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South Carolina Primary today

VoteHereI invoke my privilege as a blogger to cover an off-topic subject today, namely the South Carolina Republican Primary, which is going on as I type. It’s cold and raining here in the northwest half of the state, great weather for voting because it’s miserable weather for anything else.

There were maybe 2 voters at my local polling place when I and Ms. Conspiracy showed up around 11:30 am. Poll officials asked which primary we wanted to vote in, then laughed. “We have to ask.”

In an unscientific Obama Conspiracy Theories exit poll, 100% of  voters responding said that they had voted for Herman Cain (the poll has a 99.99999% margin of error). Other polls show Newt Gingrich in the lead, threatening to turn Romney’s 3-in-a-row sweep into 1-in-a-row (following his loss to Rick Santorum after a recount in Iowa).

imageWhat I am most interested to see is just how many South Carolina voters will support Herman Cain, whose aborted campaign has taken  on new life since his plastic surgery, skin whitening, and a new message about the influence of Super PAC money in the election. Cain has demonstrated time and time again his ability to draw crowds, such as this appearance on the Washington Capitol Mall. An estimated 3,000 people attended his rally in Charleston, SC, yesterday, compared to maybe 100 who came to hear Newt Gingrich in Spartanburg when I was there. David Horsey of The Los Angeles Times confirms:

Reporting from Charleston, S.C. — Under the looming live oaks at the College of Charleston on Friday, Stephen Colbert delivered a clinic on how to produce a whiz-bang political rally. Significantly, not one of the Republican candidates this year has exhibited the star power to bring off such an extravaganza themselves.

Jon Stewart, director of the Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Super PAC (informally known as the Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC), reported a surge in the polls to supporters on Thursday:

LANDLINE COUNTRY, USA – A new poll from The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC and Marist College Institute for Public Opinion shows South Carolina voters having a decided interest in undecided potential candidate Stephen Colbert. Potential voters were so electrified by Colbert, 18% gushed they’d be at least "kinda somewhat likely" to vote for him.

Cain’s popularity skyrocketed when it became known that he was the only candidate in the race not to run attack ads or blanket the state in robot-dialed phone messages.

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39 Responses to South Carolina Primary today

  1. avatar
    Arthur January 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Here’s a site that might be a good one for keeping an eye on primary results (includes a map of South Carolina).

    http://www.enr-scvotes.org/SC/36831/63864/en/md.html?cid=103

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Also here:

    http://www.google.com/elections/ed/us/results?gclid=COywt9LA4q0CFUMTNAodUS5c6A

    With 41% of the vote counted, Gingrich is a runaway winner leading Romney 41.1% ot 26.6%. Herman Cain, while beating all of the other not-running candidates (Perry, Huntsman, Backman) COMBINED, still has a measly 1%.

    Romney’s only area of support was near the state capitol (but not Lexington County where the capitol is) and around Charleston, more establishment Republican strongholds. He lost badly in the upstate which is more conservative and in the rural low country.

    All South Carolina is divided into three parts by its geography and history. The northwest upcountry, the central midlands and the coastal low country. The upstate is very conservative and has a manufacturing economy. The midlands is very establishment, where the state capitol is located and the University of South Carolina. The low country is rural with a large African American population, with an economy based on agriculture and tourism.

    Given that I didn’t take middle school social studies in this state, you might want to read the Wikipedia for a better summary.

  3. avatar
    Joey January 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I’m betting that Barack Hussein Obama II has a big smile on his face tonight. This Gingrich victory keeps the Republicans fighting among themselves and spending tons of money rather than settling in on one candidate. And if a new trend is emerging, Obama currently leads Romney by 2% but he leads Gingrich by 11%.
    A guy on his third wife who had to pay the largest ethics fine in US congressional history has a lot of baggage to overcome.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html

  4. avatar
    JPotter January 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Aww, Dr.C., Stephen Cain has 1.3%….4,000 votes with 67% reported, so he should wind up with 6,000 votes. Not bad for a 1-week effort! Of course, I assume few of those voting for him were heading to the polls at all if he wasn’t running.

  5. avatar
    JPotter January 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Joey: the largest ethics fine in US congressional history

    Did you see the cake Romney sent Gingrich’s way today? Classy! Take your pick of the news coverage.

  6. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Why does every article seem to have a different cake pictured? Do we have any clue what the actual cake looked like?

    Romney just trying to piss off Newt… not too smart. Romney was coasting along in this race until he pissed off Newt in the first place and unleashed Newt the Attack Dog back on him. Romney simply can’t stand up in a fight against Newt. He’s just keeping Newt’s ire focused on him even more now…

    JPotter: Did you see the cake Romney sent Gingrich’s way today? Classy! Take your pick of the news coverage.

  7. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    With 99.5% of the vote reported in, he’s got 6326 votes as “Herman Cain”, which is 1.1 %

    I agree with you that is a commendable effort. When you look at how the other GOP candidates who dropped out several weeks ago did (Bachmann, Johnson), you see they only get low triple digits each.

    So clearly, most of that Cain vote total is all due to the Colbert Campaign. And seriously, they only came up with the “Vote Herman Cain” as a vote for Stephen Colbert concept towards the middle of this past week… so YES, when you compare it to the ballot box performance of prior satire candidates in Primary contests (see my prior posts with the analysis on this)… that is certainly a solid performance.

    You simply have to expect polling and actual votes to differ greatly when dealing with satire candidates… when it comes to actually casting that vote, a lot of people might support the satirical idea, but not be willing to actually pull the lever to vote for the satire option.

    Colbert, Stewart and all their supporters should still feel proud of this accomplishment and realize that they’ve done something. This was a worthy effort and a solid performance, when all objective factors and historical comparison are factored in.

    JPotter: Aww, Dr.C., Stephen Cain has 1.3%….4,000 votes with 67% reported, so he should wind up with 6,000 votes. Not bad for a 1-week effort! Of course, I assume few of those voting for him were heading to the polls at all if he wasn’t running.

  8. avatar
    joyeagle January 22, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    CNN showed a picture of it tonight. Yeh, he needs to reign in his hacks–will be counter productive.
    So, who do you suppose Doc C voted for?
    I guess I need to make up my mind. I gave my wife my insight tonight, and discovered she was planning to vote Romney–buying the inevitable line of the “establishment”. I hope to talk her out of that.

    G:
    Why does every article seem to have a different cake pictured?Do we have any clue what the actual cake looked like?
    . He’s just keeping Newt’s ire focused on him even more now…

  9. avatar
    JPotter January 22, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    G: Why does every article seem to have a different cake pictured? Do we have any clue what the actual cake looked like?

    Sure do, it looked like this:
    http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Snapz-Pro-XScreenSnapz345.png

    That image was tweeted from the scene by CNN’s Political Desk Editor Marlena Baldacci, and appeared in numerous reports, including ABC World News Tonight. Oddly, that image is “no longer found” at Twitter. Perhaps CNN had the cake made to create their own stock photo? The Romney campaign said they were going to do this, maybe it was an offhand joke, and there was no cake.

    It seems other stories went with random stock photos.

    Perhaps it was a hoax. If so, it shouldn’t have been! Never let a good insult go unflung!*

    * To be featured in my upcoming book: Poor Advice for Every Occasion.

  10. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Yes, but don’t get overconfident. The Obama campaign has been completely focused on preparing for a Romney fight. Romney is also continuing to come across like more and more of a paper tiger with a glass jaw as time goes on. He’s a much weaker candidate than “conventional wisdom” has wanted to admit.

    Newt is an unstable quantity…but a very different dynamic and in many criteria, could pose a much greater threat to Obama in the end than Romney. It certainly would be a nasty & ugly campaign – as Newt is a pro at the nasty fear/smear “red meat” memes of the right. He certainly would fire up their base much more than Romney ever could. He’s a stronger debater than Romney too.

    Yes, this campaign is not over by any means. But be cautious of getting overconfident of what that means. Romney seems to not wear well at all. If his “inevitability” disappears (which will really happen if Newt beats him in FL – and yes, that state should be considered a toss-up between those two now), then that means the GOP might have caught on to how weak their “defacto” choice really is… Not having Romney “sew things up” for them could be likened to dodging a bullet…

    I take all the possible general match-up projection numbers with a complete grain of salt at this stage of a race. The equation totally changes once a contest ends and a party settles and (generally) gets behind an official nominee. The mere perception of ability to win that very party nomination is simply too much of a factor in how GOP folks view whether candidate x or y is competitve with Obama or not. If Newt or some other non-Romney candidate moves into an extended front-runner status, I would simply expect that their GE polling will move with that perception of “viability” and simply view them as more competive head-to-head with Obama as a result.

    Also – a long and hard fought primary turned out to be a very good thing for the Dems in 2008 – both bringing coverage and attention to their party and candidates and also making Obama into a stronger candidate with a more comprehensive and powerful national organization in the process.

    Of course, that was a contest between two very strong candidates with very little true flaws to exploit. There were some nasty smear whisper campaign things…which did have legs (and can still be found in RW & birther mythos to this day). But because they didn’t have a solid foundation to them, they only appealed to haters who enjoy slinging poop in the first place. …Such things don’t carry beyond those who simply weren’t going to vote for someone anyways and just swallow the poop to use as their excuse. (Again: See Birtherism & PUMAs).

    This 2012 GOP race is different – an unbelievably weak field, where each of the choices has not several, but numerous deep flaws & hurdles – both from a GOP perspective and (often in different ways) from a General Election perspective. Because so many of the tragic flaws are REAL … the longer campaign and the endless debates just continue to shine light on their very real flaws and lies.

    Bottom line: more exposure and extended competition can be a good thing when there are strong candidates with compelling visions… and they can be really damaging, when they simply shed light on what was always damaged goods in the first place…

    Joey: I’m betting that Barack Hussein Obama II has a big smile on his face tonight. This Gingrich victory keeps the Republicans fighting among themselves and spending tons of money rather than settling in on one candidate. And if a new trend is emerging, Obama currently leads Romney by 2% but he leads Gingrich by 11%.A guy on his third wife who had to pay the largest ethics fine in US congressional history has a lot of baggage to overcome.http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html

  11. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 12:49 am #

    Yeah, with all the conflicting Pics, I’m still not convinced that is the one. Until I see a report that actually mentions the delivery & the reaction *and* shows that cake… then I’ll believe this was more than just a teaser story by one campaign merely taunting another with a conceptual attack.

    Sure, that in itself has the taunt effect and will earn Romney blowback and further emnity from Newts campaign just for putting the notion out there.

    But to actually have the brazen balls to go through with it…THAT truly would take it to a different level. Let me know if you find a story that confirms whether it actually happened. Thanks.

    JPotter: Sure do, it looked like this:http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Snapz-Pro-XScreenSnapz345.pngThat image was tweeted from the scene by CNN’s Political Desk Editor Marlena Baldacci, and appeared in numerous reports, including ABC World News Tonight. Oddly, that image is “no longer found” at Twitter. Perhaps CNN had the cake made to create their own stock photo? The Romney campaign said they were going to do this, maybe it was an offhand joke, and there was no cake.It seems other stories went with random stock photos.Perhaps it was a hoax. If so, it shouldn’t have been! Never let a good insult go unflung!** To be featured in my upcoming book: Poor Advice for Every Occasion.

  12. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 1:30 am #

    Dr. C. voted for Herman Cain (i.e. Stephen Colbert).

    Re: your wife (and daughter) – remember, in the end, it is their vote and they have the right to cast it for who they want. If your wife wants to vote for Romney, I hope she has some other reason than the lame “inevitable” argument… that really is the dumbest reason to vote for someone… as it is merely a matter of perception, which can change easily and dramatically.

    Heck, as this past week has shown, the Romney “inevitable” meme is already greatly tarnished. He’s gone from potential 3-race winner to only winning 1 race… and really turning out performances in the other 2 races that are more warning signs of his weaknesses than shoring up that meme for him.

    A quick recap of the 2 candidates in this race who have been running since last cycle, where we can draw a clear comparison of their ability to build and grow over those 5-6 years of running (Romney & Paul):

    First, Romney:

    IA 2008: 2nd place; 30,021 votes; 25.19%
    IA 2012: 2nd place; 29,805 votes; 24.54%

    IA conclusion: Explain to me how someone who is the “inevitable frontrunner” and who has been campaigning non-stop for over 5 years and who spends the most money in a race…in a year when the rest of the field is viewed as extremely weak, actually receives LESS votes??? I mean, seriously! If that isn’t a red flag that even with that “inevitable meme” touted, people don’t like him the more they know him, I don’t know what is! Who LOSES voters with that kind of reputation and money???? Seriously!

    NH 2008: 2nd place; 75,546 votes; 32.17%
    NH 2012: 1st place; 97,600 votes; 39.31 %

    NH conclusion: A very good win and solid increase from last time. The kind of result one would expect from a return candidate, especially in a state that he’s dedicated most of his effort to all along…and also just came off what was reported as a “prior win” at that time. Still, not stellar, as he couldn’t quite break the 40% mark (even though he polled as high as mid 40’s in the week prior to the actual race). So, objectively, it is really only a tepid result for someone expected to cake-walk this particular state in the first place.

    SC 2008: 4th place; 68,177 votes; 15.3 %
    SC 2012: 2nd place; 167,279 votes; 28 %

    SC conclusion: Now this is definitely a huge improvement for Mitt from 2008 in this state. Then again, at the beginning of the week, simply because of the “inevitable” meme, he was leading all the state polling by double digit margins over his competition…and then endlessly fumbled this weak as Newt grew in strength and ended up crushing him with a 40% 1st place win. So, it is the best “growth” comparison for Mitt by far…but so much of it seems to be only tied to the “inevitable” meme…with not much actual “platform” foundation at all.

    So I ask, just how far can “inevitable” carry someone on its own…particularly if that is really the main leg they have to stand on? If he was really “inevitable”, then explain how he can poll with a double digit lead for days in SC after NH (simply because it was assumed he had won 2 back to back races…so bandwagon jumpers just piled on) …to losing by double digits??? Give him an average of 10% lead in those prior week polls and compare to his 12% loss to Newt – *that* is a 22% NEGATIVE shift in fortunes!

    So yeah, hardly “inevitable”. When you look at the whole picture and dynamic…there are many “red flags” to how well that can be sustained…and such drastic momentum swings away from him in the course of a single week demonstrate how the whole argument is nothing but flimsy and volitile perception…and can dramatically shift somewhere else.

    So bottom line, I hope your wife has actual policy positions, values and other issues that she prefers in Romney over other candidates. If so, that is fine and she should cast her vote based on that.

    But if “inevitable” or “competive” are her main focus… that seems to be something without any solid “real” foundation beneath it. It could easily come apart and crumble in a very short time and the mantle of “inevitable” or “competive” could shift to one of the other candidates easily. If that happens, and her vote was simply based on a gamble of mere perception instead of solid qualities and reasons inherent to the candidate themself… well, then she’ll just feel cheated and like she wasted her vote.

    But if she votes her heart instead of just trying to “follow a crowd”…then her vote truly reflects her and her values and she can be proud of it, no matter what happens to that candidate in the long term. It is never “wasting” a vote to vote your values and beliefs.

    So, that is just my advice. I hope it is helpful.

    joyeagle: CNN showed a picture of it tonight. Yeh, he needs to reign in his hacks–will be counter productive.So, who do you suppose Doc C voted for?I guess I need to make up my mind. I gave my wife my insight tonight, and discovered she was planning to vote Romney–buying the inevitable line of the “establishment”. I hope to talk her out of that.

  13. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Oops! Totally forgot the Ron Paul analysis recap. I know you are a Paul fan, JoyEagle, so I wanted to give you that analysis, so you can take comfort that your candidate is still very much alive and in this race at the present moment. For now, ignore the “given” media bias against him and just focus on the story that the numbers tell.

    IA 2008: 5th place; 11,841 votes; 9.93%
    IA 2012: 3rd place; 26,036 votes; 21.44%

    IA analysis: This was the first test to tell us if Ron Paul’s dedicated following not only still held, but was growing and was a “real” thing. IA confirmed that serious potential was there & that Paul was able to deliver as a force at the ballot box. He more than DOUBLED his voting support from 4 years ago. Very impressive!

    NH 2008: 5th place; 18,308 votes; 7.8%
    NH 2012: 2nd place; 56,872 votes; 22.91%

    NH analysis: The key here was to see if the trend of IA continued – If Paul could demonstrate that his movement was “real” beyond one state. If the results demonstrated that he also doubled his vote total from last time here, then the answer was YES. If they were greater, they indicated that his support is still GROWING beyond that and that he has a current of continued momentum that the media is ignoring. Even more important than Paul’s impressive 2nd place finish is those vote total comparisons to answer that growth/momentum issue. The results: Over TRIPLE his 2008 support!!!

    SC 2008: 5th place; 16,155 votes; 3.62%
    SC 2012: 4th place; 77,993 votes; 13%

    SC analysis: Looking at SC in 2008, it was obvious that this was territory that was quite “hostile” or difficult for Paul. There was very little doubt that he would place 4th out of the 4 in this particular race. That isn’t a reflection of Paul as much as it is the state’s particular dynamic – a battle focused between crowning an “inevitable” Establishment candidate and determining whether a Conservative Alternative could emerge. That was the true focus and what SC was always about. So Paul wasn’t part of the competition equation here regardless. That he had horrible traction here in 2008 only made his true expectations for performance here even worse.

    In that type of hostile environment, one could reasonable expect that Paul would not be able to match the types of growth gains seen in more “friendly” states of IA and NH to him. You would still want to see an improvement over his 2008 numbers, certainly. But it would be reasonable to assume it difficult for him to sustain in even doubling, like he did in IA, let alone match tripling, like he did in NH.

    But the actual 2012 results explain why Paul’s campaign & his supporters were in such an enthusiastic party mood with their “4th place” win tonight – he GREW his actual vote turn out over 2008 by a factor of more than 4.8!!! That is nearly QUINTUPLING his turnout from last time around!!!

    So really, the expected 4th place result in a truly open race where still anything can change and happen is only masking the true astounding performance he demonstrated here – his movement is still GROWING…and at an unbelievable rate from race to race…even in very hostile territory! I mean, I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen on Paul’s campaign…but even I would never dream that in SC he could get NEARLY FIVE TIMES the turnout in that state than he did in the past. His campaign was so overwhelmed and overlooked by the Establishment vs. Conservative battle of that particular contest that even I only thought he might be able to pull of Double or somewhere between double & triple… showing that his momentum was still growing.

    But nearly FIVE TIMES growth…! Wow…just wow. That just tells me his chances to actually win some of these Feb contests are quite real…and he is definitely being underestimated in a media narrative that wants him to simply go away.

    Really, Paul’s focus is on the Feb contests and I hate to tell you, not your beloved FL. FL is a winner-take all of its delegates, so although he will compete in all the debates (which have been huge there), he’s wisely not going to waste his campaign coffers on extremely expensive ad buys in the FL markets. So, while it will still matter to his team to get a decent support in the end results there, he knows your state will go to either Newt or Romney.

    But Feb is a different story and ALL of the races there are ones in which Paul’s campaign is very active and has been on the ground for many weeks. Feb is the timeframe on which his viability will truly be judged. There is a serious chance he can not just do well in these, but even WIN some of them. If that comes to pass, the whole dynamic and perception of “viability” and “inevitable” in this race is turned on its head once again.

    So the true story of Paul’s chances this cycle is in looking at the numbers and comparing them to see if he truly has the ability to grow and improve. So far, he’s demonstrated overwhelmingly that he can. Remember – he was really just a lower-tier candidate in all of 2008…and still had a decent minor impact in this race. Look at all those same 3 races from last year – he was a 5th place candidate in 2008 in ALL of them! This year, he’s demonstrated he’s part of the top-tier, even if they don’t give him top-tier treatment…

    Ron Paul’s organization has been focused on winning delegates this time around. He knows he does particularly well in caucus states and this cycle, he’s got a full-court press in all of those. Even the Primary states in Feb have strong Paul teams on the ground. So this next month is really the true test “window” to answer the viability question for him. In order to not just rack up points, but actually contend, he needs to get an actual win. As he averaged out to be a 4% candidate overall in 2008 Primaries, I look at those 2008 states where he really exceeded that average to see where he might truly be able to pull of a win this time around. Of the Feb contests, here are the states in which he performed above his average in 2008:

    NV 2008: 14% (got 4 delegates)
    ME 2008: 18%
    CO 2008: 8 %
    MN 2008: 16%
    MI 2008: 6%
    WA 2008: 22%

    He only did 3.23% in FL in 2008…so that is simply hostile territory for him. Of the other Feb contests comparisons, the 2008 results were at his 4% average from that year: MO, AZ, NMI

    So, in summary, there are quite a few strong possibilities for him in Feb, which would totally change the dynamics of this race…and really cascade to building his downline momentum from there…should he actually pull off a win in any of them…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2008_Republican_presidential_primaries

    Of course, if his team can’t pull off any of these states and has zero wins by the time Super-Tuesday is done, his “window of viability” will have closed…even if he continues on…and even his ability to simply accumulate further delegates has a window that would then close on him, once we are down to mostly winner-take-all states in April (with the possible exception of TX).

    G: A quick recap of the 2 candidates in this race who have been running since last cycle, where we can draw a clear comparison of their ability to build and grow over those 5-6 years of running (Romney & Paul):

  14. avatar
    JPotter January 22, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Just came across this political cartoon on a conservative blog that was railing against the excesses of Gingrich …. make sure you’re ready before clicking.

  15. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    So, in my previous two posts for you, I’ve covered Romney (who you mentioned your wife is considering) and Paul (who you’ve mentioned interest in the past). Those also happened to be easier to try to do some comparitive performance analysis, as they both ran in 2008.

    The other two candidates I’m limited to just trying to make educated speculation of viability, based on what they’ve done in this current race.

    My summary answer is to encourage you & your family to go with your hearts and support based on who best matches your positions, views and values and to ignore getting hornswaggled on etheral and mercurial conventions of “inevitability” or “viability” or “competitiveness” – as those are simply malleable constructs of lagging-indicator perceptions at play.

    Simply put, any one of these 4 can still see their fortunes and momentum completely change in this race…and such concepts of “viability”, “inevitability” or “able to compete with Obama” will simply move to align with whoever can capture more than a fleeting hold of that momentum and can just as quickly disintegrate for others.

    Ignore the media and “conventional wisdom” BS and simply encourage you & your family to vote what truly fits best for each of you and let the results fall where they may. All 4 of these remaining candidates are still very much alive and not out of this race.

    FL is simply likely to be a battle between Newt & Romney. Not just due to current momentum and perceptions, but also because your state dynamics simply is a good environment for both of them, regardless. They each have always had their own impressive bases of support in that state, that has held up above mere bubble and momentum trendlines.

    Had Newt not won SC, FL would have been Romney’s to lose. Now it is truly a toss-up between the two of them and can go either way. They would both have to somehow “self-destruct” for either Santorum or Paul to beat both of them there. But hey, in this year’s race, anything is possible.

    The important thing is the overall story. With Santorum’s decision and speech tonight to stay in this race (and some of his interviews after that), he’s indicated that his strategy is to stay in past FL regardless. He’s positioning himself to be the “steady” alternative to EITHER Newt or Romney, should just one of them self-destruct (certainly possible)…and made strong indications that he will try to hang in to see if this can happen through Super-Tuesday.

    So the March 6th “Super Tuesday” contest seems to be shaping up as the true evaluation point on the calendar for who is still viable…and we may not see *any* of the final 4 drop out before that takes place. Enough states will have voted by then to truly have a clearer picture of who remains “viable” and competitive by then.

    Because Romney is now only 1 for 3 and only won an “strongly favored” state of NH, a win in FL can’t really put this to bed for him on its own anymore either. Since he has always been “strongly favored” in FL… a 2 for 4 with wins in only states he was always expected to win anyways doesn’t actually answer the “inevitability” question for him anymore.

    No, for Romney, he’s now got to demonstrate that he can pull of clear and convincing margin wins in several states where he wasn’t “favored” from the very get-go to win all along. He truly doesn’t deserve to be viewed as “inevitable” until he can prove that. In many ways, that is why SC was so important for him to win…and why having it shift dramatically away from him by 22% within the last week is an alarming “red flag”.

    If Newt pulls off a back-to-back win in FL…Romney is really in trouble, at least in the short-term. It doesn’t destroy his chances to get back in, but it would truly shift the meme of “inevitable” off of him and onto Newt. But again, that neither means that Newt is actually a lock nor that Romney is out either… despite how all the chattering classes will be spinning it that way. That just means the race truly remains wide open.

    For all the “first in the West” hype that NV will get, its own dynamics discount it from answering that “inevitable” test as well – another one that Romney has always been highly favored in (high Mormon population), that Newt has an above average following… and also one that Ron Paul has very strong support in. So, barring the collapse of Newt, expect Santorum to come in 4th in NV regardless (same as Paul’s 4th place in SC was a given).

    The difference between the fate of Santorum & Paul is 3 things – financing, organization and “party pressure”. Paul’s already got the organization and a powerful financing structure to sustain him. Paul and his supporters are about as immune to outside pressures to force them out of the race as it gets, so the chances of him bowing out are highly improbable, regardless.

    Santorum seems to have gained a bit of funding since his IA performance…so the question is how long that is there for him to keep going and what he can build from it to sustain him. There is no question that he has the will and courage to perservere… but there is a question of how much pressure will be brought to bare on him to drop out if Newt continues to perform well…as there is a great desire amongst Conservatives to align behind one final Conservative Alternative.

    So, if he can overcome those 3 obstacles, Santorum has a chance to at keep his window open though Super-Tuesday as well. He would need to WIN at least 1 more state between now and then, or he’s completely done. Obviously, the sooner the better.

    As the Super-Tuesday window dynamics and possibilities are so dependent on all of the race results & dynamics that lead up to them, I specifically staying clear of assessing any of them until we get through the pre-Super Tuesday races. Although I honestly think all 4 have at least the *possibility* to remain viable through Super-Tuesday… I agree that they need to perform well enough in the post FL interim in order to make a legitmate argument to any of the Super-Tuesday states for why they should still be “in play” and be given a serious chance.

    Therefore, personally, I *do* feel that further winnowing is certainly still a solid possibility between now and then. Winnowing is so expected, that I am focused more on assessing if there is a chance that it might NOT happen…as opposed to whether it will…because it most certainly can in this race…at any time. My point is that we could still see UP TO 4 candidates in this race all the way through March 3 or March 6. We could also be down to as little as two by either of those dates.

    However, I am nearly certain that any of the 4 who does not put up at least one (additional) WIN in Feb (post NV) is going to have a hard time getting a WIN on Super-Tuesday…and if they can’t pull that off in either of those 2 periods, they are, for all intents and purposes, “done”, regardless at that point. The results of the first 5 “event races” will simply not be enough to keep anyone viable that can’t replicate additional WINs by the end of that Mar 6th window.

    At this point, I think the question of “viability” remains theoretically open for any of the 4 until then. For Santorum, there are indications that MI and also MN could have very favorable audiences receptive to the middle-class emphasis in his platform. They also have good Catholic populations too. The “flavor of the month” alternative always polled higher than national average in MO & ME…so for those still taking a serious look at Santorum to be their Conservative choice…he’s got a lot of potential he can target in those states too.

    Romney usually polls above average in FL, NV, MI, AZ and CO. So those are his areas of strength on the pre Super-Tuesday calendar.

    Newt’s record has remained above his national average in a lot of these states too – FL, NV, ME, MO, AZ, CO, MI.

    I’ve already discussed Paul and how this is a good batch for him in my prior post.

    In summary, SC’s results have made this contest remain OPEN. All 4 are still potentially viable. FL has a great impact on that equation, but it shouldn’t truly kill anyone’s or really make anyone “inevitable”, regardless of what they hype and spin says either. Same with NV. Is it possible that the race drops down to by the time NV is done?…sure – but certainly not guaranteed. Is it also possible that all 4 could still be in the race on March 6th? Sure, it still remains possible… for now.

    For any of these 4 to really

    joyeagle: I guess I need to make up my mind. I gave my wife my insight tonight, and discovered she was planning to vote Romney–buying the inevitable line of the “establishment”. I hope to talk her out of that.

  16. avatar
    Majority Will January 22, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Newt Gingrich – Family Values

    Using daughters from your first wife to convince everyone that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    (posted on Facebook by the Democratic Party of Georgia)

  17. avatar
    joyeagle January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Actually, after I re thought my conversation with my wife (I am out of town and it was on the phone), she was more quoting the “only one that can beat Obama” argument. She wasn’t arguing it, just stating it. My advice to her was the three different reasons why you might vote for each of the other three candidates, but I told her I saw no reason to vote for Romney until we have to.
    I am pretty sure ALL of the pre-April delegates are proportional, and not winner take all like it used to be. Florida is the first truly CLOSED primary–maybe that is what you were thinking. I say truly closed, because you had to be registered as a republican thirty days prior to the election.

    Once again, great analysis. I thought I would be all decided, but I am still wavering … just because I am in Florida, and my desire to have a non-Romney candidate is also very strong. The more the press pushes him as inevitable–the more that grows. I thought the SC ad that showed the masses dressed in grey, cattle marching and being told through bull-horns that they must vote for Romney really captured this sentiment.

    Excellent analysis … and very objective … as always. Thanks!

    G: FL is a winner-take all of its delegates

  18. avatar
    joyeagle January 22, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Alabama and Georgia both get more delegates this time around than Florida. The talking heads are way under-reporting the impact of all of these early state delegate penalties, and why inevitability from early states is less of a factor this year. I think that is what the Santorum and Paul campaigns understand.

  19. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Thanks joyeagle! I truly look forward to your posts (and hope that the other conservative & Republican voting regulars here will chime in too). I seriously hope that you continue to come here and discuss your views of the race, even after your state of FL is in the rear-view window!

    I’m sure that any of the partisan democrats here won’t be happy with some of the things I’m saying, but I’m trying to be objective and look for where I can enjoy the race for the positive aspects it offers and not just dwell on the clear difficulties of choice available when all of the contestants have many critical weaknesses.

    Here’s a good thing for both GOP voters and non-partisan observers to cheer:

    The turnout for the SC GOP primary was 601,166 in the latest numbers I’ve seen. Compare that to 2008, in which turnout was 445,667… That is a HUGE growth and an amazingly strong showing.

    Contrast that to the IA & NH results, which were only about 4% more than last time…and exit polls showing that in those races, the “independents” were a significant part of that turnout. So, those prior 2 races were not that encouraging for the GOP.

    However, SC’s results are a phenomenal showing!

    Objectively speaking, I think the true lesson here is that an “unsettled” and “open” race can actually be a good thing – for both a party AND in my eyes, more importantly, for representative participative democracy as a whole.

    Just as the 2008 Democratic contest battle led to more people realizing that their vote and personal choice still mattered, this too can have that same effect for the GOP voters out there. From the voter’s perspective, while “uncertaintly” can be nerve-wracking, it also can be exciting and allows more folks in more states to truly get to have their voice register in the process.

    That means more to these folks in down-calendar races, who don’t usually have much of a say or chance to weigh in, by the time the race makes it to their door. So, I hope and expect to see voter turnout grow and do well in FL and the states beyond.

    Hey, it may be a difficult decision and choice between a different set of flawed options… but most importantly, it still is a choice and truly a race where nothing is set in stone and anything can happen…and that is a good thing!

    Most importantly, the longer things play out, the more the eventual result is truly based on the will of the people voting and making that happen and not just accepting an outcome that big money or media tells them to accept. If all of those end up at the same final decision, then at least is was arrived there together and willingly and by choice.

    Don’t let the media or anyone else tell you what to think. Your vote & choice do matter. This race is certainly very much open and all 4 of those in it have possible paths to victory. I’m not saying that each of them has the same chances or that some paths don’t require a fair amount of factors to come together at the right time in order to be possible…and they certainly ALL face their share of obstacles up ahead.

    But yeah, objectively speaking, the calendar and the existing data show that none of the 4 remaining are just “filling space” at this point. There are many unforseen events and twists and turns of momentum changes still to play out….

    joyeagle: Actually, after I re thought my conversation with my wife (I am out of town and it was on the phone), she was more quoting the “only one that can beat Obama” argument. She wasn’t arguing it, just stating it. My advice to her was the three different reasons why you might vote for each of the other three candidates, but I told her I saw no reason to vote for Romney until we have to.I am pretty sure ALL of the pre-April delegates are proportional, and not winner take all like it used to be. Florida is the first truly CLOSED primary–maybe that is what you were thinking. I say truly closed, because you had to be registered as a republican thirty days prior to the election. Once again, great analysis. I thought I would be all decided, but I am still wavering … just because I am in Florida, and my desire to have a non-Romney candidate is also very strong. The more the press pushes him as inevitable–the more that grows. I thought the SC ad that showed the masses dressed in grey, cattle marching and being told through bull-horns that they must vote for Romney really captured this sentiment.Excellent analysis … and very objective … as always. Thanks!

  20. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Here’s a list for delegate tracking:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2012_Republican_Party_presidential_primaries

    Alabama and Florida are both 50 delegates this cycle, actually. Florida was 98 and 50 *is* the reduced penalty amount.

    But you are absolutely correct about all of your points and analysis here. Even more significantly, just about ALL the contests coming up through Super-Tuesday are bigger than the 3 that have taken place so far.

    As you mentioned, GA is the largest prize between now through Super-Tuesday (76). Note that same day also has OH (66), TN (58) and VA (49). Only VT (17) and the NMI (8) are smaller in that time period than IA, NH, & SC.

    I too am astounded how badly the pundits have failed to grasp the utter difference in this year’s calendar and allocations to past years. Then again, people always seem to be stuck in patters of the past cycles and not paying attention to what is currently happening, I guess. In the early races, the focus is always on who wins each race and that drives the momentum and story. But after Super-Tuesday, enough points will be on the board that even the pundits will need to focus on the delegate counts.

    joyeagle: Alabama and Georgia both get more delegates this time around than Florida. The talking heads are way under-reporting the impact of all of these early state delegate penalties, and why inevitability from early states is less of a factor this year. I think that is what the Santorum and Paul campaigns understand.

  21. avatar
    joyeagle January 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

    I wonder if Gingrich/Santorum are either still players when Virginia comes around … I have to state, that I agreed with the courts decision against Perry et al., … but real disappointed that VA disallows write-ins. Alaska proved the validity of a strong contender on write in campaign. But I wonder, if the chess is still going on, if Gingrich/Santorum will advise all of their VA supporters to vote Ron Paul.

    G: even the pundits will need to focus on the delegate counts

  22. avatar
    Majority Will January 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    A SC GOP birther panders to his loyal GOP bigots:

    (excerpt) Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach) was in rare form last week during the 7th Congressional District Republican Candidate Forum at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. The representative from South Carolina’s 107th District, who was one of the questioners for the candidates, took time at the beginning of the event to bring up what has become, for many, a tired issue: President Barrack Obama’s birth certificate.

    Clemmons quipped to the delight of the GOP crowd that Obama adopt “Give me four more years to find my birth certificate,” as a slogan for his reelection campaign.

    (source: http://www2.scnow.com/news/2012/jan/22/column-pregnant-candidates-birthers-imposters-oh-m-ar-3083953/)

    “Show Me Your Papers, Boy” should be the GOP campaign slogan.

    Such a classy bunch of fear mongering fools.

  23. avatar
    JPotter January 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    joyeagle: if Gingrich/Santorum will advise all of their VA supporters to vote Ron Paul.

    Nice strategic thinking, Joy! G, can you think of a precedent for candidates coordinating this way against a common foe? Romney stumbled so badly last week. Almost as if he were possessed by the spirit of the departed Perry! AS his opponents finally got the hang of prying into his cracks. Overcoming his cash and org chart will be tough tho. I hope they either succeed in toppling him, or somehow implode even worse then he, allowing him to coast. If Romney can overcome these stumble and turn the narrative about this finances and flip-floppery, he’ll be a much stronger, more refined candidate.

    But y’know, he’s had 5 years to work out these kinks, and hasn’t managed it yet!

  24. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I agree with you – the judges all made the correct call, but surprised to see that some states do not allow write-ins.

    I too like having write-ins as an option and as you pointed out, has been historically significant in races, such as Murkowski in AK.

    But then again, how the primary ballot structure works is a state by state issue and each state is within their right to do it differently. So, while I like the write-in option, VA is well within its rights to chose not to have one.

    You are absolutely right that such a big prize as VA, with *only* Romney & Paul on that ballot will be an interesting factor in this race.

    Gingrich & Santorum do catch one small break in their failure to make it on that important state contest however. Since it falls on Super-Tuesday, it is just one of 11 states voting all on that day and therefore there are a lot of other state races for both them and the media to also try to focus on at the same time. Had it been a stand-alone contest, that would have hurt both of them even more.

    Interesting point you make about whether the non-Romney candidates encourage their voters in VA to vote for Paul or not… wow… that would certainly be an interesting tactic and twist, wouldn’t it? Just another reason that the possibilities and twists of this race are still varied and many and excitingly hard to predict!!!

    …I also wonder if there will be any more states in which a remaining candidate fails to qualifiy for the ballot. So far, VA is the only one I’ve heard about… but I think there are still a number of later race ballot deadlines that are still open…

    joyeagle: I wonder if Gingrich/Santorum are either still players when Virginia comes around … I have to state, that I agreed with the courts decision against Perry et al., … but real disappointed that VA disallows write-ins. Alaska proved the validity of a strong contender on write in campaign. But I wonder, if the chess is still going on, if Gingrich/Santorum will advise all of their VA supporters to vote Ron Paul.

  25. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    How sad and pathetic. How embarassing to any state to have actual elected officials piddle and play around in this dreck.

    Majority Will: A SC GOP birther panders to his loyal GOP bigots:(excerpt) Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach) was in rare form last week during the 7th Congressional District Republican Candidate Forum at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. The representative from South Carolina’s 107th District, who was one of the questioners for the candidates, took time at the beginning of the event to bring up what has become, for many, a tired issue: President Barrack Obama’s birth certificate.Clemmons quipped to the delight of the GOP crowd that Obama adopt “Give me four more years to find my birth certificate,” as a slogan for his reelection campaign.(source: http://www2.scnow.com/news/2012/jan/22/column-pregnant-candidates-birthers-imposters-oh-m-ar-3083953/)“Show Me Your Papers, Boy” should be the GOP campaign slogan.Such a classy bunch of fear mongering fools.

  26. avatar
    JPotter January 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Majority Will: Clemmons quipped to the delight of the GOP crowd that Obama adopt “Give me four more years to find my birth certificate,” as a slogan for his reelection campaign.

    Holy freakin’ crap, how disingenuous can you get? He took 3 years to release the super-special version of the birth certificate nutter demanded.

    Holy freakin’ crap, he’s white and prematurely bald.

    He does have a point. How dare a black man resist humiliation for a few years? Obama should dance on a string on command.

    “Among other pieces of legislation, Clemmons was the sponsor of the Rider Safety Act which emphasizes the responsibility of individuals to act responsibly on amusement park rides.”
    Need a law for that? Sounds like a move to protect parks against liability πŸ˜‰

  27. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    See my reply to JoeEagle at 11:18pm above.

    I can’t think of any precedent offhand for such coordination, no. Not saying it hasn’t happened outside of maybe some TV movie plot…but I can’t think of one. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in this cycle either.

    If others pick up on what Joyeagle came up with… it certainly might become an appealing strategy by either Rick or Newt, provided either or both of them are still around to head into Super-Tuesday! When you get down to focusing on the delegate count fight that truly matters in the end… what Joyeagle proposed is really a brilliant tactic for opponents to try to prevent Romney from getting as many points on the board!

    But just as much as I point out that these others shouldn’t be counted out, it is important to emphasize not to let any of these “changes in fortunes” to count out Romney either. The media talking heads are always too quick to jump on different bandwagons and make excessive proclamations about someone either being “out” of a race or being the “defacto” winner. Already, I’ve heard and read too many chatterati, who are leaping to excessive pronouncements of Romney being if DOA because of SC… or that he would totally be DOA if he loses FL and that Newt wins if he get’s those two prizes back to back.

    All of that is just as much of an excessive “counting-chickens-before-they-hatch” as all the other overblown pronoucements they’ve made since the campaign season began last year.

    Yes, Newt had a big win – 40% to 28% is an astonishing margin of victory and change of fortunes in this race. Yes, Newt also has a solid chance to win FL as well.

    But don’t count Romney out – even if Newt maintains momentum, Romney has a good shot at FL (where he has a really, really strong organization, support base and infusion of money for a huge ad campaign). Also, approx 200,000 mail-in and early voting ballots have already come in for FL. So there could be a significant amount of Romney votes already locked in, before he had his change of fortunes in momentum.

    Also – don’t count out Romney if he lost FL…and even if he lost NV after that. Conversely, don’t count out Newt if Romney can win in both FL and NV either. Neither of those situations really locks up the race, as much as there is media & establishment pressure to crown someone the “defacto” winner.

    The only way this race could end before Super-Tuesday at this point is if either one candidate can nearly run the table of all the Feb contests… or if the other candidates somehow all gave in to pressure to make them bow out.

    I think Santorum is smart to ignore the pressures for him to bow out at this point and try to build money and support to see how things play out through Super-Tuesday. Even if his numbers dry up for awhile, all he needs is either Newt or Romney to have a sustained period of tanking and pressure… and then he can easily come back in the race with his argument of being a “steady” and principled choice and alternative to whoever is the front-runner. Paul has no reason to drop out either…and despite being ignored, has a real chance at winning some of those Feb caucuses. Once he does that, his entire fortunes and future potential has changed entirely. Expect the establishment to get very scared if Paul can prove he can actually WIN a state. Because once he demonstrates that is possible… people start believing and realize it is possible to happen again. Hence, how perception simply follows results.

    JPotter: Nice strategic thinking, Joy! G, can you think of a precedent for candidates coordinating this way against a common foe? Romney stumbled so badly last week. Almost as if he were possessed by the spirit of the departed Perry! AS his opponents finally got the hang of prying into his cracks. Overcoming his cash and org chart will be tough tho. I hope they either succeed in toppling him, or somehow implode even worse then he, allowing him to coast. If Romney can overcome these stumble and turn the narrative about this finances and flip-floppery, he’ll be a much stronger, more refined candidate. But y’know, he’s had 5 years to work out these kinks, and hasn’t managed it yet!

  28. avatar
    G January 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    And crazy birther Sammy Sewel comes out of the woodwork to appear in the comments too…

    Just more proof that most of Birtherism is just intentional propoganda games by a small devoted hardcore group of fanatics. They seem to appear like clockwork any time any story anywhere mentions Birther nuttiness.

    Like a few of the clowns who appeared here recently and eventually admitted what they were trying to do, it appears that is the true strategy and intent of many of these committed clowns – they seriously believe their crazy posts can still sew doubts and convert new people to Birtherism. FOOLS. At this point down this long stretch of stupidity, they are only preaching to the choir and just come across like nuts to everyone else.

    Majority Will: (source: http://www2.scnow.com/news/2012/jan/22/column-pregnant-candidates-birthers-imposters-oh-m-ar-3083953/)
    “Show Me Your Papers, Boy” should be the GOP campaign slogan.
    Such a classy bunch of fear mongering fools.

  29. avatar
    Majority Will January 23, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    G:
    And crazy birther Sammy Sewel comes out of the woodwork to appear in the comments too…

    Just more proof that most of Birtherism is just intentional propoganda games by a small devoted hardcore group of fanatics.They seem to appear like clockwork any time any story anywhere mentions Birther nuttiness.

    Like a few of the clowns who appeared here recently and eventually admitted what they were trying to do, it appears that is the true strategy and intent of many of these committed clowns – they seriously believe their crazy posts can still sew doubts and convert new people to Birtherism. FOOLS.At this point down this long stretch of stupidity, they are only preaching to the choir and just come across like nuts to everyone else.

    There must be a contest among Silly Sam, Scary Gerry and Racey Tracey to see who can prove to be the most prolific and guano psychotic:
    http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981045316

  30. avatar
    G January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Great find Majority WIll!!!

    NOTE: I want to bring this article you found to Dr. C’s attention – it is worthy of a blog article from him for a different reason – the really fascinating geneology story contained therein regarding ALL US presidents (except Martin Van Buren) INCLUDING Obama being traced back to the same common ancestor – King John of England!

    From your link:

    Obama is related to nearly every president the United States has ever had

    A 12-year old girl did something that historians have never managed to do. She traced president Barack Obama’s ancestry all the way back to King John of England. He is also related to every president the United States has ever had in its history, except for one.

    The TV video coverage of the story is must see as well. You can watch it at the link to Chelsea’s cool website and article or directly via this:

    http://bcove.me/te4ymfyq

    Majority Will: There must be a contest among Silly Sam, Scary Gerry and Racey Tracey to see who can prove to be the most prolific and guano psychotic:http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981045316

  31. avatar
    J. Potter January 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    G: A 12-year old girl did something that historians have never managed to do.

    I recall coming across this last summer, interesting to see it pop up again! How did Martin Van Buren get passed over … he from another planet? LOL

  32. avatar
    Sef January 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    G: (except Martin Van Buren)

    Since I am related to Martin Van Buren (through Peter Claesen Wyckoff) & some other Presidents (the 2 Bushes, FDR, Grant) at least all the Presidents can be connected within the same Genealogical tree, maybe not related, but connected. (Lincoln is in this category). All because of the Mayflower.

  33. avatar
    G January 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    WOW! Really cool bit of trivia… PLUS that makes you part of the “missing link” to now associate ALL US presidents together! πŸ™‚

    Sef: Since I am related to Martin Van Buren (through Peter Claesen Wyckoff) & some other Presidents (the 2 Bushes, FDR, Grant) at least all the Presidents can be connected within the same Genealogical tree, maybe not related, but connected. (Lincoln is in this category). All because of the Mayflower.

  34. avatar
    Majority Will January 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    G:
    Great find Majority WIll!!!

    NOTE: I want to bring this article you found to Dr. C’s attention – it is worthy of a blog article from him for a different reason – the really fascinating geneology story contained therein regarding ALLUS presidents (except Martin Van Buren) INCLUDING Obama being traced back to the same common ancestor – King John of England!

    From your link:

    The TV video coverage of the story is must see as well. You can watch it at the link to Chelsea’s cool website and article or directly via this:

    http://bcove.me/te4ymfyq

    You’re welcome. And of course, the birthers ignore it.

  35. avatar
    Nathanael January 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Majority Will:
    Newt Gingrich – Family Values

    Using daughters from your first wife to convince everyone that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

    (posted on Facebook by the Democratic Party of Georgia)

    Also known as “serial polygamy”. And everyone’s worred about Romney.

  36. avatar
    Nathanael January 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    G:
    WOW!Really cool bit of trivia… PLUS that makes you part of the “missing link” to now associate ALL US presidents together!

    As an avid genealogist, I’ve noticed that the ancestry of presidents and presidential candidates becomes a hot topic during pretty much every election I can remember. Remember the scandal over McCain’s claim to be descended from Irish kings?

    In fact, the only remarkable thing about being descended from European royalty is how utterly unremarkable it is. Wanna know why so many US presidents seem to be descended from European royalty? Because the fact is that anyone alive today with European ancestry is a descendant of European Kings. I’ve personally traced my ancestry back to King John at least four different ways. So, the next time that inebriated bluenose at the Christmas party brags he’s descended from Charlegmegne just smile and say, “Howdy, cousin!”

    And while it’s great that this 12-year-old girl was fascinated enough by genealogy to put together this project, the truth is anyone with an Internet connection and a subscription to Ancestry.com could easily pull out the same information. In fact, Ancestry.com used to have something of a “six degrees of relation” feature where you could plug in the names of any two people and Ancestry.com would crank out a relationship chart.

    The other salient point is that online genealogies are about as dirty as Orly Taitz’s SSN databases. Ninety eight percent of all family trees are completely undocumented; if you ask owners (I’ve asked hundreds) of the user-generated public trees at Ancestry.com where they got their info, the most common answer bar none is “I found it on the Internet”. While I haven’t seen this girl’s work specifically, I’ve seen enough presidential genealogies to say the bulk of them are unreliable enough to give any self-respecting genealogist night-sweats. But the press loves ’em.

    True fact: I’ve traced my ancestry all the way back to Adam and Eve. Just sayin’.

  37. avatar
    Keith January 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Nathanael: True fact: I’ve traced my ancestry all the way back to Adam and Eve. Just sayin’.

    I have traced mine back to Dunning De Lathom, a Saxon turncoat that was rewarded by the Normans with the property “Chapelry of Lathom” which essentially made him the first first Earl of Lancashire (there’s been several first Earls of Lancashire). The family right to the title only lasted 4 or 5 generations till it was passed over to the Chichester’s due to incompentence and debauchery (one of ’em was burned at the stake when the townsfolk found they had a fire too big for the witches they executing and thought they might as well toast their predatory pedophile laird at the same time.

    The only difficult point was trying to find out who my great-great-great-great-great grandfather was. It seems like his records were lost when the British burned the city during the War of 1812. But an educated guess got me to the next generation without too much loss of fidelity.

    There is also a story that Dunning was actually the second son of a local Saxon King with some reputation, and there are 3 of 4 more generations beyond him, but I don’t know how accurate that might be.

    The Human Genome Project has tracked me back to “Eurasian Adam”, via M343, M173, M45, M9, M89 and M168. But I’m missing all the generations in between. I reckon Noah (the real one) would have been M9 so I’ve got that going for me.

  38. avatar
    Nathanael January 24, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Keith:The family right to the title … was passed over to the Chichester’s due to incompentence and debauchery

    I’m unclear as which was the debauched and incompetent side. Sounds like a debauched and incompetent king (not that ol’ Angle-land’s ever had any of *those*) was rewarding his drinking buddy.

    My maternal grandfather was a fourth cousin to Lady Diana through my Baldwin ancestors (the same Baldwins of Alec and Stephen fame, who are also personal rellies), and I also have connections to Mamie Eisenhower, Mrs. Grover Cleveland, President Taft, Laura Ingalls Wilder, TS Eliot and Lady Godiva (yes, she was an historical personage, even if accusations of wardrobe malfunctions aren’t). The point being not that I’m well-endowed (genealogically speaking!), but that I’m just your run-of-the-mill joe.

    Back in the nineties there was some mathematical modeling done at a university in England (I’m too lazy to look it up; I’ve got it sitting on my shelves somewhere) on population distribution that demonstrated that, even given the constraints of geographical isolation and intermarrying of the sort practiced by medieval royals, within a small handful of centuries bloodlines have become so dispersed that everyone alive today is, essentially, descended from everyone alive back then. For European ancestry, the cut-off seems to be around 1200 AD, so that everyone with European ancestry alive today is descended from every European living before the 13th century.

    Keith:The Human Genome Project has tracked me back to “Eurasian Adam”

    DNA testing is quite the trend in modern genealogy. While I haven’t yet had myself tested (I’m still trying to suss how it’s going to help me find my great-great-great-granddad’s baptismal record), I have a cousin who claims he’s traced his DNA all the way back to the original primordial soup.

    Keith:I reckon Noah (the real one) would have been M9 so I’ve got that going for me.

    Name-dropper πŸ™‚