Sunday, February 3, 2008

Romney in Maine, Super Tuesday Voting Machines and the Super Bowl

Mitt Romney managed to get back in the win column again Saturday with a victory in the Maine Republican caucuses. So once again, Romney has bested his competition in a caucus state. That means all but an Iowa victory is separating im from having swept the caucus states thus far (Wyoming, Nevada, and Maine). Now, this isn't to suggest that Romney will sweep the caucuses on Tuesday (There are six in all: Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota.), but it is an interesting footnote to the proceedings since January 3.

Maine results. (Well, partial ones from the Maine GOP.)

The other consideration for the GOP candidates heading into Super Tuesday this week is whether those states going have winner-take-all systems of delegate allocation. Which February 5 states fall into that category and how do the polls look for the top GOP candidates there? Looking at the map from the New York Times posted early last week, these are the states (There was some skepticism among the group during the live discussion group this week as to how accurate these were. They have been checked and verified at The
Arizona (53 Delegates)
McCain 41% Romney 25

California (not a true winner-take-all) (173 Delegates)
McCain 37% Romney 32

Connecticut (30 Delegates)
McCain 45% Romney 23

Delaware (18 Delegates)
No recent polls (But McCain did win there in 2000.).

Georgia (not a true winner-take-all) (72 Delegates)
McCain 31% Romney 29 Huckabee 25

Massachusetts (This contest's allocation is disputed. NYT and TGP have it as proportional, while Rhodes Cook--via Paul's Larry Sabato email the other day--has it as winner-take-all. This is Romney territory anyway.) (43 Delegates)
Romney 54% McCain 29

Missouri (58 Delegates)
McCain 35% Huckabee 28 Romney 26

New Jersey (52 Delegates)
McCain 49% Romney 26

New York (101 Delegates)
McCain 51% Romney 23

Oklahoma (not a true winner-take-all) (41 Delegates)
McCain 40 Huckabee 19 Romney 17

Utah (36 Delegates)
No link available (Like Massachusetts, Utah is considered Romney country.).
*All poll numbers are from Real Clear Politics averages of the most recent polls in the states. Delegate numbers are from The New York Times.
If we look at just these states, McCain looks to be in very good shape. He's behind in two (MA & UT), ahead but close in another three (CA, GA & MO) and comfortably ahead in the rest. That could net him 335 delegates; nearly a third of what is needed for the nomination. And that doesn't count what he's already secured and the delegates he could get from the other Super Tuesday states. Unlike on the Democratic side (which uses a proportional allocation), the GOP has some variation here. Romney could come in a respectable second in several of these states and have nothing to show for it. That puts him in a real bind as Tuesday approaches.

Meanwhile with Super Tuesday just around the bend, Common Cause has released a report concerning the states most likely to have voting machine issues this week. And yes, Georgia is on there as one of the six states most likely to have "mishaps" with their machines (Arkansas, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Tennessee are the rest.). In other words, there may be some side stories that make waves come Wednesday morning other than simply who won, who lost and how many delegates each candidates has.

Also, tonight is the Super Bowl. As I did with the State of the Union address this past week, I'll ask here whether the Pats-Giants game will distract from the campaign going on across all sectors of the country. The Orange Bowl on the night of the Iowa caucuses did nothing to dampen the spirits of caucus goers there, and this won't pull people's attention away for too long. Obama is up with "local" ads for the game.


Robert said...

Real Clear Politics in the latest polls section has Romney up 84-4 on McCain in Utah. Apparently his religion is not hurting him there. I think McCain will probably put it out of reach on Tuesday, but Huckabee is falling like a rock in many states, and those votes appear to be going more to Romney than McCain. Huckabee had a 14 point lead in Georgia last week. Now he is in third and Romney is within the margin of error of McCain. If there is a surprise on Tuesday it would be a surge for Romney in caucuses and primaries. Also note that the USA Today national poll has Clinton up by 1%.

Josh Putnam said...

You're right Rob. Huckabee's free fall is the one wild card on the GOP side. Where do those votes go? Are they more ideological folks or are people just going to be pragmatic about backing the "frontrunner" now?

Folks, here's that poll Rob mentioned.
Things could wrap up on the Democratic side tomorrow, but it is hard to see how that could happen since Clinton and Obama seem knotted in nearly every facet of the game currently.

Robert said...


Have you seen the two California polls that came out this morning? Reuters/CSpan/Zogby has Obama up by 13% and SurveyUSA has Clinton up by 10%. That is a big spread! On the Republican side Reuters/CSpan/Zogby has Romney up by 7%, but SurveyUSA has McCain winning by 1%. It looks like it will be a late night tonight.

Josh said...

With California's polls not closing until 11pm (ET), it was going to be a late night anyway. With that contest going down to the wire, it'll be even later.

...but fun.

There is a lot of indecision out there that is making these polls (across the country) much more erratic. Paul has been poll-checking almost religiously and said in a talk last night that there was some real movement toward Obama in the last couple of days. Edwards voters? Undecideds? Who knows? The late breakers seem to be breaking his way.

I need to get in a look at my sources and I'll be back later in the morning with a new post. Then I've gotta go vote.

Robert said...

I voted last week, because I didn't know what my situation would be here. I'm glad I did. My preference did not change. I heard yesterday on NPR, I think, that the white-male supporters of Edwards are breaking to Obama. Hillary's tears yesterday are unlikely to sway that vote. Obama's statement that he was confident that he could capture Hillary's voters, but that she could not get all of his votes may not have been smart. It could create some backlash like he experienced in New Hampshire. On the Republican side, Romney's attempt to woo Huckabee voters by calling on Huckabee to get out of the race was probably not smart. Huckabee issued a statement that it was Romney that should get out. Mitt's hard-hitting ad on the Rush Limbaugh show, however, may prove to be more effective.

Josh Putnam said...

Clinton cried again? Yep. Here's the link.. She may be in danger of overdoing that one. Geez. It isn't even the general election yet.

Romney would have been smart to continue playing up the differences between himself and McCain. That seemed to be working just fine. Why even bring Huckabee's name up? He can wait until after today to call for him to drop out. Definitely strange.

I like the idea of early voting and think it should be a part of the voting options. However, I can't not go and vote on election day. Too much of a rush. Plus, the kids would kill me if they didn't get their "I voted" peach stickers (which are probably available at early voting sites).

Robert said...

No, I did not get my peach sticker. That is a real downside to early voting. If I had received one, I would be wearing it today.

Josh Putnam said...

No sticker! Wow! I'm disappointed. Early voters are voters too.

In a sign of the "green" times maybe people should make the switch to permanent (recyclable) buttons.