GOP Primary: Romney wins all 32 delegates in Idaho – pulls ahead in Ohio

As expected Mitt Romney won the Idaho caucus by such a large margin that he took all of the states 32 delegates.  Unlike earlier caucuses, Idaho’s are actual delegates, actually awarded.

As the Cleveland and Cincinnati area votes come in Romney begins to pull a head by quite a bit in Ohio.   In the case of Ohio, Romney will win both the popular vote and delegate count.  2 huge reason for this.  First and foremost, the Santorum campaign failed to register delegates in several counties in Ohio.  He forfeited about 19 delegates.  So even if he wins a county he gets no delegates if he didn’t register delegates in that county.  At this moment Romney’s vote total has moved past the auto recount margin, meaning if his lead holds up he will win Ohio straight up and take a lot of the 66 delegates Ohio offers.

2nd and crazier reason – Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman got over 9000 votes combined, even though they are no longer in the race.  5K happens to be the current margin between Santorum and Mitt.  If Santo loses by that much, expect him to whine about it tomorrow on the talk shows.  Right after he whines about getting outspent.

Some chicanery going on behind the scenes involving high level spokespersons in the Gingrich and Santorum campaigns.  According to Fox news two big wigs had a little hissy fit, demanding the other drop out of the race.

Say what you want about Karl Rove, the dude is smart, and right most of the time.  He predicted the Romney comeback in Ohio and has rightly assessed Romney’s biggest win being Georgia.  Why Georgia, because that big win for Newt keeps Newt in the race, which hurts Santorum.

Ohio not called yet and waiting on the Alaska numbers.  Delegates, delegates, delegates, its’ all about delegate count.  Don’t be fooled by the network coverage hype, they have to fill 6 hours of coverage.   Follow the math, that’s where the winner is.

GOP Primary: Santorum wins North Dakota – Ohio still too close

Rick Santorum wins the state of North Dakota.  The gap between Mitt and Rick in Ohio is now down to 1%.  Some insiders say the bigger counties have not come in yet and they should fall to Mitt.  If it remains at 1% gap the state rules of Ohio mandates a recount.

What does winning mean?

A lot of pundits are flapping their gums about Santorum’s big surge tonight.  So lets be clear on some things.  Before tonight the delegate count stood like so  Mitt: 173  Rick: 63  Newt:29  Ron: 20  So if you want to know who the real winner is tonight check those numbers again tomorrow.  The winner of tonight will be the guy with more delegates.

There are actually two elections on a primary night.  The popular vote (total votes cast in the state) and the delegate count (awarded to winner of each county with-in that state).  The popular vote is how the networks decide who to “call” that particular state for.  So in Santorum’s situation he won the popular vote in Tennessee so technically he won the state.   Likewise Romney is winning in Wyoming but he may well lose the delegate count because the counties he won had more people so he got more total votes where Santorum’s votes were spread throughout the lower populated counties.  The counties Santorum is winning have fewer people so the total vote is lower.  Romney won only a few counties but they were densely populated so his total vote count is higher.

All that to say, if your particular candidate is “losing” in a certain state where they award delegates proportionally, wait for the delegate count to be reported from that state, it may tell a different story.  Check the link, GOP Delegate Count, on the right hand side of Frank’s Place for up to the minute delegate results.

One number matters – 1144.  That’s how many delegates it takes to become the nominee for the republican party.  The guy who gets that number first wins, no matter how many states he may have won or lost.


Santorum Takes Tennessee – Newt still babbling

Rick Santorum took the popular vote in Tennessee and Oklahoma.  TN is proportional so Mitt can win more delegates and lose the total vote to Santorum.  Although Rick’s lead in TN is huge so not likely for Mitt.  Ohio is separated by 134 votes at last report.  That’s tight folks.  Western states will be closing polls soon.  Idaho appears to be a Romney walk.  The rest look like a battle between Rick and Ron Paul.  Alaska is in this group of 10 states so it’ll be a long night.

Meanwhile, Newt is still babbling about something.  This is the strangest “I got my ass handed to me except in my home state” speech I have ever heard.  He appears to have 3 themes.  1. The media is out to get me.  2. I won’t bow to saudi kings. Sure Newt just like Bush 43 didn’t, he held hands actually oh and kissed the dude on the lips.  Heads of state respect other countries protocols in those countries.  You would be the first President to not do that.  But you won’t because presidents of local rotary clubs don’t get to meet saudi kings.  3. Last theme – 2.50 a gallon for gas.  Ok.

In 3rd or 4th in every other state Newt still claiming he is the only candidate who can beat the President.  Ok

And mercifully some 30+ minutes after he started Newt says onto Tampa and take on the President.  Great Newt, but Tampa is the GOP convention.  If you make it there it’s because the convention is brokered and you will be taking on Mitt, Rick and Ron still.

Stay tuned.  Western states may come in before Ohio is done counting.