Election 2012 Mitt Romney slouches toward the GOP presidential nomination

Published on March 13th, 2012 | by Jeremy Bloom

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Election 2012: Mitt sinks like a stone in Alabama and Mississippi

Mitt Romney slouches toward the GOP presidential nominationHere we go again… another pair of must-win primaries for Mitt Romney, another chance for the Not Mitts to slow down the inevitable, and another chance for the GOP to see how far to the right they have to lurch before they have a presidential nominee.

The latest polls show it’s a dead heat in the deeply conservative Deep South, with Romney perhaps the slight favorite but Santorum and Gingrich both within spitting distance. So once again, it should be a long night.

Keep in mind: Romney tends to do better in the cities, while the Not Mitts do better in the sticks, where the smaller precincts report faster. This is why Romney has had a bunch of come-from-behind wins in this cycle… and it’s likely to happen again tonight.

Oh, there’s also a vote in Hawaii, but since that state is light on Republicans and heavy on Mormons, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Romney will take its few delegates.

We’ll start reporting results around 5 pm Pacific time….

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7:15 pm PST: Mitt is soooooo screwed. With nearly all returns now in, Romney remains mired in a miserable third-place showing.

So much for putting this one to bed. Ever. It’s really going to go to the convention this time, isn’t it? Us bloggers are going to have a field day….

Alabama (96.3% reporting):

  • Santorum 34.5% 204,171
  • Gingrich  29.3% 173,163
  • Romney 29.0% 171,158
  • Paul 5.0% 29,393

Mississippi (98.8% reporting):

  • Santorum 32.9% 92,843
  • Gingrich 31.3% 88,333
  • Romney 30.3% 85,579
  • Paul 4.4% 12,456

7:15 pm PST: While winning is important, so is getting delegates. Which is why Santorum’s campaign is so full of fail: They didn’t qualify delegates to be elected in four Alabama districts (just as they failed to field a full slate in Michigan, or even to get on the ballot in Virginia). Fail, fail, fail.

@davidaxelrod tweets:

We know he has plenty of Cadillacs, but can Mitt buy himself Alabama or Mississippi? He outspent rivals by at least three-to-one there.

Alabama (39.8% reporting):

  • Santorum 34.9% 66,973
  • Gingrich  30.0% 57,661
  • Romney 27.7% 53,151
  • Paul 5.1% 9,896

Mississippi (68.8% reporting):

  • Santorum 32.6% 58,775
  • Gingrich 31.6% 56,946
  • Romney 30.3% 54,571
  • Paul 4.4% 7,939

7:00 pm PST: NBC projects Rick Santorum as the victor in Alabama GOP primary.

Alabama (30.3% reporting):

  • Santorum 34.5% 49,297
  • Gingrich 29.7% 42,510
  • Romney 28.2% 40,299
  • Paul 5.3% 7,519

Mississippi (58.4% reporting):

  • Santorum 32.8% 52,052
  • Gingrich 31.7% 50,396
  • Romney 30.1% 47,875
  • Paul 4.3% 6,909

6:45 pm PST: With nearly half of Mississippi’s vote in, Romney is in third place… but only by a couple of thousand. He could still pull this off.

Tweet of the night:

 Romney: “I love the South. I love putting on overalls, eating grits, and watching NASDAQ.” #GOPPrimary
— @BorowitzReport

Alabama (13.7% reporting):

  • Santorum 34.3% 20,307
  • Gingrich 29.7% 17,592
  • Romney 28.2% 16,670
  • Paul 5.2% 3,097

Mississippi (43.7% reporting):

  • Santorum 32.8% 39,532
  • Gingrich 30.9% 37,276
  • Romney 30.7% 37,010
  • Paul  4.5% 5,422

6:30 pm PST:  David Nir makes an interesting observation: “15% of the vote has been counted in Jefferson County, AL (home of Birmingham), but Romney only leads 31, 31 (Newt), 30 (Santo). This is an area of the state with a lot of professionals – i.e., where he ought to be doing better, though.”

Alabama (7.2% reporting):

  • Santorum 33.3% 21,427
  • Gingrich 31.2% 20,047
  • Romney 29.7% 19,119
  • Paul 4.7% 3,046

Mississippi (28.2% reporting):

  • Santorum 34.1% 14,742
  • Gingrich 30.8% 13,303
  • Romney 28.9% 12,494
  • Paul 5.0% 2,169

6:15 pm PST: Or maybe not so close? In AL, Gingrich is doing well along the GA border, pushing Romney down to 3rd place.

Alabama:

  • Santorum:  34.2%
  • Gingrich  : 29%
  • Romney: 28%
  • Paul: 6%

Mississippi:

  • Santorum:  32.5%
  • Romney: 31.0%
  • Gingrich: 30.4%
  • Paul: 5.3%

6:00 pm PST: Numbers at last, at least for Mississippi. Looks like it’s going to be tight there between Mitt and Rick, with Gingrich bringing up the rear…

Mississippi:

  • Romney: 32.5  3,819
  • Santorum: 32.1  3,779
  • Gingrich: 27.3  3,348
  • Paul: 5.4  696

5:45 pm PST: Still with just a few hundred votes in, we have a slim Santorum lead in Alabama and Gingrich lead in Mississippi.

At DailyKos, Kaili Joy Gray notes:

CNN reports that Romney gets 63 percent of the votes of people who think he’s the strongest candidate. In other words, almost 40 percent of voters who think he’s got the best chance of beating Obama hate him SO much, they’d rather take their chances of losing to Obama than have to vote for Mitt.

5:30 pm PST: Results are coming in VERY slowly – only a few dozen votes reported from a handful of tiny precincts. Santorum has an edge in Alabama, with 83 votes so far, then Romney with 65 and Gingrich with 62. But really, those are meaningless numbers until we start getting some more counties reporting…

5:00 pm PST: CNN has the exit poll results, for what they’re worth (as Markos Moulitsas notes, “Romney won the exit polls in Ohio by 6, ended up winning the state by less than 1 percent”). Meanwhile, Romney has the lead in Mississippi with 28 votes (not percent… votes.)

The bigger question is, why are the results taking so long to come in? The GOP hasn’t exactly been the party of efficiency in its election reporting this season…

Alabama:

  • Santorum: 34
  • Romney: 29
  • Gingrich: 28
  • Paul: 6

Mississippi:

  • Romney: 35 updated: 33
  • Gingrich: 30 updated: 31
  • Santorum: 29 updated: 30
  • Paul: 5

(Image AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by DonkeyHotey)

6:15 pm PST: Or maybe not so close? In MI Santorum has

Alabama:

  • Santorum: 34
  • Romney: 29
  • Gingrich: 28
  • Paul: 6

Mississippi:

  • Romney: 31.8%
  • Santorum:  32.4%
  • Gingrich: 29.5%
  • Paul: 5.3%




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Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue.



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