12:37 AM PT: Who is up for Hawaii results? I won't be awake for long, just checking in before going to bed, and lo and behold, it's competitive! With 35% reporting, Romney has 531 votes to Santorum's 466 (as you can see, turnout is, um, challenged in Hawaii).
Hawaii has one of the largest Mormon populations in the country, so this should be an easy and dominant Romney state. But so far, that's not the case.
12:42 AM PT: Want to play the projection game? It never really works out, but what the heck -- if current trends hold, Romney should pick up a net 35 votes on the big island, and a net 10 votes in Maui. On the other hand, Santorum should pick up about 100 votes in Honolulu. Nothing has reported in Kauai.
Excluding the smallest island, that would mean a net +55 votes for Santorum, who currently trails by 75. Then tiny Kauai would make the difference.
Things never end up linear like that, but it would be hilarious if either Santorum wins, or if Romney barely eekes out a victory in a state with 1) a moderate GOP, and 2) a significant Mormon population.
12:57 AM PT: A new batch of results from Honolulu County now gives Romney the lead on that island, which immediately proves the folly of linear projections. The margin between Romney and Santorum is now 101 votes with 42.2 percent reporting.
1:06 AM PT: Another batch in, the margin is now Romney +84 over Santorum with 46.7 percent reporting.
Romney is winning the big island +7 votes over Paul, winning Maui +4 votes over Paul, and winning Honolulu County (Oahu) +6 votes over Santorum. For some reason, I find that hilarious.
1:09 AM PT: 51.1 percent in, Romney's lead expands to 122 votes.
1:10 AM PT: That last batch of votes concluded Maui's participation. Romney won that county/island by nine votes over Paul, and 75 votes over Santorum.
1:12 AM PT: 60 percent in, Romney's lead grows to 179 votes. Some Honolulu County precincts came in strong for him.
1:13 AM PT: Romney currently has 34.2 percent of the vote, proving that no matter where he competes, as long as there's more than token opposition (cough*Virginia*cough), two-thirds of voters will prefer someone else.
1:17 AM PT: Don't look now, but Paul has just taken the lead on the Big Island with 81.8 percent reporting in Hawaii County. However, Romney now has a 191-vote lead over Santorum with 62.6 percent reporting.
1:29 AM PT: We're now stuck at 68.9 percent reporting, with Romney opening up a big lead of THREE HUNDRED FOURTEEN VOTES (said in your best Dr. Evil voice). However, given the Hawaii GOP's anemic turnout, that ends up being about a 6-point margin, and should be enough for Romney to survive with a little over a third of the vote.
If Romney was looking for salve to ease his Mississippi and Alabama wounds, this wasn't it. I can't wait to do a delegate update
tomorrow later today, but a cursory glance at the delegate awards, and it's clear that Romney's path to 1,144 delegates got harder tonight, not easier.