EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for March 8, 2012
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The voting is over, and so for the most part is the counting. The delegate math, I leave to others; let’s take a look at how the popular vote has shaped up over the course of this primary season and what conclusions we can draw. First, the overall popular vote before Super Tuesday, on Super Tuesday, and to date.* In addition to listing the candidates’ individual vote totals, I’ve classified them in three groups: the five conservative candidates (Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann and Cain), the two moderate candidates (Romney and Hunstman) and the libertarian (Paul). While there will undoubtedly be some grousing over the use of those labels, I think it’s uncontroversial to note that Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann and Cain all built their campaigns around appealing first to the conservative wing of the party and reaching out from there, while Romney and Huntsman took the opposite approach (and Paul, of course, is in his own category), so this turns out to be a reasonably useful descriptor of how the electorate has broken out between the voters responding to these different appeals. If anything, this overstates the moderate voting bloc, as Romney’s “electability” argument, among other things (including religious loyalties among Mormon voters), has tended in exit polls to draw him some chunk of conservative support.
I. Popular Vote Totals To Date
There are three obvious conclusions here. One, Romney is steadily outpolling any one of his individual rivals, cementing his frontrunner status. Two, his frontrunner status derives entirely from the division among his opponents: the conservatives have consistently outpolled the moderates. And three, despite winning his home state of Massachusetts by a 60-point, 220,000 vote margin on Super Tuesday and despite none of the conservatives being on the ballot in Virginia, Romney’s not getting any stronger – even with Perry and Bachmann out of the race and Cain not drawing a single recorded vote, the conservatives drew a majority of the votes on Tuesday. Thus, as Romney pulls away in the delegate race and thus advances closer to being the nominee, he does so over the sustained objections of a near-majority faction of the party. More optimistically, the strength of the conservative vote – even in a year when that vote is fractured and underfunded and the remaining conservative candidates are decidedly subpar – bodes well for conservative candidates who can unify that vote in the future.
Is ‘Winning Our Future’, the Super PAC affiliated with Newt Gingrich and mostly funded by Sheldon Adelson using Mr. Adelson’s money wisely?
I only ask because yesterday — the day after Super Tuesday — I was still hearing their not very good advertisements on radio in Georgia.
I noted that on twitter and subsequently had individuals tell me that the PAC is still running ads in Florida, Michigan, and even in Iowa. A radio host in South Florida confirmed for me he has heard the ads there recently. Most troubling, several Virginia residents tell me the PAC ran ads there despite Gingrich not being on the ballot.
All of this, I should be clear, comes in from reports on twitter except for the recent report from Florida and my own experience in Georgia after the election.
One might presume that the advertisements in Georgia and Florida were actually targeting Alabama, except Atlanta radio does not penetrate Alabama, nor does radio from Southern Florida where the ads have been heard on the radio. Additionally, some of them could be national ad buys running on national shows, but not all of them are.
Quick background, as to why you should care: Judge Flanagan has placed a temporary (although you can count on the Democrats wanting to put that adjective in scare quotes, and right quickly) restraining order on last year’s Wisconsin voter reform law mandating that voters show picture ID. There are a few “this just happens” involved, here:
- This just happens to prevent Voter ID from being implemented in Wisconsin’s open Presidential primary in April 3rd. Normally that wouldn’t be all that big a deal, except that this year the Democrats are openly calling for disrupting the Republican nomination process.
- This just happens to be a judge who last year signed a recall petition against Governor Scott Walker. And Flanagan neglected to admit to this event, prior to making his decision.
- And this just happens to be a judge who has former Kathleen Falk (and current Wisconsin Education Association Council) adviser Melissa Mulliken as his campaign manager. This is important because Falk is of course running against Scott Walker in the recall election – and WEAC has preemptively endorsed Falk. Also, Mulliken has been prominent in the anti-Walker crusade.
Democrats have a penchant to misconstrue the parlance related to tax credits and subsidies. They refer to subsidies as tax cuts and tax cuts as subsidies. They would have you believe that oil companies are completely on the dole, while solar and wind companies are heavily taxed entities in desperate need of some “tax breaks” and loans in order to alleviate the burden of producing their auspicious form of energy.
Yesterday, CBO released a report stating the obvious. They found that in 2011, federal subsidies for green energy totaled $24 billion. Also, between 2009 and 2012, the DOE provided $25 billion in loans “primarily to producers of advanced vehicles, generators of solar power, and manufacturers of solar equipment.” Fossil fuels, on the other hand, received $3.4 billion in “tax preferences.”
Who needs Democrats when so many Republicans are willing to orchestrate their agenda for them?
The Senate is on the precipice of passing Barbara Boxer’s highway bill with overwhelming support. Mitch McConnell is negotiating a deal with Harry Reid in which Republicans would be granted a vote on some of their choice non-germane amendments. After Democrats summarily defeat those amendments, Republicans will return the favor by voting for the underlying bill, which overspends its revenue source by 43% and raises taxes to bridge the gap.
The sad thing is that S. 1813 is not just Boxer’s highway bill. It was supported by every Republican on the committee level, and only 9 Republicans voted against cloture to proceed with the bill on the floor.