Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Live Commenting on Mini Tuesday Results

If CNN and Fox News can be believed an hour before the caucuses even start, we may be in for an upset tonight. I'll be periodically live commenting throughout the night.

(You'll want to read this post from the bottom up!)

1:08 am:
To cap off the night, I just had to share my little Twitter moment of fun and fame for the night-

1:02 am- CNN gets the Colorado GOP Chair to call it live on air for Santorum. 
But we do not have the final exact number.
Oops, I typed that, and they gave the number immediately-
Santorum- 17,623 38%
Romney 17,169 37%
Gingrich 6,046 13%
Paul 5,745 12%
They still don't have 100% reporting in, but the state GOP says it is good. Considering the break down of proportional delegates, its more a tie. But good for Santorum! And wow, what a CRAZY upset!!

12:25 am - CNN has been warning for several hours that the results coming in from CO were not going to be a trend for the state. And they were right. Santorum had a hefty lead all night, but here at 12:25 am, we have -
Romney 37%
Santorum 35%
Gingrich 14%
Paul 13%.
Which is a serious change from the last update where Santorum had 41% and Romney was under 33%.
51% of precincts reporting. This is again another time to remember the difference between "51% of polls," 51% of votes, and 51% of precincts. The majority of precincts up to this point tonight were in very rural areas, with very small populations. All it took was one big precinct to completely overturn all the numbers.

12:05 am- An Occupyer just tried to glitter-bomb Romney, and got the full Secret Service escort out. You don't mess with the Secret Service!

Also, are we ready to declare Newt moot?

11:25 Updated Delegate Counts!
Remember, all delegates are proportional. So Santorum isn't taking all delegates from Minnesota.
Romney- 102 (picked up 2 in MN)
Gingrich - 35 (unchanged)
Paul- 17 (up 2)
Santorum- 16 (up 5)
That's actually a little sad. Santorum finally "wins" "2" states, and he's still in fourth place behind Paul who hasn't won anything.

11:25- Colorado 26% reporting: Santorum 42%, Romney 31%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 12%
But everyone is pointing out that no one believes we are close to being done in Colorado.

11:15- Apparently when Obama declared Super PACs good, Santorum decided to concur. Check out this picture-

The man with the white hair standing next to Santorum while he delivers his MO and MN victory speech is none other than Foster Friess, the head of the Santorum Super PAC. He's a Wyoming based investment manager, leader of Brandywine funds, and donor to Christian causes.
(Speaking of which, where is Jim Bob Duggar?)
Considering the laws about mixing campaigns and Super PACs are pretty specific about not mixing them directly, this is an incredibly gutsy, if not stupid, move by Santorum (who has also been out campaigning with him by his side for the last few days).

10:45- Funny comment seen on Twitter-
"To be fair, Mormons have never fared well in Missouri. #ExterminationOrder"
(you probably have to be Mormon to find that funny)

10:35- Minnesota officially called for Santorum. Assuming the stats stay true, and Santorum gets 46% of MN delegates, he's won 17 delegates tonight for a grand total of 28.  That's seven delegates behind Newt.

For the record, I'm happy for Santorum. I think he deserves a win after getting denied his victory lap in Iowa.

10:10- Food for thought - Winning huge in nonbinding contests is kind of like being undefeated in preseason football.
Noteworthy- Mitt Romney won Minnesota 2008 Primary with 41% (19% lead) or 25,990 votes.

Also, CNN is sitting around surmising that we'll Romney "deploy his surrogates" to start attacking Santorum now.  Specifically, Gloria Borger said that. I like most of the "experts" on CNN, but I swear G Borger is an idiot. Other than the one week of retaliation attacks on Gingrich, Romney has stayed focused on Obama. I look forward to seeing maybe tops, 1 day of comments about Santorum (he won't attack him, just comment), and Borger being wrong.

9:50- Someone updated Wolf Blitzer! With a whopping 1% reporting in (yes 1), it is exactly what CBS said. Why we care about 1% as anything other than a novelty is behind me. They have had only 406 votes actually counted in Colorado. I'm calling CBS crazy for calling anything based on 406 votes.

9:45- Missouri (and its zero candidates) goes to Santorum with over 50% of the vote.
In CO, with 5/76 precincts reporting, CBS estimates Santorum 50%, Gingrich 21%, Romney 19%, Paul 9%. And CBS is calling it for Santorum. Notably, CNN has not called it. In fact, while I'm typing this, Wolf Blitzer just said, "We know Romney is doing VERY well in Colorado." Either he needs an update, or CBS is out in left field.

The question has been raised on Twitter a few times tonight, what happens if Santorum does win tonight. Well, the answer is easy. If he were to take a full sweep which he won't because they are all proportional states, but let's just say he did, he would still be 29 delegates behind Romney.

9:30- First precinct reporting in from Colorado (12%) has Santorum 19, Romney 18, Gingrich 6, Paul 8.

3% reporting in from Minnesota-
Santorum 46%, Paul 24%, Romney 18%, Gingrich 12%.
Am I reading that right? Paul has more than Romney? Yeah, tonight could get really interesting!

Missouri- 13% reporting in
Santorum 52%
Romney 27%
Paul 12%
Uncommitted 5%
(gingrich not on ballot)

8:30 pm-

The man really is unbelievable.

8pm- Minnesota is underway.
The ballot there is nothing more than a piece of scrap paper that voter checks off. Everything will be counted manually. No machines involved. (have we not learned anything about how long this takes and how many mistakes get made?)
The fact that it is nothing more than a little square of scrap paper, and they didn't take the time to update and reprint it since Rick Perry dropped out, is really unimpressive.

In the past few hours three major events have occurred that will start to change the tone of the primary. And probably start to change it as early as tomorrow. The first is that a federal appeals court has rejected the gay marriage ban (prop 8). Gay marriage has been brought up a few times in the campaign, but not in-depth. This new development is going to bring this subject to the forefront and fast, especially since Massachusetts was the first state to allow same-sex marriages, while Romney was still governor. Rick Santorum has been very vocal on the subject already (he's not just against it, he's REALLY against it).

Gay marriage for a GOP candidate is two issues, not just one. There is the more obvious social/moral issue that many people only see. There is a second issue that doesn't get brought up as much. But look for Romney to very carefully word his responses to make it about the second issue. Which is the age-old GOP stance of more state power/decisions, less federal. Romney has not done a good job of really belting out his defense of Romneycare being a good thing because it was at the state level. He doesn't like Obamacare because it is federal. When it comes to same-sex marriage and this GOP race, look for whether or not the candidate is talking about it as a moral issue or a state/federal issue. Also, look for everyone to attack Romney on this issue.

The next subject- Syria. The US has announced that it is considering military involvement in the horrifying situation there. This will obviously bring more scrutiny on all of the candidates, plus President Obama, as a potential Commander-in-Chief. It is also likely to bring Ron Paul up into the forefront a little bit more, because his military views are so very different from everyone else's.

Third, Super PACs! President Obama has come out in full support of super pacs. This isn't just a change, this is a massive, 180 degree change. This will make a major impact in the swing states in the general election. More on this subject in a few days. But until then, Mr. President, here is your Golden Flip Flop Award!

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