Mitt Romney Wins Wyoming Caucuses & Goes on O’Reilly With Ann Coulter

The former Massachusetts governor was the favorite of 39 percent of the 2,108 caucus goers, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished second with 32 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had 21 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 8 percent. The situation in Wyoming is really confusing, but these are the only results we’ll have for awhile, and it’s great to have another win for Mitt heading towards Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on the results of the Wyoming caucuses:

I want to thank the voters of Wyoming who took the time to participate in their state’s caucuses, and who gave me their support. It is a thrill to have taken first place in Wyoming. Our country is engaged in a great debate about its future direction. The voters here have spoken loudly and told the rest of the country that they want change, and they want a leader who understands that fixing the nation’s economy, and ending Obama’s runaway spending and borrowing, is priority number one.



Update: Mitt Romney interview with WNWO’s Hubert Wiggins (VIDEO 02-29-12)

Finally, check out the latest cartoon from Mitt Fitts below the fold. (more…)

Romney Dominates Nevada Caucus; Entrance Polls Tidbits

Well, the final results aren’t final yet . . . but it’s clear that Romney won this important swing state’s caucus, and won it big. (Update . . . Romney did get just over 50%, but the entrance poll results have just been revised this morning, so much of what you see quoted below is somewhat off from what the linked poll says NOW. Sorry, I’m not going back and re-calculating things at this point).

He’s got 43% of the vote with 43% of precincts reporting, but the results of Clark County (Las Vegas) as not coming in as fast as expected. Don’t fret though Romney fans, Mitt will win a majority of the votes and I’m guessing he’ll be somewhere between 52-55% of the total vote when all is said and done. If things track as closely as they are in the entrance polls, Clark County should go for Mitt by over 60% (and they’ve nailed the non-Clark County…rest of NV…percentage at 43%, exactly how the real results have turned out)

Debunking the “Romney won Nevada because of the Mormon factor” myth:

Yes, Mitt dominated among LDS voters with 90% choosing Romney, BUT (and it’s a very big “but”), EVEN IF NOT A SINGLE MORMON WENT TO VOTE, ROMNEY WOULD HAVE WON THE STATE WITH A 42%-26% margin over Gingrich.  Romney won Catholics 52%-19% over Newt and “White Evangelical/Born Again” by a solid margin of 46%-26% over the former Speaker.

Debunking the “See, the poor won’t vote for Romney” myth:

On CNN’s coverage tonight, the anchors/pundits seemed to be getting as much mileage as possible out of the fact that the only economic demographic that Romney did NOT win was those that make $30,000 or less (which were only 10% of the voters in NV last night).  They were trying to tie this to Romney’s “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment and even went on to conclude that this “underscores the fact that blue-collar workers, who you can’t win without their support, do not see that this is a guy that will fight for them.”  SERIOUSLY?!?!?  I realize that these pundits aren’t statisticians, but it’s pretty straightforward to figure out why he didn’t win this demographic.  First off, he hardly “lost” this demographic.  Paul and Newt both got 31%, and Mitt got 30%, a virtual 3 way tie for first.  Secondly, the age of the voter is VERY determinative of income when looking at your youngest age group especially.  Voters aged 18-29 were only 8% of the vote (quite similar to the 10% in that income of $30K or less), and Paul won that group 40% to 39% over Romney.  Paul has been wining the young college-aged voters in almost every state . . . it’s his base and he’s definitely turning out this group of folks that do not typically vote in a GOP primary.  Good for Paul. But these college kids are a HUGE portion of the “makes less than $30,000 year” group, and I don’t think anyone would consider college kids “the very poor,” they are just in a temporary low-income stage of their lives.

“Strong Moral Character;” Mitt good, Newt Very Very Bad:

In perhaps the most revealing entrance poll finding, those that felt a candidate having “Strong Moral Character” was their number one trait they sought in a President, Mitt got 54% of the vote … Newt got 1% of those voters.  No, that is not a typo, ONE PERCENT (Paul got 32% and Santorum got 13%).  Looks like Nevada voters are pretty good judges of character, eh?  THIS IS WHY YOU’RE LOSING NEWT!! YOU BLAME MITT FOR YOUR LAGGING VOTE TALLIES, BUT YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR BUDDY!

Debunking the “Strong Conservatives and Tea Party voters don’t like Romney” myth:

Like New Hampshire and Florida, Romney, once again, won self-identified conservatives and supporters of the Tea Party in Nevada.  This time though, he won A MAJORITY of these groups.  Romney beat Newt 54%-21% among conservative voters and 50%-23% among Tea Party supporters.  Yet I still see pundit after pundit say that Romney still has a lot of work to do to appeal to conservatives (while they “obviously” love Newt).  CAN THEY NOT READ A POLL?!?  Among “very conservative” voters he Mitt still won 49%-24% over Newt, and even beat him 39%-30% among those “strongly supportive of Tea Party.”  Some narratives are hard to kill, but when a state in the Northeast (NH), Southeast (FL), and West (NV) all show Romney winning conservatives and Tea Party supporters I think it’s proof positive against that media meme. The real take-away/new-media-narrative should be that Newt has work to do to appeal to as many conservatives as Romney has been.

Odds and Ends:

The Economy was the number one (even by a majority) issue on voters minds, and Romney carried these voters by 62%.  By an even larger margin, the candidate quality of “Can Defeat Obama” was number one, and Romney absolutely dominated here with 73% of the vote.  WOW!  ”Right Experience” was the top quality to only 15% of voters, but Romney cleaned up here too with 55% (Rick Santorum pulled in a whopping 1% here).   Romney also continues to dominate the Suburbs winning with 69% there; historically this is a key demographic for winning a general election.

Turnout Issue:

Newt and some liberals keeps saying that Mitt’s trying to suppress turnout in order to win.  When we look at the field compared to 2008, however, I don’t think it’s any surprise that turnout is lower.  Last time around there was much more diversity, and much more famous personalities in the field.  You had a Pro-Choice candidate with strong personal appeal/popularity in Rudy Giuliani, War Hero John McCain, popular actor Fred Thompson, and folksy former pastor Mike Huckabee in addition to Mitt and Paul all in the race this far into the process.  Substituting character-challenged Gingrich and personality/experience-challenged Rick Santorum in place of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee is beyond even comparing apples and oranges. They all had more money and organization that either Newt or Rick too and that is how turnout is driven. Like all of Newt’s complaints/excuses, this one rings hollow as well.

CONGRATS MITT AND NEVADA!! ANOTHER GREAT WIN FOR ROMNEY!!

Mitt Romney doesn’t care about poor people? WRONG!

In the 24 hour news cycle, the story of the day has been Mitt’s comments to CNN in the early morning after his Florida win. While I think even the most ardent Romney fan would admit that this could and should have (and will be) phrased more adeptly, the liberals have taken and run with the partial quote that he’s “not concerned with the very poor” … It looks worse in print that in the context of the interview:

Mitt cares deeply about the poor, and his actions speak louder than words. How many “journalists” have bothered to mention that Mitt has given over $7,000,000 (SEVEN FREAKING MILLION!) to charitable organizations in just the last two years? Records from before then show the Romney’s consistent giving millions upon millions to organizations that care for the poor. By contrast, Joe Biden gave only $3690 to charity in an entire decade … that’s PROOF of someone that doesn’t care about the poor. From 2001-4, the Obamas made nearly a million dollars, but donated LESS THAN 1% of that income to charity.

Or what about when Mitt gave cash out of his pocket to the lady in South Carolina who said God guided her to follow Romney’s campaign bus to find help to keep her lights on? The EXACT SAME CNN REPORTER (Soledad) even reported about that a couple of weeks ago … does she have no memory?

Mitt doesn’t care about poor people? Demonstrably false and easy to debunk (and this is without even delving into fact that Mitt, as a Mormon Bishop for several years, dedicated much of his time to caring for the poor in a very “hands on” fashion). If Obama and team push this theme it will come back to bite them. Mitt’s done more to care for the poor than any snarky reporter or any of his political rivals.

Recall Vic’s post from a couple days back that highlighted Romney’s life of service and included the following YouTube:

Additionally, Brit Hume on Fox News today adroitly argued that anyone who wants to “make hay” or be offended by this out-of-context quote wouldn’t be voting for a GOP candidate anyways. I’d have to agree.

Endorsements Matter, Especially for a Republican

NOTE: Specific Endorsement Count by Candidate & Names: End of Post

Any one endorsement for a presidential candidate, in and of itself, is not generally considered that important in the long-term. However, how that endorser supports the candidate over time and the number of endorsements of stature can have significant influence. Every endorsement is a huge vote of confidence by the person putting their name on the line, in public (consider those who do not endorse candidates at all — there is a reason they don’t step up)

I have been giving a lot of thought to the large number of endorsements Governor Romney has compiled week in and week out. Gingrich sees this “voting” and he attempts to blunt their importance by referring to these as “the establishment” supporting Governor Romney.

Nonsense.

No matter how you cut it, almost EVERY one of these endorsers knows both Gingrich and Romney; some better than others. Very few of these choose Gingrich. By the way, I have yet to hear any close friend of Gingrich or any colleague of his (that worked closely with him for years), ever say anything positive about the man as a leader (besides his ability to speak well). Why is that? I only hear negative things said of him from those that know him well.

Yesterday’s Opinion section of The Wall Street Journal discusses this important topic:

Do endorsements matter? Politicians certainly think so, and they spend loads of time courting party elites and opinion-makers. So far, though, 2012 has shown how the politics of anointment and appointment can fail.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley flopped mightily in trying to deliver her state for Mitt Romney. Evangelical leaders held a summit to get the Palmetto State to back their new choice, Rick Santorum, but he fared much worse than Mr. Romney. Newt Gingrich knows the feeling—New Hampshire’s supposedly dominant Manchester Union Leader newspaper huffed and puffed for Newt and got him less than 10% of the vote.

But it’s easy to cherry-pick examples to prove the folly of endorsements. In some circumstances, they can make a substantial difference.

Throughout American history, presidencies have been created by the laying on of incumbent hands. Thomas Jefferson effectively passed the presidency to his friend and confidant, James Madison. Andrew Jackson handed his populist democracy off to an unlikely dandy, Martin Van Buren, in 1836. Few would have imagined the studious and portly William Howard Taft as president until Theodore Roosevelt picked him in 1908. More recently, George H.W. Bush might not have been elected president without Ronald Reagan’s blessing. Madison, Van Buren, Taft and Mr. Bush all got their predecessor’s third term—when popular, presidents have extraordinary powers.

What about little-known state legislators and local sheriffs? Even low-level backing can attract the cameras and generate a positive story. But this can backfire if candidates overplay their hands, as Jon Huntsman did when his campaign hinted at a “major” announcement in Florida. Speculation naturally centered on former Gov. Jeb Bush. Not quite. Mr. Huntsman got only his son, Jeb Jr., and the media’s letdown showed in the coverage.
[...]
Even more than Democrats, Republicans typically nominate a candidate that party elites support. In “The Party Decides,” political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel and John Zaller analyzed endorsements made prior to the Iowa caucuses in presidential primary contests from 1980 to 2004. They found that the candidate who had won the biggest share of endorsements won the eventual nomination in nine of 10 competitive contests (the exception was Democrat John Kerry in 2004). On the GOP side, the eventual nominees all won a strong plurality of endorsements.

Not surprisingly, given Mr. Romney’s position as the front-runner and the fear that many Republican officeholders have of sharing a ballot with Mr. Gingrich or Ron Paul, the former Massachusetts governor has a long lead in endorsements from elected officials. According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Mr. Romney has the backing of 72 members of Congress, versus a combined 17 for the other candidates.

This is good news for Mr. Romney. Mr. Gingrich is attempting to stir the populism of the GOP base by railing against “elites,” but many voters welcome guidance in intra-party contests. In a general election, voters have the invaluable short-hand cue of the party label. But in a nominating contest, all candidates have the same party label. How to choose just one? Differences in personality, background and policy help, but so does a candidate’s association with other well-known party figures. People want to puzzle out which candidate comes closest to their kind of Republican or Democrat.

Non-endorsements can send powerful signals to voters as well. For decades, leading Southern Democrats practiced “golden silence” in presidential years, refusing to endorse their party’s presidential nominees. This was a green light to voters that it was acceptable to support a Republican for the White House. In 1960, President Eisenhower wanted Vice President Nixon to succeed him, but he damaged Nixon’s campaign when asked what major decisions in his administration Nixon had influenced. “If you give me a week, I might think of one,” said Ike. The comment ended up in one of John Kennedy’s TV ads.

Could non-endorsements end up mattering in 2012, too? Despite decades on Capitol Hill and four years as speaker of the House, Mr. Gingrich has only 11 congressional endorsements, five of them from Georgians.

[emphasis added]

CHECK THESE TWO SITES FOR MANY SPECIFICS:

Endorsements for the Republican Party presidential primaries, 2012

RACE 4 2012 — Endorsements as of January 20, 2012
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FOR Romney: Bachmann’s Tea Party Caucus Founder, WY Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis

Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (pictured on horse at the 2010 Cheyenne Frontier Day celebration) has endorsed Mitt Romney. Nov 14, 2011


Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, one of the founding members of Michele Bachmann‘s Tea Party Caucus when the GOP reclaimed the House in 2010, has endorsed Mitt Romney. Lummis, also an attorney and rancher, will take the reins of the Romney campaign in Wyoming:

Congresswoman Lummis has served Wyoming well for the past 30 years and I am honored to have such a public servant leading my campaign in Wyoming,” said Mitt Romney.

“Governor Romney’s experience as both a chief executive and conservative businessman makes him highly qualified to lead our nation at this time – a time when the size and scope of the federal government threatens to overwhelm us,” said Lummis.

“Recently, he highlighted the spending mess that we are in and how we can avert an economic crisis. The burdens now placed on small businesses and working Americans, and those who want to work, seem unbearable. I believe Mitt has emerged as the right person at the right time to lead America. I am honored to serve as his Wyoming Chairman and look forward to bringing his conservative message of fiscal responsibility to voters in my state.”

(emphasis added )

Background on Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis:

Congresswoman Lummis was first elected to Congress in 2008 and serves on the Appropriations Committee. Prior to her election, she served in both the Wyoming Senate and House and served two terms as Wyoming’s State Treasurer. Congressman Lummis is a rancher and an attorney.

Send an email welcoming Congresswoman Lummis’ to Team Romney; visit her website (click on ‘contact’ tab). ‘Like’ her facebook page here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Heads West: Raising Funds in Wyoming & Utah

A beautiful western sunset... Gov Mitt Romney will attend fundraisers in The Cowboy State today. Aug 18, 2011 (click on image to enlarge)

The wide, open spaces of the intermountain west will be Mitt Romney’s destination for the next couple of days.

Today, The Gov will take in the rugged beauty of Wyoming as he meets with the good folks in Afton and Wilson. He’s also there to rustle up some cash:

trib.com

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will hold a pair of fundraisers and make his first public Wyoming campaign stop of the 2012 election season Thursday in western Wyoming.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who easily won the 2008 Wyoming Republican presidential caucuses, will hold a meet and greet at the Afton Civic Center starting at 1:15 p.m., according to campaign spokesman Ryan Williams.

Earlier that morning, Romney will attend a private $2,500-per-head fundraiser at the Star Valley Trout Ranch near Afton, according to Afton Civic Center events coordinator Justin Visser.

On Thursday evening, Romney will attend a fundraiser in Wilson, Williams said. Williams declined to provide details about that fundraiser.



Friday will find Gov Romney in northern Utah, the beautiful Beehive State:

Standard-Examiner

The Logan Herald Journal says Romney will host the events Friday at a private home and a conference center in Logan.

Romney’s visit will be the second to heavily Republican Utah since he officially announced his candidacy for president. He visited Salt Lake City in July for a fundraiser and a rally at a hamburger stand.

Romney remains extremely popular in the state[...] Polls continue to show him carrying a substantial lead in the state over other Republican candidates, including former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.



UPDATE - Photo of the Day from MittRomney.com/blogs

Mitt poses with 100 year old supporter from Afton, Wyoming. Wow! August 18, 2011



Jayde Wyatt