Election Notes: Santorum Sweeps the South

Rick Santorum had a great day on Tuesday, winning the Republican primaries in both Alabama and Mississippi—a state in which no poll had shown Santorum in the lead. Newt Gingrich, whose campaign said had to win both states to in order to remain a credible candidate, came in second in both. Mitt Romney came in an embarrassing third in each, underscoring his inability to connect with Southern conservatives.


 Santorum’s victory ensures that the race will go on. But don’t be fooled. Romney has won almost twice as many delegates as Santorum. Although Romney looked like a loser on Tuesday, he still managed to win the most delegates. That’s because he won handily both in Hawaii—after most political reporters had gone to bed—and in American Samoa, where the just 70 Republican caucus-goers allotted Romney 9 delegates. Those victories show why Romney is winning. His superior organization and greater resources allow him to pick up votes in places where his opponents can't even compete. As Kris Broughton says, that makes the delegate math nearly impossible for Romney’s opponents.

Nevertheless, the long, grinding campaign is taking its toll on Romney. Every victory for his opponents feeds doubts about his electability and allows conservative opposition to him to fester. And the race against Santorum seems to be winning Romney few friends: the percent of voters who have an unfavorable impression of him has climbed almost to 50%.

Political Futures Markets

Chance President Obama will win reelection: 60.4% (Intrade)

Chance Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination: 89.0% (Intrade)

Chance that Republicans will win control of the Senate: 58.5% (Intrade)

Chance that Republicans will maintain control of the House: 69.9% (Intrade)

Polls

President Obama’s approval rating: 47.5% (Pollster)

Mitt Romney’s favorable rating: 33.6% (Pollster)

Republican advantage on a generic congressional ballot: 0.4% (Real Clear Politics)

Comment

“If you’re the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner.”—Newt Gingrich

UP NEXT: the Missouri caucus on Saturday, March 17, the Puerto Rico primary on Sunday, March 18, and the Illinois primary on Tuesday, March 20

Rick and Ann Santorum image from Gage Skidmore

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom

An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
  • "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
Keep reading Show less

For most of history, humans got smarter. That's now reversing.

We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?

The Flynn effect appears to be in retrograde. (Credit: Shutterstock/Big Think)
popular

There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.

Keep reading Show less

Lateral thinking: The reason you’ve heard of Nintendo and Marvel

Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.

Videos
  • Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
  • One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
  • Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
Keep reading Show less