How did Mitt Romney scratch out a Super Tuesday win in Ohio, the state where Rick Santorum led by double digits just a few eye blinks ago and had the blue-collar evangelical message and cultural bona fides on his side? It was the usual formula: Mucho super PAC money, plus enthusiastic support from the only two sets of voters who’ve thus far shown a fondness for the former Massachusetts governor. These would be the elderly and the rich. Voters over 65 favored Romney by 15 points in Ohio, enough to provide his margin of victory. (Why? Chalk it up, perhaps, to “such a nice young man” syndrome—he does come across as squeaky-clean and polite and unthreatening. And so handsome!) But it’s well-off voters who are truly head-over-heels for the Republican frontrunner. While turnout is lagging overall in the GOP contests, Lexuses and Range Rovers are transporting goodly numbers of voters with incomes of more than $100,000 to the polls. On Tuesday, exit polls showed that 30 percent of Ohio Republican voters made that much; in 2008, it was only 21 percent. In Michigan, the portion of wealthy voters jumped from 22 to 33 percent. Romney won them in both states by 14 percent—the only income demographic he carried. Apparently “he understands me” really is the key to galvanizing voters.
So They Say
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the end of freedom in America. Once the government has control of your life, then they got you. That’s why we decided to step out. As you look, I mean, Karen and I have seven children, ages twenty, ages twenty to three, not exactly the best time to be out running for President of the United States. We’ve given up our—our jobs. We’re living off our savings. Yeah, we’re making a little sacrifice for a very, very big goal, and that is replacing this President on November of this year.”
—Santorum, positively giddy over his three Super Tuesday victories
Daily Meme: Who Should Drop Out Now
- Newt Gingrich?
- Yes, pleeeeeease, says conservative leader Richard Viguerie.
- Not so fast, says Chris Cillizza.
- OK, then, how about Mitt Romney?
- Sheldon Adelson?
- All the zombies (Paul, Santorum, Gingrich)?
- The term "Not-Romney?”
- Wolf Blitzer?
- The primary calendar?
- Ronald Reagan comparisons?
What We're Writing
- Jamelle Bouie writes that Romney’s Super Tuesday showing “reflects Republicans’ deep misgivings about him.”
- Patrick Caldwell and Paul Waldman explain why Rick Santorum, who cannot win enough delegates for the nomination, will stay in the race.
What We're Reading
- Why did Santorum blow it in Ohio?
- The Tennessee results showed money can't buy everything.
- All the speeches were about the same thing last night: resentment.
- Gingrich goes all-in for Alabama and Mississippi.
- “This country is ready and raring,” says Ron Paul.
- Why loving Romney and loving the Red Sox are kind of similar.
- The Obama campaign is releasing a 17-minute documentary about his first term. It’s expected to be positive.
- Ruy Texeira busts the myth of swing voters.
- Alec Bings channels the weird art of campaign music.