Feel the Santmentum

I’m not quite sure why the races in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri tomorrow aren’t getting more attention. Colorado is probably one of those states Republicans will never win again because they pissed off too many Latinos and also too, it has a non-trivial Mormon population, which should help Romney win. But Missouri and Minnesota may be meaningful. Nate Silver:

Mr. Romney could be vulnerable in both states. A survey released on Sunday by Public Policy Polling, which has had fairly accurate results so far in the primary season, had Minnesota as a toss-up between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum, with Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul not far behind.

And in Missouri, where Mr. Gingrich is not on the ballot for the “beauty contest” primary, it had Mr. Santorum ahead of Mr. Romney, 45 percent to 34 percent.

Imagine that Mr. Romney were to lose both states. That would make him zero for three in the nation’s most important swing region. It would raise questions about his performance in Ohio, probably the most important state to vote on “Super Tuesday,” March 6. Polling there also shows a competitive race.

This might go a little to the ridiculous demographic fixations we always see in primaries — why can’t Obama win the rural working-class Polish vote, why is Obama doing so poorly among Orthodox single moms — but if Romney loses 2 of 3 tomorrow, it’s hard to see why the race should end anytime soon.

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36 replies
  1. 1
    amk says:

    So should we officially declare paulmentum as dead ? Not that there was ever any.

  2. 2
    superking says:

    Missouri Republicans are such fuck ups that they couldn’t cancel the meaningless primary. No one is going to vote in it since it doesn’t affect the delegate count. The delegates are going to be determined by caucuses in March. But the state is still wasting money on the primary in any case.

  3. 3
    imonlylurking says:

    It’s hard to know how well he’ll do in Minnesota. The general population is pretty much fed up with Republicans, but we’ve also got some of the most hard-core fringe activist Repubs in the country, ie Bachmann’s district.

    Given that this is the GOP that went for Grunseth, I’m gonna say Santorum by a hair.

  4. 4
    FridayNext says:

    During the last election I heard a lot of “blacks only voted for Obama cuz he’s black” from my right wing family and friends. I wonder why we don’t hear “Mormons only vote for Romney cuz he’s a Mormon.”

    Every seems to take it as a given, but no seems to have as much of a problem with it.

  5. 5
    cathyx says:

    I’m pretty sure that “Feel the Santmentum” isn’t a song lyric. I thought you said that all of your titles were.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    And in Missouri, where Mr. Gingrich is not on the ballot for the “beauty contest” primary, it had Mr. Santorum ahead of Mr. Romney, 45 percent to 34 percent.

    This can be chalked up to the “only one non-loonyetarian NotMitt” syndrome.

  7. 7
    Jewish Steel says:

    Why can’t Romney seal the deal with Missouri puppy mill magnates?

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    I know zilch about Missouri, but I lived in Minnesota for two years and know some people there. It’s cold in the winter (i.e., right now) and otherwise quiet and smart people go grim and their long underwear can get a little funky. So, it’s possible that something surprising could happen.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Get THE UNDEFEATED free with Townhall Magazine!”

    Out of the remainder bins, and into “free glass with a fillup!” purgatory.

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    Imagine that Mr. Romney were to lose both states. That would make him zero for three in the nation’s most important swing region. It would raise questions about his performance in Ohio, probably the most important state to vote on “Super Tuesday,” March 6. Polling there also shows a competitive race.

    Romney has tons of money and an established ground game. Santorum and Gingrich don’t – they’re basically relying on local organized Republicans rallying to their NotRomney respective banners to drive their turnout.

    That worked in South Carolina, where Republicans really didn’t like Romney. But in western states? The Mormon population is big enough and the general enthusiasm low enough that he can win one or two of these states.

    And Santorum is a joke. He might be ahead in the polls in Missouri, but how many people are really going to turn out to vote for him?

    @amk:

    So should we officially declare paulmentum as dead ?

    The Libertarians I’ve seen have basically given up. He polled even with Gingrich in Nevada, and I have no doubt he’ll do better than terrible in western states like Colorado and Montana. And being the only NotRomney option in Virginia, he might even break his 22% ceiling.

    But he’s not winning any races.

    The 2010 Republican enthusiasm is getting squelched left and right. Romney is going to be rehashing the roll of Kerry circa ’04. People will turn out waving signs that say “Better than Bush Obama”, and rediscover why that strategy sucks.

  11. 11
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m not quite sure why the races in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri tomorrow aren’t getting more attention.

    Yes, I’m sure I should care but Giiiaaaaaaannnttss!!!

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    LA Times interviewed some “independents” in Broomfield, Colorado (midway between Denver and Boulder).

    headlines on web: In Colorado, ‘anybody but Obama’ may not be good enough

    The president has disappointed many independents in the swing state, but they are even less happy with the Republican candidates.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....2950.story

  13. 13
    shortstop says:

    @Jewish Steel: Awesome.

  14. 14
    jibeaux says:

    Thanks, I was going to eat lunch in half an hour but now I’m thinking about “toss-up” and Santorum. BJ diet FTW!

  15. 15
    Jewish Steel says:

    @shortstop: There’s a “pet store” coming to my local mall. MO puppy mills are much on my mind.

  16. 16
    jibeaux says:

    @Jewish Steel: Around here, pet stores no longer carry puppies. There are just way, way more dog accessories than there used to be. They do sell birds, rabbits, hamsters, fish, etc. Is it different where you are?

  17. 17
    Jewish Steel says:

    @jibeaux:

    That’s the way it’s been around here since the 90s.

    But now I’m poking around for clues about this supposed store and can’t find any. My source is a drunken hipster girl on Facebook, come to think of it.

    This is why I see no Pulitzers on my shelf.

  18. 18
    jonas says:

    Last year, I thought that Santorum-Bachmann was going to emerge as as the GOP dream team. But I guess it just goes to show that all the ideological purity in the world can’t beat a shit-ton of money and the ground organization it buys. Plus, while Santorum can turn out right-wing Catholics — a modest percentage of the whole — Romney can turn out virtually every single Mormon in a state for him. Proportionally, Mormons are a much smaller group, but when you can get *all* of their votes, as opposed to 50%, it counts for something.

    Also, Missouri happens to be home to a dissident branch of the Mormon church that split off from their Utah brethren way back when. I wonder how they feel about Romney? Anyone know?

  19. 19
    Jake Nelson says:

    Important to remember re: Minnesota, is that we’re insanely divided. Anything about Minnesotans generally tells you very little about the caucus-goers, as Minnesota DFLers and Minnesota Republicans are completely separate groups of people with very little in common.

    This can be tricky to assess, tho, as it’s roughly 40/30/30 DFL/Rep/Ind, and MN has no form of party registration (if you’re voting in a primary, it’s all on one ballot, you’re just limited to marking one column, and no one sees which one you marked in; caucuses are the same night for both parties, so it’s generally non-feasible to attend both, but you theoretically could)… the indys shift a bit (there’s the mostly-committed leaners, slightly more R than D, of course, but I mean the “real” ones)… they can be unpredictable.

    Worth noting MN has insanely high voter turnout (just a big civic duty thing here, one of the few cross-party MN attributes), which means motivation effects only move things a couple points (tho, we’re so razor-edge close these days (see Franken v. Coleman) that that can be enough)…

    There’s multiple reasons I retired from the three-meeting-a-week world of being a party officer…

  20. 20
    Origuy says:

    My source is a drunken hipster girl on Facebook, come to think of it.

    You could be a columnist for the Washington Post.

  21. 21
    lacp says:

    Breaking News: Minnesota Drowning Under Deluge of Frothy Mix!

  22. 22
    Jake Nelson says:

    @jonas: Most of the Mormons in Missouri are Community of Christ or related groups- they’re not breakaways, they’re the ones who didn’t go to Utah with Brigham Young, and include Joseph Smith’s descendants. More liberal group, by and large. No idea what their take on Mitt is.

  23. 23
    philpm says:

    The primary in MO is not getting any coverage because, according to the RNC, it doesn’t count since MO is doing theirs “out of turn” based on their own schedule, which means that MO is only going to get half of their delegates counted at the convention. The MO GOP pushed for this date to continue knowing that, and now it is costing the state big money for something that is basically meaningless.

  24. 24
    jheartney says:

    St. Louis area resident here. Wondering if it would make sense for me to go pose as a Gooper-for-the-day and cast a vote for Man on Dog. Should I?

  25. 25
    jwest says:

    I think both the democrats and republicans will pick their candidate at the conventions.

    The most likely scenario is that Obama will realize that he is heading into Carteresque loss around August. He will decline to run for reelection at that point, announcing that he will keep his campaign funds for a future run. A new candidate will be picked at the convention.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    I’m not quite sure why the races in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri tomorrow aren’t getting more attention.

    Caucuses are less exciting than voting primaries. There are no debates, and no room for the horse race news stories. Newt isn’t on the ballot in one state, so he has no reason to push for anything there.

    Imagine that Mr. Romney were to lose both states. That would make him zero for three in the nation’s most important swing region. It would raise questions about his performance in Ohio, probably the most important state to vote on “Super Tuesday,” March 6. Polling there also shows a competitive race.

    Of course, we don’t have to “imagine” anything. We need only wait for the actual contests. Silver is good at analyzing the polls, especially close to the election. Otherwise, there is a lot less here than meets the eye, and only satisfies our impatience and inability to wait for results. Excessive predictification is not the same thing as either journalism or analysis.

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ @ Top:

    Colorado … has a non-trivial Mormon population …

    I get why people keep making this mistake, mistermix did it just last week — Colorado has a long border with neighboring Utah — but Colorado has a trivial Mormon population, only 2%.

    There are a lot of Evangelicals, though: 23%. And a lot of Catholics at 19%. That could make CO competitive territory for Gingrich or Santorum.

    .

  28. 28
    Jewish Steel says:

    @jwest:

    The most likely scenario…

    Nodding seriously as I back out the door

  29. 29

    @jwest:
    Now that I know you’re a spoof troll, you’re pretty funny!

    @jonas:
    I think it’s not merely the money that can buy a ground game. The other candidates are honestly too stupid, lazy, or crazy to have built one. Gingrich coulda, he just didn’t bother.

  30. 30
    Gus says:

    MN hasn’t voted Republican in the Presidential since Nixon. We’ve moved way right, but we’re still not buying what they’re selling in 2012. Obama has a sizable lead in early polls.

  31. 31
    Dr. Squid says:

    @jheartney: No. But try that at caucus time on St. Patty’s Day. Drunk caucusing FTW.

  32. 32
    colby says:

    @jwest: I am interested in this theory and would like to know more.

  33. 33
    les says:

    @jwest:
    That’s pretty fuckin’ funny, and right up there on the stoopid meter, with little innate offensiveness. Nice job.

  34. 34
    jwest says:

    @colby:

    All historical indicators, GDP, right track/wrong track, consumer confidence, deserves reelection, job approval, unemployment, gas prices, etc. point to a landslide election for republicans. Although the public only sees published polls, the evidence of announced and rumored upcoming retirements from the Senate and House by democrats shows that the costly internal party polling is pointing to the same conclusion.

    Obama, not wanting to be the person history points to as the candidate who took his party down to its most devastating defeat will reassess his position as the convention draws closer. Also, incumbent democrats who have a chance of retaining their seats will realize that their chances would greatly improve if Obama wasn’t the one on top of the ticket.

    On a personal level, Obama will see the advantages of dropping the current campaign and retaining 250 to 400 million in campaign funds, which he could use as he wished as long as he declared he was going to run at a later date. His new “campaign” could purchase a nice Boeing Business Jet for his and Michelle’s travel and just about everything could be expensed as part of his future run.

    Hillary would probably get the nomination through acclamation at the convention and with renewed excitement, the democrats would do better than expected – especially downticket.

  35. 35
    kmeyer the lurker says:

    There’s little press about the Colorado caucus because it is non-binding. We’re having a primary a month or so later, which is binding. Makes no sense to me either. Turnout is expected to be very low. Caucuses are too much of a pain in the ass to bother attending one that doesn’t count.

  36. 36
    CaliCat says:

    Hahaha “Feel the Santmentum”. Oh, that made me giggle.

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