Santorum Wins The South Tonight

Well, no one was more surprised than Rick Santorum to learn he’d won Mississippi. He was on stage giving a victory speech for his win in Alabama.

It was all very close. CNN is reporting that Santorum has 35% to Gingrich’s 30% and Romney’s 28% in Alabama. (79% reporting)

CNN reports that Santorum has 33% to Gingrich’s 31% and Romney’s 30% in

  1. Glenn the Iconoclast

    I see Kauai is still only 33% reporting, and it’s just going to be a few hundred votes anyway, but it’s kind of interesting to see Ron Paul that far ahead.

  2. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    gobluesasquatch: I know Mollie will challenge me on this, but Santorum’s track record as a small government conservative and on fiscal issues is disappointing at best.

    So why do evangelicals vote so strongly for Santorum over Romney. I have three letters associated with Romney, and yet no one will just admit it.  Like I said, like it or not, I consider myself an evangelical, so I do know what is going on in many of their minds, and one is typically more honest to a friend than to an exit poll person.  · 7 hours ago

    Challenge you? Not at all! Do you forget that I’m the libertarian at Ricochet? I will admit that he’s nowhere near as bad as the stereotype I once held of him, but I thought that Tim Carney nailed it pretty well here.

    As for the LDS thing, I do think that’s a problem for some people, although not all for the same reasons. But probably the bigger problem has nothing directly to do with his religion — the complete lack of political or governing history evidencing a genuine concern with any social issue.

  3. St. Salieri
    James Of England

    Santorum doesn’t win any votes that won’t come home to Romney in the general.

    We need both wings, and volunteering from both wings, in both cash and time. · 9 hours ago

    This is the danger of a Romney nomination, conservatives will vote for him but they will not sacrifice for him.  I do not support Romney, and I have severe mis-givings about Santorum, even though he is closer to my views and I find him more likable.  If Romney is the nominee I will vote for him come November, but I will not volunteer my time or treasure.  Unless, he stops rejecting the conservative base.  At times (of late especially) he seems conciliatory toward us, but as Prof. Rahe has noted, we have been generally kept at arms length, and if Romney pivots to the middle in the general contest, he will lose the trust he has recently gained, what is worse, I fear his governance will be truly managerial progressive, at best.  

    He is vastly superior to Obama, but by keeping the pressure on him from the right as long as possible I hope to help inoculate him against his worst instincts.

  4. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Horace

    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.  I think it’s significant that Santorum won here…but this doesn’t change the overall direction of the race

    Whats significant?

    That Santorum defeated Gingrich in his own backyard is what’s most significant. This could have implications for how the conservative vote goes in future contests. That polls, including exit polls, are under-counting support for Santorum is interesting. And that Romney has lost several times to someone who has no campaign in any traditional sense of that word is significant. I don’t think that bodes well for the general, even if it doesn’t change that he’ll likely secure the nomination and even win in places such as Alabama and Mississippi.

  5. Mr. Dart

    It looks like Mitt has swept the island states and territories so far.  When asked about it he said that he didn’t follow the islands all that closely but that he does have several friends who own islands.

  6. DrewInWisconsin
    James Of England

    You’d be surprised at the number of idiots in the establishment.

    Heh. No . . . I wouldn’t. : )

  7. Horace
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    That Santorum defeated Gingrich in his own backyard is what’s most significant…That polls, including exit polls, are under-counting support for Santorum is interesting. And that Romney has lost several times to someone who has no campaign in any traditional sense of that word is significant. I don’t think that bodes well for the general, even if it doesn’t change that he’ll likely secure the nomination and even win in places such as Alabama and Mississippi. 

    There is one word to account for this, evangelicals. The only states where Santorum has defeated Romney are those where a majority of the voters are evangelical voters. That is the bottom line. Evangelicals will not vote for a Mormon when there is someone who is a more traditional Christian running with essentially the same platform. That is all there is to it, and it’s obvious. The number of states where evangelicals comprise a majority is almost spent. Santorum’s lack of money and organization will become extremely obvious going forward, as it has in the non-evangelical states up to this point.

  8. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Horace There is one word to account for this, evangelicals. The only states where Santorum has defeated Romney are those where a majority of the voters are evangelical voters. That is the bottom line. Evangelicals will not vote for a Mormon when there is someone who is a more traditional Christian running with essentially the same platform. That is all there is to it, and it’s obvious.

    I’m from Colorado, which is not majority evangelical. In fact, it has a large LDS population. And yet Romney didn’t win there.

    But what you’re steadfastly refusing to see is that Romney fans *claiming* he’s good enough for conservatives isn’t sufficient.

    Name one time in his life when Romney was pro-life in the public square under difficult circumstances. Now think about the leadership Rick Santorum has shown on life, or marriage, or, you know, socialized health care in that same public square.

    And you honestly want to dismiss objection to Romney as literally nothing more than bigotry?

    Besides being a disastrous way to try to win votes of conservatives, it’s not even close to an honest characterization of why conservatives aren’t cottoning to Mitt.

  9. Horace

    Colorado and Minnesota don’t have exit poll results to check so I can’t make the case conclusively, but they were caucus states. Caucuses notoriously skew the make up of the electorate. I’ll bet my eye teeth that in both Colorado and Minnesota the evangelical vote at the caucuses was vastly disproportionate to their actual percentage among GOP voters, and likely a majority. 

    And I don’t accuse evangelicals of bigotry. You are putting words in my mouth again, Mollie. I said they would prefer a more traditional, or orthodox, if you will, Christian to someone they see as a non-Christian if they believe the difference in their platforms is small enough. That is perhaps a form of identity politics, it’s not the same thing as bigotry.

    And you’re wrong that Romney’s efforts to woo the conservative vote is insufficient. Outside of evangelicals, he has wooed them just fine. And he will win their vote in the Fall. 

    Trying to frame it any other way is rationalization and denial.

  10. katievs

    What’s not close is the Romney and not-Romney vote.  It worries me for the general, if Romney is the nominee.

  11. Stuart Creque

    Watching Newt right now, conceding MS and AL to Santorum.

    And as he points out, between himself and Santorum, they got almost 70 percent of the vote in each of the two states.

    I think it is time for Newt to roll up his campaign, but he says he’s taking the delegates he won tonight all the way to Tampa.

    If he can’t show that he can win someplace outside the South, given that he hasn’t won consistently across the South, he should declare a moral victory, withdraw, and (ideally) endorse Santorum.

  12. DrewInWisconsin
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.

    And you honestly want to dismiss objection to Romney as literally nothing more than bigotry?

    Besides being a disastrous way to try to win votes of conservatives, it’s not even close to an honest characterization of why conservatives aren’t cottoning to Mitt.

    In a way it reminds me of the Democrat strategy of calling Americans stupid and racist and backward and bigoted bitter clingers and global warming deniers, . . . and then asking for their votes. How is that a good strategy?

  13. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    Horace,

    I’ll only not that I asked you to name a single time in Romney’s life when he was pro-life in the public square under difficult circumstances.

    And you didn’t.

    But you repeated the “identity politics” line as if it’s a better explanation of why conservatives aren’t keen to vote for someone who’s governing history literally includes creating the blueprint for Obamacare, donations to Planned Parenthood, vehement defenses of abortion rights until the moment he started running for president, &etc.

    The fact is that evangelicals and Catholics are much more disbursed in their voting patterns than LDS are. Aren’t they going over 90% for Romney?

  14. DrewInWisconsin

    Double post

  15. Horace

    Again, I’m not calling evangelicals bigots. I’m saying that if they don’t see a big difference between the platforms of Romney and Santorum, and they see Santorum as sharing their theology more closely than Romney, given how important their faith is to them, that becomes the deciding factor. It’s got nothing to do with ugly motives. 

  16. Horace
    katievs: What’s not close is the Romney and not-Romney vote.  It worries me for the general, if Romney is the nominee. · 3 minutes ago

    The exit polling shows that the races in MS and AL had electorates that were 80% evangelical. These voters will turn out for Romney in the general against Obama, they just would rather cast their vote for someone more theologically palatable given the opportunity. Santorum doesn’t win any votes that won’t come home to Romney in the general.

  17. Horace
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Horace,

    I’ll only not that I asked you to name a single time in Romney’s life when he was pro-life in the public square under difficult circumstances.

    And you didn’t.

    But you repeated the “identity politics” line as if it’s a better explanation of why conservatives aren’t keen to vote for someone who’s governing history literally includes creating the blueprint for Obamacare, donations to Planned Parenthood, vehement defenses of abortion rights until the moment he started running for president, &etc.

    The fact is that evangelicals and Catholics are much more disbursed in their voting patterns than LDS are. Aren’t they going over 90% for Romney? · 1 minute ago

    So you’re retracting that I’ve called evangelicals bigots?

  18. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    And if we’re going to go down the identity politics road, let’s all be honest about why Romney’s winning the islands and their inexplicable gazillions of delegates as well as Hawaii.

    In Laie, where my ex-Mormon husband’s still-Mormon family lives, comes this report:

    about 1000 people caucused in the heavily Mormon town of Laie, where BYU-Hawaii is located.

  19. DrewInWisconsin

    Mollie, may I interrupt this rant to say that I found your use of the verb “cottoning” to be charming?

  20. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    Horace

    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Horace,

    I’ll only not that I asked you to name a single time in Romney’s life when he was pro-life in the public square under difficult circumstances.

    And you didn’t.

    But you repeated the “identity politics” line as if it’s a better explanation of why conservatives aren’t keen to vote for someone who’s governing history literally includes creating the blueprint for Obamacare, donations to Planned Parenthood, vehement defenses of abortion rights until the moment he started running for president, &etc.

    The fact is that evangelicals and Catholics are much more disbursed in their voting patterns than LDS are. Aren’t they going over 90% for Romney? · 1 minute ago

    So you’re retracting that I’ve called evangelicals bigots? · 0 minutes ago

    Absolutely. That’s how I read you initially but I of course take you at your word that you weren’t calling evangelicals bigots for not voting for Romney.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In