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Minnesota Caucuses: Paul Reaches Record High, Romney Nears Record Low

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Minnesotans deliver the Texas Congressman his best performance in a GOP primary or caucus over the last two cycles...and Romney one of his worst

ronpaul11.jpgAlthough no delegates were awarded in the Republican presidential contests Tuesday evening, several interesting developments emerged below the headlines, particularly in Minnesota.

First, by winning the Minnesota caucuses (and the Missouri primary and Colorado caucuses), Rick Santorum avoided becoming the only winner of the Iowa caucuses to fail to carry any other state.

Prior to the 2012 cycle, Democratic and Republican Iowa caucus victors won an average of 26 primaries and caucuses (excluding incumbents who did not face a primary opponent and ran the table unchallenged).

Ron Paul, meanwhile, set a personal best performance as a presidential candidate by winning 27.1 percent of the vote in the Minnesota caucuses.

Paul's previous best mark in a GOP presidential primary or caucus was the 24.5 percent he recorded in the Montana caucuses during his 2008 presidential run.

In 2008, Paul eclipsed the 20 percent mark a total of five times: in the Washington caucuses (21.6 percent), Idaho primary (23.7 percent), Montana caucuses (24.5 percent), Montana primary (21.5 percent), and the North Dakota caucuses (21.3 percent).

Through just eight contests thus far in 2012, Paul has already eclipsed 20 percent in three states: Iowa (21.4 percent), New Hampshire (22.9 percent), and Minnesota (27 percent ).

As for Romney, his numbers took a different turn in Minnesota Tuesday evening.

After turning in a victory in the Gopher State four years ago with 41 percent of the vote, the former Massachusetts governor won only 16.9 percent this time around.

This marks the third worst Romney showing out of 37 presidential primary and caucus contests in which he has competed since 2008.

The only two contests in which Romney fared more poorly as a presidential candidate came in 2008 when he recorded 13.5 percent of the vote in the Arkansas primary and 15.3 percent in the South Carolina primary.

Politics in Minnesota never disappoints.

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Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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