Nevada: Romney Wins Big

Not quite as big as some thought, as some were predicting a 50%+ win, but, very close. With 71% reporting as of 7am, we’re looking at

  • Romney – 47.6%
  • Gingrich – 22.7%
  • Santorum – 11.1%
  • Paul – 18.6%

And

(Politico) Network entrance polling showed Romney accomplished a powerful near sweep of most voter groups, winning 57 percent of white voters, 57 percent of women and 53 percent of men. Romney was the strong favorite in every age bracket except voters under 30, among whom Ron Paul drew 41 percent to Romney’s 39 percent, according to CNN.

Team Mitt emailed out some bulletin points on the win, highlighting that it wasn’t just about getting the Mormon vote. One of those points is

Mitt Romney won a majority of “very conservative” voters (51%). He defeated Newt Gingrich (40-31%) among strong Tea Party voters. He won 48% of the vote among evangelicals (48 — 27%) over Newt Gingrich.

Is Mitt a conservative? No. He’s a typical Republican who holds some conservative values. This win did not make Gingrich happy, and brought out Sore Loser Syndrome

Newt Gingrich, speaking to reporters at a Las Vegas press conference as tonight’s results came in, vowed to continue his campaign into the summer and blasted Romney as a “pro-gun control, pro-abortion, … George Soros-approved” candidate.

Someone needs to remind Newt, as well as Paul, Santorum, and Romney, that the ultimate goal is to put a Republican in the White House, displacing The Guy Who Makes People Think Better Of Jimmy Carter.

Finally, Maggie Haberman has 5 takeaways

1) Mitt Romney has medium ‘mo’ – It’ll become “big mo” if Romney strings together three wins in a row. But for now, in a Mormon-heavy state where he’d been organizing for almost five years, it’s just medium-level momentum.

2) Romney is banking on pessimism – There’s a very fine line for a candidate between speaking candidly and sounding like they’re rooting for the nation to hit harder times. (hey, that’s what the Democrats did from 2002 on. Hope and Change was based on telling Americans how bad things sucked)

3) Gingrich keeps going – And yet he hasn’t settled on a message. The lead-up to the former House Speaker taking the stage Saturday night was studded by news reports about a fresh, “positive” message that Gingrich will be adopting. It would be at least the third or fourth time that Gingrich has gone positive since he saw his lead evaporate in Iowa. (and that didn’t last long)

4) Ron Paul’s operation fell short – The only candidate with an actual operation in Nevada, aside from Romney, was Ron Paul. But Paul, with 43 percent of the vote in, was in third place, at 18 percent of the vote. (aww, bummer /sarc off)

5) Conservatives need to seize the moment or live with Romney – Romney’s campaign highlighted to reporters his numbers with conservatives, but he won a plurality victory with “very conservative” voters, and the same was true with tea party voters. All of this was in a state where his Mormon faith bolstered him – in other states, conservatives and tea party voters have yet to coalesce strongly around a single candidate. (the fact is, there is no real conservative in the race. Santorum comes closest, but he tends to be more of a social conservative than a fiscal conservative. Newt holds some conservative positions, but also many progressive positions. Ron Paul, well, he’s just Ron Paul)

And now we’re on to the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses, along with the Missouri primary, which doesn’t actually count, on the 7th, followed by Maine on the 11th. Then a big break till the 28th, when we head to Arizona and Michigan.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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