Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mitt's Miserable Math

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

It's a lackluster Tuesday evening in Okinawa, but the other Tuesday, the one described by a salivating press corps as the "super" Tuesday is just beginning to dawn in the United States.  Ten states will be choosing some of their delegates to the Republican national convention on this date - three by the hoary old caucus system where the party bosses get to flex their political muscle more effectively, and seven by primaries that allow people the opportunity to cast their ballots in secret.

This is the day when Mitt Romney, a.k.a. "Mister Inevitability," hopes to pull away from the pack by winning big and finally convincing people that he actually deserves the nomination - though why he deserves it still isn't readily clear.  Is it because of his experience as a CEO and his claims to be the business leader that the country needs?  Or is it because he is a son of privilege and, as such, has some inherent right to rule?  Or is it his amazing record as Governor of Massachusetts where he authored Romneycare?  Or his storybook family?  Or God's last attempt to save America from the degeneracy of people who fornicate while using birth control?  Whatever the reason, Mitt feels entitled to be the leader of the free world and he seems somewhat aggravated that he has had to work so hard for something that should have landed in his lap.

In one sense, Mitt is doing respectably well in the race to the White House.  So far there have been thirteen contests (caucuses, primaries, and one straw poll), and he has won eight of those.  Eight out of thirteen sounds pretty damned good.  But here's the rub, in all eight of the contests that he has won, the Mittster has yet to score a clear majority of the votes.  The best that he did was in the Nevada caucuses where he chalked up 50% of the votes in a state with a very large Mormon population.- but half is a frog's hair short of an actual majority.  He also won a primary in Arizona with 47.3% of the votes.

Other Romney "victories" include the caucuses in Washington state which he won with 37% of the votes, a straw poll in Wyoming (with only 2,000 voters) that he won 39% of the votes, a primary in Michigan where he had the home state advantage and could still only muster 41% of the votes, and a disputed caucus win in Maine where to state GOP intentionally failed to tabulate all of the votes - and where he received 39.2% of the votes.  (Ron Paul felt that he was robbed of votes and victory by the machinations of the Maine Republican Party.)  Mitt Romney also won primaries in New Hampshire with 39% of the votes, and in Florida with 46.4% of the vote.

Florida, Arizona, and Nevada were clearly Romney's best showings, yet all fell short of the magical goal of "majority" in all three.   It's hard to see inevitability in numbers like that.

What is the big voter turn-off when it comes to Mitt Romney?  Is it the Mormon thing?  Is it his wife's Cadillacs (plural), or his nice homes (plural)?  Or how about his admission that he likes to fire people?  Is it his flip-flopping on every substantive issue in the campaign?  Is it his shameless pandering to the religious fundamentalists?  Is it the way he treats his dog?  Is it the Swiss bank accounts?  Is it his complete lack-of-touch with the problems that real Americans face on a daily basis?  Is it his inability to pull one foot completely out of his mouth before inserting the other?

Is it all of the above or just most of the above?

Super Tuesday is the day that Mitt hopes to close the deal.  There will be ten contests - three caucuses and seven primaries.   Romney should do very well in the caucus state of Idaho, a very red and very Mormon enclave of people who don't have a particularly strong trust of government.  Idaho, in fact, could be his first clear majority victory, but it is also a place ripe for the pickings of Santorum, Gingrich, and even Paul.  Alaska and North Dakota are also caucus states that will meet on Super Tuesday to select delegates.

The primaries that will occur are in the states of Georgia (where homeboy Gingrich is favored to win), Massachusetts (which experienced Romney's "miracles" firsthand and perhaps has the clearest understanding of what his values were several years ago), Ohio (a biggie that Santorum hopes to win and where it will be almost mathematically impossible for anyone to receive a majority), Oklahoma (no comment other than Senator Doctor Coburn supports Romney), Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia (where only Romney and Ron Paul managed to make it onto the ballot).  If Romney does not score a clear majority in Virginia, he needs to pack the Cadillacs and head to one of his homes!

It will be an interesting day and perhaps a long evening.  If Romney were to take the whole enchilada, which he won't, I still would not expect Santorum (he is on a crusade, literally) or Gingrich (who is just too mean) to drop out.  And Ron Paul is eternal.  The Republican race will head on into the summer, whether the party bosses like it or not.  They may get together in a wine-and-brie-filled room somewhere and figure out a way to guarantee Mitt the nomination before the convention begins, but by now it is apparent that he does not have the math or the political skills to do it on his own.

The Republican party has gotten itself into a fine mess - from their inability to control the tea-baggers, the Koch brothers, and even Rush Limbaugh, to their inability to find a sane grown-up to run for President.  It looks like this is shaping up to be a really sweet November for Barack Obama.  Perhaps that is as God intended.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

All delegates awarded before April 1st are, according to the rules, delegated on a proportional basis. So where Mitt won, he often split. In Florida, where the delegate count was halved, because Florida broke other rules, Mitt should only get 24 1/2 of the 49. Florida awarded him all 49. Gingrich is planning a challenge at the convention. In Missouri they had an election, but Republicans didn't award on that they are going for the caucus on St. Patrick's day. In Iowa it took three or four attempts to determine who won. Ahh, the party that screwed up state election laws on the phoney basis of election fraud seems to good at it.