tv Super Tuesday PBS March 7, 2012 12:30am-1:00am EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> this was a super tuesday that shook up the republican presidential race again. as rick santorum showed surprising strength. >> good evening, i am judy woodruff. >> a and i am again eiffel we will have the latest results and analysis on this pbs special report on today's voting from alaska to georgia .. >> mitt romney had hoped to over wellment his rivals tonight, instead he found himself in a fierce struggle with rick santorum. >> romney claimed wins in three states, massachusetts, where he was once governor, and vermont and virginia. but santa santa bested him in the north dakota caucuses and the oklahoma and tennessee primaries. >> and newt gingrich came up with a single win in his home state of georgia. >> one of the night's biggest prizes, ohio, remained too close
to call, with santorum and romney in a virtual tie. romney spent this election night in massachusetts and addressed his support in other words boston, here is some of what he said. >> this, it is wonderful to be able to go home tonight for the first time in two months. [ cheers and applause ] >> and what cash ann said it right. what a great night. we are so excited to be in the bay state tonight, celebrating with family, with friends who have worked just tirelessly on this campaign. and of course it is such an on or to have the citizens that i served as governor as part of our cause. your support really means affirming to ann and me and i am not going to let you down. i am going to get this nomination. >> tonight, we are doing some counting, we are counting up the delegates for the convention and it looks good and counting down the days until november and that looks even better.
[ cheers and applause ] >> we are going to take your vote, a huge vote tonight in massachusetts and take that victory all the way to the white house. >> rick santorum celebrated tonight in ohio and he addressed supporters at steubenville high school. >> this campaign is amount the towns that have been left behind and the families that made those towns the greatest towns across this country. [ applause ] >> this was a big night tonight. lots of states. we are going to win a few and we are going to lose a few but as it looks right now, we are going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a whole pocket full of silver medals. >> we went up against enormous odds, not just here in the state
of ohio where who knows how much we were out spent but in every state, there wasn't a single state in the list that i just gave you where i spent more money than the people i was able to defeat to win that state. in every case, we over came the odds. >> newt gingrich celebrated his win in georgia tonight, he spoke at the renaissance atlanta hotel in atlanta sovereignty we basically put people power against money power, and as you saw, the very first race they called tonight about 15 seconds after the polls closed -- [ cheers and applause ] >> -- and so i am here first of all to say thank you to each and every one of you, because you are the reason we survived every effort of the establishment to stop us. >> and much earlier tonight, ron paul spoke with his supporters in fargo, north dakota, one of the states that held caucuses today. >> the cause of liberty is on a
roll, let me tell you that. this country is ready and raring and tonight we are going to send a very loud message to the rest of the country and i will tell you what. i have said so many times the american people are way ahead of washington. washington is sound asleep, we are on the right track, so make sure they hear our message, all the way to dc. >> the too close to call race in ohio is one of the big stories on this super tuesday night, jeffrey brown has more on that. >> and for more on what is happening in ohio we are joined by karen kessler, the statehouse bureau chief for ohio public radio and television. >> well, karen, it is still so close, give us some sense of the areas where we are waiting to hear from. >> well, right now, it looks like a typical map of ademocrate mitt romney is winning in the areas of cleveland, columbus and cincinnati the big urban areas and rick santorum is winning in the rural areas which is the rest of ohio, we still have some rural counties that are not
reporting right now, i don't know wit if there is going to be enough votes in those counties though to make a difference for rick santorum, it is really close and one of the things that cost him tonight apparently is a loss in hamilton county which is the home county of cincinnati, that went big time for mitt romney and that could end up being one of the things that costs rick santorum ohio. >> what is the word on voter turnout? and enthusiasm today? >> voter turnout has been pretty low, we have been early voting here in ohio for several weeks and even early voting was deemed pretty low in terms of turnout and a lot of the exit polls are showing people just weren't all that excited about getting out to vote. there was a lack of enthusiasm so to speak. you know,, a lot of voters who said they decided on their candidate just in the last few days, 28 percent told exit pollsters that, 44 percent said they strongly favored their candidate, 41 percent said they liked their candidate with reservations, and to put a poll in the last couple of days had shown way back in february, 50 percent of voters said they
could still change their mind just a couple of days ago, 30 percent said they could still change their mind so all of that could have been contributing to low stroart turnout. >>so what were they telling you in to the last couple of days, the voters, the issues? was it economy and jobs still up there or had some of the social issues we have been hearing about crept in? >> absolutely, the economy and jobs are the biggest ones, exit polls showed that 73 percent said they were very worried about the direction the economy was going in, 54 percent said the economy was the issue that mattered the most to them, when it came to moral issues, only 11 percent said they felt that abortion was the biggest issue for them in terms of voting and 66 percent of those voters said that they voted for santorum. one issue that did come into play, though is electability, 42 percent of voters said that they felt that that was the most important candidate, that was something that was turning out in polls too, even when rick santorum was winning, voters were also telling pollsters they felt that mitt romney was actually the better candidate in the fall against barack obama. >> and how were the candidates
playing it in the last -- excuse me -- in the last day or days there? who were they trying to appeal to at the last minute? >> i think the reagan democrats were a big area of the state they were trying to appeal to, those are voters in these rural areas that are outside of these boundaries of the major urban areas, and certainly those were candidates or those were voters that went, that were were kind of the swing voters and the democratic voters and independent voters, we are hearing reports of democrats, democrat strongholds that were getting a lot of romney and santorum calls, maybe not as obvious as the calls were in michigan for democratic voters to go out and cast the ballot to party switch so to speak but certainly the candidate were looking at the opportunity to take advantage of the fact that there was no democratic candidate here other than barack obama on the ballot and to get democratic voters to come out and cast ballots for them. >> all right, karen kessler, ohio public radio and tv, thanks so much. >> judy. >> and now to the analysis of shield and enter son that is
syndicated columnist mark shield and washington post the columnist michael enter son, mark, what does it say .. that mitt romney reported, purported front runner is having such a tough time in this state so critical to republicans, ohio. >> it says the race he hoped would be over tonight is far from over. that it is going to go on, that rick santorum gets -- who is on life support heading into ohio gets more than a second wind, he gets a new lease, quite frankly, with his ohio showing coupled with victories elsewhere, and i just think it means the republican race is going to go on and that has not been good news for the republican party all year. it shows that the republican brand itself has suffered and ohio doesn't help. >> and, michael, we just showed the latest reporting with 85 percent of the precincts there it is again, romney and santorum now literally neck and neck each with 37 percent.
we have been talking tonight about mitt romney, you know, has put more money, more organization into this race, what is happening in ohio? >> well, he will probably be able to claim the most voters tonight, the most delegates and if he win ohio it is still a big deal, if it is tight it avoids a crisis in some ways and doesn't change the race fundamentally, everyone goes on but i think that it is helpful if it does. we will see how this happens but this republican race has been the search for the anti-romney has been the narrative and everyone wondered when that would end, well it hasn't really ended, the search for the anti-romney in tennessee virgin paul got a lot of votes today, not because i think people were libertarian isolationists in virginia but because they wanted to find a way to challenge romney as the front runner. that is, you know,, a sign of weakness. >> and for santorum, this has
been a week or two, mark, of coming off of some gas, some statements he has had to circle back and explain or, some gaffs or apologize for in effect. >> judy, it is cold comfort for mitt romney because rick santorum has come off too weak, of self-inflicted just unforced errors where he has hurt his own candidacy, gratuitously not by addressing subjects that were not of interest but unhelpful and hurt his candidacy and switching from his economic message, and i think that it is fair to say that it is a pretty small field that mitt romney is running against, i mean newt gingrich gave a rambling egotistical statement tonight that was almost clinical in its personal narcissism, not addressing anything except newt gingrich, and rick santorum has been under financed and not a particularly accomplished
candidate, but he has given mitt romney fits right now, so romney holds on, wins idaho, looks like he might, that is an achievement, but it isn't what he had hoped for and it isn't what republicans leadership and party hoped for heading into november. >> talk about what the candidates are saying tonight in their message. >> well, first of all i agree very strongly that romney is showing his weakness against a weak candidate, which is a particularly difficult thing for him, and romney, you know, when you look at the sum of this, as well as the campaign of near death experiences and eventually that has some effect on your health, you know, as a candidate, and, you know, he is -- you know, he is in a difficult situation, it is a conservative party, he is said to have a conservative message that he hasn't been particularly comfortable delivering and it is not his natural approach, and he hasn't been able to fake it very well, in this context and that shows his limits as a politician, you know, and i
think that, you know, that has been the context that a lot of this challenge he has had. >> all right. on that note we are going to leave it and we will come back to you in a few minutes for now. over to gwen. >> thanks, judy, now we are going to go flu some of the rest of tonight's results. we start to stewart rothenberg, of the political report and columnist for roll call and our political editor let's talk about everything else that happened tonight, starting with sue tennessee, rick santorum had a good night, why? >> across-the-board win in all parts of the state among the demographic categories he has been doing well, i am just struck by mitt romney's weakness in the eastern part of the state, we talked about this a number of times, gwen. that is the kind -- that is the core of the traditional republican vote, eastern tennessee, it tends to be more moderate and supported establishment type of republicans, mitt romney did not do well and ran even with rick santorum in eastern tennessee and in fact newt gingrich ran a
very strong third. >> in fact when you look at that map it is a lot of blue, a lot of santorum blue. >> it is and there should be a lot of orange there or at least some orange, so the fact that he didn't do well there and of course he did -- he being romney did less well in middle tennessee and western tennessee is really, is talking to a republican strategist from tennessee well this is really a zero blowout and the disappointing for the romney folks. >> is oklahoma disappointing. >> oklahoma is a different picture in santorum ran very strongly but gingrich even though he is just behind mitt romney, taking third place here, newt gingrich actually won several counties in the area, and oklahoma is an area where the late deciders went with rick santorum which is exactly a little bit of an opposite to what you have seen in ohio, where you have seen santorum has a big lead at first or slowly slowly declined and in oklahoma they were going for him at the last minute and just this battle for second place, also san form won basically every region in
oklahoma, and these places where gingrich won, very close there so it is really an interesting pattern. >> newt gingrich did well tonight in one state and that was the state he represented in congress for two decades, georgia. so that means he gets new life too? >> i don't think so. look, give him credit, he won, it was a home turf win, he won solidly among many demographic groups in all parts of the state, so a win is a win, the problem for the former speaker is if you look at the rest of the state that had contests today, oklahoma third, tennessee third, ohio third, massachusetts fourth, vermont fourth, he wasn't on the ballot in virginia, now he can certainly say a lot of those states i didn't play, that's part of the point you have to play across the country, and so the cherry picked states, that happens to be your home state and win it and say wow, i won it this gives me a second win, i think that is really a hard argument. >> you said she the tortoise and do it one step at a time and
build a path through the south, is this necessarily a path to the south? >> well next tuesday probably will be another good night for gingrich, whether he wins or not in mississippi and alabama, these are states where they are already advertising he is going to be campaigning, mary thinks he has a good chance and you also have the super packs backing him, .. they can put that money on, there when you look at the type of voters that came out in georgia and it is important to mention that turnout was down just about everywhere tonight, and all of the states we are looking at but when you look at the voters you have a lot of people that are motivated by somebody's religion they came out and voted. >> religion was important to them. >> they voted for newt gingrich the evangelicals. >> they went very strongly in georgia and the other part is rick santorum did not do all that well in georgia which is just an interesting phenomenal because he did well in tennessee. >> let's talk about north dakota where he did well and as the surprise because mitt romney did well there in the past. >> well, gwen, if you think back you may remember a number of weeks ago where i said that mitt
romney is this cycle's john mccain. >> he said many things but that is one of them. >> that is one of the more memorable ones. >> that is, and tennessee. >> when you look at the 2004 -- 2008 numbers and you see what mitt romney did you might think well he should do the same thing four years later now, no, in fact he has turned into the establishment candidate which is what john mccain was in 2008 and the alternative conservative then, not this time so-so in north dakota the last time i looked romney was getting 25 percent of the support in the caucuses and john mccain got 23 percent in north dakota, romney gotten points better, romney has fallen back to the mccain level, that is not great news for mitt romney. >> as we wait to see what happens in idaho right now with i think it is 27 percent of the precincts reporting, 72 percent for romney and a big gap before you get to ron paul so romney is expected to do well, at least
there, we look at the outcomes tonight, and wonder whether the trajectory is positive for what we see coming out of -- whether any, does anything change at all because of tonight. >> ron paul thought he might be able to win one of these caucus states, maybe he will, we are still waiting on alaska, we are waiting on a final call in idaho, looks like romney is going to win there, but you have got an area where what we were talking about in north dakota, romney campaigned in north dakota this isn't a state he ceded to santorum and ron paul, i think that is worth taking a look at tonight. >> well, i think the romney folks hope that they could really do something dramatic tonight to change the directory of the race, to establishment mitt romney is the nominee now let's move on. >> instead he won massachusetts his home state and he won in vermont, virginia, where only, only ron paul is on the ballot with him and he underperformed i would argue he underperformed in tennessee and while he may well
win ohio, and the narrative from the early evening was, wow this is a dogfight he is not putting away rick santorum even if he wins at the end of the day so i don't think it changes the narrative and at that i think that is disappointing for romney means he may slog healed for another three or four weeks. >> and still have four candidates in this race tomorrow and it will still be a mathematical fight and romney has gotten some food numbers tonight but long away from the 1,000 plus. >> i guess we start counting the delegates. >> thank you. >> and recapping tonight's super tuesday results so far, mitt romney held a narrow lead over rick santorum in ohio, with the final vote still being counted, idaho and alaska were also uncalled. romney had already won massachusetts, vermont, and virginia, and picked up at least 129 delegates. that gives him 332 overall. santorum won at least 47
delegates, with his victories in oklahoma, tennessee, and north dakota. his total is now 139. newt gingrich's win in georgia pushed his delegate total to 75. and ron paul picked up a handful of delegates, he now has 35. and now for some closing thoughts from mark shields and david girsch and mark shields and michael gerson, i will get it right, .. mark, we heard stu rothenberg say it is going to be a long slog. if it is that, then what does -- if you are mitt romney what do you see tonight that is a help to you? what do you see that makes it tough as a challenge? >> i guess you see, the help is that you are that much closer to the end of the race, that you are still ahead, you have got twice as many votes from people who have gone to the polls, than anybody else in the race, and i guess you would be grateful, judy that newt gingrich is still in the race, because the
possibility or the prospect of running one on one, given as you mentioned the 41 percent that ron paul got in the state of virginia today, which is sort of irreducible minimum of the people who just will turn out to vote against mitt romney, then if he were on a one-on-one race with just about anybody right now he would be in trouble but the fact he has three other candidates still pursuing, the nonromney part of the party, i think the worst thing that happens to the republican party, judy, with the election for 2010, when they -- when the tea party, helped very full of itself, very sort of vindicated, and just take no prisoners attitude i think it has prevailed in the nominating process, i think mike st. louis absolutely right that mitt romney has appeared inauthentic aas he tried to reach over and mollify these people and it just
hasn't worked, it is not working and it is a party quite frankly that would not nominate george w. bush, would nominate george h.w. bush and i don't think would nominate ronald reagan at this time. >> is a longer contest good or not good for romney. >> you can make the political argument what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but i think it is strong to make in this case. romney, his negatives are increasing, he is burning money, he -- it is taking a number of stands on like the auto bailout and immigration that are going to hurt him in the general election, these are significant weaknesses going forward. i mean, he is better off, if you were to close this deal, and it doesn't look like he did tonight. >> what about in ongoing comment about his ability or inability to connect with voters? we saw at the victory party in boston tonight, ann romney warmed the crowd up for several minutes, i thought, surprisingly long
amount of time for the spouse, for the candidate. >> well, she is damage in this case and using it and he does have kind of a warmth challenge in some ways. i think the more important point, he is not a particularly good fit for this party and other parties he might have other advantages, i think he is stuck in a stereotype, though, he is seen as an uninspiring techno cratic manager, which is his background and he hasn't broken that stereo fine, he hasn't moved beyond it and appealed, you know, in a fundamentally different way, you know, there is an article in the national review today that is entitled the acceptable man. the article about romney that is not much of a bumper sticker. you know, and i don't think the party to some extent has yet resigned to the acceptable man. >> is there a path, having said all of this, though, mark, what is the path going forward for rick santorum? >> i think just one point,
quickly, judy, when kerry, average people, about being remote and not connected, the wall street journal, paul, 2346 negative on that. >> romney is. >> he just doesn't do it. for rick santorum i would say, for mitt romney, first of all, the states that he lost tonight are states that any republican will carry in the fall, tennessee, oklahoma, georgia, mississippi, alabama next week so those are red states, that is not a problem for him in november. to his electability but for rick santorum, it is a new life, but it is a campaign that lacks infrastructure, it is a campaign that i think still lacks discipline, exemplifies its own the rambling acceptance kind of a speech it was and but i do think that you cannot underestimate and undera state the connection he has made with very, very limited resources and
limited time. >> he has come from two percent where he was just three months ago to the point now where he is neck and neck and competitive with mitt romney major states. >> you use the term stuck in stereotypes, what do you mean? how does that fit? >> well, you know, gingrich is certainly just justified by his stereotype by being undisciplined you saw that tonight. >> santorum has his stereotype of being a strong social conservative he talks about that a lot and has a tough time breaking out of that ideological mode, and, you know, romney is, you know, is a technocrat, a manager, and has not yet really durnld his campaign into a cause. he has been quite good at exploiting the vulnerabilities of his opponents, i think he has been less good at setting up some vision and message about where he wants to go from here and it is because he has had to fight in internal battle in the party that is not yet over.
>> i was going to say two networks called another state for mitt romney, idaho. we are still waiting which is a state, high mormon population. >> high mormon population. >> and we are sit wit still waig on ohio. >> ron paul made an effort so that gives him four and if he wins ohio that means five out of ten so i guess you can say that is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. >> a lot better. >> that's right. >> thank you both. gwen. >> and with that sharp stick we end this pbs news hour special report on super tuesday. i am gwen ifill and i am judy woodruff we will be back tomorrow at our regularly scheduled time tomorrow night. check out the map center all night for updated results plus we have posted video of the candidates speeches and there will be a live discussion until 12:30 a.m. eastern with political editor kristina bell tony and -- all tha that and mon our web site, newshour.pbs.org.