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Endgame quick analysis: Great night for Santorum. Now he has to show he can win with Newt also in the field and when Romney cares enough to spend money and attack.

Horrible night for Romney. Another hole in the bubble of electability, and the new narrative (which I have been saying for weeks) is that he only can win when he attacks and outspends (Nevada an exception for demographic reasons).

A good night for Newt because the campaign stays alive, even though he now will battle Santorum for the not-Romney title. Had Romney swept, the inevitability barrage would have continued.  Newt lives to fight on Super Tuesday, about all he could hope for.

I’ll have more in the morning.


Tonight are the non-binding Missouri primary, and the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses.

As of this writing (10 p.m.), Rick Santorum is winning big in Missouri.  With Newt not on the ballot, he’s getting the full not-Romney vote:


Reporting 96%
Santorum 55.4
Romney 25.2
Paul 12.2


Reporting 59%
Santorum 45.2
Paul 27.1
Romney 17
Gingrich 10.7


Can’t stay up for Colorado. Looks like Santorum will do well and possibly win, but numbers reporting still very small as of 11:20 p.m. Eastern.


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To be entirely fair, Santorum is winning the “Who gives a crap about this joke of a contest” vote. He was the only one who actually campaigned in this state for this particular attempt. I highly suspect Newt (and likely Romney) will best him in the Caucus. And I mean beat, not “Do better than they did this week”

OT: Caption Contest on the MSNBC homepage:!/tsrblke/status/167079691113594880

Although I’d prefer Newt over Santorum, Santorum would make a fine candidate. If these results hold and Santorum wins huge in two states and at least can compete in Colorado, the Inevitability Train is going to lose some serious steam.

What’s the time lapse over/under on the Drudge et al. media onslaught against Santorum should his numbers start to rise across the board?

I hear Drudge is linking positive for Santorum. How convenient.

Drudge free for me.

Perhaps Santorum can be useful in the end in disabling the myth of Mitt’s inevitability.

I’m in Lakeville, MN. Our precinct was just held and out of the 53 people present, 22 for Santorum, 18 for Romney, 7 for R. Paul, and 6 for Gingrich (Including me and my wife). Significantly larger turnout this year versus 2010 or 2008.

Also, put on the board to have a proportional presidential primary, closed one, put on the State GOP platform; that got carried and will go up the ladder to the next convention level.

There didn’t seem to be any strong presentation for any candidate, simply individual written voting.

Wish Newt would have done better in my precinct but can accept that Santorum has a lead in Minnesota; better him than Mitt (Hang Dog look) Romney; nothing personal just my sweet opinion.

StrangernFiction | February 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Mitt is taking it on the chin tonight big time.

As a Newt supporter I can appreciate what Santorum has done today in stalling Mitt from his “I’m next in line” to be president bit.

But let’s keep some perspective:

“We don’t know who will win any of the three states in play tonight, but we do know how many delegates Rick Santorum will finish the night with: Three. The same number of delegates he’s starting the night with. None are at stake, so turnout is…about what you’d expect in meaningless contests. That’s not stopping brave attempts at hyping these things up, though.

Update: Missouri results are starting to come in. Santorum leads strongly there so far. Total delegates earned: Zero.

Minnesota results are coming in too, and Santorum leads there as well with Paul in second. Total delegates earned: Zero.

Colorado results will be here. Total delegates…eh, you get the idea.

Update: Rick Santorum has won Missouri, racking up over 54% of the vote in a totally meaningless contest. If trends hold, he’ll win Minnesota and Colorado as well. Romney did win Colorado in 2008 with over 60% of the vote.”

    retire05 in reply to NewtCerto. | February 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    The Missouri caucuses are in ten days. Considering that Santorum took such a large percentage of the primary vote, I would not consider the primaries meaningless.

    Missouri voters will return to the caucus to award delegates. It would seem that Santorum has large support there. You need to also remember that Missouri is really the first “Bible belt” state to be in play. And while this may not have been a good night for Romney, it also has not been a good night for Gingrich as he came in 4th in Minnesota and is trailing badly in Colorado.

      Tamminator in reply to retire05. | February 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm

      Which means Newt has to fight harder to be a contender.
      I don’t think this is going to be like 2008.
      Feels different.
      Republicans are not going to be spoon fed their candidate this time.
      They’ve learned too much.

I got home from my teeny tiny caucus in Minnesota about a half hour ago.
There were 26 people in my dinky precinct.
15 Santorum
7 Romney
3 Paul
1 Gingrich

Guess who voted for the Newtster? hee hee

I got to see Newt speak in Bloomington, Minnesota last night. About 500 people in attendance and tons of media cameras. Oh, and that fat fart Ed Schultz was there. He’s even uglier in person than he is on TV. Disgusting man…

I wish Newt could get his message out. He’s direct and to the point and he means business.
I just don’t know what else he can do when he has this horrible media onslaught against him. He fired ME up, but what about the rest of the country?

Most of the people in my caucus group were OLD.
Republicans need some young blood folks, or they are going to die out.
One guy, with a National Guard hat on his head looked like he was about 25. Talked about the constitution to the group. I said, “Tea party?” He said, “Yes”. I high-fived him.
Another young woman pushed in her baby carriage(with her 6 month old child in it) and had a two year old on her lap.
Now THAT’S dedication.
She wasn’t going to miss this caucus come hell or high water!

People, get out to your caucuses or primaries or whatever. We have to FIGHT.
Step up and take action.
That young Mom did it. You can too.
It’s your duty.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. I’m a delegate. I’m going to run for STATE delegate to get in my Newt voice.
Somebody’s gotta do it, so it might as well be the Tamminator!

In Colorado, looks like Santorum is in for a big night. Just got back from the caucus, where Santorum won big. Early numbers from other precincts looking the same.

Not a single vote for Romney at our table.

    Tamminator in reply to Same Same. | February 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Glad to meet another guy who got involved in the process.
    This is the entire problem with Republicans: They don’t want to get involved.

    Good for you, Same Same!

    Folks, we have to FIGHT to save this country. And it takes more than reading blogs. It just DOES.

Good to hear Tamminator!

Newt: Today will be a good day for Santorum

I wish Santorum could be this statesman-like.

    NewtCerto in reply to NewtCerto. | February 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Newt also said it would be “a bad day for Romney.”


      Tamminator in reply to NewtCerto. | February 7, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Romney was on a local Minnesota conservative station today, and he was so obnoxious I thought I would puke.
      He said something like, “Well we’re more organized than some of the others. Maybe they should think about dropping out”.

      I’m being very loose on my interpretation by the way.

      Hey, Romney, 3 States just handed you your ASS.
      He is so creepy and arrogant to me that I’m reminded of Obama every time I see him.

      WoodnWorld in reply to NewtCerto. | February 7, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      No offense to any of the Newt supporters here, but Newt saying that only deflects from the fact that this is also a very “bad day” for him as well. Perhaps even more so considering he needs the bump to (re)gain momentum more than anyone else right now…

If the not-Romneys want to stop him, should Rick get out of Newt’s way, or Newt out of Rick’s? Tonight’s results in both Missouri and Minnesota seems to suggest the “Rick is standing between Newt and a unified offensive against Mitt” narrative may be flawed.

That’s “real” conservatives. Sorry.

2008, McCain didn’t win any of the february contests if I recall correctly. Lets hope Santo doesn’t get too big a boost from tonight and ruin the super tuesday vote for Newt. But I agree with some of the above comments, it feels good to have Mitt bested in two way race between him and a conservative alternative. Goes to show, he is no longer the prohibitive nominee.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | February 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I was only the 16th person to vote in my precinct at about 4:00pm. That’s a pitiful turnout. It was impacted by crappy weather in Kansas City today; Newt’s absence from the ballot, and the results being non-binding.

I came very close to staying home, but I wanted to register my dissatisfaction with Willard. You had to really want to express yourself to get out in the cold rain to cast an essentially meaningless vote today. But I did it. And with Newt not on the ballot, I voted Santorum. (Had I known Santorum was going to have such a runaway win, I would have voted Ron Paul instead.)

Subotai Bahadur | February 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Back from Caucus in Colorado. My precinct 13 Santorum, 3 Gingrich, 2 Paul, 2 Romney. Other precincts in my county seem to be going the same way. I was also elected as a delegate to county convention, where I will run for state. One less Romney vote at state if I get there.

Subotai Bahadur

    Tamminator in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | February 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Good for you! Say “hi” to Misha for me.

    Hey, even though my Newtie lost tonight, I’m revved up.
    People are not going to take this sitting down.
    Don’t TELL us who we have to vote for.
    Pisses us little minions off.

I’ll take Santorum over Newt or Mitt.

I just returned from my precinct caucus in Colorado and the last I had heard was Santorum was up big.

theduchessofkitty | February 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm

This contest is not over by a long shot. Thankfully!

Mr. Jacobson said, “A good night for Newt…”

Really? Really?

This has been a very bad night for both Romney and Newt. It is time for Newt to step down and endorse Santorum. “I know you don’t want to hear it, but it is what it is.”

    Tamminator in reply to Astroman. | February 8, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Funniest post all night.
    Give up the fight? Newt?
    You must be drunk on Santorum salve.
    Let’s play this fight out, buddy.
    Winner takes this country back to sanity.

      Astroman in reply to Tamminator. | February 8, 2012 at 1:06 am

      Except this is the line of reasoning that Mr. Jacobson has been endorsing all along – others need to drop out since Newt is the only not-Romney who has a chance. Well, Newt is fading again, and I don’t see him getting a third bite at the apple.

      I’m not surprised to see y’all aren’t nearly so enthusiastic with that line of thinking now that it’s come time for your guy to step down for the good of the team.

      Remember, a vote for Newt is a vote for Romney.

    wodiej in reply to Astroman. | February 8, 2012 at 5:19 am


Just a run down for the night:

In MO:
Santorum 55%
Romney 25%
Paul 12%

In MN:
Santorum 45%
Paul 27%
Romney 17%
Gingrich 11%

In CO:
Santorum 38%
Romney 36%
Gingrich 13%
Paul 12%

It didn’t matter if Gingrich made the ballot or not, he just wasn’t a factor tonight. Whether Gingrich stays in or drops out, it looks like the not-Romney vote will (continue to) consolidate around Santorum.

So by my count, the state winners so far are:

Santorum: 4 – IA, MO, MN, CO
Romney: 3 – NH, FL, NV
Gingrich: 1 – SC
Paul: 0

Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the posts from y’all talking about how Santorum needs to drop out for the sake of Newt…

    wodiej in reply to Astroman. | February 8, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Santorum needs to drop out and take one for the team. Please, he barely won Iowa. At least one state last night is considered the “bible belt”. Gingrich was not on the Missouri ballot. And no delegates were given were they? Being a Christian alone does not make a good leader. Santorum just doesn’t have the resume showing this. This a potentially a very big deal. If Mitt Romney is so inevitable, why is Rick Santorum sweeping three very different states like Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. This is more than luck.

You know that scene where Michael Corleone in Godfather II recognizes that the rebels could win in Cuba? Don’t be surprised if Mitt gets a surprise.

Great speech from Santorum, especially towards the end. Exactly what we need, someone to articulate what makes America great and why the government CANNOT be in the business of giving ‘rights.’

If he can keep up this message and the momentum from tonight, he can win the nomination. Momentum in this race has been fickle, so Newt dropping out at the moment would be unwise, but if Santorum can build from tonight as opposed to Iowa, there is something to be said for Gingrich getting out before the 28th (or Super Tuesday.)

It’s a tough call. Been leaning towards Gingrich for a while now, but the most important factor remains defeating Romney, because he WILL lose in November. In light of that, if Santorum can solidify his support over the next couple weeks, I can see the legitimacy behind calling for Newt to bow out. But only then.

The professor is right, we need someone with a message to win in November. Newt and Rick have that message and have shown an ability to articulate that message. Romney has no message and cannot articulate conservatism. He cannot win if we are to beat Obama. So there has to be a cut off point where the two alternatives stop splitting votes. For the first time, I can see that point approaching.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 8, 2012 at 4:56 am

Colorado in 2008 had 120,000 Dems & 70,000 Republicans.

The figures I saw were around 60,000 this time -a 15% drop.

In 08 They did choose the Dem Nominee ( Obama 79,000 vs Clinton 40,000)

but not the rRpub.( Romney 60 Mac 16%).

Obama will win CO on these numbers.

Also Co was 4 weeks later in 08.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 8, 2012 at 5:02 am

But the good news is the race is still on & the DC convention this Fri -Sat will be interesting.

Palin is the keynote speaker with the last word!

It could not be scripted better.

Low voter turnout and non binding votes= no delegates. Santorum has only won 1 state technically w Iowa and he barely won that one. If MN is the bible belt, he got votes because he is a “Christian” but how does that make him the best to lead the country? It doesn’t. But it put the brakes on Romney. Santorum needs to get prepared because Romney’s campaign is coming after him next.

I see Santorum won all three by sizeable %. Im thinking taken together the wins say a similar thing as the win in SC that Newt turned in back a few weeks. There is obvious resistance to Mr Electability. I dont think Newt should necessarily take this as a game changer for himself but rather as a positive outcome.
Its a new ball game now. These wins arent big deals on an individual basis..but three together?

What is being illustrated for us as more and more primaries and caucuses pass is that the field remains mercurial, with virtually every candidate taking turns at surging and receding – every candidate except Romney, whose support among all GOP voters has stayed pretty much level throughout. Perry surged at entry, Gingrich surged twice, Cain had a surge, and now Santorum may be surging. It is obvious that the voting public is still looking for its candidate and that it wants Romney only as a last resort. After 5 years of campaigning and tens upon tens of millions of dollars spent, Romney has not and apparently cannot close the deal.

This will come down to GOP America deciding whether it wants Santorum or Gingrich. If either fails to win out, that is, if they end up evenly split, or if both unforeseeably implode, then Romney will take it as last man standing – last resort.

The “official” Colorado results from the Republican Party Chairman;
Rick Santorum ………………….26,614 votes – 40.31%

Mitt Romney ……………………..23,012 votes – 34.85%

Newt Gingrich …………………..8,445 votes – 12.79%

Ron Paul ………….…………….7,759 votes – 11.75%

Rick Perry ………………………..52 votes – 0.08%

Jon Huntsman …………………..46 votes – 0.07%

Michele Bachmann ……………28 votes – 0.04%

Other write-in candidates ………71 votes – 0.11%

One item to note is that this is more or less a straw poll as the official primary/convention is not until June or July.