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?

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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

US Midterm Elections

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So Tuesday is the first electoral test faced by President Obama, since his election in 2008. That year also saw much celebration by the Democrats as they won many seats in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as a number of state houses. This year that could change. The Republicans look set to win a number of Senate and House seats, this could be because of or despite of the Tea Party.

Senate

There are a number of very interesting Senate races this year. They are mainly in the west. Two that I will be watching closely will be Carly Fiorina’s bid to unseat Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in California. Most of the polling have Boxer retaining her seat, but not by a very wide margin. Most give Ma’am Boxer a margin of between 3 and 8%, so this could be an interesting race.

The other race I will be watching closely will be Senate Majority Leader’s Harry Reid’s attempt to hold his seat against Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada. This is a loss that will be a great victory for the republicans, but if he hangs on, there wont be much for the Republicans to gloat about.

Of couse their are other races to watch. They include the race for Obama’s old seat in Illinois. It looks like that will be a very close one. Republican Mark Kirk looks set to win the seat and defeat the Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, as he has fallen behind in recent polling.

Other races that will be interesting are Florida, West Virgina and Alaska. It will be interesting to see how Christine O’Donnell does in Delaware. The big question here is, will Republicans get a majority? I think they will get a bare majority of 51 to 49.

House

The US House of Representatives is always interesting as the entire house is up for re-election. Here there is set to be a big change. The current state of play is the Democrats have 256 seats and the Republicans have 179. The Republicans need to gain 39 seats to gain control. Most forecast have them winning 40-60 seats so it is expected to see a good few seats change hands. And of course the results of this election will give us a better view of Democratic’s position across the country.

Some of the races to watch are Arkansas’s 1st District, Delaware’s At-Large District, Florida’s 2nd, 8th and 22nd Districts and Idaho’s 1st District.

Governors

39 state governorships are up for grabs also on Tuesday. A few of these are very interesting. In Rhode Island, independent Lincoln Chafee is leading the race to become senator. He was a former Republican senator but endorsed Obama in 2008 and this has led to an interesting race.

In Vermont, Republican Brian Dubie and Democrat Peter Shumlin are in a close battle for the Governorship. In current polling there is a 1% gap!

In Florida, Democrat and Chief Finance Officer of Florida, Alex Sink is locked in battle with Republican and Health Care Activist Rick Scott. In some polls there is no difference between them!

Other states that will be interesting to watch include Obama’s home state of Illinois, where the Republicans could gain. Other states I will be watching Ohio, Oregon and Minnesota.

So I will be getting up early on Wednesday morning (as I have work) to catch up with what has happened and see how it may pan out. Should I make predictions? Maybe tomorrow!

Have you got any tips before I make them?

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