Romney outspends Santorum 4-1 in Ohio, and just barely squeaks by him

Bumped for this inspiring quote from Romney's speech last night, in which he outlined his vision for the future of America: "'This is a process of gathering enough delegates to become the nominee,' Mr. Romney said. 'I think we’re on the track to have that happen.'" Um ... hooray? - promoted by david

Honestly, how hard can it be to beat Rick Santorum?

Pretty hard, if you’re Mitt Romney.  Romney and his Super PAC spent about four times what Santorum and his Super PAC spent in Ohio (the biggest Super Tuesday prize, and the most hotly-contested).  And this is Ohio we’re talking about, not a state where you’d necessarily expect Santorum to have a built-in advantage.  Ohio, in fact, borders Pennsylvania, where Santorum lost his last election by 18 points.

And yet, Romney just barely managed to squeak by Santorum by a margin so small that it approaches the 0.25% threshold that triggers an automatic recount.  That just strikes me as sad.

The results in the rest of the Super Tuesday states were unsurprising, and are exceedingly unlikely to change the race substantially.  Romney won MA (obviously), VT (not a major Republican stronghold), ID, and VA (where only he and Ron Paul were on the ballot).  Santorum won TN, OK, and ND.  Gingrich won GA handily, despite being outspent by Romney.  Results are incomplete from WY and AK, though Romney looks strong in both places so far.

It seems, therefore, that Romney increased his delegate lead tonight, but didn’t land any knockout punches.  This is exacerbated by the fact that the next major contests are Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, all of which would seem to be promising for Santorum.

Meanwhile, one does have to wonder whether the impressive collection of evidence that Romney vigorously advocated for a federal individual health care mandate in and around 2009 – being made public almost single-handedly by Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed – is going to start affecting the primaries.  It came out a little too late to impact Super Tuesday, but there are plenty more states to go.



Discuss

7 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Breakdown

    Ultimately, of course, it doesn’t really matter that you win (for example) Ohio, since the Republican primaries are no longer winner-take-all. In Ohio the winner of each of their 16 congressional district gets 3 delegates, and there are 15 additional delegates that are allocated proportionally to the statewide vote. Thus, although the media is crawling all over themselves to figure out who won the popular vote in Ohio, it’s pretty clear that Romney got quite a few more delegates out of it than Santorum.

    Many states allocate similarly… and this illustrates I think why switching the Electoral College to CD-based voting (as Maine and Nebraska already do) will not at all fix the problem with the system.

    Anyway, here are yesterday’s totals according to one of my favorite election-tracking sites, The Green Papers. (The preview is not formatting the following table all that attractively but hopefully it is still comprehensible.)

    -RomneySantorumGingrichPaul
    Alaska8736
    Georgia13246-
    Idaho32—
    Massachusetts38—
    North Dakota71128
    Ohio3521–
    Oklahoma131413-
    Tennessee10258-
    Vermont94-4
    Virginia43–3
    TOTAL208847221

    • What kind of preview is THAT?

      Wow, that table came out FAR worse than the preview indicated. What gives? Shouldn’t a preview … preview?

      At this point, I can’t be bothered to type and attempt to format all that again, so I’ll just sum up by saying Romney won 208 delegates, Santorum 84, Gingrich 72 and Paul 21.

      And despite the hoopla out of Ohio, Romney still seems poised to carry off 35 delegates to Santorum’s 21.

      • Heh - sorry about that

        Our preview function is a WordPress add-on that, apparently, doesn’t reproduce with perfect accuracy how the HTML will appear in the actual comment, at least with more complicated formatting like tables.

  2. And I thought Santorum would come from behind

    .

  3. Question

    The pundits last night, at least on MSNBC, were speculating that Gingrich might be pressured to withdraw to leave Santorum as the conservative alternative. However, I’m pretty sure Gingrich is actually leading Santorum in the delegate count. Doesn’t that give Gingrich the better argument for staying in? Personally, I’m finding myself glad these candidates have superpac backing to keep them in the race as it allows later states to have a say in the matter.

    • Santorum is well ahead of Gingrich in delegates.

      Link. The remarkable thing about the race is that, if either Gingrich or Santorum had withdrawn a few weeks ago and thrown his support behind the other, the race could well have been turned completely upside-down. But with the two of them continuing to split the not-Mitt vote, Mitt likely wins by default, just as everyone has assumed all along.

  4. Guess I should have stayed up later:)

    What I said was true according to MSNBC as of when I turned in shortly after midnight.

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Thu 27 Nov 8:22 PM