The Highlight Reel
- Romney snagged the coveted Jeb Bush endorsement, which could lend him added credibility with conservatives and the wary “Republican establishment.” Bush called for Republicans to “unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall.”
- Last week, Puerto Rico handed a landslide victory to Mitt Romney, with 83% of the vote. Strangely, only 8% of Puerto Rican voters were won over by Santorum’s stance against territories (like Puerto Rico) being able to vote for president or his suggestion that they drop Spanish as a co-official language and keep English as the primary official language.
- Romney won big in the Illinois primary, beating runner-up Santorum by double digits (47% to 35%). Gingrich scored a painful 8% of the vote, behind Ron Paul’s 9%. With this win, Team Mittens was able to boast (1) that Romney could win by decisive margins, (2) that Romney had broad support from voters across wide ranges of age and income, including from Tea Party backers, and (3) that Santorum’s recent victories remain largely confined to the South.
- Santorum gave his “I’m not defeated” speech from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, behind a big “Freedom” banner, saying that “freedom is at stake in this election.” To complete the Civil War parallel, he also directly evoked the 1860s, perhaps harking back to an era where his views on women’s issues may have felt more at home.
- Behind the debates, the advertising, and the dramatic comeback victories, the race really boils down to delegate math, as the candidates themselves have acknowledged. In that accounting, Romney now holds 563 delegates, compared with Santorum’s 263 and Gingrich’s 135.
- Obama and Romney were revealed to be, respectively, the two most charitable candidates in this election.
- The Secret Service code names for Romney and Santorum have been revealed to be Javelin and Petrus, respectively. The candidates were allowed to choose the names themselves. There is some speculation over whether Romney meant the weapon, the car, or the track-and-field event, and Santorum’s selection presumably involves either a symbolic rock or Saint Peter. Or, according to Jezebel’s more straightforward analysis, both names are just “totally penisy.”
What’s Up Next
- March 24: The Louisiana closed primary. With 46 delegates at stake (to be allotted proportionally to winning percentages), the Bayou is a big deal. Although Santorum has committed around half a million dollars to local advertising, he still can’t outspend Romney, who has at least $600,000 put in for advertising by his super PAC, Restore Our Future (not to be confused with Winning Our Future, the Gingrich super PAC that has invested $50,000 in Louisiana ads). Fun fact: Just how much is Romney outspending Santorum? He’s paying four times as much per vote and three times as much per delegate, according to the Associated Press.
- April 3: Maryland, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC primaries—winner take all!
What’s the deal with the Missouri caucus? you might ask. I thought the Missouri primary already happened back in February?
Well, Missouri did indeed hold a non-binding primary on February 7, which resulted in Santorum winning an overwhelming 55% of the vote and Romney finishing second with 25%.
However, the Republican National Committee has a rule that only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada can hold primaries before the first Monday of March. So, for this year, that means that any other state that voted before March 6 would risk losing half of its delegates.
So Missouri’s February primary was already scheduled and took place as planned, but no delegates were awarded at the time. Since the original primary was non-binding, delegates were not committed to any candidate anyway and would have been able to change their minds any time before the Republican National Convention.
To avoid losing delegates, Missouri then moved to a March 17 caucus. For this second round, where delegates are actually at stake, Santorum is expected to be in the lead once again, but results won’t be released for a few more days.
- Political heavyweights unite! The American Mustache Institute has (maybe?) secured Ron Paul’s endorsement for their proposed Stache Act (Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses), basically requesting “a well-deserved $250 annual tax deduction for every mustached American for expenditures on mustache grooming supplies.”
- Presented without comment: “Asked who would be a better President for dogs, 37% of voters pick Obama to 21% for Romney with 42% not holding an opinion either way.”
- Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? Apparently the creation of this mash-up took a solid week of poring over footage, but the resulting classic speaks for itself.
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