The Florida primary now long over, focus moves to the Nevada and Maine caucuses which begin this Saturday (Maine’s runs through February 11th). Many of the political pundits including some in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas believe the candidate is all but chosen.
It should be noted that this writer called this primary election for Mitt Romney long before the networks in my Christianity article, “Commercialization of the church” simply based on two factors:
1. The rapidly increasing Mormon population in Florida
2. The increasing view by many Christians (including evangelicals) that Mormons are simply another Christian Denomination.
It is interesting to note that most of the political pundits always want to leave the Christian/religious identifier as a side bar to everything else. But as a pastor and counselor for over thirty years, one factor seems to always be relevant with human nature and that is “like attracts like”. People of like faith or even similar faith are going to support each other.
Although Newt Gingrich had a great showing in South Carolina, most agree Newt was handed his lunch in Florida with Mitt Romney winning close to fifty percent of the vote.
Some Conservative talk show hosts have pointed out however, that Gingrich and Santorum together took the genuine conservative vote in Florida indicating that the primaries of the deep South to be held on super Tuesday, March 6, 2012 could turn it all around for Newt again. The final results are widely varied for Romney over Gingrich in the Florida Primary. The certified results show Romney with over forty six percent of the vote to thirty one percent for Gingrich. But unofficial exit poll results showed it much closer with thirty nine to thirty one respectively.
It’s obvious that the Florida primary is having a tremendous impact on upcoming caucuses and primaries with almost every poll now showing Romney with between forty eight to fifty percent as opposed to twenty five to thirty one percent for Gingrich.
The voters of the Rio Grande Valley appear by all indications to be right in line with the rest of the country. According to news reports and talk shows, there appears to be a leaning towards Romney simply because of the past infidelity of Newt Gingrich. Many Texans are upset with Governor Perry’s withdraw from the presidential race and then throwing support to Gingrich which has angered many voters here as well.
Many feel the governor’s strong religious/Christian stand throughout his short lived presidential campaign and then backing Gingrich is hypocritical and even those who prefer Gingrich, are now supporting Romney or Santorum.
The Rio Grande Valley is predominantly Catholic and as such many voters both Democrat and Republican favor Rick Santorum and admire his strong conservatism, strong adherence to his Catholic Christian faith and high moral caliber. But many will not vote for Santorum simply because they don’t think he is electable.
The upcoming presidential caucuses also seem to favor Romney. With Nevada being a very strong LDS (Mormon) state, Maine being a Northeastern state and Romney being the former governor of Massachusetts make these two states almost a sure thing for Romney victories.
The primary and ultimate candidate selection gets more difficult according to most polling.
Over all, Gingrich is the favorite, ranging from between two and nine percent of republicans for the GOP presidential candidate. But when the polls are taken state by state, Romney seems to be the pick and state delegates are what matters at the national convention which ultimately chooses the candidate.
The results from tomorrow’s Nevada caucus could be surprising but for now it looks to be all Romney.
The 2012 presidential primaries and caucuses have been unique with Gingrich, Romney and Santorum all winning in different states. An interesting fact is that the GOP has never selected a candidate who lost South Carolina yet won Florida.
As the primaries progress, it appears there will be either excitement or a very long and boring continuation of the same old, same old.
Of interest is the latest Pew Research which shows there’s a tie between President Obama and any Republican candidate although most Republicans believe Gingrich is the most competitive and electable GOP candidate. Right now however, all polls show the Electoral College in favor of the Democrats by sixteen votes.
On a related topic, Texas is still fighting the redistricting issue in Federal Court hoping to have a primary on April 6th.