23 January 2012

Remember this, Newt? (Gingrich TV address 1995)

How big IS that ego, Leroy Newton Gingrich??

Well, let's see....

After the Republicans took the Congress in 1994, Newt DEMANDED air-time on television to "speak to the American public". So, CBS allowed him a chance to appear on TV. It was supposed to be a report on the new GOP congress' first 100 days in power. He appeared leaning in front of a desk, with the american flag behind it --- with all the trappings of a presidential address to the American people.

I remember my HS students at that time were all confused and wanted to know why "that man" was talking to the public as if he were the President, and where was President Clinton.

Newt Gingrich is the only Speaker of the House of Representatives to pull this stunt - ever.
Here are about 14 minutes of that address. If anyone has he rest, please post it here.

WATCH (yes, he is using a Teleprompter - and notice the fake smile all the time):




1:40: "We made congress subject to the same laws as everyone else".

UHUH...

3:08: "After all, the purpose of changing government is to improve the lives of our citizens"

4:26: "We sincerely believe we can reduce spending and at the same time make government better"

4:52: "The fact is, no civilization can survive with 12 year-olds having babies, with 15 year-olds killing each other, with 17 year-olds dying of AIDS, with 18 year-olds getting diplomas they can't even read". Every night, on every local news, we see the tragedies that have grown out of the current WELFARE STATE. As a father of two daughters, I can't ignore the terror and worry the parents in our inner cities must feel for their children - within a half mile of this Capital - your Capital - drugs, violence, despair threaten the lives of our citizens. We cannot ignore our fellow Americans in such desperate straits by thinking that huge amounts of tax dollars release us from OUR moral responsibility to help these parents and their children. There is no reason the Federal Government must keep an allegiance to failure. You know, with good will, with common sense, with the courage to change, we can do better for all Americans."

"Another fact we cannot turn our head away from is this: no - truly - moral - civilization would burden it's children with the economic excesses of the parents and grandparents. Now, this talk of burdening future generations is not just rhetoric: we're talking about hard economic consequences that will limit our childrens' and grand-childrens' standard of living! Yet that is what we are doing. For the children trapped in poverty, for the children whose futures are trapped by government debt, they are going to have to pay. We have an obligation tonight to talk about the legacy WE are leaving for our children and our grand-children. An obligation to talk about the deliberate re-making of our government. This change will not be accomplished in the next 100 days...."

(see, Newt was already saying, crazy batshit stuff way back then, as well!!! Anyone hear some dogwhistles in there?!?!?)

Then, Newt goes through the things the new GOP congress did (07:00):

1.) Passed the Shay's Act - "which makes the congress obey all the laws that other Americans have to obey".

2.) Balanced Budget Amendment - went through the House, died in the Senate.

3.) Constitutional Amendment on Term Limits - died in the Senate the first time.

"I pledge to you that Term Limits will be the first vote of the next congress"

(It was not, it was the 21st vote of the 105th congress and died again).

4.) Line Item Veto: (08:27) "It's remarkable that a Republican House and a Republican Senate are giving such a strong tool to the President of the other Party"

(The Line-Item Veto didn't live for long: it was struck down as unconstitutional in 1998 - The judge who struck it down, Thomas Hogan, was a REAGAN appointee)

Only once does Gingrich mention Clinton, as "the President of the other party"

5.) Regulatory Reform (passed in the House, died in the Senate)

6.) Legal Reform

7.) Welfare Reform

8.) $500 tax credit per child.

9.) Increase in the earning limit for Senior Citizens.

10.) Capital Gains tax cut (tax cut for the wealthy)

He compares vaccuum tubes and computer chips to how the government currently works and how it will work in the future

(uhuh)...

10:26: "The same reliance on the obsolete pervades most of the Government."

10:51: "A truly compassionate Government would replace the Welfare-State with opportunity, because the welfare system's greatest cost is the human cost to the poorIn the name of compassion, we have funded a system that is cruel. It destroys families. It's failure is reflected in violence, brutality, child-abuse and drug addiction in EVERY local TV news broadcast. Poor Americans are trapped in unsafe government housing, saddled with rules that are anti-work, anti-family and anti-property. Let me give you some statistics on this failure: welfare spending now exceeds 300 Billion dollars a year, yet despite all the TRILLIONS spent since 1970, the number of children in poverty has increased 40%."

(If anyone knows what in the fuck he means by the green bolded above, feel free to let me know. Wow. Aliens or something)

11:44: Newt then pulls out a chart trying to correlate the rise in welfare spending with the rise in illegitimate births. No shit. Here is a screen-save of that moment:



11:52: "The more tax money we spend on welfare, the more children who are born without the benefit of family"

-----------------------------------------------------------------

FACIT: it was supposed to be a report card on how the new GOP Congress from 1995 was doing, but more than half of his speech was extreme right-wing social engineering, designed to convince that entitlements need to go. Sound familiar?

Gotta hand it to Newt: he had the massive ego and the gumption to pull this one off.

Of course, this is what happened to him just one and one-half years later.

I want to issue a bet to both conservatives and liberals here: Everyone copy this http:

1995 ~ new House Speaker, Newt Gingrich ~ makes unprecedented request for TV air time - YouTube

and send it to as many people as you know and see what kind of resonance comes back when people remember how Newt behaved himself back then. This could be an interesting experiment. Who is up to the task?

Anyone wanna Ron Paul doll?

Ron, say it isn't so, say it isn' so!!!!!!!!!!

Representative Ron Paul's (R - TX) SUPERPAC, REVOLUTIONPAC, is now offering RON PAUL action figures for sale:







Speechless...

The 2012 Florida Primary

The 2012 Florida Primary, 01/31/2012
Status: Closed Primary




Going into the 01/31/2012 Florida primary, here are the locked-in Voter Registration statistics:


Total RV: 11,241,022 (100.00%)
Total DEM: 4,553,563 (40.51%)
Total GOP: 4,063,853 (36.15%)
No Preference: 2,270,719 (20.20%)
Total Other: 352,887 (3.14%)


Margin: DEM RV +489,710 (+4.36%). The RV margin was DEM +5.06% in June 2011see the information here. So, the statistics have changed, but not all too radically. This means that 4,063,853 Floridians are eligible to vote in the GOP primary, which will certainly be of more overall interest than the Democratic Primary.


BENCHMARKS: in 2008,

1,949,498 votes
 were cast in the GOP primary.
1,749,920 votes were cast in the DEM primary.


Here is the Florida Elections website.
Here are the Florida specs on early voting. And the exact early voting times by county.

Here is the candidate list for all parties for the upcoming Primary.


There are nine Republican candidate names on the ballot for the GOP primary:
Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Hunstman, Johnson, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum.


There is one name on the ballot for the Democratic primary:
Obama


There are 12 names either for NPA (no party affiliation) or WRI (write-in). None of those names have name-recognition.


Florida has a huge list of 3rd party organizations, but their effect on primaries is negligible as the primaries are closed.


According to the GREEN PAPERS, Florida has been holding Presidential primaries on and off since 1904, but the most consistent data is from 1956 to the present day.


1972 was the year when Florida moved from a late position to an early position in the primary calendar, and it has stayed there ever since.


2000 was the year when for the first time, more votes were cast in a FL GOP primary than in the DEM primary.


But how do Presidential contenders actually do in Florida? Here is a chart:

Year
DEM winner
DEM nominee
Year
GOP winner
GOP nominee
Roosevelt - 88%
Murray - 12%
Roosevelt
1932
no primary
Hoover
---
---
---
---
---
---
Russell - 55%
Kefauver - 45%
Stevenson
no primary
Eisenhower
Stevenson - 52%
Kefauver - 48%
Stevenson
(Kefauver was VP nominee)
Eisenhower - 92%
Knowland - 8%
Eisenhower
Smathers - 100%
(delegates went to LBJ)
JFK
Nixon - unopposed
Nixon
LBJ - unopposed
LBJ
Uncommitted - 58%
Goldwater - 42%
Goldwater
Smathers - 46%
McCarthy - 29%
No Preference - 25%
Humphrey
Unpledged - 100%
Nixon
Wallace - 42%
Humphrey - 19%
Jackson, Scoop - 13%
Muskie -
Lindsay - 7%
McGovern - 6%
Chisolm - 3%
McGovern
1972
Nixon - 87%
Ashbrook - 9%
McCloskey - 4%
Nixon
Carter - 35%
Wallace - 31%
Jackson, Scoop - 24%
Carter
Ford - 53%
Reagan - 47%
Ford
Carter - 61%
Kennedy - 23%
No preference - 9.5%
Brown - 5%
Kay - 1.5%
Carter
Reagan - 56%
Bush, Sr. - 30%
Reagan
Hart - 39%
Mondale - 33%
Jackson - 12%
Glenn - 11%
Askew - 2%
McGovern - 2%
all others - 1%
Mondale
Reagan - unopposed
Reagan
Dukakis - 41%
Jackson - 20%
Gephardt - 14%
Gore - 13%
Undecided - 6%
Hart - 3%
Simon - 2%
Babbitt - 1%
Dukakis
Bush, Sr. - 62%
Dole - 21%
Robertson - 10.5%
Kemp - 4.5%
DuPont - 1%
Haig - 1%
Bush, Sr.
Clinton - 51%
Tsongas - 35%
Brown - 12%
Harkin - 1%
Brown - 1%
Clinton
Bush, Sr. - 68%
Buchanan - 32%
Bush, Sr.
Clinton - unopposed
Clinton
Dole - 57%
Forbes - 20%
Buchanan - 18%
Alexander - 2%
Dole
Gore - 82%
Bradley - 18%
Gore
Bush, Jr. - 74%
McCain - 20%
Keyes - 5%
Bush, Jr.
Kerry - 77%
Edwards - 10%
Sharpton - 3%
Dean - 3%
Kerry
Bush, Jr. - unopposed
Bush, Jr.
Clinton - 50%
Obama - 33%
Edwards - 14%
Biden - 1%

Obama
McCain - 36%
Romney - 31%
Giuliani - 15%
Huckabee - 13%
Paul - 3%
Thompson - 1%
McCain
Obama - unopposed
Obama
???
???


Since 1972, the winner of the GOP Florida primary has gone on to be the party's nominee, but actually, the statistic goes back to 1952: offcially, FL is listed as having had a primary in 1968 and there, "uncommitted" won 100%, but in reality, there was no primary in the state and there are no electoral records to be found for GOP primary votes in 1968. If anyone knows of exact voting information about this issue, please contact me here. Also, in 1964, voters in FL were still unsatisfied with Goldwater and so 58% gave their votes for "no-preference", but Goldwater, as the only name on the ballots, did get 42%. So, it could be just as fair to say that FL has gone with the winner of the nomination every time since 1952.


Statistically, FL is more of a "make or break" state than SC and has a longer record of selecting the eventual GOP nominee!


On the Democratic side, the picture is less clear: since 1988, the winner of the FL DEM primary went on to become the party's candidate, but before 1988, FL bucked the trend four times: in 1984, 1972, 1968 and 1952. But the earliest data we have from FL is from 1932, where FDR won in the primary with 88%. However, the GREEN PAPERS states that as early as 1904, FL held presidential primaries, so I am now searching for that information.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




BtW, did you know who the overall winner in the national popular vote for the 1968 Republican primaries was?


Not Nixon. Not Romney. Not Rockefeller. Not Rhodes.


It was REAGAN. Back in 1968. This happened because Reagan was the only candidate on the ballot in his home state of California and so he got 100% of the vote. In the other 7 primaries where Reagan was on the ballot in 1968, he fared poorly.


And in 1952, Eisenhower got the GOP nomination, but he did not win in the national popular vote for the Republican primaries. Robert Taft of Ohio beat him handily in the NPV.


Dr. Errington S. Thompson (whereistheoutrage.net) did a good small piece on the history of the Florida primary back in 2008. It is worth the quick read.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


FACIT: FLORIDA will be more decisive than probably thought. Even with the 50% penalty, 50 delegates WTA all in one fell-swoop will either catapult Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich to the front of the pack. Expect a flood of polling to come in this week and a real media circus as well, for this is the last big contest until Michigan on 02/28 (with NV and ME and AZ between, but between the 3 of them, 74 delegates will be awarded)



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Florida polling as of 01/23/2012:




Pollster
Date
Group
Gingrich
Romney
Paul
Santorum
Other
Someone else
Margin
01/22/12
557 LV
34.40
25.60
13.10
10.70
2.40
13.80
+8.80
01/23/12
750 LV
41.00
32.00
11.00
8.00
8.00

+9.00


22 January 2012

January 21, 2012: SC GOP Primary results live-blogging!!

This is my first live blogging of a race in 2012!!!

6:20 EDT: In 2008, 445,677 votes were cast in the SC GOP primary. Both Donna Brazil and Alex Costellano at CNN incorrectly stated the number as 450,000 and 455,000, respectively. 

James Carville also incorrected referred to Obama's 2008 margin as "8 and a half points". That is incorrect. Obama won by +7.26%, not +8.50%

Exit polling is showing that 64% of those who voted are evangelical Christians and 66% of those who voted are Tea Party members. Neither of these numbers is surprising - we were expecting this on the GOP side.

---------------------------------------------------

6:45 PM: Jessica Yellin on CNN is stating that the Obama team thinks that the longer the GOP primary, the better for the Democrats. Duh! The more energy, time and money the Republicans must expend to cannabilize each other, the more the President can concentrate on fundraising and gathering material against the eventual GOP nominee.

The CNN team is now discussing that GOP operatives are scared that with Newt at the top of the GOP ticket, the GOP will lose the House of Representatives.

Gergen is noting that many South Carolinans have only have had two weeks of extensive exposure to Newt, but Washington insiders have known him for years, which is why the Washington insiders are leery of Newt.

--------------------------------------------

6:55: CNN just did a crazy two minute advertisement for itself over what a gladiator type of thing the SC race is. Really, am I watching an election or WWF??

7:00 PM: CNN cannot project a winner yet.

EXIT POLL RESULTS:

Gingrich 38
Romney 29
Santorum 17
Paul 15

If these exit poll results hold, then that will mean that PPP nailed the race in SC.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

7:03: James Carville is saluting Newt Gingrich for coming back from the dead once again. Ari Fleisher salutes him as well. Castellanos: if Newt wins by double-digits, then calls will be out to Jindal and Jeb Bush talking about them entering the race.

Tit-for-Tat:

Brazil: DEMS have other rules. Castellanos: Only Rebublicans have rules. Brazil: No, the difference is, the DEMS follow their rules.

The internals of the exit polling show Gingrich leading in all categories over Romney, except over the super rich.

In SC, Southern Conservatives think that Newt is a stronger candidate against Obama, 48% to 39% over Romney.

The CNN panel is discussing what could happen in Florida if this psychology, as they termed it, transfers over from South Carolina, i.e., if Florida Republicans also start thinking that Gingrich is the more competitive candidate against Obama.

Gergen: Gingrich is an Alpha-Male, he went in and took it away from Romney.

Borger: Why did Romney handle the tax thing the way he did?

7:12 EDT, more about Exit Polls:

Men:

Gingrich 41
Romney 27

Women:

Gingrich 36
Romney 30

MORMONISM

"Are the candidates religous beliefs extremely important to you?"
Gingrich 43
Romney 9


"Are the candidates religious beliefs somewhat important to you"?
Gingrich 45
Romney 29

"Do the candidates religious beliefs mean nothing to you"?
Romney 42
Gingrich 29

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

7:18 Castellano goes there and invokes GOLDWATER. Wow.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

7:31 CNN calls the race for Newt Gingrich

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7:45 CNN panel is talking about the importance of the upcoming contests in FL and OH and implying that if Newt wins in FL, most likely the GOP upper-ups will try to draft yet another candidate before it is too late.

----------------------------------------------------------------------






----------------------------------------------------------------------

7:52 Santorum thinks this will be a long race and he thinks that is good, for it will hone the eventual GOP candidate. Jessica Yellin asks Santorum why he didn't pick-up more evangelical voters.

Jessica says that the GOP upper-ups are freaking out over the possibility of a Newt nomination...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------






----------------------------------------------------------------------------

8:00 Romney is speaking. Crowd is cheering: "You should hear them when we win"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------------------------------------

8:15 the CNN team characterizes Romney's concession / attack Obama speech as weak and lacking in fire in the belly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


8:18 Ron Paul states that he is staying in the race - and that he is just getting started.


8:20 Ron Paul claims that it looks like he is going to get between 4-5 times more votes in SC than in 2008. Paul got 16,555 votes (3.62%) in 2008, he is currently at 14,090 votes (12.8%)


His supporters, the most voiciferous that I have heard, are screaming "END THE FED, END THE FED!!!"


8:29 Ron Paul is railing against the Patriot Act.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8:39 Carville nails it: Ron Paul can be the Kingmaker at the convention (just as I have been predicting)


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
8:40 Santorum speaks. Santorum congratulates Gingrich. He talks about his counter-book to Hilary Clinton's book "It takes a Village" with his "It takes a Family".


Santorum is talking about "radical Jihadists".


"We're goin' to Florida, Arizona, Colorado...." - if Newt was hoping for Santorum to drop out, I think those hopes just died.


"WE have to be the party that speaks to everyone" (except gays and hispanics, of course)


Santorum thanks a voter for getting a "muzzle loader" as a gift.


----------------------------------------------------------------


8:50 : looking at the county map of SC, Romney has only won 2 counties, and just barely, and not all the results are in. It is very possible that Gingrich will win every county in SC, which means that he will get ALL of SC's delegates.


---------------------------------------------------------------------


8:58 Paul is indicating that he will essentially skip Florida and concentrate on the Caucus states (in the West, mostly). Says he wants to be frugal with his donor's money.


9:00 Gergen asks Paul how many delegates he needs to get in order to have a hand in steering the convention in the Fall.


--------------------------------------------------------------------




------------------------------------------------------------------------

9:12 Carville says he has heard that Jeb Bush is not going to endorse yet.


9:13 Castellano: "Romney is an incementalist" - Republicans want a big thinker.


9:14 Carville: Conservatives don't like Romney because he is not one of them. He doesn't "smell" like one of them. Romney is not good on his feet. We are never gonna hear a senior strategist say "We are gonna let Mitt be Mitt."


-----------------------------------------------------------------------


9:30 Newt victory speech ----- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............


Homage to Reagan.... praise of the other candidates.


"We don't want to run a Republican campaign. We want to run an American campaign". Uhuh...


"This is the most important election of our lifetime" -- "Just think how radical he (Obama) would be in a 2nd term"... uhuh...


"If I do become your nominee, and I think with your help, I will become your nominee, then I will challenge President Obama to 7 three-hour debates. I have already conceded that he can use a teleprompter...." uhuh...


"American Exceptionalism vs. the radicalism of Saul Alinsky". Uhuh...


"Growing anti-religious bigotry...." uhuh...


"Obama - the most effective food-stamp president in history"


Newt is just making promises right and left. I think he is the Messiah.


Uh-oh: American Energy Policy. So that no American President bows to a Saudi King. Uhuh...


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, enough live blogging for now. Newt Gingrich will get creamed by the President, so let him bloviate, bloviate, bloviate.... every time he opens his mouth, another independent voters recoils...




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whither South Carolina?


Enough polling has come in over the last three days to indicate quite clearly that Newt Gingrich will likely win the SC primary.

But in a week as volatile as this last week was, a person would be foolish to make a 100% prediction in this race.

You can see some, but not all, of the end polling results here at RCP.

It is to be noted that since the SC primary came into existence in 1980, every Republican candidate who won in SC went on to win the nomination and since 1992, the same has held for the Democrats. More exact information about this is HERE in Wikipedia.

From the GREEN PAPERS, here the poll-times and the delegate distribution:

"As regards the South Carolina Republican Winner-Take-Most Presidential Primary:
  • Polling hours are 7:00a EST (1200 UTC) to 7:00p EST (0000 UTC).
  • 14 district delegates are allocated to presidential contenders based on the primary results in each of the state's 7 congressional districts: each congressional district is assigned 2 National Convention delegates and the presidential contender receiving the greatest number of votes in that district receives that district's National Convention delegates.
  • 11 at-large delegates are allocated to the presidential contender receiving the greatest number of votes in the primary statewide.
South Carolina has been sanctioned- losing approximately half of its original delegate allocation- for holding its Primary too early re: Party rules..."
More data:

SC has 2,804,321 registered voters. It has 46 counties and 2,126 precincts.

You can also follow the election returns for the GOP here at POLITICOTPM or  the South Carolina State Election CommissionAll three of these sites are excellent.

Politico is listing 6 counties to watch as the voting comes in.

Nate Silver has done an outstanding analysis of the Romney "benchmarks" from his race there in 2008.
Here the exact numeric results from the 2008 SC primary. In 2008, Romney came in 4th place with 15.30% of the vote, behind John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. So, it is likely that even if Romney loses in SC, he will improve upon his results from 2008.

.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Facit: Many Republicans are unhappy that Newt Gingrich is about to win SC, for that can only mean one of two things:

a.) Romney will eventually win the nomination, but it will take longer and he will have a bloody nose afterward.

-or-

b.) SC loses it's historical place as the "make or break" primary in the GOP world.

Just one week ago, no one thought Gingrich was going to win SC; now it looks very much like he will.

Are the pundits just as wrong about Florida, coming up next week? Is the Anti-Romney wall bigger and stronger than people thought? I can't really imagine that GOP voters are as pro-Gingrich as they are simply anti-Romney.

My gut tells me that if Santorum pulls out of the race after this weekend, then all bets are off for Florida and this really could become a dogfight between Romney and Gingrich, with Paul collecting enough delegates in between to play "Kingmaker" at the convention.

Suddenly, the entire "Romney is going to sew-up the nomination" meme has disappeared. Even if Romney does win FL in one week, the thing is still not sewed-up, because FL also lost half of it's delegates.

And all you have to do is to surf the internet some to see who is HAPPY about a Gingrich win in SC, and who is not.

And it is interesting to note that even Rasmussen Polling has put out a write-up by Geoffrey Skilley comparing 2012 to the very contentious 1976 GOP nomination race.

20 January 2012

The 2012 GOP Iowa Caucuses - Final Canvass results - comparison to prelims

The final results of the Iowa caucuses have been published by the Republican party, minus the results from 8 precincts, due to errors described in the Des Moines Register article from 01/19/2012.

All the preliminary stuff was on this thread.

Here I have created a table comparing the preliminary results as to the final results. For the final results, the data in parentheses (excluding the margin column) reflects a change in the raw votes and the percentages vis-a-vis the preliminary results.


Rick Santorum (R - PA) won the Iowa caucuses by 34 votes, or +0.03%.




Iowa 2012
Preliminary Caucus Results
Margin

Iowa 2012
Margin
Delegates (%)
Mitt Romney
30,015
24.56%
Romney +8 (+0.01%)

Rick Santorum
29,839
(-168)
24.56%
(+0.01)
Santorum +34 (+0.03%)
6
21.43%
Rick Santorum
30,007
24.55%


Mitt Romney
29,805
(-210)
24.53%
(-0.03%)
6
21.43%
Ron Paul
26,219
21.45%


Ron Paul
26,036
(-183)
21.43%
(-0.02%)
6
21.43%
Newt Gingrich
16,251
13.30%


Newt Gingrich
16,163
(-88)
13.30%
(0.00%)
4
14.29%
Rick Perry
12,604
10.31%


Rick Perry
12,557
(-47)
10.33%
(+0.02%)
3
10.71%
Michele Bachmann
6073
4.97%


Michele Bachmann
6046
(-27)
4.99%
(-0.01%)
0
0.00%
John Huntsman
745
0.61%


John Huntsman
739
(-6)
0.61%
(0.00%)
0
0.00%
No Preference
135
0.11%


No Preference
147
(+12)
0.12%
(+0.01%)
0
0.00%
Herman Cain
58
0.05%


Herman Cain
45
(-13)
0.04%
(-0.01%)
0
0.00%
all others
117
0.09%


all others
122
(+5)
0.10%
(+0.01%)
0
0.00%
TOTAL:
122,224
100.00%


TOTAL:
121,501
(-723)
100.00%
25
(of 28)
100.00%






In my analysis of the preliminary results, I wrote:

"So, until the final canvasses are in, it would be foolhardy to declare either Romney or Santorum the winner. Those 8 outstanding precincts may make the difference. Plus, in the long run, it is meaningless: the will both get the same number of pledged delegates. In fact, Santorum may get one more since he won almost double so many counties as Romney."



What can we learn from these results?



1.) We can learn that in an extremely close race like the 2012 Iowa caucuses, you should never declare a winner until the final results are in and certified. That the Iowa Republican Party, followed by the media, was so bound and determined to call Romney the winner based on prelim figures is just mind-bogglingly stupid, especially in what will probably end up going down in history as THE squeaker contest of all the 2012 primaries!

Should this kind of margin in the preliminary count from Election Night 2012 from one or more states occur between President Obama and the Republican nominee, then you can bet that that state will not be called, that recounts will happen and all sorts of jazz, including lawyers and lawsuits. George W. Bush, Jr. won Florida with an official canvass margin of +537 votes, or +0.009%, more than three times smaller than Santorum's win in IA. And, after recounts, George W. Bush, Jr. was declared the winner in FL.

Even more mind-bogglingly stupid is that, after having called the race a "win" for Romney based on a mere 8-vote lead in the prelim count, the Iowa GOP suddenly called the race a "tie" as soon as it was apparent that Santorum won with a larger but still quite lean margin of 34 votes.

Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com is reporting
 that had those 8 "lost" (chuckle, chuckle) precincts been counted, then Santorum's lead would be even wider, by +69, almost double his official winning margin - so this judgement call by the Iowa GOP is an extreme embarrassment to the Republican Party, I would say, and more importantly, an embarrassment to electioneering as a whole.

We have had enough cases of "razor-thin" preliminary figures from races on the local, state and national level to know that you NEVEREVER call the winner until the recount is done and the final canvass is in. That is neither a Democratic nor Republican talking point, it is simply common sense!



2.) In total, quite apparently, 723 votes from the preliminary results did not make it into the final results and we do not know yet how many of those votes were from the 8 precincts that somehow got "lost". Every single candidate that was not a write-in lost votes over the preliminary totals.



3.) It is an interesting side-note that Mitt Romney was leading in the preliminary totals with 24.56% and Rick Santorum ended up winning with exactly the same percentage of 24.56% - so the topline in this race did not budge even an inch, only the name of the winner was changed.



4.) Due to the extremely close nature of this race, according the the GREEN PAPERS, in terms of delegates (which they call "soft unpledged"), it is currently a three-way tie in the Jayhawk State between Santorum, Romney and Paul, each with 6 delegates. This means that, should former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R - GA) win the South Carolina open primary tomorrow, there will be no clear leader in the GOP field:



Right now, with IA and NH, here the delegate count:



Romney: 14
Paul: 9
Santorum: 6
Gingrich: 4



SC is WTA per CD and then for some delegates, winner take all for the entire state, but because of the 50% penalty for frontloading, SC will only have 25 delegates instead of 50. If Gingrich wins overall but Romney wins some CD's, then Gingrich could jump to 16-20 delegates, and Romney may jump to 16 delegates. So, unless Romney really wins in SC tomorrow, the field really is wide-open. More on this in my upcoming preview of SC.



5.) There are some interesting names that also got caucus votes in Iowa: Sarah Palin got 23 votes, Don Trump got 5 votes, Paul Ryan got 3, Rudi Guiliani, Mike Huckabee, Condoleeza Rice and Tim Pawlenty all got 2 votes apiece. And even Pat Buchanan, who won here in 1996, got one vote. Also John McCain and very interestingly, Ralph Nader both got 1 vote.