Arkansas holds its Republican primary on Tuesday evening, and Texas libertarian Ron Paul is looking to upset Mitt Romney and steal some of the 36 delegates up for grabs.
Ron Paul may be a dark horse in this race. Although announced last week that he has quit actively campaigning, he continues to influence state delegate elections with his “It’s the Delegates, Dummy” campaign system.
PolicyMic will be following the results of the Arkansas primary live. For real-time updates, refresh this page.
UPDATES: Wednesday 11:15 AM Obama's Internal Revolt: In Tuesday's elections, the incumbant Obama failed to take away a significant portion of the vote -- even though he's the only national Democratic candidate. What does this mean for Obama in the wider general election?
In Arkansas, the Democratic Primary Was Hotly Contested Between Obama and Tennessee Laywer John Wolfe. Here's a Look at Who John Wolfe is:
Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe — who is running against Barack Obama as a Democratic nominee for president in Tuesday’s Arkansas primaries — says he would be able to beat the incumbent president in primaries throughout the country, if only he had the money.
Wolfe provides an interesting twist in an otherwise mundane Tuesday primary: he could win a significant amount of the vote in Arkansas, where Obama remains deeply unpopular. Wolfe is running closely behind Obama in the race.
A poll taken in Arkansas' fourth congressional district shows less than half of Democratic voters (45%) support Obama. Thirty-eight percent said they back Wolfe and 17% are undecided.
The simple fact that Obama has steep competition from a fellow Democrat shows that there could be cracks in the president’s re-election campaign.
In an interview with PolicyMic, Wolfe said that he could be a force against the president.
“If I ran a similar campaign in big states like Pennsylvania or New York, I would do just as well,” Wolfe said. “I just don’t have the money.”
Wolfe is an Occupy Wall Street-inspired Southern Democrat. He believes in the free market system, but also argues that corporate interests have hijacked the political process in Washington.
His two major policy platforms revolve around ending “Obamacare” and removing moneyed interests from the political process.
Wolfe calls Obama a hypocrite: “Obama rallies against big business by day, but by night he takes their money. There are so many inconsistencies.”
On health care: “Obamacare gives the insurances companies a full monopoly. People have to deal with an insurance monopoly. This is not right. People need a choice. If health care was more selective, it would be a huge boon to small businesses.”
On Wall Street: “We also need to get banking under control. We need to make the banks loan more money. They have been speculating and making risky moves – which have cost billions of billions of dollars when they make a mistake. These same bankers are also influencing Obama right now. Banks have way too much clout in Washington.”
On Occupy Wall Street: “The 99% is not just a number – it represents an America that is losing. Losing their houses to the very same corporations we are paying to keep afloat.”
Wolfe also believes in extending low-interest student loans to help young people better manage their college tuition.
Wolfe is the outsider underdog that many people — especially conservatives — have hoped would take on Obama in 2012. But even if Wolfe makes significant inroads at the Arkansas primary, his victories won’t be recognized.
On Monday, the Arkansas Democratic Party announced that it would not award any delegates Wolfe, even if he wins a strong portion of the popular vote.
According to the Associated Press, Democratic Party spokeswoman Candace Martin said Wolfe had not complied with Arkansas' delegate selection rules and had not turned in two mandatory documents needed in the application process. Martin also added that the Democratic national party has told the Arkansas state party that any delegates Wolfe might claim won't be recognized at the national convention.
In a PolicyMic story comment, Wolfe argued against this point: “I filled out 4 sets of forms. I wrote out a check for $2500 to be paid to the Arkansas Democratic Party. They cashed it. Nothing was said that day about deadlines missed or forms missing. It gets better, stay tuned for more.”
Obama remains deeply unpopular in the South. Many pundits think Obama has next to zero chance of winning the state in the general election in November. In 2008, Obama lost Arkansas by 20 points to John McCain.
Wolfe also was on the ballot in the Louisiana primary, where he won three parishes and had 12% of the vote across the state.
Even if he isn’t recognized for his Arkansas performance, Wolfe still says he will try and make a difference in election 2012.
“I want to get my point out there,” Wolfe said. “I want to go to (the Democratic National Convention in) Charlotte and present these ideas. I want to get things done."
In Kentucky, Voters Chose to Vote "Blank" Than For Obama: From PolicyMic pundit Derek Miles:
Overall, it was an uneventful Kentucky GOP Primary, with only about 10% of registered voters showing up to the polls to give Mitt Romney his victory on Tuesday night.
Romney won easily with approximately 67% of the votes, with Ron Paul coming in a distant second with 12%, followed by Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich with 9% and 6%, respectively. Accordingly, Romney collected the state’s 42 delegates to add to his now seemingly symbolic running tally. Just as unsurprising was Ron Paul’s second place finish in the state. Paul has consistently been a popular figure in the state since his son, Rand, was elected by Kentuckians to the Senate in 2010.
The results came after little-to-no campaigning was done in the state, and no ads for the candidates were shown on local television. With such a small turnout of voters for the extremely late primary, and with Mitt Romney all but officially secured the Republican nomination, the majority of those who did decide to vote today likely fell in line with their party’s presumptive nominee. Kentucky is a closed primary state.
Perhaps the most surprising result of the evening came in regards to the Democratic primary race on which President Barack Obama was the only candidate. However, Democratic voters also had the option of choosing an “uncommitted” box. This option received an alarming 42% of the Democratic vote, with the president receiving 58%. The figure of registered Democrats who remained “uncommitted” unquestionably serves as a statement on behalf of many of Kentucky’s Democrats who have not been happy with many of the president’s policy initiatives.
And while Republicans have long been forecasted to win Kentucky’s electoral votes in the November general election (Bill Clinton in 1996 was the last Democratic presidential nominee to win Kentucky), the 42% of uncommitted registered Democrats likely serves as a blow to any hopes of Democrats pulling off an upset in the state. Also, this figure could very well affect the six congressional races occurring in the state this fall.
Wednesday 12:15 AM Romney 68.5%, Paul, 13.48%, Santorum 13.04%
11:25 PM Rand Paul Infleunce Kentucky Election: In tonight's other primary -- in Kentucky -- KY Senator Rand Paul looks to have influenced a district congressional race, showing the Paul camp's power.
From PolicyMic Editor Alex Marin: In Kentucky, Lewis County Judge-Executive Thomas Massie won the Republican primary in Kentucky's 4th Congressional District Tuesday night, in yet another race in which Tea Party forces clashed with (and defeated) the GOP establishment.
Massie was endorsed by Tea Party darling Rand Paul.
Just after 8:05 p.m., with 73 percent of precincts reporting, Massie was leading his closest rival state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington 45% to 29%, with Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore in third place at 17%.
Since Webb-Edgington had the early endorsement of retiring GOP Rep. Geoff Davis and the help of some of his old staff, Massie’s victory is largely seen as a repudiation of the more traditional wing of the Kentucky GOP.
Massie, the Tea Party favorite who also received support from outside allies including a local super PAC, will almost surely be the next member of Congress from that seat, as Kentucky’s 4th District is considered safely Republican (it gave Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over 60 percent of its presidential vote in 2008).
11:15 PM Ron Paul deadlocked for second with .... Rick Santorum.
10:57 PM 59% reporting: Romney 69.2% (66,059), Santorum 13.1% (12,478).
10:31 PM 38% reporting: Romney 69.5% (50,912 votes), Paul 13.1% (9,604 votes).
10:23 PM 33% reporting: Romney 69.5% (48,318 votes), Paul 13.1% (9,088 votes).
10:00 PM With 9% reporting, new results are as follows: Romney 71.7% (28,508 voters) 11.9% (4,712 votes).
9:49 PM Romney 71.7% (25,935) to Paul's 12% (4,329).
9:36 PM RealClearPolitics has called the Arkansas primary for Mitt Romney. Still, only 4% have reported, but Romney has racked up 71.8% of the vote, compared to Paul's 11.9%.
9:20 PM 5 of 75 counties reporting: Ron Paul now beginning to close the gap by a bit. Romney has 70.86% (16,420 votes) while Paul has 12.45% (2,884 votes).
9:05 PM Still only 2.6% precincts reporting, but Romney is beginning to open a larger lead on his challenger Paul. Romney has 13,127 votes (73.6%) while Paul has 1,935 (10.8%).
9:00 PM Numbers update: Romney with 71% (5,897) compared to Paul with 11.41% (948 votes).
8:50 PM Paul now up to 12% of the vote, compared to Romney's 70%.
8:45 PM With only 1 our ot 75 counties reporting, Ron Paul has won 17 votes, compared to Mitt Romney's 121 votes. Gingrich and Santorum are also on the ballot and are winning a handful of votes.
8:30 PM Still awaiting the results of the primary to come in. Will keep updating with more.
For comprehsive live coverage of John Wolfe's race against Barack Obama in Arkansas, see here.