Cheese, louise. Just when we couldn't get enough political drama today, we get three more G-O-TEA contests to digest. Check here for updates on the vote counts and delegate counts. Apparently, tonight may finally be "Frothy" Ricky Santorum's night. After he nearly got Iowa robbed from him, Santorum may finally get some real momentum if he wins the Minnesota Caucus, wins the Missouri Primary (which may do nothing for his delegate count, as it's only a "beauty contest", but at least it can give him bragging rights), and at least finishes a strong second in Colorado (preferably well enough to keep Mitt Romney well under 50%).
As usual, I'll be here to liveblog all the craziness here with you. And of course, we'll debunk whatever stupid media spin occurs and fact check any fact-free rants made by the G-O-TEA candidates in their "victory speeches" later tonight.
Well, at least Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri will have a ridiculously easy "credibility bar" to pass tonight... Or will they? Because all these states had problems with the new RNC primary/caucus rules, none of the contests tonight will actually (at least directly) determine delegate allocation. Yikes. But before we gloat too much about this, just look at what happened to Nevada Republicans. And now, they want the state to bail them out! And of course, this also means they want "we the people/taxpayers" to bail them out! And I thought Nevada Republicans were against "socialism"?
So far in early returns, "Frothy" Ricky Santorum is running away with Minnesota and Missouri. Can Mittens catch up? And again, does it really matter? With exactly 0 delegates actually at stake tonight, Willard Romney's campaign will certainly try to spin tonight's results as "meaningless". Will Ricky be able to convince the media pundits to think otherwise?
NBC News just projected a Santorum win in Missouri. Congrats, "Frothy". So far, things are looking up for him. He's also leading in Minnesota right now, and he's even leading in very early returns in Colorado (!!!) right now. I guess tonight just isn't Mittens' lucky night. Good thing for him that no actual delegates are at stake tonight.
Here's some good food for thought, courtesy of TPM publisher Josh Marshall:
The word coming from the Mitt campaign is that Missouri doesn’t really matter because there are no delegates there and they didn’t commit time or money. The problem, though, is that Santorum doesn’t really have any time or money to commit there either. And if you’re the frontrunner, the presumed nominee, you get clobbered in a swing state just because you didn’t aggressively campaign there? That’s a very, very low standard. Santorum is clearly leaning hard on evangelicals. And really this isn’t about Santorum. It’s about Romney. Absent crushing spending and a week or so to focus on a single state, Romney seems to have a really rough time. That’s bad, especially in the Midwest where a Republican candidate has to run strong. And especially when he’s faltering in national polls versus President Obama.
We've talked about it before, and I guess we'll have to talk about it yet again tonight. If Mittens is so "inevitable", then why can't he win here? And why won't Republican voters actually turn out to confirm him as their nominee? Clearly, Mitt Romney is still not all that popular with his own party right now. And we're seeing that on full display tonight.
NBC News just projected Rick Santorum to win Minnesota. He's been up in early tallies, and apparently his lead has become too big for the others to overcome. And now, supposed "inevitable" one Mitt Romney is in third place there. Yikes.
Again, don't be surprised to hear Romney's campaign spin this as "meaningless". But when he can't win these states and start wrapping up this process, especially considering he's the one with the "top of the line" campaign and top of the field fundraising, there's a real problem in G-O-TEA World.
Oh, lordy help us. "Frothy" Ricky Santorum is now doing his "victory lap". And he's already resorting to the desperate G-O-TEA character assassination against President Obama. Oh yes, he's the evil, "uppity" black guy who thinks he can rule over the po' lil' white folk!
Oooh, and he won't listen to the po' lil' white teabaggers who want to "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!!!"
Give me a fucking break, "Frothy"! Oh yes, and WHEN I finally do get gay married, I'll be sending you an invitation... Just to chap your hide, you bigoted jackass!
OK. This is just ridiculous. Santorum flat out rejects sound science, rejects basic human dignity, and flat out rejects sanity. And yet, Republicans tonight seem to be rejecting lukewarm Mittens to get some of that real Santorum tonight.
Yuck. They can have him, for all I care.
And I think that's all for tonight.