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Mitt Romney Wins! The Washington Caucuses Live Thread

BELLEVUE, WA - MARCH 02: A supporter holds a sign as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Highland Community Center on March 2, 2012 in Bellevue, Washington. After winning the Michigan and Arizona primaries, Mitt Romney is campaigning in North Dakota, Idaho and Washington ahead of Super Tuesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – I’ve spent a long day traveling in Georgia and Tennessee in advance of Super Tuesday. Washington caucus-goers will get a precious little chance to influence minds out here: The results of the caucus preference poll are being counted.
What’s going to happen? Look backwards, young man. In 2008, the caucuses were held shortly after Super Tuesday, right after Mitt Romney quit the race. John McCain, already the de facto nominee (saith the media at the time), won a paltry 26 percent of the paltry 12,320 votes. Ron Paul won 22 percent, one of his best showings of the cycle in a multi-candidate caucus. This year, Paul is already outperforming in some rural counties as Mitt Romney leads statewide. But nothing from Washington’s most populous counties – King, Snohomish, Spokane – has come in yet. All the ingredients are there for a Romney win. That wouldn’t be boring. Two weeks ago, if you’d bet on Rick Santorum putting together a Pat Robertson/Mike Huckabee-esque operation together and winning the caucuses, you’d have come off as wise.* 8:28: You can start cashing in your Romney stock on InTrade. Of the counties that are in, he’s doing much better than the last consensus candidate did. John McCain took 31 percent in Walla Walla; Romney is taking 37 percent. McCain won Kitsap County, the beautiful peninsulas and islands west of Seattle, with 27 percent; Romney’s got 25 percent. Here’s the really telling part. King County, Seattle and its burbs, has finally started to roll in. John McCain won it with 32 percent. With a quarter of the vote in, Romney is pulling 52 percent, which effectively means he’s padding his statewide lead with at least 2000 votes. I’m calling it: Mitt Romney wins the Washington caucuses. 8:58: If you’re Mitt Romney and you want to spin this, you’re in luck – you just need to point at the polling before Saturday. It wasn’t until after the Michigan primary that any poll showed Romney breaking 30 percent here. A week before Michigan, he’d been 11 points behind Rick Santorum here. He’s ending up with a win of the size that Public Policy Polling finally predicted, with a stronger margin. Why? Rick Santorum has underperformed two weeks of polls and come in with less than a quarter of the vote, behind Ron Paul. I don’t think that means too much for Santorum going forward. Here in Tennessee, for example, the candidate has two offices and 10 sign depots (where people can pick up Santorum swag), and a fully engaged campaign staff. One blown caucus doesn’t mean the guy has lost his grassroots magic. 11:58: The results from 2008, via CNN: Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 1.31.16 PM The results from 2012: Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 1.31.51 PM McCain won 10 of 39 counties; Romney won 26 of them. *I was doing this.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – I’ve spent a long day traveling in Georgia and Tennessee in advance of Super Tuesday. Washington caucus-goers will get a precious little chance to influence minds out here: The results of the caucus preference poll are being counted.
What’s going to happen? Look backwards, young man. In 2008, the caucuses were held shortly after Super Tuesday, right after Mitt Romney quit the race. John McCain, already the de facto nominee (saith the media at the time), won a paltry 26 percent of the paltry 12,320 votes. Ron Paul won 22 percent, one of his best showings of the cycle in a multi-candidate caucus. This year, Paul is already outperforming in some rural counties as Mitt Romney leads statewide. But nothing from Washington’s most populous counties – King, Snohomish, Spokane – has come in yet. All the ingredients are there for a Romney win. That wouldn’t be boring. Two weeks ago, if you’d bet on Rick Santorum putting together a Pat Robertson/Mike Huckabee-esque operation together and winning the caucuses, you’d have come off as wise.* 8:28: You can start cashing in your Romney stock on InTrade. Of the counties that are in, he’s doing much better than the last consensus candidate did. John McCain took 31 percent in Walla Walla; Romney is taking 37 percent. McCain won Kitsap County, the beautiful peninsulas and islands west of Seattle, with 27 percent; Romney’s got 25 percent. Here’s the really telling part. King County, Seattle and its burbs, has finally started to roll in. John McCain won it with 32 percent. With a quarter of the vote in, Romney is pulling 52 percent, which effectively means he’s padding his statewide lead with at least 2000 votes. I’m calling it: Mitt Romney wins the Washington caucuses. 8:58: If you’re Mitt Romney and you want to spin this, you’re in luck – you just need to point at the polling before Saturday. It wasn’t until after the Michigan primary that any poll showed Romney breaking 30 percent here. A week before Michigan, he’d been 11 points behind Rick Santorum here. He’s ending up with a win of the size that Public Policy Polling finally predicted, with a stronger margin. Why? Rick Santorum has underperformed two weeks of polls and come in with less than a quarter of the vote, behind Ron Paul. I don’t think that means too much for Santorum going forward. Here in Tennessee, for example, the candidate has two offices and 10 sign depots (where people can pick up Santorum swag), and a fully engaged campaign staff. One blown caucus doesn’t mean the guy has lost his grassroots magic. 11:58: The results from 2008, via CNN: Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 1.31.16 PM The results from 2012: Screen shot 2012-03-04 at 1.31.51 PM McCain won 10 of 39 counties; Romney won 26 of them. *I was doing this.