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  Politics and Elections
   Mitt Romney - 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 turnout matches 2008, not 2004
For much of September and October, talking heads on the right repeatedly pointed to the partisan breakdown of the polls and touted the predicted outcome of the election based on "unskewing" those polls.  Even I dabbled a bit in that line of thinking by posting my version of unskewed polls using three different turnout models - 2004, 2008, and an average of the two.  All along, I will say, I did offer in my discussion of possible poll skewing that if the turnout reflected 2008 instead of something less Democratic, the polls would be correct.

I never dreamed, given the economic mess, the trillion dollar deficits, the assault of traditional American values, the government takeover of healthcare, the blatant mismanagement and lying cover up of events in Benghazi that led to four American deaths including our ambassador, and a parade of other reasons to seek a change in the Oval Office, that a turnout even remotely resembling 2008 would be possible.  But, much to my chagrin and the detriment, I believe, of America's future, the turnout was almost exactly like 2008 in terms of partisan participation.

Four years ago, Democrats made up 39% of the electorate and held a seven-point advantage over Republicans who numbered 32%.  Last Tuesday, the Democrats' share of the vote accounted for just one point less than in 2008 and Republicans failed to improve at all on their 2008 number.  Frankly, those results shock me.  Republicans who couldn't bear to vote for Mitt Romney the Moderate or Mitt Romney the Mormon are now faced with having to bear four more years of Barack Obama, the Uber-liberal.

Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election  President Obama  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 3:15pm 11/09/12::
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Paul Ryan, conservative for Vice President
A nominee's running mate pick means very little in the over all process of a presidential campaign.  Sure, it may dominate the headlines for a day or two, and it may be discussed non-stop for three or four on the talk shows.  But after the buzz dies down, the race for the White House always centers around the first name on the ticket, not the second.  This year will be little different - except for one thing.

By picking Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney may have accomplished something no amount of political advertising or stump speech rhetoric could.  His pick sends a tangible message, loud and clear, to his base.  Romney cannot win the presidency without, not just the vote of the conservative base, but their effort as well.  That's been his potential deal-breaker.  Could he convince conservatives that he's their guy?  Could he excite them enough to get them manning the phones, walking the neighborhoods and talking up his candidacy?

That will continue to be a concern for the man who was once pro-abortion and, like his opponent, has a health care plan named after him.  But in naming Ryan to be his running mate, Romney has advanced his conservative credentials as much as he possibly could have and, maybe, just maybe, given his conservative base something to work for.

Filed under: Mitt Romney  Paul Ryan  2012 Presidential Election 

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:46pm 08/11/12::
Saturday, February 25, 2012
GOP presidential nomination: Santorum's momentum stalls in Michigan, Arizona
Mitt Romney has seen his frontrunner status severely challenged by Rick Santorum recently.  Polls for upcoming primary battles last week showed Santorum gaining ground on him in Arizona and passing him in Michigan. The latter is considered to be pivotal for Romney since it is his home state.

Over the last several days, Santorum's momentum appears to have stalled, and Romney looks to be on the rise again. In Arizona, where Santorum cut a 30-point lead to just 5 on Feb 20, Romney has moved out to a double-digit lead in the latest three polls.

Arizona Republican Primary Polls
Poll Dates Romney Santorum Spread
Average 38.8 29.6 Romney +9.2
Rasmussen 2/23-2/23 42 29 Romney +13
NBC/Marist 2/19-2/20 43 27 Romney +16
WeAskAmerica 2/19-2/20 37 27 Romney +10
CNN/Time 2/17-2/20 36 32 Romney +4
PPP (D) 2/17-2/19 36 33 Romney +3
In Michigan, the reversal is even more striking because Santorum's rise there actually put him ahead by 9 points just 10 days ago. Now, Romney has moved back in front by a couple points, and, if the trends continue this weekend and into Monday, he should see that lead extended to several points by primary election day on Tuesday.
Michigan Republican Primary Polls
Poll Dates Romney Santorum Spread
Average 35.2 33.6 Romney +1.6
Rasmussen 2/23-2/23 40 34 Romney +6
Rosetta Stone 2/13-2/23 36 33 Romney +3
DFP/WXYZ 2/18-2/21 34 37 Romney +3
NBC/Marist 2/19-2/20 37 35 Romney +2
WeAskAmerica 2/19-2/19 29 29 Tie
Polling data thanks to RealClearPolitics.com

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  Arizona 2012  AZ President 2012  Michigan 2012  MI President 2012  Mitt Romney  Rick Santorum 

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:08pm 02/25/12::
Monday, February 20, 2012
Pivotal Michigan GOP primary may mix things up
The Michigan Republican primary on tap a week from tomorrow should be an exciting contest that could tell us a lot about the nature of the race for the GOP nomination.  Rick Santorum, after giving way to Newt Gingrich's short-lived run, has once again assumed the mantle of the anti-Romney candidate and has enjoyed a substantial rise in the polls as a result.  A Gallup tracking poll put the former senator 8 points ahead of presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney nationally.  And in Michigan, Santorum is leading all five most recent polls by an average of 6 points, according to RealClearPolitics.

What's makes next Tuesday's race even more intriguing is that Michigan is Mitt Romney's home state.  If Santorum can defeat him there, that would bode well for a very competitive atmosphere for the rest of the primaries.  Election Projection still stands behind the prediction that Romney will be the nominee, but a Santorum victory in the Great Lakes State on February 28 would make me question whether that prediction was premature.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  Rick Santorum  Mitt Romney  Michigan 2012  MI President 2012 

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:41am 02/20/12::
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Trial run by the numbers: Obama vs. Santorum
Today's Electoral College Projection show President Obama winning the popular vote against Mitt Romney by 2.6% and 332 electoral votes to just 206 for Romney.  Due to the fact that I continue to believe Romney will be GOP nominee, those are my official numbers.  However, after Rick Santorum's sweep Tuesday, I thought it would be interesting to the run the numbers with him as the nominee.

Somewhat surprisingly, Santorum captures the same number of electoral votes as Romney, 206.  His popular vote count doesn't fair so well.  The president bests him by just over 4 points.  What does this say?  At the moment, Romney is a stronger challenge to Obama - but not by as much as you might think.  And the way poll numbers can move up and down with the greatest of ease, who knows if Santorum might have what it takes to beat Obama in November.

The bottom line remains as it was always going to be in this election.  If the GOP nominates a credible candidate, this election will be a referendum on Obama's administration, and that will be driven by the state of the economy.  Lately we're starting to learn two things in that regard.  First, the economy is starting to look like it will be moving forward between now and November - a good sign for Obama.  And second, Rick Santorum is starting to look like a credible choice for the nomination - a good sign for Santorum.

Filed under:  2012 Presidential Election  Rick Santorum  Mitt Romney  President Obama 

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:34pm 02/09/12::
Monday, January 30, 2012
Florida Republican primary predictions and results - updated
During the nine days between the Republican primary in South Carolina and tomorrow's Florida Republican primary, we've seen the striking rise and fall of Newt Gingrich.  With Newt's fall, Mitt Romney's nomination has become once again the most likely outcome of this primary season.  I believe the Sunshine State's result tomorrow will be a coronation of sorts for Romney, and my predictions bear that out.
  • Mitt Romney - 45%
  • Newt Gingrich - 33%
  • Rick Santorum - 13%
  • Ron Paul - 9%
The long-sought momentum Romney will finally enjoy after winning Florida will be insurmountable.  Gingrich will continue the fight - as will Ron Paul and possibly Rick Santorum as well - but the outcome will be sure.  It will be Romney to face President Obama in November.

As usual, I'll post an update with a link to the results when it becomes available.

Update:  You can watch the returns come in tonight at the Florida Election Watch website.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  FL Primary 2012  Florida 2012  FL President 2012  Newt Gingrich  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:15pm 01/30/12::
Friday, January 20, 2012
South Carolina Republican primary predictions and results - updated
The dirty laundry is out there.  Fifteen years ago, Newt Gingrich's second wife claims he asked her for an open marriage while he was cheating on her with his current wife.  He denies the charge.  And nearly thirty years ago, Mitt Romney traveled 1200 miles with his dog in a carrier strapped to the top of his family car.  He admits to the deed.  All the while, Republicans are trying to decide who to put up against President Obama in this year's presidential elections.  It would be comical were it not such a serious decision with so much at stake.

The next step in that process will be tomorrow's South Carolina Republican primary.  In recent days, Gingrich has eradicated a substantial deficit in the polls coming out of the Palmetto State and vaulted into a clear lead.  The momentum from endorsements by Rick Perry and Sarah Palin and strong debate performances have made him the new favorite to win tomorrow.  Whether or not that translates into frontrunner status in other states remains to be seen, but national polls are tightening.

So with no further ado, here are my predictions for the South Carolina Republican primary.

  • Newt Gingrich - 41%
  • Mitt Romney - 33%
  • Ron Paul - 18%
  • Rick Santorum - 8%
Gingrich's re-ascension has been quite remarkable.  After two fourth place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, he now sits atop the heap in South Carolina and has become (again) the clear anti-Romney alternative.  Four years ago, John McCain's candidacy was declared dead on arrival early on.  We all know how that turned out.  Interestingly, the man whose fortunes suffered most from McCain's surprise resurgence was Mitt Romney.  Could history be repeating itself?

I'll post an update with a link to the results when it becomes available.

Update:  You can track the results tonight as they come in at this handy website.  Polls close at 7pm Eastern.  And here is a primer to help you interpret early returns: Five counties to watch in South Carolina.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  SC Primary 2012  South Carolina 2012  SC President 2012  Newt Gingrich  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 6:05pm 01/20/12::
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Romney needs to address pro-life forum absence
Today I received a newsletter from a conservative outfit I track.  One of the headlines caught my attention.  It read "How conservative are GOP contenders?"  As a conservative myself, that's certainly an interesting question to me.  When I checked the story, what it reported surprised and alarmed me.  Anyone following the GOP nomination process closely is aware of Mitt Romney's less-than-iron-clad conservative credentials.  RomneyCare and his flip-flopping on abortion are two main reasons why.  Given the misgivings of his presumed base of support regarding the latter issue, one would think Romney would be very pro-active in assuaging any doubts about his pro-life positions.

This week's pro-life forum in South Carolina would seem the perfect venue to convince his pro-life doubters they need not worry about how he would govern with respect to abortion.  However, he will not be in attendance tonight.  In fact, Jennifer Mason, a representative of Personhood USA, the forum's sponsor, reports that Romney did not even bother responding to the invitation to participate.

"We did invite all of the candidates, and we do have former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congressman Ron Paul, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Texas Governor Rick Perry," reports Personhood USA's Jennifer Mason.  "But Mitt Romney actually is not going to be coming."

She says the Romney camp simply did not respond to the invitation, even though the forum would have provided for him an opportunity to straighten out questions about his stance on life issues.

Romney's brush-off does nothing to "straighten out" those questions - at least not in the pro-life direction.  Instead, it will serve to solidify Romney's reputation as a risky choice for social conservatives in South Carolina and nationwide.  I don't think it would be wise for him to remain silent on his absence tonight.   He needs to offer a public explanation that passes muster or the reverberations could move Saturday's Palmetto State primary results away from him and jeopardize the easy path to the nomination on which he's currently travelling.

Filed under:  SC Primary 2012  South Carolina 2012  SC President 2012  2012 GOP Primaries  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 3:00pm 01/18/12::
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It's Romney against Obama
I know we're still six days away from just the third GOP nomination contest, but, as to the eventual nominee, signs are all pointing in one particular direction.  Toward Mitt Romney.  If you've followed Election Projection long, you have probably gathered that Mitt Romney is not my favorite prospective GOP nominee.  In fact, I've tried my objective best to imagine someone else overtaking him and his longtime frontrunner status.

When Rick Perry joined the fray, I boldly declared him the next nominee - and the next president. (Ok, how was I to know he'd forget his own policies?).  When Rick Santorum utilized Mike Huckabee's GOP base in Iowa to gain a virtual tie with Romney in the Hawkeye Caucuses, I pegged the nomination contest as a two-man race.  In between, I rode the short-lived waves of Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.  And most recently, I even floated the possibility of a Perry comeback in the days before New Hampshire.

Now, with South Carolina's primary less than a week away, I've become convinced of a less-than-optimal inevitability.  It is with some regret that I hereby relinquish hope of an "anti-Romney" candidate prevailing to face President Obama in November.  Mitt Romney is dominating the fundraising battle and the endorsement tally.  Beyond that, he also continues to lead the polls both in South Carolina and nationally.

Trying to draw up a scenario that doesn't end with a Romney nomination has become unreasonably improbable.  So sure am I that he will emerge the nominee that I will soon be dispensing with my preliminary presidential projections and initiating actual, formula-driven projections using Obama vs. Romney poll numbers.  Let the games begin - and may Romney win.

Filed under:  2012 GOP Primaries  2012 Elections  2012 Presidential Election  Mitt Romney 

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:53pm 01/15/12::

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