Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Super Tuesday: Romney edges out in Ohio, Dennis Kucinich loses primary

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Candidate Delegates before Super Tuesday Total
Mitt Romney 119 204 323
Newt Gingrich 30 75 105
Rick Santorum 17 84 101
Ron Paul 8 16 24

The pundits went nuts that Mitt Romney barely beat out Rick Santorum in Ohio. Yawn. And that’s not just because the results came in the early morning hours.

The delegates in Ohio will be relatively split, though Santorum lost out on potentially 18 delegates due to paperwork and lack of organization. How do you win the nomination without grabbing every delegate you can.

Yes, Santorum won Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. The former senator from Pennsylvania lost a major lead in Ohio with his obsessions over “social values.” Still, Santorum picked up 84 delegates on Tuesday night, and has the potential to pick up a few states in the next two weeks.

Newt Gingrich can tell us that he has more delegates than Santorum. Well, that is technically true but Santorum hasn’t won delegates for this trifecta earlier in the campaign. Gingrich won the 75 delegates (winner take all) in Georgia. But on a Super Tuesday where you have 0 second-place finishes. Gingrich might win Alabama, but that is the last state that borders Georgia that is left to win. Tennessee (Santorum) and Florida (Romney) went against Gingrich.

Mitt Romney has a Southern problem — can’t win in the South. Newt Gingrich’s Southern problem is that he can’t win outside the South.

Romney won 204 delegates Tuesday night. Gingrich probably won’t finish with 204 delegates. How is going to even come close?

The best move Santorum made was something that political scientists will eventually pick up. Santorum ended up in Steubenville, Ohio. not Cleveland or Cincinnati or Columbus. Santorum ended up in Grand Rapids, Michigan that night. His instinct to end up in smaller cities is actually genius. Some politician will use that technique to better use than Santorum did.

Santorum needs to blow past Gingrich and make him non-relevant. That requires Santorum to run a good campaign and finish strong. His collapses in Ohio and Michigan are why Gingrich thinks he has a chance, which he doesn’t.

Dennis Kucinich had little chance of retaining a seat in Ohio. The GOP-led state government redistricted a battle with fellow incumbent Marcy Kaptur. Well. Kaptur defeated Kucinich last night in Ohio. Kucinich might make good on his thought of running for a seat in Washington state. The odds aren’t good, but if anyone can do it, Dennis Kucinich is the person. Either way, Kucinich will not disappear from the landscape.

Kaptur’s GOP opponent will be … Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher. Unfortunately, “Joe” won’t get any more fame from the HBO movie “Game Change,” since his “character” is not in the film.

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