Santorum in NC!

It’s become pretty clear that Mitt Romney’s best friend is this race is the delegate math.  Plenty of analyses by plenty of smart people show that it is very difficult to see anybody but Romney getting a path to a majority of the delegates.  that said, it certainly is looking like Romney’s opponents are not about to concede and that’s he’s going to have to keep fighting (and in some case, keep losing) for many states to come.  Thus, North Carolina’s very late (May) primary may actually “matter” once again.  Given the emphasis of our GOP legislature on “moral values” issues, I guess I probably should not have been surprised to learn than Santorum leads NC polls, but still.  If not surprised, at least a little disappointed/disturbed.  From PPP:

Rick Santorum’s taken the lead in the Republican Presidential race in North Carolina with 31% to 25% for Mitt Romney and 23% for Newt Gingrich. A month ago Gingrich and Romney were tied for the lead with Santorum running 10 points behind.

Romney’s staying competitive in North Carolina despite the fact that GOP voters there are pretty tepid toward him. Only 43% have a favorable opinion and an equal 43% see him negatively. That makes him less popular than both Gingrich (45/41) and Santorum (58/29).

Romney’s really benefiting from Gingrich continuing to be strong enough in the South that he splits the conservative vote with Santorum, unlike in other parts of the country where conservatives are increasingly unifying around Santorum as the alternative to Romney. Among voters identifying as ‘very conservative’ Santorum leads Gingrich 35-32 with Romney at 19%.

If Gingrich dropped out of the race by the time North Carolina votes Santorum would have a much clearer lead with 43% to 33% for Romney and 10% for Paul. The race is still pretty fluid with only 52% of voters saying that they will definitely vote for their current choice.

Gingrich hates Romney and would love to see him lose.  Alas, his hatred of Romney is clearly over-matched by his own ego and inflated sense of self importance.

Oh no, a socialist!

Damn is this Doonesbury cartoon is not beautifully spot on:


One of my favorite things to do in my Intro class is ask how many people actually know what a socialist is.  It’s usually just a handful.  But that doesn’t stop most of the conservatives from being convinced that Obama is one.

Photo of the day

Watched the excellent Frontline documentary, “Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown” this morning.  Fascinating stuff and really disturbing to learn just how close things came to a truly epic disaster.  Earlier this week, listened to an excellent Fresh Air interview with the producer of the documentary.  So, today’s photo comes from Alan Taylor’s December set “Inside the Exclusion Zone

A closer view of the Unit 4 reactor building of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, seen through a bus window in Okuma, Japan, on November 12, 2011.(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)


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