The Other McCain

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LOUISIANA PRIMARY RESULTS HQ: Santorum Wins by Wide Margin

Posted on | March 24, 2012 | 111 Comments

HARAHAN, Louisiana
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:

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.

 

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Comments

  • utica681

    Newt will most likely be out after tonight. If he does’t officially go he will slide further into the irrelevant category. This helps Santorum tremendously. 

    Rick is still legitimate.

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

    A part of me hopes your right, but the pragmatic, realistic part of me knows you’re wrong.  Mitt’s more than halfway there. Rick, about a quarter of the way. And look what’s coming up. New York. New Jersey. California. Maryland. Mitt should do well in all of them. Granted, there’s some coming up where Santorum should also do well. Yeah, Kentucky and West Virginia.

    Do the math, Stacy.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Yes, but his survival is predicated upon people in the remaining states realizing that there is something just a little dodgy in how Santorum is getting handled by the media.
    It’s almost as though a candidate with deeper pockets has paid for a higher form of advertising. . . 

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Hey, was it over when the Japanese bombed the Alamo?

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  • BradleyBuck

    I hope they figure that out quick. It seems so clear that Fox is biased towards Romney, but a lot of people don’t seem to have grasped that. I tried to explain the context of Ricks comments that are being blown out of proportion and was met with mostly ignorant ranting. It makes me worry that many people aren’t willing to be objective enough to see what’s going on here.

  • dcarter888

    No Surprise  the Pastor in Chief wins LA

  • Asian_chic

    Wow, sitting on the edge waiting for results to come in.

  • BradleyBuck

    I hope they figure that out quick. It seems so clear that Fox is biased towards Romney, but a lot of people don’t seem to have grasped that. I tried to explain the context of Ricks comments that are being blown out of proportion and was met with mostly ignorant ranting. It makes me worry that many people aren’t willing to be objective enough to see what’s going on here.

  • Mike

    I do not get the sarcasm and criticism of Romney. “Mr Inevitable”.

    1. He is going to win.

    2. If he does not beat Obama America is over.

    3. The criticism of him from our side makes it marginally less likely he will beat Obama.

    What the hell is the reason for the “Mr Inevitable” crack then?

    You like sarcasm? Here’s some: Are you, like, three dude? Grow up. There are huge stakes on the line.

  • dcarter888

    No Surprise  the Pastor in Chief wins LA

  • Garym

    Don’t stop him, he’s on a roll …….

  • Larimerica

    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 ofbullshit Romney spin.

    Yahoo and all that jazz, but the primary is about delegates — not the number of first-place finishes. You can pooh-pooh the neutral objective fact that one only needs two hands to count the size of the tiny dent Santorum made in Romney’s 300-delegate lead today. At the convention, however, nobody’s going to make a motion to chuck the rules so Stacy McCain can keep dreaming the dream. Santorum was so busy visiting every county in Iowa that he didn’t figure out in time that it’s all about the delegates, and that’s just the cold, hard reality. Not on the ballot in Virginia. Not on the ballot in DC. Not qualifying for delegates in every district in other states. Not coming in first in winner-take-all states, just the proportional ones. That kind of fail is why he actually fell farther behind Romney on the day he won Alabama and Mississippi. You simply can’t win the nomination  by losing the delegate count.

  • ZZZ

    No it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor…

  • MarkB

    I would *love* to hear Santorum’s supporters tell me why Romney is so weak for having collected over half of all delegates while Santorum is strong just because he has managed to win about a quarter of them.  Has it occurred to you that there are a lot of people that *don’t* want someone with Santorum’s pretty extreme social views (wanting to retch over Kennedy’s speech?).  Does it occur to you that a lot of people obviously like Romney?  Or do you all just figure that everyone else is blind and only you can see?

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  • Wombat_socho

     You must be new here, Mike.

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

     Hey now, you better stop that talking that good common sense to Stacy McCain, you’ll give him a headache.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    1. He is going to win.
    . . .
    3. The criticism of him from our side makes it marginally less likely he will beat Obama.

    Wait: is he invulnerable, or vulnerable? The Right is (mostly) pointing out factual flaws. If WMR can’t stand reasoned criticism, then how, pray, is he going to surpass a guy who is willing to ‘adopt’ a tragically slain boy post-facto for political gain?

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

    Looking good, verging on GREAT!
    Not only is the tally 49.7% overall, nudging 50%, but there are 6 counties where Santorum has more than 60% and one over 65%

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UNZU74NIXQBSAAC5PR2B36VMWM Edward

    Frankly smitty you and McCain have really crossed the line from pundits to advocates.  You did that with Herman but when he dropped out I thought you might have give up on that.  But seriously you cannot be a pundit and an advocate for a specific candidate at the same time.

    Which are you?  Are you neutral bloggers reporting on the stories?  Or are you rah-rah cheerleaders for Santorum and nothing else? 

    Because from my perspective the former has all but disappeared while this site has gone almost entirely towards the latter.  This is going to cost you in terms of viewers, credibility, etc.

    And at this point I really have to pretty much discount everything you guys write because there is a very obvious slant towards Santorum.

    Pundit or advocate.  Your choice.

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

    Let me take on #2: if mittens cannot beat Obama, America is over. That is why the primary is about voting for the most conservative candidate, and the general is about unifying.
    The lack of enthusiasm is precisely why the primary process is not over.

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

     I just got a message from the other side, I’ll transcribe it for you-

    “Stacy and Smitty, quit stealing my schtick”

    Sincerely,

    Baghdad Bob

  • utica681

    Edward, neither bloggers nor pundits are obligated in any way to be neutral. McCain is a Santorum supporter and he admits that. There is no secret there.

    Now what would really be insidious would be if say… a news organization was pretending to be neutral and was in fact pushing a more moderate establishment-like candidate.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Seriously? This is a blog, man.
    You can read it, you can not read it.
    You can light off a comment and commence to assert all sorts of rules about whether we can or cannot do this or that.
    What you can’t hear through the blog is me laughing at your assertion of authority.

  • smokedaddy

    If Romney gets pushed under 25% then he’ll be skunked for delegates tonite.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    And you can’t win the general if you only win your primary mathematically with only the most tepid of acknowledgement from those voters.
    That’s something Romney has never seemed to comprehend (at first hanging back and just letting attrition and in-fighting among the NRs was probably a wise decision for him, but now he has to get out there and start convincing people he will represent them, he can win, and he has a vision — this he is not doing and people are beginning to wonder why).

  • smokedaddy

    Uh… Ed. This is, you know, a blog. You know, that form of communication designed to be a personal expression of the  bloggers OPINIONs. Try reading Stacy’s AS pieces if you’re looking for something approaching objectivity. Anyways, Stacy could  be spouting his take on Santos for the next 5 years and he’d still have hardly made a dent next to FOX, let alone the rest of the MSM. Regards

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Yeah, they boost for Santorum.
    So?
    If you go over most of the right wing blog sites for the entirety of the primary there has been the most bald faced advocacy for one canidate or another that your arguement is specious.  At least these guys admit up front that they are indeed backing their guy — the others have done hatchet jobs on whoever looked to be challenging their darling while clothing themselves in a “just sayin’” attitude of feigned objectivity (which by the way, didn’t work).

    Frankly, I’m a bit disgusted with the right wing blogosphere, which is the mirror image of the left now, but at least these guys kept their integrity a bit by admitting that they were going to boost Santorum (who by the way, while far from perfect and making what, imhao, are some pretty horrid if not fatal blunders, is also the only one left in there who seems to be willing to at least tell a little of the truth at least some of the time, even if it costs him…I can somewhat admire that even if I don’t agree with everything and he did peg somethings dead on rather than pander, so he got my vote).

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

    I want to wretch every time I see Kennedy, I don’t have to hear the thug speak. And Romney has collected his delegates in lieu of the fact that the conservatives divided their vote amongst multiple candidates. They always do that, and they always cry about it when it results in a moderate squish like Romney getting the nomination. Romney has been hard pressed to get more than a third of the vote in the vast majority of primaries and caucuses in which he’s participated. But unfortunately, thanks to the greedy, “principled” conservative candidates who act more like sharks on the scent of spilled blood, thirty percent has proven to be more than enough for Romney to get in there, like McCain before him, like Dole in ’96, etc.

    Now we’re left with one choice and only one. Support Romney, the soon-to-be nominee of the party, or sit it out and wait until 2016 when hopefully conservatives will be smart enough, and disciplined enough, to rally behind one solidly conservative candidate who knows how to reach out to the people and sell conservative, FEDERALIST  principles.

    That last option is very tempting, but I worry about the effect mainly on the judiciary. Only because of that, I’m resigned to our fate. Romney it is.

    But that damn sure doesn’t mean I like it.

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

     Edward, I give them all kinds of shit, sometimes out of exasperation at their stubbornness, and sometimes just for the pure sadistic fun of it. But this is their fucking blog and they have the right to promote whatever candidate they want.

  • Paul Zummo

    Did you wake up from a 10 year nap and just discover the blogosphere?

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Romney’s weak because everybody has been playing nice with him, and that was their big mistake.  He’s been willing to get the soft ride from the media so far.  Plus the NRs going after each other rather than him — another dumb mistake.

    If he wins the nomination that will change in a heartbeat, and then I’m afraid it will get brutal.  Worse yet, it won’t just be Romney that gets beaten — the GOP, the TP, the libertarians, the socons…Obama will be going after them, the target will be them…and Romney will be the breach in the wall that he uses to get them.
    Sometimes there are even worse things than losing — in politics being made to look like hypocritical losers is perhaps much worse, and that I’m afraid, is what the Dems are planning on doing.

    I’m afraid the GOP is allowing the media to pick their canidate, and that was also a pretty bad idea.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UNZU74NIXQBSAAC5PR2B36VMWM Edward

    I’m not asserting any authority.  Do you see me telling you what to do?  Did you read me telling you could do this and not that?  Or did you read me asking you?

    And yes it’s a blog.  It’s also a blog by a guy who has presented himself as an old-school reporter and journalist.

    But the simple fact remains you cannot be both a pundit and an advocate.  That isn’t me asserting an authority.  It isn’t me throwing down rules.  It’s the simple fact that if you’re advocating for a candidate people are going to discount what you write because there will be an explicit slant on it.  And yes that will include any posts/stories that do not obviously involve your preferred candidate.

    *shrug* hey it’s your blog.  You can do anything with it that you want.  But credibility isn’t easy to acquire and it is very easy to burn away. 

    Like I pointed out earlier, entirely up to you.

    Personally I simply don’t bother reading anything on this site that has anything to do with Santorum.  So far that’s about 75% of the blog.  Pretty soon that’ll approach 100% and then I’ll just remove the bookmark.

    And why am I pointing this out?  Because the same thing has happened to other blogs who have gone down that road.  You advocate and pretty soon the only people who remain are those that agree with you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UNZU74NIXQBSAAC5PR2B36VMWM Edward

    Hey I don’t have a problem with that.  If they want to burn any credibility they have in a bonfire then that’s their right to do so.  But it seems a shame to do that when they’ve put so much effort into the enterprise.

  • A Stephens

    Hopefully RS can use this LA to build momentum in WI.  I believe he should use the success of the Walker “bold strokes” agenda there to his own advantage.  I have no idea what their relationships may be but the Walker/Santorum leadership template certainly projects conscience of conviction much more forcefully than anything Romney has ever shown.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UNZU74NIXQBSAAC5PR2B36VMWM Edward

     Yes as a professional web developer I just discovered blogs. /sarcasm

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    From your original post:  But seriously you cannot be a pundit and an advocate for a specific candidate at the same time.Which are you?  Are you neutral bloggers reporting on the stories?  Or are you rah-rah cheerleaders for Santorum and nothing else? 

    Now, maybe you disagree that using the imperative voice implies assertion of authority, but that’s how I read it.

    And you doubled down here: But the simple fact remains you cannot be both a pundit and an advocate.  That isn’t me asserting an authority.  It isn’t me throwing down rules.  It’s the simple fact that if you’re advocating for a candidate people are going to discount what you write because there will be an explicit slant on it. 

    Again, I will repeat: this is a blog.
    Stacy, BTW, seems to agree with you, if you contrast his ‘serious’ work over at The American Spectator with this blog.
    For my personal part, if you’ve read my posts/comments, I think the GOP candidates kinda suck, each in their own special way.
    I’m supporting the GOP nominee, irrespective of who emerges from the Tampa brawl. 

    I can muster some measure of additional regard for Santorum, I suppose, as he seems somehow more real than the others, but let’s not kid ourselves: these guys are all politicians.

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

     I haven’t paid attention to the Mitt News Network in a while, actually.

    My only gripe with Newt dropping out is that you know he will do it in the ugliest and most graceless way possible.  I’m not even doubting he’ll endorse Mitt on the way out.

  • A Stephens

    Most of us can think critically, don’t accept much, if anything, at face value,  and in my case at least, are looking for intellectual honesty, including but not limited to, self-deprecation, full disclosure, and proper attribution.

    If you’ve really been around here very long at all, you’d know these guys do yeoman’s work in satisfying all of the above.

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  • Anamika

     LMAO!

  • Anamika

     That’s a keeper!

    BTW this what I wrote 2 months ago:

    “Some of you people need to get off the drugs and wake up to reality. 
    Mitt’s going to be your nominee.  Save yourself some heart-ache. Get
    used to it.”

    It seems Stacy’s and Smitty’s Santorum delusion at this site has only grown larger since then.

  • Mick Stockinger

    Isn’t this a little like Romney winning Idaho?  An analysis of past primary caucus shows quite clearly that Santorum wins when the Evangelical demographic surpasses 50% of the population.  Basically, Santorum is to Evangelicals what Obama is to the black vote.  His problem is that he can’t connect to anyone other than an Evangelical, who are oh, so fond of Mormon candidates.

    Santorum can be expected to lose the next seven and possible eight contests if you count Pennsylvania, whose residents must be tired of this insufferable weenie.  Santorum will no doubt, find a reason to stay in the race in spite of this prospective drubbing.

  • Tennwriter

    You’re not listening, dude.  And you don’t understand.

  • robertstacymccain

    What the hell is the fun of following politics if you don’t have a horse in the race? I got on the Santorum Express when Rick was at 6% in the polls, why should I pretend I’m not happy now that he’s just kicked Mr. Inevitable’s butt in Louisiana?

    So, who is your horse in the race?

  • Tennwriter

     the interesting question….

    Romney is the weakest of the field (even weaker than Ron Paul), but is he so weak that he loses to Obama who is facing a really massive array of problems?

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

    It is a big win for Rick and he deserves credit for that.  Congratulations Rick fans.  

  • Jaxson

    It’s all about the “my Pastor said I’m doing the right thing by voting against a Mormon.”  That’s all these Southern victories are about,  if Newt was the last man against Romney, the serial adulterer that knows how to swing would be the one winning with Evangelicals.

    Romney didn’t need the dingbat wing of the Party, and I hope he kicks them to the curb when this is all over.  I guarantee you Romney is not going to be returning any calls to the Pat Robertson crowd when he’s in the White House.

  • CPAguy

     In what way is Romney different than Obama?