Santorum Wins Three Races Nobody Pays Attention To

Rick Santorum swept three states that are off the media radar screen. Will it revive his campaign?

Rick Santorum, who has been an afterthought since his (belated) win in Iowa, swept three states that are off the media radar screen. Will it revive his campaign?

The media narrative of the race is that Iowa and New Hampshire winnow the race to the serious candidates, South Carolina is the first big contest, Florida the first big state, and then there’s a lull until Super Tuesday for the two top teams to get reorganized for the stretch run. Until some polls came out yesterday showing that Santorum was doing well, I was only vaguely aware that Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri were having non-binding primaries and caucuses.

Doug Mataconis noted that no delegates were technically at stake yesterday. That’s true. But, as I pointed out in the comments, “I’m not sure that delegates really matter at this stage. Otherwise, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul would be right when they argue that there are still 46 states to go and nothing has been decided. In reality, the outcome of each race leads to a shift in the media narrative and voter expectations.”

Will the narrative change? Or will the media stick to its pre-approved script? The early indications are the former.

The Washington Post uses the headline “Santorum’s hat trick in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri jolts GOP presidential race” to frame an AP story subtitled “SANTORUM HAT TRICK.”

Rick Santorum swept Tuesday night’s nominating contests, providing a jolt to the GOP race. Speaking at a rally in Missouri, Santorum cast his wins as a victory for conservatism.

“Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota,” Santorum said. A visibly jubilant Santorum spoke before his third victory, in Colorado’s nominating caucuses, was certain. Santorum’s victories validated a decision he made to campaign lightly in Florida and Nevada, which preceded Tuesday’s votes, and focus on Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.

It marked a stunning comeback for Santorum, whose hopes seemed to fade after a narrow victory in Iowa was followed by losses in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

Santorum and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both focused their speeches on President Barack Obama, deriding the man they hope to run against in November. Santorum called Obama a “radical” and worked to tie Romney to Obama on policy grounds. But Santorum was careful to show a general election focus.

“I don’t stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,” he said. “I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

Romney congratulated Santorum on his victories, but said flatly he still expected to be the GOP nominee. He then ignored Santorum, spending his speech ripping into Obama’s leadership.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been jostling with Santorum to be Romney’s principal opponent for the GOP nomination, tried to ignore poor showings in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri by largely staying out of sight. Instead of waiting for Tuesday’s results in one of the states voting, as the other candidates did, Gingrich plowed forward to Ohio, where he planned to campaign Wednesday. In third or fourth place in each of the states voting, Gingrich didn’t make a public statement about the results. Instead, at campaign stops in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, he criticized both Romney and Obama and linked Ohio’s Wright brothers to his own call for an improved U.S. space program.

Politico went with “Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado results: A sweep for Santorum.” WaPo‘s own headline declares, “Santorum revives campaign with wins in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota.” NYT is more subdued with “Another Twist for G.O.P. as Santorum Fares Well.”

Nate Silver headlined an afternoon piece (written before the outcome was certain) “The High Stakes in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri.”

A cynic might say that tonight’s Republican contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri deserve an asterisk. In Minnesota and Colorado, which will hold caucuses, voters will pick their preferred presidential candidate in a nonbinding straw poll, while picking delegates to county and regional conventions in a separate vote. In Missouri, no delegates are on the line at all; the state will hold a separate caucus for that purpose on March 17.

The results, nevertheless, will provide an important test of how robust Mitt Romney’s coalition is on less favorable terrain than in states like New Hampshire or Nevada. And they could potentially revitalize the campaign of one of Mr. Romney’s opponents, Rick Santorum.

Nor should one go too far in dismissing the results. The process that Minnesota and Colorado use, holding separate votes for presidential preference and delegate selection at their caucuses, is essentially the same one that was used in Iowa. Missouri is a more debatable case, but as the first primary of any kind held in the Midwest — perhaps Mr. Romney’s weakest region — it may tell us something about how states like Michigan and Ohio are likely to vote when they hold key primaries on Feb. 28 and March 6, respectively.

But Silver also buttresses my “media narrative” argument, noting that, “We haven’t run forecasts in any of the states. The FiveThirtyEight forecast model was ‘trained’ on past cases in which at least three different pollsters were active in a state in the closing days of the election.” That is to say: nobody was paying an attention to these races until yesterday.

The results were nonetheless surprising. It’s not just that Santorum won but that he won in blowout fashion. In Missouri, which Silver reckoned to be “the closest contest, but probably leans slightly toward Mr. Santorum,” he won by a ridiculous 30 point margin.

I’m not sure what’s more surprising here: That Santorum, who most had written off, won all three contests (and thus has as many wins as Romney and Gingrich combined)? That Romney finished so far back in all three? Or that Gingrich, who the media had positioned as the conservative alternative to the establishment Romney, finished dead last in all three races–even behind Ron Paul.

My guess is that this will give all of us something to talk about for a couple of days but really won’t change anything. Santorum still doesn’t have any money or organization and it’s going to be nearly impossible for him to compete on Super Tuesday.

The next contest is the Maine Caucus on Saturday. There’s then a long lull until the Arizona and Michigan primaries on the 28th (3 weeks from yesterday). Washington holds a caucus on March 3rd (the following Saturday) and then Super Tuesday comes four days later with contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. That’s going to be a hell of a gauntlet.

Last night’s results reminded us that there’s very little enthusiasm among the hard core Republican base for Romney. And, apparently, none outside the Deep South for Gingrich. But, with Gingrich not going anywhere, I don’t see how Santorum can rally the base and beat Romney.

Joe Scarborough argued this morning that yesterday was a perfect storm for Santorum, the most socially conservative of the Republican candidates. The Komen-Planned Parenthood story, which was a huge win for the abortion rights forces, galvanized the base. Then there was the flap over the Obama administration’s boneheaded decision to force Catholic hospitals to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees, which galvanized Catholics. And then the 6th Circuit came out yesterday and overturned a statewide referendum in California banning gay marriage. But I’m not sure any of that will have a lasting impact on the primary contest.

Photo: Reuters Pictures

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Hello World! says:

    Finally, a proper headline to this story. You would think this win comes with deligates if you turned on the TV. The real headline should be how wingnuts control caucus’s. This results in unfair publicity against Mitt Romney.

  2. I think the fact that no delegates are awarded here is actually really important (but not because of delegate counts, per se).

    The lack of delegate allocation lowers the stakes. This leads to diminished media and voter interest. Why go out on a school/work night to vote in a process that ostensibly doesn’t matter?

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Agreed, with the caveat that that’s the case only if it’s presented that way. That is: Voters have no clue about the process, just the horse race as it’s portrayed through the Big Media lens. So, if the networks treat this as they have in the past–Meh, not really interesting–then it won’t matter. If, however, they play up Santorum’s wins and What’s Wrong With Mitt? angle, then it could slightly alter the momentum.

    Again, though, I don’t see how Santorum capitalizes on it. Even if he found an angel funder, I don’t know how get puts together an effective GOTV effort for the ten Super Tuesday states (well, nine, since he’s not even on the ballot in Virginia) in less than a month.

  4. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @James Joyner:

    If, however, they play up Santorum’s wins and What’s Wrong With Mitt? angle, then it could slightly alter the momentum.

    Of course the media will play up those angles – especially the latter.

    Romney still will be the GOP nominee, but last night’s debacle added weeks, if not months, to his fight.

  5. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor & @James Joyner:
    On the no delegates thing, one has to suspect that a significant amount of the voters did know that no delegates were at stake. We know that turn out was low, and the general understanding is that those who did turn out were the hardcore base. I’d imagine that these folks are far more aware of the delegate game than the average voter.

    Additionally, I would guess that the fact no delegates were being directly allocated to the winner is something that would be covered in local media reports leading up to the primary.

    In that way, it sets up a perfect sort of protest vote — paving the way for people to vote their conscience without having to confront the pragmatic issue of elect-ability.

  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    The results were nonetheless surprising. It’s not just that Santorum won but that he won in blowout fashion.

    Surprising? That would be one way of putting it. How about awful? Forget all this parsing about no delegates, no one paying attention, soon forgotten, this was like the Giants playing our local football team and the giants got their butt handed to them. Not only was Romney beaten in every contest he was beaten in contests he won convincingly last time admittedly on larger turnouts (which is another sign of trouble for Romney). I agree entirely that Romney remains the once and future king but if you wanted evidence there wasn’t much enthusiasm for his ascension to the throne this was it. Unless he delivers a knock out punch on super Tuesday this thing is probably going all the way.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    Neglecting the Obama boneheaded decision comment…which was the right decision…if politically boneheaded…
    Romney does not seem to be able to generate any heat unless he has weeks and spends a ton of money to do it. He won Colorado in ’08. And of course, as Doug posts elsewhere, voter turnout was down again. So the primaries get strung out some more. The fact that there is no excitement for Romney becomes further in-grained in the narrative. And his ability to win key mid-west ststes gets thrown into question.
    Pretty clear Obama won the night…again.

  8. Fiona says:

    Didn’t Mitt win all three of these states in 2008 (winning Colorado with 60 percent of the vote)?

    These contests showed what’s been known for awhile–that there’s little enthusiasm for Mitt among the evangelical base. It will be interesting to see how the MSM plays it–given that they love a horse race and seem to have little love for Mitt. McCain had his own MSM fan club, which may help explain why Mitt’s victories in 2008 were downplayed.

  9. DRS says:

    Weakest. Front-runner. Ever.

  10. Andre Kenji says:

    The point is not about Santorum or Romney. The point is about the inevitable nominee, that has difficulties winning over two flawed candidates. It´s like Dukakis vs. Jesse Jackson in 1988. No one thought that Jackson could be president, but the fact that Dukakis did not manage to win over him for months said a lot.

  11. gram nazi says:

    @Hello World! :

    Finally, a proper headline to this story.

    No: “Santorum Wins Three Races Nobody Pays Attention To”

    Yes: “Santorum Wins Three Races To Whom No One Pays Attention”

    / indefinate pronoun & preposition
    // wackinhut

  12. @Brummagem Joe:

    Giants playing our local football team and the giants got their butt handed to them

    Actually, it is not like that at all. This was not conducted by Romney as though it mattered. It was not conducted by the media as if it mattered. This is more like your local football team playing against 2 guys plus a bunch of tackling dummies wearing Giants uniforms.

  13. Brummagem Joe says:

    Then there was the flap over the Obama administration’s boneheaded decision to force Catholic hospitals to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees, which galvanized Catholics.

    Btw you are aware a majority of states have similar legislation on their books requiring the dispensing of contraceptives. I seem to remember a big hoo ha over this when Pataki was governor of NY but it passed. It also on the books of MA I believe and therefore would have been so when Romney was governor.

  14. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Actually, it is not like that at all. This was not conducted by Romney as though it mattered.

    You may think that Steven. Rick Santorum v Romney are you kidding. Even if your highly suspect claims about Romney being totally unconcerned about, and uninvolved, in these contests were true, he should have walked it given his status.

  15. c.red says:

    What it tells me is that:

    A.) this confirms Gingrich is done; he’ll keep going because of vanity, but he won’t win much. (No big shocker there, I know.)
    B.) If Gingrich had dropped out of the race after Iowa, Santorum would be the frontrunner because of picking up most of those votes.

    Romney is just lucky this is four-way race otherwise he would look worse than he already does, which is pretty awful.

  16. @Brummagem Joe:

    You may think that Steven. Rick Santorum v Romney are you kidding.

    The point is that the nature of the given contest matters, regardless of who the names are. These are largely dismiss-able contests.

    The evidence is quick fashion:

    1. In the past: how did Santorum do in non-caucus states? Answer: very poorly.
    2. In the present: how is Santorum doing in national polling? Answer: very poorly.
    2. In the future: will Santorum be able to build on these wins in any meaningful way? Answer: this remains to be seen, but I think he won’t. If he does, you can come back and tell me I was wrong (and I will admit that I was without any reservation).

  17. To use another football analogy: Santorum just went 3-0 in preseason games. This means he is going to the Super Bowl, right?

  18. @Fiona:

    Romney did win Minnesota and Colorado in 2008. McCain won Missouri

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The evidence is quick fashion:

    Er….Steven you’ve just proved my point. I’m not saying Santorum has any chance whatever. In fact he’s a zero. He’s going nowhere. But he’s just handed the presumptive nominee his butt in three contests where Romney should have strolled to victory. The Giants v our local school football team is entirely apposite.

  20. James Joyner says:

    @gram nazi: That doesn’t even make sense. “Races” aren’t people, so why would we refer to them as “whom”? They’re a “which.”

  21. MBunge says:

    “To use another football analogy: Santorum just went 3-0 in preseason games.”

    And if Romney had won all three races by decisive margins? While it’s possible to overstate what this means to Santorum, it’s just plain dumb to understate what this means to Romney.

    Mike

  22. Rob in CT says:

    Here’s my explanation:

    http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/02/03/birthers-are-back/

    Hahahahaha!

    [if you’re in the mood for some dark humour, have a look at the comments to that post]

  23. @MBunge: Had Romney won them I would have the same attitude regarding their significance.

    I will grant: winning is better than losing, but not all games are of equal consequence.

  24. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    but not all games are of equal consequence.

    Who said they were, but that’s not the point is it? While as has been much commented upon turnout was substantially down, the overall numbers were not negligible as a guide to Republican party sentiment

  25. MBunge says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “Had Romney won them I would have the same attitude regarding their significance.”

    Let’s try this from another angle. Can you think of another instance where a GOP front-runner at his point lost every election on a single day, including one where he was undeniably contesting the race (as Romney was in Colorado)?

    Mike

  26. @gram nazi:

    “Santorum Wins Three Races To Whom No One Pays Attention”

    “Santorum Wins Three Races To Which No One Pays Attention”

    Primaries are also not people. 😉

  27. PD Shaw says:

    I think its too bad that Gingrich wasn’t able to contest Missouri; its partly a Southern state, or at least about a quarter of its population self-identify as Southerners. Gingrich might have done well here, but where did his support go, did they stay home, did they vote for Romney or for Santorum. And if they voted for Santorum, why? Was it because Santorum was their second choice, or was it because they felt this would help Gingrich in other states?

    As it stands, the Missouri outcome doesn’t really tell us much.

  28. michael reynolds says:

    Romney is a lousy candidate. He is utterly incapable of generating any love. You need some love. You need people to care deeply. Romney has the negative version of Teflon: nothing good sticks to him.

  29. @MBunge:

    Can you think of another instance where a GOP front-runner at his point lost every election on a single day, including one where he was undeniably contesting the race (as Romney was in Colorado)?

    No, I can’t but that would be as much because I do not have an encyclopedic memory for such things as anything else. However, if you could demonstrate that it never happened before, I would still find yesterday to be a little consequence.

    I guess the issue is this: what do you think it means? I am looking at this in terms solely of whether it means Romney will be the nominee or not. I don’t think that yesterday’s results will ultimately matter in the nomination process. Hence my dismissiveness.

    Now, if you think it shows that Romney has weakness as a candidate, I would agree with you.

    However, I still see no path for Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul to be the nominee.

  30. Barb Hartwell says:

    I think the Republicans are their own worst enemy They use religion on both sides. No killing of fetus`s but keep the death penalty. The middle east is full of religious radicals. No birth control with my tax dollars. If they can`t pay for these kids they should not have had them. If they had been good parents and stayed home with them they would`nt be running the streets at night getting in trouble. Take two jobs if you have to to stay off welfare. No businesses should be able to pay CEOs millions in bonuses. No these unions get too much money and demand too much for employees. Stop regulations to keep businesses profitable. Hey that guy knew the risks involved he should have had more insurance. Insurance cost too much. Well that`s life some people die.Why should others have to pay for them. Come on You got to smarten up Republicans do not have the majority of the country`s best interest at heart. They want to make slaves of us..

  31. Herb says:

    Last night’s results reminded us that there’s very little enthusiasm among the hard core Republican base for Romney. And, apparently, none outside the Deep South for Gingrich. But, with Gingrich not going anywhere, I don’t see how Santorum can rally the base and beat Romney.

    With this dynamic, I don’t see how any of them beat Obama. I fully expect a lot of Not Mitt folks to fall in line if Mitt becomes the nominee, but the enthusiasm gap is going to hurt him in the election, and if by some miracle it doesn’t and he wins, it’ll hurt him later when he’s trying to do the job.

  32. @Brummagem Joe:

    Er….Steven you’ve just proved my point. I’m not saying Santorum has any chance whatever. In fact he’s a zero. He’s going nowhere. But he’s just handed the presumptive nominee his butt in three contests where Romney should have strolled to victory. The Giants v our local school football team is entirely apposite.

    I guess I am missing your point.

    I am arguing that yesterday doesn’t really matter. I took you to be arguing that it did.

    (To me, if the local team beat the Giants, that would be a very big deal. Santorum beating Romeny yesterday is not a very big deal. As such, perhaps your analogy means something else?). To me the better analogy, actually, would be the Washington Redskins beating the Giants (something they did twice this season, in fact). And yet at the end of the day, the Giants are the Super Bowl champs and, the undisputed better team.

  33. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    However, I still see no path for Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul to be the nominee.

    Who said there was….any comments and the football similes were about the startling fact that the presumptive nominee was defeated not once but three times on the same day by someone who as you say has no path to the nomination.

  34. PD Shaw says:

    @MBunge: I too lack an encylopediac knowledge of past primaries and further don’t have the time to isolate how the primaries were grouped from year to year to see if a direct comparison can be made.

    However, I wonder why you limited your question to Prof. Taylor to past Republican primiaries? The most likely comparison here is Bill Clinton in 1992, who didn’t win any of the early contests; swept the South on Super Tuesday in March, and was still in a close contest outside the South when he started on an unstopable roll.

  35. Brutalfacts says:

    The longer this goes the more flawed Mitt shows himself to be. Santorum managed to paper over his flaws long enough to get these meaningless wins but he will not play well with indy’s, or women once his views on birth control become widly known. Just ask Komen who women react when they feel slighted in a high profile way.

    Obama has not had to break a sweat defining Mitt to this point, the GOP has done it for him. Short of a MAJOR game changer the GOP will get their collective heads handed to them in November.

  36. MBunge says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “However, I still see no path for Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul to be the nominee.”

    Well, the first step in that is for people to stop assuming Romney is inevitable. If you’re going to interpret every event during the primary/caucus season through the prism that there’s no way anyone except Romney is eventually going to win, what’s the point of saying anything at all?

    Mike

  37. MBunge says:

    @PD Shaw: “The most likely comparison here is Bill Clinton in 1992, who didn’t win any of the early contests”

    I do not believe that there was ever a point AFTER Bill Clinton was the clear front-runner for the Dem nomination that he suffered anything like the public repudiation Romney has just received. I could be wrong.

    I guess my point is that if Prof. Taylor is simply going to respond to any event that goes against Romney by restating the Mittster is still likely to be the nominee, there’s really no need for him to say anything at all.

    Mike

  38. @MBunge:

    . If you’re going to interpret every event during the primary/caucus season through the prism that there’s no way anyone except Romney is eventually going to win, what’s the point of saying anything at all?

    It is not simply a tautological position wherein all roads leads to Romney. It has to do with the specific evidence in play. I have no time for a long exposition, but will state again that the nature of the evidence yesterday is not sufficient for me to think that the basic trajectory of the race has changed.

  39. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    I guess my point is that if Prof. Taylor is simply going to respond to any event that goes against Romney by restating the Mittster is still likely to be the nominee, there’s really no need for him to say anything at all.

    I can’t speak for the good Professor, but what I’m getting from his statements is he doesn’t think the other candidates have the necessary organization or money to win the nomination, and that while last night’s results are good for Santorum, they still won’t add sufficiently to his organization and money to change the contest enough to knock Romney down.

  40. Nightrider says:

    I thought the recent contraception ruling was that the Catholic institutions were not exempt from a requirement that the health insurance plans they offer their employees must include coverage for contraception — not that the Catholic hospitals actually provide contraceptives. Is that right?

  41. James Joyner says:

    @Nightrider: It’s a distinction without meaning given the church’s position of conscience on the matter.

  42. PD Shaw says:

    @MBunge: I think you’re right that once Clinton was the front-runner he didn’t suffer a serious defeat, but he was still shaky enough that Tsongas re-entered the race after he quit. In 1992, the Democrats had several regional candidates that had difficulty breaking out as national candidates.

    Currently, the Republicans only have one candidate running a truly national campaign. The others are picking and choosing races. I’m not sure Romney coming in second is as important as Gingrich coming in Third, Fourth and No Show yesterday.

  43. WR says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think B Joe’s point is not about Santorum, but about Romney. If the high school team beats the pros, it may not mean that the high school team is ready to play in the Super Bowl — but it definitely indicates that the pro team is in trouble. And if the pro team gets into the Super Bowl with this kind of weakness, it’s hard to see how it doesn’t have its ass kicked by Team Obama…

  44. Nightrider says:

    @James Joyner: If none of the Catholics working there were going to use any birth control, then an insurer ought to be able to offer that additional coverage pretty cheaply. The fact that it will cost them some money shows that it is their own fault for hiring immoral people who will use it! Yes, I am sort of kidding (but only sort of). I am not sure of my opinion about the rule in the first place but it is the law and I’m not so keen on letting people get around the law by claiming an objection based on conscience. That’s a pretty slippery slope, isn’t it?

    Getting back to main topic, perhaps a political gaffe by Obama, but if the GOP wants to nominate Santorum and birth control is a key topic in this fall’s election, I think Obama would be happy to take that.

  45. Jib says:

    @James Joyner: I question that Catholics are in an uproar over this. Catholic ‘elites’ sure but not the people in the pews. The polling as of yet does not show this. In fact, the Obama position is the favorable position and Catholics favor it more than the general population. Several states already have this law and the church abides by it.

    One thing that rank and file Catholics are good at is ignoring the church when it comes to contraceptives.

  46. Rob in CT says:

    The figures I am familiar with are 98% (Catholic women who have ever used BC) and 83% (rate of contraceptive use by sexually active Catholic women).

    Sure, you can argue that some portion of those people might be swayed by the “well, I don’t agree with the Church but the government shouldn’t make them!” argument, but I fail to see how you get to a majority. I fail to see how you peel off any Obama-leaner voters.

    I just don’t really see how this is a winner for Team R.

  47. Nightrider says:

    @Rob in CT: Oh, I could see that it might be politically helpful to GOP if they can keep it a minor dog-whistle issue that only Catholics are upset about their church getting pushed around. That seems like a fairly likely outcome provided Romney is the nominee. I’d also agree with the premise that the Catholic vote is very important. My comment was on the actual merit — since this is the law, everyone should have to follow it, and if they want they can try to change the law.

  48. anjin-san says:

    the church’s position of conscience on the matter

    “positions of conscience” is a concept I am going to have a very hard time with until the church gets real about sexual predators in the clergy.

  49. Wayne says:

    Santorum picked up at least 52 delegates in Tuesday’s contests, including all 37 delegates at stake in Minnesota, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/campaigns/santorum-victory-in-minnesota-gop-caucuses-nets-him-13-delegates-to-national-convention/2012/02/07/gIQA4i7sxQ_story.html

  50. Wayne says:

    Also I suspect even though Missouri will not be officially bound by their Primary election, I suspect the results will come into play in its delegate’s selections. It would be foolish not to take into account voters’ wishes.

  51. MarkedMan says:

    Just to add to the Catholic hospital debate, I think we need to take on this bizarre notion that Catholic hospitals are somehow different from other hospitals. Most of their budget comes from reimbursements from insurers or government programs. They do raise charitable donations and they do use a small portion of those donations to fund indigent care, but so do most hospitals. As far as I know (and I’m fairly sure about this but would love to be proven wrong), Catholic Charities plays no significant role in the funding of typical Catholic hospitals, although they might be a significant funder for hospitals in developing countries.

    More importantly, and I don’t think many people know this, most state governments, insurers and the hospitals themselves “pick winners” among hospitals once you get out of the major metropolitan areas. This often leads to hospitals merging and consolidating services. When a Catholic hospital wins and takes over a non-religious hospital the public loses, especially women, because of the “conscience objections” they are allowed. The most egregious recent example is the life-long nun who ran an operating room in a Catholic hospital who was fired and excommunicated for allowing an abortion that was necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. At this Phoenix hospital the literally lifesaving information will be withheld from woman and their families because it conflicts with the religious beliefs of the hierarchy of the Catholic church. Think about that: women will die in Phoenix because of the beliefs of Catholic bishops.

    So – to sum up. Catholic run hospitals are funded virtually identically to similarly sized large hospitals. They don’t cover more charity cases than the typical public hospital. And as demonstrated by the above story, granting these conscience exceptions to health care providers can have literally fatal consequences. I concede that the contraception exception is not at the same level as the anti-abortion case above, but the churches have not demonstrated why they deserve any exceptions on any such moral matters. Those who argue that they are different in some way other than the fact that their corporate morality is influenced by Catholic Bishops need to demonstrate that.

  52. Peterh says:

    I think it’s time for Santorum to come out with a speech to convince America that he would not be controlled by the Vatican……just becuz…..

  53. packeryman says:

    Newt is history as far as a meaningful run, but this pompous, egotistical corrupt, Washington Insider has a vendetta against Romney and his hate and anger won’t let him quit as long as Adelson keeps financing him. As for as Santorum, he had a nice win, the question is will he get the votes in the bible belt that were going to Newt, if the answer is yes then the fight goes until Tampa with Romney still winning. He has been hurt by the unnecessary B.S. that Newt and his PAC put out and the negative ads will continue if Santorum is to make any inroads on Romney’s votes.This cannot help Romney, he comes to the general election with a lot of primary war wounds. He will still be a stronger candidate than any other Republican. His having this go longer moves him further to the right to get the nomination, but truly hurts him with we Independents. He is moving so far to the right from our prospective that we may have to join with Dem’s and pull the Democrat lever, reelect Obama and get rid of the tea party blight. Independents do not like the antics of the tea party in the House or governors B.S. in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, etc. and we will go to the polls and help change it.

  54. Jib says:

    @Wayne: I would not count on that. I am hearing that Ron Paul is picking up more delegates than you would expect. Paul’s strategy is to win the actual delegate count, not the vote and they are trying to do that by focusing their efforts on the critical places where delegates are actually picked. So if Paul people get control of the caucus process in MO, then you can be sure that Paul will get the most delegates, primary votes be damned.

    Ron Paul might be onto something. It turns out there are several states where there is not a direct connection between the vote count and the actual delegate count. Its a weird hold over as states converted from caucuses to primaries. The mechanics of selecting the delegates is not technically based on the votes. It is the same thing as the electoral college. The delegates are selected by party affiliation but once at the college convention, they can vote how ever they want (they almost never vote different than they pledged, almost never…). It is only in the presidential primaries once every every 4 years and it has never mattered before so it is not important enough to clean up.

    FWIW, this is how McGovern become the nominee in ’72. The dems had completely redone the way they pick convention delegates after the fiasco in ’68 and McGovern wrote a lot of the new rules. He then manipulated them to stack the convention and get the nomination even though the majority of dems would have preferred Muskie or Jackson.