Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

February 17, 2012 11:56 AM

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

22 people have been tempted or have joined the race.

18 people have announced they are not running, quit the race, or have written it off.

4 people are still running: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul.

2 remains the number of real players at the moment.

The Goal – 1,142 Committed Republican Convention Delegates by the time of the Republican National Convention, August 27-30, 2012.

Score Board: Caucuses and Primaries (Place Finished)

  Romney Santorum Paul Gingrich
Iowa 2 1 3 4
NH 1 5 2 4
SC 2 3 4 1
Fla 1 3 4 2
NV 1 4 3 2
CO 2 1 4 3
MN 3 1 2 4
MO 2 1 3 --
ME 1 3 2 4

1st place finishes – Romney 4, Santorum 4, Gingrich 1

2nd place finishes – Romney 4, Santorum 0, Paul 3, Gingrich 2

3rd place finishes – Romney 1, Santorum 3, Paul 3

GOP Nomination -- National Polling

2012 Republican Presidential Candidates


Last date
of survey

Romney Gingrich Paul Santorum
Gallup 2/15 31 14 10 32
CNN/OpRes 2/13 32 15 16 34
CBS/NYT 2/13 27 10 12 30
Pew Res. 2/12 28 17 12 30
Gallup 2/8 36 20 10 20
ABC/WP 2/4 38 24 14 18
NBC/WSJ 1/24 28 37 12 18
ABC/WP 1/15 36 16 16 13
Gallup 1/10 31 16 13 15
CBSNews 1/8 19 15 10 14
PewRes. 1/8 27 16 12 16
Gallup 1/2/12 24 23 13 6
ABC/WP 12/18 30 30 15 4
Gallup 12/11 23 33 8 3
NBC/WSJ 12/11 23 40 9 3

Intrade Prediction Market

At Intrade you can buy and sell shares on the prospects of candidates for President (and other offices). In other words, you are investing on the percentage probability of that event occurring (election of that candidate). The following are the last prices paid on 2/15 and 1/12.

  2/15 1/12
Romney 71.1 85.8
Gingrich 4.0 4.7
Paul (apparently no current market) -- 3.6
Santorum 16.0 1.6

If you are interested, go to www.Intrade.com.


As compared to the 2008 Republican primaries and caucuses, in 7 of 9 contests to date, turnout has been down.

IA–Up; NH–Up; SC–Up; FL–Down; NV–Down;CO-Down;MN- Down ; MO - Down ; ME - Up

Here are the four tranches of the Republican primary....

1st tranche – January 3 – 31, 2012 - Completed

2nd tranche – February 4 – March 3, 2012

3rd tranche – March 6 – 24, 2012

4th tranche – April 3 – June 26, 2012

The following represents the state of the race in the remaining States in the 2nd tranche. The only State in which WW can find a published poll taken after Santorum’s February 7th three-state parley is Michigan.

  2/12* 2/15** 2/14***
Romney 27% 25% 33%
Gingrich 21 5 11
Santorum 33 34 43
Paul 12 11 8

* American Research Group

** Mitchell/Rossetta Stone

*** Inside Mich Politics/MRG

February 4 – March 3, 2012
Arizona (p) 2/28 , Michigan (p) 2/28, Washington (c) – 3/3

March 6 – 24, 2012
Of the 19 primary and caucus States that commence their processes during this period, their delegates must be allocated on a proportional basis.

March 6 – Alaska (c), Georgia (p), Idaho (c), Massachusetts (p), North Dakota (c), Ohio (p), Oklahoma (p) Tennessee (p), Vermont (p), Virginia (p).

March 10 – Kansas (c), Wyoming (c), U.S. Virgin Islands (c), Guam (c) March 13 – Alabama (p), Hawaii (c), Mississippi (p), Missouri (c) March 18 – Puerto Rico (c)

March 20 – Illinois (p)

March 24 – Louisiana (p)

April 3 – June 26, 2012
The 21 primaries and caucuses scheduled during this period are free to allocate their delegates proportionally or on the basis of winner take all.

[Note: For more information about the 2012 Republican Party delegate selection rules see Washington Watch, Issue 105, December 2011. Keep in mind that the Republican National Convention can change these rules.]

What a difference six weeks makes.

  2/14 1/10 (Gallup)
Romney 32 31
Santorum 34 15
Gingrich 16 15
Paul 13 16

At least for now, this is a race between Santorum and Romney. Paul and Gingrich are, for practical purposes, out of the race.

Paul and Gingrich both retain significant followings, but they are not showing any growth. Paul has no prospect for real growth. It remains an open question whether Gingrich can rise again between now and the end of Super Tuesday, March 6th. Given the nature of the Paul and Gingrich supporters, Romney must hope that they stay in the race for some period of time. While not all of their supporters would go to Santorum if either or both end their campaigns, on balance, Santorum would be the primary beneficiary.

There are many things that define the differences between Santorum and Romney.

Santorum has a core set of beliefs and values that are the basis for the philosophical aspects of his campaign. You may not agree with him, and some of the things he believes may seem to be pretty fringy, but his positions have not been created for the purpose of this campaign. When faced with a new question he can quickly express an answer that is consistent with those core beliefs and values. He rarely, if ever tries to shade his responses.

Romney appears to be the polar opposite. He may well have a set of beliefs and values, but it is hard to find them, and they are not the core from which his positions spring forth. When faced with a new question, he must first recall the substantive framework that has been created for his campaign, and then come up with an answer. He often shades.

In short, Santorum is if nothing else, authentic. Romney is not.

Santorum should also be credited with designing a campaign plan based on what is possible for him. In short, he has gone to places where he can get votes on the cheap. That is to say, since he did not have unlimited resources, he spent his time in locations where his personal appearances and a modest amount of organization can result in “victories” which keep him on the path to nomination.

Since his first election to the House of Representatives, and continuing into his current campaign, Santorum has had the strategic assistance of a Pennsylvania consultant, John Brabender. Brabender is apparently particularly adroit at crafting appeals to Catholics and working class people.

Romney faces what could be another embarrassment in Michigan. Who would have thought that he would be challenged in what is his original “home” State? The position which he took, critical of the Obama administration’s effort to save General Motors and Chrysler, did not and is not going over well. He is now trying hard to explain how what the Administration did was effectively to follow his suggestion. But few, if any, are buying his newly coined version of history.

Donald Trump has struck again. Trump decided to announce that he was supporting Romney for the Republican nomination. He chose to do it in Nevada, in a fancy hotel, at exactly the time that Romney was facing challenges relating to his wealth. He noted that millions of people were interested in who he would support. It is worth noting that following that endorsement, Romney lost the next three events on the Republican nomination schedule.

There is a lot of chatter about the amount of money being spent on the primary campaign, much of which is coming from the treasuries of the Super Pacs. But the amounts of money spent by or on behalf of candidates through the end of 2011 suggest that money may not be the end all that it is often considered to be.

The amounts of money spent during January are not yet available. But, they are likely to be substantial. However, here is the raising and spending by select candidates, and the Super Pacs supporting them, in the millions. Remember there were no delegate contests before January.

  Campaign Organization Super Pac
  Raised Spent Raised Spent
Romney $57.1 37.2 $30.2 6.6
Paul 26.1 24.2 1.0 .4
Gingrich 12.7 10.6 2.1 .9
Santorum 2.2 1.9 .7 .7

So, by the time of the Iowa Caucuses, won by Santorum (if only by a hair), Romney had spent $37.2 million from his own campaign coffers and Santorum had spent only $1.9 million. Of course, Romney was spending on States down the road, as well as in Iowa, but even so, his spending over Santorum’s was substantial.

Of the 19 media-sponsored Republican nomination debates to date, the largest audience – 7.58 million viewers – remains the ABC/ DesMoines Register/ Yahoo News debate on December 8, 2011. The second most-watched debate was the NBC News debate on January 23, 2012. Fox News holds 3rd place, with 6.713 million viewers on December 15, 2011.

Republican nominating process Debates with one or more media sponsors
5/5/11 Fox News - 3.26 million viewers
6/13/11 CNN - 3.2 million viewers
8/11/11 Fox News - 5 million + viewers
9/7/11 NBC/MSNBC/Politico - 5,400,000 viewers
9/12/11 CNN - 3,600,000 viewers
9/22/11 Fox/Google - 6,100,000 viewers
10/11/11 Bloomberg/Washington Post – no ratings available (Bloomberg does not subscribe to Nielsen)
10/18/11 CNN - 5.46 million viewers
11/9/11 CNBC - 3.33 million viewers
11/12/11 CBS/National Journal - 5.3 million viewers
11/22/11 CNN - 3.6 million viewers
12/10/11 ABC/DesMoines Register/Yahoo News/Iowa GOP, 7.58 million viewers, 2.1 million viewers (25-54)
12/15/11 FOX/Iowa GOP [data not available at press time]
1/7/12 ABC/WMUR - 6.25 million viewers
1/8/12 NBC/Facebook/Union Leader - 4.715 million viewers
1/16/12 FOX/GOP of South Carolina
1/19/12 CNN/Southern Republican Leadership Conference
1/23/12 NBC - 7.125 million viewers
1/26/12 CNN - 5.357 million viewers
3/1/12 CNN - Canceled, 3 of 4 potential participants said they would not participate
3/19/12 Oregon Public TV et al

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