Saturday, March 10, 2012
2012 GOP Update - Santorum Wins Kansas – 51% of the Vote, Romney 21% – Bests Obama in National Polling with Romney – Next Up Alabama and Mississippi
Santorum Campaigns in Kansas -Takes 51% of vote - image CNN
Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney are both leading President Obama in a new Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll, this tops off a day with Santorum taking the state of Kansas by a wide margin. Santorum, with 88% of the precincts reporting in had 51% of the vote to Romney’s 20%, Gingrich 14% and Ron Paul 14% winning the majority of the 40 delegates at stake – Mitt Romney will pick up 7 (Kansas.com) Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, the GOP establishment choice, picked up the territory of Guam, with a total of , 9 delegates. Currently, the delegate count stands at Romney 442 delegates, Santorum's 214, Gingrich 107 and Paul has 46, according to the AP. (Wall Street Journal).
A good percentage off Romney’s delegates are from Endorsements of establishment Republicans who have pledged their support as a delegate. Romney has squeaked thorough wins in states where he was expected to win handily, such as Michigan, against Santorum who has a wide appeal to those blue collar and independent voters, necessary to win a general election. Both Romney and Gingrich did not appear and or work in Kansas, instead Romney headed to the islands, and Gingrich went to Alabama ahead of the Tuesday primaries there, in a Custeresque attempt to make a stand. There is no clear manner in which Gingrich or Ron Paul can amass the 1140 delegates necessary to win the nomination. However, both Santorum or Romney would be, given the momentum be able to meet the delagate count with the states remaining.
It is now apparent that Gingrich may not pull even Alabama, as Santorum is now in a statistical tie for 1st with Gingrich, at 18.3 to Gingrich’s 18.9% of those polled, Romney is at 15%, 28% undecided and willing to change their minds. This is a huge shift from the Feb. 2nd poll, where Santorum was in single digits (AL.com)
It is a two man race now, heading into the south and west, where California finds Santorum on Romney’s heels in the latest polling, and Texas where Santorum has a huge lead in the polls 45% to Gingrich's 18 and Romney's 16. At this point, both Gingrich and Paul are footnotes, however, Gingrich is appearing as a "spoiler" in states where Romney has won by a small margin, with Santorum only 2 to 3 points behind such as Ohio and Michigan, giving rise to speculation that Gingrich is running only to outflank Santorum in order for Romney to have a win - this in a favor to the GOP establishment.
Romney continues to have problems with half the Republican base, as well as Independents and Democrats. As the “pre-ordained” front-runner, his persona has been likened to that of Bob Dole, another moderate who lost to Bill Clinton. The GOP establishment formula for running moderates has been known to fail repeatedly, as the candidates lack both charisma and an inability to attract their own base.
With this win in Kansas, Santorum will head into the south with the momentum, despite the negative attacks coming from both Romney and Gingrich. With Santorum able to win the key states necessary in a General Election, his ability to connect with voters and polling suggesting he can best the President, in early March, he is at the same place Ronald Reagan was (historically) in 1980. George H.W. Bush gave up his quest against Reagan in May of that year- there was talk of a brokered convention due to the fact that Reagan was “not electable”, a “clown”, and that he was “far too conservative” to win in a general. Reagan went on to win handily, not once, but twice, even taking the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was after his stunning victory that the GOP establishment “got religion” and took credit for Reagan as one of their own. History, as “they” say, has a way of repeating itself.
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.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Rick Santorum and the Women’s Vote – No Single Issue Explains Why Women Vote for Rick Santorum - The Multi-Dimensional Candidate
Rick Santorum and his "hero", his wife Karen - image independent.ie
The media has tried to paint 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee as a religious extremist who would be especially harmful to women in multiple areas. The biggest issues hammered home is in the area of contraception – the theme coming from the left – Rick Santorum wants to take away your right to contraception. Nothing could be further from the truth, and those who have listened to the former Pennsylvania Senator stand on key issues affecting the economy, national defense and foreign affairs, also understand the difference between one having a faith and expressing a faith, or one giving a lecture based on morals, and most significantly, one standing up for one’s Church when it is singled out by the Federal Government. It is not one issue that has the majority dubbed a minority supporting Rick Santorum for President.
An article in Town Hall by Gina Louden, speaks to the reasons mothers are voting for Rick Santorum – from his stance on education to his defense of freedom of religion (see Contraception brouhaha) to his pro-life and pro-family values, to his defense of women and children, and his stand on protecting the rights of children with disabilities.
She speaks about the women in his life, his mother and his wife. This is where one finds the metal of a man who is running for a higher office: how he views those women in his life. Are they accessories, and are they experiencing a complete “do-over” as did Michelle Obama in the 2008 campaign? Karen Santorum appears at times in a rope of pearls, but just as often she appears with her sleeves rolled up and in the trenches – in other words, her husband (the candidate) and his advisors are not dictating to Mrs. Santorum.
The reason that this bloggers first looked at Santorum seriously as a Presidential Candidate came during one of the multiple debates - the question to all candidates was in reference to their wives. It was Rick Santorum’s “She’s my hero”, followed by a litany of pride in her accomplishments in work and academia, followed by her giving that up to raise their children, which gave a solid picture of how a man values women and in what order: her accomplishments, her work both inside and outside their family circle. This is what makes Rick Santorum look at his wife with both passion and love, in every single appearance. His pride in her is evident, and it is not a pride of “ownership” – it is a pride in a partner (another word used by the former Senator in reference to his spouse).
This took me to the Congressional Library to see how his views translated to legislation – and it was the empowerment of women, the protection of women, that was a focus for the Senator.
Yet, the media kits pounding home on the fact that Santorum is a Catholic, and you know, those Catholics, especially those Catholics that actually practice their religion are just one-dimensional religious nuts. A case in point in a piece from Irish Central entitled: Is Rick Santorum Running for President or Pope?” This is reference to his not hiding his faith under a bushel, and standing for the Catholic Church before any other politician, when the Obama administration decided to trample on their Constitutional Rights as a religious organization. How? By forcing the church to provide services: birth control, abortion and sterilization to those working at Catholic Charitable Organizations. It was a mistake by the Obama administration and since Rick Santorum stuck up for the Church, (and by way, all Churches, Synagogue's, Mosques) he became the brunt of the media’s fury – and they have blasted him for his Catholicism consistently since. He is now considered, by those in the beltway and those in the media, “the social issues candidate”.
Here are some suggestions as to what branding might honestly be used on Rick Santorum:
He is the best looking, Italian, amazing in that suit candidate. (For those who play the American Idol for President Game)
He has a solid economic plant to bring jobs back to the nation and fast through his 0% tax on manufacturers, to implementing Reagan era Tax rates.
He has a strong grasp of the dangers of the Iranian Regime. He stood up for the pro-democracy forces in Iran, when no other Senator, Congressional Representative or the President would. While thousands upon thousands of demonstrators were being murdered by the Theoretical Regime, that had to call in Saudi Mercenaries to eliminate those demonstrators, Rick Santorum stood by those people. It took our President three weeks to offer a weak call of sympathy, after Russia and China weighed in (Pro-Iranian Leadership nations). This was of particular interest to this blog, as the world watched (or more to the point ignored the plight of those so desperately longing to voice dissent. Something we all enjoy in the U.S. every day – without fear of being imprisoned, and then condemned to die.
He is the one candidate that is hammered by those GOP contenders who need a boost in Conservative credentials because he supported labor in his home state of Pennsylvania while Senator. Yes, Labor, and the businesses that employ Labor – there is precious little left of traditional union labor – those people that work in factories, not those who hold Masters Degrees or work for the Federal Government, but those people who depend on the union reps to keep them safe, fight for simple benefits, and, most importantly, fight to keep their jobs in their state through legislation. What most people hear on the right and on the left form whatever media they prefer, is that Unions are either all perfect or all Socialists. There are two types of unions – those that support the worker at the local level, and those national unions, who take the cash from dues and funnel it into one party. Blue collar workers in most cases need a union, while those white collar, degreed professionals, and athletes making millions, frankly, do not. It is the difference between working in a dangerous position, making a living wage, with some benefits, and the national unions that defend workers that have no apparent hazards other than paper cuts, and have the education and wherewithal to pursue careers in the private sector. Whereas, that worker in a meat-packing plant, faces real dangers, and will most likely work in that same company until they retire, die on the job, are injured on the job, or the plant folds. It appears that Rick Santorum understands the difference.
When questioned on these issues, he does not make up excuses, he answers with a yes, “I did because (pick a reason that can be further substantiated by the Congressional Record or old news reports in archives), and I was right or wrong – because” – He does not, as some in the race do, outright deny a position was taken, and or continue to stand for a failed program, while touting its abilities.
He’s squeaky clean, in sweater vest, and rolled up sleeves with his large family and a wife whom he respects. He is a candidate where searching for “dirt” on Santorum brings up nothing more than the aforementioned ties to the Catholic Faith, lectures he gave and stood by, given the context, and his support of manufacturing and free enterprise, especially where blue-collar workers are concerned.
He connects on more than one level, and that is why he is the most electable candidate, and the candidate with the longest record of that he actually stands by and with a conviction that is based not a recent change of heart, but on the facts of what promoted a decision.
So what we have here is really what every woman (with some exceptions) would want in a man, let alone the leader of the Free World: Good looks, dressed up or down, a healthy respect for women, and an obvious passion when he celebrates with his wife, and the mic picks up - “thank you, my love”.
A man that is looking to help all Americans’, regardless, of race, religion, party, and or economic standing, he may have certain personal beliefs by his faith, but his legislative record assures us he has a strong grasp of the Separation of Powers (and Church from State), (something that the current Administration apparently does not enjoy.) His issues page ( www.ricksantorum.com/issues) gives a brief outline of where he stands on a variety of hot topics. Would we agree on all of his stances? Perhaps not - but can we, as women, deny the obvious – no we cannot – even though the press and the administration may think we are sheep that would believe the ridiculous (and one must assume there are those sister sheep available), we are, for the most part, able to cut through the hysterical rhetoric and see the man for who he is – capable, smart, one of us, and one who is willing to make great sacrifices, both financially and personally, in order to take part in the process, to win the nomination, and to win the Presidency.
All for us - in hopes of restoring our fiscal house, our standing on the world stage and our educational system, while bringing back desperately needed jobs. He is humble, and most importantly, he’s easy on the eyes, suite, sweater vest, or jeans - (to use an old phrase.)
He is no more a one-dimensional candidate than the women who support him are one-dimensional – they work outside the home, they are mothers, they are single, they are young, they are old, they have different issues of import, and they are pragmatic and steadfast in their support of this candidate – because they trust him to tell the truth.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
2012 GOP Update 3-6-12-Romney Squeaks Along-Santorum Strong in Key States-Gingrich and Paul Footnotes-A Two M-n Race-Analysis with Note on MA
Two Frontrunners - Romney and Santorum - image CNN
Eleven States weighed in on the Republican Nominating Process yesterday – Romney, as of the latest vote totals, has added 7 states, Santorum added 3 and Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. In the States voting Romney, two are decisive wins: Massachusetts and Idaho, with 98% reporting in, Romney took 72% of the Vote in Massachusetts, and 61% of the vote with 100% reporting in Idaho. (See full results at http://elections.nytims.com/2012/primaries/calendar) In Massachusetts, with low voter turnout, Santorum did best in Western Massachusetts (See county by county map) , with the heavier populated areas from Worcester eastward, with the exception of Bristol County which includes the fishing port of New Bedford. Romney took 72% of the vote in the Bay State, despite exit polls indicating a majority of those voting felt Romney’s Health Care Mandate went too far. Santorum finished second, with 12.1%, Paul: 9.6% and Gingrich: 4.6% In Idaho, Romney won with 61% of the vote, with Santorum edging out Paul by a slight margin or second, Gingrich captured 2.1% of the votes. (All primary voter statistics source: New York Times)
Alaska, with 96% reporting: Romney, 32.6%, Santorum, 29%, Paul 24% and Gingrich at 14.2%, a 4 point victory for Romney. Vermont with 93% reporting: Romney 39.8%, Ron Paul, second with 25.4%, Santorum: 23.7% and Gingrich 8.1%. Romney did slightly better in Virginia, taking 59.5% of the vote, to Ron Paul’s 40.5% of the vote, however, the balance of the candidates, although submitting the required number of signatures, failed to qualify due to Virginia State rules. This was the largest percentage of the vote captured by Paul to date, much of which can be attributed to a protest vote as one does not see Virginia as a strong Libertarian or moderate state.
In Wyoming, with 26% reporting, Romney has a 55% lead to Santorum 30.5% of the vote. Paul 2.5% and a whopping “others” have bested Paul by 11.4%.
The Buckeye State of Ohio – considered the biggest prize of the day, with 99% reporting, shows a squeaker for Mitt Romney at 38% to Santorum’s 37%. Rick Perry and John Hunstman registered insignificant numbers, (These candidates also appeared on ballots in other states such as Massachusetts.) Gingrich totaled 14.6% and Ron Paul: 9.3%. The New York Times site has Oklahoma in a slightly lighter shade of blue; (Blue for Romney) as it appears the margin has not yet been decisive enough to fully declare Romney the winner. The Ohio win for Romney would be lackluster, and similar to the win in neighboring Michigan, where he bested Santorum by outspending the Pennsylvania native in advertising, all negative.
In case of point brought up in a CNN panel last evening: Romney has, to date, won states where he heavily attacked his competition, through either his campaign or his PAC. This gives rise to the question: if Romney were to campaign on solely the issues, would he have pulled out wins in any states? His campaign even ran negative ads in Massachusetts, which is normally given up by the GOP and those competing in the state for General Election as “Safe Democrat” – which has continued to be a tactical error, considering the majority of the electorate is unenrolled. (See CNN Video Below)
Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia with 47.7% of the vote, Romney came in second with 25.7%, Santorum third at 19.6, and Ron Paul at 6.5 (others (see above) also won a slight percentage of the vote). This was the only state of the 11 that Gingrich won, and did not place 3rd or 4th with Ron Paul, making the argument for a continued stay in the race appear to hold little standing. Going forward into the balance of March it would be difficult to fathom with those states on the slate (Southern, Midwest, and the islands including Hawaii) Gingrich pulling out nothing more than bragging rights if he wins one or two of the states – and that is a big if.
Santorum pulled three states (and one might be tempted to Count Ohio, given the squeaker it was for Romney), North Dakota: 39.7% with Ron Paul in second, Romney 3rd and Gingrich a distant 4th. In Oklahoma (a preview of Texas), Santorum won by 33.3%, Romney at 28%, Gingrich at 27.5% and Ron Paul again registering in single digits, along with “others”. Finally, Tennessee delivered for Santorum, with 37.3% to Romney’s 28%. Gingrich placed 3rd with 24% and Paul again amassed that 9% of the vote.
Overall, the results show a front-runner in delegates and states own, who has not, at this late date, sold himself as the nominee – he fails to connect to the all-important Blue Collar, Independent and yes, Conservative base of the party- all elements necessary to win a national election. This is especially true in the states he won by a narrow margin or lost entirely, specifically those in the Middle and Western sections of the nation which hold what’s left of the manufacturing jobs in the country as well as, energy (oil and natural gas), and agriculture.
What the results do show is that, two candidates, Santorum and Gingrich, are cut from the same legislative cloth, and hold similar records (granted Gingrich was the Speaker of the House, while Santorum was the Majority Whip in the Senate), they are appealing to the same conservative base. One can Monday morning quarterback (always an assumption which, anyone knows….), and understand that the results of Super Tuesday would have been vastly different had Gingrich not been in the race: Romney would have won Massachusetts and Virginia no doubt, but, would have taken Vermont, Alaska and Ohio.
In the majority of states, however, Gingrich failed to capture enough votes to register, and Paul must understand at some point, that his delegate strategy simply will not work. One has to ponder, what both Gingrich and Paul will do with their delegates once this does go to the convention. In most cases the delegates are released either at large (to make their own choice) or released to another candidate.
Of note however, in a year that is highly reminiscent of the 1980 race between Ronald Reagan (much despised at the time by the establishment GOP and branded as too conservative) and Bush Sr. (the Establishment Choice – Bush Sr. did not give up the hunt until the end of May of that year. In addition there was much talk amongst the beltway of the time and the GOP establishment of a brokered convention.
This is a case of those that want to rule, finding that they are outflanked by those who they think they rule over, the rank and file voters, who are obviously not enamored of the establishment candidate (Romney), while Santorum resonates across all lines. Although painted as some sort of religious nut by the press, (as Reagan was constantly portrayed as a clown and far too socially conservative to win a general election), he is the one candidate that does carry those voters who are pivotal in winning a general. In the final analysis Romney, although the choice of the establishment, given the data to date, he would not be able to win in a general election against the President. Should Romney run of funds, (and that is nearing given the calls begging for more cash to continue), and not be able to best his contenders by beating them with negative ads that are borderline at best, and outright fabrications at worst (his PAC), he would again, have to rely solely on his personality and his ability to connect to the voter – to purloin a title form a favorite movie – Romney would be “Gone In 60 seconds”. In fact, if he had not used the force of his almighty horde of cash, he would not have won or come close to winning in every state he has, with perhaps the exception of Massachusetts, where the moderates are less conservative than most Democrats!
The race will continue regardless, and it appears that there is still time for one front-runner to emerge, depending on the results.
The delegate count by State win (does not include Super Delegates) Romney: 372, Santorum, 177, Newt Gingrich 110, and finally Ron Paul, with 49 (Based on the delegate count, not including super delegates (those that endorse a candidate and what is known as the establishment GOP) or those delegates not yet allocated in the contest at the NYTimes http: //electiosn.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/delegates)
The total to win: 1144, the total left to allocate: 1541 – It is, as of this date, either Santorum’s or Romney’s road to the nomination. It is difficult at this date, to see Gingrich capturing enough delegates in the remaining states to mount any type of a comeback, despite the fact that there are some heavy southern states coming up. In addition one cannot see Romney capturing the southern states given his performance to date (Florida is a larger version of New York and Massachusetts, and therefore, honestly, only holds that title by virtue of Geography). Ron Paul, well, he may pick up another delegate her or there, with no clear reasoning other than to bring awareness to the Federal Deficit.
What the primaries have told us to date, is that Romney is at best a weak candidate and at worst a regional candidate, Santorum holds the most important swing states, Gingrich is also a marginal candidate, and Ron Paul is still Ron Paul.
Keep the popcorn in the cupboard, and get ready for the rest of the month of March, possibly April and most likely into May before either Romney or Santorum becomes the clear front runner and the dust has settled.
Personal note: As a resident of the Bay State that supports Rick Santorum’s candidacy based on the fact that he has the best economic plan (which, begs the question, why does the media find only those who stress social issues first as a reason for voting Santorum? The plausible answer: the media wants Santorum out of the race simply because Obama would prefer to run against Mitt Romney. ) In watching the returns come in, it was not victory (which would have been sweet), rather the necessary 15% of the vote that would have given Rick Santorum delegates from the Bay State. It is matter of pride (which goeth before a fall) to reside in Western Massachusetts, where had the balance of the state mirrored the results, Santorum would have pulled the delegates from Romney’s home state. It has led to the conclusion, which has been a conclusion for many years, over different issues (mainly taxes), that Western Massachustts should secede from the Bay State, establishing its own statehood and giving the nation 51 of the 57 states necessary to vindicate President Obama’s knowledge of geography. (He may have been counting the territory which is the only logical reason for noting 57 states.)
There was a Santorum Grassroots campaign on the ground in Massachusetts who worked tirelessly, and although the results in the Bay State were not what was hoped for, they are in place ready for the general election, which, given history, the nominee should be determined by May.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
The Import of Exercising Your Right to Vote in both the Primary and the General Election – Each Vote Does Matter - The MA Republican Primary 2012
Grace Coolidge (Wife of President Calivn Coolidge) cast her first vote in November of 1920 - the first year women were allowed to vote - from the blog calvincoolidge.blogspot.com
It is often that one hears, “What difference does one vote make?” That one vote may make a difference between a candidate’s win or loss, or the passage of a State or Commonwealth Referendum – it is proven to be the case time and again, where a very small number of votes have determined an election, at every level, from the city or town elections to the national elections. The ability to vote is not only a right, but a privilege that has been granted us, these citizens of the United States, by our founders. It is not the norm on the greater world stage, although elections are held, one suspects in many cases, (especially in nations where dictators rule (Syria, Iran for example) that the option of voting one’s choice, is available, only dismissed, while in other nations, there are no such rights available to every citizen.
Today, we go to the polls in a political party nomination process to begin to determine who will be the nominee for President of the Republican Party – it does not matter if someone is a Republican or Unenrolled (Independent) or Democrat who votes in the states participating in this latest round of primary and caucus. It does matter that, in so many cases, those that do not vote, and are eligible to do so, are allowing others to make the choice of candidate – a choice that if one does not agree and does not vote, has given up their “say” in the matter.
Just vote: regardless of which candidate one supports, or which political party – we are a fortunate people.
Tonight the cable news organizations and some broadcast will carry the results from the Super Tuesday primary returns, it is this bloggers choice to watch CNN (cable news) as they have all the bells and whistles any political “junkie” would want – from county maps that preview how a state’s population will potentially impact the outcome of a certain contest, to the exit polls taken and the breakdown of how the populace voted. Although one might not always agree with their analysis, the overall presentation of the evening’s course of events can be educational. To those who have never watched election returns, due to fear of boredom, one might suggest watching, just for a while, to learn more about the process and or to root for a candidate of choice. One might find oneself waiting up to the wee hours, to find the outcome of a certain race – make sure there is popcorn on hand.
The above reflects what each and every one of us is able to enjoy, each primary, each election, no matter the year or the issues at hand, this nation, these United Sates, and, we the people are given a charge to make our voices heard – Each one of us has a voice, and each voice counts. Massachusetts goes to the polls this morning at 7:00 am, and the polls close at 8 PM - Due to redistricting a polling place may have moved, check with your town or city Registrar of voters if you find a polling place has changed. Unenrolleds are able to vote in the Massachusetts primary today - Get out and vote.
Posted by Tina Hemond at 6:10 AM
Labels: Super Tuesday and the General Election, the Importance of Each Vote. Watching the Vote Returns., Why Vote
Monday, March 05, 2012
2012 GOP Super Tuesday Primary - Romney Vs. Santorum – Romney Heads to Mass March 6 – Begins Campaign in MA day before Primary - MA: Vote Santorum
Rick Santorum - Candidate for Every One - photo form MSBNC.com
There are, in essence, two viable candidates for the GOP Nomination, in alphabetical order, Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts one term Governor, and Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania Legislator (Congress and Senate) – the media has played Romney as the one Republican’s feel most likely can best Obama, yet that belies some polls who show Santorum as the obvious Choice. While Santorum is constantly hammered as the one-dimension “Catholic” candidate who cannot get past his religion and will govern as one of those “scary” Catholics - which, in a word, insults all Catholics, regardless of whether or not they follow Church Doctrine). The problem is that all denominations include those members who follow the teachings of the individual church, and those who simply pick and choose the way the follow – it makes for great sound bites to haul out those who profess to be Catholic but support abortion and gay marriage – while there are the rank and file Catholics, who are not politically vested, and yet, managed to put on blinders when it comes to the tenants of the faith. Not much has been made of Mitt Romney’s faith, as it stands – rather focusing on whether or not his policies align too closely to that of President Obama, making his general election changes a bit less than someone who could contrast a great deal more.
The Boston Herald, for example, lays out a new article this morning: Relax, Mitt Romney, and Deval Patrick’s on the attack. The premise is that Deval Patrick will be helping his long-time friend President Obama in uncovering the truth about Mitt Romney in a general election (this assumes Romney ultimately wins the nomination). The article however is written as if Romney were running against the Massachusetts Governor, which he is not – the problem is that the Massachusetts Governor has the hard copy records of the Romney Administration, which were obtained through the Secretary of State’s office, once it was found that Romney’s staff had wiped all the computers clear of any correspondence with, from or regarding Govenror Romney. It’s opposition research that counts
On the flip side, an article form Tampa Bay Times suggests that Santorum has problems with Conservatives because of the way he legislated in Pennsylvania, (in effect, much the same way Scott Brown does in Massachusetts)
Butler, less than an hour's drive north of Pittsburgh, is a middle-class town still rebuilding from the decline of the steel industry. Santorum's parents worked at the VA hospital and lived in an apartment on the grounds.
"He was the all-American boy, just all-around good guy, very polite," said Larry Goettler, a businessman. "We used to call him the Rooster. He had this shock of black hair that stuck up."
Goettler said Santorum's work ethic came through on the basketball court. "No one would describe him as a good athlete, but he never quit. Many times I thought he wouldn't get off the floor and he always did."
Santorum got knocked around so much he had to tape his glasses together.
"He was a debater. He could argue any point," Goettler said. "He was never rude about it, but he was very emphatic about it. He hasn't changed a bit."
Santorum did not grow up poor but his roots (his grandfather, an Italian immigrant, worked in the coal mines) have been an asset. On the campaign trail he has had a more natural connection with voters than Romney, the Harvard-educated multimillionaire. Santorum talks about bringing up all people, frets over the decline of upward mobility and has long worked on antipoverty measures.
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Santorum always earned low voter ratings from unions but he took positions that benefited the jobs back home. He voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement and for limits on steel imports.
Santorum pushed for a balanced budget amendment and helped enact welfare reform, but he also fought against cuts in food stamps. He supported a minimum wage hike and voted against others.
Taken together, the record shows a more nuanced history than the unwavering conservative he projects today. In that regard, Santorum lines up with Romney, who says he had to sometimes take positions as governor of Massachusetts that reflected the political landscape.
"When you run in a state that's got a million more Democrats, you have to find ways to compromise and build bridges," said Vince Galko, a state Republican consultant who worked on Santorum's Senate campaigns.
His protectionist votes were only the start of his problems with conservative activists, who saw him as a hand of big government. Santorum voted for the Medicare prescription drug benefit, a massive expansion of the program, and for No Child Left Behind, the education policy conservatives say imposed too much federal control on states. He bragged about the political pork he brought home.
"We're going back into 1990s and wondering why Republicans — whether they're from Massachusetts or Georgia or Pennsylvania — weren't pure and strict conservatives on spending," said Madonna, the professor. "Well, very few of them were. There's a new standard in place."
Longtime friends say Santorum's enduring quality is that he means what he says and that his religious views get outsized attention from the news media.
"A lot of the things he says are very common sense, but it's sort of become a sport to criticize him of late," said Heather Heidelbaugh, an Allegheny County council member. "For Pennsylvania to elect a Santorum, he couldn't be a wacko right-winger."
What we have in one extremely determined campaigner in Mitt Romney, who has, in the day before Super Tuesday, cast a glance at the State that elected him Governor. Romney spent two years governing the state (memo to the Herald, don’t blame Deval Patrick for taking the time off to help Barack Obama), and the last two priming for the 2008 Presidential Campaign. In effect, Romney has been running for office and losing in Massachusetts and beyond. (With the exception of the Governor’s office (by what is referred to as a “squeaker”.)He went on to govern by raising taxes (fees, no difference, $700 million is $700 million out of one’s collective pocket), and instituting the Massachusetts Mandate that was the model for Obama’s plan. It had the backing of Ted Kennedy who stood happily behind Mitt Romney as he signed the Mass. Mandate into law. Immediately following, Romney hit the campaign trail and left the Mandate to the Massachusetts legislature – where, the costs went over budget and the fact that the MA government isn’t paying a dime is ridiculous – there is Commonwealth Care, which administration of said Commonwealth Care is paid for by the State as well as the premiums which state residents cannot afford.
Meanwhile, those working in MA who cannot afford the high cost of Commonwealth Care, or the other three carriers allowed in the state, are faced paying the hefty penalties, those penalties are less expensive than buying the actual insurance.
No one knows where those fees go – that’s a question asked many a Massachusetts home – I have no insurance, I cannot afford insurance, yet I have to pay a fine.
Santorum, on the other hand, governed to protect labor in a manner of speaking (if one is running against Santorum) by supporting or not, legislation that would hard industry in the state – effectively protecting all of his constituents
However, that is not the focus on Santorum – Santorum has been labeled the candidate that’s – hold on to your hats here, a Catholic! Not just a Catholic, but one who practices their religion. However, if one looks at Santorum’s record in both the Congress and later in the Senate, one finds a leader (he was the majority whip) who voted in favor of the people, not once, in any piece of legislation did his faith interfere and or be brought to bear – he was consistent.
Both Santorum and Romney manage to make ‘gaffes’ – it is the nature of the campaign trail, but Romney’s gaffes usually are a 24hours change of position, followed by “I didn’t understand the question, or the position”, rather than “I stuck my foot in it.”
According to a morning Press Release from the Romney Campaign (let’s call it a barrage), Romney will return to Massachusetts on Super Tuesday to vote, and by way of campaign, ran about 3 press releases pointing out the endorsements of the slate of State Republican Representatives, or as is known by anyone watching this race, the GOP establishment.
It’s the day before the primary and Mitt Romney, former Governor of the Bay State, who has not put one foot on the ground other than for fundraisers, is coming in the day of the Primary – in the sure knowledge that he will sweep the state.
Arrogance before the fall.
He may end up sharing some of those delegates or more: Santorum has an active campaign in Massachusetts – the media has gone to great lengths to find Santorum Supporters who are solely religious in nature, and ignoring quotes from these who support Santorum based on his record with manufacturing. Two Republican’s have grassroots campaigns on the ground in MA, Santorum and to some extent Ron Paul, however, nowhere is there a sign (not yard, or otherwise) that Romney feels he needs to win the votes of those Bay Stater's.
Think again: The poll taken by Suffolk University appears to have Romney at 64% of the vote with Santorum at 15 (enough to receive a share of the 41 delegates at stake in MA), yet, it was based on 170 (approx.) Republican voters, however, in a match-up against Barack Obama, Romney is at 39% while Santorum is within the margin of error at 35% - in a February 17th – One might take a look at the rest of those polled, the independents who make up the majority and are looking at Santorum. There have been no other polls taken (or released) in the Bay State. Although it very well could be that Romney wins, it remains to be seen by how much or if at all, should those Independents and Conservatives, and Republicans who remember Romney as Governor show up and vote.
Santorum will be in Ohio, where there polls show he is statistically tied with Romney, and therefore, Ohio will be a squeaker.
The States are
Alaska: No Polling Data: Romney anticipated winning due to performance in besting McCain
Georgia: Gingrich leads
Idaho: No data
Massachusetts: Polling from Suffolk, see above (Romney expected to win, but by what margin?)
North Dakota: No Data
Ohio: Santorum Romney Tied
Vermont Romney by 7 over Santorum (within Margin of Error)
Virginia: Romney – unless Ron Paul has his first victory, and this is not out of the question (given the trouncing Romney took from Paul in 2008) but, for the sake of sanity and reality – Romney
Therefore, Romney is “sure” to win: Vermont and Virginal
Gingrich takes Georgia
And the balance: Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, either are too close to call or there is no reliable data indicating a lead in a poll, or the state has been placed by the media in the Romney column based on past performance (except Virginia, in that case it was placed in the Romney column because Paul is the only other candidate on the slate.
Of note: In Massachusetts: Romney has been calling for Cash and has the support of the elected officials I the state (and those are the Republicans), Santorum has an active team on the ground, focused and getting out the vote. Ron Paul, to a lesser extent has boots the ground, but to win a recent straw poll, had to bus in supporters for surround states. Democrats are breaking for Santorum – not because they are trying to “get the candidate that can beat Obama” – keep in mind this is Massachusetts and the state is destined to go Blue in November – but they are voting “just in case” Obama is not elected, they want the candidate that will most help the working class – they believe that candidate is Santorum – they lived in the State under Romney and know better.
This blogger endorses Rick Santorum in Massachusetts and as the eventual nominee for the GOP despite the emphasis on his religion, despite the plethora of negative and misleading attack ads, and despite his gaffes and personal belief structure (that’s his business) but specifically because as a former union member (International Ladies Garment Union), and daughter of a former Union organize (Local 33 Amalgamated Meat cutters) and granddaughter of raging Republicans who were set on the Constitution and did not believe in grand government but in men of principle (remember this was the 1960’s) – Santorum makes sense based on his record – not on his religion. Democrats can be conservatives, the majority are not the “progressive horde” or “blind sheep” – they are smart enough to know that the economy will drive the election and again, should Obama loose and it is likely, they want a candidate that will be in the people’s best interest – at least that’s what the Democrats in MA are whispering (quietly). Whether or not they go to the polls is another story. I trust Santorum to govern the way he did while in the Senate and the House, by using smart diplomacy and sticking to his guns at the same time. Santorum is someone who was not afraid to be a conservative Republican in a time when Republicans were poison (just four years ago), which cost him his Senate Seat, and someone who is strong in foreign and domestic policy as well as economics.
Tomorrow night, and late into the evening (Alaska) we will know which of the candidates will carry or, and which will become a foot note in history
Next up in March: Kansas, Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Louisiana -