Tuesday’s Arizona Republican primary looks to be a shoe-in for Mitt Romney. Below are bullet points, data points, and every blurb you need to know to stay updated on this race. Updates will also be made as they come in.
9:09 p.m. Romney is the projected winner in Arizona. Mitt Romney was projected the winner in the Arizona primary on Tuesday night by Fox News and CNN. That means I also called it. Romney wins.
7: 20 p.m. It's the economy stupid: Voters in the Arizona Republican primary overwhelmingly picked the economy as their No. 1 issue in deciding whom to support. The second biggest issue cited by voters was the budget deficit.
In exit polls, a number of Arizona voters said their family was falling behind financially.
7:15 p.m. Does anybody really care in Arizona? According to the New York Times, there voters in AZ might not be so excited about this primary. Only half of Republican primary voters in Arizona said they strongly favored the candidate for whom they had just voted. Additionally, only about three in four said they would definitely vote for the Republican nominee in November. Among supporters of Ron Paul, this figure was about one in three.
3:45 p.m. Intrade update: Romney at 60%. Santorum at 40%. If Romney wins by double-digits, it will be a huge confidence boost for the former Massachusetts governor, especially if he struggles in Michigan.
Will Romney get the Mormon vote? In a Public Policy Polling survey Sunday night, the pollsters said they projected the Mormon vote will be 14% of the turnout in the primary, and Romney is winning nearly 80 percent among them.
3:00 p.m. Gingrich ditches Tuesday's primaries: Plotting a comeback, Gingrich looked beyond Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona to the Southern voters he hopes will rejuvenate his struggling campaign once more, especially in Georgia. The former House speaker opened a three-day bus tour in Georgia.
Everything you need to know about the Michigan primary
Why it matters: It doesn’t. Romney is sure to win. But, if you’re a political geek, it’ll be interesting to see how he does with the Latino vote.
Most Important Take-Away: Romney acquired major hard-line immigration endorsements. Conservatives clearly consider Romney the best candidate on immigration, an issue that will be massively import in the general election, especially with the Supreme Court reviewing Arizona’s controversial “papers please” immigration bill.
After a critical endorsement from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Mitt Romney is coasting to victory in the state’s primary today.
Nate Silver of the New York Times is projecting that Romney has a 99% chance of victory, and will notch around 43% of the vote.
That’s a far cry from the hotly contested Michigan primary, that looks like it will be make or break for the Romney campaign. The Romney camp, then, is set to pour most of their resources into Michigan.
The issue of immigration, then, is the big-take away from the Arizona primaries.
In addition to Brewer, Romney also has the support of former California Governor Pete Wilson and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who together with the Arizona governor have led state immigration crackdown efforts. Their backing makes Romney the toughest candidate on the issue of immigration. Were he to win the eventual Republican nomination, it looks like Romney will have a uncompromisingly hard line on the immigration issue.
Immigration will be a critical issue in the general election, especially as a conservative Supreme Court will review the controversial Arizona case in the fall.
Arizona enacted its immigration law in 2010, and the Obama administration promptly sued to block four parts of it, saying they could not be reconciled with federal laws and policies. The case set off a number of political battles, including state versus federal rights and what specifically should be done to combat illegal immigration into the U.S.
“I was stunned at the audacity of the Obama administration to file suit against an individual state seeking to safeguard its people,” Brewer said in a statement when it was announced the Supreme Court would review the Arizona case. “That shock turned to outrage as the federal government proceeded to file suit against three more states — South Carolina, Alabama and now Utah — that followed Arizona’s lead.”
Arizona’s primary is closed and limited to registered Republicans. Polls in Arizona close at 9 p.m. EST.
Arizona will award its delegates winner take all, while Michigan’s delegates will be allocated by a proportional method.
Democrats have said that Brewer’s endorsement will alienate the Latino vote from Romney.
So far, Romney has been able to make inroads into the Hispanic demographic. He won large proportions of votes among Hispanics in both the Florida primary and Nevada caucus earlier this year.
Hispanics will be a major demographic both the eventual GOP nominee and Barack Obama will be striving for in the general election.
Hispanics made up just 7% percent of Arizona’s GOP primary electorate in 2008, when lost to Arizona’s own senator, John McCain. Romney won 23 percent of Hispanic voters that year. The questions in Tuesday’s primary will be how many Hispanics turn out, and what share of their support goes to Romney.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore