by Art Kelly
1. The Washington state caucus on Saturday and the 10 Super Tuesday primaries may clarify the GOP presidential race.
With a big win in Arizona and a narrow win in Michigan, Mitt Romney has, for the moment, re-gained his status as the frontrunner.
But as Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, told CBS, "Obviously, this is fluid. A day feels like a week and a week feels like a month."
Noting that states will start awarding their delegates on a winner-take-all basis in April, Priebus believes the party's presidential nominee will be determined no later than May.
Here are the results of this year's primaries in Arizona and Michigan, with the 2008 results listed for comparison, as compiled by the New York Times:
216,805 (47.3%) Mitt Romney
122,088 (26.6%) Rick Santorum
74,110 (16.2%) Newt Gingrich
38,753 ( 8.5%) Ron Paul
6,875 ( 1.5%) Others
255,197 (47.2%) John McCain
186,838 (34.5%) Mitt Romney
48,849 ( 9.0%) Mike Huckabee
22,692 ( 4.2%) Ron Paul
13,658 ( 2.5%) Rudy Giuliani
9,492 ( 1.8%) Fred Thompson
4,309 ( 0.8%) Others
Interestingly, the percentages for Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008 were almost identical.
But Romney gained 29,967 more votes and 12.8 more percentage points in 2012 over 2008.
And Paul picked up 16,061 additional votes and 4.3 additional percentage points this year from last time.
409,899 (41.1%) Romney
377,521 (37.9%) Santorum
115,712 (11.6%) Paul
65,016 ( 6.5%) Gingrich
29,024 ( 2.9%) Others & Uncommitted
338,316 (38.9%) Romney
257,985 (29.7%) McCain
139,764 (16.1%) Huckabee
54,475 ( 6.3%) Paul
32,159 ( 3.7%) Thompson
24,725 ( 2.8%) Giuliani
21,745 ( 2.5%) Others & Uncommitted
Romney received 71,583 more votes and 2.2 more percentage points in 2012 than he did in 2008.
Paul received 61,237 more votes and 5.3 more percentage points this year than he did last time.
Romney won all 29 delegates in Arizona, while the 30 delegates in Michigan were split exactly even, 15 each, between Santorum and Romney.
With 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, here are the current totals, according to the Real Clear Politics website:
And here is the popular vote from all the primaries and caucuses, as tallied by Wikipedia:
1,748,647 (41.5%) Romney
978,021 (23.2%) Gingrich
931,726 (22.1%) Santorum
462,699 (11.0%) Paul
97,125 ( 2.1%) Others
With 4,218,218 votes cast so far, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza lists five lessons that have been learned. Part of his interesting analysis states:
"It's now clear Romney is simply never going to be the choice of conservatives… Romney isn't the first (or often even second) choice for many conservatives. But what's kept him at the front of pack in the race to date is that Republican voters badly want to beat President Obama and believe Romney is the best able to do so. It's not that they like Romney so much (they don't), it's that they loathe President Obama far more."
What's next on the schedule are the non-binding Washington (state) caucuses on Saturday, March 3, which Joel Connelly of the Seattle Post Intelligencer notes "can be crazy."
Connelly writes, "Mitt Romney owns the Republican establishment, what there is of it in a state carried by Democrats in six consecutive presidential elections and seven straight elections for Governor." He adds that Ron Paul has drawn big crowds in recent rallies in Vancouver and Sea-Tac.
March 6 is Super Tuesday with primaries in Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska, and Vermont.
In a chart, the Washington Times listed the most recent polling data that is available for these states.
Follow Art Kelly on Twitter @ArthurKellyJr
Follow Richard Viguerie on Twitter @RichardViguerie