[Posted by Karl]
Polls don’t close for a while — and afafik, full exit polls won’t be available until then. But Drudge leaked an early exit poll topline, which may or may not be reliable, as anyone who suffered through 2000 (or 2004 for that matter) knows. Some exit poll data is flowing at TIME, the NYT and CBS News.
I’m seeing CNN exits on Twitter, which I’ll briefly summarize here. 52% voting in GOP primary were men, 48% women. 34% said they are “very conservative”, 37% “somewhat conservative”, 30% “moderate or liberal.” 66% support the tea party. 15% of GOP voting electorate today is Latino. 39% evangelical Christian, 61% not.
Fox exits via Twitter: Romney winning 58% of those who say beating Obama is biggest priority. Romney winning seniors by 15% over Newt. Romney is last among those who say electing a “true conservative” is most important (shocka). Romney winning Hispanics by 27%. Gingrich only leading Romney among evangelicals by 4%.
Update: Nate Silver has some very pretty maps of the 2008 primary results for comparison. The Fix has 5 counties to watch tonight. And here’s your Google map and results.
Update 2: Historically, Florida is a blowout. It will be interesting to see how the margin squares with exit polling suggesting 40% are not happy with the field.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: ROMNEY WINS!!!
OK, I guess it’s not that surprising.
[Posted by Karl]
Today is the Florida primary, which most expect to be won by Mitt Romney. While we await those results this evening, it is worth reflecting on the other primary Romney essentially sews up today: the invisible primary.
Yesterday, I referred to the GOP apparat — and some of the response was to have a little fun with the idea, or to express weariness with debates about the “GOP establishment.” Such responses are understandable. After all, the Republican Party is not a conspiracy. Moreover, post-1968 reforms took presidential nominations out of the hands of party bosses and into the hands of caucus and primary voters, right? At the very least, it placed the process more in the hands of candidates and their campaigns, yes? (more…)
I’m speaking, of course, to Democrats . . . about their unelectable candidate, Barack Obama:
It’s understandable that the focus would be on Republican candidates in the midst of a GOP primary. But we shouldn’t forget that the general election — like all incumbent elections — will largely be a referendum on Barack Obama. And, under current conditions, Obama is every bit as unelectable as the Republicans supposedly are.
The piece is worth a read, but it reminds us that Obama’s approval rating is still low, the economy still sucks, Obama’s agenda is still unpopular, and people are tired of his message.
Yes, our candidates suck. We have a guy who passed a healthcare mandate and a guy who supported one. Newt Gingrich is our “anti-establishment” candidate; enough said.
But it’s good to remember we aren’t the people with the crappiest candidate. Democrats are. And no matter whom we choose, that will remain true.
As voters line up to vote in Florida, let us not lose sight of the reason we are voting: to oust Barack Obama. In that vein, I want to keep the focus on one of the bigger scandals of his administration: Fast and Furious — because there is a major hearing coming up Thursday. Eric Holder will be on the hot seat, and new Friday afternoon document dumps are casting doubt on some of his previous testimony:
[Holder] is scheduled to appear Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The first question for Holder will concern a series of emails sent in the immediate aftermath of the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 15, 2010. The emails make clear that Monty Wilkinson, then Holder’s deputy chief of staff, was informed by U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke of Terry’s death, and that weapons found on the scene were bought in Phoenix and were among those in “the investigation we were going to talk about.”
Other documents obtained by the committee make clear that the investigation in question was Fast and Furious. The emails also establish that Wilkinson and other senior Justice Department officials in Washington were briefed on the program shortly after Terry’s murder. In other words, within days, if not hours, of Terry’s death, it was known at the highest levels of the Justice Department that he was killed by guns sold with the full knowledge of federal officials who then lost track of them.
It is simply inconceivable that Wilkinson did not inform others in the Justice Department, including Holder, about these facts.
Indeed. And if he didn’t, that raises questions about Holder’s managerial competence.
This is going to be a major hearing, and it won’t be pretty for Holder. We’ll do our best to stay on top of it here.