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News from the Votemaster

Close Races Expected in Alabama and Mississippi Today     Permalink

Hawaii, Alabama, and Mississippi vote today. Mitt Romney will probably win Hawaii--where no one is campaigning--simply because in blue states like Hawaii, even the Republicans are more liberal than they are in red states. The real tests for Romney will come in the deep South. The latest PPP poll of Alabama puts Romney at 31%, Newt Gingrich at 30%, Rick Santorum at 29%, and Ron Paul at 8%. In short, it's anybody's guess what will happen there except Ron Paul will come in last. Mississippi is also close, with a PPP poll putting Gingrich at 33%, Romney at 31%, Santorum at 27% and Paul at 7%.

If Romney wins either of these states, the news Wednesday morning will be about his great breakthrough in the South, but if he wins with only 1/3 of the votes, it is hard to make a case that conservatives are getting used to them. Rather, that they are still split among his opponents.

Santorum Focuses on Delegates     Permalink

To some extent, Rick Santorum is changing his strategy and now focusing on delegates rather than victories. He knows that if he can deny Romney the 1144 delegates needed to win on the first ballot, all delegates become free to vote their consciences on the second ballot, and therein lies his hope. To effect this plan, he is coming to realize that who the delegates are is important. In all caucus states, for example, there are two ballots. The first one is just a straw poll about which candidate the voters prefer. Many people go home after having cast their ballot in this race. But later in the caucus the actual delegates to the county convention are chosen. It is here that Santorum, (like Romney and Paul already), wants to hit pay dirt. The goal is ultimately to elect conservative delegates to the RNC who will bolt to Santorum on the second ballot, even if they are legally or morally obligated to vote for Romney on the first ballot. This focus on the actual delegates is something Ron Paul has had for a long time and Romney has also had for a while. As it becomes increasingly clear that while Romney is certain to finish the primaries with more delegates than anyone else, there is a small chance that he won't have 1144 and there will be a second ballot at the convention. For Santorum and Paul, it is a long shot at best, but it is a strategy of sorts.

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Previous headlines

Mar11 Santorum Wins Kansas Caucus
Mar10 Santorum Favorite to Win Kansas Caucus Today
Mar10 Angus King Endorses Obama
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