Santorum wins Tennessee Super Tuesday primary over Romney

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7:55pm
Updated: 9:45 p.m.

Sen. Rick Santorum was the choice of voters in the Tennessee Republican primary on Tuesday. The former Pennsylvania senator led Gov. Mitt Romney by roughly 10 percentage points and 39,000 votes with 75 percent of the state reporting at 9:30 p.m.

Santorum was leading or won in 86 of Tennessee's 95 counties at 9:30 p.m. He had 37.3 percent of the vote, followed by Romney with 27.8 percent and Gingrich at 23.9 percent with 81 percent of the state's precincts reporting.

Romney won Davidson, Williamson and Loudon Counties by less than 5 percent, while Gingrich won Marion County in southeastern Tennessee. Five counties still hadn't reported results as of 9:30 p.m. Romney beat Santorum 11,547 to 10,798 in Davidson County.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney congratulated Santorum less than an hour after 7 p.m. poll close.

“I want to congratulate Rick Santorum on his primary win and thank all of the voters who cast a ballot for one of our four Republican candidates. We have seen a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement statewide for this primary. Tennesseans spoke loud and clear tonight that they are ready to make President Obama a one-term president," he said.

The atmosphere was celebratory at Santorum's “victory rally” in Steubenville, Ohio, where the candidate said he had won “at least a couple gold medals” based on wins in Tennessee and Oklahoma.

“We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South and we're ready to win across this country,” Santorum said. “There wasn't a single state in the list I just gave you that I spent more money than the people we had to defeat in that state.”

Based on Super PAC spending in Tennessee, Santorum was heavily outspent by Gingrich and Romney. Federal Election Commission disclosures show the Romney-backing Super PAC “Restore Our Future” spent roughly $947,000, while the pro-Gingrich “Winning Our Future” spent about $731,500 on media production, advertising and mailings in the Volunteer State. The pro-Santorum Red White and Blue Fund only spent about $160,000.

All three of the candidates visited Tennessee on the campaign trail. Gingrich spent a full day in Nashville on Feb. 27 while also making multiple stops in Chattanooga. Santorum held a rally at Belmont University two days later, and campaigned in east Tennessee.

Romney's first Tennessee stop was last Sunday in Knoxville.

The latest Middle Tennessee State University poll released on Feb. 29 showed Santorum (40 percent) was heavily favored over Romney (19 percent).

31 Comments on this post:

By: girliegirl on 3/7/12 at 9:25

Santorum had real grass roots support, not the "money-bought" variety. We drove all over the county/state, using our own gas, making our own signs, writing on our cars, and we called our friends, wrote on our FaceBook Walls, and shouted to the world that Santorum was someone that we could trust. Just imagine for a minute if he had spent the money the other candidates had spent, and would see that Santorum really is the best candidate for the White House.

By: 1kenthomas on 3/7/12 at 12:12

Santorum is the best candidate for the White House?!?! An incompetent you can trust?

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Santorum is a loon with a bat's chance in Hades of being President. The fact that he carried Tennessee is an embarssment-- one more sign to the rest of the country that TN is filled with ignorant, uneducated right-wing radicals who want "a leadership they can trust" which is appears as low as them.

Finally, it's just an act. He's a politician playing you -- which is all to easy.

By: NewYorker1 on 3/7/12 at 12:53

Wasn't Rick Santorum at one time the grand wizard of the KKK? No wonder he won in TN. LOL....

By: NewYorker1 on 3/7/12 at 12:57

Rick Santorum is a prime example of why I believe in abortions

By: TITAN1 on 3/7/12 at 1:32

girliegirl, on this we agree.

By: TITAN1 on 3/7/12 at 1:35

1kenthomas, if you live here, you can leave anytime you want.

By: gabster1000 on 3/7/12 at 3:32

Haha. Does anyone know how many Democrats went to the poles to vote for Santorum? I did , I ran into a liberal neighbor who voted in the primary for Gingrich, and I know that others were intending to do the same. I wonder if that can be measured?.

By: Radix on 3/7/12 at 3:41

"By: NewYorker1 on 3/7/12 at 11:57
Rick Santorum is a prime example of why I believe in abortions"

Ah, the tolerance and inclusion of modern democrats.... Obama does not stand a chance no matter who runs against him. All anyone has to do is point at his record. He will respond with more vote-buying handouts, but people are wising up to that.

By: gabster1000 on 3/7/12 at 4:43

Radix...but we Dems won't be voting Republican in November. Obama is going to be reelected because most of the country is not TN.

By: 1kenthomas on 3/7/12 at 10:59

@ TITAN1: So can you :)

@ NewYorker1: Don't remind me, don't remind me...

@ Radix: I don't believe in tolerance towards intolerant, ignorant bigots whom there's no arguing with. That said, people like Rick Santorum are the number one argument for Gun Rights in America :P, followed by reactionary ideological ignoramuses who want to double-down on the failed Republican "free market capitalism" bullshit policies that got us into this mess.

@ gabster1000: I don't think Santorum's got a chance to take the GOP nomination-- seriously, the GOP will run a shadow convention rather than nominate someone who's unelectable-- so you just made Tennessee look bad.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 2:41

I find it amusing that Tennessee protestants support Santorum, when he called "mainstream, mainline" Protestantism devil worship in his 2008 speech at Ave Maria college.

Richard the Zion-hearted would love to burn Protestant women at the stake, because they use contraceptives and have non-procreational sex, which in his mind lumps them together with gays, prostitutes and abortionists.

Is it a marriage made in heaven, or hell?
Only time will tell.

The inability of Tennesseans to read and understand what Republican leaders are actually saying is -- literally (pun intended) -- amazing.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 2:50

Tennessee conservatives are in for a rude shock, when they finally figure out what Santorum is actually saying. What he is clearly saying is that Protestants have been deluded by the Father of Lies (Satan) and are following and worshiping the Devil because they use contraceptives, which to Santorum is a form of abortion.

He has clearly said that he wants states to outlaw contraceptives, and that the Constitution does not grant Americans sexual privacy, meaning that the government can legislate what Americans can do in bed.

If only Tennesseans would read and think independently, they would see that Santorum has the mindset of a medieval Inquisitor and wants to return American women to the Dark Ages.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 3:00

For Tennessee women to vote for Rick Santorum is like Jewish women voting for Hitler. Santorum has the mindset of a medieval Inquisitor and to him women should either abstain from sex, or if they choose to have sex, have baby after baby mindlessly like rabbits, because this is the "infallible wisdom" of the Vatican, which calls using condoms and the pill a "sin." Richard the Zion-hearted has clearly called Americans who use contraceptives devil worshipers. But most Tennesseans seem to be unable to read and understand plain English.

By: yogiman on 3/8/12 at 7:56

You're right, Mike. but it isn't just Tennesseans that seem to be unable to read and understand plain English. Because with your such strong support for "Obama" and not being able to read and edit that piece of paper shown as his birth certificate, that places you in the mainstream media's role in supporting Mr. Usurper.

By: T-BONE on 3/8/12 at 8:03

SANCTUM SANTORUM 2012 "Brainwashed by the Vatican"
enjoy.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8

By: girliegirl on 3/8/12 at 9:19

Well, y'all just make fools out of yourselves. I'm a Blue Dog and proudly voting for Rick Santorum. I'm sick of the Pres handing out MY money to folks who didn't earn it, and giving money to people who make over $125,000 a year so that they can buy a Chevy Volt. Buh-bye!

By: Eykis121 on 3/8/12 at 10:01

Glad to see my "comrades" posting here regarding the Santo win here in Tennessee - YEPPERS, so many of us Far Left Progressives used our voting rights to walk in the election spots and when asked, Democrat or Republican - said Republican and then VOTED FOR SANTO - we WANT Santo to go against POTUS - it will be EVERSOMUCH fun for the ENTIRE WORLD to see what type of morannic imbeciles the RePiggery Obstructionist Team of Teabagging Fascists an Fewls have put forth as "alternatives" to the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama.

Thanks to EVERY SINGLE Democratic Party member and Independent in Tennessee who joined us in EXPOSING the ReichWing for their idiocy~

Obama/Biden 2012

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 10:35

girliegirl,

Well, at least President Obama is trying to keep us out of a war with Iran, while all the Republican candidates other than Ron Paul say they'll go to war with Iran at the drop of a hat. That will be trillions more we'll have to spend, and since we don't have the money, sink our children and grandchildren deeper into debt.

At the same time, the aging male chauvinists of the GOP will make sure insurance pays for their Viagra, while denying women contraceptives, meaning that they'll have to give us sex or have baby after baby after baby, the way God and nature intended.

If they can' t read the handwriting on the wall, American women may learn what is was like to wake up with conservative German Christians in control ... the Nazis. The GOP displays the same traits: racism, sexism, homophobia, ignorance and anger at any positive change based on facts, science and logic.

The problem with basing laws on religion is that a few male chauvinists like the Pope and Rick Santorum can have an undue influence on laws that affect our everyday lives. Once the GOP passes laws that make it illegal for women to interfere with the will of God, they will be back in the Dark Ages.

Intelligent men like Barack Obama would not let that happen. The village idiots just read a Bible verse that confirms what they "know" and then women, gays, minorities and non-Christians are all fair game.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 10:42

Eykis121,

Voting for Santorum is a dicey game. While it seems today that he couldn't get elected, what if the economy goes down the tubes and unemployment shoots up? What if there is another terrorist attack and conservatives convince Americans that Obama is to blame, which many of them are willing to do without thinking?

Romney would not be my choice for president, but at least he's not driven by fear and hatred of sex and contraception.

By: wretchasketch on 3/8/12 at 11:20

"Well, at least President Obama is trying to keep us out of a war with Iran, while all the Republican candidates other than Ron Paul say they'll go to war with Iran at the drop of a hat. That will be trillions more we'll have to spend, and since we don't have the money, sink our children and grandchildren deeper into debt."

Even Obama has said he is not taking war off the table, and it doesn't matter which one of these clowns get in, the debt keeps piling up.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 11:29

wretchasketch,

You make a good point, and I am not a fan of President Obama's reliance on military solutions. However, there is a big difference between him and the GOP candidates other than Ron Paul. President Obama voted against the invasion of Iraq. He promised to get our troops out of Iraq, and he did. He has a plan to get our troops out of Afghanistan. He favors diplomacy over attacking Iran.

So even though he still leans too much on our military, he is not a warmonger like GWB, Rumsfeld and Cheney. And if we can take the three leading GOP candidates at their word, they are itching for a confrontation with Iran, for the same reason we invaded Iraq. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, hoping for different results. By that measure, the GOP has gone insane.

There is a clear difference between Obama and the Three Stooges.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 11:34

wretchasketch,

Having said this, I think Ron Paul is miles ahead of the others, including President Obama, on foreign policy. We have something like 800 military bases overseas. Our navy is larger than the next 13 largest navies combined. The second largest air force in the world is our navy's. When we put that kind of power in the hands of the village idiots, all hell breaks loose on earth.

We ought to spend what we need to defend ourselves at home, and stop trying to police the rest of the world. As Will Rogers said, the worst thing we do as a nation is try to manage the affairs of other nations. When things go wrong overseas, we get blamed (often rightly so), and then we end up with 9-11 and unwinnable wars.

If we want peace, we have to accept the fact that we cannot enforce American-style democracy on other nations, and right now it isn't working all that well for us. Why export something we're not happy with?

By: yucchhii on 3/8/12 at 12:03

yucchhii Lol, y'all think your vote counts...Ha ha ha ha Lol. The jokes on YOU!!! Y'all are soooo gullable. But that's what BS artists take advantage off!!! They are ALL BS ARTISTS!!! Since when did you ever hear of an "HONEST" politician? Lol...LMAO!!!

By: govskeptic on 3/8/12 at 12:16

Looks like Mr. Burch is on a rabies maddening attack of all the candidates
in this primary with the exception of the only one that can't win, Ron Paul!
Of course, that's to be expected of one that is a zealot for President Obama!

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 1:01

govskeptic,

I am hardly a "zealot" for President Obama. I have said a number of times in my articles that I disagree with his reliance on military solutions, and I also disagree with him for not standing up to Israel's brutal treatment of Palestinians, which led to 9-11 and the subsequent wars.

I am simply pointing out that Romney, Gingrich and Santorum are the Three Stooges. Nothing they say or do makes any sense. They favor the 1% over the 99%. They favor the 1% of women who don't use contraceptives over the 99% who do. They favor attacking Iran in support of Israel, when Israel is the racist bully of the Middle East.

All you have to do is listen to what they clearly say themselves. I'm not attacking them, just quoting them and explaining what they say they will do themselves.

If what I say disturbs you, then it seems you are disturbed by the "values" of the GOP. Any sane person would be.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 1:13

govskpetic,

The values of men and their beliefs greatly affect what they say and do. Anyone with a brain who actually listens to what the GOP candidates say themselves, and tries to understand "where they're coming from," should hear warning alarms going off:

A return to Dark Age "morality" once the theocrats are in power.
Racism
Sexism
Homophobia
Religious intolerance
These things invariably lead to injustices, anger, violence and war.

There are the "values" of the GOP, as the candidates now try to appeal to the most ignorant Americans: those who are unable to read and think clearly for themselves, and so let other people interpret the Bible for them.

There are only two real choices in the upcoming election: a President who thinks, or one who quotes Bible verses and pretends to know "the will of God." But the will of God in the Bible was often racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance. Such things lead to injustice, which leads to anger, violence and war.

It is very dangerous to let religion-mad village idiots run a country. Just look at what happened in Europe when theocrats were in control. That's why the founding fathers tried to keep religion out of government. Now we risk losing the gains of the last two centuries, by a descent into a theocracy driven by irrational beliefs that have never worked in the real world.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 1:13

Being unhappy with President Obama does not mean that the village idiots will do a better job.

By: 1kenthomas on 3/8/12 at 1:22

@girliegirl:

You're kidding, right?

You remind me of the long-beared biker dude that Channel 4 interviewed in front of the polls, spouting how much he wants his independence back and to repeat Obamacare.

Your tax dollars?!? Your tax dollars?!? How much do you make? What-- if you've an "average Tennessean," about $25K a year personally? Maybe $50K personally?

If you're making in that range and complaining about being taxed, you can't possibly understand the tax structure. Because if you're in that range-- really, anywhere under $150K or so-- you BENEFIT from the tax structure. It's also the case that the vast majority of Tennesseans would benefit from Pres. Obama's proposed changes.

Why? BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE FAR RICHER THAN YOU BEAR THE OVERWHELMING BURDEN of these taxes, transferring resources to those with less.

The irony of the Channel 4 example was that, of course, if fat biker dood didn't have to pay $50/mo or so into mandated health care, he's eventually going to get old, and rely on the State to take care of him on the taxpayer dime. And that's going to cost all of us far more, than "mandated health care."

Except you #$&&$& freeloading Republicans (that's the reality; most welfare recipients by dollar amount are WHITE REPUBLICANS, you heard it hear, go look up the studies) think that "freedom" mean "freedom not to contribute to the system you're freeloading on."

Speaking of the racial components of white southern trash-- I'm convinced, the real reason for all the anti-Obama rhetoric is because y'all really, really can't stand the idea of a black man in the White House. It means there's no longer anyone poor whites can look down on, as worse than themselves, as they pathetically proclaim how proud they are of being at the bottom of the heap-- and vote for rick men who pretend/pander to "share their values" in order to get thier votes.

Repeat: Republican politicians are not in your best interest. They're using you to stay in power. They want you poor (and in Santorum's case, pregnant and likely barefoot), lest they loose the voting block that keeps them in power.

By: Mike Burch on 3/8/12 at 2:46

1kenthomas,

While you make some good points, you do it the way the right-wing Republicans act, which makes you seem the way they seem ... driven by something like road rage.

Obviously, most Republicans fall into the 99% and will need Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc., as they and their families age.

The obvious solution is to stop giving the super-rich a free ride. Mitt Romney has a Cayman Island IRA valued at up to $101 million by reputable publications like the WSJ. If he protected close to half his personal wealth from all taxes, his real tax rate is probably closer to 7% than 14%.

Bill Gates has paid only a tiny fraction of his total wealth in taxes, because there are no taxes on the appreciation of his Microsoft stock that he hasn't sold.

There is a real problem with what i call "the curious collusion between the rich and poor." The glue that keeps poor and middle-class Americans with their noses pasted to rich people's asses is RELIGION and FEAR.

If the 99% want to live in a safer, more prosperous world, they need to stop letting rich people and their lackeys (politicians) fool them into believing that the GOP has real-world solutions. The GOP is intellectually bankrupt, and has been since it became obvious that tax cuts for the rich don't "trickle down" to other people. In a recession, the rich just sit on their money like misers and let everyone else pay taxes and suffer.

But resorting to anger and insults isn't going to help. What we need to do is vote for Democrats at the polls, until Republicans come to their senses. A democratic majority will mean less perks for the super rich, and fewer wars abroad (which will save trillions of dollars).

By: govskeptic on 3/8/12 at 4:12

Gish, it's becomes ever more obvious as to who is the actual "Village idiot".
and a totally paranoid one at that!

By: 1kenthomas on 3/9/12 at 2:42

@Mike Burch:

Well, one adjusts one's stance to one's interlocutor and audience :).

I'm fairly convinced you can't argue with the kind of person who supports Santorum, with standard reason and logic. You have to adopt some of their, er, well, "rhetorical techniques and discursive vocabulary."

As far as the Democratic Party, well, er, um, ahem, I'm not so convinced they're the Chosen Ones either.

As far as Republicans/Republican voters, it's not just about them being in the 99%. Red States are, seemingly paradoxically, the overwhelming consumers of social services and "entitlements" in the United States _which they don't pay for_; Blue States are financially supporting the Red States.

In contrast to the populist Republican ideology of "we want to stand on our own," "and we can if you weren't taxing us," it's the right-wing who are moochers on the social system. And it's the leftists-- generally far better educated and more productive-- who are paying for it.

It's a bit like the Newt's comment that individuals of color should have jobs, not welfare. Well-- skipping fast over the fact that black people are no longer the major recipients of welfare-- you just can't pull this magic rabbit of "jobs" out of your hat.

There are not going to be "jobs" for the undereducated and poor; they don't have the skills. We're not really going to be competitive by more manufacturing-- unless we adopt protectionist policies, both Germany on the high end, and China and others on the low end, are going to out-compete the US and either produce a better quality product at the same price point, or a cheaper low-quality product (far lower labour cost) on the low end.

"Jobs" for the uneducated masses are, of necessity, going to be "jobs programs," another form of welfare. And as much as the right wants to "stand on their own" and "earn their living," the real political, global economics of it stands in the way of the fantasy. Tearing apart the social safety net-- what little is left-- is simply economic suicide.

On the high end, from the sectoral analyses I've seen, it's not going to happen, either. You just don't need 300+ million highly skilled workers-- there are never going to be enough "jobs" to create anything near full employment, or current levels of employment, if you create a fully "open market," socially "Darwinian" system.

Employment will go down if we follow the right-wing ideologies, and with it, associated costs from health care to crime, will go up dramatically. And at some level, like in Greece, there will be social unrest and further instability from further privation and decline.

But the right wing keeps offering simple solutions, the same blind free market crap they've offered for close to a century. Alan Greenspan at least approached this with full-on honesty: looking at the financial crisis, he simply declared "we were wrong." The free market assumptions used by the Fed and most economists, were wrong.

There are no simple solutions to this situation. In the interim, the Fed and other US financial institutions have stumbled alone, with some limited market centralization efforts akin to the BRIC models, and a lot of fairly protectionist moves for the corporate base of the US. This isn't going to provide long-term solutions.

To date, no long-term economic ideas seem to have emerged in the US. Certainly not at the level of national politics, where everyone on all sides is paying lip service to old ideologies that have proven inadequate to the situation.

In reality, forgetting situations like Iran and other issues such as the "social" ones, the difference between Obama and Romney or McCain, is very slight. We'd likely be in more or less the same situation, with any of them-- though there are some indications, that Obama may have learned enough, to exercise executive power more effectively, during a second term.

As far as hurling insults at "girlygirl" or whomever, well, have you ever seen a session of the British Parliament? A dose or two of high-tone mockery, in full dramatic fashion, might improve American politics a great deal.

So long as Rush is no involved, of course!