Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'm voting for Rick Santorum in the primary

It's down to four people. Nobody will likely drop between now and the 28th. The four left are Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum.

Perry's out, and I'm not going to vote for a dropped candidate. That's like voting for uncommitted which is out of the question. Uncommitted means I'm passing my delegate vote off to someone unpledged. An unpledged delegated will support whoever he's asked to support. The only time I'd vote for uncommitted is if I don't care.

It's no secret my views towards Mitt Romney. The more I think about Gingrich, the most I just can't do it - for the same reason as Romney. Newt has a better record, but he's flipped so many times as well. I can't forget him and Pelosi together yapping about global warming. I can't forget about his scandals either. I can't trust him.

And trust is the biggest issue when appealing to all groups of voters. Romney and Newt are only electable if Obama beats himself. That's probably true to a degree for all candidates. A poll nine months out does not show anything about electability IN NOVEMBER. What some Romney defenders and Fox News types say is that he needs to move left to get independents. Bullshit. You don't move left - OR right - for independents or moderates. You move competent. Most independent voters and moderate voters care most about competence issues. The social liberal independent voters will sometimes vote for social conservatives - as long as the person is viewed as a competent individual and doesn't run his mouth too much. The mouth is what sometimes hurts social conservatives. The votes do not. Mike Rogers is not a social liberal. He's won Lansing before. City of. He's won Meridian Township, better known as Okemos. Social conservative and economic populist voters don't like panderers either and also care about competent issues. I throw trust in with competence issues.

Romney's record consists of tax/fee raising, gun bans, flip-flops and Romneycare. No deals. Newt's past I can forgive as a person. That's between him and God. However, that doesn't mean I trust him to keep his word to the voters. He's flipped too many times as well. He's out.

That leaves Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. I personally like both of these guys as people. I voted for Ron Paul in 2008. I like Santorum and I'd love to take about 50% of each of these two or split the difference on some of their issues and combine them into a candidate. I'm not nearly the foreign policy hawk Santorum is, nor the dove Ron Paul is. The last one I agree with more than not on policy was Reagan. For all the talk, there hasn't been a lot of difference on that from Bush 1 down to Clinton, Bush II, and Obama. Santorum would be little different there outside of talk.

I prefer Ron Paul on spending, although Santorum has voted for a balanced budget in the 1990's being part of the class of 94. He also supported Bush's budgets which aren't a good thing. I prefer Santorum on life issues. Ron Paul isn't bad there, but Santorum will go that extra step. Both are pro-2nd Amendment, but Paul will vote against good bills because they aren't perfect. I understand being a stickler of procedure at times, but national reciprocity is a big deal. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That is where I split with Ron Paul. Pragmatism. Take what you can get with the circumstances, move in the right direction, and get the touchdown on a 2 yard run instead of the 80 yard pass when it isn't there. I don't forget bad votes on things like national reciprocity. All that does is codify full faith and credit.

The other issue is who can beat Romney and Obama. Ron Paul is an 10-25% guy in most states. He has his core following and is who he is. I think he needs to be taken seriously, especially on economic matters. Small "l" libertarians are, have been, and need to be part of the Republican coalition. A little respect - both ways - would go a long way of not blowing this opportunity to grow the party and the movement. However, he has shown so far that he can't beat Romney based on election results this year.

Santorum's weakness is 2006. He was crushed statewide in Pennsylvania. That was and is my major concern with him. However, he also won that same state twice, once in a non-republican year (in PA). 2000. He also won a democrat district (now Mike Doyle's) in the Pittsburgh Penn Hills area. You can make a case either way with electability with multiple wins and a bad loss in a bad year. The thing Santorum is showing now is that he's working his ass off with little money, and still winning some states. He recently got the hat trick. Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri. He also won Iowa after the fact. Those are four very different states with very different demographics. He gaining, and Romney once again like in 2008 can not close the deal when everything is set up for him.

Next is Arizona and Michigan. Michigan's primary is an open primary despite what some say. You just have to declare a ballot. In 2000 there was about 20% crossover votes from democrats and I expect about the same here. Delegates are won based on the both proportional (statewide) and winner take all by congressional district. I believe the congressional districts for this are the new ones, not the old ones. There's also a second election on Feb 28th in the OLD 51st district. Paul Scott was recalled thanks to the very shady folks known as the MEA-PAC. Joe Graves should make this recall all for nothing outside of a three month vacancy. From what I've heard, he's good people and will do a good job. That election will increase turnout in the 51st district and the 5th Congressional District.

If I'm Santorum, I'd campaign across the entire state. However, I'd pay extra attention in these areas if I'm going to make a run for the delegates.

1. The 1st district. Most of it was neglected and did not vote for Romney in 2008. With independents able to vote, this will be a key area.

2. The 6th District. Another McCain/not Romney district in 2008. There's an opportunity there.

3. Ottawa, Kent, Livingston, Hillsdale, North Oakland, North Macomb, Lapeer, Allegan, and West Oakland Counties. That's the base area. It goes without saying that it will be important primary day. We all know that. I'm being Captain Obvious here.

4. The blue districts. Don't neglect them. Why? Because it's winner take all by congressional district. Even with an estimated 20% crossover vote (based on 2000 numbers) will have less votes and count more for the district delegates. Detroit won't have a lot of votes in the primary, but winning the two Detroit based districts will count more than say the 8th district, even though Livingston County alone will probably have more votes than both of them. Proportional delegates count too, but it's the districts.

The blue districts are as follows.

5th - Open with Dale Kildee retiring. This one is especially important with the increased turnout in the 51st, which includes much of the Republican base in the district. The other key areas are independents and social conservative crossover democrats in Flushing, Davison, Bay County (all of it now), and even Tawas City. There's an opening for a working class guy to appeal to some of these areas that Romney will likely have problems.

9th - Levin. This now is dominant in Macomb County. Romney will clean up Bloomfield Twp as it was his home, but there's some crossover votes and a sizable republican minority in Southern Macomb County. Posthumus won Clinton Township and St Clair Shores. Warren is 60% Dem, but has over 100,000 people. Sterling Heights is competitive.

12th - Now Dingell's district. Santorum will struggle in Ann Arbor for obvious reasons, but Downriver has a sizable Republican minority. Downriver is closer to 40-46% GOP compared to 20-25% in Ann Arbor.

13th - With the switch, John Conyers and a couple of challengers. It's about a 15% Republican district, so it won't take a lot of votes to win. Westland, Garden City, Redford, and Dearborn Heights are exceedingly important here, along with your minority of black republicans. There aren't a lot of them, but they do exist. A lot of them are social conservatives. Santorum is pro-life. The 3-10% here who do sometimes vote Republican can make a big difference in this district.

14th - With the switch, Hansen Clark with Gary Peters and Brenda Lawrence. This is also about a 15% district, but a little different than the 13th. There is a small GOP base here in the Grosse Pointes. Advantage Romney. Advantage Romney in West Bloomfield as well. This is the toughest blue district I think for Santorum to win.

Santorum should do well with pro-lifers. He'll probably split the gun vote with Ron Paul, although that reciprocity vote should damage him. It will be an uphill climb with Romney's top level organization and money. I think it's Romney's to lose, but I don't think he'll take all the congressional districts, and I think it will be much closer than people think.

Santorum didn't raise taxes. Romney raised "fees" as governor. Santorum is pro-2nd Amendment. Romney signed a gun ban. Romney implemented Romneycare. Romney's record on jobs is mixed at best. Romney became supposedly pro-life when he ran for president. Santorum not only votes pro-life, but lives it. He'd also appoint good justices to SCOTUS. Santorum was part of the late 90's growth where Clinton got the credit. Santorum was part of the class of 94 and Contract with America. He was there. Romney was a son of privilege. Santorum was a working class son of immigrants who earned a law degree and worked in private practice.

I don't have a perfect vote in the primary. I don't even have an easy vote. Perry and Pawlenty dropped. Of the four that's left, Santorum's the best we got and the best chance to upset Obama (yes, Obama is the favorite against all of them) this November.

I'll be voting for Rick Santorum on February 28th.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Exactly what extra step can a president legally take regarding abortion? What anti-abortion legislation did Santorum introduce as a legislator?

If you ask me, the Republicans treat the pro-lifers the same way the Democrats treat minorities. They give them a message, string them along, but nothing substantial ever happens.