At a Republican conference in Seaside, Oregon, Mitt Romney picked up a big win with 52% of the conference vote. Rick Santorum came in second with 26% followed by Gingrich at 14% and Ron Paul at 6%. Oregon currently has one Republican out of five serving in the House of Representatives. That representative, Greg Walden of the rural eastern half of the state, spoke at the conference. He implored people to make sure President Obama is not re-elected citing the Keystone Pipeline project as a major complaint.
Portland State University graduate student summed up the general feeling behind the support for Mitt Romney:
“Let’s face facts: Ron Paul is a non-starter, Rick Santorum would be an embarrassment, [and] Newt Gingrich would be a disaster.”
Across the nation GOP pundits are reluctantly coming to the same conclusion and are beginning to rally around Mitt Romney as the only candidate with any chance of defeating President Obama. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senator Tom Coburn endorsed Mitt Romney recently and Former Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to do the same today.
The Romney campaign has been urging other to jump on the train before Tuesday in order to help bring a quicker conclusion to the race. Their argument has been that a protracted nomination will weaken the chances of taking back the White House. Romney’s win in Washington state; while not a landslide, is expected to boost his chances on Super Tuesday as well.
437 delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday. If Romney can garner the bulk of them then it will be a significant turning point in the campaign. However don’t expect Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich to go down easy. Gingrich, in particular, is banking on Tuesday being his comeback moment.
Look for a post on individual races later today.
- PPP Super Tuesday polling: Good news for Mitt Romney, as Rick Santorum slips (dailykos.com)
- Mitt Romney Wins Presidential Straw Poll at Dorchester Conference (oregonlive.com)
- Mitt Romney Wins Oregon’s GOP Straw Poll (Real Clear Politics)