The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Super Tuesday" results

The results are in, and the big one, Ohio, was slow in coming because it was close. The first returns showed Mitt Romney ahead, then Rick Santorum led for most of the night; when I went to bed, Romney was leading, but it was too close to be certain whether that lead would hold. The final difference is still so close that Santorum can claim a tie. And so there will not yet be pressure for him to withdraw, and the contest will go on.

And the pattern of the results is interesting. Romney won all the counties that were anywhere near the biggest three cities, Santorum won the rural vote (and smaller cities like Toledo). Yet, because the delegates were awarded by a formula that was not strictly proportional, although there was only a 1 point difference in their percentages, Romney gets almost twice as many delegates.

Of course, nine other states voted as well. In some cases, the results were predictable. Neither Santorum nor Newt Gingrich was on the ballot in Virginia, so it was just Romney and Ron Paul. Apparently, Paul got some of the vote from people protesting the ballot restrictions — I can't believe he would really get 40% of the vote in a more open election. But Romney got 60%, and might win just about all the Virginia delegates because of the way they were apportioned.

And two states were “home turf” for candidates — Massachusetts for Romney, where he used to be Governor, and he ended up with almost ¾ of the vote, and Georgia for Gingrich, where he was a Congressman (although representing just one district, of course), and he won nearly half the vote, a big win in a 4-man race. Vermont went to Romney, who seems to be solid all over New England, and Tennessee and Oklahoma to Santorum, who can claim that Romney is not conservative enough to win anywhere in the South (though Romney did win Florida a month or so ago, but that state is geographically in the South but demographically more Northern.)

And that leaves two small, relatively inconsequential states. Idaho was a state some were saying might go to Ron Paul, because it's a caucus and he was working hard there; in fact it was Romney's biggest win, in percentage points, after Massachusetts. And Santorum picked up North Dakota.

In delegate totals, Romney seems to have picked up abouit the same proportion of the delegates at stake yesterday as he had up to then. Santorum will probably say he won enough to keep slogging on. Gingrich got a bunch of delegates, but mainly from one state — Georgia — so his run seems quixotic, as does Paul; yet I can't see any of the three trailing candidates wihdrawing yet. So while yesterday solidified Romney's command, it didn't seem to make much difference in the process.

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