Morning Briefing: March 7, 2012

Despite vastly outspending his competition and having a far superior organization in the state, Mitt Romney barely squeaked by Rick Santorum in Ohio, the most important of yesterday’s Super Tuesday primaries. Still, Romney won six of 11 states up for grabs last night, while Santorum pulled off an unexpected win in North Dakota and two other states, and Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia decisively.

The Romney campaign will hold a conference call today with reporters to argue that it’s “mathematically impossible” for the other candidates to secure enough delegates to the win the nomination at this point, but analysts agree he’s been badly damaged by the primary process thus far.

A spending milestone for super PACs: Already, the groups backing presidential candidates this year have outspent “all super PACs in the 2010 mid-term election” combined, the Center for Public Integrity reports.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) won a huge victory against fellow Dem. Rep. Dennis Kucinich in a member-versus-member primary, set up by the state’s redistricting. With nearly all precincts counted, “Kaptur led Kucinich 55 percent to 41 percent.


President Obama yesterday ruled out unilateral military intervention in Syria, saying that the situation on the ground there is not comparable to Libya’s revolution and it is a mistake to think it would be easy for U.S. forces to intervene.

Yesterday, Texas businessman Allen Stanford was convicted of 13 counts of fraud in connection to his involvement running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme for more than two decades, one of the largest in American history. More than 30,000 investors in over 100 countries were defrauded by Stanford.

In his quixotic attempt to win the Democratic presidential nomination, radical anti-abortion activist Randall Terry won 18 percent of the vote in Oklahoma’s Democratic primary, securing one delegate to the Democratic National Convention. It was a largely symbolic primary in one of the nation’s reddest states.

Along with its 47,000 U.S. employees, Apple has released a study showing that it has also created or supported more than 514,000 indirect jobs in the U.S. But one Berkeley economist challenged that the tech giant’s estimate, saying that the number is more likely to be around 300,000 to 400,000.

And finally: That’s Joe the Congressman to you. Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher won the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Ohio last night. He’ll face off against Kaptur in November.