As I mentioned in my last post, I think Rick Santorum's presidential bid is toast. OK, I've said that before only to see Santorum's candidacy arise from the symbolic graveyard, which I've also said about Newt Gingrich. But I think Republican voters are getting a little antsy and would like to have this thing settled.
Consider this exit poll analysis from Hot Air:
Santorum crushed Romney among Democrats and fought him to a draw among independents — yet somehow, the “conservative” candidate lost Republicans by 10 full points. If RS ends up losing tonight, that’ll be the headscratcher tomorrow. How did he fail so badly against Romney within the party itself that he let the state slip away?
Crushing Romney among Democrats isn't something Santorum ought to brag about. They supported him because he's less likely to win against Obama in the fall. Michigan turned out to be as close race as it was, only because Santorum resorted to the Democrat Strategy. Republicans clearly want somebody to beat Barack Obama in the general election, and Romney is still heavily favored in that category.
Power Line piles on:
In an echo of Rush Limbaugh’s 2008 “Operation Chaos,” Democrats and union officials have urged their followers to vote for Santorum so as to promote a weak Republican nominee. Michael Moore advised his fans to vote for Santorum, which probably produced six or seven ballots. Still, if 10% of the voters in the primary were Democrats, and if 80% of them voted for Santorum–a conservative estimate–it added 6% to his total. If my arithmetic is correct, that means that if Romney wins by, say, five points, he actually won by 11 points among Republicans.
The Washington Times reports that Romney exceeded his 2008 Michigan primary vote total by a pretty wide margin.
In both the Arizona and Michigan Republican primaries, the former Massachusetts governor improved not just his share of the vote, but the total number of votes he won — reversing a trend that had seen him actually shed votes from 2008 in Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri and Maine.
With the exception of Missouri, whose primary wasn't binding, all of those states were caucuses, where very conservative voters dominate. But in the other primaries, Mr. Romney has done well, improving his vote tally in each of them.
In Arizona, he won more than 215,000 votes, which was about 30,000 more than he won in 2008. And in Michigan, he won about 410,000 votes, or more than 70,000 better than he did the last time through.
Super Tuesday may represent the last significant challenge on the primary schedule for Mitt Romney's bid. In Georgia Newt Gingrich defends his home turf. He's been campaigning hard there and in Tennessee as well, so there is a good chance that he'll pick up at least one more primary win. But Massachusetts where Romney served as governor is also part of the Super Tuesday mix as is Virginia where neither Gingrich nor Santorum are on the ballot. Chalk up, at the very least, two more wins for Romney. Meanwhile Santorum's home state of Pennsylvania doesn't come into play until April 24th. I wonder if he can hang on that long.