Voting results from Super Tuesday

By Collegian News Staff



Georgia | Idaho | Massachusetts | North Dakota | Oklahoma | Tennessee | Vermont | Virginia

Newt Gingrich wins Georgia

Former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich earned the favor of his former constituents in the Georgia Republican Primary Tuesday, netting almost twice the number of votes of his closest opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Gingrich won 47.5 percent of the vote in the Peach State, while Romney received 25.7 percent. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum netted 19.6 percent of the vote, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul won 6.5 percent of the state’s support.

According to a CNN exit poll, Gingrich won the plurality of all age brackets in his home state, but was especially buoyed by the support of older voters. Fifty-five percent of voters 65 and older cast their bids for the former representative, while Gingrich secured 49 percent of votes from those aged 45-64.

Those who voted for Gingrich cited the economy as the issues that mattered to them most, with the federal budget deficit ranking as the second-most important issue and social issues like abortion and gay marriage factoring as low priorities for Georgia Republicans. Sixty-one percent of Georgia voters said Gingrich’s positions were about right when asked if they were too conservative, about right or not conservative enough. Eighty-one percent of voters in Georgia told the New York Times they will definitely vote for a Republican candidate.

Gingrich represented the sixth congressional district of Georgia for 20 years, from 1979 to 1999.

In the 1994 campaign season, Gingrich and other Republicans formed the “Republican Revolution” to offer alternatives to policies brought to Congress by Democrats. In the same year, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House, and Gingrich became the first Republican Speaker of the House since 1954.

Gingrich’s campaign has tried to capitalize on Southern voters in this presidential primary.

Georgia had the most delegates up for the taking on Super Tuesday, with 76 delegates up for grabs there. Forty-two delegates were to be awarded by congressional district, while 31 were to be awarded proportionally by vote and three were to remain at large until the Republican National Convention in August. As the voting stood Tuesday evening, it appeared Gingrich would collect at least 33 delegates and Romney would earn at least seven. Romney handily won Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, and edged out Gingrich in suburban DeKalb County. He also squeaked by Gingrich in Chatham County, home to Savannah.

In 2008, Mike Huckabee won Georgia with 326,874 votes, accounting for 33.9 percent of the state’s vote.

—     Michelle Williams

Romney takes Idaho

Super Tuesday brought good news for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the Mountain West, familiar turf for the on-again, off-again Utah resident, as he won against straw poll favorite Ron Paul in Idaho’s first Republican caucuses.

Despite lagging 9 percent behind Paul in straw polls last month, Romney managed to garner 68.6 percent of the conservative, libertarian-leaning state’s votes, 52 percent more than Paul’s 16.6 percent.

According to the Idaho Republican Party website, caucuses are conducted using secret ballot boxes counted through a series of rounds. A candidate wins when he tallies more than 50 percent of the votes or when he wins against a second candidate after the further-behind candidates are eliminated. The caucuses were open to all Idaho registered Republicans

A vast majority of Republican voters in Idaho are Caucasian, accounting for some 90 percent of the voting population. Contrary to the actual results, Paul told reporters Tuesday morning that he had high hopes of winning Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota.

“We’re going to do well and that will excite us going forward,” said Paul, according to Fox News.

In a heated attempt to extend his campaign, Paul, in a speech the morning of the caucus, promised $1 trillion dollars in federal spending cuts and emphasized his dedication to build a smaller government that will “set a standard of liberty the rest of the world will notice,” according to Fox News.

Paul also pitched an “entitlement system” that would bail out big corporations, which he guaranteed to implement in three years.

Nonetheless, his efforts did not prove to be enough.

Romney, a Mormon, was likely aided, at least in part, by Idaho’s widespread LDS population. According to Reuters, Mormons account for 25 percent of the state’s 1.5 million residents.

Santorum and Gingrich scored 12.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, finishing in third and fourth place.

Idaho will send 32 delegates to the Republican National Convention in August. Because Romney earned more than 50 percent of the state’s vote, he will receive the support of all of those delegates.

The state has traditionally voted conservative, and a Democrat running for president has not won Idaho since 1964.

Ardee Napolitano

Bay State votes Romney

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney handily won the Bay State’s Republican primary Tuesday night. Romney took 72 percent of Massachusetts’ vote, tallying 254,536 votes, more than six times the amount his closest opponent, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, received. Santorum took 12 percent of the vote here, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul placed third, earning about 9.6 percent of Massachusetts’ support, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich scored just 4.6 percent of the vote.

Massachusetts, the state Romney calls home and where he held public office, will send 41 total delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay. Thirty-eight of those votes are tied to primary voting, and three will remain unpledged. As it stands, Romney earned all 38 of those pledged delegates, winning more than 50 percent of the vote, and he will likely take all 41 votes from his home state.

Romney had unrivaled support from his former constituents. A YouGov poll conducted from February 25 to March 1 found that a whopping 65 percent of all likely voters supported Romney.

Results from a CNN exit poll showed Romney had the highest voter support in every demographic, including race, age, education, income and religion.

In his remarks to the people of Massachusetts Tuesday, Romney said that “it’s an honor to have so many of the citizens I served as governor join our cause.”

Romney, the son of a former Michigan governor, was born in Detroit.  Following in his father’s footsteps, he served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, at a time when the state’s economy was in despair.  He also claims residence in New Hampshire and California.

—     Keri Ann O’Riordan

Rick Santorum runs to easy victory in North Dakota

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ran to an easy victory in North Dakota’s Republican Caucus Tuesday, capturing 40.1 percent of the vote as approximately 11,000 voters turned out across the Roughrider State to support their preferred candidate for November’s presidential election.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul placed second, claiming 28.1 percent of the vote, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who beat out John McCain to win the Caucus there in 2008, carried 24.3 percent of the vote, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich traipsed to a distant fourth-place finish at 8.6 percent.

Caucus-goers must be eligible to vote in the general election, affiliate themselves with the Republican Party and physically attend the caucus in order to cast their votes.

The 28 votes of the delegates selected by the North Dakota Republican Party are not legally determined by the caucus results. According to a rule sheet from the North Dakota GOP, delegates may voluntarily apportion themselves according to the caucus vote, but are free to vote as they choose at the late August Republican National Convention, where the Republican presidential candidate will be formally selected. Although the state’s delegates are not bound to follow the caucus’ results, the New York Times was projecting Tuesday evening that Santorum would earn 11 delegates from North Dakota, Paul would net eight, Romney would score seven and Gingrich would receive two.

Because the state caucuses, rather than individuals casting votes in a primary, there is no exit polling data from North Dakota’s contest.

— Dan Glaun

Santorum edges Romney, Gingrich in Oklahoma

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won Oklahoma’s Republican Primary Tuesday, edging out former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and bringing his winning state count to three on the night.

Following losses in Vermont and Wyoming, Santorum took 34 percent of the Oklahoma vote, sending him a likely 13 delegates of the state’s 40 committed delegates to the Republican National Convention in August. Romney captured 28 percent of the vote, netting him at least 12 delegates, while Newt Gingrich received 27.4 percent of the Sooner State’s support, likely providing him at least 12 delegates, as well. Texas Congressman Ron Paul placed a distant fourth, earning 9.7 percent of the vote and likely sending him one delegate. Three of Oklahoma’s 43 delegates will be at large at the convention, meaning they can decide at the time of the convention whom to support.

In Tennessee, Santorum beat out current Republican favorite Mitt Romney by about 10 percent. Romney did not campaign heavily in Oklahoma, while Gingrich campaigned hard for support in the staunchly Republican state.

According to CNN exit polls, Santorum, an opponent of both same sex marriage and birth control, took a large percentage of votes from Oklahoma citizens who consider themselves Evangelical or Born Again Christians, raking in 38 percent of that vote, compared to Gingrich’s 26 percent. Fifty-two percent of voters who consider the religious beliefs of a candidate as mattering “a great deal” voted for Santorum. Gingrich trailed Santorum heavily in this category, receiving only 22 percent of the vote.

Following the close of Super Tuesday, Santorum plans to continue his campaign through the South.  Later in the week, he will launch campaigns in Mississippi and Alabama, followed by a trip to Kansas.

—     Molly Broderick

Santorum captures Tennessee with 37.4 percent

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won the Tennessee Republican Primary Tuesday, capturing 37.4 percent of the vote with 91 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:30 p.m. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney placed second, with 28 percent of the Volunteer State’s vote, while Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, initially expected to fare well in the socially conservative southern state, was in third place, with 24 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul picked up the rear, netting just over nine percent of the vote.

Tennessee will send 58 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August, with 55 of those delegates allegiances determined by Tuesday’s voting. The mountainous southern state has an unusual manner of determining how the delegates are distributed, as candidates garner all the delegates of a given congressional district by taking more than two-thirds of the vote in a given district. On Tuesday, Santorum carried almost all of the geographically wide state’s districts, losing only the Nashville metropolitan area, comprising Williamson and Davidson counties, to Romney. Twenty-seven of the 55 bound delegates were doled out through the congressional districts, while another 14 delegates were to be decided proportionally based on statewide results. Another 14 are handed out via the State Executive Committee. The last three are unpledged and will remain so until the 58 delegates go to the RNC.

The state had the second-highest number of delegates behind Ohio awarded to candidates yesterday. All the candidates have made stops in the state in the last month, hoping to win the delegates.

Tennessee is considered a conservative state, and CNN exit polls confirmed that voters there generally saw issues like access to abortion, oil prices and the economy as matters of high priority. Santorum was popular with men and women, multiple religions and age groups, including 41 percent of the young vote, according to CNN exit polling. He was also popular among a variety of demographics, capturing voters of different income and education levels.

In previous polls leading up to the vote, Santorum was expected to be the winner. PPD and Rasmussen Reports had Santorum within a four to five point lead, but the polling agency WeAskAmerica had Romney as the winner by one point.

—     Claire Anderson

Romney takes Vermont

With over 16,000 votes, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney took Vermont’s Republican Primary Tuesday, besting libertarian-leaning Texas congressman Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

By relatively early in the evening, Romney was the projected winner by multiple major media outlets, as the financier-turned-politician won on familiar turf near his adopted home state.

Vermont’s Yankee Republicans sent Romney **at least eight delegates to the Republican National Convention, as at least three of the state’s 17 total representatives at the convention went to Paul.

Paul and Santorum were in a near dead heat for second place throughout the night, holding on to around 24 percent of the vote each. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich trailed well behind, with 8.2 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m.

As Vermont voters cast their ballots, CNN reporters heard voters’ take on why they made their decisions as they left voting precincts across the Green Mountain State. According to CNN’s exit polls, it appeared Romney was voted in by a higher income population. Thirty-seven percent of voters earning less than $30,000 a year favored Paul, while those in higher income brackets lent their support to Romney. Paul also secured the vote of Vermont’s unmarried male population, taking 41 percent of that bracket, which made up 14 percent of CNN’s polling demographic, but Romney scored victories in most other demographics.

According to CNN exit polling, a Republican candidate’s ability to defeat President Barack Obama in the upcoming general election was the quality that most concerned Vermont voters. Among all candidates, Vermont voted Romney as most likely to beat Obama, with 62 percent of respondents indicating they felt he was best equipped to win the general election in November. Also, 54 percent of voters told CNN’s pollsters they believe Romney has the best experience for the job.

—     Brittney Figueira


Romney meets Virginia’s voters approval
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the Virginia Republican Primary Tuesday evening, taking 59.5 percent of the Old Dominion state’s vote, according to New York Times polling data. Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the only other candidate appearing on the ballot there, earned 40.5 percent of the vote.

Virginia will send 49 delegates to the Republican National Convention this August, of which 43 went to Romney and three went to Paul, according to Times’ calculations. Three so-called at large delegates will remain unpledged until the convention.

Romney has been projected to win since February and entered the primary receiving 69 percent of the state’s support in an NBC/Marist poll last week.

Paul was Romney’s only opponent, as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did not come up with the required number of signatures to appear on the ballot by December.

Virginia was the only state on Super Tuesday with just two candidates.

Though Paul lost, he earned almost five times as many votes as he did during the 2008 Virginia primary.

The vast majority of Republican voters in Tuesday’s election were white, accounting for 94 percent of the vote, according to a CNN exit poll. Fifty-four percent of voters were male, and most voters were in the age group of 50-64, according to CNN’s exit polling numbers.

According to the exit poll, 57 percent of Virginia voters were college graduates, and 34 percent of voters considered themselves moderate or liberal, while the remaining 66 percent self-identified as either very or somewhat conservative.

The most important quality voters said they looked for in a candidate was the ability to defeat President Barack Obama, according to CNN’s data.

–Sarah Fonder