A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Significant Anti-Romney Vote Still Evident

Three more states held their primaries yesterday -- North Carolina, West Virginia, and Indiana. Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie), the only candidate left in the Republican race other than wannabe candidate Ron Paul, went into those primaries with 865 delegates out of the 1144 delegates needed for the nomination. As expected, he won all three of those state primaries. But even if he had taken all of the 132 delegates at stake yesterday (which he didn't do), it will still take a couple more primaries to put him over the top.

There is no doubt that Romney will be the eventual nominee, and will have the required number of delegates by the end of this month. But that is not the most important story right now. To me, the most important thing is that there is still a significant portion of the Republican Party that still refuses to climb on the Romney bandwagon. That was very evident last night at 34% of North Carolina voters, 35% of Indiana voters, and 30% of West Virginia voters still voted against Wall Street Willie last night.

One would have thought that with Romney assured of the nomination the Republican voters would now be falling in line and giving him their votes -- if for no other reason than to show their solidarity with the party's general election nominee. But that's not happening. There's still about 30% of Republicans, mostly teabaggers and evangelicals, who have not accepted Romney as their nominee.

The current idea being spread is that now that Romney can't be denied the nomination, he needs to moderate his views to appeal to a wider range of voters in the general election. I'm not so sure that would be wise. If he starts moderating his views now, he stands a good chance of losing that 30% of Republicans who haven't yet accepted him (and would be angered by yet another flip-flop). They could easily vote for a third party (Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, etc.), or just stay home on election day (which would be disastrous for down-ballot Republicans). He'd better win these voters over before he tries to moderate (if he can moderate at all).

Here are last night's results:

NORTH CAROLINA (99% reporting)
Mitt Romney...............629,496  (65.69%)
Ron Paul...............106,181  (11.08%)
Rick Santorum...............99,732  (10.41%)
Newt Gingrich...............73,368  (7.66%)
Others...............49,574  (5.17%)
TOTAL VOTES...............958,351

INDIANA (99% reporting)
Mitt Romney...............406,678  (64.61%)
Ron Paul...............97,451  (15.48%)
Rick Santorum...............84,612  (13.44%)
Newt Gingrich...............40,666  (6.46%)
Others...............0  (0.00%)
TOTAL VOTES...............629,407

WEST VIRGINIA (96% reporting)
Mitt Romney...............73,044  (69.48%)
Rick Santorum...............12,721  (12.10%)
Ron Paul...............11,683  (11.11%)
Newt Gingrich...............6,605  (6.28%)
Others...............1,074  (1.02%)
TOTAL VOTES...............105,127

NOTE -- Democrats got a big boost last night with the defeat of Senator Lugar in Indiana. They stand a much better (actually a very good) chance of beating the teabagger that Republicans will be running for the seat instead of Lugar. It looks like the teabaggers didn't learn from their experiences in Nevada and Delaware in the last election (where they threw away good chances to win by nominating far-right nut-jobs).

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