The Fix: Super Tuesday

Why Newt Gingrich shouldn’t drop out

Why Newt Gingrich shouldn’t drop out

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has only won two of the 21 states that have voted so far in the 2012 Republican presidential primary process. He hasn’t finished above third in 17 of the other 19 contests.

That record has some within the party — mostly allies of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum — urging Gingrich to drop from the race for the good of the party.

Continue Reading »

Wealthy voters deliver for Mitt Romney

A funny thing happened on the way to Mitt Romney’s victories in Michigan last week and Ohio on Tuesday:

Rich people showed up to vote. A lot.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greet supporters at his Super Tuesday primary night rally in Boston, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Exit polls in both Michigan and Ohio show voters making more than $100,000 per year turning out in much higher numbers this year than they did in 2008. And in both cases, they might well have provided the difference for Romney.

Continue Reading »

Super Tuesday: Rating the GOP candidates’ speeches

Super Tuesday: Rating the GOP candidates’ speeches

Ohio’s Republican presidential primary is still up in the air — and could be for a very long time — but all of the major candidates have already given their victory speeches.

With apologies to Ron Paul, whose speech wasn’t widely televised (cut the conspiracy theories!), here are our Fix ratings of the addresses given by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They are ranked from best to worst. Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits!

Continue Reading »

Ron Paul’s Virginia surprise

Ron Paul’s Virginia surprise

In the days leading up to the Virginia primary, the common assumption was that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would romp to a victory over Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

(Romney and Paul were the only two candidates who qualified for the ballot in the Commonwealth.)

A poll released just days before the vote showed Romney leading Paul 69 percent to 26 percent.

Continue Reading »

Ohio, Ohio, Ohio

Super Tuesday has played out exactly as we expected thus far. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has won in Massachusetts, Virginia and Vermont while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has claimed his home state of Georgia and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has claimed Tennessee.

What do those status quo results mean as we go forward tonight? That Ohio remains the entire ball of wax — or close to it.

Continue Reading »

Why Mitt Romney’s Virginia win could matter. A lot.

Why Mitt Romney’s Virginia win could matter. A lot.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s victory in Virginia, according to the Associated Press, will be quickly forgotten as the eyes of the political world turn to the primaries in Ohio and Tennessee — contests expected to be more closely fought on this Super Tuesday night.

It shouldn’t be.

Romney’s victory in the Commonwealth will almost certainly net him all 46 of Virginia’s delegates due to the fact that only he and Texas Rep. Ron Paul qualified for the ballot.

Continue Reading »

Early exit poll: Richer, more educated Ohio voters

Early exit poll: Richer, more educated Ohio voters

The Ohio presidential primary electorate is more educated and higher income than during the state’s 2008 GOP vote and prize business experience over government experience, according to early exit polling in the Buckeye State.

Nearly half of all Ohio primary voters have a college degree and three in ten have a household income of $100,000 or more. Two-thirds say they would prefer a candidate with business experience while just one in four would rather a candidate with experience in government.

Continue Reading »

The 2012 Republican presidential campaign — in tweets.

The Fix posse — like most of the political world — are Twitter addicts. It’s become the medium through which all political news breaks. You literally cannot cover the campaign without keeping an eye — and sometimes both eyes — on Twitter.

But, how reflective is Twitter of the various ups and downs of a campaign that has been a rollercoaster ride since voters started voting on Jan. 3 in Iowa?

Pretty reflective, it turns out. Check out the chart below that tracks the peaks and valleys of the campaign through the Twitter traffic around each of the four Republican candidates.

Make sure to check out the full screen chart if you want a closer look.

Continue Reading »

The Super Tuesday stakes — in three minutes! (VIDEO)

Tired of reading all those pesky words the media has been writing about what’s at stake in today’s Super Tuesday primaries? Who isn’t!

We’ve got the antidote: A three-minute video that tells you everything you need to know about the 10 states voting today. Plus, it has all sorts of cool graphics and a tiny version of Fix Original Recipe.

Check it out. Then check it out again. Fix Jr. needs a new pair of shoes.

Voters to GOP candidates: We don’t like any of you

The four remaining Republican presidential candidates are viewed unfavorably by large swaths of the American public, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll — a sobering reminder for the party that the extended primary season has damaged the brand.
Republican presidential candidates Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, left, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, second from right, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, right, watch as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Republican presidential debate Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Among independent voters, who are widely seen as the critical swing voting bloc in the fall election, none of the four candidates is regarded favorably by even 40 percent of the sample.

Continue Reading »

Why Super Tuesday could be the beginning of the end — in one chart

Why Super Tuesday could be the beginning of the end — in one chart

Rick Santorum’s momentum has almost completely stopped in the GOP presidential race while Mitt Romney’s support has reached a new high.

The latest Gallup national tracking poll shows Romney extending his lead to 16 points nationally. Just more than two weeks ago, he trailed Santorum by double digits.

Continue Reading »

Rick Santorum’s Ohio problem — in one chart

The Ohio Republican presidential primary is less than 24 hours away. Widely considered the crown jewel of Super Tuesday, Ohio appears to be a toss-up between former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

But, one look at the chart below shows you why Santorum and his forces are starting to downplay the importance of the Buckeye State. (“It’s a tough state for us, only because of the fact of the money disadvantage,” Santorum said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend.)

Can a candidate win with a trend line that has turned that sharply downward? Sure. (And there is a new Suffolk University poll out today that shows Santorum leading Romney by four points.) But, Santorum’s sharp drop in Ohio polling has to be unsettling to his allies.

Rick Santorum’s delegate math doesn’t add up

In responding to its popular-vote loss in the Michigan primary last Tuesday, Rick Santorum’s campaign argued that the result amounted to a tie since the former Pennsylvania senator and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were both slated to win 15 delegates.

(Later, one delegate was controversially shifted to Romney, who wound up edging Santorum 16 to 14.)

That argument could pretty easily backfire on Super Tuesday tomorrow.

As Romney’s campaign pointed out this weekend, Santorum’s campaign is not on the ballot in Virginia and failed to file for as many as 18 of the available delegates in Ohio.

It all adds up to a situation in which Santorum could have a very good day in terms of raw vote but still come away with significantly fewer delegates than Romney.

Continue Reading »

2012: The Republican party’s Gotham election?

2012: The Republican party’s Gotham election?

The Fix is something of a nerd. (This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read this blog for more than a day or two.) As such, we dig sci-fi (“Battlestar Galactica” rules!), fantasy novels (“Wheel of Time” series anyone?) and, yes, superheroes.

To that last point, we always been captivated by the political implications of an argument made in the 2005 movie “Batman Begins” by Ra’s al Ghul — played by Liam Neeson — that the only way that the city of Gotham could be returned to its former greatness was for it first to be destroyed.

Continue Reading »

Is the establishment (finally) coming around on Mitt Romney?

Is the establishment (finally) coming around on Mitt Romney?

Mitt Romney is the establishment candidate in the Republican presidential field. Everyone knows it.

Of course, there’s this one pesky fact: The GOP establishment, such as it is, had largely sat on its collective hands in the race so far — content to let Romney and the rest of the field duke it out, even as polling suggests that President Obama is gaining strength.

Continue Reading »

Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney tied in new Ohio poll

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are in a statistical dead heat in the critical Ohio presidential primary, according to a new NBC/Marist poll.

Santorum takes 34 percent while Romney lags just two points behind at 32 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich receives 15 percent support while Texas Rep. Ron Paul clocks in at 13 percent.


Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a Lincoln Day dinner, Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Lima, Ohio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Santorum wins 36 percent to 33 percent for Romney among self-identified Republicans while Santorum sits at 31 percent and Romney at 30 percent among independents.

Continue Reading »

The in­cred­ibly searchable Rick Santorum

The in­cred­ibly searchable Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum was the story in the Republican presidential race over the past month. How do we know? Google told us, natch.

Here’s a look at which of the four remaining presidential candidates drew the most search interest in the ten Super Tuesday states over the past 30 days:

Continue Reading »

Mitt Romney’s millions (and why they could matter)

Mitt Romney’s millions (and why they could matter)

If you know anything about Mitt Romney by now, it’s that he is rich. Very rich. Like, stinking rich.

Through a series of campaign gaffes — the $10,000 bet, friends with NASCAR owners, “couple of Cadillacs”, the debate over releasing his tax returns etc. — Romney has made abundantly clear that he is both very affluent and very awkward talking about his wealth.

Continue Reading »

Five lessons learned from the Republican presidential race

Eleven states have cast their votes in the Republican presidential nominating contest. Ten more will do so in six days time, the biggest single day of voting in the GOP race.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves at his election night party in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Now then seems like as good a time as any to take three big steps back and look at what lessons the first two months of votes have taught us about the Republican race.

Below are the five biggest lessons we’ve learned in the race to date. (And, yes, all lessons learned come in groups of five. It’s just how it works.)

Continue Reading »

Setting the Super Tuesday stakes

Setting the Super Tuesday stakes

On Super Tuesday more delegates will be awarded than in in the first two months of the Republican presidential race combined.

With 10 states awarding more than 400 delegates, March 6 is the day on the calendar that political junkies have had circled for months. It’s the closest thing to a national primary day we’ll have before the nominee is ultimately chosen with states from Vermont and Massachusetts in the Northeast to Oklahoma in the Plains, Idaho in the Mountain West and even Alaska in the non-Lower 48 all casting ballots.

Continue Reading »

Ohio poll shows Romney’s challenges continue through Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney’s campaign is still justifiably worried about winning Michigan in today’s primary, as it should be.

But the bad news is that, even if his team can pull it out tonight, next week’s marquee contest in Michigan’s neighbor-to-the-south is looking like an uphill battle.

A University of Cincinnati poll out today shows Romney trailing Rick Santorum by double digits in Ohio, whose March 6 primary has quickly become the highest-profile matchup of Super Tuesday.

Continue Reading »

Super Tuesday explained — in four groups

In Wednesday’s paper, we break down how Super Tuesday is shaping up based on who is campaigning where.


Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney greets supporters at a campaign rally at Tri-City Christian Academy in Chandler, Ariz., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (Gerald Herbert - Associated Press)

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the 10 March 6 contests, broken down into four groups of states:

* The big states (Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee): These are the big delegate prizes for the candidates, and we’ve seen Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich all place at least some emphasis on these primaries by visiting or running ads. Not all of them are created equal — there has been much more emphasis on Ohio than Tennessee, for example — but the “winner” of Super Tuesday will almost undoubtedly be determined by who wins in these key states.

Continue Reading »

Newt Gingrich’s risky Super Tuesday strategy

Newt Gingrich is handing Rick Santorum a golden opportunity to prove himself as the true anti-Romney conservative before Super Tuesday.

So far, the former House speaker’s campaign has shown little inclination to play in the three states that will hold their contests before March 6, a risky strategy that could pretty easily backfire.

That may be changing — Gingrich has hired some staff in Washington and is now pledging to visit Michigan — but his campaign is a little late to the game, which could play into Santorum’s hands.

Continue Reading »