So the day has arrived: the final round of the 2013 Daily Kos Republican March to Madness Tournament. We started out with a field of 64 but after narrowing to an Insane 16 and then a Crazy 8, but after more than 200,000 votes, we're down to two final contenders for the crown of Craziest Republican of them all: #1 seed Rick Santorum from the Theocons Region and #4 seed Michele Bachmann from the Teabaggers Region.
Santorum squeezed out (ewww!) a victory over #4 seed Dick Cheney from the GOP Establishment Region by taking 52 percent of the vote. Bachmann got a slightly higher share of the vote—53 percent—against her opponent, #1 seed Rush Limbaugh from the Right-wing Media Region. Whichever candidate takes the final prize of craziest Republican of them all, those are extraordinary victories: when you're wackier than Dick Cheney or Rush Limbaugh you've really accomplished something ... terrible.
Now the choice is between two 2012 Republican presidential candidates, each of whom at one point led the pack. Unlike Santorum, Bachmann currently holds office—something we can't fix until November, 2014—but unlike Bachmann, Santorum lasted deep in the 2012 campaign and is treated as a serious 2016 contender for the GOP nomination. So which is your choice for craziest Republican of them all? Voting begins now and will continue until tomorrow morning at around 8:30 AM ET, after which we'll announce the tournament's winner.
Vote below, and if you want to take a look at how the tournament unfolded, follow below the fold for the full bracket and results.
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As you can see after reviewing the tournament's round-by-round action, Bachmann probably had a tougher road to the final matchup—she took down Steve King and Ted Cruz in addition to Limbaugh—but Santorum's defeat of lunatic luminaries like Cheney and Pat Robertson were impressive. But it's not who you've beaten that determines winners: it's who you beat in the future. And your votes will determine who that is.