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Mitt Romney Rick Santorum
Public Policy Polling (PDF). February 17-19. Arizona Republican Primary likely voters. ±4.8%. No trendlines.
Romney: 36
Santorum: 33
Gingrich: 16
Paul: 9
These numbers show the potential for a considerably closer Arizona election than has been expected. Before this survey came out, Nate Silver's poll-based forecast projected Mitt Romney as the winner in Arizona by just over 8 points, so while Romney is certainly pleased to still be in the lead, he has reason to be concerned.

One thing that should trouble him: Santorum actually has a stronger net favorable rating (+34) in Arizona than Romney (+24). And if Newt Gingrich weren't a candidate, Santorum would actually enjoy a narrow lead over Romney, 43 percent to 41 percent. Even if Gingrich doesn't quit the race, Santorum should be able to chip away at some of his support, making the case that it is a waste to vote for Gingrich. Between that and Romney's narrow lead, these numbers suggest that Arizona could be ripe for an upset victory by Santorum.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the info Jed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:33:56 AM PST

  •  Mitt Romney hangs onto Lead. Yep that's right (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt Romney hangs onto plumbum

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:36:48 AM PST

  •  Arizona is winner take all. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Ender, PorridgeGun

    Frothy needs to be on the trail 24/7.  Victories in both MI and Arizona would be sweet, sweet santorum and would likely increase his national polling to the point where Rmoney would have to answer questions about it.

    I'm looking forward to the Wednesday debate.  Some angry, desperate, holier than thou crazy will be on full display.

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:36:56 AM PST

    •  Wednesday is also Ash Wednesday (0+ / 0-)

      I wouldn't be surprised to see Santorum (and probably Gingrich) with the requisite ashes on the forehead during the debate. (Tony Reali, host of ESPN's Around the Horn panel show, typically shows ash marks on Ash Wednesday, as does sports columnist Bill Plaschke when he's on the panel on that day.)

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:56:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Santorum wins both (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mishar

    goes on to do well in the WA caucuses (where PPP has him ahead), and Mitt loses OH on March 6th - at what point can Santo start angling for the party to coalesce around him?

    California is by CD, as is NY -- winner-take-most (not all), so where would Romney's big delegate coup come in?

    •  hard for Romney to win or lose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, bismuth, Cali Scribe

      Romney has some advantages that will be hard for Santorum to overcome. First of all, he is essentially the defacto winner of the Virginia and Indiana primaries and almost all their delegates. Secondly, his organization will enable him to secure a greater than deserved number of delegates in caucus states (even if Santorum wins more votes, it's unclear he'll walk away with a delegate advantage) Not to mention little "states" - I can't imagine Santorum will do so well in Guam, Marinas, American Samoa and Virgin Islands (Which together have 36 delegates - more than MIchigan!)
      Thirdly, if Gingrich and Paul continue to splinter off some of the non-Romney vote, Santorum will have a hard time collecting an excessive # of delegates in the states where he will win.
      Meanwhile, Romney is pretty guaranteed to win winner-take-all contests in New Jersey and Utah as well as large majorities in New England and New York.
      I would say Illinois and California could go either way, but Romney will at worst win a lot of delegates in those states, and is probably a slight favorite.
      So even if Santorum wins Michigan, Ohio, all of the South & Midwest, and a majority of the popular vote, Romney is likely to enter the convention with a greater # of delegates. (though I doubt enough to be the clear winner and it'll be a mess for him in a hundred ways.

      •  Virginia (0+ / 0-)

        Polls showing him winning big there (against Paul) are cited, but I do not believe them as definitive.

        •  yes, anything can happen (0+ / 0-)

          I agree - the situation and polling is very volatile - but I do think Ron Paul has a ceiling amongst the Republican primary electorate - maybe 25% tops are willing to overlook (or support) his apostasies on foreign policy - and the rest will reluctantly vote for Romney. (Low turnout/enthusiasm for Romney might inflate Paul's numbers a bit more.)

          •  I think that (0+ / 0-)

            the Romney-loathers, including crossover votes in an open state, would be willing to give Paul the state, knowing he'll never go near the nomination -- strictly thwart-Mitt.

            •  There's not nearly enough of them (0+ / 0-)

              People don't show up to vote against someone unless their ideal replacement is part of the equation.  There's little evidence of a coordinated Ron Paul effort in VA nor of any serious cross-over stuff happening.  

              Crossing over isn't as viable as people think.  You lose your choice in Dem primaries at lower levels which in VA I bet are quite important.  I know if I was in VA I wouldn't give up my right to vote in the D primary for local officials just to try and help Rick Santorum

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:13:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Isn't Virginia's congressional primary (0+ / 0-)

                in June?  My understanding is that Virginia is purely a presidential preference primary.  (That's how it was in 2008).

                I don't even think VA's congressional districts are officially  finalized yet.

                •  I thought local stuff was in March (0+ / 0-)

                  Not Congressional, but stuff like mayors and what not.  If not then that mutes much of my argument.  It does seem odd that people would be allowed to vote in the GOP presidential primary but then the Dem primary for other stuff.

                  Still, I don't see a huge groundswell for Paul nor a concerted effort by Gingrich/Santorum to get people to vote for Paul.

                  It's hard for me to see how Mitt doesn't sweep VA, regardless of the rules.  the cross-over thing has always seemed more myth than reality.

                  "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                  by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:50:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I've talked openly on DKE of crossover but... (0+ / 0-)

                ...I've heard nothing on the ground about any such organized effort.

                If there's no organized effort in Fairfax County, where I'm active in Democratic politics, then it's just not happening since we have, by a huge margin, a bigger share of the state's Democrats than any other county.

                I've thought about it myself to show up and vote for Paul to make mischief, but I can't get past Paul's racist newsletters even if my vote would be purely tactical.  And then if others aren't bothering, there's no incentive for me.

                I do think there could be an anti-Mitt protest vote that votes for Paul in enough numbers to keep Mitt's margin lower than people might expect.  But Mitt will win.

                43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

                by DCCyclone on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 08:28:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  If Romney loses both Arizona and Michigan (0+ / 0-)

        I think he basically finished.  It is an open question on whether the GOP establishment will accept Santorum, but it would signify a Romney collapse.  I don't think it will happen though.

        I agree with your general analysis, I have been harping on most of this on this blog repeatedly, but it is contingent on a Romney win in Arizona.

      •  I don't see Santorum getting much (0+ / 0-)

        traction in the urban CDs -- he might pick up a few of the far northeastern or Central Valley districts, plus Inland Empire.

        But it's looking more likely that no one will be a clear winner, which means a floor fight unless Rmoney can cut a deal with someone.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

        by Cali Scribe on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:00:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hard to imagine (0+ / 0-)

          What a Romney-Gingrich deal would be, but it would be an interesting deal for sure :-)

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:06:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Santorum won St Louis city (0+ / 0-)

          In urban CDs, I have a hard time seeing a Mormon beat a Christian... but in some districts the business guys versus the AA churchgoers may not even be the largest bloc of voters.  That might be Democrats crossing over to be a nuisance.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:38:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was thinking California (0+ / 0-)

            In my neck of the woods (Silicon Valley) you don't hear about the Mormon v. "Christian" thing much; a local LDS church actually puts on a really nice Christmas creche display every year in early December, and they get Nativity sets loaned to them from all corners -- it's one of the more popular early events of the holiday season. (They do it that early so that families can have their sets back in plenty of time for their own celebrations.) Places like Missouri, a bit closer to Bible Belt mentalities (this isn't a slam on Missouri; my dad was from there and I've still got lots of cousins hanging around) would naturally be different.

            There might be a few churches still preaching about the trap of Mormonism around here (I know that the late Walter Martin wrote about them extensively in his books about cults), but it's not that prominently talked about. I think most Republicans in the urban areas, who might be unaware of the religion aspect, might go more towards Romney because he's seen as a bit more pro-business. But I could be wrong, of course...

            Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

            by Cali Scribe on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:19:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When you said "urban" (0+ / 0-)

              I thought of Compton and Inglewood and Oakland, not Los Altos or Cupertino or Santa Clara.

              The Silicon Valley strikes me as Romney's second best area -- after Orange, and a bit better than San Diego.

              While Romney will get lots of votes in the Silicon Valley, it will be concentrated in a few Congressional districts.  Urban California in terms of the GOP primary is mostly LA, where a genuinely tiny number of votes will be winner take all awarded to the winner urban districts that go 90/10 Dem in the general election.  Those inner-city urban districts are the wild card, and what little evidence we have suggests that Santorum could be favored in the black ones and maybe Romney in the Latino ones... but who knows?

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:28:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Romney is basically finished (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bismuth

      if he loses both Arizona and Michigan.  Heck he is in deep trouble if he loses Arizona and narrowly wins Michigan.  If Romney has to lose a state, it should be Michigan.  Sure it will be an embarrassment and there will be calls for a new candidate, but Romney can retool by late March and still have a delegate path to win.  

      Unless Romney wins both states, he is facing a whole bunch of losses in March until the Illinois primary.  What prevents it from pushing Romney to defeat is that he will take the entire set of delegates in Virginia, which will somewhat counteract his loss in delegates in a bunch of proportional states.  A win in Arizona will also help in that manner.

      •  Romney (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bismuth

        Would be strong delegate-wise in March even if he loses AZ and MI.

        He's going to win VA obviously, and IN for the same reason (Santorum not on ballot).  He's also probably going to be strong for ID, VT, and MA.  I'd also expect him to win the non continental races in Guam, Mariana, etc.

        Even if you think Santorum has a good March ahead, Romney is ahead in delegates now and will be throughout March most likely.  

        Even if Santorum wins more states in March, he won't be winning many with 50-60% vote shares, so he won't be sweeping delegates like Romney will in VA and IN.

        I see it more likely that Romney nets more delegates out of the virgin islands (9 total, I expect all for Romney) than Santorum will get out of Alaska (24 total, hard to see Santorum getting a 17-7 margin there).

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:47:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the thing (0+ / 0-)

          If Romney loses AZ and MI, I think he could really bottom out in the Southern and Midwestern states.  Romney could well end up well below 20% in many of those states, and it wouldn't even surprise me if he ends up in third behind Santorum and Newt in several Southern states.

          I don't think the tailspin Mitt will be facing in March if he loses both Michigan and Arizona should be underestimated.  Look at what happened to Mitt vs McCain on Super Tuesday in 2008, something similar would happen I think.  The GOP establishment also may give up on Romney in that scenario as well.

          But I don't think it will happen.  

          •  2008 was different (0+ / 0-)

            Super Tuesday 2008 was insanely different.  There are more proportional states in 2012, Super Tuesday is smaller, there is only 1 Southern Candidate, etc.

            The arithmetic for Santorum to take a delegate lead in March are pretty impossible, unless he wins Arizona and then does better in MI and  WA than expected (i.e. above 50%).  Rick can barely net 20 delegates in Oklahoma even winning 50% of the vote, but Romney will net 40+ in VA and 30+ in IN just by showing up on the ballot.  That is just crazy.  

            And then you get to places like IL, CA and NY where Santorum is going to be hard-pressed to actually do much outside debates.  Turnout/organization matters in the big states, and Romney has that.

            I also wouldn't discount Gingrich in the South.  Santorum might gain delegates on Romney in the South, but so long as Gingrich too is above 20% Santorum's gains are limited.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:15:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              If he loses Michigan and Arizona, Romney also gets shellacked in the Washington caucuses.  Romney may get close to no delegates in the Southern states (many of these states require district-level wins and 15-20% threshold for at large delegates).  Romney would get wiped out in Ohio and may win 2-3 districts.  Not sure what happens in the three districts that Santorum failed to file a full slate of delegates.  He would get blown out in caucuses in Kansas and Missouri in the weeks following.  Romney may "lead" Santorum in the delegate count (and I'm not even sure of that), but he won't have anything close to half the current delegates by mid-March.

              Romney's minimal support in these states comes from his perceived electability and inevitability.  In this scenario, both are gone, so Romney really has no base and will tank like a rock.

              I'm not saying that Santorum would be able to win the nomination, but Romney's door to the nomination would be really really uphill.  Most likely it would end up at a brokered convention for a nomination that nobody would want (if the economy keeps going the way it is).  But expect the GOP establishment to write off Romney if he loses both AZ and MI, and look for someone else.

              •  I think you want to ignore delegates (0+ / 0-)

                Though I'm not sure why you just gloss over this.It is a big deal.  The idea that somehow Romney won't get any in the south (which itself isn't true) but also that by default all of these will got to Santroum is quite untrue.  If Santorum can only net 20 delegates in Oklahoma with 40% of the vote what do you think he nets in Georgia...or Tennessee?

                While Romney has built in states where he will romp (VA, IN and likely UT) Santorum doesn't  Even in states where he could do well (i.e. 40%) he won't net much because at least 2 people will finish above 15%.  In states like Alaska that is a big deal as almost all of the delegates are proportional.

                You also seem to ignore the concept of big state primaries like IL, CA and NY, where Romney will have huge built in advantages.  You also ignore the Virgin Islands, Guam, Samoa, Puerto Rico and Marianas primaries which have like 50 delegates and those places probably haven't even heard of Rick Santorum, literally.

                "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:04:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not ignoring delegates (0+ / 0-)

                  I've went through them and the math isn't there for Romney, if he loses AZ and MI.   Here are the delegate rules in the March Southern (plus Kansas and Ohio) states

                  Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, - Proportional by district, 2 for winner, 1 for second place (20% threshold).  Need 20% threshold for at-large delegates, 50% for WTA (winner take all).

                  Oklahoma- Proportional by district, 2 for winner, 1 for second place (15% threshold).  Need 15% threshold for at-large delegates, 50% for WTA.

                  Mississippi, Kansas (caucus), Ohio- WTA by district,  Need 20% threshold for at-large delegates, 50% for WTA.

                  http://www.thegreenpapers.com/...

                  Romney got 2 delegates in South Carolina.  It is certainly in the realm of possibility that Mitt doesn't break 20% in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, or Tennessee and doesn't win any districts and places second in only a few of them.  

                  I just don't think Romney would have much juice left and I just don't see him picking up much more support the rest of the way.  And even if he has a reservoir of delegates from his inbuilt strength due to Santorum not getting on a ballot, it won't save him if he has no momentum left and keeps badly losing state after state and collects very few delegates.  As far as the big states, if he's unable to do well Michigan and Ohio (in this scenario), there is no guarantee he'll do well in Illinois and California either.      

                  If Romney wins Arizona but loses Michigan, he certainly still has the clear edge to win this primary.  In that circumstance, the delegates from Arizona and Virginia will wipe out his deficit on Super Tuesday and the weeks afterwards, and will set him up nicely for a comeback in Illinois and in April (where basically every state favors Romney).  

                  •  I see (0+ / 0-)

                    You're not ignoring delegates, you're ignoring states.  Mitt will win MA I think we can agree.  He's also likely to win Alaska and get a good chunk of delegates too.  He'll also do well in Vermont and in Idaho.

                    I think then you have to consider that Santorum is not going to win all of the CD's in the states you listed.  Gingrich is still around.  Quite simply, Gingrich is going to win some CD's in GA and maybe a couple in TN and some other southern states. And SC might be an approximation for MS or AL, but GA and TN are a little less Southern and Mitt will get 20% and will get 15% in Oklahoma

                    Santorum cannot net clean sweeps or big hauls.  Ohio is his biggest state but he all but ceded 9 delegates to Romney by not getting delegate slates in 3 CD's.  Romney is also likely to hit thresholds for delegates and maybe win some CD's that Santorum is in.

                    And you still ignore the US territories where Mitt is also likely to get a clean sweep.  it's possible Romney gets a bigger delegate margin out of Puerto Rico than Santorum gets out of Oklahoma.

                    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                    by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:48:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not that it matters much, but how do you figure (0+ / 0-)

                      Alaska being Mitt's?

                      All the data up to this point suggests Mitt will do very poorly there. It's a caucus in in a non-Mormon non-New England place.  All those elements are bad for Romney.

                      Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                      by tommypaine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:04:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  He was able to get people out last time (0+ / 0-)

                        I have no idea why they'd actually vote for him, but he's probably the only guy who can have an actual turnout operation there.  

                        With an event with less than 12,000 total voters, and 24 delegates at stake, the cost per voter (or per delegate) is something where he should invest his money and see results.

                        I could be very wrong but that's my gut feel.

                        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                        by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:11:26 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Maybe won't matter at all but... (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm guessing Alaska will comically be Paul's biggest effort.  The dude pitifully wants to win a state, and this is his best shot.  I'd expect him to spend here... if we are really lucky he'll give a "victory" speech there and drone on and on in the middle of the night on CNN, rather than clutter up the tube earlier in the night.

                          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

                          by tommypaine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:32:35 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Maine was probably his best effort (0+ / 0-)

                            From one end of the country to the other campaigning.

                            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                            by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 01:34:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Will do a complete projection (0+ / 0-)

                      of the delegate counts through March under the scenario where Mitt loses AZ/MI causing his Southern/Midwestern numbers collapse if I have time.

                      The most recent poll for Oklahoma is at S-39 R-23 G-18 P-13

                      Texas S-45 G-18 R-16 P-14

                      My guess is that if Romney loses MI/AZ, he loses at least a third to a half of his support in states like Oklahoma, much of which will go to Gingrich.  South Carolina has Hilton Head and Charleston, which are wealthy socially moderate areas, so it is actually a lot more favorable to Mitt, than states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.  

                      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                        Those southern states are less favorable to Romney, and more favorable to Gingrich.  The support isn't swaying from Romney to Santorum.

                        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

                        by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 07:27:10 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm guessing (11+ / 0-)

    this is the first time Mitt Romney's ever had to actually work hard for something he wanted.

    Or just work hard at all.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:37:13 AM PST

  •  It's still not clear who is the biggest asshole. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown

    I'm holding out for Newt, but Ricky is surging ahead.

  •   Last PPP poll in Arizona had Santorum at 3% (5+ / 0-)

    Of course that was back in November, but still....

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:37:27 AM PST

  •  Gotta love (0+ / 0-)

    The top selections for 2nd choice (at 29%) is "someone else".  I wonder who they're pining for specifically; do they still dream of President McCain.

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:41:41 AM PST

  •  Maybe I think too much (6+ / 0-)

    like a democrat but I just don't see how freely Santorum has been letting his freak flag fly doesn't send him crashing...just like all the other "not-Mitts".  I hope I'm wrong because I'd rather we worked against an extremist true believer than a slick shape shifter in the general.  Especially since we have to factor the enormous amount of Superpac money that is behind R Money.

  •  I wish the MoE wasn't so high (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, Cali Scribe

    Maybe they could go to a 4-day poll and try to get more responses.  That 4.8% MoE when the race is that tight could mean a double digit lead for Romney to a 6 point lead for Santorum.  

    "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

    by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:44:04 AM PST

  •  Romney is only viable because of Gingrich (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    I'm 187% positive there is already a deal in place for a sweet corporate gig for Gingrich if he stays in for the long haul.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:45:35 AM PST

  •  Leading with 3 pts when you are the front runner (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jed Lewison, Aquarius40, Bharat, itskevin

    is kinda weak, isn't it?

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:45:58 AM PST

    •  In fact, it's not even a lead. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, LaurenMonica, Desert Rose, itskevin

      It's within the poll's margin of error.

      Unless one is spinning that result for Romney, that poll shows a statistical tie.

      Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

      by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:53:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Statistical ties' do not exist (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sneakers563, LaurenMonica, Gpack3

        Unless they are just tied, which they are not. That's a media word, not a statistician's.

        Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

        by Scarce on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:59:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes they do, although.. (0+ / 0-)

          Opinion polls are garbage and the way that they are presented in the media have even less relation to reality.   The "margin of error" is simply thrown in to make it look scientific.    Opinion polling is more related to advertising than science.

          It is enough to make a real statistican weep.   First off, the margin of error is not some fancy high tech measured thing, it is simple calculation of the size of the (assumed) population of voters against the size of your sample.   It takes a second to calculate and it is totally meaningless because the assumption is that the error in the sample is normally distributed and it clearly is not in any known polling method.    

          Now if the margin of error had any meaning, which it does not, then it would not be telling you what the pollsters claim.    The goal of the poll is to determine the opinion of the population from a sample.   If the difference between Opinion A and Opinion B exceeds the margin of error calculated for a certain confidence interval then you could make the statement "we are %x confident that our sample truly reflects the fact that the population has the same opinion as our sample."   If the difference between the samples is less than the margin of error then you can't.    You know nothing, you have a failed survey.     Maybe you didn't ask enough people (which is the usual failing.)

          There is a reality to the polls -- obviously if everybody supports opinion A and nobody supports opinion B then it will show up no matter how few people you call, but the analysis of the polls has nothing to do with reality.   Not that anybody cares....

          •  Public opinion is absolutely a normal statistic (0+ / 0-)

            Groups as large as entire states (or congressional districts) by mathematical necessity approach a normal shape. It's one of the foundational rules of statistics.

          •  It's not a binary (0+ / 0-)

            95% is a completely arbitrary cutoff for what is and is not statistically significant, when in reality there's a continuum.

            It's true that the bigger the gap, the more likely it is that the person who appears to be ahead in the polls is actually ahead, but even a small lead less than the margin of error means that it's more likely than not that that candidate is ahead (assuming the poll is otherwise competently administered)

        •  No, this is flat wrong (0+ / 0-)

          Statistically as well as any other way. The whole point of polling as a science is to produce confidence intervals of plus or minus a small percentage around a single number. There is no confidence (to speak of) that the "real" result is closer to that single number than any other number in the interval. That's the whole idea!

          So unless you're making a highly technical point of absolutely no practical value (in which case I agree with you) you're wrong.

          •  The error bars are symmetrical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            redrelic17

            If someone is ahead by two, with a margin of error of  four, they could be up by as much as six or down by two.
            It doesn't mean they're "statistically tied", because it's still more likely than not that the guy with the lead is actually ahead.

    •  Yup. I think it definately shows that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica

      once he gets to the general, he'll be very damaged goods. If the best the front runner can do is "eke" out a few points against the non-front runner in the primaries, that bodes very badly later on.

    •  BBB almost one year ago to the day: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaurenMonica, ProudObamabot10
      If you just look at the fundamentals, (3+ / 0-)
      and by fundamentals I mean conservative record, true-believer Tea Party status, national profile, fund-raising ability, and overall political influence, you'd have to say Mike Huckabee is a compromised candidate for a GOP primary.

      Not nearly as weak as Romney, of course. He's the weakest frontrunner I've ever seen in my life. But Huckabee has problems.

      The question I have is what does Fox News say to Huckabee if he doesn't run and doesn't endorse a fellow Fox News personality...i.e. Sarah Palin?

      Yo.

      by brooklynbadboy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:16:10 PM EST

      •  What is the point? <n/t> (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itskevin

        "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

        by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:05:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Romney (0+ / 0-)

        compares with, and not even favorably with Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis as really bad candidates.  

        The conclusion is that Romney is a horrible candidate, and Democrats should hope for him to be nominated after a nasty primary where his legitimacy to the nomination is under severe question from the severely conservative GOP base.  Hopefully they feel that the GOP establishment helped Romney steal the nomination and don't show up in the fall.

  •  Well Santorum is meeting with Arpaio (0+ / 0-)

    before the debate. That should help him with the crazies.

  •  I'm more interested in seeing if Gingrich loses GA (0+ / 0-)

    Now that would be delicious.

    And if I'm Rick Santorum I'm at least going there and testing the waters.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:01:01 AM PST

  •  So crazy how Romney can't win... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin

    ... without a full out media blitz. He has zero grass root support.

    No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

    by Magster on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:04:30 AM PST

    •  That will make a big difference (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Magster

      in the fall.  

      If GW Bush had this little grassroots support in 2004, he would have lost.   President John Kerry would be presiding over Great Depression II (after Kerry's stimulus would have been rejected by the GOP Congress.)  On the plus side, we'd have a less right-wing Supreme Court.

      •  There's no way Kerry would have been reelected (0+ / 0-)

        I doubt he could have prevented the financial crisis, so the economy would have been collapsing right when he was running for reelection.

        Meanwhile, he has to try to pass TARP or something like it through Congress. TARP barely passed in real life, but if it hadn't been a lame duck proposing it, there's no way the opposition party would have supported it. And without Bush in charge in 06, I doubt the Dems would have won back Congress, so he would have had to deal with a Republican-controlled Congress.

        He would have lost badly, and the Democratic Party would have been discredited for a generation. In this alternative scenario, without Bush's unpopularity dragging Republicans down, George Allen wins reelection in 06 and the nomination in 08, and we're discussing his reelection campaign now.

        •  Perhaps, perhaps not (0+ / 0-)

          one could argue that Kerry would have pushed to bailout Lehman Bros as what was done with Bear Stearns, and that would have delayed the crash for several months.  Kerry would probably have appointed someone other than Bernanke as the Chairman of the Fed.
          Wall Street would have gotten enough GOP votes for something like TARP.  Without a Tea Party, the bailouts would pass.

          I agree that the Democrats would have been discredited for a generation, but I'm not sure that would have happened until 2009, after a Kerry reelection.  You might be looking at a veto proof GOP majority in the House and maybe the Senate (and a filibuster proof one for certain).

          Maybe its better that Bush won in 2004.

          •  Wall Street had trouble getting GOP votes (0+ / 0-)

            In real life, with Bush as president. I don't see Kerry getting reelected at all, regardless of whether TARP passes. Incumbents don't get reelected in the environment that he would have faced in 2008.

            •  If the financial crisis (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LordMike

              drops in 2008, Kerry would have been finished regardless of TARP.  I'm arguing that Kerry as President may result in the financial crisis being delayed for another few months, enough to be reelected.  But it may not have either.

               

              •  Even without the crisis (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ProudObamabot10

                The economy had been in recession for almost a year.

                You're right that more effective management could have forestalled Lehman's collapse until 2009, and maybe obviated TARP for a while, but Kerry would have had trouble passing the Fannie and Freddie bailout in the summer too. That was one of the crucial things the Bush administration did to forestall the crash, but it's not clear that Kerry would have been able to get it done. In fact, the crisis might have come sooner without it.

        •  The Dems woudl have been discredited... (0+ / 0-)

          ...as long as the GOP was discredited after 2008:  2 years.  The Allen administration would pass strangling cuts that would have made the economy worse, allowing a huge dem congressional wave led by a movement similar to Occupy Wall Street.  Subsequent stimulus plans would have been vetoed, making the GOP brand brutally toxic for the 2012 election paving the way for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

          "What if's" are always fun, but violate the first law of history (never ask "what if?").  We really can't tell what would have happened had the timelines been changed.  If only we had a TARDIS.

          GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

          by LordMike on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:07:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Finacial crisis was easily avoidable (0+ / 0-)

          No way to know how the economy would have reacted without hundreds of billions poured into the Middle East and a slight bit more financial regulation.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 03:14:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think Kerry could have avoided it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            He would still be in Iraq, so all those millions would still be going there. The Bush tax cuts would not have expired, so all that money would still be floating out there. And given how hard it is to get Democrats to take financial regulation as seriously as it deserves now, after the crash, I doubt Kerry's regulators would have been much more effective than Bush's. Besides, a lot of the damage had already been done by 2005.

            Gore, on the other hand, probably would have avoided the financial crisis.

  •  Santorum can't win without some money (0+ / 0-)

    to offset the negative onslaught from team Romney.  GOP voters are too gullible and can easily be swayed by negative advertising.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:19:05 AM PST

  •  Hey guys, don't look now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, itskevin, pademocrat

    but Gallup has Santorum leading Romney by 10 points.

    http://www.gallup.com/...

    Swingnut since 2009, 20, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-14 (college) Join r/elections on reddit!

    by Daman09 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:30:02 AM PST

    •  And has Obama/Romney tied (0+ / 0-)

      As such I'll throw the baby out with the bathwater, Gallup.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 10:32:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arizona is must win for Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommypaine, pademocrat

    Much more so than Michigan.  If Romney loses Michigan it will be an embarrassment, and Super Tuesday will be a bloodbath, but with all the delegates in Arizona and Virginia, he's still in control of the delegate count.  If Romney loses Arizona to Santorum, he's in deep shit, even if he narrowly wins Michigan.

    Assuming that Michigan is close (and I think it will be), the delegate gains for either candidate is minimal.

    •  Which is why his campaign chair fiasco will hurt (0+ / 0-)

      It is almost a parody -- right wing tough on border homophobic sheriff high-profile Romney campaign chair turns out to have a gay illegal immigrant lover from Mexico.    The tough guy sheriff was from Maine, too.

      •  A few things to clarify there... (0+ / 0-)

        1. Babeu was not homophobic; he never used anti-gay rhetoric that I've been able to find. He was not even closeted, although he "didn't wear it on his sleeve" as he put it in his press conference. People close to him already knew.

        2. His lover was not an illegal immigrant - the boyfriend is from Mexico but he is in the US legally, on a resident VISA.

        3. Babeu was originally from Massachusetts, not Maine.

        I also don't know how much it's going to hurt Romney, since he immediately dumped the guy from his campaign. That part remains to be seen.

  •  Delegates or Image. What's more important? (0+ / 0-)

    Sanctorum wins Michigan, or holds Mitt to squeaker win. Overcoming Mitt's home state advantage. Surviving a billion dollar negative media blitz.

    Because Michigan violated GOP rules it's lost delegates. Delegates are winner take all at the congressional district level, plus two "proportional" (?). So, probably, nobody comes out of there with a huge bag of delegates.

    Arizona is winner take all. Nice bag of delegates.

    But which is more important?

    You lose your home state. A state your father governed back when dinosaurs walked the earth. A state you campaigned in (badly). Spent a bunch of money on. Guaranteed you'd win. An important battleground swing state in the general.

    You bag a nice bunch of delegates and get some breathing room in the delegate race heading into Super Tuesday.

    Which is more important?

    I am having a hard time believing losing Michigan is no big deal to Mitt. Personally it means a ton. Politically it's important.  You lost your home state? How's that look? Not good.

    At the very least it puts a big dent in the electability argument. And, I think, it gives the tealiban - who really really detest Mitt - a really big reason to rally around Sanctorum going forward. And that'll hurt on Super Tuesday.

    I understand the delegate math thing. And losing AZ really hurts Mitt. He cannot afford to let that math start slipping. Inevitable is the twin of electability in Mitt's strategy.

    Mitt loses both AZ and Michigan, stick a fork in him. Things slowly start moving towards Sanctorum, especially if he does well in Super Tuesday.

    Mitt wins MI and loses AZ the delegate math may start to work against him. That's a nice bunch of delegates for Ricky.

    Lose Michigan?

    That's a tough one to ignore or explain away. Momentum. Image. Spin.

    Mitt cannot go into the convention simply ahead. He needs to lock this up before the convention. A brokered convention is too unpredictable for Mitt, especially since the far right detests him.

    This is gonna be fun.

    Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

    by BobBlueMass on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:45:13 AM PST

    •  How is Michigan his home state? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean he's from there, but seriously has he lived there in the last 30 years.  

      Michigan is the equivalent of his high school girlfriend; if she wasn't still in love with him i doubt it would matter.  And more importantly, it shouldn't matter.

      Winning AZ is all that matters.  if MI is even remotely close (i.e. within 5-points) I doubt Santorum gets more than a 5 delegate margin, while Mitt would get plenty out of AZ and continue to pad his lead.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 11:53:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Old girlfriends (0+ / 0-)

        Don't blame me.

        I'm not the one running commercials about growing up there, how much he loves the place, great to be home, wasn't my dad a great governor?

        It's stupid and arrogant of him to do that. It shouldn't matter. To people out there it doesn't matter. Unless your 60 his father is a line in the history books.

        But he makes a big deal about it. And that's gonna bite him if he loses. Perception and expectation.

        It's like hitting on your old girlfriend at the 40 year reunion and getting your face slapped. Gotta hurt. It sure doesn't look good.

        Democrats are not always right, but Republicans are insane.

        by BobBlueMass on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:12:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except (0+ / 0-)

          Only people in Michigan are seeing the ads.  its not like the GOP electorate in Oklahoma cares if he loses in Michigan, which is the real point.  Oklahoma isn't even invited to the reunion; she's a different school altogether.

          It's a state by state election.  Romney is extremely well setup to win the most delegates by June, and depending on March 6 results, might even be setup to win an actual majority.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 12:15:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And if Mitt loses MI (0+ / 0-)

      it will be yet ANOTHER state he won in 2008 but lost in 2012.

      It is interesting that so many people point to the delegates in guaranteeing that Mitt will be the nominee but, how many times is a nominee picked after just a hand full of states have primaries? In many cases the nominee is only guaranteed victory because everyone else drops out.

      Personally, I think that Mitt has the edge over Santorum because of Mitt's insider & media support, and his megamillion slime machine, but I can't deny that Santorum is has had some impressive victories on a shoestring budget.

  •  Santorum's aide has a severe freudian slip. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    They're talking about energy policies and then it happens:

    Sh*t politicians say: "I'm Pete 'Spend-It-Not' Hoekstra and I approve this message." -'Police State' Pete

    by KingofSpades on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:39:42 PM PST

  •  The Contradiction. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, itskevin, pademocrat

      Isn't it amazing that in the first Republican presidential primary after the Tea Party uprising that a strict Social conservative is as close as one has ever been to winning the nomination? The tea party was supposedly "libertarian" and less interested in social issues. I think that the utter failure of tea party organizing for 2012 is a very underreported story. Their failure to organize also confirms that they can not do anything without their corporate funders supporting their every move. Those corporate funders are too busy propping up shitty candidates for the presidency to bother with the fickle tea party "leaders."
      It's common knowledge that the social conservative wing of the GOP has always been weaker than the utterly dominant big business conservative wing, and I doubt that the social cons are gaining any strength. So why is it precisely now that the business cons are flailing? Has Occupy pushed them back on their heels? Or is Romney a giant albatross?

    http://www.snappac.org/ Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 04:19:26 PM PST

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