Derision 2012! – Media & Voters & Polls, Oh My!

Yeah, no real way to get that shoehorned into the “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” tune.  But I did my best.

Let me just get this out in the open right now.  I voted for Barak Obama in 2008.  Even looking back and knowing what I know, I still would have voted for him in 08.  Had McCain picked Romney to be his running mate instead of dead-from-the-neck-up Sarah Palin, I may have gone differently.  But of course we all know what happened.  Now regardless of what you think of the man or his policies, President Obama brings the smarts and we here at Frank’s place dig the smarts.  He is still the smartest dude running for President, but some things have transpired that have caused me to look elsewhere for a President.

One of the biggest issues for me is the constant reminder of the economy he inherited.  In 2009 I can accept the constant reminder of what President Bush left behind.  And make no mistake, the bail-outs, the tarp, the mounting deficit, these things were either done or set in motion long before President Obama was sworn in.  But after 2009, the constant harping about inheriting the worst economy since the great depression became unseemly, then it became un-leaderly(?)  At some point the President would have done well to adopt a buck stops here attitude.

Of course conservatives, republicans, and tea-partiers, (by the way those are 3 distinct groups wether you want to believe it or not),  have been rightly calling out and/or bashing the President for this constant blaming of President Bush for our current problems.  Tracy, my wife, has had to listen to me howl at the TV whenever the President speaks because he invariably will evoke some form of, “you know we inherited the worst…”, yeah, yeah we get Blamey McBlamerton.  Enough already Mr. President.  I just can’t believe he still tees up this softball for the opposition to hit out of the park, as they absolutely should.

But for as much as the opposition rightly hits the President for always blaming others for our country’s issues, they must think it’s a winning strategery (thanks P. Bush 43) because they have taken up the charge at a full gallop.  In the past 4 months since Romney was clearly going to win the nomination, conservatives, republicans, and tea-partiers have been blaming everything under the sun for why the Governor lost the election. Spoiler alert – election is not till 6 November.  In other words Romney hasn’t lost yet, but his base, the fringe, and the media outlets that support him have already started his obituary.  In this obituary they list clearly the three causes of the Governors death:

1. Left wing media bias – hard to argue, but I will take a 37.4 deg angle

2. Voter fraud – you’ll run out and buy lottery tickets when I’m done with this one

3. Election polls – you know those annoying polls that take a small sample of voters and project who’s winning or losing, you may have even been called and participated in one

Politically this may be a winning strategy, and I don’t think it is, it’s just as cowardly as the President blaming President Bush 43.  So let me take a shot at helping my conservative brethren understand why blaming these 3 entities just doesn’t hold up.

1. Left wing media bias – Ok, my good friend Tony has convinced me that this exists to a greater extent that I had originally believed.  As it turns out left wing media bias has been around for a long time.  I would argue cable news outlets and social media has amplified and sharpened the bias, but it still existed on the big three networks long before MSNBC came along.  Be that as it may, blaming them for a candidates failure makes you look weak. If this bias has existed for so long why isn’t your candidate prepared for it?  How can something you’ve known about for decades take you down?  If you can’t plan for and defeat or work around something you’ve known about forever, how can your guy, as President, deal with things he won’t know about until after they happen?

See where I’m going there.  Blaming the media makes you look weak; not just because blaming anything but yourself makes you look weak, but because blaming something that has always existed makes you look weak and incompetent, and not smart and unable to adapt.  You know, presidentialy type things.

2.  Voter Fraud – Hard to know where to start with this.  Why?  Because it almost never happens.  You have a better chance of being struck by lighting WHILE purchasing the winning power-ball ticket than you do of witnessing voter fraud, being in the polling place when voter fraud happens, or even voting in a state where voter fraud has occurred. Here’s a few links in case you want to read actual stats.

http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/

http://richardcharnin.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/washington/12fraud.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

Now equally mythical is the “fact” that requiring people to have photo ID at the polling place will disenfranchise voters, specifically the urban poor and minorities, two groups who tend to vote democrat.  Pennsylvania just lost its case in the state supreme court to require photo ID of anyone wanting to vote.  PA made it free of charge, set up convenient places to get one, and in some cases would even come to the home of those unable to get out.  How those people would then vote is beyond me, but the state accommodated and somehow lost.  Here in TN we must show photo ID to vote and I’ve not heard of anyone being disenfranchised. In fact my mother-in-law just moved here and when she got her TN drivers license they registered her to vote.  That’s how easy the states make it to obtain an ID and register to vote.

Disenfranchisement due to photo ID is almost as rare as voter fraud.  But at the end of the day voter fraud is the dodo bird of election cycles.  Everyone’s heard of one but no one has ever seen one.

Don’t look now…

I wonder if he’s registered?

However if you prefer the myth of voter fraud I would refer you to Hannity of Fox, check you local cable provider, and The Drudge Report on the internets.

Seriously, if you hear of voter fraud in your district and your next stop is not the local Piggly Wiggly to buy a power-ball ticket, you’re an idiot.

3. That brings us to the third cause of Romney’s crushing defeat that hasn’t happened yet: election polls.  There were election polls being taken long before we really knew who the republican candidate would be. Once Romney emerged as the clear front runner the polls went into high gear.  And it was all a big waste of time.  The polls in early January are worthless.  Guess what, the polls in late October are worthless too.  The only poll that counts is the one you stand in on November 6th.

Having said that it is interesting to see how the media has handled the current polling results.  I’ll just cut to the chase, Fox News hates them and regards them all as flawed and the rest of the media thinks they are grand and believe Obama will win in a landslide. But the left wing of the media reacted as they normally do, so no surprise there.

It’s Fox’s reaction that is puzzling.  Again this is the network that has taken Obama to task for always blaming everything/everyone but himself.  I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery because the gang at Fox have been merciless in their attack on poll results.  They have gone so far as to claim it’s the poll results that are making things worse for Romney.  Obviously the polls show him behind by a few points nationally and by wide margins in several key battleground states, or states considered necessary to win to win the election.

They got so paranoid about the poll attack on Romney, some news shows on Fox criticized poll results done by a few other Fox News Shows.  That’s right.  The network that claims to be fair and balanced actually may have pulled it off.  Unknowingly of course.  There is no way O’Reilly and Hannity knew the particular poll they were slamming, showing Romney down by 10 points or more, was actually a poll done by Fox News and used by Special Report with Bret Baier.

It gets better, or worse.  Minutes after bringing on Dick Morris, Bernie Goldberg and even retired/fired NY City Detective Bo Ditle (WTF), to say polls are so unreliable and cannot be trusted, Hannity then shows poll results that have Romney in the lead and wants us to believe they are accurate and trustworthy after spending 15 minutes telling us how notoriously slanted and biased poll results are.  It’s like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight decided to form a circular firing squad.  Lets hope their aim improves.

So to wrap up, it’s the Media, Voters, & Polls that caused the Romney defeat.

I wonder if all the analysts and pundits have mentioned to Governor Romney that they know the outcome of the election next month and the cause of his demise.

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Derision 2012! OK, now it counts.

The pick has been made, the game is afoot.

Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is the Vice Presidential candidate for the republican ticket.

Cute Little bugger ain’t he.
Photo courtesy of Congressman Ryan’s official home page

Congressman Ryan serves Wisconsin’s 1st District and has since 1999.  The 1st district is home to Janesville, where Ryan is from, and the town of Racine.

You may have heard of Racine, it featured prominently in the Tom Hanks movie A League of their Own, about the Women’s Professional Baseball League that sprung up, largely in the mid-west, during WWII when Major League Baseball was going on hiatus for the war.

After the nonsense with the recall vote in Wisconsin, the stupidity with the dog on the roof (Romney), the eating of dog (Obama), the bullying of classmates (Romney), the using and selling of drugs in high-school (Obama), we may actually get to some serious issues in this campaign.

So you can forget all that crap, it counted for nothing.  We have the other player now. Now it all counts.

Tale of the Tape

Born in 1970 – so yeah he’s only 42, 23 years younger then Governor Romney, but more importantly only 3 short years younger than me.  Maybe my guidance counselor was right.

The congressman is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio with degrees in business and political science.

Married to Janna Little and has 3 children.  So we have four of the most boring faith based family men in the history of American politics going head to head for the White House.  As my friend John said the other day, they are all so alike personally, they’ll have to make stuff up about each other in order to attack.

Mr Ryan is Roman Catholic, coupled with the Governor’s Mormon faith, this is the first presidential ticket in some time without a traditional protestant.  Not sure this is an issue, no actually I’m sure this is not an issue, but with the dopiness that seems to define the President’s current campaign strategy, my gut tells me we’ll hear a little more about this than we should.

An odd but possibly serious fact – Ryan’s father, grand father, and great grand-father all died of heart attacks before the age of 60.  I’m almost positive this will come up.  Medical history is common fodder for campaigns, and that’s some serious history bro.

My $.02

In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for the President in 08, but I was probably voting for the Governor this time around.  The president’s campaigning has led me even further in that direction. This pick all but seals my vote.  I mean excluding the fact the guy is a heart attack waiting to happen, from appearances and speeches he is a no non-sense business guy with the only official budget proposal on the table.  That’s not just between the candidates, that’s all of the body politic in Washington.  His economic plan, like all plans, has rough edges but some republicans even ran from it.  Newt Gingrich, as you may recall, was one of the first to jump ship.

You remember Newt don’t ya: big ass blow hard, ego bigger than his belly, 3x loser on the marriage/adultery circuit.  Has plans for a moon base by his THIRD term as President and thinks little black kids should be taken from grade school and sent to be janitors of Moon Base Gingrich. Yeah that’s him.  Anyway he called Ryan a right wing radical on the morning talk shows when Team Gingrich thought they still had a shot, way back in February.

The right wing radical charge may well be true, and I don’t think it is, but as of this moment no one, not even the republicans, have come up with an official budget proposal even though they don’t seem to be fully behind the Ryan budget.  At least Mr Ryan is working, trying to fix things, a trait that seems foreign to most politicians in DC at the moment.

For the Governor this was a good pick.  Congressman Ryan gives the Governor a solid conservative to lean on.  It would appear to me the two of them can get the conservative base and have a good chance at all those independents and undecideds that will sway the election.

Passed Over 

Senator Rubio of Florida is a little young and Mr Rubio muddled his own history by claiming to have fled Castro’s Cuba when in fact his parents left before the crackdown started.  They didn’t escape or flee on a raft.  They bought airline tickets and basically immigrated to the US.

My pick, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, would have been a good pick, but he probably would not have brought the charge to the ticket the way Mr Ryan will.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio was in contention but like Thune, a solid pick with no pizzaz.

Mr Ryan it is.  I like it.  I’ll probably buy the t-shirt.

I believe the R&R campaign will be civil and focused on the issues at hand.  They better be.  Unlike McCain and Plain, who sidetracked themselves with the nonsense of faith, country of origin, and other derogatory tacts towards then Senator Obama, Romney and Ryan can run on actual truths.  Truth 1: The President is a decent man, but his policies for the last four years have not fixed things.  Truth 2: They should stand up and declare that the President is indeed an American, just not the right American for the job.

All you weak minded folk can wallow in the stupidity of wether he is christian/muslim, American/Keynyan, socialist/communist.  Most of you wouldn’t know a communist or a socialist if they kicked you in the ass.  The irony is President Obama is losing votes from the progressives because he failed to deliver the socialism so many right wing nut jobs said was coming.  It would be laugh out loud funny if it wasn’t such a sad expose of the way the media, left, right, and center, seems to be able to lead the general public around by the nose.

In my opinion, much like President Bush, the current President is a good guy tying to do his best.  President Obama’s best is just not good enough.  Dissecting his polices without slinging mud at his character should be easy enough for the likes of R&R.  (credit Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina for the R&R tag)

However the President’s campaign has shown a bizarre willingness to crawl in the mud, and for no apparent reason.  The Governor never went there, but all the Presidents men seem in a rush to dive into the lowest level of the cesspool.   (A forthcoming post titled “The summer of stupid.” will go into much detail.)    The Governor has yet to make a personal attack against the President.

R&R need to stay on that path.  The high road should lead them to the White House.

You can read Vice Presidential candidate Ryan’s speech here: Romney/Ryan 2012

 

 

Derision 2012! The Birth(er) of a Nominee.

The stars at night, shine big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.  Sing it with me.  Governor Romney secured the republican nomination for President last night; winning 90 of the 155 delegates up for grabs in the Texas primary.  That brings the Governors’ total to 1198, with only 1144 needed to become the nominee of his party.  So it’s official, Willard Mitt Romney is the republican nominee for President of the United States.  If he doesn’t get a handle on his newest big money donor, presidential nominee is the highest title the governor will ever get.

The Donald has become a big time spokesman for the Romney campaign.  His first effort in that regard came on the day Romney clinched the nomination.  Trump trotted out the old birther issue.  This was a mistake on so many levels.

First of all Trump is a bit of a kook and his dogged pursuit of an issue long laid to rest by the government of the state of Hawaii is only cementing the kook persona.  The Donald went at it on CNN with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday; trading blows over the absurdidty of the birth certificate released by Hawaii.  Trump maintains it’s a fake and claims a lot of prominent people agree with him.  When Blitzer pressed Trump on who exactly agrees, Trump pulled the old “I don’t name names” line.  Tough to name names when you don’t know any.   Keep in mind Trump is an entertainer and, as the President put it, a carnival barker.  This is all upside for the Donald, and all downside for Governor Romney.

To me the bigger issue is the mud.  The President was the first to crawl in it with all the attacks over the dog, the alleged bully incident, and the inaccurate Bain Capital attacks.  The Governor should have let the Obama campaign wallow in the muck by themselves.  Romney should have been happy to let the President have all that low ground to himself.  The President and his campaign did a masterful job in 2008 building up Obama’s person as an enlightened, above the fray guy.  Someone that high has a long way to fall and the thud will be loud.  Once more, the President’s own campaign seemed eager to get the fall rolling with all the idiotic moves they made early on.  Romney didn’t even have to work for it, they were tripping themselves.

Ultimately Trump is a carnival barker who always works himself to the center of any spotlight, good or bad.  He believes in the axiom of any press is good press.  Maybe when you’re trying to get ratings, but votes are different.  Romney has hooked his wagon to a carnival barker with no filter and an ego unmatched in human history.  Not sure I like that combo.  If I was advising the Governor I would tell him to use Newt’s line, yes that Newt.  Gingrich said yesterday “….we believe this is a American born, job killing, President.”  I would have Romney word it differently, make it more declarative.  He needs to say “I have no doubt that President Obama was born in America, just as I have no doubt he has been wrong for America and here’s why.”  Boom.  End the birther issue and pivot to your economic message in one easy sentence.  You’re welcome Governor.

Spel Chek Dipartmint

Rarely do the gaffes associated with a campaign originate with the nominee himself.  This is one of those cases but Romney will get tagged with it for a week, maybe two.  His campaign sent an iPad/iPhone app to Apple.  It’s supposed to be an advertisement and a campaign tracking app all in one.  Problem: the app’s opening page has the slogan “A Better Amercia”.   It happens, it’s embarrassing, it’ll go away by next week, especially with Trump on board.  And there is the one up side of embracing Trump, any gaffe your campaign or you make will be quickly overshadowed by The Donald’s antics.

Good luck Governor, I think you’ll need it now.

Tracker Change

With the nomination all sewn up, the primary voting tracker and delegate tracker on the right side of Frank’s Place will be removed.  In it’s place will eventually be opinion and polling trackers.  These will become more significant after each party has its national nominating conventions late this summer.

Stay tuned.

 

Derision 2012! Pig in a Poke – Arkansas and Kentucky Vote

The President should be thankful he won’t be running against a felon or a nobody come November.  It was just two weeks ago when a felon, Keith Judd, in the federal pen in Texarkana, won 40% of the vote in the West Virginia Democratic Primary.  Winning 40% of the vote assures Mr. Judd, by law, at least two delegates at the Democratic National Convention.  Well it’s too bad Mr Judd or should I say #11593-051, couldn’t get on the ballot in Arkansas and Kentucky.

Last night President of the United States, Barrack Obama, won only 58% of the vote in Kentucky.  Not bad until you consider he ran unopposed, as in there was no other name on the ballot.  Who won the other 42% – Uncommitted.  Yep, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky decided Uncommitted was a better choice than the current President.  Keep in mind this was the Democratic Primary; democrats were voting.  There was probably some crossover and it’s worth noting more people voted in the Democratic primary in Kentucky than voted in the Republican primary.  Romney did win all 42 delegates in Kentucky last night.  Have no doubts, Kentucky will go to Romney in the general election but the folks there don’t seem too enthused about it.

The President fared no better in the Razorback State.  He did have an opponent this time.  John Wolfe, a Tennessee attorney won 41% of the vote to President Obama’s 59%.  John Wolfe will have at least one representative in the Arkansas delegation at the national convention.  I submit that Keith Judd, had he been able to get past the “no felon on presidential ballots” laws in KY and AR, would have given the President a better game then Uncommitted and John Wolfe.  This may have actually been a horse race.

Governor Romney won 28 of the 32 delegates in Arkansas last night, but again failed to turn out more voters than the Democratic primary.  Like Kentucky, Arkansas will go to Romney on election night in November and like Kentucky, they ain’t happy about it.  No one is calling the hog for Romney, if you know what I’m saying.

Still Governor Romney has amassed 1073 delegates and only needs 71 more to officially win the nomination.

The Lone Star state of Texas is up next, voting May 29th.  With 155 delegates at stake, the Governor will win the Republican nomination in Texas.

Only two questions remain – will Texans be happy about voting for Romney and is Keith Judd on the Democratic ballot in Texas?

As far as the national polls between the President and Governor Romney, pay them no mind.  Those polls mean nothing until the 3 presidential debates and the national conventions are done.

Stay tuned.

 

Derision 2012! Are you smarter than a Presidential Campaign Manager?

The GOP primary election is still going on but it’s time to make the switch to the general election for President.  So the political posts at Frank’s Place will appear under the heading Derision 2012!  I was going to use Decision 2012, but CNN had copyright issues with that. They way I hack the campaign coverage, Derision 2012! is much more appropriate.  Suck it Blitzer!

First things first.  A question: if no-one votes in a presidential primary, does it make a sound?  Answer: no, not really.  While you were sleeping, last Tuesday, the GOP held its primary elections in Nebraska and Oregon.  Governor Romney won both states in a landslide but received almost no delegates.  Delegates from those states won’t be appointed until the state conventions.  So, no those primaries were insignificant to say the least.  It’s hard to understand all the negative comments on those state web sites about the Governor not actively campaigning there.  Really?  He should waste his time and money in states who can’t get their primary system into the 21st century?

Kentucky and Arkansas are up next, Tuesday 22 May.  Then the big tamale, Texas votes 29 May.  The Governor should technically and officially clinch the nomination at the Texas primary.  Look for him to have a big presence there.  Texas will figure big in the general election.  Speaking of the general election, on to the opening question.  Are you smarter than a Presidential Campaign Manager?

Sadly this will probably be a recurring question throughout the campaign.  Anyone looking for the level of campaign discourse to be raised is in for a big disappointment.  I offer but a few examples of the genius we can expect from the President’s campaign.

It’s dog eat dog, literally.  The President’s reelection gurus decided it would be a good idea to jump on this 20-year-old story of Governor Romney putting the family dog in a carrier and strapping him to the roof of the car while on vacation.  It was supposed to show how disconnected Gov. Romney is from human emotion and thus unable to connect with the American people.  They even posted this picture to contrast the President’s love of Bo, the First Dog, and Romney’s hatred of Seamus.

A little creepy, considering the President’s childhood diet.

Apparently none of the President’s team has ever read his first book.  In that auto-biography the President tells of how he ATE dog when he was a child.  Why would you hammer the dog on the roof story when your own guy would have just eaten him to save space?  It gets better.  The Obama team’s response to the canine kabob enjoyed by young Obama? ‘Well he was ten, you’re really going to pick on something that happened 30 years ago?’  That last sentence is paraphrased.  But I would have fired the lot of them for even thinking this, much less saying it out loud.  Here’s why.

The Bully vs the Drug Lord

The next salvo from Team Three Blind Mice was even worse.  Still fresh from the ‘don’t pick on a kid’ defense they decide to…pick on a kid.  Yes they went back to an alleged incident involving young Romney in prep school.  The incident involves the would be Governor shaving the head of a hippie student at the very prominent prep school in Michigan.  Turns out the kid was also gay, although it’s not clear anyone knew that at the time.  The kid in question died of cancer in 2004 so no way to know who knew what.  The family of this kid has since come forward and made the whole story fuzzy if not outright manufactured.

Why this is stupid: Obama’s campaign just got done crying about picking on the President for something he did when he was ten.  But of course it’s ok to pick on Romney for something he did in high-school.  But the bigger issue, again back to the President’s auto-biography, where he admits to using cocaine.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  How can they be employed?  Do they think that they are the only people who don’t read?  The millisecond that bullying story about Romney came out, the cocaine stories were flying.  We all knew that was going to happen.  And by all I mean everyone in the known universe except Team Obama.

The Bain of My Existence

For those of you that have followed my coverage of the 1.3 million GOP primary debates, you know that the subject of Romney’s time at Bain Capital came up again and again.  Beating a dead horse doesn’t come close to describing the detail in which that story was hashed out.  But Team Obama felt they could squeeze one more ounce of blood out of that rock.  So they took on Romney’s record while at Bain Capital.  You know like the other 6 GOP candidates did the other 57 million times during the debates.  They decided to highlight the amount of people who lost jobs as a result of Bain buying up companies and then selling them off.  Now that would have been a great strategy except for one minor detail, the truth.

While it’s true under Romney’s direction Bain put people out of work buying up companies and selling them off or restructuring, it’s also true that in the long run Bain put more people to work or back to work by reducing and restructuring.  It’s still painful for the people who didn’t get jobs back.  That’s an issue for another post.  The issue: Team Obama not only showed they are willing to lie and distort data, or maybe they’re just not able to comprehend said data, they failed to score a hit on Romney and actually proved his financial theory.  The capitalist system can create jobs and stimulate business.

So the gang who can’t shoot straight is suffering from a lack of physics.  Yes physics.  Had any of those people stayed awake in high-school physical science class they would have been versed in Newton’s 3rd law of motion which in effect states actions and reaction are equal and opposite.  Talk about my dog carrier and I’ll bring up your doggie burger.  Talk about my days as a jerk in high school and I’ll bring up your days as a cocaine addict.

It’s simple science guys, not rocket science.   Be Smarter.

GOP Primary: Santorum – Exit stage right!

Well folks it’s just about over.  Rick Santorum is preparing to speak in Gettysburg Pennsylvania as I type.  The former Senator from PA is suspending his campaign.  To all of us in the unwashed masses that means he’s quitting the race.  Technically however, that means he will no longer actively campaign, but his name will appear on the ballot in any state he is registered, and more importantly he can legally take and use campaign contributions all the way to the Republican National Convention in August.  There is also an outside chance that Romney may implode.  If that were to occur due to some scandal, Santorum could jump back in to the race with little effort.   He couldn’t do that if he ended his campaign instead of suspending it.

This is not much of a surprise really.  For all his bluster, Santorum knew there was no slide rule, no algorithm, no math that would get him to the nomination.  The final kicker may have been one of two issues, or maybe a mix of both.  Santorum was touting Pennsylvania as his chance to make up ground.  Today’s poll numbers show Santorum losing his home state to Romney.  That’s a beat down he was probably anxious to avoid.  Santorum is young and can still run for office.  The fewer beat-downs on your resume the better. This is especially true if he tries to run for Senator again, or even governor in Pennsylvania.

Romney stopped negative ads in PA out of respect to Santorum’s family as they dealt with the medical problems of their young daughter Bella.  So the other issue could be Santorum’s family.  His daughter has had medical problems since birth and she was recently taken to the hospital again.   Running for President is hard on the candidates and can be harder still on the family.  Santorum appears to be sincere when it comes to his family.  So it would not be difficult to believe that he’s ready to spend more time with them and specifically Bella.

As a lot of pundits are currently opining right now, you have to give Santorum credit.  By comparison to the other candidates, he is dirt poor.  He campaigned the old fashioned way, door to door, city to city, county to county, state to state.  In the end though, effort, grass root, and old school style can’t overcome a ridiculous message that was out of touch from the beginning.  Teleprompters of the world! I say to you: breath easy, thine enemy is delivered to your footstool, defeated.

The Uni Bomber (Newt Gingrich) is still in.  His campaign says their plan includes a big opportunity involving Delaware.   If that strategy doesn’t disqualify Newt to be President, nothing does.  Delaware bro, really?  You think you can handle all 17 delegates?  I mean you’re only 520 delegates behind, pace yourself.  Time to phone a friend Newt, get a buddy, or even a clue.  Better yet, suspend your campaign, I hear it’s Buy One Get One at Tiffany’s this weekend.

Ron Paul is still in.  Yeah, I got nothing.  Neither does Ron Paul.

So the nomination is Romney’s to lose from this point forward.  Each state will still vote in their primary elections.  Romney still has to hit 1144 delegates.  He has 645 currently with some big states coming up.  With Santorum out now, Romney should hit 1144 quickly.  Assuming Romney will win all the delegates from here on out, he will officially clinch the nomination at the Texas primary election on May 29th.

First and foremost, the next primary is April 24th.  Five states vote on that Tuesday, including Pennsylvania.

The voting schedule and delegate count will stay up at Frank’s Place until Romney officially clinches the nomination.

GOP Primary, GUAM: Come for the Mai Tai, stay for the Mittmentum

Well, I’m not sure you can get a Mai Tai in Guam, but you can get a plane load of Mittmentum.  The US Territories held their caucuses on Saturday and Mitt made it a clean sweep.  He won all 9 delegates in Guam, all 9 in the US Virgin Islands, and all 9 in the Northern Mariana Islands.  American Samoa and Puerto Rico are the only two territories left to vote and they go 13 and 18 March respectively.  Quick aside, residents in the US Territories can vote in the primary and send delegates to the national convention but they are barred from voting in the general election in November.

Romney also won the Wyoming caucus, taking 10 more delegates.  Santorum came in 2nd in Wyoming and took 9.  Santorum smoked the field in Kansas, winning by over 50% of the vote and grabbing 30 of that state’s 40 delegates.  Romney currently has 7 from Kansas but as the counting finishes up, he’ll likely be awarded the other 3.

So at the end of the day Santorum won 1 more delegate than Romney.  With 27 states and territories of the 55 having voted, Santorum may be running out of real-estate.   The mathematics really come into play now.  After Saturday’s caucuses Mitt stands at 454 and Santorum at 217.  Rick will have to win some big winner take all states to catch up.  That is tougher for the Santorum campaign because they are fighting a two front war.  While trying to catch Mitt they have to ward off Gingrich.  Newt is out of it for sure now.  He is only a suicide bomber the rest of the way.  He will need to win 70% of the remaining delegates to get to 1144.  He won’t do that.  But he is denying Santorum the chance to close the gap with Romney.

However, math can be a fickle lass.  The mathematics will turn on Mitt in about a week or so.  Right now math and Newt are keeping Santorum from closing on Mitt.  In a week to two weeks they will be keeping Mitt from closing the deal.  The race for delegates is more like hockey or soccer than it is basketball, there are no ties, but they don’t go on forever to find a winner either, they go to a shootout.  In this case the shootout is the open floor fight at the Republican National Convention on August 24th in Tampa Florida.

If neither Mitt, nor Rick can get to 1144 by the last primary election in Utah on June 26th, then all 4 candidates will go to the convention for an open floor fight.  Oh and any of the candidates that dropped out can come back in and people never in the race can get in.  Looking at you Sarah.  A floor fight is where the delegates will vote again from the convention floor, live on national TV, by state roll call method.  So some leader in the republican party will get up to the podium and call each state and territory by alphabetical order.  A representative from each will step to their own mic and announce who their delegates are voting for.

For the first run through, all bound delegates will have to vote according to their states’s primary election results.  If no candidate gets 1144 votes the first time around, they do it all again.  Only this time all delegates are unbound and can vote for whoever they want.  And I mean whoever.  If a state’s representative gets up there and says “The great state of Georgia, the Peach state, places into nomination for consideration for Republican candidate for President of these United States, the honorable Kevin D. Thomas of Toccoa, Stephens County Georgia, and casts for him, all 76 delegates.” well then guess what, Kevin D. Thomas from Toccoa is now on the ballot and any delegate from any state can vote for him.  And Kevin D. Thomas does not even have to give his consent, if by some apocalyptic miracle he wins he would then have the chance to accept or deny the nomination.  My bold prediction is this: if it does become a floor fight, Palin will be nominated either by her own doing or by some state rep doing it without her consent.

Only Newt and Ron Paul, and maybe Palin, are even hoping for an open convention.  Santorum or Romney want to sew this thing up by the end of May.  An open convention would be awesome television and fun politics, ya know, if you’re into that sort of thing.  I also happen to disagree with democrats and TV pundits who say this would be bad for the Republicans.  Quite the contrary, it keeps everyone in the party involved to the latest possible point before November.  It makes their eventual nominee front page news for a while.  You’ll start hearing about the last brokered convention in 48, an incorrect comparison by the way, and seeing stats about the success of nominees who became such through a floor fight.  Spoiler: no floor fight nominee has ever come close to winning the Presidency.  Having said all that the Republicans need that enthusiasm right now.  They’ll need it ten fold in the dog days of August and early September when the debates and primaries are a distant memory and we start that long wait until the election in November.

Man an open floor fight would be 10 kinds of awesome.

Next up Southern Primaries and Newt’s last chance?  Maybe, tune in to find out.  Alabama & Mississippi primaries and Hawaii & American Samoa caucuses this Tuesday, 13 March.

Frank’s Place will have up to the minute updates as another long night rolls on.