GOP race wide open again

ST. CHARLES, MO - FEBRUARY 7:  Republican pres...
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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won 3 non-binding contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado yesterday putting back in contention after poor results in Florida and Nevada and puts the front runner Mitt Romney under pressure.

While all the contests were non-binding they are an indication on how the delegates may be divided among the candidates at later state conventions.

In Colorado Santorum won with 40% of vote to Romney’s 35%. Newt Gingrich was a distant third 13% with Ron Paul close behind on 12%.

In Minnesota Santorum had a convincing win with 45% of the vote to Ron Paul’s 27%. Romney came third with 17% and was followed by Gingrich on 11%.

In Missouri, which holds its caucus on March 17th, Santorum won 55% of the open primary vote. Romney came second with 25%, with Paul on 12%.

While these are non-binding they will certainly invigorate Santorum’s campaign which needed a boost following the early win in the Iowa Caucus.

So much for a quiet month then

Republican Nomination Race – February will be boring?

SARASOTA, FL - JANUARY 24: Lynn Coffin holds b...
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After the exciting initial contests in Iowa (Santorum), New Hampshire (Romney), South Carolina (Gingrich) and Florida (Romeny) which were at first wide open contests, February Republican Primarys will not be as exciting and the winner is nearly known before hand. While this may lead to some upsets, it is doubtful that any will occur.

Today’s Nevada Caucus is a perfect example. With results due from about 1am Irish time. Mitt Romney is expected to win by a 20 point margin, the only interesting thing will be what proportion of Nevada’s 28 delegates he will get and who will be runner up. A second place finish for Ron Paul could be a lift for his campaign.

The rest of the states voting this month also favour Romney as he carried them in his attempt at the Republican nomination in 2008.  Romney is could win a narrow victory in Maine’s week long caucus which began on Friday ends on February 11th. 24 delegates are up for grabs in the Pine Tree State.

On Tuesday, Colorado and Minnesota have their caucuses. In Colorado things are a bit tighter for Romney who is under pressure from Newt Gingrich here. Romney won this state in 2008 but in the polls before Christmas he was trailing behind Gingrich, but fortunes may have changed since them and the majority of Centennial State’s 36 delegates could go to Romney.

Meanwhile in Minnesota where in 2008 Romney won, he is under pressure from Gingrich majorly. In a poll last month for PPP Ginrich has an 18 point lead, but can he maintain it?  40 delegates are at stake in the North Star State.

On the 28th it gets a bit more interesting with Primaries in Arizona and Michigan. Romney only carried Michigan in 2008 as Arizona went for its own John McCain. He has a 10 point lead according  to an average of polls on RealClearPolitics in Michigan and has a good shot at a good portion of its 30 delegates.

Meanwhile in Arizona the last Rasmussen Report poll had Romeny with a 24 point lead over Gingrich. Arizona is a winner takes all primary with 29 delegates up for grabs and will be an important state for momentum as it takes place 7 days before Super Tuesday.

So with Mitt Romney ahead in most of the states voting this month it could be a tad boring unless there is a major upset, but it does give us plenty of time to look forward to Super Tuesday on March 6th when Georgia (76 Delegates), Ohio (66 Delegates), Virginia (49 delegates), Oklahoma (43 Delegates), Massachusetts (41 Delegates) and Vermont (17 delegates) all going to the polls. Lets see what happens