8:55 PM – @VicLundquist: Governor of Pennsylvania just gave an update here at HQ. Said based on turnout, Governor Romney will win PA later. pic.twitter.com/LW2ZNGmO
8:50 PM – No definitive information from any of the swing states yet. Fl, NC, VA, all too close to call. OH and NH with only small numbers reporting. Romney must take FL, NC and VA PLUS one of OH, PA or WI+IA or WI+NH. Looks like a long night ahead.
8:30 PM – (R) McCrory wins Gov in NC, a pick-up for the RGA
8:20 PM – 57% reporting in Florida; Romney +3
7:25 PM – Per CBS – popular vote so far: Romney 1,781,731 ; Obama 1,655,082
7:25 PM – Florida returns: 5% in, 50-50.
7:15 PM – Exit polls show Romney winning Indiana by 12. Obama won by 1 in 2008.
7:05 PM – CNN Virginia Exit Polls: 49-49
7:00 PM – WaPo reports that Romney has not even written a concession speech (click here)
6:55 PM – Via RCP: Battleground Pollster Projects 1.5 Point Romney Win (click here)
6:50 PM – This is the crowd waiting to greet Romney in Pittsburgh a few hours ago (click here)
6:35 PM – Drudge on early exit polls: Romney winning NC, FL; Obama winning NH, PA, MI, NV; Toss up: OH, VA, CO, IA
6:25 PM – Here’s a preview shot of where Romney will be giving his victory speech tonight (click here)
6:05 PM – Judge orders poll workers in Philly to cover mural of Obama at polling location (story here)
6:00 PM – Check out Mitt and Ann voting this morning:
The Mississippi and Alabama contests — like so many other Tuesday primaries before them — were supposed to decide the fate of the GOP presidential nomination.
Except Rick Santorum’s double wins only tabled the decision for a future date. In this case, that might be March 20, when voters in Illinois will cast ballots.
So what do we know about Illinois? There are 69 delegates at stake — 15 of whom are unbound and 54 of whom are bound.
Polling is scant. Last week, the Chicago Tribune released a survey showing Mitt Romney winning 35 percent of the vote; Santorum was second with 31 percent; and Newt Gingrich took 12. Unfortunately, that’s the only meaningful poll of the state in the past five months.
The Tribune’s survey suggests an enormously fluid race, with 46 percent of likely voters saying they could change their minds before next Tuesday’s contest.
That’s a boon for Romney, who’s already begun advertising in the state and can flood the airwaves in the days leading up to the primary.
Heinze outlines the demographic breakdown we’ve been seeing and mentions a couple of wildcards at play. Here’s one of them:
… Illinois’ primary system is open. In other words, any registered voter can show up and vote. In Michigan, prominent Democrats, including the liberal site Daily Kos, encouraged Democrats to vote for Santorum to embarrass Romney and extend the primary season. Romney eventually won, but Democrats did, in fact, make the race more competitive. Santorum won Democrats by 33 percent, and that made up 9 percent of the entire voting electorate.
In Ohio, Santorum once again routed Romney with Democrats, but Democrats only made up 5 percent of the electorate — barely one-half of Michigan’s.
. . . [A] dilemma for Santorum: In Michigan, he took major heat from Republicans for actively courting Democrats through robocalls. To an extent, you could say it might have worked by helping boost the Democratic share of the vote to nearly 10 percent. But it also provoked considerable backlash among the GOP grass roots. Should Santorum woo working-class Democrats and mischief-minded foes of Romney, and if he does, how should he do it?
Newt Gingrich’s plan to keep Mitt Romney from winning the necessary delegates for the GOP nomination means the presidential contenders might have to form a deal in order to avoid a brokered convention, a leading Gingrich surrogate told The Hill.
. . . Gingrich has publicly stated that his goal is to keep Romney from winning the 1,144 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination.
His spokesman, R.C. Hammond, told reporters Tuesday night that “our goal first is to keep Romney well below 1,000,” according to reports. He added that if that happens: “This will be the first time in our party in modern politics that we’re going to go to the convention floor.”
. . .
“Santorum and Gingrich now trail Governor Romney by margins they cannot mathematically make up,” Romney political director Rich Beeson wrote in a memo Wednesday morning.
“In order to win, both Santorum and Gingrich need to start netting an impossible number of delegates to overtake Governor Romney,” he added.
But while none of the remaining candidates can over take Romney, they could do enough damage to keep him from winning the necessary delegates.
After listening to Gingrich’s post-election interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier last night, it was as plain as the nose on his face that Newt will not be swayed in his quest to prevent Romney from getting the nomination.
Backroom deals make many Republicans nervous; the article continues:
However, a deal among the candidates would give Gingrich more power. He’s widely disliked by the GOP establishment, many of whom would do anything to keep him from being the nominee. But in a meeting between the four contenders he could be a major power-broker and possibly ally with Santorum to help make one of them the nominee.
Governor Mitt Romney (Photo Getty Images / Eric Thayer)
Because Super Tuesday is now in the rear view mirror, Mitt Romney supporters are breathing a little easier and enjoying a super Wednesday.
With Romney’s solid victories from Alaska to Vermont, we can see the path to the GOP nomination clearly (more on that in a moment). No rest for Governor Romney, however. He was up bright and early in Newton, MA to be interviewed on CNBC’s Squawk Box. He spoke about election results, Obama’s failed policies, jobs, economy, entitlements, and more:
● Romney on uniting different factions of the party if he’s the nominee:
“. . . When we we have a nominee, we will come together because Barack Obama has organized a conservative community. … The community organizer has organized us in a big way. We’re going to come together because we really believe he needs to be replaced – that he’s over his head, that the debt he’s amassed, the jobs he has not created – suggest that this is a guy whose time has come for early retirement.”
● Sidenote: Several days ago, when Sarah Palin stated on FOX News that the candidate who really focuses on gasoline prices would be the one to support, one didn’t have to rub a crystal ball to know that Newt Gingrich would somehow, out of thin air, come up with a gas plan real quick. Sure enough, the very next day, Gingrich announced his $2.50 per gallon meme. Now, he thinks he OWNS the issue. Wrong. Romney has been strongly advocating for energy independence since 2007, wrote extensively about it in his book No Apology (published spring 2010), and, at every opportunity, continues to stress the importance of using our own energy resources. (It’s no secret Palin voted yesterday for Gingrich.)
● During today’s interview, Romney spoke again on gasoline prices:
Are you happy with high gasoline prices in part because this administration has not been willing to take in energy from other places across America? . . . I think people recognize that the president can’t precisely set the price at the pump, but he can decide how much of the money that’s being paid for oil and gas is going to other nations. And, to get that money staying here and to create jobs here and to stabilize prices here, he ought to be taking advantage of all of our offshore and ANWAR and North Dakota and Oklahoma and Texas oil and gas resources instead of trying to hold them off. Natural gas is a huge win for us. And, through the EPA, he’s been trying to hold that off. Coal is, of course, a major source of our electric power. He’s made it more difficult to get the coal, more difficult to use the coal. And, of course, the Keystone Pipeline bringing energy in from Canada, that was a no-brainer. He failed that test. If we want to get America energy secure, you have to take advantage of the energy resources we have. And, fortunately, with recent discoveries from Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, there’s a lot of energy in this country. Let’s take advantage of it.
● Among the varied post-Super Tuesday analysis, we read ‘Romney is a frail frontrunner’. Uh huh. He’s so frail he has more than double the delegates Santorum has and Gingrich and Paul have been left in the campaign dust. No, talking heads. Romney is a formidable frontrunner. Today, Hugh Hewitt pointed out a fact the mainstream media is missing (and gave MRC a nod, as well):
Why did liberal Democrats in Michigan vote for Rick Santorum?
The adept Romney for President Digital Team today released a new web video answering that question. It’s titled “Liberal Democrats for Santorum.” Democrats voted in the Michigan primary because they know Governor Romney will be the stronger candidate in the general election. These voters did not vote for Rick Santorum; they voted for four more years of President Obama.
Voter: “My name is Krista Larsen. I’m a Democrat.”
Voter: “I’m Joe Disanno. I’m a democratic strategist in the state of Michigan.”
CNN’S Dana Bash: “Gary Zulinski.”
Tony Trupiano, progressive radio host: “I’m Tony Trupiano. [unintelligible]”
Bash: “And you voted for Rick Santorum?”
Voter: “I sure did.”
Bash: “…Went in there and you voted for?
Voter: “The last seven days we’ve been organizing and creating a list of Democrats who have committed to vote for Santorum in today’s election.”
Voter: “You know, it’s my way of protecting Obama.”
Trupiano: “I think Rick Santorum would be a weaker candidate. Of course he would be.”
Gary Zulinnski, Democrat: “It’s going to throw the GOP into some turmoil.”
Bash: “It’s not just going to be Michigan. The liberal blogs, they’re saying start in Michigan, but there are several other contests coming up with the same kind of open primary rules.”
Text: “Democrats voted for Rick Santorum because they want four more years of Obama.”
As early election returns began coming in last night, FOX News commentator Rich Lowry (National Review Online editor) commented on the tactic that sickened so many Republicans and Romney supporters – that Santorum himself had issued a rallying cry to Democrats to vote for him in order to stop Romney.
THEN, Lowry went on to say he was put-off by the way Romney “whined” about it.
I don’t know what Lowry was referring to. Romney had a very brief window of time to get the news out about Santorum. He stated the facts on Santorum’s gutter tactics, offered a brief opinion on said tactics, and moved on. NO whining.
As evidenced today, Romney’s new video focuses on Democrats’ correct perception that – should Santorum become the GOP nominee – Obama would clean his clock. The video does not mention Santorum’s own despicable doings in Michigan’s primary.
Lowry is flat-out wrong.
If any candidate should be entitled to a bit of whining, as Ross pointed out, it’s Mitt Romney.
It’s primary election night, and that means the chat room is up! The big race many will be watching is the runoff between Karen Handel (Romney and Palin endorsed) versus Nathan Deal (Huckabee and Gingrich endorsed). We’ll post updates in the chat throughout the evening. ENJOY!
The chatbox has been moved back to the sidebar. Thanks to all who participated last night. We will most likely do it again on August 24th for the primary elections in FL, AZ, AK, and VT.
Selected results from last night:
Georgia Governor Runoff (GOP): Nathan Deal 50.2% – Karen Handel 49.8%
Colorado Senate (GOP): Ken Buck 51.6% – Jane Norton 48.4%
Colorado Governor (GOP): Dan Maes 50.7% – Scott McInnis 49.3%
Connecticut Governor (GOP): Tom Foley 42.3% – Michael Fedele 39.0% – Oz Griebel 18.6%
Mitt-man Pete Hoekstra is running for Governor in Michigan against 4 other Republican candidate seeking the nomination. Primaries are also being held (polls now closed) in Missouri and Kansas. Join us as we follow the returns and discuss the election results!
CHAT BOX HAS BEEN MOVED BACK TO THE SIDE BAR —> Thanks to all who participated! It was a lively event.
For those who were watching the Michigan Gubernatorial primary race here are the results:
36.4% Snyder (winner)
A number of big elections took place yesterday, some of the candidates were endorsed by “The Big 3” and may have some 2012 Presidential implications. I admit that the game of who-endorsed-who is not of vital importance, but neither can it be cast aside as worthless information. Either way it is unresistingly intriguing to those who are closely following the potential candidates of 2012.
Some highlights of yesterday’s GOP primaries…
Nikki Haley – South Carolina’s Governor race: Nikki Haley enjoyed the endorsement of both Mitt Romney (March 16) and Sarah Palin (May 14th). After both Romney and Palin (and RedState) endorsed her Nikki Haley jumped from a no-name in this race to a substantial lead going into yesterday’s primaries. What she did not enjoy were two separate accusations by men who said they had an affair with her. Haley vigorously denied the accusations and they seemed to fall flat on the voters as well as Haley continued to surge in the polls. There was also a very ugly incident of a State Rep. calling Nikki Haley a raghead, as well as accusation to the affect that she was not really Christian.
Haley lead yesterday’s primary with 49% of the vote in the four-way race. Unfortunately she did not capture a full 50% of the vote and will therefore have a run-off with second-place finisher US Rep. Gresham Barrett, who captured 22% of the votes. Barrett announced this morning that he will not concede the victory. The run-off primary election will be held June 22nd. Barring any revelations about the accusations against Haley, she should cruise to victory as she only needs to add 2% of the remaining 51% that voted for other candidates yesterday. Visit Nikki’s website here. Haley was a prominent endorser of Romney in 2008.
Terry Branstad – Iowa’s Governor race: Terry Branstad was Governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999 He also enjoyed the support of both Mitt Romney (May 18th) and Sarah Palin (June 3rd). The Sarah Palin endorsement was quite odd I think as she never actually met with Branstad and her endorsement came from Facebook – watch the video of Branstad’s reaction here. Branstad remained neutral through the 2008 campaign but has shown in the past that he is willing to make endorsements. Chris Cillizza reports “As a state representative in 1976, he picked Ronald Reagan. He endorsed Bob Dole in 1996 and Lamar Alexander and then George W. Bush in 2000.” Terry Branstad seemed to be favored in the polls throughout the race and ended up winning by a margin of 50% to 41% over Bob Vander Plaats. Brandstad now faces the incumbent Democrat Chet Culvers for the Governors seat in November.
Meg Whitman – California’s Governor race: In the race to replace the Governator the ex-CEO of eBay cruised to a 64% to 27% victory over Steve Poizner. Meg Whitman was an intricate player in Romney’s 2008 campaign and has enjoyed his support as early as September of last year – possibly earlier, but I don’t know when her campaign officially began. Whitman and Romney’s acquaintance goes much further back than 2008 – she used to work with Mitt at Bain some time long ago. During his campaign stops with Meg in CA Mitt would recall the first time he interviewed her for Bain and how brilliant and authoritative she was. Meg Whitman credits Mitt Romney as being her inspiration for leaving the private sector and jumping into politics. On a side note, the two both testified for the Economic Recovery Working Group in January of 2009. California is economically ill and Meg Whitman is the right person to restore it to fiscal sanity. Meg faces the current Attorney General of CA, Jerry Brown, in the November general elections.
Carly Fiorina – California’s Senate race: There were 3 players in the race to oust incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (shudder). Spurred on by the strong endorsement of Sarah Palin (May 6th), Fiorina enjoyed a surge late in the polls that put her over the top against Former US Congressman Tom Campbell and California State Assembly member Chuck DeVore. It seemed that women that were former CEOs were the order of the day in California as Carly Fiorina won easily with 56% compared to 22% for Campbell and 19% for DeVore. Fiorina was CEO of HP 1999 to 2005. (Romney did not involve himself in this primary as he was not well acquainted with the candidates, but he did congratulate and endorse winner Fiorina earlier today.)
Andre Bauer – South Carolina’s Governor race: The current Lt. Governor failed in his bid for the nomination finishing in 4th place in the race at 12%. Bauer was a strong proponent of Huckabee’s 2008 campaign in South Carolina and received Huckabee’s endorsement very early in December of 2009. Bauer’s campaign was likely damaged by the fact that one the men who claimed to have an affair with Nikki Haley worked for his campaign. That man, Larry Marchant, was fired by Bauer and Bauer passed a lie-detector test saying that he knew nothing of the alleged involvement with Haley. Marchant also took a polygraph test but it was scored inconclusive.
Bob Vander Plaats – Iowa’s Governor race: Team Huck and Chuck went in big for Bob Vander Plaats campaign, to no avail. Vander Plaats chaired Huckabee’s Iowa campaign. Way back then Huckabee was already referring to Vander Plaats as “the next Governor of Iowa”. I would call that an extremely early endorsement. Bob ran a good race and lost by a not-large margin of 9 points.
Chuck DeVore – California’s Senate race: This race saddened me the most. I met DeVore at CPAC earlier this year and took a liking to him. I felt he was certainly the most conservative candidate in this race and he had the potential to beat Boxer, but I must readily admit that Fiorina is probably more electable, or rather, has a higher likelihood to defeat Boxer. DeVore was endorsed by Huckabee alone back on April 28th. Though DeVore gave it an excellent effort his campaign failed to gain traction statewide. Hopefully we’ll see more like him in the future.
For those keeping score for yesterday we have both Romney and Palin at 3-0, and poor Huck at 0-3. I know Huckabee supporters are disappointed on the returns of the day. Huckabee has actually issued a very respectable statement about yesterday’s elections.
Congrats to those who won. We look forward to more primaries coming up in the next few weeks and months.
Update 1 by Jayde: For further information on election results for Arkansas, California, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, N. Dakota, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, Virginia, and Georgia’s special election run-off click here.
For additional information on Montana’s primary election click here.
For additional information on Maine’s primary election click here.
UPDATE 2 by Jayde: The election headline that caught fire last night was: Ladies’ Night!
UPDATE: AP and FOX call it for Brown, Coakley concedes, and the Massachusetts Miracle is complete!
Chat with Scott Brown fans right here all day while we share the live news, updates, exit poll returns and results! We will also post updates of the big news items. Check back with us throughout the day! Updates start right below the Chatbox.
[THE CHAT BOX HAS BEEN MOVED BACK TO THE SIDEBAR, IT ALSO HAS A PERMANENT HOME HERE]
Update 14 (11:00PM by Ross): Mitt introduces Brown for his victory speech and receives a curtain call to chants of “Mitt Mitt Mitt”. The Massachusetts Miracle is complete and now we just need to put the pressure on to get him seated. Update 13 (9:32PM by Nate): COAKLEY CONCEDES, THIS RACE IS OVER!!
Fox and AP call it for Brown. Current tally: 52-47 for Brown. 87% of precincts reporting. Update 12 (9:12PM by Ross): Mitt on Hannity embodies the feeling of all of us by saying “This is monumental. This is epic!”
Update 11 (8:55PM by Nate): 53% for Brown, 46 for Coakley – 40% of precincts reporting
Update 10 (8:25PM by Nate): POLLS CLOSED 20 MINUTES AGO. First results: 52% for Brown, 47 for Coakley – 4% of precincts reporting
Update 9 (8:15PM by Ross): From rasmussenreports: Among those who decided how they would vote in the past few days, Coakley has a slight edge, 47% to 41%. 22% of Democrats voted for Brown. That is generally consistent with pre-election polling.
Update 8 (6:10PM by Nate): From HotAir: Coakley press release complains of voter fraud. The problem is the release is dated ….. YESTERDAY?
High School conducts exit polls. Results: Brown 57% Boakley 42%
Update 4 (3:25PM by Aaronius): Mitt Romney to provide Massachusetts special election coverage on Sean Hannity tonight at 9PM EST – Tune in!
Also, Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior advisor to both Scott Brown and Mitt Romney, gives us some juicy insight regarding the dynamics of this special race over at National Review Online.
Update 3 (2:15PM by Nate): Scott Brown vs Martha Coakley Exit Polls Intrade update: Brown 83.5; Coakley 20.0 (Intrade is an online prediction “stock” market. Tends to be very accurate since people are actually betting real money.)
Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007; candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008
Scott Brown is a strong candidate who ran a good campaign. As recently proved in New Jersey and Virginia, good candidates win. But Brown’s victory was more than a rejection of the liberal Obama agenda.
Brown won in Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states, an accomplishment that could not have been possible absent extraordinary voter passion about the issues, in particular Obamacare, the economy, terrorism and federal spending.
Massachusetts health care is not perfect, but 98 percent of our residents are insured — a feat that, unlike Obamacare, came with no new taxes, no Medicare cuts, no “public option” and no trillion-dollar price tag. It’s little wonder that Massachusetts voters gave a thumbs-down to a federal health-care takeover. In electing Brown, they also repudiated the president’s policies of ineffective stimulus borrowing and treating an enemy combatant to the legal defense rights normally reserved for citizens.
This victory was a repudiation of the arrogance of Washington’s aspiring neo-monarchists who believe that government is wiser than the people of America.