Romney Campaign Compares Voters To “Etch A Sketch”


Eric Rehrnstrom, Romney campaign advisor was asked  whether Romney’s prolonged fight with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would force him to “tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election.” In a moment of unusual candor Rehrnstrom shared his feeling that voter’s are “almost like an Etch-A-Sketch,” and that they could just shake things up and start from a clean slate.

Everyone has suspected all along that Romney was trying to say the right things to appease the base and pander to whatever crowd he happened to be speaking to.

  • Michigan: “I love this state. I seems right here. The trees are the right height…”
  • Mississippi: “Morning, y’all… I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.”

But it is surprising to see the campaign come out and brazenly share their plans to pivot into more moderate policies once they nail down the Republican nomination.

Just two days ago, we wrote about Mitt Romney’s evolution on healthcare. He now claims to be against “Obamacare”, but health reform was the signature achievement of the Romney administration in Massachusetts, and we presented three video clips where Romney advocated that Obama adopt a national insurance mandate similar to one he enacted in Massachusetts. Such a mandate is of course anathema in the Republican party and Romney is paying lip-service to the tea party by disavowing it.

Will this derail the Romney Express? It seems that when you think the coast is clear, Romney and his campaign make a gaffe which reverses the tide. Here are some examples from The Silver Foot In His Mouth: How Romney’s Gaffes Keep The Primary Going by Evan McMorris Santoro:

This latest gaffe made political hay for Democrats and Republicans alike. One satirist created a website EtchASketchMittRomney.com with a picture of an Etch-A-Sketch giving examples of Romney’s flip-flops.

Press release by the makers of Etch-A-Sketch follows the jump.
Nicole Gresh, spokeswoman for Ohio Arts, manufacturer of Etch-A-Sketch:

Happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate. Nothing is as quintessentially American as Etch A Sketch and a good old fashion political debate.

We are pleased with the added attention being drawn to Etch A Sketch which is truly one of the most recognizable, iconic and fun toys ever developed. As one of the most classic toys of all time, Etch A Sketch has always sold particularly well with today’s consumer. It is too early to tell, but we are hopeful to see if there is an uptake in sales given this recent exposure.

The Ohio Art Company has been in the toy business for more than 100 years and Etch A Sketch for over five decades. Our company values bringing smiles to kids faces and providing hours of fun playtime for young kids.

Santorum Crushes Romney in Kansas Takes 33 of 40 Delegates

Rick Santorum notched a big win in Kansas today.

  • Santorum: 51%
  • Romney: 21%
  • Gingrich: 14%
  • Paul: 12%

This was Romney’s largest margin of defeat to date. The Kansas delegates will be allocated as follows:

  • 3 delegates to the statewide winner – Santorum
  • There is a 20% threshold for the 25 statewide delegate, So only Santorum and Romney get a share, working out to 18-7.
  • Finally, the winner of each of 4 Congressional Districts will get 3 delegates. Santorum wins all 4 CDs, the final delegate count will be 33-7.

Meanwhile, Romney claims most of the delegates today from the US territories: Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas Islands.

On Tuesday, Republicans will vote in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Samoa.

Speculation is increasing that after Tuesday, Newt Gingrich may drop out of the race.

Next Saturday, Republicans will vote again in Missouri’s caucus. The Republicans already had a primary there on February 7 and Santorum won every county across the state. No delegates were awarded in the primary, but Santorum hopes to repeat his success in the Missouri caucus.

 Other Key Dates
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key  
Mitt Romney: Orange
Rick Santorum: Green
Newt Gingrich: Purple
Ron Paul: Gold
Rick Perry: Blue
Not yet voted: Grey


States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO-primary TN OK ND KS
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI

Next Contests
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO-caucus
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT

Super Tuesday Results

  • Romney crushes the opposition in his home state of Massachusetts with 72% of the vote.
  • Romney wins in nearby Vermont with 40% of the vote.
  • In Virginia, only Romney and Paul were on the ballot. Romney wins 60% to 40%.
  • Romney won big with 62% of the vote in Idaho thanks in part to its large Mormon population.
  • Romney also wins in the Alaska caucus. In Wasilla, Palin refused to say who she voted for, but said she would be available in case of a brokered convention.
  • CNN is now calling Ohio . Romney squeaks by Santorum 453,927 to 441,908.
  • Rick Santorum shows a solid hold of the center of the country with wins in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
  • Gingrich wins his home state of Georgia.
  • Over the next week, there will be elections in four states and four territories. Santorum is favored in the Kansas Caucus this Saturday. On Tuesday, Gingrich has a good chance to win the primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. Intrade favors Romney to win the Hawaii Caucus. I have not yet seen any polling for  the caucuses in US territories: Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas Islands.
 Other Key Dates
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key
Rick Santorum: Dark green
Mitt Romney: Orange
Newt Gingrich: Purple
Ron Paul: Gold
Rick Perry: Dark blue
Not yet voted: Grey


States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND
Newt Gingrich: SC GA

Next Contests
Mar 10: KS VI GU MP
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD
Jun 26: UT

Romney wins Wyoming caucus. Washington votes this Shabbos.

  • TPM: “Last night, after weeks of voting, the Wyoming caucuses drew to a close. Mitt Romney won them with 39% of the vote to Rick Santorum's 33%. Ron Paul won 20% and Newt Gingrich 8%. In terms of delegate allocation, CNN estimates that Romney will likely take 10, Santorum 9, Paul 6 and Gingrich 1.”
    See Wyoming Capital Journal for the details the next steps of delegate selection.
    Over 10% of Wyomans are Mormon. Only Idaho and Utah have higher percentages. Mormons have historically favored Mitt Romney who is a Mormon elder. (See map after the jump.)
  • Republican's in the State of Washington will hold their caucus this coming Shabbat. The oddmakers give Romney a slight advantage over Santorum.
  • Next week is "Super Tuesday" with Primaries or Caucuses in 10 states.
    • Only Romney & Paul are on the ballot in Virginia and Massachusetts, so Romney is favored to win there as well as Vermont since it is so near Massachusetts and Idaho which is 27% Mormon, second only to Utah’s 72%. (See map after the jump.)
    • Paul’s best chances are in Alaska and North Dakota‘s caucuses.
    • Gingrich will likely pick up his home state of Georgia.
    • Santorum is strongest in the Midwest: Ohio, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

    The latest odds according to Intrade follow the jump.

 Other Key Dates
  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • 1st Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • 2nd Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • 3rd Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key
Santorum: Dark green
Romney: Orange
Gingrich: Purple
Paul: Gold
Perry: Dark blue
Not yet voted: Grey  


States Won
Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY
Santorum: IA CO MN MO
Gingrich: SC  

 
Next Contests
Mar  3: WA
Mar  6: Super Tuesday  AK GA ID MA ND OH OK TN VT VA
Mar 10: KS VI GU
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX confirmed
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD Jun 26: UT
Probability of winning primaries according to gamblers on intrade as of Thursday, March 1
State WA AK GA ID MA ND OK OH TN VT VA
Delegates 43 27 76 32 41 28 66 43 58 17 50
Romney 57-62% 64-73% 2-18% 93-95% 98%+ 38-50% 3-11% 57-59% 15-17% 91-96% 95-98%
Santorum 30-39% 18-25% 4-10% 1-3% X 3-63% 86-90% 41-44% 72-85% 0-9% X
Gingrich 0-1% 1-6% 81-88% - X 1-20% 10-24% 0-1% 0-14% 0-9% X
Paul 3-4% 12-24% - 0-7% - 11-26% 0-4% - 0-9% 1-7% 1%-6%


Leading Religion by County, 2000

  • Dots indicate leading religion actually has a majority.
  • Red: Baptist
  • Blue: Catholic
  • Yellow: Christian
  • Beige: LDS/Mormon
  • Pink: Mennonite/Amish
  • Green: Methodist
  • Cyan: Reformed
  • Grey: Other



Mormon Population Density by State, 1990

Crossvoter Mitt Romney Objects To Cross Voting

Rick Santorum and various Democratic groups have appealed to Democrats to crossover and vote in the Michigan Republican primary for Santorum and send a message to Mitt Romney for his opposition to the auto bailout. Michigan has an open primary so all voters are allowed to participate in the primary of their choice.

Mitt Romney characterizes this development as “the dirty tricks of a desperate campaign.” However, Romney himself cross-voted in the Massachusetts primary for Paul Tsongas (D-MA) in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.

In 2007, he told ABC News’ Jonathan Greenberger:

When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.

But in 1994, he had a different story for the Boston Globe:

Romney confirmed he voted for former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state’s 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton,” the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh and Frank Phillips wrote on Feb. 3, 1994.

These crossover votes may play a critical role in Michigan’s 13th and 14th Congressional districts which are located in Detroit and have a preponderance of Democratic voters.

Florida Jews Say “Feh” To Republican Primary Candidates

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times’ 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012….

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight’s Republican primary identified as Jewish. That’s down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney’s handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state’s primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or ‘other Christian.’ 4% said ‘something else.’

The Jewish Journal’s Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that
‘If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.’

The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish – that’s not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

… I don’t know how Tuesday’s results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren’t moved by the candidates, they aren’t moved by the party, and they aren’t moved by Obama’s policies – not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.
The Forward’s Nathan Guttman also explained:

Exit polls could not provide data regarding the split in Jewish votes between Romney and Gingrich but it is largely believed that Romney had a stronger showing among Jewish Republicans. His supporters in Florida put together three events in recent weeks and all were well attended.

What exit polls do show, however, is that only 1% of Republican primary voters identified as being Jewish, down from 3% in 2008.

That means there was no shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.

And Guttman’s Forward colleague Josh Nathan-Kazis — who reported directly from Florida prior to the primary — surmised:

… [F]ewer Jewish voters in the primary could correlate to a lack of enthusiasm among Jews for the Republican field.

Florida Jews Say “Feh” To Republican Primary Candidates

— David Streeter

Editorial Note: Florida is one of the most Jewish states thanks in part to the many Jewish retirement communities there. 3.4% of Floridians are Jewish according to the 2011  survey. Historically, Jews are very politically engaged and turnout to vote at higher rates than gentiles. For example, in 2008, Jews represented 4% of the vote in the general election.

Nate Silver wrote in The New York Times’ 538 blog last night that there is little evidence supporting claims that Jewish voters in FL are switching their support to the Republican Party.

There has been some speculation that Democrats could struggle to hold the Jewish vote in 2012….

But there is no sign tonight of Jewish voters switching their registration over to the Republican side in Florida. According to early exit polls, just 1% of voters in tonight’s Republican primary identified as Jewish. That’s down from 3% in the Florida Republican primary in 2008, which also might mean that Jewish Republican voters in the state are not terribly enthusiastic about this group of candidates.

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein wrote:

For all the campaign attention paid this past week to Israeli politics and-towards the end-Mitt Romney’s handling of kosher meal budgeting in Massachusetts, few if any Jews appeared to vote in the Florida GOP primary.

According to Fox News exit poll, just 1% of the state’s primary voters identified as Jewish. 31% said they were Catholic and 59% said they were protestant or ‘other Christian.’ 4% said ‘something else.’

The Jewish Journal’s Shmuel Rosner wrote:

A week ago I wrote that the most interesting question about the Florida Jewish vote is that
‘If the percentage of Republican Jews is higher this year than in 2008; if more than 4% to 5% of the Republican Florida voters are Jewish.’

The answer to this question is now clear: a resounding no. According to exit polls only 1% of Republican voters were Jewish – that’s not more but rather less Jewish voters than the number of 2008.

… I don’t know how Tuesday’s results could be interpreted in ways favorable to Jewish Republicans. Clearly, the Jews of Florida aren’t moved by the candidates, they aren’t moved by the party, and they aren’t moved by Obama’s policies – not enough to switch party registration and vote for their candidate of choice.

More after the jump.
The Forward’s Nathan Guttman also explained:

Exit polls could not provide data regarding the split in Jewish votes between Romney and Gingrich but it is largely believed that Romney had a stronger showing among Jewish Republicans. His supporters in Florida put together three events in recent weeks and all were well attended.

What exit polls do show, however, is that only 1% of Republican primary voters identified as being Jewish, down from 3% in 2008.

That means there was no shift of Jewish voters to the Republican side.

And Guttman’s Forward colleague Josh Nathan-Kazis — who reported directly from Florida prior to the primary — surmised:

… [F]ewer Jewish voters in the primary could correlate to a lack of enthusiasm among Jews for the Republican field.