(Red Right Returning, a nautical mnemonic for the side of the buoy or marker on which to pilot a ship in order to stay in the channel, is a look back at the activity of the past week of the Republican candidates in the 2012 primary. Feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section.)
No real surprise here. Mitt Romney glides to victory in first place. He’s polling at twice as much as Newt Gingrich who will come in second. Romney has something of a home field advantage in Nevada with his Mormon background. While Mormons make up only 7% of the population in Nevada, they make up 26% of the Republican electorate. In 2008, an astonishing 95% of them voted for Romney. He easily won Nevada with 51% of Republican voters.
This year should be no different. Even Romney alienated a large portion of the rest of the Republican electorate he could probably still win just on the Mormon vote alone. This scenario will probably play out the same in Arizona later this month for the same reasons. Romney’s success in neighboring Utah with the 2002 Olympics should buy him a little love among non-Mormons as well. Even without the absurdity of the quickie endorsement by Donald Trump yesterday.
More interesting in this race is the third place candidate, Ron Paul. Paul is polling about the same percent as he did in 2008 as well. But could he exceed it? Santorum has already left the state to focus his efforts elsewhere and Gingrich, while polling at 25%, still remains a volatile question mark. Paul’s efforts in the state could potentially siphon off some of their votes. It is a caucus state and they are known to behave oddly (the author of this piece having run a caucus in the 2008 Democratic campaign). Paul is counting on enthusiasm to get people to show up at caucuses where the turnout is typically lower than in primary states. Is it possible that Paul could upset Gingrich?
And don’t forget; Ron Paul has the endorsement of The Mustang Ranch bordello.
We’ll know tomorrow night if that made a difference.