With big Tuesday night, Santorum has more victories than Romney

The interesting statistic to take out of last night is how poorly Romney performed in comparison to 2008.


Four years ago, Romney beat John McCain in Minnesota by a nearly two-to-one margin. In Colorado, Romney beat McCain in 2008 by a three-to-one margin.


Although we've written extensively about the fact that the Tea Party element of the Republican Party will never cotton to Romney, the bigger story is that the Republican Party overall in 2012 is a very conservative party. So it's extremely problematic for Romney that a lot of conservatives aren't buying his conversions to the right since 1994 and 2002, when he was running for U.S. Senate and governor, respectively, in Massachusetts.


As the New York Times' Nate Silver reports, the fact is that Romney sort of phoned it in leading up to these races, following his victory in Nevada. He didn't make any personal appearances in the three states, perhaps thinking that since there weren't any delegates at stake, it wasn't worth the energy.


But now the narrative in the political press will go back to his vulnerabilities, instead of him being the certain front-runner already preparing a general election strategy against Barack Obama.


Romney is still the odds-on favorite to take the nomination, and by far the best equipped in terms of money and infrastructure to go up to California, the last scheduled primary in early June. Next up: A caucus in Maine, a virtual home state for Romney, though Ron Paul's charges are working hard there. After that, no elections take place until February 28 in Arizona and Michigan; Romney is considered the front-runner in both states.


But he was in Colorado as well. The race ain't over yet.

  • Mitt Romney was the biggest loser on Tuesday

Although no delegates were at stake in the two caucuses and one primary election held on Tuesday night, the fact that Rick Santorum swept all three races — Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado — is definitely significant, despite what Mitt Romney's flacks will be pushing today.

The former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator was expected to do well in the first two states — but Mitt Romney was hailed by every "reliable" pollster as a shoo-in in Colorado. Yet the final results there show Santorum beating out the former Massachusetts governor by 5 percentage points, 40-35 (Newt Gingrich received 13 percent of the vote and Ron Paul 12 percent).

Although Santorum is getting the love this morning, do you really believe he'll be giving the nomination speech in Tampa on August 30? He could be, but the bigger story is about the man who is still expected to give that speech — Mitt Romney — and why he can't close the deal with the GOP electorate.

With Santo's sweep, he actually has taken more states than Romney in the early going (4 to 3), with 42 more states to go.

Oh, and by the way, in Missouri — a "beauty contest" primary with no delegates at stake in which Romney didn't compete — Santorum blew Romney's socks off, taking 75,000 more votes and winning by 30 percentage points, 55-25. In fact, Romney didn't win in a single Missouri county.

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