Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) turned the Republican primary upside-down yesterday winning all three contests yesterday over the “frontrunner” Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).
According to FiveThirtyEight blog’s Nate Silver:
In Minnesota, a state which Mr. Romney carried easily in 2008, he has so far failed to win a single county – and got just 17 percent of the vote. That put him 27 points behind Rick Santorum, and 10 points behind Ron Paul, who finished in second.
Missouri is a less important result since its beauty contest primary did not count for delegate selection and since turnout was understandably low there. But Mr. Romney lost all 114 counties in Missouri – and the state as a whole by 30 points, far more than polls projected.
Then there was Colorado, a state that has reasonably similar demographics to Nevada, which Mr. Romney carried easily on Saturday. Colorado has somewhat fewer Mormon voters than Nevada, which hurts Mr. Romney – but it has somewhat more wealthy ones, which favors him. The betting market Intrade gave Mr. Romney about a 97 percent chance of winning Colorado entering the evening. But he lost the state by 5 points to Mr. Santorum.
Mitt Romney will have some time to contemplate this turn of events. The next contests are the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, February 28 followed by the Washington State and Maine caucuses on Saturday, March 3, and Super Tuesday, March 6 with voting in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.
The next debates currently scheduled will be held by CNN on February 22 at 8pm in Mesa, Arizona and a super Tuesday debate March 1 at 8pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Santorum: IA, CO, MN, MO
- Romney: NH, FL, NV
- Gingrich: SC
- Paul: none