Video: Rachel Maddow wonders if Rick Santorum win in Colorado matters

Categories: Politics

rick santorum speech.jpg
Rick Santorum.
The headlines say that Rick Santorum, of all people, was the big winner yesterday among wannabe Republican presidential nominees thanks to victories in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses and the Missouri primary. But his prize didn't come in delegates, since none were at stake in any of the contests -- a fact that led MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to argue that the Republicans' method of choosing a presidential nominee is a mess.

Of course, Maddow isn't exactly the most objective observer of the political scene; she's decidedly left of center. But during the 7 p.m. Mountain edition of her signature program, before all but the most preliminary Colorado results were in, she used the lack of delegates at stake, along with counting problems at earlier competitions in Iowa and Nevada, to blast the caucus system as a whole, pretty much treating it as an elaborate joke rather than an idealized microcosm of democracy in action.

Not that the Colorado GOP appears to have botched its tally. Although the results came in late, they seem broadly encompassing and all but complete. Here's the current tally from the Republican Party website, which features an interactive map displaying county-by-county totals:

colorado caucus 2012 results.jpg
The turnout of 65,000-plus is below that recorded in 2008, according to our Monday interview with Colorado Republican Party boss Ryan Call. That year, around 70,000 people took part, and gave a resounding victory to Mitt Romney, who earned 42,218 votes, or just over 42,000 votes -- numbers helpfully provided by the Colorado Democratic Party.

The Dems clearly don't take the apparent Santorum surge seriously. In a statement, Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio aimed all his buckshot at the second-place finisher, declaring, "Colorado Republicans affirmed a trend that we're seeing across the country: The more voters learn about Mitt Romney, the less they like him." But an equally intriguing issue is whether or not last night's beauty contests were significant in any way whatsoever.

Here's a clip from Maddow's show a little later in the evening than the segment referred to above, when more of the Colorado numbers were in.

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More from our Politics archive: "Ryan Call on why Colorado Republican caucuses mean more than ever."

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Dana Blankenhorn
Dana Blankenhorn

I don't care what Republicans write or say about a Democratic primary fight. Why should Republicans care what Democrats say?


Ron Paul 2012. There is at least 2,000 people facing pending federal raids on their MMJ operations!! where were they last night? SMH

Ron Paul 2012

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Not surprising that the Colorado Repugs would prefer a Christian Hater over a Mormon.


Rachel's actually right about this.

The Gop is an absolute mess right now.

The "establishment" candidate is a walking caricature, a talking wind up doll, full of insults, void of substance, and fully 50% of republicans don't even like, trust, or believe him.

 Paul has some good ideas, but his whole Ayn Rand ideology and his genuine belief that there should be no safety net scares the bejesus out of all but the most whacked conservatives.

 Santorum appeals to the lesser angels of republicans, the mean spirited and intolerant demographic of the base, but his spoken policies on religion, gays, insurance companies and poor people, as well as his openly rooting for the recovery to fail are so extreme that the party bigshots know he get smoked in the general. 

Gingrich is just a mean old man that is flailing away blindly at every body and every thing, and he knows he's not going to win the nomination. I don't even know why he's still in it.

Rachel's right.

It's a mess.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Colorado's somnolent press had already called the race for Romney, but now it turns out that their disengagement was OK, because the issue didn't matter anyway.

Smail Buzzby
Smail Buzzby

The primary process is a joke...really?  And the general election is any better?  A few 'swing' or 'battleground' states get all of the attention and thanks to the idiocy of the electoral college our votes do NOT count.  Remember, oh so long ago, when more people voted for one guy but we ended up with the loser as President?  How much money do we spend to not have real elections?


They shouldn't necessarily, but they should probably care what independents like myself say, the votes of whom are necessary to win the general election, and the voices of whom are not represented in the caucusing process.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Why do you hate the Founding Fathers and the U$ Constitution?

They put the Electoral College in place because they knew that the average citizen was an ignorant imbecile on matters of political import.

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