Three take-aways from the results of Super Tuesday’s elections:
1.) Mitt Romney can’t win conservatives, Rick Santorum can’t win the general electorate…and Ron Paul can’t win either. As such, if Romney is the nominee, conservatives will sit on their hands – the way they did for McCain, Dole and Ford. If Santorum is the nominee, independents will flock back to Obama.
2.) Romney isn’t winning the nomination; he’s buying it. If he and his super-PAC weren’t outspending his opponents by margins of two-to-one, three-to-one and four-to-one, he’d have been out of this race a month ago. Not that he’s doing anything wrong; but as Newt Gingrich has been pointing out, if outspending your opponents is your campaign plan, it’ll fail epically against the $1 billion+ Obama warchest.
3.) The Republican establishment, and some in the media, are now calling for a hasty end to the nominating process. Make no mistake; this isn’t because the nominating process is weakening the GOP’s anointed candidate, Romney, but because the process is exposing just how weak he already is.
Let’s face it; Romney’s strongest wins thus far have been in liberal Northeast states, because he’s a liberal Northeast Republican. With the exception of Florida, he literally can’t buy a Southern state, where the GOP’s conservative base is strong. And in Midwest states – such as Iowa, Michigan and Ohio – states with a lot of independent and swing voters – he has lost or only barely won.
As for Santorum – yes, he’s winning over Democrats…but only in Republican “open” primaries. Come November, those Democrats – who have been trying to sow trouble in the GOP nomination fight – will dance with the one who brung ‘em, Barack Obama.
Worse, if Santorum is the nominee, instead of talking about gas prices, unemployment, the economy and national defense – issues where Obama is weak – we’ll be fighting over contraception, abortion and gay marriage – all important issues to social conservatives, but issues that’ll drive away independents and swing voters.
So…death by hanging, or firing squad?
As the nominating process moves into a string of conservative Southern states, it’s highly unlikely Romney will do well. Santorum is positioned to take most of them – and if he stumbles, Gingrich is poised to step into the breach. (Disclaimer: I’m a Gingrich supporter/adviser). And Ron Paul, will continue to win delegates.
All of which means that while none of the three not-Romneys will be able to win the nomination outright, it’s increasingly possible that, combined, they could deny Romney the ability to win the nomination outright. Which means the ultimate decision will be made at the convention in August.
All for the right to take on the worst president since Jimmy Carter. Republicans, how in the hell did you let this happen?