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News from the Votemaster

Santorum Favorite to Win Kansas Caucus Today     Permalink

No public polls for today's Kansas Republican caucus have been released, but according to Intrade, Rick Santorum is the overwhelming favorite to win Kansas. Of course, the fact that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have both written off the state and are not campaigning there, helps. In a one-on-one battle with Ron Paul, Santorum is close to a shoo-in as he is a conservative and Paul is a libertarian and the state is very conservative and not at all libertarian like many states in the West.

The contests in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, however, are being hotly contested. All the candidates are campaigning hard there and putting millions of dollars into TV ads. A poll by Alabama State University released yesterday shows Gingrich in the lead with 21%, followed by Romney at 20% and then Santorum at 17%. A Rasmussen poll of Mississippi released yesterday had Romney at 35%, Santorum at 27%, and Gingrich at 27%. This follows the now-usual pattern of Santorum and Gingrich splitting the conservative vote, thus letting Romney win.

At this point in the campaign, anything other than decisive wins by Santorum in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi has to count as a victory for Romney. The only way he could possibly lose the nomination is for all conservatives to rally behind one candidate--and at the moment the only option is Santorum. It is hard to understand why Gingrich is remaining in the race since he has about zero chance of winning it and approximately the same chance of emerging from a deadlocked convention as everybody's second choice. All his presence does is help the man he hates--Romney. But Gingrich marches to his own drummer and may continue to do so until Romney has 1144 delegates in the bag. Then he will blame the media for his loss.

Angus King Endorses Obama     Permalink

Now that progressive darling Chellie Pingree has decided not to run for the vacant Senate seat in Maine being abandoned in disgust by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), all Democratic eyes are on former Democrat and former Maine governor Angus King, who is a candidate. Yesterday, King announced he supports Obama's reelection bid but stopped short of saying he would caucus with the Denocrats. Who's he kidding? There has undoubtedly been a lot of secret backroom dealing here as Pingree, who could potentially have won the seat, suddenly lost interest in the face of King's entry into the race. One has to conclude that King privately promised to act like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who, de facto, acts like a loyal Democrat in return for the Democrats getting Pingree to drop her bid. Surely this development is a great disappointment to Pingree. Undoubtedly, the Democrats must have offered her something to get her to drop what could have been a successful Senate bid. Things that come to mind are (1) a committee chairmanship the next time the Democrats control the House or (2) lots of money in a Senate race against Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in 2014. But don't expect anyone to be forthcoming with any information.

King is still popular in the state and independents have a long history of getting elected to office in New England, so the Democrats are probably content to have King in their caucus as a nominal independent. Nevertheless, other Democrats, including former governor John Baldacci, are likely to file for the race, putting the DSCC in a bit of a bind. Does it support the official Democrat with real money and risk splitting the vote and letting the Republican win? Or does it cut the Democrat loose and behind the scenes tell Democratic donors in the state that donations to King are fine with it? In the latter case, it will be slightly amusing to see Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the DSCC, explaining to the media that she is not putting any money into the Maine race because it has a low priority, when everyone knows it is the highest priority Senate race in the country.

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Previous headlines

Mar07 Romney wins Ohio and five other states, Santorum wins three states
Mar06 Today is Super Tuesday
Mar06 Independent Throws Maine Senate Race into Turmoil
Mar04 Romney Wins Washington, Paul Second (Maybe)
Mar03 Washington State Holds Caucuses Today
Mar03 Maine Senate Field Taking Shape
Feb29 Romney Barely Wins Michigan
Feb29 Olympia Snow Announces Her Retirement
Feb28 Michigan Too Close to Call
Feb28 Kerrey May Run for the Senate in Nebraska
Feb23 Romney Attacks, Santorum Defends, Nothing Much Changes
Feb23 Of Vaginas and Veeps
Feb21 Too Late for a White Knight
Feb21 Another Republican Debate Tomorrow
Feb17 Santorum Leading Romney in Michigan
Feb12 Romney Wins the CPAC Straw Poll
Feb12 Romney Edges Out Paul by 194 Votes in Maine
Feb12 Santorum Leading in Michigan and Nationwide
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