Tag Archives: presidential

Final Unofficial Results from Tennessee’s Super Tuesday

From Division of Elections website:
Republican presiential preference primary:
Michele Bachmann 1,874
Newt Gingrich 132,017
Jon Huntsman 1,219
Gary Johnson 564
Ron Paul 49,740
Rick Perry 1,938
Charles “Buddy” Roemer 876
Mitt Romney 153,372
Rick Santorum 204,333
Democratic presidential primary:
Barack Obama 78,979
Note: County-by-county returns are HERE.

Super Tuesday Tidbits

The News Sentinel did an election day roundup of conversational tidbits on Super Tuesday voting in the Knoxville area and yours truly sent along a couple of items from Nashville.
Here they are:
Distrubed and DisheartenedIn Nashville, state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, charged that Sen. Joe Haynes’ wife had voted “fraudulently and illegally,” based on Haynes’ account of an encounter with election officials earlier in the day.
Haynes, D-Nashville, said during a meeting of the Senate State and Local Government Committee that his wife was told she could not vote because her driver’s license has no photograph. State law permits persons over age 65 to have a license with no photo, but such a license is not valid for voting.
Haynes said he told an election official that, if he was denying his wife the right to vote, “I had a reporter and photographer waiting outside” to report such an event, he said. “I didn’t, but that’s what I said.”
The senator’s wife, Barbara Haynes, recently retired as a Circuit Court judge in Nashville.
“He decided to let her vote,” said Haynes.
Several minutes later, Campfield gained recognition to speak and charged that Haynes helped his wife “fraudulently and illegally” vote in violation of the law. The action of a judge in violating the law left him “very disheartened,” Campfield said.”She was legal,” replied Haynes, adding that his wife had a “judge’s ID” with a photograph.
“I’m certainly disturbed that you’re disheartened,” he added.
A spokesman for the state elections office said that Judge Haynes’ card issued by the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts meets the criteria of state law requiring a “state-issued identification” for voting.

Delegate Confusion?State Rep. Bill Dunn, an active supporter of Rick Santorum, voices some concern over reports of voters being told that a vote for the former Pennsylvania senator in Tennessee is “wasted” because he has no committed delegates on the ballot.
In Tennessee, that doesn’t really matter because, under state party rules, if a candidate wins enough votes to warrant delegates, they will be named after the election.
Dunn says both his wife and son, also Santorum supporters, both heard such reports today. His wife was told by one voter that he had intended to vote for Santorum, but noticed he had no delegates listed and instead voted for Newt Gingrich.
Hearing of a few such cases, Dunn said, left him wondering if such confusion could hurt Santorum’s vote turnout.

Another TN Poll: Santorum 34, Romney 29, Gingrich 27, Paul 8

News release from Public Policy Polling:
The news is good for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and bad for Rick Santorum in PPP’s final polls of the three biggest Super Tuesday states.
In Ohio Romney leads with 37% to 36% for Santorum, 15% for Gingrich, and 11% for Ron Paul.
In Tennessee Santorum leads with 34% to 29% for Romney, 27% for Gingrich, and 8% for Paul.
In Georgia Gingrich leads with 47% to 24% for Romney, 19% for Santorum, and 8% for Paul.
A week ago Santorum had a huge lead in Tennessee, a decent sized one in Ohio, and seemed like he had a good chance for second in Georgia. Now he’s barely holding on in Tennessee, ever so slightly behind in Ohio, and seems doomed for third in Georgia.

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Tennessee Presidential Primary News Notes

Cain Raises Cane for Gingrich
Herman Cain, no longer in the race for the Republican nomination for president, brought his charismatic style to Williamson County on Friday night in hopes of drumming up votes for Newt Gingrich, the Tennessean reports.
For an audience of fewer than a hundred, he stumped fervently on Gingrich’s behalf while also taking shots at President Barack Obama, the media and the “character assassination” that forced him from the contest — all of which played well with the crowd.
“Today, we have a dishonest president,” Cain said, wrapping up his unscripted remarks. “There. I said it.”
The rally in downtown Franklin was part of a tour with one of the candidate’s daughters, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, that will take them into Chattanooga, Cleveland and Knoxville over the weekend.

The Candidates Are Here!
The Tennessean rounds up some of the campaigning afoot in Tennessee:
Newt Gingrich is coming back to Tennessee after surrogate visits by his daughter and former rival Herman Cain. Mitt Romney is coming through for the first time, following on the heels of another former presidential contender who’s in his camp.
A group of socially conservative women barnstormed on a bus tour Friday for Rick Santorum. And supporters of Ron Paul continue to play their ground game.
As the four remaining Republican candidates enter the final weekend before Tennessee holds its presidential primary Tuesday, their campaigns are taking different approaches to sealing the deal in the Volunteer State, which could play a significant role in the results of the 11-state bonanza known as Super Tuesday.
“The two key ones are Ohio and Tennessee,” political analyst Howard Fineman of Huffington Post said on MSNBC’s Hardball earlier this week.

The Whirlwind in Knoxville
Georgiana Vines has observations from Knoxville Republicans caught up in the “whirlwind” of pre-Super Tuesday presidential politicking. For example:
“Tennessee isn’t used to being in the crossfire. Everybody is so new to it,” said Daniel Dunn, a local spokesman for the campaign of Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who came to Knoxville on Wednesday.
And some political junkie stuff from outside our fair state:
GOP Superdelegates Sit and Wait
The Associated Press has polled 106 of the 117 so-called superdelegates — members of the Republican National Committee who will automatically attend the party’s national convention this summer and can support any candidate for president they choose, regardless of what happens in the primaries.
The results: Romney got 23 endorsements, far more than anyone else but a modest figure for the candidate many consider the front-runner. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got four endorsements while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul each got two.
Seventy-five RNC members were either undecided or not ready to make a public endorsement.

The Santorum Disorganization
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (AP) — Rick Santorum’s advisers outlined a new strategy for staying on message in the hours after he lost to Mitt Romney in Michigan’s Republican presidential primary. Just as quickly, the strategy fell by the wayside.
It was a victim of the disorganization that’s marked the Santorum campaign and raised questions about his ability to compete against Mitt Romney over the long haul.
Full story HERE.

Haslam ‘Not Guaranteeing’ Romney Victory in TN… but he’s trying

Gov. Bill Haslam plans to campaign in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville today for Mitt Romney. He was on the stump for his favorite presidential candidate Thursday in Memphis and the Commercial Appeal has a report:
If Romney can stage the “major surprise” his supporters on Thursday were predicting for Tennessee’s primary on Tuesday, he’ll have done so thanks in no small part to Haslam and the influential network that helped elect him governor.
Bill Hagerty, the Haslam administration’s economic development chief, worked with Romney at Bain Capital for many years and has long been a close Romney adviser. Speaking to the crowd of about 100 next door to Jason’s Deli near Poplar and Highland, Hagerty described current Tennessee primary favorite Rick Santorum’s recent polling lead as “soft” and quickly evaporating.
He said wins in Arizona, Michigan and Wyoming this week provide “a great bump for Mitt” coming into Tennessee, which is one of 10 states holding a Republican presidential contest on Tuesday.
“He’s got the wind at his back,” Hagerty said, referring also to a Rasmussen national poll showing Romney with 40-percent support from across the county vs. 24 percent for Santorum.
…Tuesday’s results in Tennessee could be telling as an indication of the influence Haslam and other top Republicans may have — or may lack.
Slate.com blogger David Weigel, who covers the conservative movement closely, put up a post leading up to the Michigan and Arizona primaries titled, “The Curse of the Endorsing Governor.” He pointed out that Romney had gone 0-for-4 in states where he received an endorsement, and polling indicated that Michigan voters were twice as likely to vote against Romney because of the governor’s endorsement.
“There’s got to be some residual anti-establishment sentiment behind it,” Weigel wrote.
However, Romney won both Michigan and Arizona, with endorsements from the governors of those states. Haslam said he believes Romney could keep the streak going in Tennessee, too.
“It’s still a very volatile electorate and I think a lot of people haven’t made their mind up,” Haslam said. “I’m not guaranteeing victory by any means, but I think this race will end up being very competitive.”

On Crossover Voting in Open Primary States (Like TN)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are accusing each other of benefiting from the support of crossover Democratic voters in states that allow anyone to participate in a party primary.
And both are correct. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have each worked to woo independent voters and conservative Democrats during campaign appearances. While it may be anathema to their hard-core GOP supporters, it’s an acknowledgement of the kind of crossover appeal that any GOP nominee will need in November if he’s to defeat President Barack Obama.
It also creates a tricky rhetorical tightrope for the candidates: making a pitch to non-Republican voters while finding fault when an opponent does the same thing.
When Santorum made the Michigan primary a squeaker this week, for example, Romney attributed his rival’s strong second-place finish to help from liberals who hoped Santorum would make a weaker opponent for Obama.
“They got the news from everyone from Michael Moore to Barack Obama’s team to, frankly, Rick Santorum as well, saying, ‘Go play mischief in the Republican Party. Vote against Mitt Romney and try to give this to Rick Santorum.’ You know, they don’t want to face me in the fall. They’d rather face Rick Santorum,” Romney said in a recent interview. “They came in, in large numbers, and voted for Rick.”
Santorum did get a boost from Democrats; 13 percent of his votes came from them, according to exit polls, compared with 4 percent for Romney.

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AP: Santorum Hoping Gingrich Bows Out; ‘Aggressively Targeting’ TN

By Steve Peoples, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Short on money and staff, Rick Santorum needs help to remain a viable threat to front-runner Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. One strategist hopes it will come from another rival, Newt Gingrich.
Top adviser John Brabender says Santorum’s future may depend upon Gingrich leaving the race. The former House speaker is showing no signs of bowing out, certainly not before next week’s Super Tuesday voting.
“If we could ever make this where we have all the conservatives and tea party supporters behind us as one candidate against Mitt Romney, we’ll win the nomination,” Brabender said Wednesday as the Santorum campaign recalibrated after finishing a disappointing second in Michigan’s primary.
Santorum and Gingrich are appealing for support from the same bloc of conservative voters. In Michigan, where Gingrich didn’t actively compete, the former speaker earned more than 6 percent of the vote. Romney beat Santorum by roughly 3 percentage points.
As Super Tuesday nears, Gingrich’s campaign is focusing on Georgia, the state he represented in Congress for 20 years, and a handful of other delegate-rich states. A Gingrich spokesman confirmed Wednesday that there’s been no pressure from Santorum’s camp to leave the race.
Santorum went out of his way to compliment the former House speaker Wednesday at a rally in Knoxville, Tenn., as he recalled the impact of President Ronald Reagan and others early in his political career.

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Haslam Still for Romney

News release from Romney campaign:
Boston, MA – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam made the following statement on Tennessee’s upcoming primary:
“With two strong victories in Arizona and Michigan, Mitt Romney continues to prove that he has what it takes to defeat President Obama in November. Gov. Romney has a solid track record of turning around troubled situations like the one we face in Washington. He did it in the private sector, as leader of the Salt Lake City Olympics, and as governor of Massachusetts. He has the kind of common-sense approach this country needs to turn the economy around and put people back to work. I encourage Tennesseans to join me in casting their vote for Gov. Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s election.”

MTSU Poll: Santorum Leads Romney 40% to 19%; Voters OK With Photo ID

News release from Middle Tennessee State University:
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney among Tennessee Republicans heading into Super Tuesday’s primary, and both men appear to hold an edge over President Barack Obama among Tennesseans at large despite the president’s rebounding approval rating, the latest MTSU Poll results show.
Forty percent of Tennessee Republicans in the poll favor Santorum compared to 19 percent who prefer Romney. Another 13 percent support Newt Gingrich, and 11 percent back Ron Paul.
“Tennessee appears to be heading into Santorum’s Super Tuesday column,” said Dr. Jason Reineke, an assistant professor in the college’s School of Journalism and the MTSU Poll’s associate director. “Election watchers would be wise to remember, though, just how many factors polling cannot measure or foresee, especially in the context of a primary election.”
Additionally, the poll found that support is practically nonexistent for repealing a new state law that requires voters to present a photo ID when voting with 82 percent of state residents considering the new law “a good idea that should be kept in place.” Only 11 percent consider the law “a bad idea that should be done away with,” and the rest aren’t sure.

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