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My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

by: Publisher

Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 23:34:35 PM EDT

Editor's Note: This "Republican Haggadah" first appeared in the Huffington Post in 2012. However, except for the references to the 2012 Presidential election the humor is timeless. Enjoy!

— by Steve Sheffey

Jewish history is littered with sects, groups of people kind of like Jews who celebrate the same holidays and have many of the same customs, yet are somehow different.

Today's sect is known as "Jewish Republicans," few in number but very loud. Like most Jews, they celebrate Pesach, but they've got their own Haggadah. The differences between their Haggadah and ours are instructive.

After drinking the first cup of wine, most Jews wash their hands, but the Republicans stay seated and wait for the water to trickle down.

Most Jews then eat a green vegetable, but the Republican Haggadah follows the ruling of Rabbi Reagan that ketchup qualifies as a vegetable. Ketchup is not green, but green is the last thing any Republican would want to be. (Reagan does have this in common with Moses: Neither ever set foot in the land of Israel.)

More after the jump.

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Voting Today in Maryland, DC and Wisconsin

by: Publisher

Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:57:06 AM EDT

(Romney sweeps Wisconsin, DC and Maryland. The candidates now have three weeks to make their case in the next states: Connecticut, Delware, New York, Rhode Island and Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania.
- promoted by Publisher
)

The Romney campaign claims he has a lock on the nomination. However, he is saturating the airwaves in Wisconsin as if his political future depended on it. Wisconsin is voting today in a winner-take-all primary. It is an open primary so anyone can vote regardless of party affiliation.

According to Politico, "Romney's campaign and the super PAC Restore Our Future are spending a combined $1,917,764 over the next seven days, including $742,928 from the campaign and the balance from ROF. The pro-Romney super PAC is the only group on the radio in Wisconsin and has a major TV presence across the state."

Meanwhile, Santorum is responding in kind (albeit with a much smaller budget). According to ABC News, "Rick Santorum is closing out his Wisconsin primary battle with a ferocious new television ad that portrays Romney and President Obama as the same person."

According to projections from the Associated Press, Romney has 572 delegates (of 55% of the 1031 projected so far) which puts him exactly halfway to the total of 1144 to lock in the nomination. He would need 45.5% of the remaining delegates to avoid a brokered convention.

The Santorum campaign contests those numbers. Many of the states which have voted already have a multi-stage delegate selection process which has not yet been completed, and as we saw recently in North Dakota the results can diverge surprisingly from the initial straw vote. According to DemConWatch only 869 delegates have actually been chosen of which 503 have endorsed or are pledged to Romney. This includes the 50 delegates from Florida chosen in an early winner-take-all primary which is against the rules and likely to be challenged at the Republican National Convention.

However, in the battle for campaign merchandising, Santorum is beating Romney hands down. According to the Washington Post,

The campaign has looked for them, selling official Mitt Romney Super Fan T-shirts for $30 apiece. At last count, it had sold 346. Rick Santorum, by contrast, has sold 3,000 of his $100 souvenir sweater vests.

Primary results after the jump.
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Breaking News: Santorum Wins Big In Louisiana

by: Publisher

Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 00:21:23 AM EDT

Rick Santorum wins with 49.1% of the Louisiana vote winning every parish save one. Mitt Romney comes a distant second with 26.6% of the vote. Newt Gingrich scores a disappointing 15.9% of the vote, and fails to collect any delegates. Newt vows to continue his campaign despite running out of Southern states that look as favorable as Louisiana perhaps ought to have been for him. Finally, Ron Paul brings up the rear with 6.1%.
 
Color Key  
Romney: Orange.
Santorum: Green.
Gingrich: Purple.
Paul: Gold.
Rick Perry: Blue.
No Votes: Black.
No vote yet: Grey.
States Won
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH GU MP AS HI PR IL
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND KS AL MS LA
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI

Next Contests  
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
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Romney Campaign Compares Voters To "Etch A Sketch"

by: Publisher

Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 21:48:33 PM EDT


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.

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Why Rick Santorum Doesn't Give Up

by: DocJess

Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:47:19 AM EDT

Crossposted from Democratic Convention Watch

Matt has the song. We all see the writing on the wall. So why doesn't Santorum just hang it up? It's not because he can't do math: despite his "grandson of a coal miner" "man of the people" demeanor and antipathy for higher education, he's got a BA in Political Science, and MBA and a law degree. Not to mention a professional delegate guy. And it's not just that he knows that if Mittens gets 100% of the delegates from this point forward Romney still won't seal the deal until May 26th. Losing a few and that point moves to June 20th. It's that there is every reason for him to keep going.

Rick is an ideologue and a theocrat, and he's only 53. 53 is a problem if you're looking for work as a regular person, but relatively young in politics. And he's got 9 mouths to feed. His wife, despite having been a neo-natal nurse, and having attended law school, does not work. It should be noted that his youngest daughter has a fatal malformation called Trisomy 18, requiring a lot of medical attention, which he does not need private insurance for as he and his family are covered under the retired-Senator insurance policy courtesy of us, the taxpayers.

Rick keeps going because making it to August gives him more gravitas with his base after the election. It raises the amount he can charge for speeches. It gives him more material for his upcoming book. Mostly, though, he'd be the first "pure" conservative to make it to the end of the slog, all the way to the convention. He'll get national speaking time. He has a huge amount of grassroots support in the wacko right base, he's their first national candidate who can read. (Aside from Sarah Palin, who can't, or at least doesn't.) In the fight for the soul of what's left of the Republican party, Santorum emerges from this election cycle as head of the head of the far right wing. 

The fight for the GOP won't end with Obama's re-election in November. The base will say "we lost because Mitt wasn't a true conservative. With a true conservative, we would have won." And then Rick can keep running for 2016, spewing lies and rancor for 4 more years. He will be able to get up in front of audiences and say, truthfully (which is rare) that he gave it everything he and Foster Friess had. There is no down side to Rick continuing to run. He won't get the veep spot: if they want a Pennsylvanian Pat Toomey is the better choice. But even Pat is behind Rubio and McDonnell. But he's got to do something with the next decade before he can collect his multiple government pensions: and heading the wacko wing is a good choice for him.

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Breaking News: Big Win For Romney In Illinois

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 21:22:45 PM EDT

His first win in the continental United States since Super Tuesday.

More primary news and updated map and schedule after the jump.

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Santorum's Plan To Fight For Delegate All The Way To The Convention

by: Publisher

Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 18:36:18 PM EDT

Politico has posted a plans from the Santorum Campaign detailing their path forward.

It is very interesting reading especially in light of the difficulty we and the rest of the media have had in projecting the delegate count on the basis of the actual vote. (See DemConWatch for the best delegate analysis I have found.)

To: Mike Biundo
From: John Patrick Yob
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Subject: Santorum Path to Delegate Victory

Rick Santorum is very well positioned to earn the delegates necessary to win the national convention despite what the Romney campaign and their official/unofficial surrogates' fuzzy math may claim.

As a result of their inability to inspire the GOP based on message, the Romney campaign made the curious decision to lead their post-Super Tuesday campaign with the argument that the race is over, rather than touting his positive qualities as a candidate.

The effort to talk about the math was a defensive smokescreen intended to distract from the major problems the Romney campaign faces in county, district, and state conventions across the country when national convention delegates are actually elected.

The reality is simple: the Romney math doesn't add up and he will have a very difficult time ever getting to a majority of the delegates.

The situation is only going to get worse for them and better for Rick Santorum as time passes. Simply put, time is on our side.

Strength of Candidacy
Romney has been forced to outspend the field dramatically in order to barely win in states he should have won handily (Michigan and Ohio), and losing other states by wide margins (Tennessee and Oklahoma).

Rick Santorum continues to win contests and gain national convention delegates because he has emerged as the favorite of the conservative grassroots base of the Republican Party. As a result he has wins in most caucuses. He also has won the majority of counties even in Romney states excluding moderate urban areas.

Support from Conservative Base
Romney has proven incapable of inspiring grassroots conservative support in caucuses as he has lost every caucus contest despite outspending the other candidates by many multiples.

Similarly, there are serious cracks in the Romney finance operation as the campaign finance reports show that he is incapable of inspiring grassroots donors across the country to donate to his campaign.  Instead his campaigns are funded by contributors who have already maxed out and are incapable of donating again in the primary. This explains why the SuperPAC is forced to pay for such a large proportion of their paid media.

The lack of grassroots support that plagued his caucus states operation, and plagued his small donor operation, will now plague his national delegate election operation.

Rick Santorum has excelled in caucuses and small dollar contributions and therefore will also excel at state conventions where activists are more conservative than the average primary voter.

Longer Proportional Process Favors More Conservative Candidates
I served in a similar role for John McCain 2008. At this point of the process there was a very real concern about the possibility of a more conservative candidate staying in the race and fighting us at state conventions across the country where more conservative activists determine the election of National Convention Delegates. Although John McCain was winning primaries in a fractured conservative field, he was not the favorite of grassroots conservative activists in the party. Similarly, in this race, a drawn out process favors conservative candidates such as Rick Santorum. This is a major problem for Mitt Romney, the moderate in this race.

Even more importantly, the proportional process that Romney supporters pushed through the Republican National Committee has turned out to be a major problem for the campaign. Suddenly the election of the actual delegates at county, state, and district caucuses is now more important than the primaries-regardless of what the media covers as determinative. It is difficult for any candidate to clinch the nomination in a proportional calendar without over-performing in the state conventions that elect the delegates. As a result, the state conventions will ultimately determine the outcome of this race.

Romney Frontloaded Friendly States
Romney supporters on the Republican National Committee manipulated the calendar to front-load several of the states that were favorable towards him. That was beneficial to his early lead in the delegate count, however it is problematic for him as the race continues and moves towards less friendly states. This is one of the reasons that they emphasized fuzzy math after Super Tuesday.

Race Moves towards Santorum's Strength
The race for the nomination will soon start to move towards primaries and caucuses that are more favorable terrain for Rick Santorum. More importantly, the race will eventually move from primaries and caucuses that are often beauty contests to real county and state convention contests where actual delegates to the national convention are elected.

Anyone who knows anything about state conventions knows that the most conservative candidate has a big advantage over a moderate candidate. In many cases, this advantage is overwhelming.

Romney's Delegate Problem
Romney has a delegate problem in that he will have a very hard time getting his moderate supporters elected as delegates in these convention systems. This was
evident in Iowa this weekend where the Romney operation collapsed, and Santorum and Paul gained.

The Real Calendar
The Real Calendar (TRC) officially kicked off this weekend in Iowa where activists gathered to begin the process of electing national convention delegates. It is clear to anyone who understands this process that a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney is going to have a difficult time winning as many delegates to the national convention in an Iowa County and State Convention system as the media calculated based on the Open Caucus system that took place in January. This system will play out in state after state, and although there will be hiccups in certain states, on average Rick Santorum will gain far more delegates than Mitt Romney through this delegate election process.

The Real Count
The count largely depends on how you calculate the delegates in states such as Iowa that have not yet elected their National Convention Delegates. For example, the RNC currently gives Santorum 0 delegates for Iowa, the media gives him 7. We believe he will end up with more than 7 delegates as the process plays out.  We also believe that Romney will receive less.

Most of the publicly available delegate counts are fundamentally flawed because none of them have taken into account that conservative grassroots activists at county and state conventions will elect more Santorum delegates than a primary or even caucus beauty contest in the same respective state would allocate.  Therefore, the Real Counts are far better than the projected counts and will continue to improve as the National Convention approaches and states elect their actual convention delegates. The Santorum campaign will keep a tally called the Real Count moving forward. It will be based on the results of both the Real Calendar and the Traditional Calendar.

Traditional Calendar
There is unlikely to be very much change in the delegate totals based on the results of Tuesday's contests.  Regardless of the results, we anticipate this finally becoming an election between the moderate establishment candidate and the conservative grassroots candidate as we move towards Missouri and beyond.

  • March 17 — Missouri: Rick Santorum will do very well in Missouri, win a number of delegates, and have momentum heading into Illinois.
  • March 20 — Illinois: Mitt Romney might have an edge in Illinois but we feel very good about our ability to once again win the more conservative areas of the state, earn a considerable number of delegates, and maintain momentum heading into Louisiana.
  • March 24 — Louisiana Primary:
    Louisiana is going to allocate approximately half of its delegates in the Primary on
    March 24 and half of them later in a caucus process. It is likely that Santorum picks up
    considerable delegates in both of these contests.
    We assume that Newt Gingrich will become less of a factor in terms of vote totals in races after the Louisiana Primary, if not before.
  • April 3 — Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC: These primaries are winner take all. They could be the first contests that are a one-on-one between a conservative and a moderate. The emphasis that day is likely to be on Wisconsin. Most recent polling has shown Santorum to be doing quite well in the state and it is expected to be a very close contest. Not being on the ballot was not a problem or us in DC because DC Republicans would almost surely vote for the most moderate candidate anyway.
  • April 24 — New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware: Rick Santorum will win a very large number of delegates on April 24 including his home state of Pennsylvania. Some analysts in the media have argued that Romney will do well in the Northeast because he is the moderate in the race — however that is not necessarily consistent with recent history in contested primaries in these five states. April 24 could be a good day for Rick Santorum.
  • May 8 — North Carolina, Indiana, and West Virginia: We believe that May 8 is the beginning of the end for Mitt Romney and the date that puts Rick Santorum on a path to the nomination. Rick Santorum will have the momentum coming out of these contests. Our research shows us that even the uncommitted delegates in West Virginia favor Santorum.
  • May 15 — Nebraska and Oregon: Rick Santorum will do well on May 15 in Nebraska and hold his own in Oregon.
  • May 22 — Kentucky and Arkansas: Rick Santorum will likely win a majority of the delegates on May 22 and gain significant momentum leading into Texas.
  • May 29 — Texas: Rick Santorum will win the Texas Primary and dramatically close the public delegate gap with Mitt Romney on May 29th.
  • June 5 — California, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico:
    The candidate who wins the most delegates on June 5 will lead the public delegate count going into the national convention. Rick Santorum will also lead the Real Count by this point.
  • June 26 — Utah: We will go out on a limb and predict that Romney will win Utah.

Conservative Majority of Delegates: Public vs. Actual Delegate Counts
There is a "Conservative Majority" of delegates emerging as county and state conventions elect their actual National Convention delegates.  This "Conservative Majority" will support Rick Santorum over a moderate-establishment Romney.

There are three reasons why the counts that are put out by the RNC and media organizations are not reflective of the real numbers:

  1. Unbound and Uncommitted Delegates elected by grassroots activists are more likely to favor Santorum than those elected by direct primary election. This represents a movement of delegates into Santorum's tally.
  2. Bound delegates elected by grassroots activists will favor Santorum as rules allow.
    Gingrich delegates are more likely to favor Santorum.
  3. Rule Breaking states such as Florida and Arizona.

Unbound Delegates
As has been described previously, unbound delegates are much more likely to favor Rick Santorum than Mitt Romney because they are largely elected by more conservative caucus and convention systems. Therefore, this race is much, much closer than what the current media and RNC counts portray.

Bound Delegates
Bound delegates are largely elected at state conventions across the country and therefore are more conservative than an average primary voter. If the convention goes multiple ballots, it is likely that a conservative candidate like Rick Santorum will gain votes on the second and third  ballots whereas a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney will lose votes.

Gingrich Delegates
We obviously do not know how Newt Gingrich will move forward with his campaign but we are confident that whether before the convention or on the convention floor that when the time comes Newt Gingrich delegates are far more likely to vote for Rick Santorum than they are for Mitt Romney.

Majority Needed for Romney, Not for Santorum
Mitt Romney must have a majority on the first ballot in order to win the nomination because he will perform worse on subsequent ballots as grassroots conservative delegates decide to back the more conservative candidate.  Subsequently, Santorum only needs to be relatively close on the initial ballot in order to win on a later ballot as Romney's support erodes.

Romney Difficulty in getting 50% of Remaining Delegates
Even Romney's own counters admit that he needs to earn almost 50% of the remaining delegates in order to win the nomination. We believe this number is higher than 50% for the reasons described in this memo. Regardless, this is going to be very difficult in a three or four person race, especially as he loses delegates at state conventions such as Iowa.

Florida and Arizona
Florida and Arizona broke RNC rules both when they moved forward and also when they chose to allocate delegates. Their delegations will be challenged if seated as winner-take-all.

Conclusion
Time is on Rick Santorum's side. He will gain delegates as this process plays out and conservatives are elected as National Convention Delegates. Despite the Romney campaign's smokescreen, they cannot change the fact that he can't inspire the base of the party, has a delegate problem, and has a very difficult time getting to a majority.

The delegate race is currently much closer than some would like people to believe. It will get even closer as actual national convention delegates are elected at county, district, and state conventions across the country. They represent the Conservative Majority of the Republican Party, and that is a huge problem for a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney.

Furthermore, Rick Santorum will gain the momentum in late May by winning Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas and head into California and New Jersey with significant momentum.

At that point there will be a Conservative Majority of the delegates to the National Convention and Rick Santorum will become the presumed Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Please also read:

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What Do Romney And The New York Times Have In Common?

by: Publisher

Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:56:03 AM EDT


They both take liberties with their "quotes."

President Obama's AIPAC speech last week was well received on both sides of aisle, but perhaps the New York Times found it message standing up to the Iranian nuclear program a little too clear, and sought to muddy the waters. Helen Cooper wrote

CAMERA: Mr. Obama, who has often lamented the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003, made reference to European and American intelligence assessments that have found no evidence that Iran has decided to pursue a nuclear weapon.

A March 6 page-one story by Mark Landler in the International Herald Tribune made the same claim (in virtually the same words). And, yet, you can watch or read the speech until Ahmadinejad is a Zionist and still you will not find a single reference to European or American intelligence assessments that have found no evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear weapon.

Similarly, Gov. Mitt Romney has earned a reputation for playing fast and lose with his "quotes" when the actual source does not quite fit his narrative.

The Romney campaigns very first television  ad earned a Pants on Fire rating from Polifact. According to Think Progress, Romney
Romney Campaign TV Ad

Thinkprogress Parody Ad

dishonestly presents a 2008 McCain campaign quote as the words of President Obama. The ad features a voice-over of Obama saying "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." Then-candidate Obama indeed said those words, perhaps dozens of times during the closing month of the 2008 campaign. The only problem? Obama was actually quoting the words of a strategist from Sen. John McCain's campaign.

Another eyebrow-raising moment in the ad comes when it attacks "record foreclosures," despite the fact that Romney's stated housing policy is "don't try and stop the foreclosure process."

Politico reports that the Romney campaign is asserting that its ad was intentionally deceptive and dishonest. "We used that quote intentionally," Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstorm said.

ThinkProgress has produced a parody ad, using Romney's own standards for accuracy.


Here is the actual October 2008 Obama quote in context. The portion used by Romney is in bold:
Even as we face the most serious economic crisis of our time, even as you are worried about keeping your jobs or paying your bills or staying in your homes, my opponent's campaign announced earlier this month that they want to 'turn the page' on the discussion about our economy so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. Sen. McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.'"

Well, New Hampshire, last night we had a debate. I think you saw a bit of the McCain attack strategy in action. But here's what Senator McCain doesn't seem to understand. With the economy in turmoil and the American Dream at risk, the American people don't want to hear politicians attack each other - you want to hear about how we're going to attack the challenges facing middle class families each and every day. You want to hear about the issues that matter in your lives. You want to hear about how we're going to bring about the change that we desperately need for our country. That's what the American people want to hear.


Even when Romney is being endorsed by newspapers, he is very selective in editing the endorsement to remove any sign of hesitation by the newspaper emailing that endorsement to the voters. According to Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker, the Romney campaign "has no better friend than the ellipsis".

Examples of some of the fine redaction by the eager staff at the Romney Campaign follow the jump.

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Santorum Crushes Romney in Kansas Takes 33 of 40 Delegates

by: Publisher

Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 18:48:57 PM EST

(Correction: We incorrectly put the US Virgin Islands in Mitt Romney's column. While he did get the majority of the delegates, he only received 101 votes (25%) while Ron Paul received 112 votes (29%) and 130 caucus goers (34%) selected "uncommitted" delegates. - promoted by Publisher)

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
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For Sleeper Candidate The End May Be Near After All

by: Publisher

Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 17:52:00 PM EST


According to the odds makers at inTrade, Speaker Newt Gingrich is more likely than not to be the next Republican candidate to drop out.

It seems not too long ago that Gingrich was viewed (at least by himself) as the inevitable nominee:

Jake Tapper interview of Newt Gingrich, Dec. 1, 2011
Tapper: You are going to be the nominee?
Gingrich: I'm going to be the nominee. It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.
What caused this change of fortunes? Why does it look now like Newt Gingrich may suspend his campaign.
  • Georgia: Before Super Tuesday, Newt Gingrich said winning his home state of Georgia would be critical to continuing his campaign as a serious candidate. On Tuesday, he bettered his opponents, but failed to secure a majority. According to Eric Ostermeier, Gingrich's anemic result (47% of the vote) "ties John McCain for the second lowest home state tally for a major GOP presidential candidate since 1972, besting only Pat Robertson." As our readers will recall, neither McCain nor Robertson went on to be elected President.
  • Kansas: Unlike Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Gingrich cannot call Kansas his home. Kansas will be voting this Saturday (along with 3 US Territories) and Gingrich had hoped to contest this state and planned an extensive campaign schedule accordingly. However, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported yesterday that Gingrich has cancelled all of his appearances in that state. He no longer had a realistic chance of prevailing in Kansas and decided to bet all the marbles on Alabama and Mississippi who vote this coming Tuesday March 12. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Gingrich's abrupt switch of travel plans reflected the grim political map that he faces in the weeks ahead."
  • video platform video management video solutions video player
    Alabama and Mississippi: The Gingrich campaign told the Wall Street Journal that they must win Alabama and Mississippi in order to remain viable. However, it is not clear that Gingrich can win Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday even if he concentrates all of his efforts on these two states. Rick Santorum's Super PAC is hotly contesting these two states. According to Alabama State University's new poll, Rick Santorum has a substantial lead with 23% of the vote, Mitt Romney is second with 19%, and Newt Gingrich is a distant third with 14%. According to the odds makers at inTrade, Gingrich has only a 15% chance of winning Alabama and a 23% chance of winning Mississippi.
  • AIPAC and Super Tuesday: The Alabama State University poll was taken before Super Tuesday, so it might be understating Santorum's margin of victory. Gingrich's results on Super Tuesday were less than inspiring, and his appearance that day at the AIPAC meeting was best described as confused. He fell asleep while waiting for his satellite feed to be connected, and seemed unaware that he was expected to have prepared remarks (just like the earlier remarks by Santorum and Romney).
  • Key: Gingrich purple, Santorum green, Romney orange, Paul yellow, Perry blueThe South: Even if Gingrich's bet pays off and somehow he wins in Alabama or Mississippi by concentrating on those states, he has really defined himself as a regional candidate and there aren't that many states left to vote in that area, so the road forward is unclear.
  • Delegate Count: Key to the nomination are the delegates to the Republican National Convention. Newt Gingrich trails far behind Mitt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. He will probably get a few more delegates in the South but not enough to get a majority of the delegates. His only hope at the convention would be if no one candidate had a majority of the delegates, allowing Gingrich to play the role of a king-maker or a spoiler. However, by continuing in the race, Gingrich splits the anti-Romney vote in winner-take-all states like New Jersey. This increases the chances that Romney will be able to reach the critical threshold of 1,144 delegates making Gingrich's delegates meaningless. Nate Silver's mathematical analysis indicates that Santorum could gain 11 times more than Romney without Gingrich in the race.

I expect that Gingrich will stay in the race until Tuesday's primaries in Alabama and Mississippi (or perhaps the March 24 primary in Louisiana) and end his campaign on the high note. Officially, his campaign would be "suspended" so his delegates to date would still be bound to him and give him an important role in case of a brokered Republican National Convention.
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Super Tuesday Results

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 20:05:28 PM EST

( - promoted by Publisher)

  • 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
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The Final Day At AIPAC

by: Publisher

Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59:15 PM EST


Today is the final day of the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. Defense Sec. Leon Panetta and three of the four top GOP candidates addressed the conference's 13,000 supporters. Presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (right) appeared in person while Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) appeared via satellite.

Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American's Ambassador to the United Nations made remarks to the group and addressed the current state of the Israel and Iran.

On Sunday, Israeli President Shimon Peres and US President Barack Obama addressed the conference hall. Obama said his policy toward Iran is not one of containment but of preventing the nation from developing a nuclear weapon.  He also defended his policies toward Israel and stated the U.S. commitment to preserve Israel's security.

In a side conversation, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met Monday morning to discuss the status of the U.S.-Israel alliance.  The president reiterated that the U.S. did not want the possibility of nuclear weapons "falling into terrorist's hands" and said there is a still a window that allows some negotiation. Pres. Obama also said he continues to reserve all options in dealing with Iran.

Other speakers included:

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AIPAC Conference Day 2: Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Lieberman

by: Publisher

Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:24:25 AM EST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senator Joe Lieberman deliver remarks to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee at the second day of its annual conference at the Washington Convention Center.

Live video is available via CSPAN:

Tomorrow's speakers include Presidential Candidates Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice will provide links and embedded video as they become available.

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Michigan Flip-flops On Romney's Behalf

by: Publisher

Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:02:08 AM EST

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Republican Party will award both at-large delegates to Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) "despite the party's rules that the two at-large delegates are supposed to be awarded on a proportional basis based on the statewide popular vote. The rest of the state's delegates will be split evenly between Romney and Santorum because each won seven congressional districts across the state. As a result, Romney gets 16 delegates and Santorum 14."

For those keeping score, this makes Michigan the 3rd state unclear on how to run an election. First, "Mitt Romney was declared the winner in Iowa until several days later miscounted votes were found which put Rick Santorum ahead. Romney was named the victor in Maine without all caucus votes counted because they were lost in someone's email. Now, the Michigan delegate count was changed two days after the primary either due to sloppiness, ambiguity in the rules or a backroom power play." (Taegan Goddard)

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Romney wins Wyoming caucus. Washington votes this Shabbos.

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 21:03:02 PM EST

  • 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
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Crossvoter Mitt Romney Objects To Cross Voting

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 20:12:28 PM EST

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.
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Obama Dings Romney For His Opposition To Auto Bailout

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 17:45:55 PM EST


Remarks by President Obama to UAW Conference, Washington, DC, February 28, 2012

President Barack Obama: It is always an honor to spend time with folks who represent the working men and women of America.  (Applause.)  It's unions like yours that fought for jobs and opportunity for generations of American workers.  It's unions like yours that helped build the arsenal of democracy that defeated fascism and won World War II.  It's unions like yours that forged the American middle class -- that great engine of prosperity, the greatest that the world has ever known.

Transcript continues after the jump.

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GOP Candidates Maintain Their Distance from Most Jews in AZ Debate

by: Publisher

Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:31:33 AM EST

— Max Samis

In the first Republican presidential debate in nearly a month, one thing became clear: little has changed when it comes to the distance separating the GOP candidates from most Jews. The four candidates on stage in Arizona last night took their turns reminding most American Jews why they support the Democratic Party, in addition to wrongfully attacking President Barack Obama's work to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) wrongly attacked Obama's leadership of the international movement to sanction Iran. As NJDC has noted, the Obama Administration recently implemented more sanctions that have essentially cut off Iran's central bank from the global economy — and they've already made an impact. In addition, the Iranian steel trade has grinded to a halt, and the Iranian oil flow has taken a massive hit. While Romney and others assert otherwise, the fact remains that the President and his Administration are keeping all options on the table when it comes to stopping Iran. As The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg wrote before the debate:

The Obama Administration, through its stalwart opposition to the Iranian nuclear program, has narrowed Iran's maneuverability, and forced the regime to make some obvious errors ... It is precisely because the Obama Administration has constructed a sanctions program without precedent, and because the Obama Administration has funded and supported multinational cyber-sabotage efforts against the Iranian nuclear program, that Iran is panicking and lashing-out.

To get the facts on Obama's work to stop Iran's nuclear program, click here.

The New York Times, Politifact, and National Journal fact checked Romney on Iran. Click the hyperlinked publication to view their findings that debunk Romney's falsehoods.  

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"Friendship Blossoms" Between Romney and Anti-Israel Paul

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM EST

— by Max Samis

As we've noted previously, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul have grown quite close on the campaign trail. Many believe that Romney will need Paul's support to win the Republican nomination, and Romney has told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he would vote for the anti-Israel Paul if he were the nominee. Several weeks ago, The Washington Post reported on the "strategic partnership" that the two candidates have formed.

According to NBC News:

In addition to the Paul campaign's latest TV ad, here's more evidence in the emerging Mitt Romney/Ron Paul bro-mance: The Paul camp is now passing around oppo[sition research] on Rick Santorum.

With Santorum potentially on the brink of upsetting Romney in Michigan next week, the Paul campaign is targeting the former Pennsylvania senator for what it says is hypocrisy -- after Santorum criticized Romney on the 2002 Winter Olympics.


Now, The New York Times reported that there is a "friendship [blossoming]" between the two candidates. The New York Times wrote:
In a Republican presidential contest known for its angry rivalries, the Romney-Paul relationship stands out for its behind-the-scenes civility. It is a friendship that, by Mr. Paul's telling, Mr. Romney has worked to cultivate. The question is whether it is also one that could pay dividends for Mr. Romney as he faces yet more setbacks in his struggle to capture the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination.

Ideological similarities among supporters of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich suggest that if Mr. Gingrich dropped out, many of his backers would coalesce behind Mr. Santorum. But as Mr. Paul steadily collects delegates, one thing that remains to be seen is whether his affinity - at least on a personal level - for Mr. Romney could help the former Massachusetts governor as the fight drags on...

"I talk to Romney more than the rest on a friendly basis," Mr. Paul said. "I throw Romney's name out because he's made a bigger attempt to do it. The others are sort of just real flat."

In an interview on CBS this past weekend, Mr. Paul volunteered that since his rivals were largely identical in policy substance, "when it comes down to those three, it's probably going to be management style more than anything else." According to one person close to the Paul campaign, it would be accurate to infer from that phrasing — "management style" — that Mr. Paul has a willingness to listen to overtures from Mr. Romney, who has been trying to sell himself to voters as a proven manager.

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CNN Cancels Super Tuesday Debate

by: Publisher

Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 17:17:10 PM EST

CNN's press release:
Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate. However, next week, CNN and the Arizona Republican Party will host all four leading contenders for the GOP nomination. That debate will be held in Mesa, Arizona on February 22 and will be moderated by CNN's John King.

Meanwhile redistricting lawsuits will require the Texas caucus/primary to be rescheduled.

Primary results and the updated debate and primary schedule follow below the jump.

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Jon Stewart: The GOP War On Contraception

by: Publisher

Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM EST

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Nazi References in Choice Debate Unacceptable

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 20:11:14 PM EST

(NJDC) Anti-choice activists and pundits have a long and clear record of invoking the Holocaust to protest a woman's right to choose. Lately, many of those same forces have been attacking the mandate for health insurance companies to provide no-cost contraception to women contained in the Affordable Care Act. As their rhetoric continues to get nastier, at least one member of the anti-choice side has opted to invoke the Holocaust to protest women's access to contraception.

According to NARL Pro-Choice America's Blog For Choice, conservative pundit Eric Metaxas invoked Nazi Germany during a debate on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." Apparently:

Metaxas called contraception and women's health "side issues"-and then likened the no-cost birth-control rule to the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s:
In [my] book, you read about what happened to an amazingly great country, called Germany. I'm half German. Uh, in the early '30s, little things were happening where the state was bullying the churches. No one spoke up. In the beginning, it always starts really, really small. We need to understand as America, as Americans, if we do not see this as a bright line in the sand, if you're not a Catholic, if you use contraception, doesn't matter. Because eventually, this kind of government overreach will affect you. If we don't speak up, we're gonna be in trouble.
As we have said repeatedly, invoking the Holocaust to make a political point is never acceptable. Doing so devalues the significance of the Holocaust and disrespects the memories of those who perished. We demand that those seeking to restrict a woman's right to choose — including Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum — cease using such insensitive language immediately.
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Rick Santorum Crushes Romney In Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 04:37:11 AM EST


Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) turned the Republican primary upside-down yesterday winning all three contests yesterday over the "frontrunner" Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

According to FiveThirtyEight blog's Nate Silver:

In Minnesota, a state which Mr. Romney carried easily in 2008, he has so far failed to win a single county - and got just 17 percent of the vote. That put him 27 points behind Rick Santorum, and 10 points behind Ron Paul, who finished in second.

Missouri is a less important result since its beauty contest primary did not count for delegate selection and since turnout was understandably low there. But Mr. Romney lost all 114 counties in Missouri - and the state as a whole by 30 points, far more than polls projected.

Then there was Colorado, a state that has reasonably similar demographics to Nevada, which Mr. Romney carried easily on Saturday. Colorado has somewhat fewer Mormon voters than Nevada, which hurts Mr. Romney - but it has somewhat more wealthy ones, which favors him. The betting market Intrade gave Mr. Romney about a 97 percent chance of winning Colorado entering the evening. But he lost the state by 5 points to Mr. Santorum.


Mitt Romney will have some time to contemplate this turn of events. The next contests are the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, February 28 followed by the Washington State and Maine caucuses on Saturday, March 3, and Super Tuesday, March 6 with voting in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

The next debates currently scheduled will be held by CNN on February 22 at 8pm in Mesa, Arizona and a super Tuesday debate March 1 at 8pm in Atlanta, Georgia.  

States Won

  • Santorum: IA, CO, MN, MO
  • Romney: NH, FL, NV
  • Gingrich: SC
  • Paul: none
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Florida Jews Say "Feh" To Republican Primary Candidates

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 18:00:00 PM EST

— 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.

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Florida Jews Say "Feh" To Republican Primary Candidates

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 13:17:41 PM EST

— 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.

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Mah Nishtana: Observant Jews Can Now Vote In Nevada

by: Publisher

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 00:00:00 AM EST

Why is the caucus at the Adelson Educational Campus different from all of the other caucus?

In all of Nevada's other caucuses, results must be reported by 1pm, but in this caucus, voting will be held in the evening.


This caucus's special hours will allow Sabbath-observant Jews to help select the Repubican Presidential Candidate.
Among the county's voters is casino and resort mogul Sheldon Adelson, who with his wife recently donated $10 million to a super PAC formed to help GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.

The caucus will be held at the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus, an Adelson-funded private [Jewish day] school in Las Vegas, according to Politico.

More than half the state's Republican voters live in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.

Some 500 Republican voters are expected to attend the additional caucus. An absentee balloting system is in place for Nevada caucuses, according to Politico.

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Deja Vu: Massachusetts Governors Mitt Romney & John Kerry

by: Publisher

Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:25:46 AM EST


Gingrich's ad "The French Connection" points out linguistic and policy similarities between Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). Now that Romney has given us a glimpse of his taxes we see yet another similarity, "both ended up paying Buffett-rule-esque rates... despite incomes that put both of them squarely in the top percent of earners." This financial advantage is easily seen on the airwaves in Florida where Romney is outspending Gingrich by 5 to 1.

According to AP, if you "add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you're in Romney territory."

Romney is currently trailing in the polls. However, speculation is flying that Rick Santorum might suspend his campaign to attend to his daughter Bella's pneumonia, or drop out entirely if as expected he performs poorly in Florida tomorrow. Having been endorsed by former candidate Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich said, "I think that the election will be substantially closer than the two polls that came out this morning. When you add the two conservatives together we clearly beat Romney. I think Romney's got a very real challenge trying to get a majority at the convention."

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The Deja Vu Primary

by: Publisher

Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 07:23:55 AM EST

Slate's David Weigel draws some interesting parallels between this Republican primary and the last one:
"I'm thinking of a Republican primary. It starts with a candidate (John McCain/Mitt Romney) who ran once before, came in second place, and won over the party's elite class without winning over its base. Other candidates, understandably unwilling to accept this, line up: An under-funded social conservative (Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum), an elder statesman who's walked to the altar three times (Rudy Giuliani/Newt Gingrich), a libertarian who wants to bring back the gold standard (Ron Paul/Ron Paul). The conservative base is displeased. In the year before the primary, it pines for a perfect candidate. At the end of summer, on (September 5/August 13), it gets him: (Fred Thompson/Rick Perry). The dream candidate immediately rises to the top of national polls, but collapses after lazy, distaff debate performances... The Republican base looks at the wreckage and shudders. It can never allow this to happen ever again."

However despite the parallels Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is now singing a different tune about Mitt Romney's leadership at Bain Capital:
"These attacks on, quote, Bain Capital is really kind of anathema to everything that we believe in."
— McCain on CBS News, January 12, 2012, about attacks on Mitt Romney's track record in business.

"As head of his investment company he presided over the acquisition of companies that laid off thousands of workers."
— McCain in the New York Times, January 28, 2008, taking a different view.
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Mitt Romney Feels The Heat in New Hampshire Debate Marathon

by: Publisher

Sun Jan 08, 2012 at 09:33:48 AM EST


If you missed last night's ABC debate, here is a round up courtesy of TPM."


And here is today's NBC debate in 100 seconds.


Last night the Republicans faced off for a 2-hour debate on ABC, and this morning is round 2 as they debate on NBC. Mitt Romney, the putative winner in Iowa and the projected winner of New Hampshire, is feeling the heat as he is being attacked from all side as the Suffolk University tracking poll shows  his support dropping for the fourth day in a row.
"Taking two positions on every issue, one on the left and one of the right, doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you a charlatan."
— David Axelrod, in a conference call with reporters.

According to the Huffington Post, Romney's first event in New Hampshire after the Iowa Caucus "offered a rude awakening":

Three of the first four questioners were openly hostile to Romney, although one of them was an Occupy Manchester activist. And even the endorsement and appearance of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) failed to arouse much of a reaction from the Granite Staters in attendance... the tone of the event was a sharp break from the joyful mood that had accompanied the former Massachusetts governor onto a charter plane from Iowa earlier that morning, along with a swarm of press befitting a presidential frontrunner.

Romney's Fast Shuffle on Tax Figures

FactCheck: In the post-debate analysis, the Annenberg Public Policy Center found Romney mangled facts in Manchester.

Romney, talking about taxes, said federal, state and local government consume 37% of the economy today compared with only 27% when John F. Kennedy was president. In fact, taxes now consume only 27.4% of GDP.

The Urban-Brooking Tax Policy Center has analyzed Mitt Romney's tax plan. They "found that the plan constitutes a major tax cut for wealthy Americans. But compared to today's rates, Romney proposes effective tax increases for people making less than $40,000."

Meanwhile as April 15 approaches, Romney continues to refuse to make his tax returns public as is traditional for Presidential Candidates. Brian Beutler exposes Romney's motivation for doing so:

One tax expert told TPM of "fairly sophisticated tax strategies" that would be "not available to ordinary tax payers." A technique that puts you in a position that's "like having an unlimited 401k account" sounds very attractive. But maybe not if you're running for office, for Pete's sake.

When Romney jokes that he's been unemployed for years, he's obscuring the fact that he's still collecting millions of dollars of investment income, which is taxed at a much lower rate than it would be if he, like most taxpayers, took home a regular paycheck. He's also obscuring the fact a great deal of that same income is only vaguely connected to his own underlying investments, and yet benefits from a key loophole in the tax code that allows him and other wealthy finance veterans to more than halve their effective tax rate.



Romney's Dubious Jobs Claim, Again

"Mitt Romney, I think, is more of a job cremator than a job creator."
— DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

FactCheck continued its analysis of Romney's job creation claims:

Romney repeated the claim that he created over 100,000 jobs through his work at the private equity firm Bain Capital. That's an unproven and questionable claim, as we wrote earlier this week.

Romney said that 100,000 jobs was a "net-net" figure that included jobs gained and lost at more than 100 businesses in which Bain invested. When moderator George Stephanopoulos questioned that, saying analysts had said Romney hadn't subtracted jobs lost, Romney responded, "no, it's not accurate." He said he was "a good enough numbers guy to make sure I got both sides of that." But this week, the Romney campaign sent us as support for the claim a thin list of jobs gained at just three companies: Staples, The Sports Authority and Domino's. No other companies were included in the list, and no jobs lost were mentioned, either. We have asked the campaign again for the detailed count that Romney said exists.


A former employee of Mitt Romney

Trailer for documentary by pro-Gingrich PAC

Romney: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

As for the three companies the campaign has cited, it's true that they have added more than 100,000 jobs since Bain invested in them. But does Romney deserve credit for all of those jobs? He admitted at the debate tonight that the total includes jobs up until the present day, long after Bain's initial involvement, and that other firms had invested in them as well. As we reported earlier, The Sports Authority was started with help from Bain, William Blair Venture Partners, Phillips-Smith and Marquette Venture Partners. William Blair and Bessemer Venture Partners invested in Staples. And both companies, of course, had founders and CEOs spearheading their launches.

Romney Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom: Romney's claimed 100,000 job figure was undercut by his own campaign as his spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler that these were gross job creations, and not net numbers which would have to include the people Romney laid off:

Fehrnstrom says the 100,000 figure stems from the growth in jobs from three companies that Romney helped to start or grow while at Bain Capital:
  • Staples (a gain of 89,000 jobs),
  • The Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), and
  • Domino's (7,900 jobs).

This tally obviously does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain. (Indeed, Romney made his comments in response to a former employee of American Pad & Paper Co. who says he lost his job after Bain Capital took it private.)


Contradictions about ads produced by pro-Romney PAC after the jump.
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Who Actually Won The Iowa Caucus

by: Publisher

Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 13:15:59 PM EST

(We received a number of comments doubting this story published shortly after the Iowa Caucus, but the Iowa Republican Party has revised its vote total and now shows Sen. Rick Santorum ahead of Gov. Mitt Romney by 34 votes. - promoted by Publisher)

Iowa Republican Caucuses 2012
Romney30,01524.55%
Santorum30,00724.54%
Paul26,21921.45%
Gingrich16,25113.29%
Perry12,60410.31%
Romney30,01524.55%
Bachmann6,0734.97%
Other1,0860.89%
Total122,255100%

Governor Mitt Romney?

Late Tuesday night I went to bed not knowing who won the 2012 Iowa Caucus. The race between Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was just too close to call.

In the end, results from the final precinct were tracked down putting Romney over the top by eight votes.

About 200 miles from Des Moines, the Republican chair of Clinton County was fast asleep as state officials waited for the final votes in the caucuses. As it turns out, the final votes were needed from the second ward, second precinct, the 2-2 in Clinton County.

With Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in a dead heat, the votes were crucial from that precinct. So before midnight, the Romney campaign picked up the phone and called Edith Pfeffer to get those numbers. Republican leaders in Des Moines did not have those results, apparently because of some computer trouble.

This has a narrow result. Romney actually had more votes four years ago (30,021 votes or 25.19% of the caucus) when he was defeated by Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) in the 2008 Republican Iowa Caucuses.


Senantor Rick Santorum?

There was a 53-person caucus in Moulton, Iowa, which may have a 20 vote discrepancy. The state won't certify for another week and a half, and they will look into it. Here's the info:

Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn't.

"When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I've got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa," True said. "Not Mitt Romney."True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party's website, True's precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.


The state's response is that Edward True is not an official, and he had no right to go public with this information. However, with the race so tight, this would actually give Santorum a twelve vote lead, and bragging rights going into next Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

Congressman Ron Paul?

Business Insider notes that although Ron Paul finished third in the Iowa caucuses, he may end up being the winner anyway.

That's because Paul's massive organizational push in Iowa focused on both winning votes, and also on making sure that Paul supporters stuck around after the vote to make sure they were selected as county delegates -- the first step towards being elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

The Presidential Preferencee Straw Poll reported on the television is the first event at the caucus. However that is just for show. What matters are the delegates to the Republican National Convention (in August), and those are chosen by the delegates to the five District Conventions (in May) selected at the 99 County Conventions (in March). Each Caucus selects participants to advance and represent the caucus and their candidate at the county level.

Matt from DemConWatch says:

[The] caucuses I saw on TV ... were totally deserted by the time the votes were read, meaning that anyone who stayed could have an outsized effect. And the Paul folks did this in 2008 also, so much that the GOP had to cancel the Nevada statewide convention and just award the delegates to McCain.

Ron Paul's campaign had a better ground game than Romney and Santorum, and they actually read the rule book, they'll probably end up winning the lion's share of Iowa's delegates despite coming in third in the beauty contest.


President Barack Obama?

There was a Democratic Caucus in Iowa, too!

Their caucus was much less contentious than the Republicans.

According to Sue Dvorsky, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party:

Tonight's caucus successfully brought our supporters together, and we're overwhelmed that more than 25,000 Iowans turned out to talk about the President's record and vision for an economy that restores security for the middle class. We not only saw how excited Iowans are to support President Obama, but to also work for his reelection. The Iowa caucus was a great opportunity to test our campaign organization and expand our volunteer base as we move toward November. In a strong show of support, more than 7,500 Iowans tonight pledged to volunteer for the campaign over the course of the next year, underscoring their commitment to continuing the change the country has seen under President Obama's leadership.

Well over 98% of participants voted for Obama (as opposed to "uncommitted" or a number of possible protest candidates), so perhaps with Republicans fighting amongst themselves for the soul of their party, the President can consider himself the winner of the Iowa Caucuses last Tuesday.
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