Monday, January 23, 2012

Newt Gingrich wins South Carolina primary

Continuing with the Republican presidential race here, Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary on January 10, which was not much of a surprise, considering Ronmey was governor of Massachusetts. However, the South Carolina primary, on Saturday, was a serious upset for the Romney campaign. It seems that Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina:

Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina Republican primary, capping off a remarkable comeback for his presidential bid that reshapes the trajectory of the battle for the GOP nomination as the race now heads to Florida and beyond.

The results mark the end of a tumultuous week in politics that saw Gingrich erase and then overcome the lead former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had in the Palmetto State following his victory in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary. Gingrich came on strong in the closing days of the campaign, looking to rally under his banner the many conservatives unwilling to get behind Romney, who had sought to posture himself as the eventual nominee.

So what's happening in South Carolina? I think we're seeing the fruition of what happens when the GOP gets into bed with the extremist wing of their base. The Republican Party has been doing this since the Nixon Administration's "Southern Strategy," in courting the fears of African American racism, the rise of the Religious Right and fundamentalism in the 80s, the social issues of school prayer, abortion, flag burning, and gay hatred. The GOP has stoked the fires of hate speech through nationally-syndicated talk radio and television hosts of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the entire Fox News propaganda outlet. And while this strategy was good for getting votes, the base has become even more radicalized and crazy--demanding that the GOP place their own looney candidates for president. Instead of voting for establishment GOP's amoral, corporatist, empty-suit candidate of Mitt Romney, the South Carolina Republican voters choose a three-time adulterer who can speak and connect to their kind of crazy. Florida is next on the list. Will the crazies continue to vote for Gingrich?

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thoughts on Mitt Romney's win in the Iowa Caucuses

The 2012 presidential race has been going on for a year now, and I have not really said much of the issue. I've been watching the race with a fascinating interest. President Barack Obama is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, although from reading the different liberal blogs, there is a lot of anger against Obama from liberals and progressives. On the Republican side, there have been a cornucopia of candidates running--from Tea Party crazies Michele Bauchmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Libertarian Ron Paul, and corporatist candi Mitt Romney. The Republican candidates have a said and done some of the most insane things, which you can review here.

But for now, the Iowa caucuses took place last Tuesday. And the results have been interesting. From the Des Moines Register:

Rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum waged a down-to-the-wire battle for the Iowa Republican caucuses Tuesday, but shortly after 1:30 a.m. today, Romney was declared the victor by eight votes.

Romney won 30,015 votes, compared with 30,007 for Santorum, out of 122,255 cast.

Each of the men won 25 percent of the vote and proclaimed victory.

Ron Paul was third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman.


Last night’s decision was hardly a knockout, though – Romney got almost the same number of votes as four years ago.

This was by far the closest contest in the modern history of the Iowa Republican caucuses (since 1976). In the previous closest race, George H. W. Bush edged Ronald Reagan in 1980 by 2.1 percentage points, or 2,182 votes of the 106,051 cast.

So Romney and Santorum came into a statistical tie, with Romney only eight votes ahead. It is not much of a victory, as both candidates pick up 11 delegates each. But what I find especially interesting is that Romney got almost the same number of votes as he did in 2008. What's more, the number of people who voted against Romney, by choosing Santorum, Gingrich, Bauchmann, Paul and such are certainly greater than the number of people who voted for Romney. There are a lot of Republican voters who are just not thrilled with Mitt Romney--they were more interested in their own favorite, extremist candidate than the corporate candidate.

Next Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary. The NBC / Marist poll is showing Romney having a 20-point lead over Santorum. I'm pretty sure Romney will win big in New Hampshire. I would be more curious as to how the South Carolina primary will shape up, considering the Religious Right and hard-core conservative voters there. Will they choose Romney, or go with the Anybody-But-Romney?