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Florida primary results

Florida primary results

Looks like turnout down 200k from 2008.  Notice that when Romney ties/wins (IA, NH, FL) no turnout surge, when Newt won in SC huge turnout surge.  Turnout will be important in November 2012, and while Romney is winning, he’s not motivating new voters to come out.  Bad sign so far.

95% reporting – 46.6 – 31.8 – 13.3 – 7

Newt Speech — a campaign speech pure and simple, trying to rally people on what certaily is a disappointing night.  “We are going to contest every place.” “People power will defeat mone power.”  Losts of lines about running against the establishment.  A few shots at Romney, not by name, but implied.  Overall a pretty good speech, but the speech of someone behind not a presumptive nominee.  Even per people not particularly friendly to Newt it was a very substantive speech, very policy oriented.

Santorum speech — lectures about not attacking others, but spent almost entire time attacking others.  Not a good speech.

75% reporting – 46.8 – 31.7 – 13.2 – 6.7

Romney’s victory speech started as a good speech.  He didn’t take shots at any other Republicans initially, and spoke to the issue of the competitive primaries making Republicans stronger. That was the right tone.  If he ends up as the nominee, he is going to have to heal some very, very serious wounds largely created by the way he ran his campaign.  Unfortunately, he did include one shot at others running, saying only he knows how to create jobs.  Oh, well, not necessary.

Brit Hume: “He beat Newt Gingrich by bombing him back into the stone age” with negative ads.

66% Reporting — 47-31-13-7

Exit polls have Romney and Gingrich tied in North Florida/Panhandle

CNN says Romney won Tea Party voters 40-38, which is very surprising, lost evangelicals by only a few percent.  Romney won big for voters who thought electability was most important.

CNN exit polls show Romney with 46-32 over Gingrich, 12 for Santorum, 8 Paul.

Polls closed everywhere, no surprise, all networks calling it for Romney.

51% counted – Romney 48, Gingrich 31, Santorum 13, Paul 7

Romney is losing the “very conservative” and the “strongly support the tea party” demos in the Fox exit poll

With 45% of precincts counted, Romney ahead of Gingrich 49%-30%

Via Nate Silver: Romney Unlikely to Win 50 Percent of Vote

The numbers so far include early voting, where Romney won big.  So will be interesting to see if 50% take holds up statewide.

It appears Gingrich is doing well in northern Florida, which is a good sign for him Re: Super Tuesday southern states

Current vote totals, with 32% of the precincts reporting: Mitt Romney 50%, Newt Gingrich 29%, Rick Santorum 12%, Ron Paul 7%.

Early results — looking like Romney coming very close to or just over 50%, but that may just reflect more favorable Miami-Dade where he’s getting about 68%.

Exit poll – 40% want another candidate to enter the race.

Allen West is moving districts (not election news, but figured you’d want to know).


The polls in most of Florida close at 7 p.m., in the western part at 8 p.m.  The networks are supposed to wait until 8 p.m. to call the race, but calling the race is not expected to be the big issue.

Based on the polls, it would be the equivalent of Krakatoa East of Boca if Newt won, or even if it was close.  The spin will be on the margin of Romney’s win.

I’m not sure at what point it becomes a symbolic victory for Newt; the keys will be if Newt and Santorum combined exceed Romney, and how close Romney gets to 50%.  Considering that Paul and Santorum pretty much dropped out of Florida, Romney cannot hide behind a crowded field for not reaching 50%.

Also important will be regions, particularly the north and Panhandle, which may reflect Newt’s strength in southern primaries.

I will update results periodically, but not moment by moment unless it’s tight, but really I’ll focus on linking to interesting tidbits.

Also, I note that Fox News is playing an attack ad Santorum is running in Colorado against Newt.  Santorum doesn’t get it — he’s playing the same mistake the not-Romneys played in the fall attacking each other rather than Romney.


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I got a call from Romney for President. The poor guy asked if was going to vote for Mitt. When I started telling him all the reasons I would not for Mitt he said, “Okay, thank you sir.” and hung up. I didn’t even get to finish with my monologue.

    Are you in Florida?

    What I find interesting is:

    Mitt is only winning by 15% after running for years, having the entire Establishment on his side, having outspent Newt by 4 to 1, having carpet-bombed the state with negative ads, and having the advantage of being unopposed during early voting.

    Newt is winning the Panhandle and Northern Florida. Mitt is winning the snowbird counties (Northeastern transplants) by large margins.

    Newt won S. Carolina by 12% after having been outspent by more than 2 to 1 by Mitt and having the news media weigh in with his ex-wife while the Establishment tried to whip voters into a frenzy with an attack on Newt’s mental health.

    Yep, Mitt looks like a winner! ;-0

I have seen conjecture that Santorum will be solicited by Romney’s people to pull out of the race and throw his support to Romney in exchange for paying off Santorum’s campaign bills. I hope it is not true and that Santorum has more character, BUT I don’t have much faith.

Apparently, you CAN buy an election- if you have as much money as Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul was right, Romney made money by simply moving money around, not by creating businesses. Obama will eat him for breakfast.

What qualifications does Santorum have to run for President? What accomplishments can he point to?

Santorum lost his re-election race by a record margin. The fact that he was so soundly rejected by the people of his own state, the people who know him best, speaks volumes about his electability.

It appears that Santorum’s only job is running for office. Since he couldn’t win in his own state, it appears that he decided to try to run in states where people didn’t know him and were unfamiliar with his record.

    WarEagle82 in reply to JonB. | February 1, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Santorum lost his Senate bid by 19 points. Romney lost to Teddy by 17 points in his Senate bid. And Romney was so unpopular after 4 years as Governor that he knew he couldn’t win and just limped away. There’s a “winner” for you.

Three things, apropos of the notion that if Santorum dropped out, you could just add the Santorum votes to the Gingrich votes as a sort of anti-Romney coalition:

1) In one of the polls released in the past couple of days, that by PPP (which had one of Newt’s better matchups with Romney), people were asked their second choice — and only 25 percent of Santorum voters chose Gingrich.

2) The last survey by Ipsos asked people who they would support if the race were only Romney vs. Gingrich. In this head to head matchup, Romney beats Gingrich 55 to 44.

3) According to news reports, Santorum raised more money in January than Newt and Rick also had more cash on hand than Newt at month’s end.

In addition, the internals of several of the late polls show Romney doing very well among voters who call themselves evangelicals and voters who say they support the tea party. Newt did better with these groups but his edge was far from overwhelming. Romney has lots of support among the most conservative voters.

You can imagine that this race is “conservatives” vs. “a moderate” but it is not that simple. Voters choices among candidates is never that simple. Adding Newt’s and Santorum’s votes is a meaningless exercise. If Santorum was out, Romney might well get more of those votes than Newt.

Anyway, Santorum is not going anywhere. If he could raise more money than Newt in January when most of the attention has been on the Newt vs, Romney drama, why should he?

    JEBurke in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Sorry, the above about Santorum raising more money than Newt in January is wrong. Santorum raised $4.2 million in January and Newt raised about $5 million. They are close in cash on hand with Santorum having $1.2 million and Newt slightly under $1 million. All based on several different accounts by Politico.

    In any case, my point doesn’t change. Santorum has kept pace with Newt on this important factor, so why should he drop ouf?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    “Three things, apropos of the notion that if Santorum dropped out, you could just add the Santorum votes to the Gingrich votes as a sort of anti-Romney coalition:”

    Can you point to one person who has suggested all of Santorum’s votes would go to Gingrich? If, not, what’s the point of posting this repeatedly?

      Well, no one has said “all” — you’re right. But Gingrich himself has said Santorum should drop out because he’s dividing the “conservative” vote against Romney, and that call has been picked up by Newt supporters. Are you denying that? If it is not the case, what is the poinf of saying Santorum should drop out?

      Of course, it’s absurd to believe Santorum’s support would go to Romney. “All” is not remotely at issue. In that poll I cited above, Newt was getting only 25 percent of Santorum second choices. Another way to look at this imaginary “conservative vs. Establishment” assumption is to dig into the Florida exit poll. Newt wins among voters calling themselves “very conservative” and those who identify as evangelicals — but not by much. Romney gets a lot of those votes, too. And Romney edges Newt among voters who say they support the tea party. So it’s not just many conservative pundits and pols who prefer Romney. You have to face the fact that plenty of conservative voters do too.

      Even more importantly, Romney won decisively among voters who said their most important factor was the ability to beat Obama. And he won decisively among voters who said debates were important to them.

      Conservatism — ability to win against Obama — facility in debating — these are the qualities Newt has said distinguish him. Apparently, Republican voters in Florida do not agree.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 11:49 pm

        In other words, if Santorum dropped out,his support would be split between Romney, Gingrich, and Paul, a fact nowhere in dispute.

If Romney hits 50, what stage will that put us at, Professor?

At some point reality has to set in.

    StrangernFiction in reply to Ryan. | January 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    It’ll mean Romney has won two primaries.

    raven in reply to Ryan. | January 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    In view of the money he needs to burn through to maintain equilibrium, when does “reality” set in for him? At what point does it simply become surreality?

    WoodnWorld in reply to Ryan. | January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    If the total between Gingrich and Santorum don’t add up to whatever Mitt wins tonight, what stage will that put us at?

    At some point reality has to set in.

      CalMark in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      So…Romney outspends Newt alone by 5 or 6 times. AND pulls out all the stops. AND he and the Establishment pull out every dirty trick, lie, and smear imaginable. AND Santorum barely spends anything.

      Can Romney maintain this? There’s only so many bombshells and only so much money.

      And withal, your man can’t get a majority. Your man who, I might add, you can’t give reasons for supporting except to say, He’s not Newt.

      You’d previously said you wanted to see the process play out and would support whoever came out on top. Because you were “Very grassroots.”

      Now you’re pedaling the Romney-troll line for “reality” to set in after three primaries and one caucus?

      Not hard to figure how you were bowled out so instantly and effortlessly by so many here.

      As I said, lamely transparent troll.

        BurkeanBadger in reply to raven. | January 31, 2012 at 10:07 pm

        Well, this troll is all for the “process playing out”. I’m all for watching Romney beat Gingrich in state after state and enjoying the ever more strained rationalizations as to why “It’s not over!”.

          Just the sort of smugness we’ve come to expect from Romney and his supporters.

          You haven’t rationalized why it’s “over” or offered even a perfunctory political argument for such finality – just serial snark, the trademark of trolling.

          Three primaries and one caucus. Three different victors. Romney is two for four. Romney was trounced in South Carolina, in every demographic and voting bloc but one and in all but two counties. Does the breakdown of Gingrich’s Florida defeat show an equally wide demographic drubbing?

          As our host has pointed out… “Romney ahead but nowhere near delegates needed, and Newt about 1/3 behind in delegates. So, assuming Newt can keep fundraising, this goes into May even if Romney continues to spend 10s of millions.” Given what Romney has spent, his ROI reveals a deep weakness.

          All serious analysis supports a protracted contest. But we know this is what Romney fears, and understand that the goal tonight was to flog the narrative of “game over.”

          WoodnWorld in reply to BurkeanBadger. | January 31, 2012 at 11:22 pm

          Are you serious? How is it you fail to see how arrogant, how smug, and how self-absorbed many, but not all, of the people you agree with are? Do you not read your own comments or are you so completely taken with the “taking sides” aspect of this, “who do YOU support?” that you have lost all sense of critical thinking or objective reasoning?

          For the record, I don’t hear anyone complaining on any other “side” (other than yours of course) about the tone of what you and yours are offering…

        WoodnWorld in reply to raven. | January 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        Raven, please. If you think that was a “bowling” out, you seriously overestimate both your literary skills and the intellectual integrity of your arguments. To you a “troll” is anyone you do not agree with. To you, making a case involves selectively cherry picking various “facts,” stringing them together with a convoluted line of logic and proclaiming your latest set of pearls are the sagest wisdom around.

        I don’t remember ever saying I want to let this process drag on, get it right. Take your time, scroll back over the previous posts, I will be here…

        What I did say is that I respect the process, it’s a subtle difference I know, and that I would support whoever won in the end. And I will. I have listened to all of the lines of reasoning, and weighed all of the many, shifting “metrics” you have all employed prophesying why what happened tonight never would. Put simply, you were wrong. There’s more going on in this race than you have contended with.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Ryan. | January 31, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    “Reality has to set in.” Four states down and the race is over? That is reality. There is a bit yet to be decided and I prefer to allow the rest of my fellow citizens a chance to vote.

    Come on, show a little respect for the dead. The only get out around election time…

    CWLsun in reply to Ryan. | January 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Mitt Romney, the House GOP, the Senate GOP can all start talking again about state run universal healthcare as a replacement to Obamacare…’s an election year after all.

    Here’s talking points from Mitt Romney if they need some.

    Here’s the devil in the details….including some about the Massachusetts experience…

    Thanks a lot, Mitt. You’re really looking out for us. Fistbump.

I’m just waiting for the post “If Romney doesn’t secure 1500 of the Republican delegates, it’ll be a symbolic nomination of Newt. Romney’s the front-runner after all, so he should have to get exceedingly more than everyone else to win. Otherwise, my personal favorite is the REAL winner.”

[…] primary results. All we care about is getting rid of Barack Obama and his enablers/henchmen. Newt Gingrich supporters however are all excited about tonight. Mitt Romney supporters are all excited about tonight. Whatever happens, meh. […]

Midwest Rhino | January 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Polls not closed in the panhandle … but major networks say Gore won Florida (and Ohio)

Huge numbers of absentee ballots were sent in very early, and my guess would be that most of them were for Romney.

Snorkdoodle Whizbang | January 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I see our resident trolls are starting to show up.

Y’know… its a long way to the convention.

47 to go. How much money and political capital is your guy going to burn up on the way? At his current burn rate, what do you think he’d have left for the General if he does manage to win the nomination?

He’d have a funding disadvantage, the media against him, and a party base that doesn’t much care for him.

Scorched earth campaigns elicit a high price. It’s interesting that Romney had exactly one positive ad in Florida. In Spanish. And it only aired about 15 times.

That ain’t no way to win hearts and minds.

    Who’s gonna fund Romney’s campaign, now that he’s ticked off the base?

    As for the 40-38 edge Romney gets for Tea Partiers: that doesn’t sound rational. My take: Romney lies; why wouldn’t his supporters?

    I see a lot of the Newt trolls got here pretty early…

      CalMark in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      This is a site run by a pro-Newt guy. We’re trolls on “our own” site?

      Typical liberal logic.

        Awing1 in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

        You can certainly troll a newsgroup or blog that you support. Trolling isn’t simply arguing, it’s making nonsensical statements and replies to individuals without addressing any points in the original post or subsequent comments, or does so in a clearly, almost comically, illogical manner. For an obvious example on this blog, see just about any comment by retire05.

          WoodnWorld in reply to Awing1. | January 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm

          Sure , Professor Jacobson supports Newt now, and has made a cogent case in his defense. With all due respect to many of you, whom I disagree with on this particular issue, he has done a far better job making his case than many of you.

          Think ahead to where this blog will be, where we all will be ten months from now. If Newt has won, I am almost entirely positive that any one who has tried to make a point counter to the, yes, very trollish statements offered here in the last X number of weeks, in support of Newt as the Outsider, the anti-establishment guy, or the most electable candidate in this race, will very much be on the same “team” as you.

          There will be issues you won’t be able to pick a fight with us on. Believe it or not, in spite of the fact that we disagree on details now, we will absolutely agree on other things that will be offered by this site in the future.

          Trolling isn’t where you are, it’s how you behave.

Well, well, well . . . .

“Mitt Romney, once seen as a sure bet to win the Michigan Republican presidential primary, now appears locked in a surprisingly tight race with challenger Newt Gingrich.”

How could Florida resist a man who loves America like this:

“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.”

— Mitt Romney

per Mark Steyn

Windy City Commentary | January 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Florida sure counts votes fast.

You know Mitt won Miami/Dade where there is large population of homosexuals. They know their man when they see him.

I plan to vote for an actual conservative candidate in November. I’d love to vote for Santorum but If I can’t I’ll be voting for the Constitution Party again this year.

I will no longer buy the LoTE argument as frankly, I don’t believe the GOP is always the LoTE any longer. Romney has proved that…

    Snorkdoodle Whizbang in reply to WarEagle82. | January 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I must say, I’m hearing more people say the same thing this time around.

    I still think that if Romney is the nominee, turnout in the general will be low… and that won’t help Romney.

      My response was not intended to help Romney. In the long run, I hope the demise of the “Other wing of the DNC” will help the rise of a conservative party and thus help return the nation to a constitutional path. Assuming we survive that long…

      RexGrossmanSpiral in reply to Snorkdoodle Whizbang. | January 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      This campaign will be so negative that turnout will be low…but that is definitely worse news for Obama. The Dems have NOTHING to get excited about in this election. We may be stuck with Romney, but at least our party isn’t running Barack Obama on its ticket. That guy ain’t got anything to run on.

“Romney Runs Most Negative Campaign in Record Year for Florida”

“And Romney is the victor — at least when it comes to pure negativity, CMAG proclaims.

Data compiled by CMAG reveals that a total of 11,586 television spots were aired between Jan. 23-29 in Florida.

Of those, all but 953 of the 11,586 television ads that aired were deemed negative. The total of 10,633 negative spots translates into 92 percent of all ads airing in Florida during the week.

A whopping 99 percent of the 3,276 ads paid for by the Romney campaign were deemed negative, while 100 percent of the 4,969 spots sponsored by the pro-Romney Restore Our Future PAC were considered negative.

In contrast, Gingrich and the pro-Gingrich PAC — Winning Our Future — ran fewer overall ads and more positive spots overall as a percentage of total ads.

Only 53 percent of the 1,893 spots aired by Winning our Future were considered negative, while some 95 percent of the 1,012 spots from the Gingrich campaign were deemed negative.

Some 68 percent of the negative ads were directed at Gingrich as compared to only 23 percent aimed at Romney, according to the CMAG data reported by CNN.

Less than 0.1 percent of the total ads were considered pro Romney, while 9 percent of the total ads were deemed pro Gingrich — reflecting a higher overall percentage of positive ads by the Gingrich campaign and the pro-Gingrich PAC.”

Windy City Commentary | January 31, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Drudge joyfully declares, “Landslide”

Santorum plays this role of Holy-Holy Mr. Family Guy. He’s got a young daughter with huge medical problems. So Holy-Holy Ricky runs in a campaign that will keep him away from home for most of the next however many months, to get a job that will prevent him seeing much of her, if at all.

Real family guy.

I used to like Santorum. Then he endorsed Specter in ’04. Then he became a whiny, “Newt’s unstable and I passed all these laws,” failing to mention that Newt helped him pass the most important one.

I’ve been saying it for weeks: Santorum is a little weasel. My hunch is that Romney has bought him off somehow to stay in the race. The fix is in.

    Astroman in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    CalMark, I notice that you repeatedly refer to Mr. Santorum as “Mr. Holy-Holy.”

    You’re as derisive of social conservatives as Obama is. I think that says it all.

      CalMark in reply to Astroman. | January 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      As for the personal stuff, I’m no saint, but…jeez!

      These are my opinions, and I give reasons. Agree or not.

      I think Rick Santorum is a cardboard cutout of a The Moral Paragon. Worse, he seems to cultivate, even revel, in this image, which I consider unseemly and prideful. And when the chips are down, Rick Santorum does the wrong thing.

      FACT: Santorum endorsed Specter (radical pro-abortion ultralib) against Toomey (strong pro-lifer). Specter won, then defected to the Demos, giving them vote #60 for Obamacare.
      FACT: Santorum trashes Gingrich while bragging about his own “values” legislation, failing to mention that Gingrich shepherded much of it through the House. Distastefully ungrateful, if not downright un-Christian.
      FACT: Santorum never misses a chance to attack Gingrich, while Gingrich has always declined to attack Santorum.
      FACT: Santorum hasn’t made any real showing; Iowa was a fluke. Romney stands for Romneycare, gay marriage, and incoherent abortion positions. Yet Santorum staying in increases Romney’s chances.

    logos in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm


    I hope you were not one of those saying the same thing about Sarah Palin and Trig.

      CalMark in reply to logos. | January 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Santorum’s carefully-cultivated primary image is Mr. Family Man. Then he abandons his family for months to run a campaign.

      Sarah Palin is a different animal altogether. Her primary image is the Common-Sense Conservative Governor. Even the Mama Grizzly stuff has a political flavor. She just happens to be a mom.

      I think Santorum is a hypocrite.

    WarEagle82 in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I have seen this before. Some conservatives simply despise Christian conservatives…

    BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Yes, yes, Romney has bought everyone off. First Michele Bachmann, now Rick Santorum. It’s all Romney’s incredibly long tentacles which seem to be omnipotent (paradoxically as his detractors insist he is a horribly “weak” candidate) along with those nefarious “Establishment” Republicans who are preventing the ascension of that brilliant sage, the new Reagan/Thatcher/de Gaulle. Were it not for all of this, the almighty Newt would be nominated by acclamation!

    Or…maybe it’s just that many Republican voters (much like the public at large) just don’t like Gingrich.

    Just maybe…

“Dear Michelle ,

Of course, you’re entitled to have your “guy” in the race and put the best spin on him as possible.  If I thought Santorum would have even the remotest chance of inspiring the Tea Party to follow him (let alone the GOP and the general electorate) I would likely be spending much more time on promoting him myself. But you are showing the very dishonesty and lack of integrity of which you accuse Mr. Gringrich.

For example of Santorum you say,

Most commendably, he refused to join Gingrich and Perry in indulging in the contemptible Occupier rhetoric against Romney. Character and honor matter. Santorum has it.

Wow.  Really?  Perhaps you missed this speech where he went all coal miner class warfare on Romney’s rump.  And is it ok for Santorum to use “Occupier rhetoric” to trash his “mentor” who swept SANTORUM into office on his reformer track record?  It would be funny how Santorum tried to downplay the greatest minority takeover since Benjamin Disraeli in the NH debate if we had an educated public.  But it was distorted and disrespectful.  How is that any better that what you are doing in your column?  Can’t you write how much you like little Ricky without completely distorting the facts on Newt?  (And there are many more issues of substance that are fair game than the dishonest ones you used.)”

    Michelle Malkin isn’t really for Santorum. She didn’t endorse him until he was safely in the LOSER column. She endorsed now to try to split the anti-Romney vote. Her sockpuppet site, HotAir, is as sold-out for Romney as National Review. HotAir is pro-Romney, and so is Michelle Malkin. Bet on it.


Among those who decided within the last few days:
Gingrich 34% Romney 42% Santorum 20%

The large Romney margin is due to early voting.

“Santorum says Romney’s Bain background will make it harder for him to win”

“Rick Santorum finally wielded Mitt Romney’s ties to Bain Capital against him on Saturday.

After three days of diligently defending the frontrunner’s work in private equity (“I believe in capitalism,” he said again Friday), the former Pennsylvania senator told a crowd of 150 at a diner in Greenville that his blue-collar background will make him a better candidate than Romney in the general election.

“You want to win this election? Then we’ve got to go to the states where you win the election. It’s Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri and Wisconsin. How do you win elections as a Republican in those states? You do it by getting Reagan Democrats to vote for you,” he said.

“I respect Mitt Romney’s career in business, but the grandson of a coal miner who grew up in public housing in a steel town in western Pennsylvania and whose policies are oriented toward helping those and whose record is a track record of working in those blue-collar communities has a much better chance of winning those states than an executive from Bain Capital.”

Bottom line:

Romney outspend Newt 5 or 6 to 1. Romney carpet-bombed Florida with negative ads.

After all that, with an impossible-to-maintain rate of expenditure, if he gets a majority, it will be a very thin one.

Newt was demonized. The electorate was sold a bill of goods. But now Romney and the Establishment are out in the open.

P.S. I previously listed reasons why I like Newt, with no reference to anyone else. I asked Romney supporters to do the same, and got hundreds of words of Newt-bashing. When I called them on it, the reply was a haughty, “I don’t have to give reasons.” Well sunshine, if you’re that thin-skinned against Obama, you’re toast.

P.P.S. 4 down, 46 to go. It ain’t over till it’s over.

    wodiej in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    that response sounds like what liberals say. Frightening isn’t it?

      CalMark in reply to wodiej. | January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      I take it you’re referring to the response of Romneyites to my “Why do you like your guy?” challenge?

    BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Yes, Yogi said it best. But it is effectively over. Not officially. But, it is the beginning of the end.

      Professor, I suspect this is one of those Obama “fake people by committee” created by Obama and his social media pals to spread hate and discontent among Republicans.

      This guy is EVERYWHERE on this thread, CONSTANTLY. And not even Romneybots are this hateful and nasty.

        BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | February 1, 2012 at 12:18 am

        Wow, I’m a “fake person” now. Quite the honor.

        Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not a creation of Obama or the social media. And I’m not trying to sow any discontent per se. Just trying to offer an opposing viewpoint in the “I heart Newt” echo chamber that the otherwise awesome LI Blog has become.

        And I’m not in any way part of the GOP Establishment. I am just a humble little Iowa lawyer whose only connection to Mitt Romney is donating $45 to his campaign, making some phone calls on his behalf and seeing him in person at two modest campaign rallies.

This result doesn’t surprise me too much. Hopefully the numbers will tighten up a bit. Just remember Gingrich won most of the conservatives and Tea Party people. Romney’s support had to come from liberals and old folks who are very gullible. Every state won’t be like this. On to the next. And yes, Santorum is being a spoiler. He isn’t pulling nearly enough support to challenge Romney yet he won’t drop out. No other reason than ego and helping Romney.

    BurkeanBadger in reply to wodiej. | January 31, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Yep. On to the next Romney victory in Nevada. The next in Minnesota. The next in Colorado. And so on…

As Romney carpet-bombed Newt, Obama will carpet-bomb Romney. I’m not even going to say I told you so. Mitt will get what he deserves this fall; a crushing defeat to end his 8+ year campaign for President.

    StrangernFiction in reply to McCoy2k. | January 31, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Karma is a real b!itch.

    WarEagle82 in reply to McCoy2k. | January 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Absolutely. Romney cannot outspend Obama. And he can’t beat Gingrich without outspending him 3 to 1.

    Romney is very likely to be the GOP’s “George McGovern.”

    This could be very ugly…

    BurkeanBadger in reply to McCoy2k. | January 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    But Obama wouldn’t carpet bomb Newt?

    Somehow, Newt’s “vision” (one of them, anyway), along with his increasingly absurd demands for 21 hours of debates with no journalist as moderator and a shouting audience, would overcome Obama’s scathing and eviscerating attacks and propel Newt into the White House.

    Forgive me for being skeptical.

      Newt has ideas, vision, and a message. In the last two weeks: he’s been subjected to perhaps the vilest near-universal smear-job defamation by his “own” side ever seen, outspent 5 or 6 to 1 in ads. He should be in single digits, Romney well above 50%. I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that Newt does have appeal.

      What does Mitt have? More money than Newt. (Which he wouldn’t have against Obama.) And the Establishment on his side in a contest where they traditionally haven’t picked sides (don’t hear much about that, do we?). And the media doing much of his dirty work (he WOULDN’T have the media in the fall. Ask John McCain about that.)

        BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | February 1, 2012 at 12:26 am

        Yes, Newt has many ideas (maybe 5% of them are in any way workable), more visions than I can count, and a message which changes with the wind. He is the epitome of a college professor. Don’t misunderstand me, “ideas men” like Gingrich are important. They’re just not Presidential material.

        I not voting for a professor, or an author, or a ‘public intellectual’, or a lecture circuit favorite. I am voting for a President. Romney has many flaws, but he is far more Presidential in his personal and professional background that Gingrich could ever hope to be. The American people understand this and a majority of Republicans understand this. And this…more than Romney’s financial advantage or the support of the big bad “Establishment”…is why Romney will continue to beat Gingrich in state after state after state.

CNN says Romney won Tea Party voters 40-38, which is very surprising.

That number is misleading. According to the FOX News exit poll:

Gingrich won the vote of those who strongly support the Tea Party 46-33. Romney won the vote of those who somewhat support the Tea Party 50-29. Hence the claim that Romney won the vote of those who support the Tea Party by 40-38.

    JEBurke in reply to john.frank. | January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Why is that “misleading?”

      Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Because “somewhat supports Tea Party is equivalent to “somewhat doesn’t support Tea Party”.

        No it’s not. That’s ridiculous.

        Pollsters use this strongly/somewhat approach to get a deeper look at intensity. But this question had five possible answers: strongly support — somewhat support — SOMEWHAT OPPOSE — strongly oppose — no opinion/don’t know.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm

          You honor polls, why I do not know. But since you do, count the red and green votes below our names. I’ve won so apparently you’ve lost. See how that works? Now you know how we feel when we read your insipid, verbiose treatises.

    StrangernFiction in reply to john.frank. | January 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. Someone who “somewhat supports” the Tea Party IS NOT a Tea Partier.

    WoodnWorld in reply to john.frank. | January 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I strongly support the TEA party message and also consider myself a long-standing Republican (what many of you wide-eyed types consider the “Establishment”). I totally understand those results. Those numbers make perfect sense to me and should give many of you reason to pause. “Well, if you somewhat support us, you must somewhat be against us” beside being a very lousy Welcome mat to new comers, makes absolutely no sense.

    I know it sounds crazy but some people in America, who have regularly attended rallies, volunteered for total TEA candidates and like the smaller government message do not agree with you. Some people, those who have supported and admired the very people over the last 20-30 years you have now declared not “true” Republicans completely reject this “Us Vs. Them,” “Regular Folks vs. Elites” dichotomy some of you have constructed.

    In fact, that was what I was trying to argue against, inarticulately perhaps, over the last few days. Some here speak (very emphatically) about what “we” believe, what “we” will or will not do, and who “we” will or will not support. You don’t speak for us. The more you marginalize from within, the more you will find yourself marginalized from without.

[…] William A. Jacobson: “I’m not sure at what point it becomes a symbolic victory for Newt; the keys will be if […]

Henry Hawkins | January 31, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Here’s a taste of what awaits the eventual GOP nominee. Jeff Goldberg reinterpreting everything every GOP candidate has said as pure racism. This article is so bad it’s almost funny…

How To Listen For Racism On The Campaign Trail

Right now, Romney has a 16 point lead. Not sure how much that can change based on the statistics here. But it isn’t a 20 point lead as some were “polling” a few days ago.

Santorum will have some hard decisions between now and Super Tuesday.

I am a Santorum supporter but he has to start to win regularly. And he can’t finish in the low teens and stay in the race. Funds will dry up and you can’t get your message out without money. And you can’t win over the electorate if you can’t get your message out…

    McCoy2k in reply to WarEagle82. | January 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    People giving their money to Santorum are going to have to realize they are helping hand the nomination to the most “moderate” Republican to seek the Presidency in more than a generation. Can they Romney or Gingrich. THEY KNOW Gingrich delivered when it counted. Romney will stab them in the back.

    The only message Santorum will understand to suspend his campaign is for his funds to effectively run dry.

    WoodnWorld in reply to WarEagle82. | January 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    First, it was “if he doesn’t get 30%.” Then, it was “he will never poll higher than 40%.” Now it’s (as someone noted above) “if he doesn’t get over 50%” (in what is still a four-man race)or win all of the delegates…

    It looks like the total between Newt and Rick won’t add up to what Romney pulled tonight. Florida isn’t South Carolina (with all due respect to SC), and none of the states so far, are as reflective of the general election as tonight’s was.

    It’s over. The only thing standing between now and that reality is time. The only thing standing between us and victory over the real threat, Obama, is ourselves.

      BurkeanBadger in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I agree 100%.

      Game Over.

      StrangernFiction in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      How about he wins more than TWO primaries.

        BurkeanBadger in reply to StrangernFiction. | January 31, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        In five days, he’ll have his third (Nevada), then his fourth and fifth in a week (Minnesota and Colorado), then Maine, then the Missouri ‘beauty contest’.

        Game over

      Like clockwork — the Romney-troll line we all knew was coming.

      William A. Jacobson in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      I disagree, not about Romney being in a good position, but as to what’s standing in the way. What is standing in the way is the way Romney started this campaign in Iowa, and how he used money to go negative rather than developing a positive message. He will not unite the party by money and power alone and thinking people will go along just because he is not Obama. His speech tonight leads me to believe he doesn’t understand that yet.

        When you ask yourself:
        What is Newt’s vision? A number of distinct things come to mind.
        What is Mitt’s vision? Nothing comes to mind.

        FOX can gloat that Romney carpet bombed the opposition “into the stone age,” but it won’t work in the general. When the other guy can double or triple your bombing power, you’re toast if you have no vision.

          BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

          Newt’s vision depends on the day of the week. Mitt might be deficient in “the vision thing”, but Newt has visions to burn.

        I can absolutely respect that. I wish we could do this, be positive, and have wished for years that they, the candidates, would take the high road and stay there.

        The fact that highlighting the “contrasts,” to put it nicely, continues to be employed is simply because going negative works. Many of us are on the same side ideologically yet we do not hesitate to start taking ourselves out at the knees when we want to make a point. At the risk of sounding overly philosophical, until we change our nature, the candidates have little incentive to change their tactics.

        I watched Iowa closely and thought Ron Paul threw the first blow, and did more damage to Newt’s momentum than Romney. There is no question that Mitt piled on, and absolutely no question that what has happened in Florida was a systematic take down. It’s been vicious. Does anyone believe, objectively, that Newt would not have done the same if the roles were reversed and he had the same resources?

        I think there are two reasons I, personally,am not bothered by the negative blitzes. First, they have no impact on someone like me. I already have a good feel for all of the candidates and am not easily swayed or “informed” by any of their revelations. Second, I know what the Democrats are capable of. It’s ugly.

      Game NOT over.

      A candidate needs 1144 delegates to win the nomination.

      With Florida’s 50 delegates, Romney now has 86 delegates – or 7.5% of that number.

      Make another prediction on March 7 – after Super Tuesday, when these states hold their primaries.

      AK * GA * ID * MA * ND * OH * OK * TN * VT * VA

      See the link for the delegate count and how they are to be allocated.,_2012

        BurkeanBadger in reply to logos. | January 31, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        I’ll make a prediction right now: Romney will win all of those states except (possibly) Newt’s Georgia.

        William A. Jacobson in reply to logos. | January 31, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        GA has more delegates than Florida (b/c Florida went too early and lost half). Interesting analysis on CNN tonight with guestimates of who could win which states through April, and Romney ahead but nowhere near delegates needed, and Newt about 1/3 behind in delegates. So, assuming Newt can keep fundraising, this goes into May even if Romney continues to spend 10s of millions.

      WarEagle82 in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Give it a rest. Something less than 8% of the citizens of this great republic have voted. There is no rush…

        BurkeanBadger in reply to WarEagle82. | January 31, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        No rush, I agree. I’m not against Newt staying in through super Tuesday. He has made Romney a stronger, sharper candidate and ultimately a stronger nominee against Obama.

        That being said, the primary stretch from here on out is, for all intents and purposes, a ratification of Romney’s victory tonight.

      The only thing standing in your way is there is no way in hell I will ever vote for Mittbama. He can’t win. You’re right. It’s over Obama gets a second term thanks to fool like Mittbama.

Windy City Commentary | January 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm

“CNN says Romney won Tea Party voters 40-38, which is very surprising, lost evangelicals by only a few percent. Romney won big for voters who thought electability was most important.”

Just goes to show that there are a lot of people who call themselves Tea Party voters, who aren’t conservative. At this point, what does it even mean to be a “Tea Party” voter?

    I thought the same thing when Tea Partiers endorsed Newt in SC instead of Perry.

    I was part of the first round of Tea Party protests. That was the first time I had ever attended a political rally in my life.

    Since Tea Partiers were willing to throw in with Newt healthcare mandate Gingrich over Perry, I have since distanced myself from the Tea Party. I am a conservative, and I will remain true to my principles, regardless of what the polls say.

      Windy City Commentary in reply to Astroman. | January 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Mr. “You don’t have a heart” Perry is not exactly ironclad when it comes to immigration or being conservative. Mandating Gardisil injections isn’t exactly Tea Party material either. So Newt said people should have to buy health insurance instead of going to the emergency room for free, so did many other conservatives. The only reason the individual mandate is the big talking point right now is because it is the only thing lawyers could find that might make Obamacare unconstitutional. Apparently, a govt. take over and ruin of healthcare is constitutional.

With the possible exception of Al Gore, I’ve not seen a human being in the national political realm — not even Ross Perot or Donald Trump — with less a sense of history and humility or of himself than Romney. It’s strange and unsettling. I feel as if I’m watching an adult who never passed through adolescence yet somehow managed to construct a successful edifice around his missing stage or part of himself. The pressure to achieve and the need for power have exposed the hole in the center, and the desperate need to fill it and to keep others from seeing it.

Here’s a couple of choice quotes:

Rick Santorum: “You know I think one opponent calling for the other opponent to get out just shows the weakness that opponent feels – obviously feels in their own campaign. I’m not calling for anybody to get out. We’ll beat them straight up.”

Allahpundit: “A consolation prize for Santorum fans tonight: According to PPP, he leads Romney by 11 points in next week’s nonbinding primary in Missouri and fares better head to head against Romney in Ohio than Gingrich does. His favorable ratings are also vastly higher than Mitt’s and Newt’s in both states. If Gingrich dropped out soon, Santorum would stand a real chance of consolidating the Not Romney vote and winning the nomination. But watch the clip below; Newt’s promising to battle on for another six to eight months if need be, and there’s every reason to believe he’ll do it. You know who that benefits?”

Sooooo, the only person Newt is helping by staying in, is Romney. So a vote for Newt is a vote for Romney…

I know Newt-supporters don’t want to hear it, but it is time for Newt to drop out for the sake of defeating Romney. It is what it is.

You can thumbs down the truth, but it is still the truth. This is what I’d call poetic justice. =)

    StrangernFiction in reply to Astroman. | January 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I agree with you. I’d be overjoyed with either Gingrich or Romney. But Newt just has too much baggage.

    AllahPundit had his own tiny blog, mostly dedicated to getting his hate on for Derek Jeter if I remember his last posting correctly. After he lost that for reasons he never explained, he became a charity case over at HotAir. For all you know, he could be the guy bagging your groceries.

holmes tuttle | January 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm

One thing I noticed was that 40% said they decided sometime last year. Romney led that group 54-27. That’s a 22-10 lead just from those who decided in 2007. So, Newt needed to win those who decided this month by 20 or more pts and likely 25 or more to have a real shot at winning.

As much as everyone talks about the ads and attacks Romney really won this throughout 2007 when he was the only one with a real campaign in FL and Newt wasn’t even really trying. Needless to say, Obama will not start to set up his campaign in FL on October 25th.

If you look at just those who decided recently it was actually much closer. It was 42-34 Romney among just those who decided in the last few days. So, Newt did actually narrow the gap and have a surge, but it wasn’t near enough to counteract what happened earlier.

Newt’s margins among the more conservative elements were smaller than in SC and Romney just cleaned up among the moderate/liberal elements.

Given his huge lead banked from 2011 I don’t even know if winning was really on the table here for Newt but a closer margin could have been.

I think if he had had bettwe debates last week it would have been narrower. The negative attacks definitely worked to some degree, just as Newt’s attacks on Bain worked in SC. Why he stopped them I have no idea. Obama sure won’t stop them. But the attacks last week totally destroyed him among moderates/liberals and hurt him enough conservatives to make a real difference.

Romney won big among women and married women and here Newt’s past may have finally caught up with him. Without the sympathy from the ABC news hit fresh in mind.

Going forward I think Newt needs to do a better job of building his numbers among those favorable to him-conservatives. very conservative, evangelicals, men, tea partiers, social issues folks. He won’t beat Romney among moderates/liberals.

He can’t do anything about the gender gap. Perhaps getting Callista out there more. Has she said anything this entire campaign? Even one word? She just stands there like a stepford wife the whole time. Humanize her. Let people and especially women get to know here a bit, feel more comfortable with her. I don’t know if it would work but it’s better than the current approach. People want to know who the first lady will be. They want to feel comfortable with her.

I also think the fact that she doens’t have any kids hurts her. Just as it would a Presidential candidate without kids. Who was the last first lady who was childless? I can’t think of any going back to the 1800s. I think Americans like the idea of 1st lady as mom. Lets face it, a lot of folks see her as a homewrecker and somewhat cold and distant without the mothering aspect of the kids, an ice princess. That hairstyle does her no favors, either. Maybe wear some more casual clothes instead of the same dress and barbara bush pearls all the time. Wear a pair of jeans once in a while, take advantage of her realtive youth.

Nothing personal here just being objective. Clinton helped himself when he went on 60 minutes with Hillary. A friendly interview of Newt and Callista where people can get to know here somewhat at least have some idea of who she is would help. Does anyone really know anything about her? I heard her once call in on a radio show(Mike Gallagher)and talk for a bit and she seemed pretty with it. More of that would help. She sings in church is apparently devout. Play that up. Play up the catholic angle. Newt lost the catholic vote to Romney by 30 pts! To a mormon, that’s just pathetic. She’s musical, get that out there.

I’m just thinking here.

Also, Newt needs to challenge Romney’s rasion d’etre of being good on the economy. There’s really no evidence to support that claim. The MA economy under Romney was fairly poor. 47th of 50 in job growth. 48th of 50 in GDP growth. Vastly underperformed the nation as a whole at a time when the natl economy was pretty good. Newt needs to go after him with facts and his record. That’ll start to hurt Romney among his base. No one cares who Saul Alinsky is or what Romney did to his dog. They will care if they start to learn his economic record is really non-existent.

Newt can contrast the 11 million new jobs as Speaker, the 4%+ GDP yr after yr, etc… Go after Romney on his strength and expose his economic record. Make sure every Republican in the country knows MA was 47 of 50 in jobs. 4th from the bottom. Call him on it.

But there’s still plenty of time to regroup.

    “One thing I noticed was that 40% said they decided sometime last year. Romney led that group 54-27. That’s a 22-10 lead just from those who decided in 2007. So, Newt needed to win those who decided this month by 20 or more pts and likely 25 or more to have a real shot at winning.”

    No he didnt. He could have changed the minds of some of the 40 percent who decided in 2012 — that was before Iowa, before NH, before SC, before the Florida campaign, before seven debates, before most of the campaign was waged.

    That is what campaigns are about: winning people over and keeping them. Newt failed at that.

      holmes tuttle in reply to JEBurke. | January 31, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      In 2008 total turnout in the FL GOP primary was around 2 million. McCain won with around 700k votes.

      Tonight it looks like total turnout will be around 1.7 million tops. 300k fewer than in 08, despite all the attention and coverage and the fact there’s no dem primary. Romney looks like he’ll top out at close to 800k, up from the 600k he got in 2008. When you consider McCain+Rudy got 1,000,000 in 2008 Romney got 20% or so of their vote in addition to retaining his vote.

      Turnout down by 15% from 2008. Yep, Romney really knows how to excite the masses and drive them to the polls.

      By comparison, Hillary won the 2008 dem primary in FL with close to 900k votes, and the dems didn’t even campaign in FL in 2008.

      Be interesting if any media types mention the marked decline in turnout and what that portends going forward.

        I can’t help but notice that you changed the subject from the metric you thought was a great find (40 percent decided in 2011). After I point out why this metric is not much of an argument, you shift. That’s what you guys do. You keep shifting to new equally implausible arguments.

        Well, here is the big number you can’t ignore — number one. Romney won, he won big, he’ll win again in Nevada, Maine, Michigan, Arizona, etc. You are going to get worn out dreaming up new ways to wish it all away.

BurkeanBadger | January 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Game Over.

Romney will be the nominee.

It’s time to stop worrying and love the Mitt.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

And who exactly is Allahpundit ? Yes you do not know so why should we take his stuff seriously.

He is no better than me. And I think Santorum is a paedo enabler. So there !

Bill O’Reilly nailed Rick Santorum in an interview yesterday when he pointed out that the candidate had no cash (nor does Newt) to compete on Super Tuesday on March 6 when seven states will run primaries. Santorum’s response was incredibly weak as if he had not thought very deeply about the near future.

O’REILLY: Do you stay in if the odds then rise against you to the point where there is not a lot of money coming in, do you stay in the race?

SANTORUM: Oh, absolutely. You know, the money is coming in. We’ve – – we’ve done very, very well. Just over the last four or five days we have raised about a half a million dollars online. Things have — have really done well since the last debate. We think we separated ourselves out from the pack really very well and, in fact, the last three debates.

Since it got down to four, we feel like we’ve gotten our stride here. And while Florida is a very, very expensive place to play and one that I — I just certainly couldn’t play in from a financial point of view we spend time down there. I think we’re going to have a good vote down there. I think as you mentioned there are a lot of voters —

O’Reilly continued to hammer about how expensive Super Tuesday will be and how Romney has the money and that nothing is likely to be so earth-shattering as to cause a Santorum rise in the next five weeks since there will only be three debates a couple of caucuses ahead of March 6. Now read Santorum’s final shot at justifying his staying in.

SANTORUM: Well we — no I mean we have caucuses, you mentioned Colorado which is another caucus. That — these caucuses are important. I mean, there are — there are delegates at stake at these caucuses and it’s important. And in Missouri even the primary, even though it’s nonbinding, you know, a strong vote here for us I think will — will tell the story.

There is a lot of restlessness among conservatives. They are not happy with — with Governor Romney. They are not happy with — increasingly not happy with Newt Gingrich and the way his campaign is and some of the things that have been highlighted. And they are looking for someone as an alternative.

And I do believe that this is an episode of “Survivor”, Bill. We hang in there this race will come back to us just at the right time.

I guess this a race between the tortoise and the hare.

This evening on ABC World News Tonight:
Diane Sawyer:
We know that Mitt Romney is a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon. And we know that he’s given millions of dollars in donations to his church. But how much do we know about this church, the church home for the man who wants to be President of the United States. Tonight, we begin a six-part series on the origins, practices, and political activism of the Mormon Church.

    McCoy2k in reply to OCBill. | January 31, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Obama’s minions in the media aren’t going to waste a single second. If I was Romney I’d be calling the Church of Latter Day Saints and tell them to start a positive, national ad campaign yesterday, because if they don’t, by the end of the campaign people will have more respect for Scientology than LDS.

      TryingToBeHopeful in reply to McCoy2k. | January 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Haven’t you seen the “…and I’m a Mormon!” campaign during the last year? The first time I saw one, I knew it was about “normalizing” Mormonism to remove another obstacle for Mitty… He has been selected for us — this has been planned for a long time and is well underway. Bastards.

    logos in reply to OCBill. | January 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    It begins.

    Sawyer wasn’t very curious about Obama’s “church home”, was she?

Midwest Rhino | January 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Britt Hume was ecstatic … Romney bombed Newt back to the stone age? Lower taxes … less government … Reagan era are stone age I guess.

The force of Hate is strong with the Hume.

    holmes tuttle in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Well, apparently there’s a history with Newt somehow being involved in the death of Hume’s son and some issues involving his personal life. So I think it goes a bit deeper with Hume than just politics. You can google Sandy Hume and Newt Gingrich to see the details.

      Sad story.

      Did a quick Bing search, and sure enough, Sandy Hume’s outing was considered to have led to his suicide (even though the suicide immediately followed his having been jailed for drunk driving). Until this year, the rumor seemed to have been that Dick Armey outed Sandy Hume since Bill Paxon was aiming for Dick Armey’s chairmanship (I think it was). But suddenly, this year, the rumor changed to Newt having been a possible source of the outing since a year prior Paxon had tried to organize a coup against Newt as speaker. [source is article on Gawker, for whatever that’s worth].

Romney being the nominee means this lifelong conservative, registered-at-eighteen Republican will not cast a vote for President. I despise Romney that much. I’m done holding my nose. I will not vote for someone I don’t believe.

I will exercise my right NOT to vote when I disagree, and more to the point, do not trust the nominee on very fundamental issues.

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” ―Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight (2008)

    BurkeanBadger in reply to McCoy2k. | January 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    That is absolutely your prerogative. And I’m sure there will be a small but vocal contingent of conservatives and Tea Partiers who will sit the fall election out. But, Mitt can win without them (“can” win…doesn’t mean he will). Newt Gingrich, however much he fires up the base, would never beat Obama. Period.

      Just curious, but are you on his payroll?

      I can’t figure our how anyone who actually has dug into the facts and issues can support Romney. For months, I’ve asked Romney supporters, including here, to give me the list of his achievements that warrant his being the President of the United States. And not one — including you, Burkean, has responded. My conclusion: there aren’t any. And he’s a bald-faced liar.

        WoodnWorld in reply to janitor. | January 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm

        I can answer that one. First, if Burkean, or anyone else, did make up a list of achievements highlighting what they like about Romney’s record and his life story, and they made put nice, neat little numbers in front of the individual points, it would not move you one iota. You cannot reason with someone who is unreasonable.

        Second, there are actually people on here who have no interest in converting you, persuading you, informing you, or defending why they feel the way they do. If you don’t think the people that disagree with you aren’t articulating how and why they disagree, you either aren’t paying attention or you are incapable of understanding what they are saying.

          CalMark in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 11:53 pm

          A few days ago, I listed why I liked Newt, with no references to anybody else.

          I asked you to do the same. You posted hundreds of words of incoherent Newt-bashing. When I asked you where your list was, you said you had no intention or obligation to provide one. Touchy-touchy.

          You won’t convince us, we won’t convince you. But at least we can list why we like our guy. Why are you so unwilling to do so for yours?

          Can it be ’cause he’s paying you? He seems to have bought just about everyone else…

          CalMark in reply to WoodnWorld. | January 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm


          A few days ago, I listed why I liked Newt, with no references to anybody else.

          I asked you to do the same FOR ROMNEY. You posted hundreds of words of incoherent Newt-bashing. When I asked you where your list was, you said you had no intention or obligation to provide one. Touchy-touchy.

          You won’t convince us, we won’t convince you. But at least we can list why we like our guy. Why are you so unwilling to do so for yours?

          Can it be ’cause he’s paying you? He seems to have bought just about everyone else…

          janitor in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 1, 2012 at 12:43 am

          Still no response. Just baseless ad hominems and evasion.

        BurkeanBadger in reply to janitor. | February 1, 2012 at 12:54 am

        Hey, I wish I was on his payroll! But alas, I am doing this pro bono.

        A reason? Well, I’ve posted on here in the past as to why I support Mitt (who was not, incidentally, my first choice: that was Mitch Daniels). But if you want it boiled down to one simple sentence, it is this: He is far more disciplined and focused in his professional and personal life to successfully manage the awesome responsibilities of the Presidency than Newt Gingrich ever could hope to be.

        I have never claimed he was anywhere close to an ideal candidate. He has serious shortcomings which will be easily exploited by the Obama-Soros-union sludge machine. And he may indeed lose in the end (although I envision a small loss at worse, as opposed to Gingrich who would likely implode in a spectacular landslide, dragging the GOP House with him). There are dozens of Republican politicians who would be stronger, more effective nominees (and likely much better Presidents) than Mitt Romney. But they are not running (and the idea of a brokered convention is a pipe dream for politics junkies).

          He is far more disciplined and focused in his professional and personal life

          Do you have an example? In what way is he disciplined? I’m not aware of any accomplishments that go toward presidential responsibilities. I’m not trying to yank your chain here.

          I’ve heard that at work, jobs he got because of family contacts, that he got special treatment, so he didn’t have to take personal risks. The heavy lifting and business analysis was done by employees. He avoided the draft using the “minister” deferment — as, essentially, an adolescent (a church “loophole”) — and doing this apparently required him to leave Stanford. He got a legacy admission to grad school (and top third of the class, while commendable, isn’t particularly outstanding). He hasn’t actually worked in over a decade. He does appear to spend a lot of time cultivating appearances. (I don’t mean his appearance.)

          I just don’t see anything good, or caring, or motivated by principles in the guy. While originally I was fairly indifferent, neither particularly positive nor negative about him, his behavior in this election, willingness to just get up on a stage and spout a litany of lies, has been disgusting. So has the buying off of various Florida politicians, a matter about which I have a little bit of access to inside info. It’s all capped off the past four years in which he and one or the other of his sons have shown up at Republican organization and media events, and been campaigning and lobbying. But even that didn’t lose me. Even his corporate raiding didn’t. I never synthesized it all cohesively before.

          But now, how many excuses for negatives can one shrug off? Where are the positives? What kind of character does this man have? His recent behavior made me seriously re-think and reconsider his past in a new light. And from what I see, and what I can surmise, the consistent theme is very disturbing.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | January 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The National polls shows Newt leading Romney, by about 4-8 points. I just hope the the rest of the Primary States tell Florida to go screw itself, by trying shove Romney and his Romneycare down our throats, just like Obama and the Democrats did with Obama and his Obamacare.

    That’s exactly how I feel. Doesn’t the establishment and Romney get that they are doing to the Republican base is equivalent, and in some ways worse, than what Obama did by bending this country over and ripped it a new one in passing Obamacare. That was legislation that *COULD* be overturned if the right person is president is paramount, yet Romney is not that person. The establishment is keen on shoving Romney right down our throats.

    BurkeanBadger in reply to TeaPartyPatriot4ever. | January 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Those national polls will be reversed and then some within the next few days.

holmes tuttle | January 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I also think it’s time to realize that Romneycare isn’t going to gain traction as an issue. By now, if it’s a reason for someone to not want Romney, they know about it. I don’t see many people changing their minds or all of a sudden deciding against him because of it. People know about it. It’s baked in to the cake. How much new salience does it have?

I don’t know how much mor I’d press the issue or make it a centerpiece going forward. I don’t know how much morethere is to be gained from it.

Health care isn’t even a major issue in any of the states so far. the major issues are the economy and the deficit. Newt needs to go after Romney on his economic record as Gov of MA and also emphasize his own positive record as Speaker. The economic stuff with Romney will be new. Most people think he’s a business whiz that’ll be good wit hthe economy. Very few actually know what his actual record as Gov was. He never talks about it, and there’s a reason why. In 4 yrs, MA had 24,000 new jobs net. That’s the business whiz.

Plus, with the economy Newt doesn’t open himself up to the “Newt supported the mandate, too” counter. Newt’s record as Speaker far surpasses Romney’s as Gov and it’s a favorable matchup for him. He can be positive talking about how great the economy was in the 90s. Making people remember and want to go back.

I think it’s much more likely that an economic-centered attack on Romney would bear more fruit than tilling the same soil of Romneycare for the 773rd time. It’d be much more effective. Make Romney defend his weak economic record as Gov and play on terrain more favorable to Newt.

“Santorum speech — lectures about not attacking others, but spent almost entire time attacking others. Not a good speech.”


He attacked on the issues and did not use the personal attack garbage he condemned. BIG difference. Don’t be so sore about this one loss and lose your mind and forget truth and balance please 🙂

This primary is far from over.

Wow. LOTS of Romney trolls here tonight.

Romney has won two states. It’s over. Time for the coronation.

Even though he got CRUSHED in a conservative stronghold.


    BurkeanBadger in reply to CalMark. | January 31, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    This Romney troll wants to know if he can help carry the Mittster’s litter after the coronation. 🙂

huskers-for-palin | January 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Hey, no problem. When Mitt gets whacked this November, the GOP will roll out Jeb Bush for 2016. Oh Happy Days!!!

As long as the GOP establishment gets it fiefdoms, and control of the Senate/Congress chairmanships, all is well to them.

It’s gonna be swell with the Mitt folks tell us to “get our asses in line.”

Hmmmm….Romney or Obama? I feel like a Hobbit hostage.

9thDistrictNeighbor | January 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm

It’s Florida. I demand a RECOUNT!!!

Romney is look at a 14.7% victory. Gingrich won SC by 12.6%. Clear wins for each but certainly not decisive, knock-outs for either. There is no reason for the race to end tonight. Absolutely no reason to stop here…

[…] » Florida primary results – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion […]

In 2008 total turnout in the FL GOP primary was around 2 million. McCain won with around 700k votes.

Tonight it looks like total turnout will be around 1.7 million tops. 300k fewer than in 08, despite all the attention and coverage and the fact there’s no dem primary. Romney looks like he’ll top out at close to 800k, up from the 600k he got in 2008. When you consider McCain+Rudy got 1,000,000 in 2008 Romney got 20% or so of their vote in addition to retaining his vote.

Turnout down by 15% from 2008. Yep, Romney really knows how to excite the masses and drive them to the polls.

By comparison, Hillary won the 2008 dem primary in FL with close to 900k votes, and the dems didn’t even campaign in FL in 2008.

Be interesting if any media types mention the marked decline in turnout and what that portends going forward.

“Looks like turnout down 200k from 2008. Notice that when Romney ties/wins (IA, NH, FL) no turnout surge, when Newt won in SC huge turnout surge. Turnout will be important in November 2012, and while Romney is winning, he’s not motivating new voters to come out. Bad sign so far.”

Wait a minute, this is an argument for Newt how? Was not Newt also in this race and also not motivating new voters to come out? Or is this just a “pox on all their houses” observation?

Well, if anything Newt is following the Romney 08 playbook. He’ll hang around long enough to finish 2nd and then he’ll be all set as the next in line and the guy whose turn it is in 2016. He’ll have paid his dues this year.

I mean isn’t that what always happens? The guy who finishes 2nd gets it the next time.

    huskers-for-palin in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    You’re “next in line” only if the establishment deems it so.

    BurkeanBadger in reply to holmes tuttle. | January 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Yep, that is tradition. But is he going to challenge President Romney in the 2016 primaries? Maybe, but I doubt it. 🙂 And by 2020, he’ll be too old.

      If you want to know why we see you as so tiresome, just wander over to Democratic Underground and see how they are engaging in all night circlejerk celebrating that their guy looks likely to clobber Mitt in November.

        BurkeanBadger in reply to sybilll. | February 1, 2012 at 12:59 am

        Forgive me, but that DemocraticUnderground is celebrating Romney’s victory only shows how clueless and out of touch with reality they are (a character trait all too common on the left). It says nothing about Romney’s viability against Obama

          Jack Long in reply to BurkeanBadger. | February 1, 2012 at 8:29 am

          A probable Obama strategy vs. Romney has been pretty well elucidated.

          Paint Romney as one of the 1% who are the reason the middle class is being milked dry.

          Pushbutton issue # 1, obamacare, is off the table with Romney.
          Pushbutton issue # 2, debt, is off the table with Romney.

          The campaign comes down to a mud slinging contest involving race and religion.

          Never get into a mud slinging contest with Daily Kos. You’ll get your clothes ruined and Daily Kos actually likes it.

          Jack Long in reply to BurkeanBadger. | February 1, 2012 at 8:31 am


          That should have been DU rather than Daily Kos.

          But, you get the idea.

I found this interesting:





I heard Laura Ingraham this AM and when she was done with the perfunctory interviews with Newt and Ricky (trying to get them to sing or egg them into a fight) she said in closing, Mitt Romney has just ran a “MASTERFUL campaign” in FL. She was impressed with the effectiveness of 5:1 negative ads no doubt. Masterful? More like Master-Blaster but which one is Mitt?

This is the same “right-wing” talk show host that could not stop complimenting herself at how wonderful she was to be invited to the Alfalfa Dinner last night with the Bushies and Obama. I’m sure she gloated to Ann Coulter on her good fortune to be flirting with those “beautiful men”, Jeb and Barack oh my!

The only thing she didn’t get was her dream candidate John Thune. Seeing her giggling like a 13 yr. old interviewing John Thune on BOR one night last spring was uncomfortable to watch and probably worse for Mrs. Thune. Count her with SE Cupp as thinking ‘electable’ and ‘GQ looks’ are one in the same.

    NewtCerto in reply to Reynolds88. | January 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I heard that too – so glad I’ve never bought any of her books. No humility at all. Very proud of her invite.

    I found it problematic when she had said if you want to win running negative ads is what you do. Really?

    All the respect I had for these talking heads has greatly diminished except for Levin who has been fair.

    I hope they all read the recent write up of who was most negative -Romney. Oops, I forgot, that’s how you win.

    Estragon in reply to Reynolds88. | February 1, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Does it ever make you wonder why you have to suddenly label all these longtime conservative icons as RINO establishment enemies when they come out against Newt?

    You couldn’t find many conservatives FOR Newt when we tossed his incompetent grandstanding butt from the Speaker’s chair. And you don’t see his former colleagues lining up to endorse him, either. If he was such a great Speaker, why do you suppose that is?

    Gingrich is ONLY “conservative” when he needs something from us. Once he has what he wants or all he can get, it’s the knife in the back again. It’s his MO, has been for more than three decades.

    I wish there were a good conservative alternative to Romney in the race, or who even now would get in. But Gingrich isn’t it, and NEVER will be.

    Did they have to blank your memory completely when you joined the Newties?

      timothy in reply to Estragon. | February 1, 2012 at 5:55 am

      Pressure reveals character and fealty to first principles. What we are witnessing is the mass realization by conservatives that a large portion of the GOP is not committed to constitutional, limited government. In the battle for liberty, the GOP is on the side of statism.

      Many of us have had that suspicion for years, but have been (and are being) convicted of over-reacting and not seeing the forest for the trees. Well, after trees named Bush, Dole, Bush and McCain with assorted under-brush like Lowry, Sunnunu and others, we do see the forest–and its ugly

    wodiej in reply to Reynolds88. | February 1, 2012 at 7:16 am

    We are all getting a painful look at the people that some respected and liked and finding out they are part of the cause of the country’s demise. When they support a liberal like Romney than you know they aren’t credible. The good thing about continuing the vetting as Gov. Palin said we should do is it reveals all the people and what they really stand for. Sadly, there are very few of these politicians and talking heads who are on our side. And I mean talk radio, talk shows etc. VERY FEW. I learned long ago to not extend trust easily. And I am not easily won over. Not for sale.

I think Newt still needs to figure out who he is in terms of his candidacy.

Usually successful candidates know who they are. THey have a narrative, a story.

Obama was Mr Change, the 1st black President. The country wanted change after 8 yrs of W and there was no bigger change than Obama.

McCain was the war hero. Served his country before and wanted to do so again. Country first. Lose an election rather than a war.

Kerry was also the war hero. The decorated veteran running against the guy who got us into the wrong war at the wrong time(or so the argument went)

W was the son of the fmr President. Avenging his father Inigo Montoya style and retsoring the Bush dynasty and GOp to its proper place after the Clinton usurpation. Also the good christian family man restoring honor and dignity to the WH after 8 yrs of Slick.

Clinton was the man from Hope. the young, new generation, New Dem who felt your pain as opposed to Poppy Bush who lacked the vision thing and stared at his watch.

Reagan was the movie star who would make Americans believe in themselves again.

Carter was the simple farmer who would restore the nation’s moral core after Watergate.

Nixon was the man of the Silent Majority who would take back the country from the counterculture and hippies.

you get the idea.

Romney has his narrative. He’s the business leader who succeeded in turning around companies and now he’s going to turn around the economy. Simple. To the point.

What’s Newt’s narrative? He doesn’t seem to have one that’s clear and direct. the guy who bashes the media won’t cut it. The gadfly with 1001 ideas isn’t much better. He needs a storyline. Who is he?

Unfortunately he doesn’t really have a personal story a la McCain, Kerry, Bush, Obama, etc… He won’t be a 1st of any kind. He’s not a war hero or some charismatic figure. Has no family or legacy connection. Yes he’s from GA but he has no accent and isn’t particularly identifiable as Southern. What’s his pitch? He needs one fast.

Any suggestions?

What’s Newt’s narrative? He doesn’t seem to have one that’s clear and direct. the guy who bashes the media won’t cut it. The gadfly with 1001 ideas isn’t much better. He needs a storyline. Who is he? …Yes he’s from GA but he has no accent and isn’t particularly identifiable as Southern. What’s his pitch? He needs one fast.

Ofergodsake. I really can be pushed to vote for Obama!

Of the previous nominees, it seems like Nixon would be the best model for Newt. Not a good omen I know.

But there are some similiarities. Both very polarizing and controversial histories. Nixon was depised by the dems for Alger Hiss. Newt for impeachment. Nixon came up lacking in comparison to the younger, more vigorous, more hip, more ladies man JFK. See Newt vs Clinton. Nixon left politics after his 62 loss in the Gov race his final press conference and he was an object of scorn and ridicule. No one gave him any mind or thought he had any chance at anything. See Newt post 1998. Nixon eventually made himself into an elder statesman of the party. See Newt. Nixon was very knowledgable on policy but not exactly the most engaging guy and the most friendly/charismatic. Again, see Newt. There are plenty of other similarities.
Nixon ran against Romney for the nomination.

He needs that “silent majority”-esque narrative for his campaign. He needs that sentence description that really sums up who he is and what he’s about. I think basing it on the successful economic results of the mid-late 90s is the best approach and somehow coming up with a sentence that really captures that and translates it to the next 4 years.

Just want to point out that turn out was higher in 2008 due to a constitutional ammendment being on the ballot relating to the homestead exemption.

    holmes tuttle in reply to Jaydee77. | January 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    According to wikipedia there was no homestead exemption on the ballot. It was struck down by a fed judge. There was only one initiative on the Jan 29 ballot(same day as GOP primary), one having to do with a tax issue.

    But in any event, shouldn’t the turnout be up this year as Republicans should be revved up their huge 2010 win and their desire to beat Obama, and the establishment’s golden child and chosen one was riding high in the saddle. Especially in FL, a key swing state, home of Rubio and a GOP Gov in Scott.

    The fact that turnout is down by around 300,000 can’t all be explained by some tax initiative.

      Exit polls yesterday showed that four in ten Florida voters were not happy with their choices. I think that goes a long way toward explaining the turnout.

final turnout around 1,663,000 down from 1,950,000 in 08. A drop of 287,000 or 15%.

Romney gets 771,000 votes. 70,000 more than the 701,000 McCain won with in 08. 167,000 more than the 604,000 Romney got in 08. He got around 17% of the McCain/Giuliani vote form 08 in addition to holding his own base.

I remember reading an article a few days back about Romney’s organization and campaign in FL. It talked about how detailed it was and how long it had been working the state and planning. It said the campaign’s target was at least 900,000 votes. They ended up around 20% short of their own target despite all the advantages they had in the state. Not a good sign for the fall against the most impressive campaign organization ever put together and an absolute genius when it comes to turnout in Plouffe.

Newt+Santorum just about tied Romney in total votes. Just imagine if Santorum had accepted Newt’s offer to split hte 50 delegates if he urged all his supporters to vote Newt on Sunday. Both Newt and Snatorum would be the big winners tonight and Romney would be serverely damaged. Oh well.

Hillary won the 08 dem primary with 871,000 votes. 100,000 more than Romney got tonight, and the dems didn’t even campaign in FL in 08.

BTW, in 08 Hillary crushed Obama in FL 50-33. We all know how that turned out. An omen for Newt perhaps.

So, FL turnout down almost 300k from 2008. Be interesting to see if that’s brought up.

    Santorum wouldn’t make the deal for two reasons: 1) he’s a big “play by the rules” guy, and 2) he’s observed that anyone who has ever trusted Newt ended up screwed by him, without exception (Callista is still pending, but has the $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s as insurance).

Turnout is down… not surprising, since Romney basically declared war on the party grassroots via Gingrich as the proxy. I can already predict the future… Romney and the establishment will say WE need to make peace with THEM, not the other way around. If that’s going to be the line, expect even lower turnout in November.

It’s on Mitt and the establishment to make peace with the base of the party if they even have a chance at winning over Obama. It’s going to take more than a token conservative as his Veep, assuming Romney even does that much.

Romney – popular vote so far – 1,070,490
Non-Romney popular vote so far – 1,473,599
Romney % popular vote 42%
Non-Romney % popular vote 58%

Non-Romney, conservative/libertarian, seems to be ahead.

It was presented as a real quote here, was it not? And a lot of people are presenting it as a real Romney quote. If Steyn was any good at writing, so many people would not have taken that quote as an accurate one.