Friday, March 09, 2012

GOP 2012 Update: Primary Schedule for March and Available Polls - Gingrich Out after AL, MI? - Analysis


Will Gingrich Suspend after AL and MS?(ABC News) giving Santorum the edge in a two-Man race? - image political ticker blog

The following States and Territories go to the polls through the end of March, to choose the GOP Presidential Nominee:
March 10th: Kansas, Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, March 13: Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi and American Samoa, March 17: Missouri, March 18th: Puerto Rico, March 20: Illinois and March 24th Louisiana. After March, there are 22 states left to weigh in on the process including: New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Polling for the March races:
In Alabama, Rick Santorum leads with a lead of 22.7% to Mitt Romney’s 18.7%, Newt Gingrich support has fallen from 26.9% to 13.8% in the latest poll from the Alabama State University’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy. A whopping 29.8% remain undecided with 15% voting for other candidates. A second poll taken a week prior by the Alabama Teachers Association (Union) gave Mitt Romney a lead over Santorum of 31.2 to 21.6%, with Gingrich also taking 21% of the vote. (Al.com)

In Kansas Rick Santorum is favored to win the Caucuses, according to Politico, while Romney is being supported by Bob Dole, and Newt Gingrich will not participate.

Mississippi, no polling yet released, however an article from Ya’ll Politics suggests that Mitt Romney could do the impossible and win the state, this is based on the fact that Romney’s locked up endorsements (and those endorsements are delegates) of most of the State’s GOP elected officials . The website suggest that the poll taken in Alabama by the Teachers Association that gave Romney a lead, (neglecting to put in the later poll which showed Romney losing ground and Santorum leading) as the predictor to give the race in Mississippi to Romney – simply because Alabama predicts how Mississippi will go. Using that logic, should Santorum win in Alabama, then he will also win in Mississippi – Using logic in general, there is no valid polling data to date.

Missouri, No Polling available

Hawaii, No Polling available

The territories including Puerto Rico – No Polling available

Missouri – No Polling Available

Louisiana – No Polling available

Illinois – No Polling Available

The lack of polling data this close to these contests denotes either a total lack of interest in the process going south, to the territories and mid-west for the balance of March or a lower prize allocation to the candidates. Delegates totals in the balance of March races total 367 (Alabama (50), Kansas (40) Puerto Rico (23), Guam (9), Virgin Islands (9), Marianas and American Samoa (18), Hawaii (20), Mississippi ( 40), Illinois (69), Missouri (52) and Louisiana (46) - Green papers.com).

Projecting based on past state history (conservative vs. moderate); Romney should take the states of Illinois, Hawaii and the territories. The balance of the Southern and Mid-western states where Romney has previously had problems in the south and mid-west (in 2008 and now in 2012), should go to Santorum.

On Gingrich: He is not competing in Kansas, and his strategy for a comeback in the south, although limited poll data exists (Alabama) does not look probable. According to an ABC News Story this morning, should Gingrich not win in both Alabama and Mississippi, it will be time to throw in the proverbial towel. At this point, one is wondering what the former Speaker hopes to gain by stating in a contest that is clearly shifted to a two-man race. It also makes one wonder what Gingrich hopes to achieve (his original intent was to stop Mitt Romney – however, the result has been to stop Rick Santorum – Santorum and Gingrich voters are usually simpatico, with many calling the other a first or second choice. Therefore, if Gingrich’s plan is to stop Mitt Romney, then he should take the risk and suspend his campaign prior to these two contests and let the chips fall where they may. If Gingrich were to release his delegates to Santorum and turn to endorse his former protégé, then it would give Santorum a clear advantage. However, if he is a true establishment Republican as some have suggested, his staying in the race, is not to defeat, but to protect the GOP Establishment choice, Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich has been called arrogant, in his quest for the nomination, however, he is simply the brightest in the bunch – the aforementioned is pure speculation on the part of this blogger. The races going forward, it should be noted, are primarily winter take all.

This is not to say the race, even with Gingrich and of course, Ron Paul, included, will be decided in March or April, the fact is that George H Bush dropped his bid against Ronald Regan (Bush was the GOP Establishment candidate), in May of 1980.

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