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Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Primary Season Concludes

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes the stage with his wife Ann

cription March 6, 2012 - Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes the stage with his wife Ann to give his victory speech at his headquarters at the Westin at Copley Plaza on Super Tuesday. (Ryan Hutton/Boston University News Service)

Mitt Romney has won the Utah Republican presidential primary, the last contest of the primary season, gaining all 40 of the state’s delegates. Nebraska will hold a state convention in July, but Utah held the last presidential primary. Representative Ron Paul is the only other Republican presidential candidate in the running. However, he stopped campaigning to focus on winning delegates at state conventions.

In other notable races, the political winds changed directions bringing good news for most incumbents in Tuesday’s primaries. Despite predictions of his ouster, Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY), who has served in the House 42 years, defeated four challengers in Tuesday’s primary after facing ethics allegations and while running in a largely redrawn district. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has served in the senate for six terms, also won against a Tea Party-backed opponent. In Colorado, Republican congressman Doug Lamborn defeated Robert Blaha, a wealthy, self-funded primary challenger.

In South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley tested her political capital by endorsing local councilman Tom Rice, who won in the 7th congressional district race against former lieutenant governor Andre Bauer, a Haley foe.

Incumbent Representative John Sullivan (R-Oklahoma) lost to tea party-backed candidate Jim Bridenstine. Meanwhile the retirement of Representative Dan Boren, a moderate Democrat, has opened an opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat in Oklahoma. Two of six Republicans who ran for the nomination – Markwayne Mullin and George Faught – will now compete in a run-off.

Walker Makes History & Romney Sweeps Five More Primaries

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on February 18, 2011.

Republican Governor Scott Walker won the election in Wisconsin yesterday, making him the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. Political pundits are having a field day with what the results mean for the presidential election in November. On the one hand, Scott Walker has become a hero of conservatives. On the other hand, there are many ticket-splitters in the state. President Obama also didn’t campaign for the Democratic challenger and there are questions about whether spending contributed to Walker’s success. A Republican candidate hasn’t won the state since Ronald Reagan.

In other news, Mitt Romney swept the primaries in five states – California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota – increasing his delegate count to 1,398. The big news was the ballot shake-up in California. In 2010, voters approved a “top two primary” system in a ballot initiative, which was intended to stem partisan political gridlock and elect moderate candidates. Under the system, the top two finishers in the primary move on to the general election, regardless of party. The new system may provide stimulus for reform in other state and national elections.

Presumptive No Longer: Romney Clinches Nomination

Mitt and Ann Romney on Super Tuesday.

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes the stage with his wife Ann to give his victory speech at his headquarters at the Westin at Copley Plaza on Super Tuesday. (Ryan Hutton/Boston University News Service)

Even though the Republican primary race has effectively been over since Rick Santorum ended his candidacy in April, we can finally drop the “presumptive” adjective. Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican nomination yesterday with a victory in the Texas primary that gave him enough delegates to reach the magical 1,144 he needed. Now nominee Romney must prepare for even more scrutiny and the media frenzy that will surely ensue with any new revelation about the candidate. (Top results on the news search today included: Romney’s new “Believe in Amercia” app, the misspelling of which lit up the social media world yesterday; why the Republican foreign policy establishment has been slow to embrace him; how he got ‘trumped’ by birther talk; the revelation that his father was born in Mexico; and how people of the Mormon faith are responding to his White House run.)

Riding the Tiger takes this opportunity to highlight some of the (dare we say “excellent”) scholarly contributions on Mitt Romney to our blog.

Romney wins Arkansas, Kentucky—and Bragging Rights Over Obama?

Mitt Romney easily won the primary contests in Kentucky and Arkansas yesterday, with 67% and 69% of the vote, respectively.

Romney received a higher percentage of votes in the Republican primaries than President Obama did in the Democratic primaries. While Obama ultimately prevailed, 42% of voters in each state voted against the president. This follows in the wake of the Democratic primary in West Virginia earlier this month in which an incarcerated federal inmate, Keith Judd, received a significant portion of the vote.

Romney Wins Handily in Nebraska and Oregon; Ron Paul effectively ends campaign

Mitt Romney easily won the primary contests in Nebraska and Oregon on Tuesday. In Nebraska, Romney won with 71 percent support. This vote was a beauty contest, as the state's delegates will be chosen at the state convention on July 14. In Oregon, Romney earned 73 percent.

Romney's victories occured in the wake of an announcement on Monday that Ron Paul would cease campaigining and spending money in the states with remaining primaries, effectively ending his bid for the Republican nomination.

Romney wins in May 8 contests

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won all three primary contests on May 8 -- in Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia -- in a race that has narrowed to two remaining contestants: Romney and Ron Paul. While there is no question that Romney will be the eventual Republican Party nominee, there are still eleven states that will hold primaries before June 26.



Santorum Suspends Campaign

Rick Santorum in March 2012

Rick Santorum at the US Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama, in March 2012. Photo by Holley St. Germain.

Clearing the way for Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee to face President Barack Obama in the general election, Rick Santorum suspended his campaign today, saying that "while the presidential race for us is over... we are not done fighting."

His decision comes after the weekend hospitalization of his daughter Isabella, who was born with Trisomy 18, and amidst a dwindling single digit lead in polling in his home state of Pennsylvania.

Romney Sweeps the April 3 contests

Romney during last month's Super Tuesday contests

Romney on the campaign trail in March. Photo by Dana Hansen/ Boston University News Service.

With wins yesterday in Wisconsin, DC, and Maryland, Mitt Romney has moved one step closer to becoming the Republican presidential nominee. Rick Santorum mounted a significant effort in Wisconsin, where he lost by 5 percentage points. The final tally in Wisconsin gave Romney 43% of the vote compared to Santorum's 38%. In Maryland, amidst low voter turnout, Romney won 49% of the vote and Santorum won 29%. Romney won big in DC with 70% of the vote; second place went to Ron Paul with 12%. Santorum was not on the ballot in DC.

In his victory speech, Romney set his sights squarely on President Obama, whose re-election campaign recently launched ads targeting the former Massachusetts governor -- signaling a shift in rhetoric that anticipates the two-man race that is soon to come.

Santorum Wins Louisiana Primary

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. on October 7, 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Rick Santorum's definitive win in the Louisiana primary on Saturday shows that the race to become the republican candidate for president is not yet over. Santorum won 49% of the vote; Mitt Romney came in second with 27%; Newt Gingrich was third with 16%; and Ron Paul received 6%.

Though his win in the conservative Southern state was Santorum's best showing date, it does little to change the overall delegate count, in which he trails Romney by a signficant margin. It does give Santorum some momentum going into the next contests in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which he must win to keep Romney from taking the nomination.

Romney Wins Decisive Victory in Illinois

Mitt Romney at his headquarters in Boston in early March

Mitt Romney at the Romney headquarters in Boston, MA, in early March. (Sarah Mongeau-Birkett/BU News Service)

Mitt Romney won his third major contest in a row yesterday, boosting the argument that he is the rightful heir to the republican candidacy for president. Romney captured 47 percent of the vote, while Rick Santorum trailed with 35 percent, Ron Paul with 9 percent, and Newt Gingrich with 8 percent.
The win in Illinois is the latest in a string of victories for Romney in big industrial Midwestern and Northern states with large urban centers, and marks him as the likely favorite to accumulate enough convention delegates to secure the nomination. 

Romney Wins Puerto Rico, Delegates Elected in Missouri

In the weekend contests, Mitt Romney won handily in Puerto Rico's presidential primary, while no official winner was declared in the Missouri Caucus. 

Romney took an overwhelming 83 percent of the vote in Puerto Rico, while Rick Santorum claimed 8 percent. Neither Newt Gingrich nor Ron Paul actively campaigned in the U.S. territory.

In Missouri, local caucuses elected delegates to advance to congressional district and state conventions, where the delegates will be bound to presidential candidates. No straw poll was conducted. However, Rick Santorum won Missouri's non-binding "beauty contest" primary on February 7, and it is a safe to assume that he will fare well at the state convention in April.



Following Win in Kansas, Santorum Takes March 13 Southern Primaries

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum at a rally in New Hampshire.  Photo by Patrick Gensel.

In what is shaping up to be a two man race with no definitive end in sight, Rick Santorum won the GOP primaries in Mississippi and Alabama yesterday, while Mitt Romney claimed victories in the caucuses of Hawaii and American Samoa. Santorum won Alabama with 35% of the vote and Mississippi with 33%. Romney’s wins in the smaller contests of Hawaii and American Samoa were more definitive. He garnered 45% of the vote in Hawaii, and picked up all nine delegates in American Samoa.

Newt Gingrich barely edged out Romney to claim second place in the Deep South contests, giving his campaign a slight boost as the candidates hit the midway point in the presidential primary race.

Last weekend, Romney captured all 18 delegates at caucuses in two other U.S. possessions in the Pacific – Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Ron Paul took the U.S. Virgin Islands. The weekend’s main attraction, the Kansas Caucus, was won handily by Santorum (51%), who was trailed distantly by Romney (20%).

Romney Ahead in Split Contests on Super Tuesday

The results of the Super Tuesday contests were a mixed bag, though former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney emerged the victor in seven of the eleven races. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won three contests, including North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, while former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich captured the vote in his home state of Georgia.

In the much anticipated Ohio primary, Romney appears to have narrowly defeated Santorum by just one percentage point.

Click "Read More" for full Super Tuesday results.

Romney Wins Arizona and Michigan Primaries

In the last two big primary contests before Super Tuesday, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won handily in Arizona while edging out a narrow victory in Michigan.

Romney won 47% of the vote in Arizona; Santorum trailed with 27%.  The race in Michigan was especially tight, with tentative reports of Romney capturing 41% of the vote compared to Santorum's 38% . Both candidates spent a significant amount of time and money in the state in the lead up to the primary.

A win in Michigan was critical to Mitt Romney's campaign.  Romney was born and raised in Detroit, and a victory -- however small -- in the state helps to put a damper on Santorum's momentum following his sweep of the February 7 contests, as well as quiet some of the criticism from within the GOP that Romney is not a viable candidate.

Maine Chooses Romney in Disputed Caucus (UPDATED)

With a final tally of only 84% of precincts reporting, the Maine Republican Party has declared former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney the winner of the Maine caucuses, beating runner-up Ron Paul by a slim margin. Romney received 2190 votes, or 39%, while Paul received 1996 votes for 36%. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich came in third and fourth, respectively; neither campaigned actively in the state.

The Maine caucuses hold unofficial, non-binding polls in which they ask participants to select which Presidential candidate they prefer. Some caucuses declined to participate in this poll (or were delayed by weather) before February 11, when results were officially announced. This led to some consternation, especially within the Paul camp.

UPDATE, February 17: An updated tally upholds earlier results, showing Romney beat Paul by 239 votes.