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2012: Rolling the dice

GINGRICH: “The Newt Gingrich campaign announced today that it was appealing to Florida Republican officials to award the delegates from their primary last Tuesday on a proportional basis, rather than the winner-take-all formula that gave all 50 to victor Mitt Romney,” the Boston Globe writes. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said, “The existing rules that the (Republican National Committee) already agreed upon were that any contest held before a certain date, those contests need to award their delegates proportionally to the outcome of the election. So, we are asking the state party of Florida to enforce that rule.”

Yet, as NBC’s Sarah Blackwill points out, Gingrich said the following on Sunday in Lutz, FL: Look, I’m not going to get involved in an RNC procedural fight. They’ve got to decide what they want to do. I’ll play by whatever the rules are that are given to us.”

PAUL: The Las Vegas Sun puts Paul on its cover today. The headline: “Ron Paul: Why he thinks he can make inroads with Mormons.”

And then there’s the non-Mormon vote…. Ron Paul’s got the Bunny Ranch vote locked up. In the crowd at a Paul event last night was Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof and his girlfriend. Prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada. On Trump’s endorsement, Hof said, per NBC’s Anthony Terrell: “The Bunny Ranch bump is more important to Ron Paul than Donald Trump to Mitt Romney. Who cares about Donald Trump, go home, stay in New York, we don’t care about your arrogance. … Donald, get on the real side, vote for Paul!”

Hof’s girlfriend, Cami Parker of the Bunny Ranch, said the girls of the Bunny Ranch are registered Republicans and will caucus for Paul tomorrow. (As TMZ first reported, yes TMZ, the girls of the cathouse are “Pimpin for Paul” because of his message of liberty and letting states decide.)

Remember, when Paul was asked at a debate if legalizing heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and prostitution would be OK if states allow them, Paul said, "In essence, if I leave it to the states, it's going to be up to the states. Up until this past century, you know for 100 years, they were legal. What you're inferring is 'You know what? If we legalize heroin tomorrow, everybody is going to use heroin.' How many people here would use heroin if it was legal? I bet nobody would."

ROMNEY: In 2008, Romney won Nevada decisively, 51%-14% over Paul who came in second. And about half of Romney’s vote total came from Mormons. Mormons made up 26% of the electorate, according to entrance polls. And Romney won them with 95%. (On that math, total turnout was about 44,000, with 26% being Mormon that’s 11,440, and with 95% going for Romney that’s 10,868 with a margin of error, of course. Romney’s vote total was 22,646.)

The front page of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Trump backs Romney: Billionaire’s moves surprises Gingrich supporters who expected the nod.” The story’s lede: “In an attention-grabbing twist worthy of Cirque du Soleil acrobats, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Thursday.” It notes that Romney and his wife looked “bemused.”

Romney’s first couple of sentences summed it up: "There are some things you just can't imagine happening in your life. This is one of them.”

“Mitt Romney donned a cloak of Secret Service protection yesterday that, for all intents and purposes, he may never take off,” the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson writes, adding, “For Romney, though, the conference of Secret Service protection doesn’t just signal his arrival as a presidential contender; it harkens back to a way of life in which he was most comfortable as Massachusetts governor. It is no stretch to say that no recent governor relished the protective role of his security force as much as Romney. The State Police troopers in the gubernatorial protective detail are among the agency’s elite, and they protect the governor 24/7 against all foes, foreign and domestic. But in Romney’s case, they also provided a buffer that ensured the former businessman’s sense of order, and limited his exposure to unscripted encounters.”

SANTORUM: He took some potshots at Donald Trump: Asked if it’s hypocritical for Trump to have endorsed Romney after criticizing him in August, Santorum said, per NBC’s Jamie Novogrod, “I can't imagine Donald Trump being hypocritical. That would be totally out of character for Donald Trump.”

He added: “I'm sure that's why he waited until Las Vegas to be able to introduce him, so he could get a lot of media at his casino, and get a little attention for his property down there.”

He also criticized President Obama for his prayer breakfast speech: "I've talked to who were there regarded it as the most political speech ever given at the national prayer breakfast by a president."

He also took shots at Romney for his “poor” remark from a couple days ago: "Out of touch, much?" he said.

He added with a conservative argument: "To go out and say that all I care about is to make sure that those who are very poor have a safety net, so that they can continue to be dependent on government? That’s all that I care about? When it comes to the very poor? That’s not the Republican party that I want to belong to. I want to belong to the Republican Party who cares about every single person having the opportunity to rise in America."