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March 8, 2012 / Political Fluency

The Madatory Super Tuesday Post Part I / The $50,000 Question Part III

The most important thing on Tuesday night was splitting a bottle of Woodford Reserve for the first time in 6 months with my Political Consigliore – a great friend since high school.

In terms of the liquor of choice, since he e-introduced me to this wonderful substance, I’ll let Philalawyer do the honors in describing it in his watershed post on bourbon:

I don’t know what the people who make this stuff do in the distilling process, but it’s clearly filtered more, or uses a far better quality of water, than any of the other brands. Every bourbon talks about how it’s crafted from the essence of some pristine spring or creek. Woodford actually tastes like it. True or not, you get the sense you’re drinking something made in an entirely organic process. And the next day confirms its purity. Of all the liquors here, this is the easiest on the body – an almost hangover-free whiskey.

Taking the baton from there, I went to the Woodford Reserve distillery on a bourbon pilgrimage to Kentucky (I still have to see a game at Rupp Arena so it won’t be my last trip). It was the second-best looking of the distilleries next to Maker’s Mark – which has a pretty scary road to get to from Wild Turkey. Woodford does indeed distill a third time whereas most other bourbons distill twice.

At each of the distilleries, you are allowed a half shot of two different bourbons (or other types of alcohol they may distill) and typically there are the delicious chocolate bourbon balls at each location. Woodford’s were by far the best. I left there with an engraved bottle.

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Super Tuesday

I.

Here is the latest chart with all caucuses and primaries included:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here it is with only primaries where delegates were allocated which takes out the outliers like Idaho and Missouri:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia and Massachusetts are true home states for Gingrich and Romney respectively. But the chart shows a stark correlation with a large number of voters and the state’s median income. We’ll do a deeper dive into this soon as Alabama and Mississippi are low-income states voting on the 13th.

II.

It’s been posted here many times that the media has been rooting for a horse race in an attempt to repeat the ratings and interest and ratings of the Obama-Hillary primary battle that extended to June of 2008 with the possibility of going to the Democratic Convention in late August.

Now that’s a little less zealous than what Keith Kossler writes on White House Dossier:

[D]espite all the evidence Romney largely vanquished his rivals Tuesday night, here are some of the headlines this morning:

Wall Street Journal: Romney Ekes Past Santorum in Ohio

New York Times: With No Knockout Punch, a Bruising Battle Plods On

Los Angeles Times: Battle in Ohio Reinforces GOP Divide; Romney’s Slim Victory Leaves Race Uncertain

USA Today: Romney, Santorum See Momentum

CNN: No Knockout Blow for Romney

Reuters: Romney Narrowly Wins Ohio, Fails to Knock Out Santorum

You get the idea.

There are several reasons for this.

All reporting is now sports reporting. Reporters love a battle and they love to go on TV and rave about how exciting everything is. And editors seek a bracing and never-ending storyline because it draws readers and ultimately pleases their corporate bosses, who want to sell papers and generate pageviews.

The headline “Romney Scores Six Wins and Continues Methodical Drive Toward Nomination” is just not going to drive eyeballs to your story.

That’s a long way of telling you to not question the decision to drink bourbon when watching the media coverage of this primary when readers see the headlines above today after viewing nonsense such as the following last night.

Almost every station has a map showing the states won by various candidates. CNN ironically used the gay pride color of purple for Rick Santorum states won. Santorum was shown as having won Missouri. No one has won Missouri because no delegates were at stake! Delegates – those pesky 1,144 people that are needed to win the nomination – will be awarded in a March 17th caucus for the state.

I would be just as upset had Romney “won” the Missouri primary in February and the networks showed a map with the state in his color. It’s not about rooting for Romney; it’s about rooting for accurate reporting which has been embarrassingly lacking this campaign.

Then there was this hyperbole:

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “We’re watching Ohio right now. It is too close to call. If Romney loses Ohio it is a major, major setback to his campaign.”

Me: “Losing Ohio isn’t a major, major setback for Romney!”

Political Consigliore: “Nah man, if Romney loses Ohio, that’s big deal.”

Me: “Well yeah, but he doesn’t need to say ‘major’ twice.”

And in a bona fide instance of “The Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you!”, the next day the realization hit that Michigan and Ohio were “must-wins” for Santorum too. And he didn’t win them, Romney did! (Let’s just blame the Woodford for that lapse of a comeback.)

III.

Romney’s becoming the LeBron James of the Republican party. No matter what he does, he can’t win.

Florida – Gingrich was up several weeks before the primary and Romney came back for his most impressive win up until last night. “Oh but that was because he spent so much money.”

Michigan – Several points behind Santorum, he also comes back to win. “Oh but that was his home state.” (What they really should have said is his native state where he grew up because Massachusetts is his home state, but that would be the media being clear. There should’ve been much more emphasis about how he won the Michigan primary in 2008 and it would’ve been bad to lose it in 2012).

Ohio – Several points behind Santorum, he also comes back to win. “Oh but it was really close. He barely squeaked it out. He spent so much more money.”

Give it a rest!

Romney can’t close the deal against very weak candidates. That is a problem, no question. And with this being my 6th Presidential campaign, my hand is the furthest off the pulse of an electorate than it’s ever been… and it’s on my “side” of the aisle! I knew exactly what was going on between Obama and Hillary and who the base of support was for each. Both of them were “likable enough” to be elected in a heavily Democrat-leaning year for an open seat. Santorum and Gingrich are unelectable in what is a modest Republican-leaning year against an incumbent.

Maybe Romney still wouldn’t be closing the deal and I still wouldn’t know what Santorum and Gingrich supporters are thinking if the media was more honest in their reporting, but both would be happening to a far lesser extent.

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