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GOP ‘Good Old Boys’ ain’t Whistlin’ Dixie
The day began with polling indicating the three way race for the south was too close to project a clear favorite. Early exit polls gave Santorum a 5 point lead in Alabama. Romney had a comparative lead Mississippi. Exit polls have proven to be fallible as a predictive gauge with respect to final election results. Mississippi claims the highest national rate of ‘White Evangelical’ voters at 81%.
A point worthy of note; the introduction of a third candidate has always proven to be a wild card regarding the final tabulation vis-à-vis election results. I would suggest this foreshadows what is to be expected this November with respect to the General Election and a three way candidate contest.
The initial results from Mississippi with 15% of the precinct reporting results supported the close polling prediction of ‘too close to call’. Rick Santorum began the night with a slight 3 point edge over Romney and Gingrich.
A smaller percentage of precincts had reported in Alabama. With only 5% of the Alabama vote available, Santorum enjoyed an early 4 point edge over Gingrich and Romney.
American Samoa and Hawaiian polls were still open but may have final results prior to the ‘Southern States’ given the early reported ‘too close to call ‘data.
At the halfway mark of reporting precincts, predictably the contest remained a three way battle. With 50% of the Mississippi vote accounted for, Santorum maintained a slim yet diminishing 2 point margin over his rivals Gingrich and Romney. Meanwhile in Alabama, with 20 % of the vote in, Santorum maintained his 4 point lead over Gingrich but advanced to a 6 point lead over Romney.
Ron Paul had garnering 5% of the vote in both states. Ron Paul did not campaign or spend money in this competition. Romney outspent his primary opponents by upwards of 10 to 1.
With only 26% of the vote in, Rick Santorum was declared the projected winner of the GOP Alabama Primary. This is bad news for Newt Gingrich, yet he is within 1 point of Santorum in Mississippi. This may be even worse news for Mitt Romney. If Newt exits, the Conservatives will no longer be split, and all bets are indeed; off.
Finally, at the 96 percentile mark, Rick Santorum was declared the projected winner of the GOP Mississippi Primary. All eyes now shift to the South Pacific Caucuses of Hawaii and American Samoa. That is of course assuming Gingrich doesn’t announce his long awaited yet unanticipated exit from the GOP Primary.
In American Samoa, Maggie Haberman reported through Associated Press, Mitt Romney has secured a victory along with its 9 delegates. “About 70 Republicans in the U.S. territory located 2,300 miles south of Hawaii met at Toa Bar & Grill to discuss the candidates and select delegates for the Republican National Convention in August.”
Mitt Romney hoped to salvage the night by claiming victory in the Hawaii’s Caucus. With a 5 point lead in a close race between Romney and Santorum until the 90 percentile mark, Mitt pulled away, to finish up 20 points ending the night. A point of note, Mitt’ son Matt, Rick’s daughter Elizabeth and Ron’s son Ronnie all made the supreme sacrifice to trek to Hawaii in support toward their Dad’s cause.
The next stop is schedule in Missouri on St. Patty’s Day. This time it counts.