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BLITZER’S BLOG: GOP race won’t be wrapping up soon
February 8th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: GOP race won’t be wrapping up soon

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - This Republican race for the White House shows no sign of wrapping up any time soon.

Newt Gingrich says he’s ready for it to go all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, in August. He probably will do well in several Southern states holding contests on Super Tuesday, March 6.

Ron Paul tells me there would be a “rebellion” among his supporters if he were to drop out. He could do well Saturday in the Maine caucuses.

Rick Santorum had a make-or-break day Tuesday in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. By winning all three contests, he has fresh momentum and will start raising a lot more money.

Mitt Romney certainly has the best organization and the most cash on hand - backed by an impressive super PAC. He remains the GOP front-runner, but he doesn’t have anything locked up yet.

The former Massachusetts governor really needs to do well in the February 28 contests in Arizona and Michigan.

By all accounts, he should score in those two states. He did well in both states four years ago. There is also a large Mormon population in Arizona, and his father, George Romney, was governor of Michigan in the ‘60s.

CNN has two debates scheduled in the coming weeks - on February 22 in Arizona and March 1 in Georgia. We’ll see how those debates affect the race.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford faced an intense challenge from former California Gov. Ronald Reagan. It was a bitter battle between the establishment candidate (Ford) versus the so-called real conservative. It went all the way to the GOP convention that summer.

Ford narrowly beat Reagan for the nomination, but the long battle cost him big time. Ford later lost the general election to another former governor, Jimmy Carter of Georgia.

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RELATED STORY: Santorum claims momentum after 3-state sweep

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Filed under: 2012 election • Republicans • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Cansu

    Amen, Natalie. I'm hoping that the tough times are confirg people to wake up and smell the coffee. I was encouraged this past week to see clips of voters in Iowa who were angry about the prospect of cuts to social programs and many of the so-called moral items on the Right Wing GOP's agenda.But on the other hand, Michele Bachmann did win the straw poll there while Ron Paul was a close second. That doesn't bode well but apparently the straw poll doesn't mean much. Still worrisome though.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  2. joshua

    by extending the nomination process, the main stream media is forced to use up all its resources to look for anything possible in their mud slinging contest to help Obama. I used to find it amusing that Obama would read what was typed on his teleprompter, even if he didn't know how to pronounce the words or what they meant. Then I found out that media matters tells the main stream media what to read off their teleprompters. Some people will do or say anything you tell them, even if it makes them feel important. Then there are some who get a conscience and get out of the main stream media while they still have their dignity.

    February 17, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  3. Ruthie

    Gingrich just gave his CPAC speech, said he would abolish the capital gains tax on the day he takes office, then he proceeded to blast Romney's 15% tax on his filings. Does he not realize that if he does away with the CapTax Romney will pay almost nothing? I'm running to my Investment Advisor and putting all my millions in stock.

    February 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  4. Oliver El Paso, TX

    In their blend fury of the GOP has been to beat Obama ( a black man) no matter what it take even if it means to make US in to a third world country. It starred with Gorge Bush and GOP stealing the election in Florida. They have one big problem, They have no strong candidate, the GOP has become a David Stringer show, bring out the all the dirt on each candidates who gets ahead and its back by the GOP and the tea party. The republican party should change it name to the tea party they are being control by them any way.

    February 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  5. larry

    Why hasn't one of your commentators asked any of the GOP presidental canidates, what they would do about the Syrian tragedy?? Don't let them wait so they can be monday morning quarterbacks and say what they would have or would not have done compared to President Obama.
    get with it.

    February 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Scott P.

    Could someone explain something to me?

    If Republicans are so smart fiscally, and such great government administrators, and if only THEY have the answers, then please explain how/why Red States are such losers? They're poor, least educated, highest in crime, highest in child mortality, highest in executions, lowest in healthcare for the elderly, etc. etc. etc...

    I mean, if Republicans have all the economic answers, why aren't their states doing the BEST economically? They can't blame it on the Democrats, since they've been Red States for decades and decades. You'd think that by now their economic wisdom and supremacy would have "fixed" what ails those states.



    February 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    Wolf – You're correct – It won't be wrapping up soon, at all. It may even be sometime in June, at the very latest, Wolf. If I were Santorum, I would STAY Down Here in this State, because that photo of him with all those pastors laying their Hands on him, and all over his shoulders, and head, sort of went Viral, Wolf. In other words, IF Santorum visits all of those Churches where a lot of those Pastors can "Lay Hands" on Him, and he stays in Texas, I'll bet you a Dollar to a Dime, (my Dollar, Your Dime) that Santorum will Take Texas. That's what they want down here in Texas, Wolf. They want somone who is very, very religious, and pretty much sits at the foot of the cross. IF and I Say IF, Santorum Wins Texas, believe me, Newt will Drop out, even IF Newt takes the other southern States. So – with that being said, or in summary – IF Santorum takes Texas – Then he'll only have ONE guy in the Republican Party to contend with. ( right now, he's got both newt & mitt )

    February 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Ruthie

      santorum will do anything to get the republican nomination, even going to the lenght of using God. Sad, Sad, Sad!!!

      February 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  8. My name is Jose Jimenez

    Thank you Wolf for the astute observation.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  9. MayorAdamWest

    When will people wake up and realize that Republicans and Democrats are two flavors of the same corrupt power structure. Rooting for my team over your team and my guy over your guy. You are being manipulated!

    February 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  10. dreamer96

    Another good religious Republicans like Reagan...

    Reagan did not create our homeless, but he really got it going..

    Reagan closed the Federal Mental Hospitals in 1987,and sent up to 500,000 mentally ill people with no place to go out onto the streets...Then GWBush added millions more when they lost their homes and moved to tent cities in the California deserts and tent cities all around the country..There are 50,000 mentally ill homeless in California alone...

    February 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  11. StuckInTX

    The GOP is forgetting one MAJOR change this go round. They are sickening the voters with this 4-ring circus. GOP voter turnout has been DOWN by MAJOR percentage points (by prior standards) during this cycle. This means they will either vote the other way (Obama) are undecided – which means there's no viable candidate, or do not believe that the GOP can "fix" our issues and will abstain in Nov. Either way, I see a large swing occurring.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  12. comeon

    The GOP race wrapped up a long time ago. When the only candidate Obama was worried about Huntsman dropped out, it was wrapped up b/c none of these guys has a chance to become President.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  13. Vince

    I certainly hope it goes to the convention. This GOP race has been great for the president.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  14. julien

    I think romney is a good and decent man. He can really help the economy. Without money, america has no say. I think santorium still very new and unexperience like obama

    February 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Ruthie

      Funny, I noticed the same resemblence between the two. When Obam was running I said he was not running to be President of the United States, he was running to be King and rule the US. I get the same feeling about Santorum. Arrogance is the word of the day for both of them. Romney accepts his wins with a smile and a thank you to everyone that voted for him. Santorum accepts his win with a button busting look what I did and then proceeds to tear into his fellow Republican candidates.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  15. Griff

    "So Wolfi, the unspoken world (me too), want's to know? What difference does it make if Obama gets Twelve Thousand Delegates, and Romney only get 1200?? Or should I say, is there such a thing; as a Conservative Democrate???"

    February 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  16. Marc

    The GOP has lost the concept that is America many decades ago, around the time that Kennedy was assassinated, and then with Nixon and his criminal administration. That have no shame and no dignity. Their policies are an abject failure for the nation and the economically lower 95% of its citizens. But, greed and ego keeps the GOP going, and this current election cycle shows us the very worst they have to offer; well, almost. They did lose Bachmann, Perry and Cain and they never had Palin, but those four clowns would truly round out this circus.

    Their only intelligent, electable candidate was Jon Huntsman, and they dropped him like a hot potato(e) because he was too much like common people and more like the ideal of how an American leader should be.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • StuckInTX

      Marc – Best summary I've read so far. Would have supported Huntsman, but no option now. This party is so out of touch with reality. It bases its platform on McCarthyism – the fear of socialism, that your rights will be take away by the left, that trickle-down economics is successful and drill baby drill! No issues with the drilling but it was the GOP that put the limits in place in the first place. Besides, can you see Tillerson at the next AGM trying to explain to shareholders why profits fell from $40Billion to under $1B after oil dropped to $20 a barrel ??

      February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Q

      The fact that none / 0, of the truly qualified GOP canadates ran should tell you all that is needed. Romney will be the nominee and will get slammed by Obama. I just hope next cycle they will get a real player in there...

      February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Steven

      I disagree with you stating that they lost America in the 60s as in the 60s the GOP was how the Dems are today. In the 60s the Dems fought the civil rights movement and the GOP was for it. the 90s is really when the GOP lost touch with reality but so did alot of dems. Isn't it funny that when the GOP lost it's way that it was with the Rise of Newt Gingrich and his fundraiser over American people mentality?

      Nixon was a crook plain and simple.

      Huntsman was the best person running in my opinion too

      February 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  17. Phil in KC

    I think Santorum's sweep is a greater threat to Gingrich. If he is seen as the true conservative alternative to Romney, he could begin to leach votes from Gingrich. I don't think he's going to take too many votes from Romney. Of course, the threat to Romney is a united "not Romney" vote. Of course, I did not see the Santorum sweep coming, so what the heck do I know?

    February 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Larry in Houston

      I didn't either – but I think if Santorum carries Texas – it's "lights out" for the newter. Even IF Newt carries the other southern States. IF Santorum wants to Win Texas, all he's got to do is go to all those Churches, and get on the horn – and call all those Pastors – and have somebody take a photo of it, while they are all "laying their hands on him" and let it go Viral. Santorum will have it in the bag.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  18. dennis cassidy

    i wish some one would ask gingrich why he does not address his supporters or his rival after a primary congratulation or thank you for people who are working for him.i find this unbelievably rude and uncouth

    February 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • comeon

      Because he is not a good person.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  19. Srategic Bob

    It does not matter who wins the Republican nomination. Each and every one of them would take this nation off a cliff. The only difference would be in how quickly they would do it and which insanity they would be persuing when they pushed us over edge.

    Be afraid, America. Be very afraid.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  20. jody

    None of these clowns have a platform on which to run. Their only agenda is "there is a black man in the white house (where he does not belong) and we have to get him out" using any lie that pops into their head.. God help us if any of these old white men become president. This is from a white southern woman-Obama/Biden 2012 is our only hope of bring America back to where it once was. But as someone state above–it sure is fun to watch them tear each other apart. Who is more holy, more conservative, more righteous, etc. Keep it up GOP.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  21. oneSTARman

    The GOP doesn't have a CHANCE against Obama with THESE Clowns. Its just a Matter Now of How Many Senate and House seats he fight will cost the GOP – PLENTY I'm betting.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  22. MK54

    I believe we are watching the splintering of the Republican party into irreconcilable factions. There doesn't seem to be anyone running or in the wings that has a prayer of bringing party unity.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  23. Terry

    The Great Race! Grown men running in knee deep mud, periodically scooping the mud and throwing it at their fellow candidates. Yes, this is the GOP Presidential Primary Season, and the mud will continue to fly, until no one is standing. Anyone who truly believes that the GOP Candidate will come from this field of "mudders" has been fooled beyond belief. I look forward to the GOP Convention, where we will be introduced to the true Republican Candidate. Please pray that I am correct.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  24. Griff

    "What's happening now, Wolfi??? So what the hell was that woman talking about at 14:35 Pacific??? Does that mean that Conservatives who won't vote for Romney, will vote for Obama??"

    February 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Davide7

      There is at least one person who will vote for Obama if Romney is the nominee:me. I would guess there are 10 million more like me.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • Larry in Houston

      Griff – that woman is crazy.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • John in Colorado

      No Griff. What it means is that Conservatives will stay home . They may not even vote at all which is a disaster for candidates down the rest of the ticket. They will not volunteer to go door-to-door, they will not give money, they will not argue passionately with their friends and neighbors that the GOP Presidential candidate is the way to go. These are the prices paid for the enthusiasm gap. Anyone who thinks President Obama has the same problem should think again. Left wingers do not constitute anywhere near half of the Democratic Party like the right-wingers do in their party. Obama has already raised hundreds of millions from over a million doners; the average donation being around $50. He is expected to raise at least a billion in his campaign alone (let alone what the super PACS will raise for him). And, he gets to spend all that money on his general election campaign and for Democratic candidates for Congress. The left wingers will vote for him because the alternate is anathema.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  25. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    This one will go to the wire and if Santorum is the nominee, the general election will be a battleground unlike 2008. People who underestimate Mr Santorum are foolish. Of all the candidates, Republican or Democrat, Santorum is the least likely to have skeletons in his closet. They will have to dig very deep to find anything wrong with Santorum. He has the Jack Kennedy mystique that carried Kennedy to the White House.

    February 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • StuckInTX

      Ed- it went to pay for Perry's security detail during his ill-conceived, ill-fated candidacy... LOL

      February 9, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • John in Colorado

      Are you kidding me? Santorum is as weird as they come. In most states he would have been arrested and charged with abusing a corpse, when he insisted on taking his still-born baby home to show the body to his kids. That dogmatic, doctrinaire, Catholic intolerance including anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-immigrant policies will sink the GOP ship just as surely as anything. Why he couldn't even get re-elected in his own state. Not only was he defeated it was so lopsided, it was a humiliating defeat.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  26. Gregory

    Wolf said around 416 CST that you go to Texas to raise money. As an unemployed Texan, I would say, 'where is the money'?

    February 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Larry in Houston

      Dude – then you're living in the wrong area, and looking in the wrong places – I don't KNOW of ONE (1) un-employed person here in Houston. Money is flowing like water here, dude. I'm from the north east- and I can show you "un-employed" people, but not here. I've only been here for the last 7 years, and there's plenty of work here, if you really want to work. Believe me, I would much rather stay up in the northeast, the foilage is much better, and I never had to put up with the Mosquitos & Fireant, YEAR Round.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • Eunice

        Tercel, I have mental lseaps nearly every day, without the media scrutiny. I have resisted Perry, because of his stance on illegal immigration. I think there needs to be a program for these people, but for the pro-illegal crowd, this means blanket amnesty. In that case, why don't we throw open our doors to the world and et everyone walk in and go broke in ninety days. We who don't trust politicians, number far more than those who do; I will look at Perry, but if you are close to him, you might suggest not being photographed with pistols over his head. It might win votes in Texas, but it won't help in other states. I have been a big game hunter all my life, but I only carry a weapon in the mountains, and I never advertise the fact that I have one. If you deserve to be on the receiving end of one, you will know I have a weapon, soon enough. Otherwise, you just tip your hand to your enemies for no purpose.I will look at Perry a little closer in the near future. I know he must court the Hispanic voter in Texas to get elected, but I've talked to many Hispanics who feel they are working for lower wages because of the Illegal aliens; there is not the unity there that you might expect. The fact that Liberals hate him is an indication that there may be some redeeming qualities to this man.Reply

        March 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  27. W Rosier

    Why has the International community abandoned Syria? What, it does not have significant oil reserves? Step up NATO!

    February 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  28. Abraham Ben Judea

    The democrat party would do itself a great favor...if they start to refer to the GOP under its real name, Grand "Old" Party.
    They have to use the GRAND "OLD' PARTY label every where, in every conversation, every press conference, in every political advert with particular enphasis in the word "OLD"
    Ben Judea

    February 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

      Why not use the old GOP nick name? Due to the last 3 years the Democratic party has become the corrupt and contaminated party thanks to the present incumbent.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
      • comeon

        ahahaha... I think you mean the Boehner and his clowns in the Congress when you say corrupt and contaminated.

        February 9, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • jparker

      I agree. It's all in a name.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  29. Karen Adkins

    I respect your reporting, but I do not understand why everyday (so it seems) you have Newt G. on. He whines about everybody else being this that and the next thing and he's so innocent. He is as innocent as yellow snow and I'm tired of his blaming everyone else for his failings. I don't understand why so much social is involved with politics and people can't mind their own business and try working together for the betterment of the country. If its not abuse behind closed doors people should mind their own business. I'm sorry to be so negative, but there are more important things than the petty stuff being brought up. We pay into Social Security and Medicare while working and it is not a benefit as the politicans claim, as they transferre how much money from the SS fund to the General fund? Why don't they pay it back and then make it solvent again? Little things like this bug me, no or few jobs as companies make profits. Good honest people losing their homes, and National Guardsmen sent to war time and time again, losing homes, families, and jobs are never (never has been) saved for them. So many on the streets, sorry to belly ache so much. Some of the things we nobodies talk about.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  30. Marty Weixel

    It really doesn't matter who wins the Republican nomination because the party's creative PR machine will get into high gear and turn the nominee into a brilliant, clever, saintly leader of humanity, just as they did with Ronald Reagan's legacy.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

      I am certainly glad that your vote will not count. It will be cancelled out by my vote.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  31. David

    I just watched Blitzer'sSituation Room interview w/Newt Gingrich and feel that he left an unanswered question regarding the situation in Syria. When Newt responded, "first off, I wouldn't tell you. . ." The follow up question should have been, "I know that we want to contrast strategies here, but given the covert operation that the current administration executed in the elimination of Bin Laden, is it reasonable that they are doing things in Syria, but just not telling us?"

    February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  32. Roger

    In our life times we have never seen anything like it. If Gingrich can take OK and sweep the south it will be a real close race. This truely is a contest of ideas and I find it a very exciting time to be following politics.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  33. Griff

    "Why do you continue to listen to Gingrich, he has no idea about the Middle East! I think I know so much more that most, and you need Turkey to deal with Syria. Help Turkey support it;s neighbor's and build more of an alliance for peace."

    February 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  34. Toni

    Also it was heated primary when Teddy and Carter. And bitterness over it didn't die. Remember?!

    February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  35. Griff

    "If Romney is so far out in Delgates, he seems to need more Conservative-Delegates; on his side to continue the swing to the vote."

    February 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  36. bill

    None of these gentlemen is going to beat Obama. McCain had better credentials and lost to an African American with a Muslim name, an African Muslim father and a liberal. Debates are the same for the republican crop, abortion,the pill,welfare,
    gay marriage and the standard, religion. Unless one of these gentlemen deals the shrinking of the middle class due to out sourcing of high paying jobs they will lose. All of the other staff will yield the same number of voters as the previous election.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • jerry

      obama's approval ratings are way too low for reelection in his 9,10,11,and 12th quarters...he is in real trouble. Presient Bush much much bigger.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Puzzled?

        Gallup Poll Ratings

        President Obama Approval 47% Disapproval 47% (seems like the country is having a change of mind!)

        Congress Approval 10% Disapproval 90%

        Obama's Economic Approval Rating 38% UP 8% (Jobless claims fell again as reported on 2/9/2012!!) Expect this to go up even more!!!

        February 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  37. Shuksan

    We are ready for a new primary system. Gone are the days when candidates did whistle-stop train rides across the country to meet with voters. We live in the age of TV, YouTube, social media, etc. There is no reason a reasonable person can't find all the information they need on candidates over, say, a 3-month period. Then let all states vote and be done with it. It works at the local level and should be able to work at the national level. Save hundreds of millions of dollars, minimizes the influence of corporate PACs, and lets the country focus on something more important than who is sliming whom in any given news cycle.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • StuckInTX


      February 9, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Larry in Houston

      AMEN, Brother ! also, they could use the money to pay down the debt !!

      February 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  38. Cubanon

    The GOP races is pumping millions into the economy, Keep it up!

    February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Derk Hergel

      ha! Interesting way of looking at it.

      February 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  39. Randy, San Francisco

    Hopefully the nomination battle royal will continue through the summer all the way to the GOP convention. The candidates have to stop playing nice and throw real punches at each other. Any candidate who can't stand the heat should leave the kitchen.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  40. vic , nashville ,tn

    We don’t want any one to quit the race this time. Its fun to watch CNN going after election officials for the last count middle of the night
    Really I enjoy election night

    February 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

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