Santorum Wins–What Does It Mean?

Rick Santorum swept the primaries in Minnesota and Missouri and the Colorado caucus yesterday. So what does it mean? The big news, I suppose, is that Romnney didn’t win Colorado, despite getting 60% of the vote there in 2008.

Note that the Missouri primary doesn’t give Santorum any delegates, because the state GOP is holding a caucus on March 17. That’s because the state legislature moved the primary date ahead of what the national GOP allows, so in order to avoid losing half it’s delegates, the state party is choosing its actual delegates through at a “legal” date.

Note also that Gingrich missed the filing deadline in Missouri, so he didn’t appear on the ballot. Is this yet another sign of the disorganized state of his campaign, or does it only signal that he didn’t worry about a primary that wouldn’t produce any delegates?

With 1144 delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination, the current delegate count, according to the BBC article linked to above, is

  • Romney: 101
  • Gingrich: 32
  • Santorum: 17
  • Paul: 9

Thoughts?

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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15 Responses to Santorum Wins–What Does It Mean?

  1. D. C. Sessions says:

    Santorum won Colorado for the same reason Romney did four years ago: the Republicans of Colorado don’t like the heir presumptive and are objecting the only way they can.
    The others quite possibly likewise.

  2. Lance says:

    I agree with D.C.

    Santorum is just the latest flavor of “not Romney”.

    Once Republican voters get a full on taste of Santorum they will likely spew it into the same waste bin as Gingrich.

    I have noticed quite a bit of gloating in the Democratic ranks. I’m not so sure that this bodes all that well for Obama in the long run. Once the Republicans have coalesced around a candidate they are likely to see him (I would normally put a /her in there but since Malibu Barbie seems out of the running why bother) as highly preferable to Obama.

    The real question is whether the eventual Republican nominee will be able to attract enough independents to carry the general election.

    Santorum sure aint that guy.

    Romney’s inability to raise the passions of the hard right Republican base may aid in positioning him as a “moderate” in the general election that may have strong appeal to independent voters.

    Of course his lack of anything resembling charisma may offset that appeal somewhat.

  3. Matty says:

    Is it too late for Colbert to join in for real?

  4. Lance says:

    Where is Pat Paulsen when we need him.

    Oh, yeah. He’s dead.

  5. Lance says:

    Oops, I of course meant Caribou Barbi not Malibu Barbi.

    I might actually vote for Malibu Barbi, but only if she had the bendable arms.

  6. James Hanley says:

    D.C.,

    So either they like Romney a lot less now than in ’08, or Coloradoans just object as a matter of course to whatever front-runner appears? I’m not sure I understand either of those.

    Or are you saying they didn’t really like Romney in ’08, they just like McCain even less? So that their preference order is “Not Romney” –> “Not McCain” –> McCain. And if so, I’m still wondering why.

  7. Dr X says:

    Lance,

    Now that she’s worth millions, I think she did officially change her own nom de hair to Malibu Barbie. She never really was into caribou.

    But your observations about Romney make sense. His inability raise passions with the base may indeed define him as more moderate in the general election. In the general, I think the less partisan voters would assume that he couldn’t get all fiery because he was only acting like a wingnut as opposed to being one, like several of his rivals. When he tries to act passionate, he tends to put his foot in his mouth or say something awkward.

    Romney-Obama debates could be quite interesting because neither man is by nature especially passionate in presentation, though Obama can rev it well for a carefully crafted stemwinder. But Romney-Obama debates would actually be debates I’d look forward to watching.

  8. Scott Hanley says:

    Traditionally, most of the “Independents” are people who don’t pay much attention until September, which makes it easy for a candidate to play to the base in the winter, then pivot to the center in the summer. I wonder if that’s getting harder for Romney now? He’s having to pitch harder to the conservatives and be unusually negative on his in-party rivals — do you suppose all this drama is drawing more attention to him during the “pander to the base” phase than would normally happen, and hurt his chances in the fall?

    And yes, I still expect Romney to be the nominee, even though it would be better for conservatives to have one of their own go down to crushing defeat.

  9. Michael Heath says:

    Scott Hanley writes:

    I still expect Romney to be the nominee, even though it would be better for conservatives to have one of their own go down to crushing defeat.

    I don’t think so. I think they’ll instead conclude whoever they send, if he loses, that candidate wasn’t conservative enough. So they’ll increase their commitment to a movement whose members are increasingly wed to their religious-political talking points. See their reaction to the George W. Bush years, where they avoid talking about that period altogether while virtually all the candidates promote the very policies most popular during that time.

    Adaption based on lessons learned is to be avoided, not promoted. This was why I left the GOP in 2008, conservatives dominated and their very mindset disallowed even the temptation of reform to more competent results-based governance. Since then I’ve seen several research articles which expose this type of thinking. The most concerning was that in the face of incontrovertible evidence, they increase their commitment to those positions they hold which have been falsified rather than improve by adapting.

  10. AMW says:

    The most concerning was that in the face of incontrovertible evidence, they increase their commitment to those positions they hold which have been falsified rather than improve by adapting.

    People in general, or conservatives in particular?

  11. James Hanley says:

    AMW,

    The evidence seems to be for people in general, but it may be more pronounced among conservatives because of the nature of conservatism, that “stick to what we know”ness. My hypothesis would be: “We will find the commitment increase response across ideologies and educational levels, but it will be higher at lower education levels and among conservatives; so at any given education level conservatives will exhibit it more frequently, and in any given ideological group the less educated will exhibit it less frequently.”

    Whether educated conservatives end up being close to conservatives in general or to the educated in general, I wouldn’t try to predict that prior to looking at the data. (Maybe educated conservatives and uneducated liberals will end up with the same frequency of commitment increase response?)

  12. D. C. Sessions says:

    Or are you saying they didn’t really like Romney in ’08, they just like McCain even less? So that their preference order is “Not Romney” –> “Not McCain” –> McCain.

    Aren’t you the one who points out Arrow’s Theorem from time to time?
    I posit that the voters in 2008 didn’t object to McCain so much as having him handed to them as the annointed candidate, and they object to Romney this year for the same reasons.

  13. Michael Heath says:

    AMW writes,

    “People in general, or conservatives in particular?”

    I’m disappointed to report I lost all my bookmarks in a folder of general science findings that were older than about 1.5 years. Not sure why though Google Chrome hasn’t been handling my doing searches of key words in my largest bookmark folders (it only shows me what is currently appearing in my computer display). So I can’t provide a cite where my googling didn’t provide any results at all, even related ones.

    I’ll look in my back-up drive tomorrow at work since I use Time Machine which should provide a version of my bookmark file from more than a year ago.

    It was not people in general.

  14. James Hanley says:

    D.C.,
    I guess I’m having a hard time seeing Colorado Republicans just saying, “Fish whomever the anointed candidate is, regardless of our policy standings vis a vis his.” I don’t know that it’s not this, but it just makes them seem especially adolescent.

  15. Romney may end up appealing more to independents but will his lack of magnetism among the true conservatives cause them to sit on their hands at home come November? And will Romney’s possible appeal to moderates be destroyed by his continual race to the right of all his opponents?

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