GOP Primary: DC and Maryland to Mitt

In no surprise Mitt Romney has coasted to victory in both DC and Maryland. It appears he may take all the delegates from both primaries. But the big prize tonight is Wisconsin, a winner take all state with 42 delegates up for grabs.

Polls in Wisconsin close at 9pm eastern. You know cause they are not on real time like eastern standard but instead follow the more snooty central time. I kid, I’m a kidder.

This count should be quicker unless it gets close, if so you can expect a long evening.

Can’t wait to hear Newt’s speech when he comes in 3rd or even last most of the night.

Check back for Wisconsin results in a bit.

When Last We Spoke…

So a lot of things have happened in the past 11 days.  In the political world all of it was good, if not funny as all get out.  Some of the high, or low lights, depending on your level of cynicism:

  • President Obama
  1. In a stunning open mic incident the President leans in to tell Russian Preisdent Medvedev to pass a message to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Russia and its defacto dictator
  2. The message – give me some slack until I’m re-elected, then I’ll have more flexibility
  3. Wow, hard to know what he meant by flexibility but easy to know that he thinks he’s going to whoop Mitt or Rick in November
  • Rick Santorum 
  1. verbally dog cussed* a New York Times reporter, telling him to quit the “bull shit” because:
  2. the reporter asked the candidate to clarify the remarks made when Santorum said he would vote for Obama before he would support Romney
  3. Santorum also called Romney the worst republican ever –  he drew swift condemnation from party leaders for that little gem
  4. after Santorum finished crying about the media lying about his own words he went on FOX to brag saying “You’re not a republican if you haven’t cursed out a NYT reporter”  So now we know Rick, you’re a republican, a crybaby, a liar, oh and a chooch.
*dog cussed – souther term for really laying into someone.  Dog cussing involves those four letter words like the F word, the already mentioned BS, and of course Yankee.
  •  Newt Gingrich
  1. called the President uppity because Newt claims the Pres. thinks everybody should go to Harvard
  2. Not sure President believes we should all go to Harvard and ironically this comes from the only PhD in the field
  3. hard to know what’s in Newt’s mind but I gotta believe in close circles he finishes off that “uppity” sentence with what he really thinks
  4. Somehow Mitt Romney is not uppity even though he also went to Harvard
  5. Newt fired 1/3rd of his staff this week – no money to pay them
  6. the last two print journalists covering Newt’s campaign left to cover Mitt and Rick
  • Mitt Romney 
  1. is building a ridiculously enormous beach house complete with an elevator for the car
  2. One blogger/reporter floated the idea that Ann Romney ‘s Multiple Sclerosis is getting worse and the elevator makes it easier for her to get in and out of the car and house

See a small but unsubstantiated correlation there.  It’s not clear that Mitt will be a better candidate, but it’s obvious he makes fewer mistakes and therefore is not required to say outlandish things to get votes.  The biggest issue on Mitt the past month is a car elevator.  The other two guys have athletes tongue from constantly sticking their feet in their mouths.

Mitt also picked up some huge endorsements.  Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Tea Party poster boy, endorsed Mitt.  President George Bush 41 endorsed Mitt.  Now Senator Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, another Tea Party guy, has endorsed Mitt.

Of course Wisconsin is a big deal because their primary election is this Tuesday, April 3rd.  Washington DC and Maryland will vote Tuesday as well.  Mitt has decent leads in all three places.  Should Romney win Wisconsin, the matter is all but settled.  The primaries in April are winner take all, so now winning the state means you get all the delegates and Wisconsin has a ton of delegates, 42 to be exact.

Short of a Romney scandal, there is no way Santorum can get to 1144 delegates and it’s almost impossible for him to stop Romney from getting there.

Newt and Ron Paul are in a dead heat for the “Crazy Old Man” conciliation prize, awarded to the candidate who comes in dead last, or dead broke, or both.

Newt’s campaign now has the feel of someone angling for a cabinet job.  He’s not slammed Romney in a week and only has ire for the President.  Secretary of State Gingrich perhaps?

On a personal note, we have had the greatest and worst 11 days of our lives here.  Some of you know that our twin girls were born 3 1/2 months early.  Anne Marie and Linda Claire were born at 1:53 and 1:54pm respectfully.  They both weighed in around 1lb 12oz, give or take an ounce.  Unfortunately Linda Claire’s lungs were not developed enough and she passed away around 5:45pm that same day.  We buried her in a wonderful ceremony this past week.  Her obituary is the post previous to this one if you would like to read it.

I felt like I needed to stop the blog for a while but after almost two weeks it’s more therapy for me than it is political info and funny Frank stories for you.  So for better or worse, I’m hitting the keyboard again.

On the bright side, Anne Marie is progressing nicely and we are thankful for every breath she takes.  She is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at University of Tennessee Medical Center.  Those people are, in a word, awesome.   In the graceful way the dealt with Linda Claire during the 5 hours of her short life, the aftermath of her death, and the treatment of Anne Marie, they have been an oasis in a desert of turmoil and grief.  We look and pray for her homecoming sometime in late June.

I appreciate all the comments on Linda Claire’s obituary, the e-mails, and text messages.  I’ll answer them all at some point.  Trust me when I tell you they are a big help.  I can’t explain why, but it’s a bit comforting to read well wishes, offers of prayer and assistance at a time when you feel completely helpless and out of control.   Thank you all for that.

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.