Your morning jolt: Polls miss evangelical surge in Mississippi, Alabama

On Tuesday night, Rick Santorum dashed the GOP presidential aspirations of Newt Gingrich and complicated Mitt Romney’s slog toward the Tampa convention.

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gives a thumbs up during his election night partyon Tuesday in Lafayette, La. AP/Eric Gay

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gives a thumbs up during his election night partyon Tuesday in Lafayette, La. AP/Eric Gay

More than that, Santorum thwarted pollsters who had suggested a happy night for both the former U.S. House speaker and former Massachusetts governor. The culprit was a serious undercount of evangelical clout.

From Stefan Hankin and Campaign & Elections:

Two firms released polling in the days leading up to the primaries and both were badly off the mark. American Research Group (ARG) had Mitt Romney up in Mississippi at 34 percent, followed by Newt Gingrich at 32 percent and Rick Santorum at 22 percent. Public Policy Polling (PPP) had Gingrich in the lead at 33 percent, followed by Romney at 31 percent and Santorum in third at 27 percent.

…Looking at the PPP crosstabs (kudos to them for being one of the few firms that release those; ARG only releases a few of their data points), they had evangelical voters making up 70 percent of the electorate. In fact, their numbers were at 80 percent, according to the CNN exit polls. That 10-point difference was substantial.

***
Alabama and Mississippi saw the Santorum surge that was supposed to happen in Georgia, but didn’t. For Mitt Romney, two third-place finishes in the South’s most conservative states were the embarrassment, despite a 4-to-1 assist from his affiliated super PAC. Gingrich was forced to bask in Santorum’s victory.

“The fact is, in both states, the conservative candidates got nearly 70 percent of the vote. If you’re the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner,” he told his supporters in Birmingham.

Much of this morning will be given to speculation over whether Newt Gingrich will withdraw from the presidential contest (unlikely) or will be pushed. Ralph Reed, in the Wall Street Journal:

“As long as there is money in the bank account and gas in the bus, I expect Newt to keep going,” he said. “It’s clearly a problem for Santorum, but it’s a gift for Mitt because it prevents the kind of mano-a-mano contest between Romney and the non-Romney candidate.”

The biggest question for Mr. Gingrich, though, may be how long his campaign can afford to carry on. It spends most of what it takes in and still carries debt from earlier in the nomination fight, according to a person familiar with the matter. The operation reported carrying more than $1.7 million in debt at the end of January, according to the most recent available records.

The Washington Examiner tucked this paragraph at the tail end of a piece on Gingrich’s fortunes:

[T]he Washington establishment, or more accurately the East Coast establishment, is about to declare Gingrich dead. After Tuesday’s primary, reporters from the Washington Post and New York Times were leaving the Gingrich campaign; it’s not clear how regularly the papers will cover Gingrich from now on. That’s a sign of establishment rejection that Gingrich would relish — he’s scored a lot of political points attacking the media — but the real worry is that the Gingrich campaign might slowly fade from press coverage. And then — far more ominously — those 175,000 donors might begin to lose their enthusiasm, along with their resolve to give again.

***
And yet Alan Abramowitz, the Emory University political scientist, sends this note, warning against declaring Tuesday a huge loss for Mitt Romney:

Rick Santorum may have won the two major contests yesterday in Mississippi and Alabama. But as a result of the Hawaiian and American Samoan caucuses, Romney actually won more delegates yesterday than Santorum. In fact, Mitt is cleaning up on the island vote. If you add together, so far, the delegates from Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands (maybe Santorum will do better in the Southern Mariana Islands) and Hawaii, according to the NY Times, Romney has won 43 delegates to 4 for Santorum, zero for Gingrich, 2 for Paul and 6 uncommitted. And we still have Puerto Rico with 20 delegates to go.

***
Given that political radar in Georgia is currently tuned to National Guard frequencies, this from the Washington Post stands out:

A recruitment campaign to boost the Army National Guard and Reserve at a difficult time in Iraq and Afghanistan is the focus of a wide-ranging Pentagon fraud investigation, including allegations of kickback schemes involving military personnel, internal documents show.

The alleged fraud involves programs that paid $2,000 bounties to soldiers or civilians who signed up as “recruiting assistants” and brought in new enlistees. Investigators have found evidence that recruiters for the Guard and Reserve who were not eligible for the bounties worked with some recruiting assistants to secretly secure and split up the money.

***
In Oklahoma, former Georgia attorney Thurbert Baker has seized upon a fresh cause: Imaginative financing by trial attorneys. From Legal Newsline:

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1780 would make it against the law for a company to make a loan to a plaintiff that would be paid back from settlement funds or a jury award. It would apply to any case pending in an Oklahoma state court or any federal court in the state….

“I think a ban on some of the practices we’re seeing around the country is an appropriate measure to take,” said Thurbert Baker, the former attorney general of Georgia. “It’s very difficult to contain a lot of the problems we’re seeing around the country with lawsuit lending.”

…In lawsuit financing agreements, a plaintiff is given an amount usually between $500 and $5,000 with the promise of paying the company back with funds from a settlement or jury award. If the plaintiff loses, nothing is owed.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s claim that his Democratic colleagues have failed to submit a budget over the last 1,000 days.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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83 comments Add your comment

Tad Jackson

March 14th, 2012
9:00 am

One woman noted in a letter to the Atlanta Daily Herald that members of her party enjoyed this energetic style of lecture since “the description given by the keeper is impressed upon our mind in such a way that we do not soon forget it.”

—The Big Tent: The Traveling Circus in Georgia, by Gregory J. Renoff

http://www.adixiediary.com

Tom

March 14th, 2012
9:18 am

Shouldn’t really be surprised regarding the results in AL/MS. Both are still relatively backwards compared to most of the nation, including most of the South. Look at the polling info regarding the sentiments regarding interracial marriage.

Also, Mississippi is the home of the “Christian” moonbat hate group American Family Association. Santorum and that bunch of yahoos are made for each other.

Jeff

March 14th, 2012
9:26 am

One thing that is missing in the coverage of the “winners” of these Primaries: despite “big” wins by Santorum last night, he only gained *SIX* delegates on Romney, and there is currently a nearly 200 point gap with only 23 States remaining.

Tom

March 14th, 2012
9:28 am

Jim, the embedded vid is a bad idea.

Becky

March 14th, 2012
9:35 am

Enter your comments here

Becky

March 14th, 2012
9:36 am

Another win for the Elite Media!

Real American

March 14th, 2012
9:45 am

Yeah…the “evangelical surge”..yep, that’s what it was! LMAO

td

March 14th, 2012
9:46 am

It appears that the Christian conservatives do count after all. Could be the same reason Obama is dropping like a rock in the polls.

clyde

March 14th, 2012
9:47 am

As I noted elsewhere,the Godliest man ascended to victory.Are we about to descend into The Dark Ages again??

Real American

March 14th, 2012
9:49 am

td, is that what you’re telling yourself now? LMAO

The General

March 14th, 2012
9:49 am

Hey Repubs, want President Obama re-elected to serve another four years? The best way to insure that is to nominate Little Ricky Sanitarium.

The pressing issues in this country are not who hates gays the most or who has the shortest leash on women; the issues are jobs, the economy, and the national debt. You R’s are taking Obama’s bait by allowing the candidates to chase those non-issues down the rabbit-hole just like he hoped you would. I sure hope Romney doesn’t follow Little Ricky down there as well.

Don’t let Obama frame the debate in the campaign to the losing extreme social conservative issues. You are playing right into his hand, and it will be a winning strategy for the Dems if you continue to do so.

Ted

March 14th, 2012
9:53 am

Isakson’s “claim” is a fact.

Sam

March 14th, 2012
9:54 am

It is God’s will.

melshop

March 14th, 2012
9:56 am

These comments show how little most know about the Deep South. I grew up in a small town in Alabama. In my graduating class, 80 percent went to college back in the early 80s. Most, including both black and white, are professionals. I don’t know of any in my graduating class that has been arrested or on welfare. I didn’t see any racial strife in any of my school years, although I know there were some in the older grades as those had more trouble integrating. I clepped out of my freshman year in college because my SAT and ACT scores were off the charts. There was a focus on art and culture growing up as both Birmingham and Montgomery are big supporters of things like music, museums, and cultural festivals. Yes, there are churches everywhere but there isn’t any strife between them. Whenever a disaster strikes, as it did last year, all work together to ease suffering regardless of demographics or beliefs. The folks back home are some of the most hard-working in this country. They also value a dollar and don’t overspend or live on debt. They teach their kids respect for the law and others and if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. They also believe in right and wrong, family, and independence. This is why Santorum’s wins aren’t a surprise. He is the most relatable on those things. If this is backward thinking, I wouldn’t want to be progressive.

Mark

March 14th, 2012
9:58 am

td

March 14th, 2012
9:46 am

It appears that the Christian conservatives do count after all. Could be the same reason Obama is dropping like a rock in the polls.

td’s at it early today. He’s still trying to convince himself. LOL

td

March 14th, 2012
10:17 am

Real American

March 14th, 2012
9:49 am

td, is that what you’re telling yourself now? LMAO

ABO, ABO. I do not care who wins the primary only that Obama does not get another term.

Just Wait

March 14th, 2012
10:19 am

The two lowest rated states in education support the candidate who believes pregnancy via rape is a “gift.” These same states want to make inter-racial marriages illegal. See any correlation?

William Smith

March 14th, 2012
10:21 am

This whole election is getting a sense of irony. People outside the south are voting mostly on the ability of being elected. This is why Romney is the darling of the establishment. The south an the hard line conservatives vote on convictions. The irony is that the south would vote for anyone running against Obama. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Republican party nominated a candidate built on hard line convictions that only won the south and lost the rest of the nation. This reminds me of one named Barry Goldwater.

td

March 14th, 2012
10:23 am

With gas prices so high, unemployment high, debt out of control and your war on women game not working, you libs are starting to realize that there is an ever growing likelihood that the messiah and chief will not get re elected no matter who the Republicans nominate and you are scared to death that it may be a man with high moral integrity.

td

March 14th, 2012
10:27 am

William Smith

March 14th, 2012
10:21 am

Those married white suburban women with children living in the 13 states that are undecided are way more likely to vote on their pocketbook rather then some concocted idea that their BC is going to be taken away from them. They already have their children so BC is not even an issue to them.

double

March 14th, 2012
10:31 am

Td gets up early in the am.Goes outside takes a deep breath of the morning air.Smells the fresh strewn chicken litter,and says what a wonderful republican day.

Real American

March 14th, 2012
10:32 am

Really td…oh noooo, here goes that “liberal” media planting stories again!
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/politics/centrist-women-tell-of-disenchantment-with-gop.html

DannyX

March 14th, 2012
10:33 am

“With gas prices so high, unemployment high, debt out of control and your war on women game not working,”

You keep telling yourself that td. Fact is the economy gets stronger every day. Stocks are in a bull market, the dollar is gaining strength against foreign currencies, employment is up, the Fed outlook is optimistic, profits are up, growth is moderate, retail sales are up. In fact just about every economic indicator shows good improvement.

Why would we want to return to the days of Republican led economic catastrophe?

For the Good of the Party

March 14th, 2012
10:36 am

As a Republican who met Newt when I was a Delegate to the Republican State Convention, in Savannah, some years ago, I respectfully request that Newt Gingrich suspend his campaign and endorse Rick Santorum for the good of the party. Newt…you can’t win and staying in will only help re-elect Obama. You have always been a party man and it is time to step up so we can move ahead. That way you can continue to be a spokesman, help get the country back to work, save the economy, and get gas prices down so ordinary folks can survive. Be a hero or be an egotist who only cares about himself…its your choice! I believe you have the courage to step up to the plate and do what is right for both the country and our party. At least I hope you do.

Real American

March 14th, 2012
10:36 am

Updated: 03/14/2012 08:55 ET
Market Update
Symbol Last Change
DOW 13,201.63 +23.95
NASDAQ 3,047.23 +7.35
S&P 1,397.39 +1.44

Lies! All lies I tell ya! (but if all changes were negative, that would be true)

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
10:45 am

The arrogance of the snooty leftists has it’s own aroma – sort of a cross between the French who rarely bathe and drug addict squalor. If you are to good for the South then don’t let the screen door hit your fat butt on the way out. People in the South were taught something by their parents that you evidently weren’t – manners and respect for others.

PMC

March 14th, 2012
10:46 am

So basically you can sell anything in Mississippi if you can prey on the emotions of evangelicals.

Slap a fish on that used car and move it out!

Bernie

March 14th, 2012
10:48 am

My Dear Friends, the Polls have also, misjudged and miss calculated the extreme Anger and disappointment of the American Woman in the GOP aka “PROBER PARTY.” Many of them are seething and cannot wait to express their feelings come november. Willard, the most probable nominee doubled down yesterday on this assurance of a Goldwater like defeat with a cavalier statement saying
” PLANNED PARENTHOOD, we are going to get rid of that!”

This announcement was an outright affront to the Women in America especially the poorest of them all.
Most Men nor the PROBERS realize the major SIGNIFICANCE of such a statement when the American Woman already feels besiged by the insensitivites of the PROBER PARTY and their ill informed supporters. No matter the vast amounts of wealth and money expended through this electorial process
will buy him nor any other PROBER politician the key to front door of the WHITE HOUSE come november.

Surely Willard was alseep during the whole Karen Handel and RUSH fiasco. I can assure the American Woman was listening and smiling, for she truly knows who holds the real power in this election year. SHE is not as stupid, simple, uninformed as many here pretend her to be.

td

March 14th, 2012
10:49 am

You libs just keep listening to the NY elite media types all the way to election day. I know it is hard to unseat an incumbent from office and this election is still way to early to predict but after the last week I see there is great hope for a big change brewing in the country. When the entire MSM runs with the concocted story about womens rights being stripped by Republicans and refuses to talk about gas prices and Obama still drops 9 points in a NY times poll then the attack plan is not working and it appears there are a lot of people in this country have made up their minds that we have a failed President that needs to go.

Marlboro Man

March 14th, 2012
10:50 am

But Romney likes grits and says “ya’ll”, when he needs to.

findog

March 14th, 2012
10:51 am

td,
If the conservatives counted then Rick would not have been a surprise.
The president is dropping due to the drum beat of higher gas prices, caused by the drumbeat of war with Iran, which allows the speculators to fictitiously drive up the cost of crude.

Higher pump prices will reduce demand, reducing crude futures, reducing the price at the pump, requiring the dinner jacket leader in Iran to rattle his saber, causing the price of crude to be driven up, causing the price at the pumps to rise, reducing demand…

We are pumping more within the US than in quite some time but crude is a commodity and our local extractors are getting a windfall because India and China are still buying all the middle east can pump.

td

March 14th, 2012
10:53 am

Bernie

March 14th, 2012
10:48 am

Just because the MSM gives a spotlight to the radical feminist agenda does not mean women agree with the agenda. Most conservative women I know thinks there should be access to BC but we should not have to pay for others to have it. When the issue is between BC, gas prices and food prices then they will pick the latter every time.

George Hills

March 14th, 2012
10:53 am

> polls miss evangelical surge

A reminder the only poll that counts is the one in the booth on election day.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

March 14th, 2012
10:54 am

The ungodly hasn’t seen anything yet. Throughout the ages the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions have failed to detect and identify the pull or surge of God Almighty.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Amen?

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
10:56 am

just wait – again you come with the misrepresentation of the AJC leftist flunky’s column yesterday. Do you know what “few” means? Even the leftist flunky titled his article “FEW Believe That Interracial Marriage Should Be Illegal”. I am going to help you here. “FEW” means not very many. That means MOST do believe that it should be legal. You need a dictionary for these complicated words like “FEW” because I can’t be here every day to help you. Have a good day.

td

March 14th, 2012
10:59 am

findog

March 14th, 2012
10:51 am

And if Obama had continued the Bush policies of drilling off the coast, on Federal lands did not have a moratorium in the Gulf then we would even have a higher supply and the Iranian saber rattling would not mean as much. What did Newt say last night. There is 24 billion barrels of oil in ND. Gas prices can come down no matter what the rest of the world does if we had a President not in the pockets of the wacko environmentalist.

Becky

March 14th, 2012
11:01 am

td-please stop. you are looking and sounding stupid and I don’t think you are.

findog

March 14th, 2012
11:02 am

td,
BC is not only for sex
It is also used as preventive treatment for woman parts not directly being used for reproduction at the current time

You GOP diehards are just stuck on sex, I believe Freud had some published information on that and your mothers…

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
11:05 am

PETA demands that pet’s have the right to marry human’s and have spousal rights. The next frontier – human/animal legal unions? THE DEBATE IS COMING – VOICE YOUR OPINION HERE.

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
11:08 am

Becky – stupid is as stupid does.

Becky

March 14th, 2012
11:08 am

Oblama-you have proven the horse’s a@@ bit.

zeke

March 14th, 2012
11:09 am

melshop, if citizens are so outstanding, why did a third vote for newt and why did bachus win?

findog

March 14th, 2012
11:11 am

ND tar sands
Just like ethanol, takes a lot of energy to extract

Now if the northern plains would opt for a refinery up there then we could see cheaper fuel. The sands are only economically feasible when the price is high. A giant pipeline for expensive crude will ensure high prices. Building a refinery up where that crude is would create cheaper fuel, but not the method being proposed now…

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will crush the heads of the perverted New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions

March 14th, 2012
11:13 am

Speaking of stupid is as stupid does. The perverted “educated “integrationist African American leaders and their devilish black minions have been whining and complaining on 1380 waok radio etc because watch captain George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Now keep in mind that the integrationist African American leaders and their devilish black minions have submitted, by way of integration, to having other races of people feed, clothe, shelter, employ, and educate black people.

If black people are stupid enough to allow other races of people to meet all of their basic needs, then those races of people who supply those basic needs have “earned” the right to sever their link to life if it is their will.

Amen?

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
11:14 am

Have to go finish my taxes so I can help Oblama “produce” a few more make work jobs that cost $80,000 per job to produce and pay out $30,000 per year and lasts about 6 months. Does paying $80,000 to produce $30,000 make sense to any of you? That’s like selling something for $3 that costs $8 to produce. I call that the new Oblamaconomics.

Tom

March 14th, 2012
11:18 am

Santorum is like an 82-yr-old Japanese man who has run out of Viagra…..

…unerectable.

zeke

March 14th, 2012
11:20 am

rots of ruck, ricky

Real American

March 14th, 2012
11:21 am

“If the federal government were run more like here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off,” Romney said.

Yeah…..the USA should be one big ole Mississippi.

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
11:23 am

Our Lord – Is that a lot like Malcolm X’s philosophy of not being dependent on others (including the government) and taking care of your own? Self responsibility breeds self respect. There are the few that truly need help – and then there are those that think it is owed to them. Oblama is the enabler.

Oblama

March 14th, 2012
11:25 am

Got to go do my taxes now – do my part to keep the country from folding. Back later.