Election 2012 wile-e-coyote-bye

Published on February 12th, 2012 | by Jeremy Bloom

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Election 2012: Romney collapsing, Santorum surging

Wile E Romney, bye byeMitt Romney may have won a pair of psychologically-boosting votes over the weekend, but it may be too little, too late.

And when I say little, I do mean little… He won the Maine caucuses with a pitiful 2,190 votes, barely 200 better than Santorum (out of 258,000 registered Republicans).

And his allies in the state party declared the results final even though a number of towns had to postpone their votes because of weather concerns. So he may yet lose this thing, at least in that liberal-friendly construct we call “Reality”.

Meanwhile, at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual wingfest in Washington, Romney beat Santorum in the straw poll, 38% to 31%. This might have gone a long way toward reassuring the party faithful that Mitt could win over the party’s hard-core conservative base… except that it appears he won not with hearts and minds, but with seats and feet: busing in college students and paying for them to attend and vote (44 percent of voters were students).

As Politico notes, “Asked directly if they paid for registrations, a Romney spokesperson avoided the question.”

Romn E. Coyote

In the rest of the country, support for the unlikable millionaire continues to slide from the high road of inevitability toward the deep, dark canyon of irrelevancy.  The latest polls show Santorum surging to a tie or even a lead, nationally.

Mitt’s next big firewall was supposed to be Michigan (primary February 28) – the state he grew up in, the state his father governed. But for some reason the homies down in Detroit aren’t down with Gentleman Mitt, possibly because he opposed the auto industry bailout, famously saying we should let them fail.

Michigan is still in the economic doldrums, but the automakers have been a huge success story. And the latest poll from PPP has Santorum up over Mitt in his putative home state, 39 to 24 (with Paul at 12 and Gingrich at 11).

Of course, we’re still two weeks out, and we’ve seen in this race that in two weeks just about anything can happen.

Pollster Mark Blumenthal:

Will Santorum’s apparent surge in Michigan and nationwide fade like the previous movement to Gingrich (or, for that matter, like the smaller movement to Santorum after Iowa)? The underlying conditions that have fueled the volatility in polling in the Republican race have not changed. The most conservative Republicans remain unconvinced that Romney shares their outlook on issues — if anything, they are nowslightly more skeptical – but they have yet to settle (for long) on a more conservative alternative.

Still, PPP also notes that the only things saving Mitt right now is Newt: “Santorum would be up 48-27 in MI if Newt dropped”.

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Looking ahead:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 28: Michigan (primary), Arizona (primary)
  • Saturday, Mar. 3: Washington (caucus)
  • Tuesday, Mar. 6: (Super Tuesday): Alaska (caucus), Georgia (primary), Idaho (caucus), Massachusetts (primary), North Dakota (caucus), Ohio (primary), Oklahoma (primary), Tennessee (primary), Vermont (primary), Virginia (primary), Wyoming (caucus)
  • Saturday, Mar. 10: Kansas (caucus)
  • Tuesday, Mar. 13: Alabama (primary), Hawaii (caucus), Mississippi (primary) 

(Image copyright Warner Brothers Cartoons)




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About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue.



  • Jose

    I’m sure Newt loves hearing that he’s doing Romney a service by staying in the race.

    Excellent blog by the way, just stumbled across it today from twitter and I’ll be back.

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