2012 US Republican Primaries- Santorum wins Louisiana 0 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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29th January 2005

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#1 6 years ago

The Republican primaries were held on March 24th in Louisiana. This was a closed primary, meaning only registered members of the Republican Party could vote in the polls.

Louisiana, being a southern state, was predicted to go for Santorum. Unlike previous contests in southern states though, Gingrich was not able to come in second behind Santorum, and this time ended up in third behind Romney. With out producing much results, Gingrich withdrawing from the contest becomes likely, though he of course still says he won't.

Santorum 91,305 49% 10 Romney 49,749 27% 5 Gingrich 29,655 16% 0 Paul 11,460 6% 0

The number of delegates though were low, so it isn't detrimental to Romney. It does underscore his problems with appealing to the more strongly conservative elements of Republican voters though.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/us/politics/santorum-projected-winner-of-louisiana-primary.html

Santorum Gets a Boost in Winning Louisiana By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and TRIP GABRIEL

Rick Santorum easily won the Louisiana Republican primary Saturday night, capturing a deeply conservative state with a hefty portion of the kind of evangelical Christian voters who have helped him claim victories in 10 other states.

The win gave Mr. Santorum a much-needed psychological boost but it will be unlikely to change the dynamics of the race. Only 20 delegates were up for grabs on Saturday, with 26 more to be allocated later. Even if Mr. Santorum were to claim most of them, he would still have only half the delegates that Mitt Romney, his chief rival, already has.

Mr. Romney’s win last week in Illinois, as well as his subsequent endorsement by Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, dimmed Mr. Santorum’s political prospects, although his victory in Louisiana showed how he could still complicate Mr. Romney’s efforts to capture the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination.

In a fund-raising letter sent out Saturday night, Mr. Santorum said the results in Louisiana had sent “shock waves” through the political world.

“Tonight with our strong victory in Louisiana, our campaign has now won 11 states, tying a record and proving we can win in the West, South and Midwest,” the letter said. “Not since Ronald Reagan in 1976 has a conservative candidate won as many states as we have.”

The reference was significant — to the year President Gerald R. Ford won more delegates to the Republican convention than Mr. Reagan but not enough to secure the nomination. Mr. Ford did win the nomination, and lost the election to Jimmy Carter, but Mr. Reagan came roaring back to win in 1980. Some analysts are already talking about a Santorum candidacy in 2016.

Mr. Santorum was campaigning on Saturday night in Wisconsin, and after he arrived at a tavern in Green Bay, he thanked voters in Louisiana.

“You didn’t believe what the pundits have said, that this race was over,” he said. “You didn’t get the memo.”

Newt Gingrich’s third-place performance in Louisiana was an embarrassing setback for a candidate who had hoped to perform well in Southern states to rescue his flailing candidacy. In fact, the returns suggested that both he and Representative Ron Paul would fail to meet the threshold to acquire any delegates at all. It was not immediately clear how many delegates Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney would collect.

Despite Mr. Santorum’s victory, the states that vote next — most of them in the Northeast — are considered more favorable to Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

In Louisiana Mr. Santorum was able to demonstrate his hold over social conservatives, underscoring yet again Mr. Romney’s weaknesses among those voters. Mr. Romney also had to counter fallout this week from a gaffe by an aide, whose remarks comparing the campaign to an Etch A Sketch toy were seized upon by Mr. Santorum and others as evidence that Mr. Romney had no core values.

Robert Hogan, a political scientist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, said that Mr. Santorum had generated more excitement in the state than Mr. Romney had and that his supporters were mobilized through networks of churches.

“These are issue voters who are committed to Santorum’s candidacy and will vote regardless of what barriers are put in the way,” Dr. Hogan said.

While campaigning in Louisiana this week, Mr. Santorum had to spend time backtracking from a suggestion he made that voting for Mr. Romney would be no different from voting for President Obama. He subsequently issued a clarification, saying, “I would never vote for Barack Obama over any Republican, and to suggest otherwise is preposterous.”

Voters seemed to have little doubt about Mr. Santorum’s conservative stances, especially his opposition to abortion rights.

“I am against abortion; I am against gay marriage,” Patricia Sabido said as she voted for Mr. Santorum in Metairie. She said she agreed with his criticism of the Obama administration’s ruling that religious-affiliated institutions include contraception in their employee health plans. “I don’t think that should be forced down our throat,” she said.

His support among these voters was more or less expected, given his support from similar voters in other states. But it has not put to rest the major question mark hanging over Mr. Santorum’s candidacy — whether he can draw voters from beyond his base of social conservatives.

John Brabender, a strategist for Mr. Santorum, said that Mr. Romney’s showing in Louisiana showed he had “regional problems” and that conservatives had united behind Mr. Santorum.

And even if Mr. Santorum cannot win the number of delegates needed for the nomination, he said, Mr. Romney cannot either.

“If a candidate can’t show that amount of support, we go to another level,” he said, referring to a brokered convention in August.

Mr. Gingrich seems intent on staying in the race, and on Friday said he would not quit even if he made no progress in Louisiana toward his goal of depriving Mr. Romney of delegates.

“I have no incentive to get out of the race,” he said.

Some voters were not impressed. “I love Newt, but I just think it’s time for him to move on,” said Linda Facio, a Santorum voter in Metarie. “The young people out there need someone young who doesn’t feel like they’ve already done this.”

Sarah Wheaton contributed reporting.

Santorum won every parish (county) except for Orleans county where New Orleans is in.

On exit polling, which interests me more to be honest, we get some things that stand out. For instance, this is probably the first primary so far (that I'm aware of, I'll have to check out, but even then it'd be one of the few) where there were more women than males voting. It was overwhelmingly white (95%) as with previous primaries. 49% of the respondents answered they were in the ages of 45-64, and with another 26% reporting they were over 65 years, this would mean that like other primaries most of the voters were older people.

Income wise, most of those surveyed make at least $50,000, totaling at about 74%. Most (>70%) also report that they have someone with a gun in their household, and 49% describe themselves as 'very conservative'. 61% describe themselves as evangelical Christians/born again Christians. Accordingly 66% say they attend religious services weekly.

So yeah, a very religious and conservative voter base, which played to Santorum's strengths. Next primaries will be on April 3rd, with Wisconsin (42 delegates, open), Maryland (37 delegates, closed), and Washington DC (19 delegates, open) holding votes then. All of the states are winner-take-all for delegates.