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News from the Votemaster

Romney Wins the CPAC Straw Poll     Permalink

The Conservative Political Action Conference is the high point of the year for conservatives. They get together in D.C. to eat, drink, and talk politics and hear their heroes give speeches. Attendees also get to vote for their favorite candidate for President in a straw poll. This year the winner is Mitt Romney, with 38% of the 3,408 votes cast. Rick Santorum came in second with 31%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 15% and Ron Paul with 12%. Paul won the 2011 poll but didn't show up this year. While a small victory in such a specialized event, Romney is hoping for a boost after his drubbing in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri earlier this week.

Romney Edges Out Paul by 194 Votes in Maine     Permalink

In another piece of good news for Mitt Romney, he won the nonbinding, week-long Maine caucuses, but just barely. Here are the results:

Candidate Votes Pct
Mitt Romney 2190 39%
Ron Paul 1996 36%
Rick Santorum 998 18%
Newt Gingrich 332 6%

Given that Maine is adjacent to New Hampshire, where Romney has a house, and not far from Massachusetts, where he was governor for 4 years, a win of 194 votes can't really be considered a landslide, but at this point Romney is thankful for all the victories he can get. Noteworthy is that only 5,516 Republicans showed up to vote, even though they had an entire week to do so. In 2008, John McCain got 295,273 votes in Maine, so if we take this as the number of Republicans in Maine, fewer than 2% of Maine Republicans bothered to vote. That does not augur well for turnout in November.

Santorum Leading in Michigan and Nationwide     Permalink

As we have pointed out more than a few times, in politics, a week is a long time. A week ago it was Rick Who? Now Rick Santorum has jumped to the lead in a PPP national poll released yesterday. Santorum has 38% to Romney's 23%, with Newt Gingrich back at 17% and Ron Paul last with 13%. While the Republican nomination has been volatile, to go from nowhere to a double-digit lead in a week is unprecedented, even for this year. Clearly the Republicans who still don't like Mitt Romney are rapidly jumping ship from Gingrich to Santorum, all on the basis of two caucuses and beauty contest this week, none of which allocated any actual delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Even worse for Romney is that Santorum is also leading in Michigan, which, along with Arizona, votes next, on Feb. 28. Santorum is skipping Arizona because the large Mormon population there is going to vote for Romney no matter what, but he is actively campaigning in Michigan, despite that being Romney's home state. A Santorum win in a state that Romney's father governed and then just a week before Super Tuesday will be devastating for Romney. All the news will be about Santorum's momentum. Romney will no doubt turn on the spigot of death very soon and begin running very negative ads about Santorum. They are likely to focus on Santorum's penchant for getting earmarks for Pennsylvania when he was a senator, but it is doubtful that many Republicans will see anything wrong with a senator fighting for his own state. Unfortunately for Romney, Santorum does not offer a lot of other targets to go after. If by some miracle or other Santorum is the GOP nominee, Obama will say that he is a right-wing extremist and far outside the mainstream, but Romney, who is trying like mad to burnish his conservative credentials can hardly attack Santorum for being an extreme conservative. That's what the base likes about him, after all. While the smart money is still betting on Romney to win the nomination, a loss in Michigan followed by multiple losses on Super Tuesday could seriously change the picture. Obama is probably sitting around the White House looking at these polls and thinking: "The Republicans say I am not a Christian, but I've been praying like crazy and God is giving me everything I asked for. What are they talking about?"

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Previous headlines

Feb08 Santorum Wins Big in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado
Feb05 Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses
Feb05 Republican Primary and Caucus Schedule
Feb04 Romney Expected to Win Big at Nevada Caucuses Today
Feb04 Economy is Improving
Feb01 Romney Wins Decisively in Florida
Jan31 Romney Set to Win Big in Florida
Jan31 Santorum Faces Easy Choice Tomorrow
Jan31 Prediction: Florida Will Win Today
Jan27 Romney Takes Off the Gloves in Final Florida Debate
Jan27 Romney Failed to List Foreign Investments on Legal Form
Jan25 Obama Lays Groundwork for a Populist Campaign in State-of-the-Union Speech
Jan24 Romney Releases 2010 Tax Return
Jan24 Role Reversal in the Debate: Romney Attacks, Gingrich Plays Defense
Jan24 Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich
Jan22 Gingrich Crushes Romney in South Carolina
Jan20 Perry Drops Out and Endorses Gingrich
Jan20 Gingrich Surging in South Carolina
Jan20 Gingrich's Second Wife Attacks Him
Jan20 Romney Loses His Win in Iowa
Jan20 Romney Reported to Have Millions of Dollars in the Cayman Islands
Jan20 The Final Four Take Off the Gloves in the Last Debate before the South Carolina Primary
Jan17 Hard-Hitting Debate in South Carolina Changes Nothing
Jan16 Huntsman Expected to Drop Out Today and Endorse Romney
Jan16 Why is the Republican Field So Weak?
Jan16 South Carolina Debate Tonight
Jan15 Social Conservatives Agree to Back Santorum
Jan13 Eleventh Commandment Repealed
Jan11 NH: Romney 39%, Paul 23%, Huntsman 17%, Gingrich 9%, Santorum 9%
Jan11 Charlie Cook: Redistricting is Politically Neutral
Jan10 Romney Leads Going into the New Hampshire Primary Today
Jan10 Gingrich Goes Negative in South Carolina
Jan08 Romney Survives Debate Unscathed
Jan08 Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
Jan05 Bachmann Drops Out
Jan05 Perry Hesitates, but Stays In
Jan05 Movement Conservatives Attempt to Find a Consensus Candidate
Jan04 Iowa: Romney 24.6%, Santorum 24.6%, Paul 21.4%, Gingrich 13.3%
Jan03 All Eyes on Iowa Today
Jan03 The Horse Race as a Horse Race

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