How Rick Santorum Ended Up Getting 8% in Puerto Rico

In my previous post, I wrote that:

In Hawaii, white and Asian Mormons in Laie ended up giving 93% of their vote to Mitt Romney. Put any group under a particular set of (usually adversarial) circumstances, and it will end up giving 90+% support to a certain side in an election. Hawaii’s Republican caucus is a perfect example of this.

Another example of this maxim cropped up a few days ago, when Puerto Rico voted in the 2012 Republican Primary. The territory ended up giving 83% of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney. This is a higher figure than Romney’s percentage in any other state which has so far voted.

Most political observers will connect Puerto Rico’s strong pro-Romney vote to a recent Rick Santorum interview. In this interview Santorum argued that Puerto Rico needed to make English its official language before becoming a state.

Santorum’s statements were treated negatively in the mainland press. However, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that Puerto Ricans themselves were extremely upset about Santorum’s views – or that they even knew about Santorum’s comments in the first place. I’ve searched out four Puerto Rican newspaper articles (here, here, here, and here) about Santorum’s comments. Three are pretty short and perfunctory; one is longer and more negative. Does this mean that the average Puerto Rican was aware of and upset by Santorum’s comments?

And just how important was the primary to the average Puerto Rican? Of course, America’s primaries have less to do with Puerto Ricans than people on the mainland. But just how much less so? To find the answer, we have to look for hints. The Puerto Rican primary results did make the reel of top news stories in Puerto Rican newspapers.

There is also turn-out. In the 2008 Democratic primary, turn-out was above that of Connecticut but below that of Oregon and Oklahoma. This matches the relative population of these respective states. In the 2012 Republican primary, however, the number of Puerto Ricans who voted was less than half the number of Oklahomans. So it seems that the 2012 Republican Primary was far less important to Puerto Rico than the 2012 Democratic Primary.

It’s a difficult question how Puerto Rico would have voted without Santorum’s statements. Puerto Rico is very different from the American mainland; therefore it’s not easy to predict its political behavior.

In general, Puerto Rico seems to go for the more well-known, establishment candidate. And upstart Santorum is a bad cultural fit for Puerto Rico. It’s pretty hard to see Santorum winning Puerto Rico even without his English comments.

Nevertheless, Santorum ended up getting 8% in Puerto Rico. That’s a very, very low number. In 2008, despite his weakness amongst Hispanics, Barack Obama still ended up getting 31.2% of the Puerto Rican vote. It’s not unreasonable to think that Santorum would have done similar if he’d not argued that Puerto Rico make English its official language to gain statehood. At least he probably would have broken into double-digits.

All in all, as stated before, place any group under the right adversarial circumstances, and it will vote very strongly for one side and against another. Rick Santorum, with his English comments, put Puerto Ricans in a very adversarial circumstance. A few days later Puerto Rico gave his opponent ten times the number of votes Santorum won.

--inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

 

The Secret Behind Mitt Romney’s Hawaii Landslide

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

It was late in the night of Tuesday March 13th, 2012. For most people it was just another normal day.

For Americans in three states, however, it was election day. The good folk of Alabama, Hawaii, and Mississippi were voting for the Republican 2012 presidential nominee.

Alabama and Mississippi voted first. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney had a rough time in both primaries, coming third in both. Late at night, the returns from Hawaii started coming in. Romney did better there: he held a small but consistent lead as the precincts started trickling in. By 1:19 a.m. Pacific Time, Romney held 35% of the vote to second place Rick Santorum’s 29%. Things looked good, but not great, for Romney.

Then this came in.

Romney won an astounding 92.5% of the regular ballots in this precinct. His lead jumped to 46%. The Republican ended the night winning Hawaii by a landslide, taking 44.4% of the vote to second place Rick Santorum’s 28.1%

What happened?

The picture above indicates the caucus results in Laie, Hawaii. These were held in Laie Elementary School. You can actually take a look at list of caucus locations at the Hawaii Republican Party’s website; Laie is near the bottom. Laie is located on Hawaii’s main island, Oahu. Specifically, it’s on the island’s north shore.

Laie is one of the most conservative places in Hawaii. In the 2008 presidential election Republican John McCain won three precincts in Hawaii. One of these was Laie.

It was pretty close, however. John McCain took 50.0% of the vote, barely edging the 48.1% of the vote Obama took.

Laie is not the most populated place; 6,138 people live in the CDP that the Census uses for the area. 1,360,301 people live in Hawaii. So it’s about 0.45% of the population.

In the 2012 Hawaii Caucus, however, Laie dramatically overperformed its share of the population. In fact, the word dramatic is somewhat of an understatement. As the picture above indicates, 1,110 people cast regular ballots in Laie. In total, 10,288 Hawaiians participated in the caucuses. So Laie composed 10.9% of the votes cast in the caucus.

Without the votes from this one place alone, Romney would only have won 38.6% of the vote. His margin over Santorum would literally have been cut in half.

So why are the good folk of Laie so passionate about Romney, perhaps one of the least inspiring presidential candidates in recent history?

Well, I think most of you guessed the answer long ago: Laie is home to a Mormon temple. Indeed, the Mormon Church has had a long presence in Laie. The church writes:

Defrauded by Gibson of its property in Lanai, the Church purchased 6,000 acres at Laie, on the island of Oahu, on 26 Jan. 1865. Soon thereafter, a colony, school and sugar factory were started.

Mormons in Laie voted overwhelmingly for a person of their fellow faith. Their support for Romney was almost certainly also a reaction to the hostility Romney has encountered amongst other Christians. This recalls the 80% of the Catholic vote JFK pulled in 1960, when many Protestants opposed him on religious reasons. Since then no politician has ever come close to that level of loyalty amongst Catholics.

Conclusions

The Mormon vote in Laie is reminiscent of the margins that Democrats often pull in inner-cities. It’s pretty stunning.

This result, however, is not actually that unique in the wider context of worldwide voting patterns.  There is a long history of extremely polarized voting based on religious voting. For most of the 19th century in America, you could guess pretty accurately who somebody would vote for by their religion. In Nigeria Muslims in the north and Christians in the south consistently vote different ways. In Israel a similar divide occurs with Muslims and Jews.

In Hawaii, white and Asian Mormons in Laie ended up giving 93% of their vote to Mitt Romney. Put any group under a particular set of (usually adversarial) circumstances, and it end up giving 90+% support to a certain side in an election. Hawaii’s Republican caucus is a perfect example of this.

 

 

Primary Preview: Gingrich and Santorum on Edge

Tuesday’s Alabama and Mississippi primaries are all-important for Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Each are staking their campaigns on how well they perform Tuesday night, and bolstering that whoever loses should drop out.

Gingrich has essentially been banking his campaign on his performance in the South since the Florida primary loss to Mitt Romney. Gingrich at the time knew the northern contests in Michigan and Ohio would not play well to his favor and never put much into those primaries. Now Gingrich has a chance to prove his candidacy, and legitimize his reluctance to drop from the race, by showing he’s a strong favorite through the south and that, for instance, if Rick Santorum were to drop out, Gingrich could sway a large portion of Santorum’s voters his way to defeat Romney.

This is ostensibly the same argument Rick Santorum is making. In light of last week’s primary wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and his near victory in Ohio, the Santorum campaign has publicly pressured Gingrich to drop out, arguing voters will coalesce behind him to defeat Romney.

Both candidates have strong cases for the other to concede defeat. Anti-Romney sentiment runs high in the GOP, seeing his wealth as a bulwark to connect with the average voter – and his gaffe-prone campaign cements that image nearly every day. Romney also does not have strong support in the south. Gingrich is from Georgia and can easily wrap up several southeast states in the general election. If voters are given Romney as the candidate, they may be willing to vote for Obama simply based on the improving conditions of the economy. Santorum, in contrast, polls well with southerners on social issues and can pull the evangelical vote his way throughout the south and the beltway. The evangelical voting-block could be essential for republicans this fall if they stand any chance of winning the White House. A poll today of likely GOP voters shows that a large majority of Alabama and Mississippi voters do not believe the President’s continued stated admission of his Christian beliefs and think he is a Muslim. But let’s be honest, Mississippi and Alabama also rank in the bottom 5 in education with some of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. So, there’s that.

But maybe Romney still has the best argument for both Santorum and Gingrich to drop out. According to weekend polling in Mississippi and Alabama, Romney is virtually in a dead-heat with these other candidates. If he doesn’t win either state outright, he’ll still secure some delegates and inch ever-closer to the magic 1,144 needed for the nomination. And after last week’s big Ohio victory, the Romney campaign began making their case that they should be the nominee. Of course, it’s not about policies or that he really is the better candidate. It’s math! The Romney campaign thinks the others should drop out because they can’t possibly reach 1,144 delegates now, so, just get out! I know nobody wants me to win, but I’ve got a twenty run lead. You should just forfeit now in the bottom of the third. I’ll pay you…

Jason Owen with TJ Walker and AmericanLP

 

 

American LP Daily News Brief March 2, 2012

Republicans are begrudgingly coming to grips with the presidential candidacy of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Tuesday night, Romney won both the Michigan and Arizona primaries and it’s becoming clear that Romney should be able to secure the nomination. These wins though do not bode well for republicans when it comes to the general election. Republicans still seem hesitant to throw overwhelming support behind Romney, or any of the 4 remaining candidates. Romney has regained the lead in nationwide polls, but his support is sitting at an anemic 35%. His chief rival, Rick Santorum, has fallen quickly in the last two weeks, now sitting at 24%. The two have flip-flopped (much like Romney does on just about every policy issue) since the last major polls two weeks ago, where Santorum held 34% of voters’ support and Romney was at 24%. And speaking of flip-flops, Romney once again added another swift policy shift to his growing list, first by coming out and saying he opposed the Blunt Amendment in the Senate, and literally within the hour reverting to the most extreme position saying he was in support of the amendment.

The Blunt Amendment (at the 2:00 mark), a rider attached to a transportation bill in the Senate that would have allowed any employer to refuse health care coverage of any kind based on religious or moral reasons, failed in the Senate this week, a vote accurately reflecting public opinion polling. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 63% of Americans support the new Obama federal regulation requiring health insurance plans to cover the costs of birth control; 8 out of 10 democrats support the Obama requirement; 4 in 10 republicans support the ‘Obamacare’ regulation; and what seems most important in this upcoming election, the independent vote, shows that 6 in 10 registered independents support the Obama policy for insurance companies to pay for contraceptive care for people they cover.

Finally (the 3:05 mark), it came as a shock to learn that Andrew Breitbart, prominent conservative blogger and muckraker, died suddenly Wednesday night of natural causes, according to his spokesperson. Maybe more surprising, was the immediate swarm of conspiracy theories surrounding his death. Breitbart reportedly was to release a video on Thursday, March 1, of President Obama back in college that would have “destroyed” the President and significantly ruined his reputation before this upcoming election. Now, it’s still all hearsay as to how damaging this video might have been (remember Breitbart is the same person to selectively edit the Shirley Sherrod video that caused a phony outcry of racism, and also had his hand in the James O’Keefe fabrication that eventually led ACORN to close its’ doors), but it seems that if there were some strange insidious character trait President Obama has been hiding through over 3 years in office, and this video would expose him as a fraud, or a fake, or something worse, this video seems dubious to expose him as such. And even more preposterous is this idea that Breitbart was ‘taken-out’ because of the knowledge that he supposedly possessed. The autopsy will hopefully shed some light on the true cause of Breitbart’s death, but as evidenced throughout the last few years by the ridiculous spectacle surrounding President Obama’s birth-certificate, republicans may just scoff at any true evidence found in relation to Breitbart’s death.

Stick around to the end of the video for a new campaign ad by republican presidential candidate Ron Paul lampooning his rivals in the GOP race. We don’t like Paul anymore than the other candidates, but it’s always nice to see the republicans grilling one another.

Daily National 2/17 Breifing

        AmericanLP covers all the top headlines in politics on both sides of the aisle in this morning’s news brief. Major headlines yesterday once again pointed to a rebounding economy. New applications for unemployment hit a 4-year low. Also, the DNC released a new ad, which you can view at the 1:15 mark, highlighting the diverging ideologies between the Obama administration’s decision to save the auto industry and Mitt Romney’s 2008 Op-Ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”. The bailout was unequivocally a successful administrative decision for President Obama, and coupling this with the rate for unemployment applications falling, and last week’s news that the overall unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent, we have public opinion of the President quickly on the rise. 44% of Americans, according to a Pew Research Center poll believe economic conditions will be better in 2013 than this year. This coincides with a CNN poll yesterday showing the President’s approval rating is back to 50% for the first time in 8 months. The administration, and the Obama re-election campaign, have really begun hammering home the jobs numbers, focusing not on the unemployment rate so much, as that number is still unfortunately high, but rightly talking about how bad things were when Obama came into office (750,000 jobs hemorrhaging from the economy per month) to how his policies have vastly turned this country around (250,000 jobs added in January; a 1 million point swing) and have created the most manufacturing jobs since the 1990’s.

Switching over, AmericanLP discusses the latest from the GOP presidential campaign. Mitt Romney, on the verge of losing his front runner status in some polls, gave a speech Thursday in which he addressed the concerns of entrepreneurs looking for funding to start their own business. In a swipe at the Solyndra controversy, Romney excoriated the benefits of government funding a start-up business and instead suggested entrepreneurs should apply to venture capitalists, angels, or their parents for funding. A statement such as this is on par with Romney’s “$10,000 bet” and once again reinforces the notion that Romney is so fiscally out-of-touch with the general American public (the average salary for Americans is $26,000/year; Romney makes $57,000/day) that it’s hard to fathom how he’ll win the nomination. Romney was born to the kind of wealth where if he wanted to start his own company, he could go to his parents for the capital to get the project off the ground. However, most Americans cannot. Most Americans struggle to pay their own bills, and many are helping their parents through retirement after the recession. It seems every time Romney opens his mouth, he further ostracizes himself from the general American public. Maybe that’s why he chose to drop out of the CNN Georgia debate scheduled in a couple weeks. Rick Santorum also declined the invitation; his motivations for doing so are less clear. With less money and generally one of the candidates who performs well in these debates, it doesn’t really play to Santorum’s strengths not to participate. But Santorum was not immune to the ‘tax return release’ scrutiny either. Santorum released 4 years of his tax returns and they paint a startling contrast to much of what Santorum has been saying on the campaign trail. Posturing himself as a threat to big government, Santorum has actually made $3.6M in lobbying fees since losing his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate. Try as he might, Santorum seems just as much a “Washington Insider” as Newt Gingrich.

                A new segment on AmericanLP, “News From The 14th Century,” highlights the ridiculous spectacle yesterday from Congress where Darrell Issa barred a woman from testifying on a birth control hearing in response to the contraception controversy. Republicans, for all their talk of individual freedom, want to deny women access to birth control, even though 98% of Catholic women say they have used some form of contraceptive in their life. Issa, instead of allowing one woman to testify, decided to fill the panel with men and priests. Clearly, they’ll have a deeper understanding of contraception than any woman might…

These are just a few of the highlights from this morning’s briefing. Watch the whole video for more news in politics from around the country. ~ Jason Owen with TJ Walker

 

 

Diaries

Advertise Blogads