Updated: 9:10 PM ET March 7, 2012
Mitt Romney's Primary Weapon - Donald J. Trump
Readers of the StoneZone know that I have not endorsed Mitt Romney on these pages but our readers look to us for analysis of what's happen on the political scene. I've concluded, based on a review of the polling from Super Tuesday primaries , that Donald Trump is Mitt Romney's secret weapon. It is therefore not surprising that Ann Romney gave a shout out to Trump from the podium in Boston last Tuesday night. Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney on February 2nd. Since that endorsement, Romney's campaign has won the crucial states of Nevada, Michigan and Ohio. In each victory, whether via twitter for Nevada,1 Ann Romney's introduction for her husband in Michigan,2 or being called an "honorary Buckeye" by Ann Romney Tuesday night and being thanked "for being on the radio for us all the time in Ohio" before Mitt spoke,3 the Romney Campaign has been wise to publicly thank Donald Trump for his crucial surrogate work on behalf of the campaign. A closer examination of the Michigan and Ohio exit polls prove that should Mitt Romney pass the 1144 delegate rubicon, he will indeed have Trump to thank for the nomination. Take Michigan. On February 15th, Romney was trailing Rick Santorum by as much as 10 points with only 12 days until the primary4 - where a loss would have crushed any hopes of Romney winning the GOP nomination. On February 22nd, the Romney campaign announced that Trump had recorded a robo-call on behalf of Mitt Romney which would be played throughout the state.5 Besides the robo-call, the Romney campaign also booked their "highest-wattage surrogate" for radio interviews throughout the crucial week before the Michigan primary.6 The result - in his 3 point victory, Romney lead Santorum among voters who support the Tea Party (42% - 41%), Catholic voters (44% - 37%) and voters who believe working in business is best experience for President (57% -27%) while only losing voters without a college education by a slim margin (36% - 42%) as well as voters who earn between $50g-$100g annually (37%-40%).7 Romney did better than expected among the very voters Trump is most popular with. In Ohio, which Romney won this past Tuesday by a razor thin 1%, the Romney campaign enlisted Donald Trump for robo-calls once again as well as radio interviews.8 Romney was trailing Santorum by as much as 4 points with a week to go before the true bellwether of this primary's Super Tuesday.9 In Romney's razor thin victory, he once again narrowly won voters who support the Tea Party (41% - 38%), Catholic voters (44% - 31%) and voters who believe working in business is best experience for President (46% - 32%) and even tied Santorum with voters who earn under $30g annually (30% - 30%) while only losing voters without a college education by a slim margin (34% - 39%).10 Again Trump's calls were targeted at those voters. The Trump robo-call can be shown to be the direct cause of Romney's slim 20,000 vote victory in Ohio. The Romney campaign utilized the Trump robo-call in the crucial Cuyahoga County, the most populated county in Ohio with a median household income of $39,168 and median family income of $49,559.11 This is certainly a county whose demographics would naturally favor Santorum over Romney. Yet Romney carried the crucial area by over 16,000 votes squarely on the back of his campaign's 'honorary Buckeye.'12 The 16,000 Cuyahoga margin of victory is 6,000 votes higher than Romney's 10,000 vote victory overall in Ohio - which was Romney's greatest coup on Super Tuesday. The next month's primary schedule certainly does not favor Romney. There are 14 primaries and caucuses, including Kansas on March 10, Alabama, Hawaii, and Mississippi on March 13, Missouri on March 17, Illinois on March 20, Louisiana on March 24, and Maryland and Wisconsin on April 3. With Sara Palin admitting that she voted for Newt Gingrich in Alaska and Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Erick Erikson still feverishly opposed to Romney claiming the nomination this August in Tampa, Mitt and his campaign can take solace that Donald Trump will continue to be a loyal supporter and his most crucial surrogate. Especially since this season's Celebrity Apprentice ratings are up over 20% in the southern region. While Foster Freiss and Sheldon Adelson continue to finance Santorum and Gingrich, Donald Trump is the only billionaire in the GOP primary not only financially supporting his favored GOP candidate but also delivering delegates through his own campaigning. Trump is Romney's primary weapon.
1 Mitt Romney Twitter: Thanks for your help in the NV victory MT @RealDonaldTrump Let's make @BarackObama a one term president http://onetermfund.com #OneTermFund available at https://twitter.com/#!/mittromney 2 The Hill, 2.28.12: Ann Romney gives Trump shout-out in victory speech available at http://gop12.thehill.com/2012/02/ann-romney-gives-trump-shout-out-in.html 3 CSPAN Video, 3.6.12: Mitt Romney Super Tuesday Speech @1:59-2:06 available at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/RomneySup 4 Inside Michigan Politics, 2.15.12: Romney In Trouble "At Home," Santorum Surges Ahead! Tea Party Supporters Give Santorum the Lead available at http://www.mrgmi.com/MRG_IMP_PRIMARY_FINAL.pdf 5 ABC The Note, 2.22.12: Donald Trump Assails Rick Santorum's 'Lobbyist' Past In Michigan Robo-Call available at http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/donald-trump-assails-rick-santorums-lobbyist-past-in-michigan-robo-call/ 6 ABC The Note, 2.19.22: Donald Trump Hitting The Michigan Airwaves For Mitt Romney available at http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/donald-trump-hitting-the-michigan-airwaves-for-mitt-romney/ 7 CNN Election Center, 2.28.12: Exit Poll - Michigan available at http://edition.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/epolls/mi 8 Newsmax, 3.5.12: Will Trump Rescue Romney in Ohio? available at http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/trump-romney-robocalls-ohio/2012/03/05/id/431420 9 Quinnipiac, 3.2.12: Ohio GOP Race Going Down To The Wire, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Santorum At 35% To Romney's 31% available at http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/ohio/release-detail?ReleaseID=1714 10 CNN Election Center, 3.7.12: Exit Poll - Ohio available at http://edition.cnn.com/election/2012/primaries/epolls/oh 11 Wikipedia: Cuyahoga County, Ohio available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_County,_Ohio 12 Cuyahoga Board of Elections: March 6, 2012 Primary Election available at http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/RaceResultsAll.aspx