Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Less Than Super Tuesday

Well, it's finally over.  Super Tuesday has come and gone, and no knockout punch was landed.  Mitt won six primaries, including the jewel in Ohio and Virginia.  Rick Santorum made it very interesting in Ohio, and won three states of his own. And Newt took his home state of Georgia.  A few random thoughts about last night.
  1. Romney squeaked out a victory in Ohio, and it was a late one.  The talking heads told us all night that the late return counties would go Romney, and boy, did they ever.  Santorum seemed to have an irreducible 15,000 vote margin for a long time.  But you know what?  Romney was DOWN in most Ohio polls in the week prior to the primary.  Just like he was in Michigan.  And in the end, his organization, his ability to raise money, and doubts about Santorum all contributed to the Romney victory.
  2. Newt's not going anywhere.  He won Georgia, and he'll do well in Mississippi and Alabama.  He's clearly only a regional candidate, but that's ok, as he only needs to be for now.  As far as I'm concerned, I'd like Newt to stay in the race a good bit longer, as I think he takes away more voters from Santorum than Romney.
  3. I predicted three weeks ago that if Mitt Romney were in a better position after Super Tuesday than he was on that day, he'd be the nominee.  He is, and he will.  He's more than doubled Santorum's delegate count, he won six of the ten states contested last night, and Santorum would have to absolutely catch fire in the remaining contests in order to win the nomination.  That said, anyone supporting Romney would be lying to you if they told you they were comfortable with the way things are now.  I'd certainly rather Romney be comfortably waltzing to the finish, but that simply doesn't appear to be.  
  4. Ron Paul's quixotic candidacy is more of an amusement than anything else.  He is simply not a factor in the race, and I'm not sure that he is hurting any one of the candidates more than any other, though if I had to pick one, I'd say he hurts Newt the most.
 My Direct TV is down, so I had to follow the results online last night--Politico had pretty decent coverage simulcasted from their DC Channel 8 news operation.  One of the talking heads there last night indicated that he thought Romney should begin to consider changes to his team, that there has to be some modification to strategy.  I'm not sure this is true.  Romney is going to be a hard sell to the "the base, the base" as long as there is an option for them.  He should not miss any opportunity to sharpen his conservative message, but I don't think anyone needs to be fired, I don't think his central strategy is failing.  Hold steady, Mitt.  Time is on your side.  

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