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January 27, 2015

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Damon Political Report

Santorum’s surprise Iowa showing won’t likely be repeated in Nevada



Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, speaks at his caucus night event at the Stoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa, on Jan. 4, 2012.

Local reaction to Iowa caucus

KSNV coverage of the local reaction to the results of the Iowa caucus, Jan. 3, 2012.

Nevada’s presumed front-runner in the Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney, essentially shared a victory with come-from-behind candidate Rick Santorum in a razor-thin finish in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night.

In a race characterized by Republican voters’ unwillingness to settle on Romney as the front-runner, or a leading challenger to his nomination, the Iowa caucuses did little to establish an early leader.

Iowa also did little to either shake up the dynamics or boost the relevance of Nevada’s fifth-in-the-nation contest on Feb. 4.

While Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, should gain momentum from his strong finish in Iowa, he has few resources to compete in upcoming contests. In Nevada, Santorum, a social conservative, has no campaign infrastructure and little natural affinity with Republican primary voters in this libertarian-leaning state.

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, speaks at his caucus night event with his wife, Ann, and sons in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 4, 2012.

Meanwhile, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and third-place finisher Rep. Ron Paul have spent tremendous time and energy organizing Nevada over the past four years.

“This is not a socially conservative, religious-base state,” Republican operative Grant Hewitt said of Santorum’s chances here. “The (pro-)life issue is not the issue we live or die on here. This is a libertarian state out here. That is not the Santorum message at all.”

Paul’s finish left his Nevada supporters somewhat deflated. They had hoped his focus and well-funded organization in Iowa would propel him to a key victory there.

“We’re a little disappointed but still moving forward,” said Paul’s Nevada campaign director Carl Bunce. “This is a delegate game now and we understand the process. We know how to turn out the supporters. I think we’re fine.”

Paul’s Iowa loss leaves Nevada as one of his best chances to win a state in the presidential primary. Romney is leading in New Hampshire and Paul trails badly in South Carolina. He’s not expected to compete in Florida.

“The game plan is still the same here,” Bunce said. “This is still a Romney-Paul race. Santorum has been nowhere near Nevada.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who won an early endorsement from Gov. Brian Sandoval but had stumbled badly, came in fifth. He announced he would “return to Texas” to reassess his chances — a move many interpreted as a step toward his exit from the race.

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Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, attends his caucus night party in Ankeny, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 2012.

Romney’s Nevada campaign adviser, Ryan Erwin, said Romney’s strong showing in Iowa is “the beginning of something really good” for the candidate.

“If somebody had asked six weeks ago whether Romney had a chance to win Iowa that answer was a resounding no,” Erwin said. “But he was able to perform very well. It’s an incredibly important and significant first step.”

Romney has put most of his early-state focus on New Hampshire, the next state on the presidential nominating calendar. He spent far less time campaigning in Iowa. But in the final days of the campaign, he, and the super PAC supporting him, spent heavily on television advertising in the state.

Many of those ads were aimed at turning back Newt Gingrich, who had surged in the polls last month. Gingrich, the only other candidate with staff in Nevada, finished fourth in Iowa.

He vowed to continue fighting through New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he has led in the polls.

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  1. First thing this morning, I saw the 3 second sound bite with Bachman's face on TV saying she isn 't giving up and she will be the only person to beat Obama and she will become President of the United States.....

    I say "pass it around, Michelle" - we all could use something to make us "feel better" once in awhile so we can be delusional, too ie I believe it will not snow at all this winter in the Midwest!!!

  2. BACHMANN UPDATE: She just cancelled her trip to South Carolina. She can now drop out, get a job at FOX, ala Palin and get off the airwaves most people watch for good. Perry is as good as done too. He's returning to Texas to ponder his future. I wonder who our bandwagon, political hack governor will "endorse" now?

  3. Santorum is a flash in the pan WHO WON'T EVEN BE IN THE RACE by the time the NV republican primary occurs. He will take Bachmann's place at the bottom of the heap in New Hampshire, and then quit to "spend more time with his family".

  4. It's pretty funny to watch the continuation of the unintentional Tea/Republican Party strategy to array in a circle around Romney and blast away, filling each other with holes in the process, not one of them having the sense to duck.

    One thing I found really stupid was that all of the people in contention had end speeches that seemed to last forever and they all acted like they won and (of course), they all attacked President Obama and his entire administration. Overloaded with rhetoric, but low on substance. Really stupid.

    Actually, the best news to come out of last night is that Ms. Bachmann will probably drop out and go back to her district to actually do some work and be of some kind of benefit to her constituents. Her campaign was stupid, if you ask me. It didn't deal with issues. She approached it like she was a highly full of themself tent revivalist star on a "Hate Obama For Jesus Tour."

    Not sure about Perry though. He says he's going back to Texas to "reassess" his chances. Not sure if that's going to happen. Because he'll go back there and then completely forget why he did.

    Nice to see Gingrich revert back into character though. He seems howling mad about what happened in Iowa. During his end speech last night, he made reference to the attacks by Romney about ten times. Which tells me he isn't interested in winning the candidacy. He just wants to go after Romney. Nice to see the old NOOB* back in action doing what he is noted for: Attack, attack, attack, tora, tora, tora, scream, break things, stuff like that.

    *Nasty Ornery Old Bastard

  5. It's just Iowa, People! Home of Oscar Mayer ("My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R....")

    I know, I know - I'm still a "big city" chick who lives "just across the River" and has a low tolerance for Iowa, mainly their drivers and the slackers with no jobs who come on THIS side of the River to take advantage of things Illinois has to offer (but try to do it the other way around).

    Iowa is a weird State. One of the first States to allow same sex marriages but yet so conservative.

  6. "... they all attacked President Obama and his entire administration. Overloaded with rhetoric, but low on substance. Really stupid...."


    I think you nailed it by describing how the rest of the year until Election Day is going to be. Only thing that will change is "they all will attack President Obama" - but the rest stays the same.

  7. As for Newt Gingich and his angry attitude, he should KNOW that playing with the big boys in politics requires some body armor. Thus, if his, alledged, front-runner position has been deflated, it can only be because the Iowa voters felt he did not have what it takes, found someone better to vote for, or just plain believe that Newt is a consumate politician who really is not capable of earning and keeping a front-runner position.

    In my opinion, this is probably because Newt has old wounds that are coming back to haunt him, and if someone (e.g., Romney's PAC) exposes them - they hurt. So now, Newt will - as stated in a circular manner - attempt to DESTROY ROMNEY, if he can... but not for reason of inadequate credentials; BUT FOR REVENGE.

    If Newt actually attempts/or succeds in such destructive and vitrolic pronouncements against Romney, I believe we will finally see the REAL NEWT GINGRICH.

    And, exactly what we voters would have gotten if Newt were elected president: an older politician with axes to grind.

    BOTTOM-LINE: Is NEWT a RINIO? Does he have NO LOYALTY to the GOP, to GOP voters, or to achieving the goal of ousting Obama?
    I ask this because if NEWT actually manages to derail Romney, and Obama will remain president of the United States for 4 more years. Rick Santorum is the ONLY OTHER candidate that is still "alive" in this race - yet neither Rick, nor Ron Paul, can win in a General Election.

    The reason for this, in my opinion, the voters - republican, independent, or democratic - are all from widely different political points of view, and I see Romney as the ONLY candidate whos stated views can appeal to a majority of them. In effect, Romney is the only viable candidate left who I believe has the skils, background, knowledge of issues, and business eperience to do verbal combat with Obama - beat him, and then do what is necessary to save our country.

    So, Mr. Gingrich had better rethink is anger. Otherwise Obama will continue his reign, and Obama's re-election will be viewed as Newt's (vindictive) fault!

    Further, as an after-thought, Newt HAS SAID he is a follower of Ronald Reagan. SO, if NEWT IS NOT LYING, why isn't he going to follow the "Regan" concept of "Do not speak ill of a fellow Republican"?

    Perhaps Newt thinks more of himself - his personal importance - than what GOP voters think. Or maybe he is just a bad loser in a race where he could not overcome his impairments.

  8. Did anybody notice that the votes in Iowa that gave Romney his 8 vote margin of victory were registered are 12:30 a.m.? Seems that the Republican establishment has already decided who the nominee will be (Romney ) take notice tea party minions the Republican party is only using you for votes and will never allow Ron Paul to win the nomination.

  9. chuck133

    LOLOLOLOL You got me there!!!