Monday, March 19, 2012

Everything you need to know before the Illinois primary tomorrow

The inexplicable Google image results for "official language of Massachusetts." I highly recommend enlarging for full amusement.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) brings the Illinois primary. Here's what you need to know. 
Illinois has 54 delegates according to one article, and 69 according to CNN and Real Clear Politics. I'm pretty sure the answer is actually 69, but you never really know. Sometimes these news outlets make it really hard to know who to trust.*


The current delegate count is-
Romney 519
Santorum 239
Gingrich 138
Paul 69

A poll released today/Monday by American Research Group shows Romney at 44%, Santorum 30%, Gingrich 13%, and Paul 8% in Illinois. 
But Santorum has won the nearby states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri.  
Santorum is still repeating his mantra that he has a chance. "I think it's going to be very difficult as this goes on for anybody to get to that magic number" of 1,144 delegates.
"And by and large, Gov. Romney can't get above 35% of the vote anywhere," Santorum added. "That shows you he hasn't been able to close the deal in spite of enormous money advantages as you see on TV here in Illinois, and the robocalls and all the other establishment media being in his corner -- he can't seal the deal."
Apparently "anywhere" means places not Puerto Rico (83%), Massachusetts (72%), Vermont (40%), Virginia (60%), Ohio (38%), Michigan (41%), Arizona (47%), New Hampshire (39%), Florida (46%), Hawaii (44%), Maine (38%), Wyoming (39%), (Virgin Islands, Guam, Marianas, American Samoa numbers not available, but also above 50%), Idaho (62%), Washington (38%), Colorado (35%- second place!), and Nevada (50%). 
In fact, Romney has more than 35% of the vote in more places than he doesn't (only 11 states). 
Maybe Santorum got it backwards, maybe he meant Santorum has trouble breaking 35. Just for fun, let's count how many states Santorum has earned more than 35% of the vote- Alabama (35%), Tennessee (37%), Ohio (second place 37%), Michigan (second place 38%), Missouri (55%- sort of), Kansas (51%), North Dakota (40%), Minnesota (45%), and Colorado (40%). Sorry, Senator Puertoriquanno, but I think your math is off a bit. 

Santorum mocked Romney in Illinois this week for promoting "freedom" while also having passed a health insurance mandate in Massachusetts. "Let's just be brutally honest about it. There is one candidate in this race who can never make this race about freedom because he simply abandoned freedom when he was governor of Massachusetts and he abandoned it when he promoted" federal health care reform in 2009.
Interesting how Santorum has reverted to attacking Romney again. 
Meanwhile, Obama's people are holding conference calls about Romney's tax plans, and saying it isn't effective or impactful. 
In other fun events that could be called pandering to a state, but since Puerto Rico isn't a state we won't call it that, but the subject in no way affects the rest of the country, Santorum threw a little hissy fit about requiring English as the principal language in PR. (When I was an intern on the Hill in 1993, Santorum was a loud voice (then a newbie congressman) about wanting to pass English as the national language. He's been on this (pointless) bandwagon for a long time.) While Romney was stumping on the island he said he would have "no preconditions" on language for statehood, though during a CNN debate in January he said English should be the nation's official language. So naturally, Santorum accused Romney of flip-flopping. But it Romney who has the last laugh on this one, as he pointed out that English has been the official language of the government in Puerto Rico for more than 100 years.

Which got me to thinking. English is the official language of only 30 states, but is Pennsylvania one of them? My research dug up this- in September 2011, a bill was introduced in PA to make it the official language. I found many articles about the bill. But I didn't find one article saying it passed. Draw your own conclusions.
And Massachusetts? A case law from 1975 makes English official in MA.
And that, my friends, is all the news you need to know before tomorrow.

*I say this slightly tongue in cheek for those of you reading this who know that I made a mistake that got published as a news source today.

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