Thursday, January 19, 2012

The State of the Race

Perry's out. He seemed to have very little support in South Carolina so it’s hard to see how this helps Newt, whom Perry endorsed earlier today. But it’s one less person to split the anti-Romney vote.

Big to do in the press about how Santorum really won Iowa. Can’t see how this makes any difference:

Former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) won the Iowa caucuses Thursday — 16 days after the last vote was cast — when the state Republican party said a final count showed him 34 votes ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Biggest problem for Romney is the story about his finances. The rate at which he pays taxes is very much in play. Also the reports of the money socked away in the Grand Caymans. This is the problem he’s facing:

“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system,” said Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer who is an authority on tax enforcement and offshore banking.

And if that idea takes hold, Romney will be in trouble. The take from the Romney's campaign is that they did nothing wrong legally. But it’s the perception that matters more than anything else.

Is Romney still the nominee? Yes, in all likelihood. He’s probably going to win in S.C. and in Florida too. After those two contests it’s hard to see who stays in the race. It will be next to impossible for anyone else to raise any money.

The delegates don’t start piling up until March and April so it will take a couple more months for Romney to get the needed delegates to win the nomination.

Does Ron Paul stay in? He certainly seems to have the money. He also seems not to have anything else to do. It’s possible he still gets his 15-20% in each of the contests. But from April on (I believe) the primaries are winner take all. But Paul still causes problems for Romney.

So it seems that Romney has the nomination all sewed up but as we say in my family we'll see.

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