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  1. 1. Which states will Governor Romney win?

    • Kansas caucuses
      0
    • Alabama primary
      0
    • Hawaii caucuses
      8
    • Mississippi primary
      0
    • Missouri caucuses
      0
    • Illinois primary
      7
    • Louisiana primary
      1
    • Maryland primary
      7
    • Texas primary
      0
    • Wisconsin primary
      5
    • Connecticut primary
      8
    • New York primary
      7
    • Pennsylvania primary
      3
    • Indiana primary
      4
    • North Carolina primary
      1
    • West Virginia primary
      3
    • Nebraska primary
      1
    • Oregon primary
      8
    • California primary
      8
    • New Jersey primary
      8
  2. 2. Which states will Senator Santorum win?

    • Kansas caucuses
      8
    • Alabama primary
      2
    • Hawaii caucuses
      0
    • Mississippi primary
      3
    • Missouri caucuses
      8
    • Illinois primary
      1
    • Louisiana primary
      3
    • Maryland primary
      0
    • Texas primary
      5
    • Wisconsin primary
      3
    • Connecticut primary
      0
    • New York primary
      1
    • Pennsylvania primary
      4
    • Indiana primary
      4
    • North Carolina primary
      5
    • West Virginia primary
      6
    • Nebraska primary
      5
    • Oregon primary
      1
    • California primary
      0
    • New Jersey primary
      0
  3. 3. Which states will Speaker Gingrich win?

    • Kansas caucuses
      2
    • Alabama primary
      7
    • Hawaii caucuses
      1
    • Mississippi primary
      6
    • Missouri caucuses
      1
    • Illinois primary
      1
    • Louisiana primary
      5
    • Maryland primary
      1
    • Texas primary
      4
    • Wisconsin primary
      1
    • Connecticut primary
      1
    • New York primary
      1
    • Pennsylvania primary
      1
    • Indiana primary
      1
    • North Carolina primary
      3
    • West Virginia primary
      1
    • Nebraska primary
      3
    • Oregon primary
      0
    • California primary
      1
    • New Jersey primary
      1


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None of you are objective. You're all trying to manipulate the facts and data to suit what you want to happen. Even trying to make predictions on who is going to win the general election this early would be silly. Right now it seems to be trending for Obama. A few months ago it looked like he was dead in the water a few months from now it may look like that again. It isn't necessarily about the economic data but about how its spun.

If unemployment falls below 8%, then we can truly say that the GOP is in trouble. One of Romney's major attacks against Obama is that he promised that if we passed the stimulus unemployment would be below 8%. Well, if it does drop below 8%, Obama can easily claim that what he has done has worked, it just took a little longer. Not only that, he'll drop the populist tax the rich routine, which could further help the economy because he's no longer scaring the people who create jobs in this country.

On the flip side, one bit of bad economic data from anywhere in the world could put Obama right back where he was last year. If the unemployment rate creeps up for some reason, even if its by very little and even if the general trend shows it going down, the GOP can once again use it to say Obama's policies have failed. Many things can make this happen. Hell it could even be a statistical anomaly, it could be a war in the middle east or something happening in Europe or even another debt showdown. So much of how people vote, and how people behave economically depends on expectations and the general mood of the country. Since people tend to give the president way too much credit/blame for what is happening, the economic climate is probably going to dictate the election results.

That being said, what's going on in the primary season is hurting Romney. Its making him run to the right on issues that should never even be discussed, and the question becomes whether he can get back to the center in a reasonable way that doesn't make the flip flopper image worse. McCain had this problem in 2008. The most visible of these shifts to the right has been on immigration. Romney has always been a relative moderate on the issue, but his opponents dragged him to the right. Latinos are going to be crucial this year and if he alienates them he has no chance. He can mediate that by picking Marco Rubio, who I think is his best choice. At the end of the day, the base is going to come for him anyway. Rubio soothes some of the fears of not only the Latino, but of the Tea Party, who he is worshiped by. Theres a perception that Romney is going to have trouble with the base during the GE. That's simply not true. The base isn't voting for Romney because Santorum is such an attractive candidate to them. Not only that, the base is dwindling. The Tea Party is arguably the largest faction in the GOP right now. That being said, Romney is still pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun etc. Or he claims to be. The base will vote for Romney because no matter how they look at it he's better than Obama on almost every issue to them. Romney's greatest problem is not allowing Santorum to pull him too far to the right, and picking a running mate who will alleviate some of the problems the candidate can't alleviate some of the problems the candidate can't fix themselves. Even though Romney shouldn't worry too much about the right-wing of the party he still can go so far to the center that they simply don't turn out. However, the likelihood of the right-wing running away from him if he moves too far to the center is far less than the independents running away from him if he moves to far to the right. And unlike the base/right/Tea Party/whatever, the independents will go to Obama. So Romney needs to move to the center, and hope his running mate can sooth the concerns of the right, while at the same time appealing to some key demographics. And who can do that? Marco Rubio. He gives you excites the Tea Party, he's acceptable to the base (if they'll vote for a Mormon they'll vote for someone who used to be), and he will win some Latinos. Picking Rubio can maximize Romney's chance of winning but at the end of the day the economy will still determine who wins the election. Not necessarily the raw economic data, but the perception, and the manipulation by both parties.

Well I have never willing tried to manipulate the facts or denied the obvious. I have been argueing that Romney is the slight favorite and if the economy doesn't pick up faster President Obama will lose relection. I think the economy hasn't picked up fast enough, but that could change. According Douglas Hibbs's Bread and Peace Model (http://www.douglas-hibbs.com/Election2012/2012Election-MainPage.htm) which has 2.5% margin of error, President Obama would receive 48.2% of the popular vote. The race is toss-up Romney

In the future Keep Romney VS President Obama to this discussion http://www.270soft.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=11374&pid=183284&st=30entry183284

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Alfonzo, you are either trying to make POLLWONK and I angry or you can only see pro-Obama facts and anti-Romney views from la-la land. You should be more impartial in your analysis like myself or POLL

Even if Gingrich won both states, he still has to prove that he is not just a deep Southern candidate.

McCain was much stronger in South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee than Romney was... Romney will need some help to carry the the South in the General election...

Whatever the reason, Obama's head-to-head general election numbers have dropped in the month of March after peaking in February. Romney has taken his biggest lead against Obama in Rasmussen tracking with a 6-point lead.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/03/obama_falling_romney_leads_48-42_in_rasmussen_poll.html

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Whatever the reason, Obama's head-to-head general election numbers have dropped in the month of March after peaking in February. Romney has taken his biggest lead against Obama in Rasmussen tracking with a 6-point lead.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/03/obama_falling_romney_leads_48-42_in_rasmussen_poll.html

I'd say don't put too much faith into the Rasmussen polls. If other pollsters start showing similar results, then Obama has something to worry about. But if you compare Rasmussen's approval ratings, they are considerably worse than those of the other pollsters too. Gallup still has Obama in net approval territory, and all the other pollsters do too, or close to it, while Rasmussen has him at -10.

Yeah, I'd say the sample Rasmussen took their data from for their recent polls has been quite Republican biased. It looks like Rasmussen are falling into their usual trap of being just about the most Republican biased pollster out there, and quite inaccurate too.

Like I said, find a few more polls showing similar results, then you have an argument.

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I'd say don't put too much faith into the Rasmussen polls. If other pollsters start showing similar results, then Obama has something to worry about. But if you compare Rasmussen's approval ratings, they are considerably worse than those of the other pollsters too. Gallup still has Obama in net approval territory, and all the other pollsters do too, or close to it, while Rasmussen has him at -10.

Yeah, I'd say the sample Rasmussen took their data from for their recent polls has been quite Republican biased. It looks like Rasmussen are falling into their usual trap of being just about the most Republican biased pollster out there, and quite inaccurate too.

Like I said, find a few more polls showing similar results, then you have an argument.

ABC News / Washington Post general election poll released today also shows Romney beating Obama: http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_republican-mitt-romney-over-takes-barack-obama-in-us-survey_1661565

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An economic boom for Obama is unlikely. Here's why...

1.) Gas Prices- Last year at this time, the economy was recovering. Gas was at about 2.60 or 2.50, a good price. The Economist called Obama a shoein. Gas prices then rose in June. The economy began faltering in July and neared the brink of a recession in August. The Economist has stated that the gas price jump in june hurt the economy and caused the downturn. Even when Obama opened the strategic petroleum reserve, it barely helped if at all.

Flash forward one year, gas prices are almost $5 in some states AND WE AREN'T EVEN IN JUNE YET. Obama will have to face the scrutiny of high gas prices as well as questions about why he blocked the Keystone Pipeline which would have helped keep gas prices low.

2.) Unemployment and Employment Realities- The Department of Labor has reported a decrease in the unemployment rate. However, Gallup reported a spike. Why? If you check how the Dep of Lab calculates unemployment, it generally asks "ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR A JOB?" or "HAVE YOU FILLED OUT A JOB APPLICATION?" THat is highly inaccurate since many unemployed Americans have given up searching for a job. Gallup's polling asks very simply, "Are you unemployed and in need of work?" It is straight forward and gets to the point. Plus, the White House actually predicted that 2012 would have HIGHER unemployment (9%) than in 2011. The Economist reported that unemployment that high would show Obama the door. Gallup's unemployment tracker matches this estimate.

3.) Euro Zone- The Euro Zone isn't out of the woods yet. The Economist has stated that the 2012 Economic Recovery will be hindered tremendously by a fastly depleting Greek, Spanish, and Italian economy. Greece lost 7.5% of its GDP last year and is expected to lose more this year. The new Italian prime minister will be leaving his honeymoon period soon and economic confidence will continue to slide there. Sarkozy will be busy campaigning with Merkel for a 2nd Term. The Euro Zone has created a dark cloud over the financial world.

None of you are objective. You're all trying to manipulate the facts and data to suit what you want to happen. Even trying to make predictions on who is going to win the general election this early would be silly. Right now it seems to be trending for Obama. A few months ago it looked like he was dead in the water a few months from now it may look like that again. It isn't necessarily about the economic data but about how its spun.

If unemployment falls below 8%, then we can truly say that the GOP is in trouble. One of Romney's major attacks against Obama is that he promised that if we passed the stimulus unemployment would be below 8%. Well, if it does drop below 8%, Obama can easily claim that what he has done has worked, it just took a little longer. Not only that, he'll drop the populist tax the rich routine, which could further help the economy because he's no longer scaring the people who create jobs in this country.

On the flip side, one bit of bad economic data from anywhere in the world could put Obama right back where he was last year. If the unemployment rate creeps up for some reason, even if its by very little and even if the general trend shows it going down, the GOP can once again use it to say Obama's policies have failed. Many things can make this happen. @#!*% it could even be a statistical anomaly, it could be a war in the middle east or something happening in Europe or even another debt showdown. So much of how people vote, and how people behave economically depends on expectations and the general mood of the country. Since people tend to give the president way too much credit/blame for what is happening, the economic climate is probably going to dictate the election results.

That being said, what's going on in the primary season is hurting Romney. Its making him run to the right on issues that should never even be discussed, and the question becomes whether he can get back to the center in a reasonable way that doesn't make the flip flopper image worse. McCain had this problem in 2008. The most visible of these shifts to the right has been on immigration. Romney has always been a relative moderate on the issue, but his opponents dragged him to the right. Latinos are going to be crucial this year and if he alienates them he has no chance. He can mediate that by picking Marco Rubio, who I think is his best choice. At the end of the day, the base is going to come for him anyway. Rubio soothes some of the fears of not only the Latino, but of the Tea Party, who he is worshiped by. Theres a perception that Romney is going to have trouble with the base during the GE. That's simply not true. The base isn't voting for Romney because Santorum is such an attractive candidate to them. Not only that, the base is dwindling. The Tea Party is arguably the largest faction in the GOP right now. That being said, Romney is still pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun etc. Or he claims to be. The base will vote for Romney because no matter how they look at it he's better than Obama on almost every issue to them. Romney's greatest problem is not allowing Santorum to pull him too far to the right, and picking a running mate who will alleviate some of the problems the candidate can't alleviate some of the problems the candidate can't fix themselves. Even though Romney shouldn't worry too much about the right-wing of the party he still can go so far to the center that they simply don't turn out. However, the likelihood of the right-wing running away from him if he moves too far to the center is far less than the independents running away from him if he moves to far to the right. And unlike the base/right/Tea Party/whatever, the independents will go to Obama. So Romney needs to move to the center, and hope his running mate can sooth the concerns of the right, while at the same time appealing to some key demographics. And who can do that? Marco Rubio. He gives you excites the Tea Party, he's acceptable to the base (if they'll vote for a Mormon they'll vote for someone who used to be), and he will win some Latinos. Picking Rubio can maximize Romney's chance of winning but at the end of the day the economy will still determine who wins the election. Not necessarily the raw economic data, but the perception, and the manipulation by both parties.

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Look, this is getting out of hand. Let's face it. Both sides have interesting points. The point of the discussion is to decide what is most likely.

I think that in order to keep things more simplistic would be to organize our points more. It seems like a big problem is we aren't clarifying our responses to arguments made by each side. That seems to be a problem.

I also think that we should leave our political views out here. I know Elliot is a progressive, I'm a conservative, and if I understand correctly, Alfonzo, you are a liberal or progressive liberal. The more we get into an argument of this view is better than that view, the more muddled it gets. I'm fine with discussing whether or not Obama offended a part of his base or if Romney offended part of his base. Otherwise, let's stop debating political positions.

Let's also cut out the rhetorical comments. If this were a college level debate, we'd all recieve a double loss (which means both teams lose the round due to unsportsmanlike comments)

If you have a point to make about narrow-thinking, then I think we should say it more like this...

"That may be true, but consider THIS side of the argument." insted of "Wake up to reality, duh!"

This has been a fun discussion up until now. Let's keep this discussion positive.

\

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Polls in both Alabama and Mississippi show a statistical tie between Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum. The narrative of this primary season has changed a million times already, but tomorrow will be another game changer with perhaps Illinois next week determining if Romney will have a strong competitor surviving into April.

AL: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/al/alabama_republican_presidential_primary-1775.html

MS: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/ms/mississippi_republican_presidential_primary-2163.html

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Good point. That seems to be the case. If Romney can win the deep south states of alabama and mississippi, the race will be over. If Romney wins one of the two states, then we'll just see the race continue with the status quo... a steady Romney march to the nomination with Santorum and Gingrich as the fading dark horses.

If Gingrich wins both states, then Santorum will start to crash. Gingrich will see his polls improve and will probably top Santorum. However, if Gingrich sells his VP spot to Perry, he won't win Mississippi OR Alabama.

Santorum is burning out fast. He spent a ridiculous amount of money in both Ohio, Michigan, and Kansas which have done little for him. And it's not like he has a great SuperPac either...

Polls in both Alabama and Mississippi show a statistical tie between Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum. The narrative of this primary season has changed a million times already, but tomorrow will be another game changer with perhaps Illinois next week determining if Romney will have a strong competitor surviving into April.

AL: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/al/alabama_republican_presidential_primary-1775.html

MS: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/ms/mississippi_republican_presidential_primary-2163.html

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Good point. That seems to be the case. If Romney can win the deep south states of alabama and mississippi, the race will be over. If Romney wins one of the two states, then we'll just see the race continue with the status quo... a steady Romney march to the nomination with Santorum and Gingrich as the fading dark horses.

If Gingrich wins both states, then Santorum will start to crash. Gingrich will see his polls improve and will probably top Santorum. However, if Gingrich sells his VP spot to Perry, he won't win Mississippi OR Alabama.

Santorum is burning out fast. He spent a ridiculous amount of money in both Ohio, Michigan, and Kansas which have done little for him. And it's not like he has a great SuperPac either...

Even if Gingrich won both states, he still has to prove that he is not just a deep Southern candidate.

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No matter how you spin it, tonight was Romney's worst-case scenario: Santorum (not Gingrich or Romney) won both Alabama and Mississippi.

- Close, but failing to eke out a win, Romney looked weak due to aggressive spending and confidence as the "inevitable nominee" plus huge establishment support in the South. He even finished third behind Gingrich.

- Gingrich did not get his next "comeback". The likelihood increases that he will drop out and/or the base rallies around Santorum.

- Santorum outperformed polls and thus had "surprise" wins that will give him big momentum going into this week's Missouri caucus and next week's Illinois primary. He also fended off Gingrich (permanently?) from taking the "Not-Romney" title.

I expect Santorum will get a 5-10 point bump in national GOP polls, giving him the lead, while Romney stagnates at 30%-35% support. The establishment will panic even more, and we will see what happens to secure the "must-win" for Romney in Illinois next week. The possibility exists that the Republican base may decide to coalesce around Santorum and give him the plurality to start dealing decisive wins against Romney.

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No matter how you spin it, tonight was Romney's worst-case scenario: Santorum (not Gingrich or Romney) won both Alabama and Mississippi.

- Close, but failing to eke out a win, Romney looked weak due to aggressive spending and confidence as the "inevitable nominee" plus huge establishment support in the South. He even finished third behind Gingrich.

- Gingrich did not get his next "comeback". The likelihood increases that he will drop out and/or the base rallies around Santorum.

- Santorum outperformed polls and thus had "surprise" wins that will give him big momentum going into this week's Missouri caucus and next week's Illinois primary. He also fended off Gingrich (permanently?) from taking the "Not-Romney" title.

I expect Santorum will get a 5-10 point bump in national GOP polls, giving him the lead, while Romney stagnates at 30%-35% support. The establishment will panic even more, and we will see what happens to secure the "must-win" for Romney in Illinois next week. The possibility exists that the Republican base may decide to coalesce around Santorum and give him the plurality to start dealing decisive wins against Romney.

Did Governor Romney have a bad night last night? Yes, but Romney could still reach the magic number without winning Alabama and Mississippi.

Alabama and Mississipii polls tend to very inaccurate.

Santorum needs much more the Illinois to catch up to Governor Romney in order to outright win the nomination which is probably impossible right now. Govenor Romney will most likely have the most in the delegate count and the popular vote at the end of voting, so Romney will be the nominee and Santorum (or Rand Paul) will probably be VP if Romney doesn't get the delegates need to secure the nomination.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/how-daunting-is-santorums-delegate-math/

Also even if Gingrich endorsed Santorum, Santorum would still be behind in delegates, if Gingrich wants to help the party out, he should endorse Romney.

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Look, we can dispute Alabama and Mississippi all we want... but here are the facts...

1.) Santorum won both states in the POPULAR VOTE

2.) Romney won Hawaii

3.) Romney WIDENED his delegate gap with Santorum

4.) Santorum now has the momentum

5.) Gingrich disapointed

6.) Gingrich pledges to continue

7.) The frontrunner will be decided in Illinois

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Look, we can dispute Alabama and Mississippi all we want... but here are the facts...

1.) Santorum won both states in the POPULAR VOTE

2.) Romney won Hawaii

3.) Romney WIDENED his delegate gap with Santorum

4.) Santorum now has the momentum

5.) Gingrich disapointed

6.) Gingrich pledges to continue

7.) The frontrunner will be decided in Illinois

Illinois will not decide who the frontrunner is. The questions that should be asked "Is Romney going to get 1144 by June 26th?" "Will Romney have a delegate lead and popular vote lead over Santorum?"

Romney is most likely going have a delegate lead and a lead in the popular vote. I don't see a scenario that Romney is not the nominee unless you disregard the will of people...

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Illinois will not decide who the frontrunner is. The questions that should be asked "Is Romney going to get 1144 by June 26th?" "Will Romney have a delegate lead and popular vote lead over Santorum?"

Romney is going a have a delegate lead and a lead in the popular vote. I don't see a scenario that Romney is not the nominee unless you disregard the will of people.

Nate Silver: "The flip-side is that even if Mr. Santorum starts to win marginal states like Illinois and New Mexico, he still probably won’t have either the delegates or the strongest argument for the nomination.

This is why I call Illinois a “must-win” for Mr. Santorum. Winning that state would be about the minimum he’d need to do to put Mr. Romney’s nomination into some real doubt. However, if Mr. Romney takes any further losses than that, the dam would start to break."

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/how-daunting-is-santorums-delegate-math/

Santorum needs more than Illinois. I don't see how Santorum wins in California or New York, two of the biggest states left to vote.

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Only one post-Tuesday poll so far (besides two other recent ones), but it looks like Romney may be carrying a stable lead for this Tuesday's Illinois primary.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/il/illinois_republican_presidential_primary-1593.html

"Republican voters who prefer Newt Gingrich for the party's 2012 presidential nomination are as likely to name Mitt Romney as their second choice as they are to name Rick Santorum, suggesting the race would not tilt in Santorum's favor if Gingrich dropped out." http://www.gallup.com/poll/153308/Romney-Santorum-Tie-Gingrich-Voters-Second-Choice.aspx

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Newt is not going to drop out and he's not going to endorse Santorum. If he endorses anyone it will be Romney. Newt's a smart guy. He knows how disastrous Santorum would be as the nominee, and he knows that Romney is the only of of the two with a realistic chance of being president. If Newt wants to help the party (which, despite his reputation, he probably does) OR if he wants to be part of the next administration, he will endorse Romney. Its also not clear whether or not his supporters would break strongly towards either Romney or Santorum. Newt is really a non-factor at this point. Whether he stays or goes won't have a huge impact on who the nominee is.

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Unless something totally insane happens, it's OVER!!! Romney is going to be nominee.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/in-need-of-a-game-change-santorum-plays-small-ball/

"It’s a “small ball” strategy, in other words — one focused on the delegate math. Mr. Santorum is seeking to spend his resources efficiently to limit Mr. Romney’s advantage in that department.

This kind of strategy, however, misses the forest for the trees. The problem with it is simple: it is almost certain to be a losing one.

Of the 928 delegates allotted to date in The Associated Press count, Mr. Romney has 495, or 53 percent, while Mr. Santorum has 252, or 27 percent. That isn’t all that close.

Moreover, if the remaining primaries and caucuses go anything like the previous ones did, Mr. Romney should continue to obtain delegates at about that pace, according to the detailed projections put together by me and by other analysts. That would put him on pace to clinch the Republican nomination after Utah votes on June 26 or after California and several large states do on June 5.

Game-changing events are not easy to come by, of course. But Mr. Santorum’s campaign does not seem so interested in maximizing his chance at achieving one. His travel schedule is one such example: Mr. Santorum spent part of last week in Puerto Rico, and will be spending part of Sunday in Louisiana, rather than focusing on Illinois, a state where polls and demographics give Mr. Romney an edge but only a modest one.

A win in Illinois would do much more than anything that might happen in Puerto Rico or Louisiana to alter the momentum in the race. At a bare minimum, it would position Mr. Santorum better for Wisconsin, which votes on April 3 and has 42 delegates — twice as many as Puerto Rico — and awards them on a largely winner-take-all basis."

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Even if Santorum has little chance of upsetting Romney's delegate count, my fear is that he will win enough delegates to try and leverage the support into concessions such as a spot in the Romney administration or---God forbid---a spot on the ticket.

We need this nomination contest to end soon so that the dirty debate about who is a "True Conservative" ends, and Romney can focus on the general election and winning swing voters.

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Even if Santorum has little chance of upsetting Romney's delegate count, my fear is that he will win enough delegates to try and leverage the support into concessions such as a spot in the Romney administration or---God forbid---a spot on the ticket.

We need this nomination contest to end soon so that the dirty debate about who is a "True Conservative" ends, and Romney can focus on the general election and winning swing voters.

Nate Silver estimates that Romney will get to 1144 on June 5th or the day after. No need to worried about a Romney-Santorum ticket.

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Romney wins Puerto Rico's GOP primary in landslide victory

Not surprising that Puerto Ricans heavily voted for the only Hispanic Republican candidate in the race. As of current counting, Romney won 83% of the vote compared to 8% for Santorum. The victory in Puerto Rico takes us one step closer to the powerful emergence of Mexican Romney.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/18/politics/pr-primary/?hpt=hp_t3

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Romney wins Puerto Rico's GOP primary in landslide victory

Not surprising that Puerto Ricans heavily voted for the only Hispanic Republican candidate in the race. As of current counting, Romney won 83% of the vote compared to 8% for Santorum. The victory in Puerto Rico takes us one step closer to the powerful emergence of Mexican Romney.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/18/politics/pr-primary/?hpt=hp_t3

Romney up 15% against Santorum in Illinois. 11% without Gingrich http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/03/romney-up-big-in-illinois.html

"Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois on Tuesday. He leads with 45% to 30% for Rick Santorum, 12% for Newt Gingrich, and 10% for Ron Paul.

Romney's particularly strong among voters who live in suburban areas (50-29) and with those who live in urban areas (46-23). But he's even running slightly ahead of Santorum, 38-36, with folks who identify as living in rural parts and that strength with a group of voters he hasn't tended to do that well with is why he's looking at such a lopsided margin of victory.

Romney tends to win moderates in most states and Santorum usually win voters describing themselves as 'very conservative.' The swing group in the Republican electorate is those identifying as just 'somewhat conservative.' Romney is winning those folks by a whooping 60-20 margin in Illinois. Romney's also benefiting from a 52-28 advantage with seniors.

We've tended to find Santorum a lot more popular with voters even in states that Romney has won over the last six weeks, but that's not the case in Illinois. Romney's favorability is 57/34, about par for the course of where we've found him this year. Santorum's at only 55/36, much worse numbers than we've seen for him most places in the last couple months, and suggesting that GOP voters are starting to sour on him a little bit.

Santorum's winning the group he tends to do well with- Tea Partiers, Evangelicals, and those describing themselves as 'very conservative.' But he's not winning them by the kinds of wide margins he would need to take an overall victory- he's up only 8 with Tea Party voters and 10 with Evangelicals, groups he needs to win by more like 25 points with to hope to win in a northern state. Santorum can't blame Gingrich for his troubles in Illinois either. If Newt was out Romney would still have an 11 point advantage on Santorum, 45-34."

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