Latest Posts

Iowa Caucus
  • Rick Santorum Won the Iowa Caucuses, for Real, Seriously

    Rick SantorumAt last, our long national nightmare of not knowing the true winner of the Iowa caucuses is over…

    Offering no explanation, the Iowa Republican Party has declared Rick Santorum as winner of the Iowa caucuses, days after saying incomplete vote results precluded it from doing just that. [...]

    Saturday's statement offered no explanation of what had changed since Thursday, and [Iowa GOP chairman Matt] Strawn did not return calls seeking comment.

    I'm not sure why this news story is so hung up on the lack of an "explanation" for the about-face. If the Iowa Republican Party doesn't want to explain how it chooses winners and losers, that's its prerogative. What I would like them to explain is how they've managed to trick everyone into caring about the results of their silly non-binding caucus for so long.

    Photo by John W. Adkisson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Primaries, Rick Santorum
  • Rick Santorum Simultaneously Wins and Loses Schrodinger's (Iowa) Caucus

    The savvy and deliberate citizens of the Hawkeye State take their solemn democratic responsibilities seriously, looking each presidential contender in the eye as the candidates extol the virtues of the deep-fried Twinkie and declare that every Iowa precinct captain is the very heart and soul of the nation.

    In fact, Iowa's political parties take their responsibilities so seriously that the highly-competitive Republican contest generated a turnout of just 19% of registered Republicans, some of whose votes will be known only to the corn gods

    There are too many holes in the certified totals from the Iowa caucuses to know for certain who won, but Rick Santorum wound up with a 34-vote advantage.

    Results from eight precincts are missing — any of which could hold an advantage for Mitt Romney — and will never be recovered and certified, Republican Party of Iowa officials told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday.

    GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts, although not all the changes affected the two leaders. Changes in one precinct alone shifted the vote by 50 — a margin greater than the certified tally.

    The certified numbers: 29,839 for Santorum and 29,805 for Romney. The turnout: 121,503.

    Finally, I have a good guess as to what's beneath the sweater vest: "missing" vote tabulations from Lee and Pocahontas counties! But however small and uncertain the margin, Santorum is the winner, right? Not according to Iowa Republican Party, which called the final result a "split decision" and a "tie."

    After a while, Rick Santorum is simultaneously the winner and the loser of the technically meaningless, non-delegate-awarding beauty contest, yet when you look at all the "Form E" precinct totals, someone has to come out on top. It's like Schrodinger's Cat, unfortunately sans the hydrogen cyanide of the original.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Mitt Romney, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum
  • Rick Santorum Might Have Been True Winner of Meaningless Caucus

    Okay, so you think you know that Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum by a mere nine votes in the Iowa caucuses two weeks ago. But what if it turns out that you only think that you think that. What if, in reality, what you think you think is only something that you think you know?

    What am I saying? I'm not sure. But I think that I'm saying that Rick Santorum might maybe have been the real winner of the Iowa caucuses

    The caucus night results were based on phone calls into the state party. But officials also filled out written records of the vote totals, which they had two weeks to mail into the state party. It is based on those documents — not the phone calls — that the results are certified.

    The Iowa GOP told CBS News Political Hotsheet Tuesday that the deadline for those written records is tomorrow. A spokesperson said the party expects to make a final announcement of the certified results by the end of the week — most likely on Friday.

    Don't be surprised if the certified results don't match the caucus night vote count. As [Byron York of the Washington Examiner] notes, 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee ended up with 113 more votes in the certified results than he did in the initial results; runner-up Romney ended up with 72 more votes in the certified results. Santorum would only need a net gain of nine votes over Romney to be declared the real winner of this year's contest; an unnamed campaign source told York that Santorum was up 80 votes as of midday Monday.

    Wouldn't it be totally crazy if it turned out that the true winner of Iowa's non-binding caucus in which no delegates are awarded and no one actually wins anything turns out to be the person who we didn't think it was to begin with?

    It would literally change everything!

    Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Mitt Romney, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum
  • Rick Santorum Strongly Denies Rumor of his Winning the Iowa Caucus

    Since the Iowa Caucuses are less about delegate counts than about beating expectations, setting the narrative and other forms of media masturbation, Rick Santorum's second place showing was enough to guarantee voters at least a few more weeks access to his rich fantasy life, which involves poly-amorous "man on dog" action and diatribes against contraception that are strangely discordant with his prophylactic choice in sweater-ware.

    But was Santorum really a solid number two in Iowa?

    Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn't.

    "When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I've got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa," True said. "Not Mitt Romney."

    True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party's website, True's precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.

    Santorum, for one, will not stand for this vicious suggestion that he actually won the Caucus…

    "Here's what I know — having talked to the chairman Matt Strawn, who is the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa — that all these counties are going to be reporting in. They’re going to be certifying…that there was one county where there was a 20-vote mistake in my favor…but there was a 21-vote mistake in Romney's favor — so it actually netted out to what I understand is a one-vote difference. [in Romney's favor]"

    It all makes perfect sense, as long as you suspend all notions of a caucus being a democratic process for selecting convention delegates and instead treat it as a press-driven circle jerk. A first-place finish saddles a candidate with high expectations. Second place transforms a vanity campaign into…a slightly more viable vanity campaign.

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum
  • Jon Huntsman Is Too Cool for School

    Jon Huntsman is so cool. Cooler than sunglasses on a dog. Cooler than President Obama's Instagram photos. He's so cool he doesn't even care that John McCain just endorsed Mitt Romney. In fact, he doesn't even care if you care because nobody cares, least of all him

    "It seems the more establishment piles on, Dole, McCain, all the rest, nobody cares. Nobody cares about this. I mean, none of the endorsements that Romney picked up have been a thing in terms of how people respond, because the people are looking for a new generation of leadership. They're looking for a new approach to problem solving in this country. You can get all the Doles and McCains in the world as Romney probably will, but in the end, nobody cares."

    Look at Huntsman leaning against New Hampshire like Fonzi against the jukebox, waiting for you to notice his leather jacket and total disdain for the Iowa Caucus. But will the Granite State play his record before he jumps the shark?

    Nobody cares.

    Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images


    Tags: Barack Obama, Bob Dole, Iowa Caucus, John McCain, Jon Huntsman, Marcus Bachmann, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, Primaries