Open thread for tonight’s episode of the G.O.P. Reality Show

It’s another exciting evening of the Republican Reality Show, and we’ll be livebloggin’ it from the Montlake Ale House—at least to the extent that the news cycle, media availability and social environment allow it.

Tonight’s episode takes place in Mississippi and Alabama, where primary elections are happening, and Hawaii and American Samoa, where caucuses are held. Here are some details:

  • Alabama: The state has 50 delegates and splits them proportionately. Something like eight polls have been done in Alabama just this month. The very first one was won by Rick Santorum. Gingrich has squeaked out a lead in two. Romney has led in five polls, although all five polls come from the Alabama Education Association (which may or may not be relevant). It seems like almost anything can go in Alabama. If I had to bet, I’d go with Mitt, but fingers crossed for someone crazier….
  • American Samoa: The polls are…. Oh, Wait…there are no polls in American Samoa. I mean, who the fuck cares about American Samoa? Mitt Romney does, that’s who! He LOVES the place. The Oceans are the right height. He loves the little bits of land that dot the place. The owner of Samoa is a personal friend of his. It’s his favorite Girl Scout cookie. And he loves the nine delegates the joint could bring him. Oh…and he loves the Mormons that make up 1/4 of the population. Yeah, Mitt won’t go without at least one “victory” tonight. More insights can be found here.
  • Hawaii: The candidates used the caucus as an excuse to send their kids on a Hawaiian junket. Romney dominated his opponents at 24% in the only Hawaii poll. Unfortunately, that poll was taken in October. And Herman Cain beat Romney at 36%. So who the fuck knows. My hunch is that Santorum and Gingrich are not very appealing to Hawaiians (there’s a Hawaiian pizza joke in there somewhere). Ron Paul will try to usurp the caucus process…and will fail because Hawaii’s G.O.P. caucus is only open to registered Republicans. My hunch is that Romney is most likely walk away with the lion’s share of Hawaii’s 17 proportionally allocated delegates.
  • Mississippi: Forty delegates are at stake in Mississippi and only a couple of recent polls go on, both taken this month. One poll has Romney up by +8 and a more recent poll has Newt leading by +2 Overall…it looks like a toss-up. Let’s hope so.

So, there you have it. Almost anything goes in the South, but Romney takes the South Pacific.

Go to town in the comment threads.

5:54: No results out of Mississippi or Alabama yet. Good thing. There is a media lockdown at the Montlake Ale House. The TeeVees are filled with people bouncing balls around.

5:56: Speculation is that Gingrich comes in third in both Southern states.

5:58: First Mississippi returns with 1.1% reporting

  • Santorum 36.9%
  • Gingrich 30.1%
  • Romney 26.7%
  • Paul 5.4%

6:02: We play with spoonerisms in my household. This morning I came up with a good one: Sick Rantorum! You might use it after hearing about Kennedy making him vomit. I though it was brilliant. Then it occurred to me that it isn’t really that good. Sick Rantorum is okay. But just saying “Santorum” by itself always invokes mild amusement.

6:05: Early Alabama results…0.9% reporting.

  • Santorum 32.1%
  • Romney 29.6%
  • Gingrich 29.2%
  • Paul 6.2%

Wow…that’s fucking close!

6:09: 2.1% now in Alabama, and Santorum pulls ahead….

  • Santorum 35.0%
  • Gingrich 29.1%
  • Romney 27.6%
  • Paul 5.7%

If God is a Democrat, Santorum will take both Alabama and Mississippi AND Romney will come in third in both states.

6:12: Romney struggles to stay in second in Mississippi:

  • Santorum 33.4%
  • Romney 30.4%
  • Gingrich 29.9%
  • Paul 5.3%

6:14: With 0% reporting in Hawaii, it is all tied up! Ron Paul takes this as a sign of great strength and sends out a fundraising bomb.

6:18: Newt’s celebratory victory party in Birmingham twenty minutes after the polls close.

6:22: With 16.9% reporting in Mississippi, Mitt must be shitting his pants:

  • Santorum 33.9%
  • Romney 30.6%
  • Gingrich 29.5%
  • Paul 5.0%

God teases us with being a Democrat.

6:30: Alabama counts all the way up to 7.5%:

  • Santorum 34.0%
  • Gingrich 29.6%
  • Romney 28.5%
  • Paul 5.5%

God teases us with being a liberal Democrat!

6:32: There are still people bouncing and throwing balls on TeeVee. I am forced to get all of my information from the intertubes. And they’re clogged. BTW: Listening to CSPAN.

6:35: The Montlake Ale House is hopping…but most people seem to be interested in the bouncing balls….

6:38: True fact: In 2008, Mitt Romney finished with 1.5% BEHIND Ron Paul at 3.8%. Money talks!

6:46: Alabama has surged to 19.7%, and it is bad news for Romney…

  • Santorum 34.6%
  • Gingrich 29.7%
  • Romney 28.2%
  • Paul 5.2%

6:48: Now we have almost 1/2 (46.1%) of precincts reporting in Mississippi:

  • Santorum 32.7%
  • Gingrich 31.3%
  • Romney 30.4%
  • Paul 4.5%

If these trends continue, Santorum is “not quite dead yet!” Somehow that brings up the disturbing image of “man on corpse.”

6:55: Alabama is at 29.2% and

  • Santorum 34.4%
  • Gingrich 28.4%
  • Romney 30.4%
  • Paul 5.2%

A major media organization (NBC, I think) has called it for Santorum! The fight is on for second place. Will Mitt be humiliated? Either way, Newt probably places second in a state that, one week ago, he labeled as a “must win” state.

6:59: From the Twitterosphere:

helen ‏ @liberalchik
santorum wins alabama..oh GOP, yall be so fucked.

7:12: Rick Santorum is the Jeremy Lin of politics!

7:20: From the Twiterosphere:

Andy Borowitz ‏ @BorowitzReport
CNN: Robert Gibbs of the Obama campaign will comment on tonight’s results as soon as he stops laughing uncontrollably.

7:25: Mississippi tightens up, but Santorum squirts up to the top:

  • Santorum 32.7%
  • Gingrich 31.7%
  • Romney 30.1%
  • Paul 4.1%

7:44: From the Twiterosphere:

daveweigel ‏ @daveweigel
Seems so obvious in retrospect; the married guy with 7 kids is more in Dixie than the divorcee and the Mormon

7:48: FAUX News calls Mississippi for Rick Santorum. Big test for God, here…will Mitt Romney come in third in AL an MS???

7:58: Real headline: “Fox calls MS for Santorum”. That’s so sad. We wish him well….

8:03: From the Twiterosphere:

LOLGOP ‏ @LOLGOP
Exit Polls from Mississippi showed that 39% of GOP Primary voters tried to enter their polling places via the exit.

Umm, yeah…those would be the one who think Obama is a Muslim.

8:05: Two weeks ago, Newt said that MS and AL were “Must Wins”. In his speech just now, he says that second place was all that he hoped for.

10:25: Okay…so I’ve been socializing and whatnot. But look at this:

Alabama with 97.2% reporting:

  • Santorum 34.5%
  • Gingrich 29.3.7%
  • Romney 29.0%
  • Paul 5.0%

Mississippi with 99.2% reporting:

  • Santorum 32.9%
  • Gingrich 31.3%
  • Romney 30.3%
  • Paul 4.4%

First, I am amazed at how close the two states are. Secondly, this clearly demonstrates that God is a Democrat. This result ensures that Republicans will continue their bludgeon-fest for months to come. (But, as I keep pointing out, Romney will ultimately prevail.) For us, it is good entertainment that will leave the “victor” a bloody, broken mess.

More seriously, this delays the point where Mitt Romney pivots from crazy right-wing rhetoric to more moderate rhetoric with broad appeal. That is, he will be kept busy trying to sell his conservative-ass soul for so long that there will be no opportunity for him to play moderate for the general election.

In the end, Democrats will be forced to hold their (collective) nose and thank the Supreme court for their ultimate act of judicial activism: the Citizens United ruling.

12:34 am: Mitt Romney takes American Samoa.

12:40 am: I should point out that, because Mississippi and Alabama both allocate their delegates proportionally, a win tonight in Hawaii plus American Samoa may put Romney on top for delegates won on Tuesday.

12:47 am: The Republican primary bludgeon-fest continues in the South Pacific! With 38% reporting in Hawaii, we have a near three-way tie—between Mitt, Santorum and Paul

  • Romney 31%
  • Santorum 29%
  • Paul 25%
  • Gingrich 15%

Comments

  1. 1

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    Deep Thought:

    While Rmoney will win the GOP nomination in 2012, a silver medal this year will make Santorum the de facto GOP front runner in 2016.

  2. 4

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @2 who? Rmoney?

    also too because soshulist Obama is causing the stock market to climb ever higher with some sort of Kenyan voodoo. oh noes!

  3. 5

    ArtFart spews:

    There are a lot of Mormons in Hawaii. There are also a lot of native Hawaiians who’d just as soon take their star off of Old Glory and think they’d do just fine as a hub of international commerce smack in the middle of the Pacific without being shackled to us palefaced turds on the mainland. Some Hawaiians belong to both of the above groups. Go figure.

  4. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    Hawaii politics can’t be predicted by religious persuasion, because “unaffiliated” makes up 51% of the population. Of those who identify with a faith, Protestants make up 37% (advantage Gingrich???), Catholics 22% (advantage Santorum????), and Mormons only 3.3% (not much of an advantage to Romney). Curiously, Agnostics and Athiests make up 22% of those professing a faith (can an athiest be said to have a faith?).

    But all-in-all, Hawaii has always been a reliably Democratic state. I expect that the Republicans who take the time to get involved there are business owners who want to get richer, and have dreams of someday living like Romney. So I’m guessing Romney wins this one.

  5. 7

    Michael spews:

    @2 who? Rmoney?

    We really do need to change his name to Rmoney. Mostly because we’re all jealous of his ability to tell which states have trees that are the right hight. Fuck, I’d never even thought of that until he said it. The man’s a genius.

  6. 10

    spews:

    YLB @ 9,

    How does a Roman Catholic win in the deep south?

    I think Santorum is an extremist as a Catholic…so much so that he is almost Southern Baptist.

  7. 11

    Michael spews:

    @9, 10
    I think Darryl’s got it. I know all sorts of Catholic folks and they all think Santorum’s a nut job.

  8. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh goody! The GOP Demolition Derby will go on!! I love the sound of metal on metal!! I love to watch fenders crumple!! I betcha Obama is just as excited about this as I am!!!

  9. 13

    yd spews:

    15.5 Trillion and counting, you will now hit the debt ceiling of well over 16 trillion by election day. I hope people notice what this idiot is doing to this country

    BTW, the Liquor stores going private is just the beginning of dismantling all these cushy government jobs, most of which should be outsourced or privatized.

    Stay Tuned!

  10. 15

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 13

    Crimenentlies you’re a stupid motherfucker. It has always been the Conservatives that kept the State Liquor Control Board in charge of sales. The Pentacostals and Baptists insisted on it after Prohibition was repealed. The major conservative churches in the State insisted on retaining State control even in the last election.

    I’m all for privatization of the liquor stores, but what should be done with that is to require that all such stores be run only as a Sole Proprietorship, in a standalone business unaffiliated with any Corporation.

    In other words, we don’t need Haggen or Safeway dedicating entire aisles to cheap store-brand booze like they have in California.

  11. 16

    rhp6033 spews:

    “First, I am amazed at how close the two states are. ”

    Well, Alabama and Mississipi DO join one another!

  12. 17

    rhp6033 spews:

    Horsey nails it, again…

    Horsey 2012MAR14

    Considering the short time between the release of the primary results, and the quality of the artwork, I’m guessing Horsey had three different cartoons ready to run, depending upon who won.

  13. 18

    rhp6033 spews:

    As the Vanity Fair article showed, even those who worked with Romney at Baine Capital and when he was governor of Massachusetts considered him to be distant and aloof. One influential Massachusetts legislater complained that every time he met Romney, it was in a group, Romney was cordoned off from the group and just shook hands and made a speech. This legislater was convinced that Romney never did bother to even learn their names.

    His advisors who tell him to try to act like “one of the boys” aren’t doing him any favors. Romney just isn’t “one of the boys”, especially down South, and it was a mistake for him to try. On top of that he made some basic gaffes: referring to “grits” as “the grit”, appearing on a hunting show and trying to joke that Jeff Foxworthy was going to show him which end of the rifle to point at the target, and – repeating an earlier mistake – appearing on a sports show and trying to answer a question about NFL football and Payton Manning by saying he knows the owners of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.

    Romney should just quit trying to appeal to the “common man”. He’s not one. He’s cold, intelligent, analytical, and rigidly Mormon in his doctrine. He should just keep hitting home with those points, telling the Republican electorate that if they want to have a beer with their neighbor, fine, but they should leave brain surgery and financial planning to the best people possible, and then sell himself as being that person.

    His advisers might argue that he tried that in the early primaries and ended up with only 1/4 to 1/3 of the Republican vote. But he’s not doing any better in the South with his current “good ‘ole boy” attempts, and he comes off as less than genuine in the process.

    Of course, when he gets to the general election he’s going to have trouble anyway. He can’t sell himself as being smarter than President Obama, they both have impressive academic credentials and are over-achievers. At that point it becomes a question of values and priorities, and President Obama will come out on top, because he values the middle-class, and Romney and the Republican Party values policies which benefit only the one-percenters.

  14. 19

    ArtFart spews:

    @13 Don’t know whether you’ve been keeping up or not, but all indications are that you’d better not expect “getting the state out of the liquor business” and putting all those eeeeevil union pikers out of work is going to have you paying less for booze. The way the new rules work out, the hospitality industry will wind up forced to purchase liquor from an oligopoly of two big distributors that are expected to put the big squeeze on them…because, well, they can. And much to Costco’s horror, they’re classed as a liquor retailer, so they can’t play in the commercial-sales sandbox as they’d hoped to. Furthermore, the taxes on alcohol are actually going up…it’s just that the state won’t be raking in the liquor-store profits. Meanwhile, most supermarkets will be tacking on the same mark-up as the state stores did.

    Yet another example of how the “privatization-is-good” claim tends to fall apart in practice.

  15. 20

    ArtFart spews:

    @18 Where is Romney hiring his handlers from, anyway? Any idiot knows that if you want to talk about football in Alabama, you only have to know two words:

    ROLL TIDE!!!!

  16. 22

    Steve spews:

    Here’s an interesting spreadsheet (with links)that has 80 bills currently before the Michigan legislature that continue the GOP assault on workers. Take a look at the last two expanding the role of their Emergency Financial Manager.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AjdCAJN-I6jPdFdVZk1URjBLZmdkem15OVRQUU1kUFE&single=true&gid=0&output=html

    Most likely penned by ALEC. They’d do that here if they could get away with it. I’d like to see McKenna pinned to the wall on his views on ALEC legislation in states like Michigan.

  17. 24

    rhp6033 spews:

    # 20: Well, yes, that and you have to know who Bear Bryant was. I’m betting Romney wouldn’t have known the answer to that question unless he were briefed on that, even though Bryant was still the coach at Alabama throughout Romney’s college career.

    (Side note: My mother graduated from Alabama, my dad graduated from Auburn. One weekend every year it was quite entertaining at our house.)

  18. 25

    rhp6033 spews:

    Newt has finally revealed how he would achieve $2.50 p/gallon gasoline.

    First, he would forbid his wife # 3, Callista, from using any more petroleum products to produce her signature bowl-shapped hairstyle. The reduction in hairspray (to keep it all in place) would simultaniously end global warming.

    Second, he would re-direct his verbal emissions directly into a new pipeline delivering hot air directly to homes throughout the east coast, preventing the need for oil-fired furnaces in the region.

  19. 27

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    cnsnews. Not a credible news source. They just printed what daniels said without any critical thinking

  20. 28

    Michael spews:

    @26
    CNS news? Really?

    The site was founded on June 16, 1998 under the name “Conservative News Service”, using the domain name conservativenews.org.[2] Back then, it had a three-year budget of $5.46 million, funded entirely by private donations, and a staff of four reporters and two editors.[2] It was later officially named the Cybercast News Service, CNSNews.com.
    As of 2007, CNSNews.com described its role as serving an audience which puts a “higher premium on balance than spin.”
    “In response to these shortcomings, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III founded CNSNews.com in an effort to provide an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission. CNSNews.com endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story and debunk popular, albeit incorrect, myths about cultural and policy issues.” [3]
    CNSNews.com’s motto is “The Right News. Right now.”[4]
    CNSNews.com’s editor from 1998-2005 was Scott Hogenson, who took a leave of absence in November, 2003 to serve as the director of radio and online operations for the Republican National Committee in the 2004 election cycl
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....ws_Service

  21. 29

    yd spews:

    He is dead correct on what this debt and deficit will be doing to this country, and that the lack of leadership in not following the committee’s recomendations on what needs to be done on the budget busting federal governemnt should well be noted.

  22. 30

    yd spews:

    Instead of attacking the source, why not read the article and what it is saying about the math outcome of this massive spending spree. It will lead to national ruin and Owebamma’s handprints will be all over it when it does. Take a Look at all the Socialistic governments in Europe and what they are now paying in interest rates because no one will loan them money any more.

  23. 33

    yd spews:

    It is mathematically impossible to pay back the massive debt that is being created, it will swallow this country’s ability to provide any benefits at all!

  24. 34

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    yd, then what are the fiscally responsible things to do, that would hurt the least amount of people?
    Would you be in favor of raising taxes on the people most able to absorb it, as part of the solutions?

  25. 35

    yd spews:

    I would adopt to a tee the Simpson and Bowles Fiscan commission recommendations. That’s what the non partisan commission was put in place to determine, and they did a great job of it without worrying about their jobs, which no arm of this government seems to be able to do.

    Secondly I would review all regulations causing businesses to flee this country, and thin down Obamacare to a choice not an edict.

    The CBO just more than doubled it’s cost over the next ten years.

    As a start!

  26. 37

    yd spews:

    Yes It apparently doesn’t take much to get into the White House, Obama has proven that!

    And as I said I had ZERO problem getting my mother’s Long form birth certificate 1917 from a tiny Canadian town, even thoough she was born at home. It was copied from the original, and it is not 9 layers deep.

  27. 38

    No Time for Fascists spews:

    yd. I see why you like that plan.

    “Simpson-Bowles guts Social Security, massively raise taxes on homeowners, and, totally inexplicably, lower Paris Hilton’s tax rate from 35% to 25%. ”

    It arbitrarily aims to reduce the federal government’s “share” of the economy to 21%, and it gets two-thirds of its deficit savings from spending cuts and only one-third from tax increases.

    As far as jobs leaving the country, that’s due to the fact that Americans selfishly want to be paid a living wage, not serf wages.

    “thin down Obamacare to a choice not an edict.”
    Would you also be in favor of “thin down social security to a choice not an edict.”?