Skip to comments.GOP race tightens in California
Posted on 02/22/2012 8:57:48 AM PST by SmithL
Long written off as too late to matter, California's Republican primary June 5 may turn out to matter a lot. A new Field Poll shows former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum just six points behind front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
California's mother lode of 172 delegates has long been considered Romney's firewall against a contested or even brokered national convention in Tampa, Fla., in August. A contested convention is the ultimate nightmare scenario for the GOP, which has savored this year as its best chance since Jimmy Carter to deny a second term to an incumbent Democratic president.
"It's a different world than it was just two or three weeks ago," said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo.
Romney leads with 31 percent of the sample of 400 registered Republican voters, followed by Santorum with 25 percent and Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian Texan, coming in third with 16 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has fallen to fourth place with 12 percent, while 14 percent are undecided.
California's importance will hinge on Tuesday's Michigan primary, considered a must-win for Romney, whose father was governor there. Romney won Michigan easily in his 2008 run for the GOP nomination, but having opposed the bailout of Detroit automakers, he has slid behind Santorum there. A week after the Michigan primary comes Super Tuesday on March 6, with 10 states voting, including Ohio and Virginia, two bellwethers in the general election.
"If there's a split decision on Super Tuesday, then I think California could well be in play," said Tom Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party.
California is a microcosm of Romney's troubles nationally, where GOP voters have chewed through a string of improbable front-runners, from Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann to pizza magnate Herman Cain, only to abandon each...
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“The state’s primary, where votes from only Republican registered voters will be counted in the presidential contest, awards the winner in each of its 53 congressional districts all the delegates from that district.”
Thank God it is not an open primary. If it were an open primary the Democrats would send the gubmint union members to the polls to select Romney. I am not sure how the winner take all by congressional district method will affect the outcome.
If Newt is not in the race come June, I will have a very tough choice. I believe we will start to see the Santorum fade soon. The question is, does Romney wrap it up or does Newt resurface.