Day 18 of the "Are we there yet??" update: the long, relentless Bataan Death March to the primaries.
Starting off with some non-poll stuff first.
Remember poor Buddy Roemer? He's finally said "Screw the GOP" and is trying to get the nomination under the Americans Elect
Perhaps in an attempt to back out of what they sense is a losing proposition in the "Vagina Wars" of late, the GOP is now making quite the kerfluffle about gas prices. Even though the average US gas price is only up to where it was about six months ago
and despite the fact that the US President does not, in fact, determine the price of gas. Of course, there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around on this issue, given that Democrats were howling about gas prices in 2008 when it was politically advantageous to do so (and admittedly, gas prices peaked about 50 cents/gal higher then than they are now).
I didn't watch the Arizona debates, but the general consensus is that it didn't really change anything. Santorum could really have put his foot on Romney's throat by having a solid debate performance, but since he didn't...
Now, on to the poll data:National
Rasmussen has some new general election polls showing Obama beating either Romney or Santorum in the fall by 6-7 points.Michigan
Good news for Team Romney this morning, as two seperate polls show the state narrowly swinging back to Romney. Rasmussen (which as we've noted before, seems to have a front-runner bias) shows the state at +6 for Mitt, and Mitchell/Rosetta Stone has it as +3.Arizona
Rasmussen also showing Arizona swinging back towards Romney, at +13, up five points from their own poll one week ago.
Here's the thing though...Michigan is proportional, so a close loss by Santorum isn't much different from a close win in terms of delegates. It's all about the narrative of this being Romney's "home state". For Romney, a narrow win isn't great, but it's still better than any kind of loss.
Arizona is winner-take-all, but it's not a huge state to begin with and it's penalized half its delegates for jumping its primary ahead of Super Tuesday. A win either way is not a game-changer. Again, it's about narrative. If Romney wins, it's expected. If he loses, especially given how far ahead he was at the beginning of February, it raises eyebrows.
Looking ahead, any momentum Romney gets out of wins in these two (if he indeed does win) is probably stalled out a week later on Super Tuesday. We've got:
Alaska (27 proportional delegates, closed caucus)
Georgia (76 proportional+ delegates, open primary)
Idaho (32 non-binding delegates, closed caucus)
Massachusetts (41 proportional+ delegates, open primary)
North Dakota (28 non-binding delegates, closed caucus)
Ohio (66 proportional++ delegates, open primary)
Oklahoma (43 proportional++ delegates, closed primary)
Tennessee (58 proportional++ delegates, open primary)
Vermont (17 hybrid delegates, open primary)
Virginia (49 hybrid++ delegates, open primary)
Okay, so what the hell does "proportional+" and "hybrid++" and such mean?Proportional
: Delegate pool is allocated to the candidates to match, as closely as possible, the proportions of the popular vote they got in the primary.Proportional+
: Delegates are awarded by Congressional districts won, with an additional portion awarded to the statewide winner.Proportional++
: As above, but if the statewide winner goes over a certain threshold (typically 50%), the entire delegate pool is awarded to that candidate. In essence, the race turns into a winner-take-all if there's a majority winner. Hybrid
: Some portion of the delegate pool is awarded by district, some portion to the statewide winner, and some proportional to the overall vote percentages.Hybrid++
: As Hybrid, but adds the "over 50% win turns the whole thing into winner-take-all" condition.
Why do we have so many variations on how to award delegates in a primary/caucus? I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA. D: