"Conservavite alternative to Barack Obama" Rick Santorum wins 3!
It is easy to see why Newt fell from favor, given his sour grapes comments lately, plus, he wasn't on the Missouri primary ballot. But Romney's fall? Romney came in 3rd in Minnesota. "Romney should have had the advantage in both Colorado and Minnesota, which he carried in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries. He awaited the returns Tuesday night in Colorado, where he spent most of the past week campaigning." At the end of the night, Santorum came in with 40% of the vote to Romney's 35%!
True, voter turnout wasn't as high as 2008, but..."Romney won fewer voters than he did in 2008, signaling that he hasn't been able to hold onto those who turned out to pull the lever for him last time. In Minnesota in 2008 he won nearly 26,000 voters in the caucuses, while on Tuesday he won fewer than 10,000. In Missouri's primary his take dropped from 172,329 votes to just 63,826. And in Colorado's caucuses he won more than 33,000 votes last time but fell 10,000 votes shy of that this year." Even in Mormon friendly Nevada, Romney's total was 25% less than his 2008 total.
Given that Romney has run before, if we compare this 2012 election cycle to 1980's, Romney's lackluster numbers should be cause for pause. In 1976, Reagan ran again for president and lost the nomination to Gerald Ford. It was at the convention, where Reagan delivered the speech for Ford, that the party realized they nominated the wrong man. Ford lost and we got Jimmy Carter instead.
So given that many of us felt (myself included) that we chose the wrong man in John McCain and would have preferred Mitt Romney, wouldn't we expect Romney to distinguish himself this go round? Instead, it seems Romney is fizzling out.
It is still early in the game, especially in this unusual election cycle where anything seems possible, but it would seem Rick Santorum is finally hitting his stride. Maybe people are finally bothering to ferret out what each candidate actually stands for.
In any event, it is refreshing to hear a candidate state what so desperately needs to be said, " 'I don't stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney,' [Santorum] said. 'I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.' "
A big AMEN to that.
Delegate Scorecard: Remember, 1,144 delegates are needed for the GOP nomination. Delegate estimates :Romney 86, Santorum 38+, Gingrich 29. According to RNC rules, early primary delegates should be awarded proportionately too, but in Florida, they were all given to Romney. Missouri's were non-binding and will be awarded in future.
State by State Primary Results
Behind the numbers: Romney's Tuesday disaster
Links: Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, RandyMelchert, Betterbrookfield, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, WisPolitics Quorum Call, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation