
  9. LKD

    LKD New Member

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    Joaqin, you have the right of it. It's been said time and again, barring some miracle, there is no one the republicans could field who could unseat an incumbent with Obama's record. His record isn't great, but it isn't bad, either, and I think a large number of swing voters will want to see what he can do with a full 8 year run.
     
  10. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot <font color="#FFFFFF">Mod Reviewer</font><br>Armed

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    One would think, but that does not put my fears at ease. All I can do is think back to 1999 when Bush said at a news conference, "I think I'll try my hand at the Presidentin' business". We all know how that turned out. Truth is, when you look at Obama's approval ratings, in a normal year it would indicate a sitting president that would be the favorite, but still somewhat vulnerable. And just wait until the Romney Super PACs start churning out stuff on Obama. The only reason they haven't started yet is that they have to make sure he wins the nomination first.

    Why so PC my friend? You should say it like it is. The most apt way to put it is that all the other options really suck.

    And what was that thing about Santorum bashing college grads as being part of the "liberal elite"? Last I checked he has an undergraduate degree... and an MBA... and a law degree. He spent over 10 years of his life as one of those college liberal elites. And I don't buy that he was just playing to the blue collar vote in the midwest. I know a lot of blue collar workers that would like to see their kids go to college.

    ---------- Added 19 hours, 36 minutes and 6 seconds later... ----------

    Interesting post on 538. Silver did an analysis from polling to see what would happen if Newt wasn't in the race. Basically, he took polling from all the states that did polling on "second choice" candidates, and applied the voters' second choice in place of Newt to create a fictional scenario where Newt wasn't involved. He notes that this is an imperfect analysis, as some of the people who voted for Newt may not have voted at all if he wasn't on the ticket. The results of the poll weren't surprising, but how that would affect the delegate allocation process are a bit surprising in how little difference it would make.

    First, the results. Overall, people who voted for Newt stated the following as their 2nd choice:

    Santorum - 57%
    Romney - 27%
    Paul - 16%

    I don't find it particularly surprising that Santorum was the majority pick in a world without Newt. And there would have been some changes in the results. The Newt to Santorum vote would have flipped narrow loses for Santorum into narrow victories in Alaska and Ohio. Santorum would also have been declared the winner of Iowa on election night instead of some days later. Santorum also would have squeaked out victories in the two states Gingrich won - Georgia and South Carolina. But Romney would still have been the winner in all the other states that he won, and since he lost Georgia and South Carolina by wide margins, the only two flips would be Ohio and Alaska. Romney still would have won Michigan, because even though his winning margin was only 3%, Newt received just 9% of the vote in the state, so there weren't enough Newt supporters to flip it (although Santorum would have won an additional Congressional district, and thus, two more delegates).

    The surprising part is how this would affect the delegate math, because in Romney's case, it doesn't. Santorum would come out in this scenario with about 110 more delegates, which is approximately the total of his own and Newt's current count. However, those delegates would not have come at the cost of Romney's delegates. In fact, in the new calculation, Romney actually gets 10 more delegates. That's because of Georgia and South Carolina. Newt won both those states by wide margins, so Romney got virtually no delegates out of those states. However, in the "no Newt" scenario, Romney would have been very competitive in both of those states, and would have received a decent chunk of the delegates there. In fact, he would have received enough to completely offset his lost delegates in the other states, and still come out 10 ahead.

    The only real difference would be that Santorum would be the clear second place candidate, and would be much closer to Romney's total delegate count. Romney would still have the majority of delegates - a bit stronger majority actually - and with California, New York, and New Jersey still yet to vote, that lead would likely expand. So even if Newt were to drop out of the race, and request his delegates to vote for Santorum, it probably wouldn't affect the end game in this race.

    Full story
     
  11. LKD

    LKD New Member

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    That's really interesting. I'd like to see, just for fun, a model with Paul AND Newt removed. It'd probably look pretty much the same, but there might be some surprises.
     
  12. Montresor

    Montresor <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    A list of remaining Republican Primaries. The ones marked (c) are Caucuses.

    * March 13: Alabama, American Samoa (c), Hawaii (c), Mississippi

    * March 17: Missouri

    * March 18: Puerto Rico (c)

    * March 20: Illinois

    * March 24: Louisiana

    * April 3: Maryland, Texas, Washington D.C., Wisconsin

    * April 24: Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

    * May 8: Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina

    * May 15: Nebraska, Oregon

    * May 22: Arkansas, Kentucky

    * June 5: California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota

    * June 26: Utah

    The Republican convention will be in Tampa, Florida on August 27-30.

    (Source: Jyllands-Posten)
     
  13. Rotku

    Rotku <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    I know I've been told this before, but how do Caucuses vary from standard primaries? One is a vote and one is a sit down of the inner circles?
     
  14. Montresor

    Montresor <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    Translation from the article:

     
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  15. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot <font color="#FFFFFF">Mod Reviewer</font><br>Armed

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    That's the difference in process. The other big difference between caucuses and primaries, is that caucuses are typically winner take all, or use a method of allocation that heavily leans towards the winner. Primaries typically use a proportional system for delegate allocation.

    Santorum's victory in the Kansas caucus over the weekend illustrates this point nicely. Since Santorum not only was the winner, but received a flat out majority (51%), he is guaranteed at least 33 out of the 40 delegates. So just over half the votes, but more than 3/4 of the delegates.
     
    Montresor and Rotku like this.
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot <font color="#FFFFFF">Mod Reviewer</font><br>Armed

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    Santorum will not die! He won both Alabama and Mississippi last night. It was a really close race in both states, with Santorum, Gingirch and Romney all earning about 30% of the vote. Unfortunately, that was also the order of finish in both races - Santorum won with 34%, Gingrich was at 32%, and Romney was at 30%.

    That said, as far as the delegate math is concerned, it was a solid night for Romney. Hawaii also voted, and he won that contest. So while Santorum will walk away with the most delegates from Alabama and Mississippi, since all 3 candidates passed the 20% threshold needed to get some delegates, and none of them exceeded the 50% threshold to get all of them, he did not score a huge delegate victory. In fact, when you factor in the number of delegates Hawaii awarded last night, Santorum and Romney will walk away with about the same total number of delegates.

    And that's why I see Romney as the inevitable candidate. Even if Gingrich drops out, and throws his support and delegates behind Santorum, Romney is STILL ahead. In fact, Romney has won an outright majority of delegates thus far. I don't see a path to the nomination for anyone else, especially when you consider that the big population states left to vote like California and New York will favor Romney. Texas probably would not, but they are among the LAST states to vote, and if Romney continues on his present course, he might already have a majority by the time Texas votes. (They have already rescheduled their primary twice, as they are having some difficulties redrawing their Congressional Districts since they added two seats from the 2010 Census.)

    If I'm looking for a "best case scenario" right now for Santorum, it would be that he does well enough from here on out so that no candidate finishes with a majority of delegates. However, even in that scenario, Romney would still likely hold a plurality of delegates. I cannot see, even if the Republicans go to a brokered convention that they would pick the guy who didn't finish with the most delegates. (And that's the Armageddon scenario that the GOP will try to avoid at all costs - including having the super delegates throw all their support behind Romney to push him across the finish line to 50% if necessary.)

    If I had to give a reason why Romney seems unable to put away what looks like a relatively weak field, especially considering the advantages he has from the establishment, money, and organization, it would be his message. He's been running for president for the past six years, and the basic message is he'd fix the economy. Only the economy already seems to be improving for the past year or so. There might not be a need for a big fix come November. (Unemployment will still be uncharacteristically high - even the rosiest of scenarios don't show it dropping much below 8% by the fall - but overall it will be in a lot better condition than in 2008-2010.)

    But I don't know how Romney plans to rebrand himself at this point. I'm not sure running on his credentials as a successful governor is going to work (because he signed a healthcare law in MA that is strikingly similar to the one passed by Congress a few years later). We know he has a problem connecting with evangelicals because of his Mormon faith. Since the Bain success story was blown up by Gingrich, and tax records show he only pays 15% of his income in taxes - about double what Gingirch and Santorum paid - where does he go from here?

    And then there's the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. How, if you can't put away a couple of under-funded, under-organized campaigns like those run by Santorum and Gingrich, can you possibly expect to go toe-to-toe with Obama and win?
     
  17. The Shaman

    The Shaman New Member

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    How much does Romney's Hawaii win matter, though? As far as I know Hawaii is a mostly Democratic state and the chances of Romney (or anyone else on his side) beating Obama there seems slim to none.
     
  18. Montresor

    Montresor <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    A Danish commentator thought Santorum's best chance was that Gingrich stayed in the race until the convention, so there were three candidates, each with a sizeable number of delegates but none of them with a majority. Santorum could then strike a deal with Gingrich. For the same reason, it makes sense for Gingrich to stay in the race until Miami and then back Santorum in return for being the VP candidate.

    But I agree with your point. Anything looking like a coup will all but kill the Republican candidate's chances in November.

    It probably won't matter in the election but it matters in the Republican nomination race. Romney will have to win that before he can take on Obama.
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot <font color="#FFFFFF">Mod Reviewer</font><br>Armed

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    As Montresor stated, for the purposes of the general election it means nothing. Not only is Hawaii a blue state, but they consider Obama as a native son. There's no way he's losing there. That said, these are the Republican primaries and caucuses. So it doesn't matter if he can't win there in the general election. He still gets delegates from winning the primary, and it is the delegate count that determines the nominee. Romney will also likely win the primaries in New York and California, which are worth a ton of delegates, and will go a long way in helping him secure the nomination, although there is very little chance that he'll win those states in the general election.
     
  20. Montresor

    Montresor <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Supporters/index

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    CNN: Santorum drops out.

    Apparently the decision was taken in part because his daughter is seriously ill. I feel very sorry for the Santorum family. :(
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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