Posted on | March 24, 2012 | 111 Comments
UPDATE 9:29 p.m. CT: While the exit polls had indicated a double-digit margin for Rick Santorum, few suspected that he could beat Mitt Romney here by more than 20 points but, with 65% of precincts reporting, it’s Santorum 49% to Romney’s 26%. Santorum staffers here say they don’t expect that margin to shrink much.
UPDATE 10:05 p.m. CT: The Harris sisters, who sing the Santorum campaign song “Game On,” just arrived at the victory party. And, via Talking Points Memo, here is video of Santorum’s victory speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin:
“We don’t believe, as the pundits have said, that this race is over. We didn’t get the memo . . . We’re still here. We’re still fighting. . . . I’m not running as a conservative candidate for president. I am the conservative candidate for president.”
UPDATE 8:10 p.m. CT: The suspense didn’t last long. The networks called it for Rick Santorum as soon as the polls closed. The key now will be the margin of victory.
UPDATE 8:48 p.m. CT: Fox News is currently showing Santorum winning by 16 points, 44% to 28% for Romney, with 19% for Gingrich and 6% for Paul with 15% of precincts reporting.
According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, it’s 45%-28%, and also currently: 335 votes for Buddy Roemer, 157 votes for Rick Perry, 72 votes for Michele Bachmann and 29 votes for Jon Huntsman.
Welcome, Instapundit readers!
Here is Father Allen with Santorum super-blogger Lisa Graas at tonight’s Louisiana victory party. Lisa loves priests.
UPDATE 9:15 p.m. CT: The lead widens: With 57% of precincts reporting, Santorum leads by 23 points, 49%-26%, Gingrich trailing in third at 17%. Also: Buddy Roemer remains firmly in fifth place.
UPDATE 7:50 p.m. CT: We have exit polls via Fox News and it looks like an easy double-digit win for Santorum. He beats Romney 54%-22% among evangelicals, 46%-30% among Tea Party supporters, 47%-30% among conservatives.
PREVIOUSLY (7:30 p.m. CT): We are at the Fox & Hound pub here for the Rick Santorum campaign Louisiana victory party. Polls close at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET), and it’s expected to be a big win for Rick. Fox News will immediately provide the Team Mitt spin, minimizing the significance of this Santorum victory.
People have asked me why so many people in the media — including many in the conservative media — have joined the “Roll Over for Romney” crowd when, despite all the spin about “inevitability,” Mitt’s still got less than 600 delegates and Santorum keeps winning primaries and caucuses. It’s mainly bandwagon psychology. Once the political press corps gets an idea into its collective hive-mind, the Conventional Wisdom congeals quickly.
Team Romney has been pushing the “inevitability” argument ever since the Florida primary Jan. 31, and on March 7 — the Wednesday after Super Tuesday — they rolled out their delegate-count calculus (which involved some dubious assumptions about apportionment of delegates) to assert that Mitt had already effectively clinched the nomination.
The media eagerly bought into that and, so far as Fox News and much of the conservative media are concerned, the attiude now seems to be, “Hurry up and get this silly nomination thing over with, so we can get on to the big Romney vs. Obama showdown.”
Team Romney has been trying to scare people with dire warnings about what a disaster it would be for Republicans if Romney comes into the GOP convention without the 1,144 delegates needed to win on the first ballot, and so Santorum has been getting dismissive coverage from Fox for the past couple of weeks.
When Santorum complained about this treatment last week, it seemed the bias at Fox actually got worse. For a few days, Santorum got almost zero coverage from Fox, and very few conservative bloggers have objected to what is clearly an unfair and unbalanced attitude at the network. Now let’s take this moment to count up Santorum’s victories:
- Jan. 3: Iowa caucuses
- Feb. 7: Colorado caucuses
- Feb. 7: Minnesota caucuses
- Feb. 7: Missouri primary
- March 6: Tennessee primary
- March 6: Oklahoma primary
- March 6: North Dakota caucuses
- March 10: Kansas caucuses
- March 13: Alabama primary
- March 13: Mississippi primary
That’s 10 Santorum victories so far over Mr. Inevitable. To this point, according to the Associated Press, Santorum has amassed 263 delegates, and now he’s poised to win the Louisiana primary.
Expect the talking heads on Fox News tonight to talk a lot about how only 20 of Louisiana’s 46 delegates were at stake in today’s vote. Louisiana has a two-step system, and the remaining delegates will be awarded at the state GOP convention in June. But like all the “non-binding” chatter we heard after Santorum’s Feb. 7 “trifecta” victories, this is just a bunch of
bullshit Romney spin.
Nevertheless, that’s what you’ll hear on Fox News tonight. Rick Santorum will be watching the results tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We’ll have news from here in Louisiana, where the volunteers know how to party.
- March 24: Lisa Graas: Santorum’s Secret Weapon
- March 24: Neutral Objective Journalism
- March 23: Rick Santorum in Cavuto Interview: ‘This Is the Hatchet-Job of All Time’ (Video Added)
- March 23: BULLETIN: 5.0 Earthquake Hits Vanuatu; New Poll Shows Rick Santorum Headed for ‘Commanding Win’ in Louisiana Primary
- March 23: What Santorum Said, What He Meant, and What Romneybots Want You to Think
- March 23: It’s Past Midnight in Louisiana, and We’re Already Knee-Deep in Craziness
- March 22: Santorum Leads Latest Louisiana Polls; Newt Gingrich at LSU Tonight — Maybe
- March 21: Romney’s ‘Etch-a-Sketch’ Platform: Santorum’s ‘Act of God’ Moment?
- March 20: Newt Attacks Santorum at Red State: Gingrich’s Bankrupt Narcissism