Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Alaska Republicans Take The Safe Road, Select Mitt Romney In The Presidential Preference Poll; Ron Paul Finishes Third

Despite the fact that Ron Paul was the only Republican candidate to actually visit Alaska, and despite the fact that Paul's visit took place on the eve of the Alaska Republican Presidential Preference Poll, Alaska Republicans, by a small plurality, decided to go for perceived electability. So they made the safe choice and gave the nod to Mitt Romney, just as they did in 2008. The statewide totals, and resultant delegates awarded (vote totals updated at 12:50 P.M.):

-- Mitt Romney: 32.4 percent, 4,285 votes (8 delegates)
-- Rick Santorum: 29.2 percent, 3,860 votes (7 delegates)
-- Ron Paul: 24.0 percent, 3,175 votes (6 delegates)
-- Newt Gingrich: 14.1 percent, 1,865 votes (3 delegates)
-- Other: 0.3 percent, 34 votes

The remaining three delegates are classified as "super-delegates"; Alaska Republican Party officials who get to vote for whomever they want. Some institutional Republican bias against Ron Paul emerged, though. Alaska Republican Chairman Randy Ruedrich complained that Ron Paul supporters were electioneering outside the polling station at the Al-Aska Shriners Temple when they actually were just conducting exit polls; perhaps Ruedrich should have noted the chaotic traffic and parking problems that existed there instead. In addition, Casey Reynolds published essays in support of Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich on The Northern Right, but did NOT publish an essay in support of Ron Paul, but this also could have been because no one submitted a Ron Paul essay in time for publication. KTVA also did a story, but video embed removed because it no longer works.

Romney's cause was boosted by two endorsements received from Senator Lisa Murkowski and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. At the last moment, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan endorsed Romney instead of fellow Catholic Rick Santorum, and in return, Romney endorsed Sullivan for mayor. In contrast, Sarah Palin's support for Newt Gingrich had no effect as Alaska continues to exhibit some measure of Palin Fatigue.

Some regional results were also reported. According to the Juneau Empire, Romney took 183 Juneau votes, Santorum 125, Paul 87 and Gingrich 44. Joe Geldhof, a typical Romney supporter in Juneau who first supported Gary Johnson, then Jon Huntsman, said about Romney “He excites nobody, but I think he has administrative experience."

However, Fairbanks proved itself to be Ron Paul Country. Out of about 1,700 votes cast in Fairbanks, Paul won 31 percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 24 percent, Santorum with 21 percent and Gingrich with 15.5 percent. Paul won every Interior district but North Pole, where Gingrich had a strong showing. Randy M. Scott, of Fairbanks, typified the attitude of Ron Paul supporters when he said “I don’t know if he’s electable or not, but we have to send a message to the parties. I think they should stay out of our business.” This has been one of the major appeals of Ron Paul, that he alone is different than the others, and not as beholden to the system.

As a result of Super Tuesday, the Republican delegate count as of March 7th is now Romney with 404, Santorum with 165, Gingrich with 106, and Paul with 66. There is no question that Mitt Romney is in the driver's seat. But Politico is still not enthused about Romney; they suggest that he should have wrapped up the nomination on Super Tuesday, and that all his flaws are still on display, including his struggles in the South and among evangelical voters, as well as with rural voters and with voters down the economic scale.


  1. Good article as usual. You do a superb job of consolidating all of the information. One point you should know: when the first two essays in support of candidates were posted on the Northern Right, Casey Reynolds made an appeal on the NR's Facebook site for supporters of the other two candidates to submit essays to him via email. I contacted someone I know to be a Newt supporter, who submitted an essay, and shortly thereafter it appeared on the site. I don't doubt that if someone had submitted a Paul essay, it would have been posted as well.

    1. Appreciate the feedback; one of my prime objectives is to consolidate information from multiple sources.

      It is unfortunate that no one took up Reynolds' appeal for a Ron Paul essay. I will add that to my post.

  2. Is Sarah Palin a super delegate?