The slow drip of uncertainty . . . Romney wins Michigan . . . popular vote: Romney 41%, Santorum 38% . . . total delegates: Romney, 15, Santorum, 15 . . . “We didn’t win by a lot but we won by enough,” Romney says.
The media remains skeptical. . . “Romney Regains Footing, Wins 2-0,” says USA Today . . . “Romney Regains Momentum, “ says the Wall Street Journal . . . “Romney only very narrowly avoided an utter disaster,” tweets Howard Fineman, editorial director of the Huffington Post . . . “‘enough’ = no major GOPers calling for a new “white knight” savior,” says NBC’’s Chuck Todd.
“Tonight we’re in that awkward middle ground between ‘huge night for Romney!’ narratives and “boy that was close!” narratives,” says Nate Silver, who writes the FiveThirtyEight blog for the New York Times. . . . But enough about last night in Michigan and Arizona. That’s so yesterday.
Super Tuesday Looms
Super Tuesday looms, and with it come contests in 11 states with 410 delegates at stake . . . Romney is expected to fare well in Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia (where Santorum and Gingrich are not even on the ballot) . . . But in Ohio (66 delegates), Santorum is up 11 points in the latest poll . . . In Tennessee (58 delegates), Santorum’s lead is 21 points . . . In Georgia (76 delegates), Gingrich leads Santorum by 15 points and Romney by 16 points . . . and Newt just got another $10 million from his sugar daddy in Las Vegas to get back on the air with his commercials.
Which reminds me . . . Want to see a good political ad? Check out the spot Ron Paul is running in Washington State this week lumping Romney, Gingrich and Santorum together versus the one true conservative . . . and don’t count Paul out. He has no wins so far, but 27 pledged delegates to the convention . . . Project that out over the remaining 38 states and he’s likely to have 125 to 200 delegates by August . . . out of 1,144 needed to win the nomination . . . Right now, Romney has 167, Santorum 87, and Gingrich 38 . . . So much for momentum. From here on, it’s all in the hands of delegate counters on Red Bull.
A Convention in Disarray
The talk about a brokered convention is misguided . . . because the Republican Party is so fractured there are no brokers who can pull together all the pieces . . . The talk of a convention in disarray is not . . . As long as Romney, Santorum and Gingrich can see a path through the primaries that gets them close to a delegate majority, none will drop out . . . Make your reservations now for California June 5. Republicans will choose 169 convention delegates that day, and nothing will be decided until they do. . . Don’t like California? Try New Jersey, New Mexico or South Dakota, which hold primaries the same day. In New Jersey, it’s winner-take-all for all 50 of them . . .
If you’re betting on who is going to have to drop out first, the smart money is on Newt. If he loses Georgia––“We unequivocally have to win Georgia,” he told CNN Tuesday–– his road to the presidency gets very muddy indeed . . . Although Santorum can still be beaten in Ohio . . . especially if Gingrich siphons off conservative votes . . . his evangelical support on social issues gives him a platform to compete in every state down the line . . . And then there is Mitt . . . He shudda, cudda, wudda wrapped it up by now . . . if only 60 percent of the Republican voters didn’t keep voting against him . . . But there are no shuddas left . . . It’s all on him. He’s got to find a way to make people like him . . . How much does that cost?
Summing It Up
“Mitt Wins Ugly,” read the headline in Politico after the Michigan primary . . . “By winning in Michigan and cruising in Arizona, the establishment darling has reasserted his status as the Republican favorite,” Jonathan Martin wrote. “It may be a slower and messier process than Romney and his aides would prefer, but the former Massachusetts governor still looks on track to eventually capture the GOP nomination.”
And that pretty much sums it up. . . I’m Tick Tock McGlaughlin helping out my old friend Stump Connolly . . . and that’s your tout sheet from trackside for today.
EDITOR NOTE: As if you didn’t have enough social media sites to waste your time on, Stump Connolly has now opened a Pinterest account to post up funny photos from the campaign trail. You can follow him here.