GOP Illinois Primary: CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!!!

Well not really.  Sorry Mike.  But Romney won, and is winning big.  Current numbers have him at 55% to Santorum’s 28%.  That is huge, but again the delegate count will tell the tale.  We won’t know the full delegate victory until late tonight or tomorrow sometime.  Romney started the night already 10 delegates ahead because Santorum couldn’t get enough delegates registered throughout the state.  That huge lead will not hold up as the rural counties have yet to report their vote.  I would expect Mitt’s lead will be in the single digits by nights end.  It’s also likely Santorum and Romney will split up the delegates with Mitt getting just slightly more.  That is bad for Santorum.  He needs to be running ahead in delegates and since his “Big” southern win he has been consistently losing ground.

To make matters worse, Newt came in fourth tonight, finishing at 7%.  That’s a full 2% behind Ron Paul, who is so short on money the only time he’s on the radio or TV is for election night concession speeches.  Because of that the cry is getting louder for Newt to get out.  The word on the street is that Newt could exit tonight or after Wisconsin on April 3rd.  If that happens, I think the vote Santorum is counting on from the Gingrich campaign will actually migrate to Romney as Mitt continues to build his lead.

Odd stat of the night:

Romney, a Mormon, is winning among Catholics in Illinois 48% to 32% over Santorum, a devout Catholic.

Candidate Campaign Health:

It’s FEC (Federal election Commission) day which means candidates must file their financial situation for the quarter.  This gives us an interesting look into the health of each campaign.  Below are their respective efforts.  (Romney and Santorum only)

Romney:  

12 mil raised

12.4 mil spent

0 debt

0 in loans

7 mil on hand

Santorum:

6.7 mil raised

5.2 mil spent

956,000 in debt

20,000 in loans – to Santorum himself in personal funds

1.5 mil on hand

So what does all that mean.  It gives a good look at how much each candidate can spend going on to the next primaries.  These particular numbers show something else.  Santorum is having trouble raising money and keeping the money he does raise.  This is not uncommon with a campaign that is a little unorganized, as has been reported.  The 20,000 loan Santorum gave his campaign has been repaid to him even though the campaign still owes 956,000 to others.  Me thinks there might be some fancy cypherin (read accounting) going on in that there campaign.

The “on hand” money is a little decieveing. It may be on hand but a lot of that is already ear marked to upcoming debt.  So neither candidate has that # as a balance as we speak tonight.  That’s what they had on hand as of the filing deadline today but you can already subtract the reported debt from the on-hand number.  Rest assured as each candidate travels tonight they are already incurring debt and eating substantially into the on-hand number.

So Mitt has no outstanding debt but he’s spending money even as he is giving his victory speech right now.  So his $7 mil on-hand is no longer $7 mil.  Even concession speeches cost money.  You only see the candidate on stage, but what you can’t see is food and drink laid out for VIP’s, Ron Paul is known for using a cash bar at his rallies: victory or concession,  building rental, car rental, the music being played, signs handed out to the crowd for the TV shot, etc….  All of this costs money and it comes from the campaign.

There is probably a reason Santorum is giving his concession speech from his hometown tonight and not the next campaign stop in Louisiana.  Most likely he’s getting the hall on the cuff (Jersey speak for free).  He has one banner and no one is eating or drinking.

Of course each campaign is also raising money at the same time.  Mitt will take a big lead there with his state victory tonight.  As I have said many times, state victories bring money, delegate victories bring the nomination.  We’ll see if Mitt’s big win translates into big delegates.

On to the Louisiana primary this Saturday, 24 March.  It’s a big one, 42 delegates up for grabs in the Bayou Primary, but they’re all big at this point.

 

At current Illinois primary numbers Romney will win about 20 more delegates than Santorum,.  Only 50% of the vote in right now, so that may change.

GOP Primary: De Romney victorias enorme en la Puerto Rico!

That translation may be too literal to be accurate, but the result is the same; Mitt wins huge in Puerto Rico.  The Common Wealth of Puerto Rico is a territory of these United States and as such they are permitted to vote in the primary.  They use an open primary system, democrats and republicans can vote in the same one.  They are not, however, allowed to vote in the general election for President in November.  Puerto Rico is a proportional delegate system, meaning you can win delegates without winning the total vote count.  However, if you manage to get more than 50% of all votes cast you get all 20 delegates.

Governor Luis Fortuno of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico holds their own elections for local issues and to elect a Governor, although I don’t believe Governor Fortuno’s term is up until 2o14.  This is a sharp dude.  He earned his BA from Georgetown and his law degree from the University of Virginia, the same school where one Derek Dooley, head coach of Tennessee Football, earned his degree.  Go Big Orange!

One of the local issues up for a vote in 2012 in Puerto Rico is the petition for statehood.  This particular issue was a big part of Mitt’s win tonight.  Both Romney and Santorum went to the island and campaigned.  Santorum spent two days there, which as it turns out was two days too long.

When asked about the issue of statehood, Santorum went off about the language Puerto Ricans speak before he ever said he would support a move to statehood.  He said Puerto Ricans would have to adopt english as the only official language to be considered for statehood.  He said prosperity would only come from english not spanish.  Then he said it was the law so to be a state they would have to adopt english anyway.  Then the next day when that all blew up in his face like a burning hot tamale wrapped way too tight, he blamed his Puerto Rican interpreter for getting his words all wrong and then the press for taking him out of context and then finally it was Mitt’s fault for making the whole thing up.

Doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict the outcome of that little fiasco.  I can name that island ass kicking in five words.  “Speak english you Puerto Ricans.”  It would have been much more efficient and probably saved Santorum a trip and a lot of wasted campaign funds had he just said those five words instead of blaming everyone for two whole days.  For all the guff Romney takes for being a flip flopper, ole Rick really means what he says until a large block of voters don’t like it, then all of a sudden it’s everyone else’s fault for not understanding or twisting his words.

So Romney stepped into the breach, said he supported the right of the people of Puerto Rico to petition for statehood; a move he believes will become reality when it’s put to a local vote in November.  Then he said the magic words.  Puerto Rico will prosper  no matter the language they speak.  How big of an issue was that whole deal?  Well on an island made up mostly of Catholics, the Mormon was crushing the Catholic by 88% of the vote at last count.  Now Romney already had the endorsement of Governor Fortuno, and Fortuno leads the party platform that is pushing for statehood, but Santorum really hurt himself when he went off, wait for it, wait for it… went off his note cards and told the reporter the english for statehood line.  Damn you mini paper prompters!

His own local party chairman remarked that Santorum should have done much better here because the Catholics were really turning out for him, but they were greatly offended about the degradation of their language by Santorum.  That blunder is not a small one.  Santorum has to be gaining on Romney.  In the last two primaries he only broke even, and now he just lost ground by 20 because by winning more than 50% of the vote Mitt got all 20 delegates.

Gingrich and Ron Paul did not campaign on the island, and really why are they even staying in the race.

As a Washington Post writer, who was more diligent than the rest to do the math, has reported, Santorum and Gingrich would now have to combine to win 55% of the total remaining delegates to stop Romney from getting 1144 delegates before the convention.  So even Newt’s days as a uni-bomber are running out.  His whole reason for staying in is to stop Mitt.  If Mitt takes any considerable number of delgates from Illinois on Tuesday the math really moves toward impossibility for Blocky McBlockerton (Newt) and Rick “english only” Santorum.

Santorum has already had a setback for Tuesday as he again failed to register in every county in Illinois.  That means he cannot win a majority of the delegates there.  Of course he blamed that on his grass roots campaign and the lack of organization they had early on.   Translation, we never thought we would get this far so we didn’t plan for it.

Well Rick, people who don’t think they will get that far normally don’t get that far.  This is also a big deal, Illinois has 69 delegates up for grabs Tuesday.  It would have been a good chance for Santorum to gain ground.  Instead he’s 20 delegates further in the hole, and can’t get a majority of the 69 on Tuesday.

This is why I said early on, balancing your own checkbook and doing your own taxes means squadoosh as a Presidential candidate.  It was a bad attempt by Santorum to relate with the common man.  Who cares if he can file a 1040EZ.  He can’t run a major campaign which is actually a microcosm of a Presidential Administration.  Writing a check to H&R Block is not the same as balancing the federal budget.

Santorum said today if he wins Illinois he wins the nomination.  Rick is apparently not reading Frank’s Place, because if he did he would know that he can win the overall state vote all day long, and Romney can still walk away with more delegates from Illinois.

Illinois is central time zone so reults will be coming in late.  It will be a close race, so counts might not be done until after midnight eastern time.

Rest assured Frank’s Place will be on the job.