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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What -Did- We Learn From Super Tuesday?





(From my Twitter Feed)

Romney Wins.
Romney limped across the finish line. The National Review sees "Danger Signals for Romney." Red State's Erick Erickson voted for Rick Perry in a fit of social responsibility.

Here is the breakdown from Nate Silver:


What did we learn? Well, let's start by asking CNN which has 5 Things We Learned From Super Tuesday--unfortunately these include nothing we actually learned from Super Tuesday:

  1. Palin leaves the door ajar: She might run! Palin figured out how to "endorse" Newt Gingrich at least three times before declaring (last night) she voted for him. Most senior politicians only manage to do it once. She "ran for president" with a bus tour that had a gaggle of press trailing behind her while she tracked her (stubbornly low-wattage) poll numbers. Sarah may be a lot of things--but shut out is not one of them.
  2. Obama's Diversion: He gave a press conference on the day of the primary--he's not going quietly. Well, yes--but the news coverage of Super Tuesday really begins at 7:00 when the exit poll results can be released and the real numbers start rolling in. Obama made the news--but he didn't pull a Rick Perry and announce the same day that Bachmann won the staw poll.
  3. Santorum's Lack of Organization: Santorum's fledgling campaign is fighting an uphill battle against a well-oiled Romney machine. He didn't get on the ballot in every district and nowhere in Virginia. This was news? I mean, it was news--old news.
  4. Romney has an Appalachia Problem: The rich guy doesn't score with the south and the poor. Yeah, we knew.
  5. Newt Needs More Than Georgia: Math.
But that snarky aside, aside, what did we learn?

Was It Money Can't Buy You Love?
No--we already knew that. It was the teachings of Lennon (Marxist?).  Romney out-spent everyone and he still just squeaked it in places where it was tight. Here's the break down from First Read:
Romney enjoys big ad-spending advantage: By the way, its worth noting that Romney and his Super PAC allies have more than a 4-to-1 ad-spending advantage over Santorum and his allies in the pivotal state of Ohio. And overall, its nearly a 5-to-1 advantage. Here are the most up-to-date numbers for ad spending in the Super Tuesday states:
Ohio: pro-Romney $4 million, pro-Gingrich $739,000, pro-Santorum $950,000
Georgia: pro-Romney $1.5 million, pro-Gingrich $950,000, pro-Santorum $214,000
Tennessee: pro-Romney $1.3 million, pro-Gingrich $664,000, pro-Santorum $247,000
Oklahoma: pro-Romney $576,000, pro-Gingrich $422,000, pro-Santorum $182,000
Idaho: pro-Romney $126,000, pro-Santorum $3,000, pro-Paul $47,000
Vermont: pro-Romney $61,000, pro-Paul $55,000
Here's a graph from Huffington Post. Look at that negative money-mountain!

Learning: Money can buy you hate. Who knew?

Was It 'Evangelicals Think Mormons Are Weird'?
Errm ... maybe. States with more evangelical Christians are not his forte: Here is a map from the Center for Politics from Feb 16th. The Not-Favored states are:
In apportioning 11 states to the “Romney not favored” column, we based our decisions primarily on the number of evangelical/born-again voters in each state. This is a good proxy for determining how conservative a state is: the more evangelicals in a state, the more conservative it is.


In last night's election? He lost every evangelical state in the running. Business Insider thinks Mitt Romney Is Just Getting Slaughtered In One Key GOP Demographic.
Throughout the primaries Romney wins rich voters, and often wins voters with extremely low incomes. He wins moderates, and in some states–like Arizona– he has won very conservative voters too. Romney is winning Catholic voters in almost every state. And he wins older voters too.

But over and over again on Super Tuesday, Romney lost the Evangelical vote. He lost them 42-24 to Santorum in Tennessee. He similarly lost those voters 52-19 to Gingrich in Georgia.
Will evangelicals vote for a Mormon? Some certainly will--but consider this, Evangelicals for Mitt tackles exactly that pressing question: How can I Vote for A Mormon. It's a collection of blog and newspaper articles which, taken together ... are not all that convincing. Up near the top is this USA Today article:
The first time I heard the word "Mormon" was at the Church of Christ in Paris, Tenn. Our youth minister was warning us about cults, which was definitely more interesting than learning about, say, the evils of dancing. Cults were dangerous. They brainwashed people and controlled their lives. Examples included Charles Manson's murderous "family," Jim Jones and his suicidal acolytes— and Mormons.
Going down the list? I guess they're making the case he's the best of a bad lot ... Santorum is stingy with charity. Newt had THREE wives! And then there's one winner of an article called "I Heart Heretics." He makes this case:
Don’t get me wrong: Wrong theology is a huge issue. It can keep you out of heaven. And there are definitely cases in which it should keep you out of the White House–for instance, if your theology teaches that we should sacrifice infants. In that case, your theology is producing values that are inappropriate for a president. But in Gov. Romney’s case, his Mormonism pushes him in the right direction, toward the very values evangelicals espouse. And the God I serve is more than powerful enough to use a man whose theology may be off, just as he did with Thomas Jefferson–and just as he did with Cyrus in Old Testament times. So I’d answer our e-mailer’s question with a question: How can a Bible-believing Christian believe it’s up to us to deliver presidents God can use?
Keep in mind this is all from Evangelicals for Mitt. Maybe they do have a problem with him? On the other hand, there's no concrete reason to think it's specifically that: It's not like Mitt doesn't have other problems such as authenticity. It think here we must turn to the teachings of Marx: "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made." 


Learning: On a numerical/statistical basis Super Tuesday indicates that maybe evangelicals think Romney is weird.

Did We Learn What Santorum and Gingrich are Thinking?
Santorum and Newt are still in the race--but what would it take for them to win? Texas. Texas and California, probably. Neither is going to happen so what are they doing? What does Newt think will happen next? What does Santorum think he will pull off?

Well, Newt was endorsed by Pallin--or, well, she voted for "The Cheerful one." His hopes are probably for a VP slot when she clinches the nomination at a contested convention. Santorum's path to victory is less clear--but maybe, just maybe this map explains what he is thinking. Let's see if you can figure it out.
  1. All his states are contiguous ... (Nate Silver calls this the Santorum Belt)
  2. The enemy (Yellow) is spread out and holds no single solid territory
  3. His rival does hold contiguous territory but is squished in the bottom right of the map ... with no way out.

You guessed it: He's playing Risk!
Classic Version of Risk board game

Santorum is going to cash in a risk set he got from taking North Dakota, group his armies in Tennessee, swoop down to take out South Carolina and Georgia. This eliminates Gingrich and gets him all the cards Newt was holding. On a roll, he cashes them in, masses in Georgia and seizes Florida. Next round?

Victory.

Learning: Maybe they're both praying for a miracle.

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