GOP Presidential Primary Process Picks Up - The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week Eight

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GOP Primary voters take to the polls this week in two pivotal primaries, after seventeen days of campaigning across Michigan and Arizona, the Republican Presidential Candidate front runners, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, are virtually, in a dead heat.

USA Today Political Poll Tracker as of February 25, 2012 places Santorum’s popularity, nationally, a slight drop from last week’s lead, at the top of the pack with 33.1%, Romney, second with 28.9%, Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, at 14.6 % and Texas Representative Ron Paul at 12.4%.

After last’s week Arizona Debate, an across the board win for Mitt Romney, Santorum’s national lead and even more pivotal, his strong leads in both Michigan and Arizona have narrowed to single digits. Romney picked up key endorsements from both Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Unemployment, Gas Prices and Social Concerns

As the Republican Presidential primary season heats up again with Super Tuesday twelve days away, the pundits have moved from beauty contest questioning to serious debate and confirming positions on the issues at hand: Unemployment, sky rocketing gas prices and social concerns.

Americans are out of work and out of patience. While the current administration has worked to create employment even the most diligent efforts have not stimulated the economy. 14.77 million Americans are unemployed and the jobless rate has remained disastrously high throughout much of the current administration. The unemployment numbers have fallen slightly since November and unfortunately have been muted by sky rocketing gas prices.

The prices at the pump are staggering and, depending on a length of commute, can negate an hourly wage earners pay by half. The United States has maintained a dependency on foreign oil and with that consumers are subject to any uncontrollable variable including war, loyalties, and whims. US refineries produce 51% of crude and 49% comes from foreign countries.  

Social Concerns are also weighing heavy on prospective voters. Santorum’s hard-line Christian beliefs, can alienate many including the moderate Christian, a damned lot by strict evangelicals, and are a magnet to a significant pool of voters looking to find a balance between the same sex equality issues without openly voicing negative views.

There are as many divisions in the modern Christian Church, as there are in politics and no group more ambitious or more distrusted by the American people, than the modern day, mega church, televangelist preacher.

The doctrine debates and divisions run from once saved; always saved, tithing; gross or net, privacy issues, personal decisions, pastoral limits and guidance, hearing God’s voice and knowing God’s personal direction or calling, to the extreme of calculating how many angels can fit on a pinhead.  The debates accomplish the same effect as they do in Politics: they convince the trusting, confuse the moderate, and alienate the free or independent thinker.

Women’s Healthcare issues including contraceptives, sexual beliefs, practices and personal decisions and of course, Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case which legalized abortion, are additional social concerns weighing in on potential voters.  The apprehension among female and moderate voters lie in the strict stated Santorum standards that includes restrictions on Women’s Healthcare needs and personal sexual practicing decisions and should those decisions remain personal. And additionally, can the Supreme Court withstand a potential eight term GOP president as challenges on current Abortion standards and practices would inevitably make its way to the high court?

The next GOP Primaries, Arizona and Michigan, will be held on February 28; Washington States caucus vote on March 3 followed by the all important Super Tuesday, March 6 where 419 delegates are up for grabs.

Michigan, highly significant for Mitt Romney as it is his home state, in actuality will not elevate his Delegate totals considerably should he win, as it is not a winner take all primary. Michigan will only award half the delegates due to penalty for scheduling the primary early.

The 2012 Delegate Tracker has Mitt Romney with 97; Newt Gingrich with 30; Santorum at 16 and Ron Paul with seven delegates toward the 1,144 needed to secure the Republican Nomination for President.

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