The Other McCain

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Santorum Surge Returns: Wins Missouri, Minnesota; UPDATE: Wins Colorado UPDATE: NY Times ‘Unexpectedly!’

Posted on | February 8, 2012 | 59 Comments

They’re still counting votes in Colorado at this hour — 1 a.m. Eastern, 11 p.m. Mountain — and Rick Santorum is barely leading Mitt Romney with about half of the caucus vote counted there.

Santorum won both the Missouri primary and the Minnesota caucuses, and you have to wonder if Newt Gingrich’s angry rant Saturday after losing in Nevada hasn’t shifted the GOP battlefield.

UPDATE: Readers will excuse my long delay in blogging the results tonight, as I was working on my annual CPAC preview feature for The American Spectator. But as I was writing, I had the TV on Fox News, where the commentators kept repeating that (a) the Missouri primary is just a “beauty pageant”; and (b) the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado are “non-binding.” In other words, they were trying to suggest that the vote didn’t matter.

The Iowa GOP caucuses were also “non-binding,” but Fox News commentators didn’t say a word about that on caucus night, did they?

UPDATE II: With the Associated Press reporting just 67% of precincts in Colorado, and Santorum leading Romney 39%-35%, the chairman of the Colorado GOP just called into Fox News to say that he has results from 99% of precincts, and Santorum has definitely won there.

UPDATE III: The results from Missouri:

Rick Santorum ………..138,957 — 55.2%
Mitt Romney ………….. 63,826 — 25.3%
Ron Paul ………………… 30,641 — 12.2%

Newt Gingrich didn’t make the Missouri ballot. It is true that no delegates were bound by Tuesday’s vote. However, unlike Karl Rove, I’d say Santorum beating Romney by 30 points might be kinda important.

UPDATE IV: The results from Minnesota:

Rick Santorum ……….20,932 — 44.9%
Ron Paul ………………..12,627 — 27.1%
Mitt Romney …………..7,890 –16.9%
Newt Gingrich ………. 4,993 — 10.7%

Once more, Karl Rove is correct to say that the caucus vote in Minnesota is “non-binding.” But when Santorum got 45% while Romney and Gingrich got 27% combined? Might be kinda important.

UPDATE V: The results from Colorado:

Rick Santorum ……….. 26,580 — 40.2%
Mitt Romney …………. 23,097 — 34.9%
Newt Gingrich …………. 8,457 — 12.8%
Ron Paul …………………. 7,782 — 11.8%

Yeah, Karl Rove, I know: “non-binding.” But Rick Santorum just scored a hat trick — 3-for-3 — in three crucial swing states, and got more votes in one night than Romney got in Iowa and New Hampshire combined.

Might be kinda important.

UPDATE VI: Let me put some numbers on that last point. In Iowa, Romney got less than 30,000 votes. In New Hampshire, Romney got less than 100,00 votes. Tonight in Missouri alone, Rick Santorum got more votes than Romney got in Iowa and New Hampshire combined, and in all, Santorum got nearly 180,000 votes Tuesday.

Might be kinda important.

UPDATE VII: O, ye of little zero faith! Now with the benefit of hindsight, let’s re-read Allahpundit’s preview of Tuesday’s vote:

No delegates at stake tonight, but this is probably Santorum’s last chance to breeze past Newt as the race’s designated Not Romney. . . . If he wins both easily, then he gets a bunch of positive media coverage this week and maybe a few more big-name conservative endorsements, which in turn could mean enough movement in the polls to put him on at least an equal footing with Gingrich. Once that happens, the pressure will shift to Newt to explain why he should stay in and divide the conservative vote on the strength of having won one state while Santorum should drop out after having won three.

Excuse me, Allah: This surprising hat-trick — you kinda low-rated Santorum in Colorado, didn’t ya, buddy? — actually makes it four states in which Santorum has beaten Romney.

And as to the bizarre self-perpetuating media meme that “no delegates” were at stake Tuesday: This was legally true in Missouri, but given Santorum’s 2-to-1 margin in the “beauty pageant” vote, does anyone really think someone other than Santorum will get the lion’s share of the delegates at next month’s Missouri caucuses?

As for the presidential preference votes at Tuesday’s precinct caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado, yes — those votes were “non-binding,” officially. But if a precinct caucus votes 45-27 for Santorum over Romney (i.e., the typical Minnesota precinct), do we suppose that this caucus will then send a slate of Romney delegates to the next phase of the state party nominating process who will vote for somebody else besides Santorum? Or should we, as I suggest we should, assume that the delegates chosen at the precinct level will eventually vote at the state level to send delegates to the national convention in roughly the same proportion as the preference expressed in the precinct votes?

Like I said, the Iowa caucus vote on Jan. 3 was also “non-binding” in the same sense as the Minnesota and Colorado precinct caucus votes, but almost nobody mentioned that at the time. However, it seems that somebody’s campaign — and I’m thinking it might be somebody whose name sounds like “Ritt Momney” — was very diligent in spreading the message about these “non-binding” votes that Rick Santorum won Tuesday.

UPDATE VIII: In politics, as in economics, the New York Times is always caught by surprise:

His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, an unexpected trifecta that raised fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support. . .
His performance added another twist to an unruly nominating contest that has seen Republican voters veering among candidates and refusing to coalesce behind anyone. It came after Mr. Romney scored back-to-back victories in Florida and Nevada that had led to predictions that he was finally on a straight march to the nomination.

By whom was Santorum’s candidacy “all but dismissed”? Why, by all the smart guys at the New York Times, that’s who!

Kind of interesting that Romney’s top surrogate in Minnesota was the state’s former governor, Tim Pawlenty, and yet Romney placed third in Minnesota, with 17 percent. Thanks, Tim!

Tuesday’s trifecta was not “unexpected” by a certain Colorado resident:

What did I tell ya? Santorum’s got game. . . . Nothing is inevitable in politics.

Attagirl, Michelle. And she makes an important point: This would be a good time to go give Rick Santorum some money: $20, $50, $100 — whatever you can afford, give it now. Super Tuesday’s coming soon, and the Romney attack machine is going to pour on millions of dollars in attack ads to try to destroy the Comeback Kid they thought they buried weeks ago.

UPDATE IX: Linked by Fire Andrea Mitchell — thanks! Guess Tuesday’s vote doesn’t bode well for “Sweet Meteor of Death,” eh?

One of my friends from Team Santorum pointed out on Twitter that a tropical storm just hit Vanuatu. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

UPDATE X: My libertarian friend in Missouri, Tom Knapp, seems to grasp the Fear and Loathing element in this campaign. And the truly bizarre thing is, I’ll be hanging out with Rick Santorum this weekend at CPAC. Because the going just got weird . . .

UPDATE XI: Evil Blogger Lady: “This reminds me of that moment of recognition by Michael Corleone in Godfather II that the rebels in Cuba could actually win…” Because no discussion of 21st-century politics is complete until somebody makes a Godfather reference.

It’s 3:30 a.m. Good-night, everybody.

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Comments

  • K-Bob

    Ehhxcellent     /Mr. Burns Mode

  • http://thedysfunctionjunction.com/ Kent@TheDysfunctionJunction

    Nothing has been more frustrating/vomit inducing than watching Bret Baier and company lament over the giant dump Rick Santorum took on the Romney campaign tonight.  Their boy had a truly terrible night, no way to spin that.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Dear Fox News, if these votes were non-binding, didn’t matter, beauty contests… why was Mitt even there?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Congratulations to Santorum, his team, and any blogger who foresaw his surge long ago.

    His real challenge immediately is to translate the victories into money.  When the primaries begin to come fast and furious (sans Holder) in a few weeks, he will need more than free media to compete.

    But perhaps the donors who’ve been holding back from committing to any campaign will join him now, since Gingrich’s second straight embarrassing election night speech in Vegas.  Newt’s going down, hard and fast, and that’s a good thing.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    I think Greta need to put Stacy on her team so Fox doesn’t get surprised like this again.  That’s three more for Hickory…

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Hey, Karl Rove, as long as you’re quoting numbers, how many fingers am I holding up?

  • http://www.granitegrok.com Mike Rogers

    You called it, dude. Got the right guy, I reckon.
    I’m saying he got a big assist from BarryO:
    http://granitegrok.com/blog/2012/02/mr-clean-makes-a-sweep-thankyou-barryo#more-17381

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    But… ARLEN SPECTER!

    Just to get it out of the way.

  • Pingback: Hat-trick! Rick Santorum wins Colorado GOP caucuses! : Fire Andrea Mitchell!

  • http://twitter.com/Weirddave0 Dave

     I’m guessing just one…

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Think Newt can pull a Swaggart, weep and repent and beg to be taken back…?

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Nice Deb in your side bar wrote of Mitt aiming the attack machine at Santorum now.  I think he’s holding it by the wrong end…

  • Pingback: American heartland comes up Santorum | Quite Normal

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Da Tech Guy notes that Romney is adopting an Obama fund raiser…while Rick Santorum is winning three states in a sweep.  Sort of reminds me of that moment of recognition by Michael Corleone in Godfather II  that the rebels in Cuba could actually win.

    http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/02/rick-santorum-wins-in-sweep-in-missouri.html

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

     Don’t ask me – or his ex wives, from what I hear.

  • Anonymous

    Channeling your inner Erick Erickson, eh?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    I have to admit I don’t understand the fuzzy math.  Why are the votes in SC, Florida, and Nevada excluded in Update VI?  Is it because actual delegates were awarded?

    No, can’t be that, because some delegates were awarded in Iowa.

    Or is it because by excluding those states, you can show Santorum on top?  

  • Anonymous

    Adjoran, I’m trying to make the point that Santorum got a lot of votes Tuesday, relative to the size of the vote totals in Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s all.
    Nobody is trying to subtract votes from anyone. But if you recall at the hype and ballyhoo that attended the results in Iowa and N.H., it’s kind of ridiculous for anyone — including Karl Rove — to pretend that Santorum’s hat-trick Tuesday was trivial or insignificant.

    Tuesday’s vote was … what’s the phrase I’m looking for? Oh yes: FUCKING HUGE.

  • K-Bob

    And all the family money (for ads about how unstable Newton G. is) goes with Batista.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

    Here’s my analogy: Rick was Godzilla last night, Mitt, Newt and the other guy were Tokyo. Go Rick! 

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

     Or is it because by excluding those states, you can show Santorum on top?

    Hopefully we can do that after Super Tuesday. If not, it will hopefully only be because Newt also wins a few states. I think he’s leading in Ohio now, for example. Yet, that state actually seems tailor made for a Santorum win. The best case scenario is unlikely, which is Mitt getting shut out on that day, regardless of who wins between Newt and Rick. Unlikely, but I can dream.

    Newt and Rick can always haggle over delegates at the convention. I bet Ron Paul might even be willing to turn his delegates over to Newt or Rick (whoever has the most) just to keep Romney from getting it. All it would take is an agreement to audit the Fed, reduce its power, maybe a few other things, and give Paul a plum speaking slot at the convention.

    Face it Adj, we’re going to keep your boy from getting the nomination by hook or by crook. Whatever it takes, by any means necessary.

    Maybe he should do the right thing and get out now. Who knows, maybe if he’s a good little boy we might make him Secretary of Commerce, long enough to allow him to oversee shutting that Department down, which is something he does seem to be good at.

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

     You win Line Of The Night, EBL!

  • Anonymous

    The trouble is….this primary is simply too exhausting. I’m finding it hard to get enthusiastic about anyone at this point. Has Santorum really got some momentum at this point or is this just another Palin / Cain / Gingrich  flash in the pan.

    I’m really not trying to be negative, I’m just worn out.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

     Somebody had to do it.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

     Good one.  When they think he’s defeated and dead, RS rises again.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    I think I’ve found the reason for Santorum doing so well (and I think he stands a very big chance of keeping the momentum up):  he’s the only one of the canidates (and this includes Mr. Occupy) who has acted like an adult.
    People are sick of politicians who seem to be playing games (even Paul has been a bit guilty of this).  Heh, when this thing started Rick S. was accused of being an old fuddy duddy and over serious cranky pants; now those very qualities are starting to be seen as behaving in a mature fashion.

    I think we may be seeing the end of Camelot in American politics (at least I hope so; would do us a world of good imho).

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Hmm, and if Santorum were to make noises about looking into an anti-establishment, outsider, libertarian leaning conservative as a VP choice (popular, with good record, or at least high popularity) — something about   communitarians and libertarians learning to overcome their differences and work together and the dynamism of opposites…hmm, could possibly work.  Have to be handled carefully (because that could be an explosive combo), but it could work wonders.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Think of it as a vaccination.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    But, but, NH picks our President!  Iowa only picks corn!  Hunstman said so! Then South Carolina picked our President.  Then Colorado… these goalposts have more legs than a Nike ad…

  • Anonymous


    he’s the only one of the canidates (and this includes Mr. Occupy) who has acted like an adult.

    As they say, THIS.  Even in the early debates where it seemed he came off as a bit of a whiner, he was landing big body blows against Perry and other candidates.  While Bachmann was crying about Tardisil, Santorum was poking holes in Perry’s record from a conservative point of view.  When he criticizes the other candidates, it’s always from the right, and always on a substantive policy difference rather than some b.s. about how they earned their money. That Florida debate moment helped turn the tide, so let’s see if he can keep it up.  

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     Here’s my favorite Godzilla song, it’s by M.O.D.:

  • Anonymous

    Great analysis, PW.  Ironic indeed.

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  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

     There’s no way in hell he’s going to ask Ron Paul to be his VP if that’s what you’re getting at. Rand, now-maybe.

  • Pingback: Nomination Excitations: Hat Trick Rick « The Camp Of The Saints

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    I was thinking more of Rand — he comes across as more moderate and thus a better fit.  Or if there are any others who would fit the description, one of them.

    It would be a helluva ticket, you have to admit — the two most fired up branches of the right wing, together at last.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    …and going full freaking berserker…outstanding!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z4XPKI6FROEKZOUH22IJDNDP6U Anonymous

    You are right, stacy, nothing is inevitable.  Which is why, with a whole month to go until the real Mizzou caucus, Santorum could have dropped out by then.  (I know you’re backing him, and that’s OK.  Even straw poll victories can help.  But there’s a lot of road to cover yet…)

  • Anonymous

     You (and a lot of other people) keep treating the primary campaign like football…long breaks between the real action in the field.  It’s really more like baseball. It’s a long season, you have to stay within yourself and not run into any walls.

  • The Wondering Jew

    Still have a lot of misgivings about Santorum but I do love how he is hitting Romney from the right. Romney really lost me with that “poor people” minimum wage thing.   It showed that when the chips are down, he thinks like a liberal. I’m still a Paul guy, but I’ll always support anyone moving the party in a more conservative direction.

  • Pingback: This Is Becoming an Uncomfortable Habit: Stacy McCain Was Right, and I Wasn’t | Daily Pundit

  • http://marezilla.com/ Zilla of the Resistance

     “Tardasil” ha ha ha ha ha That’s a good one!

  • Pingback: Santorum Clobbers Romney in CO, MO and MN

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Well thank you; sometimes a blue moon does rise. lol!

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    I’m telling you: if Santorum can work out some sort of understanding with the libertarians then bar the door and look out; the race just got real interesting (which I think he can; after reading some of his stuff he seems to get the notion that “Big” anything is corrosive to this country’s fundamental principles, so that’s the angle).

  • Anonymous

    And Donnald Trump just endorsed Romney ! Go figure.

    The essential problem with Romney is that despite all his practice four years back, and despite all his endorsements — either voluntary or bought and paid for — and despite all his hired consultants and ads both negative and positive, Mitt is simply a weak campaigner. He’s not authentic, and the voters instinctively recognize it. He lacks the common touch and suffers from a tin ear.

    Let’s face it, the only thing he has succeeded with is the claim of inevitability, and that has now run its course.

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com/ Thomas L. Knapp

    Every time I under-estimate the collective stupidity of the GOP, it comes back to bite me in the ass.

    But what the hell, I’ll say it: I don’t think the GOP is collectively stupid enough to nominate Santorum.