Sunday, March 11, 2012

Romney Touts Delegate Count To Counter Santorum Kansas Landslide

Sounding much more like the Ron Paul 2012 campaign than the Mitt Romney 2012 campaign,  Romney's organization is pointing to the delegate count on Saturday and claiming momentum in the face of Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's landslide victory in the Kansas Republican Caucuses.
 
With 100% of the precincts reporting, Santorum won Kansas on Saturday by a 51% to 21% margin over GOP rival Mitt Romney.

Not to be overshadowed, the Romney campaign is touting his landslide victories in the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands non-binding caucuses.  The three U.S. island territories have a combined delegate count of 27 delegates of which Romney can add at least 25 to his delegate count.

"The Northern Mariana Islands may be far away from the mainland, but one of the great things about our democracy is that every voice has a chance to be heard in selecting a presidential candidate," Romney said in a press release.  "Now the voters of the Northern Mariana Islands—nearly 8,000 miles from Washington, D.C.—have spoken.  And what they’ve said today is that they want to bring change to their beautiful islands by bringing change to our nation’s capital.  My son Matt told me about his visit to Saipan and the warm reception he received, and I am honored and delighted to have the support of all nine of the CNMI’s delegates." 

Santorum's surge in Kansas should add at least 25 delegates to his column. More importantly for the Santorum campaign though, is that such an overwhelming victory over Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in Kansas could give Santorum the momentum going into the delegate-rich Alabama and Mississippi Republican primaries on Tuesday March 13 where recent polls show a statistical three-way tie between those candidates. 

Santorum's immediate goal is to win overwhelmingly in those southern states in order to either force Newt Gingrich out of the GOP race, or make Gingrich such a non-issue that it truly becomes a one-on-one race with Romney.  Santorum will appear on NBC's 'Meet the Press' this morning and Gingrich will appear on CBS's 'Face the Nation.'

Romney had a strong showing in Wyoming on Saturday - winning seven of the the state's twelve delegates.  Romney took 44% of the vote to Santorum's 28%.  Ron Paul came in third place with 12% of the votes.