My Republican Haggadah: An oldie but goodie

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.
Next we break the middle of the three matzot. Most Jews break the middle matzah into two roughly equal pieces, replacing the smaller piece on the Seder plate and hiding the larger piece as the afikoman. The Republican Haggadah asks the leader (or in Republican parlance, the Seder CEO) to keep 99 percent of the matzah for himself and let the other participants share the remaining 1 percent.

The Torah speaks of four sons, but the Republican Haggadah speaks of four candidates: The simple candidate (Santorum), the wicked candidate (Paul), the candidate who does not know how to answer (Romney), and the simple candidate who thinks he’s the wise candidate (Gingrich). They have no wise candidates.

The highlight of the Republican Haggadah is its version of “Dayenu” — “it would have been enough.” The Republican motto when it comes to President Obama is “nothing is enough” — no matter how much President Obama does for Israel, it’s never enough for some of our Republican friends:

President Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Assad.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has done more than any other president to stop Iran’s illicit nuclear program.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama restored Israel’s qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the Bush administration.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama increased security assistance to Israel to record levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama boycotted Durban II and Durban III.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has taken U.S.-Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama cast his only veto in the U.N. against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama opposed the Goldstone Report.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama organized a successful diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama immediately intervened to rescue Israelis trapped in the Egyptian embassy.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama gave orders to give Israel “whatever it needs” to put out the Carmel fire.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama maintained the U.S. policy of ambiguity on Israel’s nuclear weapons.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama has repeatedly condemned Palestinian incitement against Israel and attempts to delegitimize Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

President Obama pulled out of joint exercises with Turkey after Turkey excluded Israel.
But that’s not enough for our Republican friends.

There’s probably nothing President Obama can do to convince some Republicans that he’s pro-Israel. If President Obama split the Sea of Reeds and walked through it dry-shod, they’d accuse him of not being able to swim. They made their mind up before he was elected that he could not be trusted and they ignore everything that contradicts their biases.

The ultimate message of the real Haggadah is hope (sound familiar?). Let’s hope that just as the vast majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008, the vast majority of us will remember who we are and what we value and vote to re-elect President Obama in 2012.

Voting Today in Maryland, DC and Wisconsin

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.
 
Color Key  

Romney: Orange.
Santorum: Green.
Gingrich: Purple.
Paul: Gold.
Rick Perry: Blue.
No Votes: Black.
No vote yet: Grey.


Next Contests  
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


States Won

Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Mitt Romney: NH FL NV ME AZ MI WY WA VA VT MA ID AK OH HI IL DC MD WI
Rick Santorum: IA CO MN MO TN OK ND KS AL MS LA

Breaking News: Santorum Wins Big In Louisiana

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

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.

Why Rick Santorum Doesn’t Give Up

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.


Breaking News: Big Win For Romney In Illinois

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

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

This Saturday, Republicans voted again in Missouri’s caucus. The Republicans already had a primary there on February 7 and Santorum won every county across the state. Most Caucuses feature two events. A Presidential preference vote where people select the candidate of their choice, and a second vote in which each voters select one of their neighbors to represent them at the County level. The first vote is the vote which everyone talks about on TV, but it is the second vote that actually counts. Everything boils down to delegates. The networks guess the delegate counts will be similar to the Presidential preference vote, but that is unclear. It depends on whose supporters actually stay to the end of the meeting  for that final vote, and it depends on how the county convention goes one or two months later.

Missouri is unique in that the Presidential preference vote did not occur yesterday on caucus night but occurred rather last month. Romney belittled Santorum’s victory at that time saying that no delegates were at stake, but the contest yesterday was impossible for the major networks to clearly report on, so they basically ignored it.

Missouri allows each county to set its own rules. The resulting confusion led to turmoil at several sites. In St. Charles County, the caucus was cancelled and a Ron Paul supporter was arrested amid disputes over the rules. See video above.

The moral is that estimating delegate counts is premature before the dust settles and the county and district conventions play out.

Puerto Rico
Today, Romney scored an impressive victory in Puerto Rico hitting the 50% threshold necessary to lock up all  20 delegates at step. Santorum had announced that he favored statehood for Puerto Rico only if it made English its sole official language. However, 95% of Puerto-Ricans speak Spanish at home, so this was not a popular stand for Rick Santorum to take. See our Q&A for more information on the voting in the various US Territories.

Louisiana
This Saturday is the Louisiana primary. InTrade gives Santorum an 86.4% chances of winning there.

 Other Key Dates
  • 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  
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
Newt Gingrich: SC GA
Ron Paul: VI

Next Contests  
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

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

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:


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

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.

  1. “Mr. Romney may not be the debater that Mr. Gingrich is (although he’s getting better). And he doesn’t have the same social conservative credentials as Mr. Santorum.”
    Savannah Morning News, March 1, 2012
  2. “He is the son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, attending the prestigious Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills before receiving his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1971. He also is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, both in 1975. Following his graduations he worked for Bain & Co. before starting the highly successful Bain Capital, a venture capital and investment firm, in 1984.”
    Midland Daily News, Michigan, February 26, 2012
  3. “Perhaps that is why he sometimes appears so awkward in public, especially when talking about himself and, in particular, his personal wealth.”
    Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3, 2012
  4. “Yes, out-of-context declarations like ‘I enjoy firing people’ and ‘I don’t care about the poor’ contribute to the caricature of a rich swell, akin to that of Donald Trump. Really? Where are the trophy wives? The ostentatious lifestyle? The garish displays of life among the rich and famous? You will have to look hard.”
    Arizona Republic, February 24, 2012
  5. “We have our issues with Romney, to be sure. His opposition to the Dream Act for illegal-immigrant children raised in the U.S. is not one we support. And his effort to position himself as the ‘toughest’ GOP candidate on immigration issues is a concern.”
    Arizona Republic, February 24, 2012
  6. “In fact, this newspaper does not embrace many of his ideas on taxation, which give too great a reward to the wealthy and not enough help for the poor and middle class.”
    -Times Daily of Florence, Alabama, March 9, 2012
  7. “His stance against government interaction to revive the domestic automobile industry is disappointing. Also disappointing are inconsistencies in his message…”
    Grand Rapids Press, February 22, 2012
  8. “Consistency is certainly a problem for Romney. The one-time moderate has adjusted his positions on so many issues-including abortion and gay rights-that his core beliefs are a mystery. In this campaign, he has tried so hard to prove his conservative bona fides that he has undercut one of his greatest selling points: the pragmatism that enabled him to get things done as a Republican governor in one of the nation’s most Democratic and liberal states.”
    Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 3, 2012
  9. “That has been just one example of some of the shape-shifting Romney has done to appeal to conservative primary voters who believe he is too moderate. So, it’s not unfair to wonder who the real Romney is.”
    Birmingham News, March 7, 2012

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

For Sleeper Candidate The End May Be Near After All


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.”
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    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.