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The Government Shutdown Deal

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On the evening of October 16th, the Senate passed another proposal to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government with an 81 to 18 vote, after the House was unable to move forward with a resolution the day before. Later that night, the House approved the Senate’s proposal with a 285 to 144 vote just hours before we would reach the debt ceiling on October 17th. Thus, the Republicans in the House conceded, ending the sixteen-day long government shutdown with a bill that was signed into law at 12:30am by President Obama. The deal allowed an extension of governmental borrowing power until January 15th and raised the debt ceiling until February 7th of next year.

This decision is a prime example of how legislators intentionally put themselves in dire situations by creating major deadlines. Although they seem highly irrational, these actions actually reflect a lot about strategies used in American politics. Congressmen create deadlines as a way of punishing each other for their inability to compromise. They hope that during these times of despair, the opposing political party will give in to their demands. Yet, this is exactly what has not happened and probably what will never happen. Within just a year, our government has been dangerously close to the edge of the fiscal cliff, squeezed by sequester, and shut down and reopened. But instead of coming together to compromise, legislators keep pushing key issues further and further back. By not reaching an agreement, they punish everyone, forcing the US back into the cycle of stalemate.

The October 17th deadline was very crucial to Congress because the Treasury would run out of ways to meet its obligations without borrowing more money. Soon after, the government runs the risk of defaulting on the national debt because of its inability to delay payments. For this reason, negotiations over the debt ceiling are generally interconnected with budget deals.

Concessions from both parties are usually necessary to get both types of bills debated and passed through the Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate. When the government was first shut down, a Continuing Resolution could not be passed because House refused to even begin debating a bill passed by the Senate unless a majority of the majority would support it. A majority of the majority in the House meant reaching a consensus with some hardline conservatives in the Tea Party, a practically impossible feat. Luckily, on the 16th, the House passed a bill with only a minority of Republican votes and a majority of Democratic ones after Senate majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell were able to construct a deal hours before we hit the debt ceiling.

The shutdown and congressional stalemate caused congressional approval ratings to plummet, especially those of the Republicans, as voter discontent threatens the representatives’ next term. It also cost our government billions of dollars and damaged our credibility. As for the hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers that were sent on an unpaid, forced vacation from their jobs, they were expected to be back to work on Thursday. Many Republican leaders, like Senator Ted Cruz from Texas who led the push for greater Democratic concessions, were disappointed with the deal, while others like House Speaker John Boehner felt that passing the bill was the only viable solution. Republicans had lost the shutdown battle, but at a large cost for everyone.

It is easy to blame Republican partisanship for the government shutdown, but that does not account for the lack of compromise on the administration’s side either. Many people predicted that the Democrats would be more compromising, but Obama refused to be persuaded. For example, Democrats during Ronald Reagan’s term cut military spending and Republicans lessened the scope of Medicaid during Bill Clinton’s term. In this case, Republicans initially demanded that the Democrats defund the Affordable Care Act and change regulation standards on carbon emissions of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the end, the only concession made by the Democrats was an amendment stating that the incomes of people receiving subsidized health insurance must be checked more thoroughly. Therefore, both Republicans and Democrats are partially at fault for the government shutdown.

Fortunately, legislators of the two parties were able to come together on October 16th to avert another major crisis, whose repercussions would be disastrous for our economy and all of the nations that are economically tied to us. In addition to the new budget and debt ceiling, both parties have also set a goal of creating a budget plan for the next ten years by December 13th. Hopefully this will actually get done so, at least for the next ten years, the government will run smoothly.

Filed under Domestic
Oct 20, 2013

Government Shutdown: Causes and Effects

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On October 1st, the United States Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution needed to finance government activities, leading to a government shutdown.  This information has been all over the news media, but often without a clear and concise explanation of what exactly is going on and what it all means.

To clear up the confusion, a little background is necessary.  One of Congress’s constitutional responsibilities is to pass the nation’s budget.  However, in recent years, Congressional stalemate has made complete budget overhauls rare, and Congress has often relied on Continuing Resolutions (CRs) to keep government funded.  CRs are used as a sort of legislative compromise mechanism; they don’t specify specific increases or decreases in funding to each government program, but instead provide across the board funding based on appropriations levels of the year before.

But even though CRs are a compromise designed to be much simpler and therefore easier to pass than a full budget, Congress still failed to pass one.  The underlying reason was, interestingly enough, not a fight over appropriations but a fight over healthcare.  Congressional Republicans, led by Senator Ted Cruz, said they would only pass a CR if it included a dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, popularly referred to as Obamacare.  Democrats refused to accept their terms, and since each party controls one house of Congress, a stalemate was reached.  The morning of October 1st marked the beginning of a new fiscal year, but without a continuing appropriations bill, nonessential government operations were shut down.

The term ‘nonessential’ is key.  A government shutdown does not mean America’s nuclear arsenal is left unattended and airport security disappears.  These government operations are considered essential to the continued safety and security of the United States.  Still, the ‘nonessential’ part of government includes the 800,000 government workers who were sent home on furlough, including the majority of NASA, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Labor, in addition to half the Department of Defense.  Important programs and government services are now without funds, potentially causing trouble for those who depend on them.

Unfortunately, the negative effects of this government shutdown are almost insignificant compared to the potential negative effects if the debt ceiling is not raised later this month.  While the debt ceiling and the government shutdown are often incorrectly thought of as being the same problem, they are actually two different concerns entirely.  The government shutdown occurred because Congress failed to appropriate money to fund programs.  Raising the debt ceiling allows Congress to borrow money to fund programs.  More simply, government shutdown is to spending as debt ceiling is to borrowing.

That explanation still doesn’t demonstrate why not raising the debt ceiling is so catastrophic.  If the debt ceiling is not raised by October 17th, the government will be spending more money than it is taking in without an ability to borrow more, setting the United States on the path to credit default.  An advanced sovereign nation defaulting on its debt is exceedingly rare, and usually precipitates economic turmoil for the country involved.  And given that the United States is not only the largest economy in the world but also that the United States dollar is the main reserve currency of the world, the international consequences of a default would multiply the economic destruction of already severe domestic effects.

Because of the dire stakes, it is extremely unlikely politicians will actually allow the government to default.  That being said, a ‘grand bargain’ where both sides of the aisle can come to a comprehensive, long-term solution on both borrowing and spending is just as unlikely, especially in the hostile political environment the government shutdown has created.  The most likely solution is a series of stopgap fixes to increase the debt ceiling and restart the government.  Ultimately, we shouldn’t expect a panacea to our nation’s woes – Washington is too divided for that – but we shouldn’t expect Armageddon either.

Filed under Domestic, Economy
Oct 6, 2013

Confronting the Realities of our National Debt

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Everyone in Washington seems to be proposing their own solution to solve the nation’s crippling budgetary woes.  The big issue: many of these so called solutions don’t actually solve our debt problems, and their math just doesn’t add up.  Few politicians are willing to address the numbers head on, but it’s important for Americans to realize the exact predicament our nation is in.  So let’s do something that politicians won’t, and examine the underlying numbers behind our nation’s fiscal failures.

Our fiscal year 2013 deficit is projected to come in at 901 billion dollars(1).  But that’s just a one year budget shortfall.  Our total national debt is around 16.4 trillion dollars and rising fast.  Clearly, monumental steps need to be taken in order to stabilize our budgetary failings.  Unfortunately, politicians are only focusing on the small solutions, and this shortsightedness is evident from both major parties.

Republicans have clamored that a smaller government is the right path to a balanced budget.  It’s a good argument on the surface, but dive further into the math and Republican proposals seem far from a panacea.  The reason for this is that Republicans are targeting too small of programs.  Take food stamps, a federal program Republicans have lambasted.  But when Republican backed legislation to curb spending on food stamps surfaced in the House last year, it was only able to trim about $16 billion of the $80 billion food stamp budget.  Simply put, proposed Republican budget cuts don’t have the ability to solve our nation’s fiscal woes.  Bigger reforms are needed.

That all being said, Democratic proposals for tax hikes have been far from a panacea as well.  While tax hikes can certainly ameliorate our budget woes, they are far from actually fixing the problem by themselves. On the surface, tax hikes also seems like a good idea- raise revenue while possibly lowering the income inequality gap. Yet, upon further examination, this plan runs into some problems. First and foremost is the breadth of tax hikes needed. Currently, federal taxes are about 18% of the United States’ GDP. In order to balance the budget, these rates would have to be hiked by about 10% over the next ten years. Not only is this a huge hike which could slow down economic growth all around, this only takes care of the deficit in 2023. By then, the United States will have picked up as much as 26 trillion dollars of debt.

Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can stick to the hard line on this issue. Simply spending cuts or simply tax hikes will make a little dent in the deficit, a smaller dent in the debt, and overall get nothing done. If Congress is serious about cutting our deficit and eventually lowering our debt, a comprehensive approach must be taken. Taxes must be raised, this much is evident. The Bush Tax Cuts have run their course and should expire entirely, perhaps even raising taxes across the board on this issue. Republicans will first have to break free from their Norquist-ian chains, reach across the aisle and admit it has to be done. Yet Democrats also have to give in some too. Programs like Social Security, Medicare and even defense spending have become wildly inefficient and are doomed to bring failure to the budget of the United States. An all-encompassing reform of revenue and spending must occur if Republicans and Democrats alike want to hold on to hope to truly ridding the United States of the shackles of debt.

 

(1) – White House Office of Management and Budget – http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/overview

Feb 5, 2013

Paul Ryan: How Romney’s VP impacts the campaign

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After months of media speculation, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has finally selected his Vice Presidential pick in Paul Ryan.  Ryan, a Congressman from Wisconsin, is considered a rising star of the G.O.P.  As the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan has become an influential economic policymaker within Republican ranks.  His focus has consistently been long-term financial stability through spending cuts, a platform that has gained him Tea Party support.

Examining all of these qualifications, Ryan seems to be a sensible counterpart to Romney.  Ryan’s focus on increasing America’s long-term economic viability melds well with the Romney campaign, which has focused on economic issues.  Additionally, Ryan’s conservative fiscal policy and Tea Party support will help Romney with a Republican base that has been wary of his moderate stances.  Young and passionate, Ryan brings new excitement to the Republican ticket, as so far Romney has struggled to excite voters.

However, being young may also be one of Ryan’s weaknesses.  Only aged 42, Ryan has served for over a decade in the House of Representatives but lacks any executive experience.  Still, considering Obama’s lack of experience in 2008, it is unlikely that the Obama campaign will tailor criticism of Ryan towards his youth.  But that does not mean Ryan will be safe from Democratic criticism.  His budget plans have previously been berated by Democrats, who have considered some elements to be an attack on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.  If Obama’s team can convince voters that Ryan’s influence would endanger these programs, Ryan could become a liability to Romney.

Even though Ryan has his detractors, Romney is betting that Ryan’s positives will outweigh the possible negatives.  And one big positive that comes with Ryan’s selection is a better standing among Wisconsin voters.  Polls in Wisconsin have slightly favored Obama, but native son Ryan should give Romney a boost in the polls there, bringing Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes back into play for Republicans.  Electorally, this makes Ryan a better pick than Sarah Palin was four years ago.  Palin was from the solid Republican state of Alaksa, meaning that McCain was almost guaranteed to win the state even without her help.

That being said, Palin and Ryan were chosen for many similar reasons.  Both relatively young, they were chosen as an exciting and youthful counterpart to relatively staid presidential candidates.  Both relatively conservative, they were chosen as a lock on the party base, allowing their moderate running mates the ability to target independent voters without alienating mainstream party values.

Ryan, however, will be unable to attract women voters like Palin did in 2008.  Many polls have shown Obama trouncing Romney among certain demographics of female voters.  It may be up to the potential First and Second Ladies to help the Republican ticket’s standing with female voters, as Ryan brings nothing new to the table.

While Ryan is not Romney’s perfect choice for VP, it is important to remember that no pick would be perfect.  Ryan has weaknesses, but also has strengths that could help propel Romney to success come November.  The election season has entered a new phase, and Paul Ryan will play a key role in determining its outcome.

 

Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Aug 11, 2012

Bush Tax Cut Extensions: Round Two

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Back in 2010, Republicans and Democrats battled over the extent to which the Bush Tax Cuts needed to be extended.  Democrats were in favor of extending the cuts, but only for income under $250,000.  They argued that Americans making over $250,000 did not need the tax break.  Republicans, on the other hand, felt that it was unfair to raise taxes on anyone in a poor economy, and that doing so would hurt growth.

Democratic hopes quickly faded after they came up short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster in the Senate.  Just weeks before the cuts were due to expire and still without an extension, lawmakers were afraid that nothing would be done and no extension would occur.  Fearing voter anger that would come along with a tax hike, enough bipartisan support emerged for the Republican plan, allowing it to be passed and eventually signed by President Obama.

The current problem?  The extension agreed to in 2010 was only for two years, meaning the tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2012.  Obama has recently voiced support for the original Democratic plan, saying that the extension should continue only for incomes under $250,000.  G.O.P presidential candidate Romney, on the other hand, wants to extend the cuts for all income levels.

It sounds like the same battle as before, but one key component of the debate has changed: timing.  Since the cuts will not expire until after the election, Obama has the advantage of making tax policy an issue leading up to the election while not having to make any controversial decisions until afterwards.  And even if Romney wins, Obama will still hold office until January 20th, which is 20 days after the cuts expire.  Win or lose, Obama will have the last say on the cuts.

Politically, this puts Obama in a better situation than before.  Back in 2010 and after the Republicans effectively killed the Democratic plan, Obama had two options.  The first was backing the Republican plan and allowing an extension he only partially agreed with.  The second was creating a stalemate that could potentially result in an across-the-board tax increase.  Obama avoided the latter because it was politically dangerous.  After the election, whether he wins or loses, Obama will not have to worry as much about voter retaliation and will likely not give in to the opposition as easily.

Still, Obama failed to pass the Democratic plan in 2010 when Democrats controlled both houses.  This time around, Republicans control the House of Representatives.  Since the Constitution mandates that “all bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives”, Republicans will have significant control over any bill that is proposed.

Obama will be in a more powerful position to deal with this controversial issue after the election.   However, the Republicans will have a more profound say on any proposed tax bill than they did in 2010, when they controlled neither house and had to use filibuster power to prevent Obama’s proposal from passing.  Both sides are stronger, meaning the nation should be ready for a more hard-fought and deeper discussion over the extensions when compared to 2010.  American voters shouldn’t expect this issue to disappear anytime soon, as a long political battle seems sure to come.

 

Jul 10, 2012

Opinion: Electorally, Rubio Won’t Help Romney

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Marco Rubio has received a great deal of buzz both as a rising star of the G.O.P and as a possible VP pick.  Since Rubio is a Senator from Florida, many have prognosticated that his placement on Romney’s ticket would flip the crucial swing state red.

Reasonable logic? Yes.  A sound argument for why Rubio would make a good VP pick? Not at all.

The statistics behind my claim may sound confusing, but it all goes back to looking at the electoral map.  RantAWeek examined the electoral college back in April, and our basic conclusion was that Romney’s most likely shot at winning the presidential election involved him winning in both Florida and Ohio, two of the largest and most hotly contested swing states.  If Obama manages a victory in either, he will probably hit the threshold of 270 electoral votes and win re-election.

Romney needs both Florida and Ohio, but Rubio only helps with Florida.  Right now, it looks like Florida would be a slightly easier win for the Romney campaign than Ohio.  Instead of shooting for a win in Florida, Romney needs to aim for what would likely be a more difficult win in Ohio.  After all, just winning the easier battle in Florida does not give Romney the presidency.

Electorally, Ohio has a much greater chance than Florida to be the ultimate deciding state in the presidential election this year.  Sure, Rubio might win electoral votes for Romney in Florida, but those electoral votes would probably be meaningless if not matched with the more difficult win in Ohio.

Rubio has other reasons why he’s popular, but he should not be chosen as VP based solely off the reason that he is from a swing state.  If Romney is aiming for an electoral shake-up with his VP pick, he would be better off picking Senator Rob Portman from Ohio.

That being said, there are other qualities Romney will be looking for in his selection.  Rubio is still a contender, although Portman seems a better pick based off electoral predictions.  Still, assuming that one state is the key to an election is putting all of your electoral eggs in one basket.  Let’s widen our analysis; I am done with the “But Rubio’s from Florida!” argument.

Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Jun 22, 2012

Rick Santorum: Looking Ahead

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Rick Santorum, in light of the focus on Obama’s healthcare reform this week, has stepped up his criticisms of Mitt Romney.  On one level, this makes a great deal of sense.  After all, Romney’s healthcare reform in Massachusetts laid the foundation for Obama’s national-level reforms.  Since most Republicans were and are against Obama’s reforms, Romney has already been facing harsh criticism by many within his own party.

However, by increasing the severity of his criticisms against Romney, Santorum has been putting himself in a difficult position.  Looking ahead, the possibility of him winning the nomination has transformed from a long-shot hope into a nearly unfathomable proposition.  Santorum’s campaign needs to think about the risk versus the reward of their actions.  Criticizing Romney may win Santorum a few convinced voters, but it would be smarter for him to start making amends with the Romney campaign.

The reason for all of this is that even though Santorum seems to be an unfeasible presidential hopeful, he would actually make a feasible vice-presidential candidate.  Romney’s moderate positions, which can win over independent voters for the general election, would be well matched with Rick Santorum on the ticket in order to gain votes from conservatives who might otherwise not be motivated to vote for a candidate who they feel does not support their values.  As Mr. Santorum criticizes Romney, he opens up ideological differences between Romney and himself that start to make voters question the authenticity of a Romney-Santorum ticket.  It makes much more sense for him to focus his criticisms on President Obama, in effect smoothing the transition between the primaries and the general election.

This vice-presidential gossip does not mean that I think Rick Santorum will fill Romney’s VP slot.  (Indeed, I think there are several better VP choices.)  Still, Rick Santorum could be a valuable tool for Mr. Romney in the general election no matter how he is used.  And if Mr. Santorum wants to have any hope of a position in a possible Romney administration, he would be wise to start playing nice.

At the end of the day, this is all political talk, and if Mr. Santorum has proven anything this election season, it is that he is running as much of an ideological campaign as he is a political one.  And yet, he would do well to stop looking ahead to the near-impossibility of  his nomination, and instead keep his possibilities open.

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Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Mar 29, 2012

Illustrious Illinois

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As previously reported, Mitt Romney took another state under his belt this Tuesday, winning 43 of the 63 Illinois delegates. However, the actual impact of this victory is questioned. So let us once again go through, candidate by candidate, the Illinois results.

First up, Ron Paul. Ron Paul’s position in the race has not changed much in Illinois. The only change is that he beat Newt Gingrich, and while this may seem like it would make Gingrich mad enough to finally quit, he has vowed to remain in the race. Paul at this point in time is basically still just a bystander in the race. He may detract from Santorum winning, but he will likely not drop out, so we ought to get used to him in the race.

Next, Gingrich. As previously stated, he has vowed to stay in. He has vowed to do so on the grounds that he wants to prevent Romney from winning the campaign. Perhaps he read our article and realized that he actually can hurt Romney. Regardless, we ought to get used to him as well, and see if he ultimately does help Santorum.

Now onto the big two. Romney now has 563 delegates, which is currently a majority but only about half of the 1144 number needed. With needing to win 581 of the remaining 1273 delegates, he still has a long way to go. However, winning Illinois proves that Romney can win states that should easily be his, which is showing his campaign is strong again after almost slipping up in Michigan. Moreover, and most importantly, a weak showing in Illinois proves Santorum’s weakness. Illinois was his shot to prove that he is still capable of being the upset. But with not winning, his viability as an underdog candidate winning in other states is immensely weakened. If he won in Illinois, Santorum would have shown an unexpected strength in a state where his primary support demographic is not dominant. Illinois is by no means known for it’s evangelical or ultra conservative voters, but rather is fairly liberal and moderate. However, with the remaining states also lacking Santorum’s favorite demographic, Santorum will face an immense uphill battle. While Romney only needs 581 of the delegates, Santorum needs 881 to clinch the nomination. The main states that Santorum can look for a strong evangelical turnout that remain are Texas and Louisiana. However there are many remaining liberal or moderate states that have yet to elect delegates which will largely outweigh these states, including Pennsylvania and California. So while Romney may only have a slight lead right now, unless he does horribly in the remaining states, his nomination seems likely. In order to show a glimmer of a chance, Santorum must win a state that is more diverse than just his demographic.

So while not much of the race has changed, through lacking a strong turnout in Illinois, Santorum shows his weakness, and one that will be hard to overcome in the remaining states. Illinois will unlikely go towards the Republican candidate, whoever it may be, and Romney winning does not change much. The stakes of Illinois were much higher for Santorum, yet he did not do well enough to prove anything. Santorum will continue to face an increasingly hard uphill battle, but if he can prove soon that it is not only conservatives that like him, only then will he show true viability.

Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Mar 23, 2012

Romney Vs. Santorum

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Tuesday night probably felt like a minor miracle for Rick Santorum.  Polls in both Alabama and Mississippi forecast a third place finish for Mr. Santorum.  The race seemed to be more of a Romney-Gingrich tossup than anything else.

However, through a strong display of voter support, Santorum prevailed in both states, adding two more victories to his steadily growing list.  Since these were both ‘upset’ victories, Santorum may expect to see positive momentum in new polls due to voters being less concerned about his campaign’s viability.  After all, an unexpected double win in states where both Romney and Gingrich seemed to be dominant proves that, at least for right now, Santorum is the man to beat.

Well… perhaps that is not quite true.  While Santorum’s victories in the South helped him to get some good press and strengthened his campaign’s appearance, last night was far from a victory.  Delegates are the ultimate determinant for who wins the nomination, and believe it or not, Romney garnered more delegates in the contests Tuesday night than Santorum.  While Santorum was celebrating his wins in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney picked up two wins for himself from the caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa.  At the end of the night, Romney had won the plurality of delegates.

And yet Tuesday was not truly a win for Mr. Romney either.  Winning pluralities of delegates does not help him prove himself as a majority candidate.  This status is crucial because Romney must maintain the possession of a majority of delegates in order to prevent a brokered convention.  Right now, when adding up all of the delegates awarded from all of the states so far, Romney does have this majority.  However, it is a slim one, at about 53%.  Romney’s ‘front-runner’ status runs into trouble when he can barely hold on to his majority and especially when he fails to win hotly contested states against a weaker opponent.

The next important clash between the two candidates will be in Illinois next Tuesday.  Romney’s Super-PAC is already dumping money into the state in an attempt to maintain Romney’s slim lead in the polls.  Still, Romney’s money advantage failed him in Alabama and Mississippi, and the effectiveness of his advertisements will be tested once again in Illinois.

Santorum made an embarrassing dent in Romney’s campaign, and another chance for Santorum to overcome a deficit in the polls and challenge Romney will present itself next week in Illinois.  As of right now, Romney still seems likely, but he is far from inevitable.

 

Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Mar 14, 2012

Super Tuesday Results

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Entering Super Tuesday, both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney had a lot at stake.  There were two key battleground states: Ohio and Tennessee, where early polling did not show a clear winner.  What occurred was nothing more than a split decision, as Santorum won in Tennessee while Romney squeaked out a victory in Ohio.  Adding in the states that were less hotly contested, Romney won a total of 6 states Tuesday night.  Santorum picked up three and Gingrich won his home state of Georgia.

But as far as winning the nomination is concerned, states don’t matter.  Delegates, on the other hand, do.  One crucial goal  for Mitt Romney is ensuring that he can garner more than 50% of the total delegates so that the nomination can be decided before the Republican Convention in Tampa.  If the race for the nomination lasts that long, the eventual nominee will have a shortened length of time to solidify the party base and to campaign before the general election.  Romney knows that in order to show strength against Obama, he must win the nomination before the convention.

This is where ‘delegate math’ comes in.  Romney faces a fundamental mathematical problem… he only has a plurality of support among Republicans on the national level, but he needs to acquire the majority of delegates.  In the past, this problem has been solved by states awarding delegates on a winner-take-all basis, helping to quickly bring the nominating process to a conclusion.  However, this year, more states have started to hand out delegates proportionally.  For example, even though Romney won in Ohio, Santorum still received 21 of Ohio’s delegates.

Still, there is some good news for Romney.  He has managed to win more than 50% of the delegates awarded so far, setting him on pace to win before the convention.  On the flip side, Romney has less than 40% of the total delegates he needs to clinch a majority and thus the nomination.  Simply put, this race is far from being over.

But what about Rick Santorum?  Well, Mr. Santorum proved that he still has the voter support to win states.  While upsetting Romney in Ohio would have been a big boost for his campaign, the fact that he still performed reasonably well will continue to bring him much needed funds.  If there is one strength that Romney is winning with above all others, it is the power of the purse.  Santorum’s best offense in the coming months is to establish fundraising that can rival Romney’s.

Also (somewhat) important to talk about are Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.  Even though he only won Georgia on Super Tuesday, Gingrich remains adamant about staying in the race and is focused on trying to pick up a few more Southern states.  Like Santorum, he is hoping that he can prevent Romney from gaining the delegate majority.  Ron Paul’s campaign still lacks a win in any single state, and his lackluster support shows no signs of increasing.  However, Paul has pledged to continue with the race, meaning that he will still be a factor.  And since he can accumulate delegates in the states that disperse them proportionally, he will also hurt Romney’s chances for gaining a majority.

Super Tuesday is over, but the Republican nomination seems to be no closer to a conclusion.   Since the next round of voting is March 10th, it seems that the show will go on.

Filed under Domestic, Election 2012
Mar 7, 2012

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