This is Pacific Week in the Republican Presidential race. Alaska March 6, Guam and CNMI March 10, Am Samoa and Hawaii March 13.
The Atlantic: Romney's Island Getaway
Updated 9:58 a.m. 3/11/12 Mitt Romney has won Guam's caucus-like nominating convention held Saturday on the island where "America's day begins" -- a.k.a. Friday on the continental United States -- and the caucuses in the Northern Mariana Islands, netting 18 additional delegates total.
Original story: Of the 12 remaining Republican presidential nomination contests in the month of March, six are actually located outside the continental United States. The Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas hold their caucuses this Saturday, March 10. Hawaii and American Samoa follow with caucuses on Tuesday the 13th, and then Puerto Rico will hold a March 18 primary. The 79 delegates up for grabs on these islands constitute an archipelago of opportunity for former governor Mitt Romney.
Polling data for these territories is, understandably, almost non-existent, but there are some activities afoot that indicate which way campaigns are hoping the contests will go. Romney's son, the 40-year-old Matt, has been dispatched to Guam and the Marianas. Charles Djou, the former Republican congressman representing Honolulu, endorsed Romney on Thursday.
Further, to the extent that John McCain and Romney both represent the Republican establishment, it is worth noting that McCain captured all of these islands in the 2008 primary and caucus battles. (Romney fared poorly, but by that point had already dropped out and endorsed McCain.)
Other data hints at a strong Romney performance in the islands. According to Brigham Young University's Global Mormonism Project, over 70,000 Mormons live in Samoa and American Samoa and another 55,000 in Hawaii. Romney has predictably dominated this particular demographic. At a luncheon with the former Massachusetts governor's son on Friday, Northern Marianas Governor Benigno R. Fitial endorsed Romney, who dialed in and apologized for his absence: "I am apologetic that I can't be with you today, but as you could imagine I'm running from place to place, trying to secure as many delegates as I can." According to the Saipan Tribune, Romney's son Matt also said: "It is important for us to get everywhere we can, everywhere that people vote. This is obviously one of the harder locations to get to but by far, it's one of my favorites so far." Other Republican leaders in the Marianas, such as Rep. Fred Deleon Guerrero, have announced for Romney.
A straw poll held by Republicans in Guam also favored Romney. Jerry Crisostomo, co-chair of the Guam GOP State Convention, explained that Romney won more than 50 of 62 votes cast because he is the candidate "most likely to beat Obama."
NJ: Romney Wins Guam, Mariana Delegates
How Mitt “Guamney” Is Putting Santorum Away
BuzzFeed Politics: Mitt Romney's victories today in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands were greeted with amusement yesterday afternoon by the political class, as the time difference from the Pacific Ocean allowed Saturday's news to break Friday….His two wins in the Pacific Islands this week mean more than Oklahoma, Iowa, Colorado, and North Dakota combined.
read … Mitt “Guamney”
CNMI Gov. Fitial endorses Romney
Marianas Variety: GOVERNOR Benigno R. Fitial on Friday endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the presidential nomination of the national Republican Party.
The head of the local GOP, Fitial hosted lunch for Romney’s visiting son, Matt, and his wife Laurie at the governor’s residence. The gathering was attended by other CNMI Republicans, including former Rep. Heinz S. Hofschneider and members of the House leadership led by Speaker Eli D. Cabrera.
Matt Romney and his wife arrived here Friday morning and would proceed to Guam to attend the Republican caucus there.
Fitial told reporters that the visit came about because former Governor Romney “wants to reach out to all the territories as well.”
Fitial, who earlier backed former Speaker Newt Gingrich in the GOP race, said he is now supporting the party’s front-runner, Mitt Romney.
Fitial said he believes that the former governor is “committed in helping improve our economy the right way.”
Fitial said he was “very touched” by Romney’s acknowledgment of the “many CNMI sons and daughters we have in the military, of those among us who fought and died to protect our freedom.”
The governor added, “Governor Romney, if he becomes president, will remember us. He will always remember us. He will never forget the CNMI. And that is why I am encouraging all of you, voters in the CNMI and the thousands of Pacific Islanders living in the continental U.S., to support Governor Romney.”
The CNMI Republicans will send nine delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida on Aug. 27.
read … Fitial endorses Romney
Guam Republicans pick Romney
by Arvin Temkar, Pacific Sunday News
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney secured all nine of Guam's delegate votes at yesterday's Republican State Convention.
Guam's delegates, who will vote for the party's presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention in August, are technically uncommitted, but the nine pledged to vote for the candidate chosen at the Guam convention, said Jerry Crisostomo, convention co-chairman.
The vote was quick and decisive, forgoing traditional paper ballots. After brief biographies of all four GOP candidates were presented, Gov. Eddie Calvo made a motion to pledge all of the island's delegates to Mitt Romney. The motion, which was carried out by a show of hands, passed with unanimous backing.
There were 215 Republican delegates at the convention, which was held at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort. After choosing Mitt Romney, the Republicans nominated and voted on the delegates who would be sent to the national convention. Five of the delegates were pre-chosen, including Calvo and Sen. Frank Blas Jr., who is minority leader of the Legislature and is running for Guam's delegate seat in Congress.
Before the vote, Calvo gave his endorsement to Mitt Romney, praising the candidate's business background.
read … Republicans pick Romney
Why Romney Will Dominate The American Samoa Caucuses
Buzzfeed Politics: In Mitt Romney's methodical quest to pick up delegates from all corners of the Republican map, the South Pacific island of American Samoa, whose Republicans gather to caucus votes next Tuesday, could be an obscure gold mine for him.
That's because the U.S. territory — which carries nine primary delegates despite not having a vote in Congress — is more than 25 percent Mormon.
In fact, there are more Latter-Day Saints per capita in American Samoa than almost any other country or territory in the world, according to statistics published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
It may be a little-known piece of trivia outside the Church, but it seems clear the Romney campaign has connected the dots. At a strategy briefing earlier this week in Boston, an aide specifically cited the South Pacific as a place where they expected their candidate to perform well.
read … Why Romney Will Dominate The American Samoa Caucuses
Romney wins Alaska GOP's poll; Santorum takes lower peninsula
Homer: JUNEAU — Mitt Romney won the Alaska GOP's presidential preference poll Tuesday (March 6), edging out Rick Santorum in a race Romney won handily four years ago.
With 96 percent of the vote in, Romney had 4,225 votes, or 33 percent; Santorum had 3,762 votes, or 29 percent. Ron Paul finished third, matching his finish in 2008. Newt Gingrich placed fourth.
In District 30, Homer, Anchor Point, Ninilchik and Kasilof voted for Santorum over Romney, with 271 votes for Santorum and 214 for Romney out of 741 votes cast. Paul finished third with 136 votes and Gingrich fourth with 117 votes, with three undeclared votes. A steady stream of Republicans visited the polling place at Homer Christian Community Church.
Twenty-four delegates were up for grabs in Tuesday's contest, with allocation in proportion to the candidate's share of the popular vote. The state Republican party reported that Romney won eight delegates, Santorum, seven; Paul, six; and Gingrich, three.
read … Romney wins Alaska GOP's poll; Santorum takes lower peninsula
Related: March 13 Hawaii Caucuses