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Newslinks for Wednesday March 7: Romney's weaknesses are exposed despite six Super Tuesday wins

Posted on 03/07/2012

MITT: 6, RICK: 3

Latest delegate totals: Romney 354, Santorum 147, Gingrich 87, Paul 54 - RCP

The Super Tuesday results

  • Alaska: ROMNEY 32%, Santorum 29%, Paul 24%, Gingrich 14%
  • Georgia: GINGRICH 47%, Romney 26%, Santorum 20%, Paul 6%
  • Idaho: ROMNEY 62%, Santorum 18%, Paul 18%, Gingrich 2%
  • Massachusetts: ROMNEY 72%, Santorum 12%, Paul 10%, Gingrich 5%
  • North Dakota: SANTORUM 40%, Paul 28%, Romney 24%, Gingrich 8%
  • Ohio: ROMNEY 38%, Santorum 37%, Gingrich 15%, Paul 9%
  • Oklahoma: SANTORUM 34%, Romney 28%, Gingrich 27%, Paul 10%
  • Tennessee: SANTORUM 37%, Romney 28%, Gingrich 24%, Paul 9%
  • Vermont: ROMNEY 40%, Paul 25%, Santorum 24%, Gingrich 8%
  • Virginia: ROMNEY 60%, Paul 40%
  • Full results at CNN

Six wins for Mitt - yet he still can't close the deal

Romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-sean-hannity-new-hampshire

  • "Mr. Romney had hoped that a string of Super Tuesday victories... would effectively bring the Republican race to a close. But he found himself winning over Rick Santorum by only the slimmest of margins with almost all the votes counted in Ohio, the most coveted primary of the night, while losing other contests across the South." - New York Times
  • "[T]he news could have been much better for Romney, he's escaped with his life, but will have face continued doubts over his inability to finish his rivals -- even though his delegate total by the end of the night puts him well on the way to winning the Republican nomination." - The Atlantic
  • The battle for the Republican nomination is now a battle between the conservative movement and pure mathematics - Slate
  • Mr. Inevitable survives another scare - Commentary
  • Romney best able to beat Obama, but still not loved - MSNBC

Romney's Southern problem continues

  • Screen shot 2011-08-27 at 16.01.13"Romney's perceived trouble in empathizing with Americans who struggle to pay their bills is part of his larger difficulty in consolidating his party's base, particularly voters most animated by social issues. It has encumbered his campaign against GOP rivals, and it risks becoming a drag on his candidacy in the general election, should he win the party nomination." - LA Times
  • "If anything, Tuesday’s results confirm that Romney still has some big problems with the base of the party. The Republican Party is a Southern party, and he hasn’t done well in the South." - Larry Sabato

Romney's forward strategy: keep grinding it out and hope for conservatives to come to terms with his inevitability

"Despite clear signs of continued resistance in the GOP’s conservative heartland, Romney reaffirmed the verdict of his momentum-shifting victory last week in Michigan... Romney’s nail-biting win in Ohio, capping a night that widened his overall delegate lead, may allow him to begin shifting the conversation among Republicans from whether he will clinch the nomination, to when." - National Journal

Despite strong Tennessee showing, Santorum needs Gingrich to drop out in order to make a real impact

Screen shot 2011-12-29 at 11.03.34

"A scenario involving a Gingrich departure from the race, helping Santorum consolidate the anti-Romney vote, still threatens the former Massachusetts governor. Santorum supporters point to Gingrich’s failure to win a single state outside of the South. “Right now, if you’re either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re thinking, ‘oh my gosh, if I could just get Mitt Romney one-on-one,’” said political commentator Juan Williams on Fox News." - Daily Caller

  • "After Ohio came in tonight, it is clear Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee if Newt Gingrich stays in the race. Gingrich is now only serving as a spoiler to Santorum." - Erick Erickson
  • Super Tuesday gives cool kid Rick Santorum some false hope - Tim Stanley
  • Loudly Catholic Santorum loses Ohio Catholics - CNN

Santorum's lack of organization is hurting him

"He ceded Virginia -- where he lives -- and its 46 delegates because he failed to qualify for the ballot. He lost the chance at picking up another 18 delegates in Ohio, because he failed to file full delegate slates. Santorum is fighting an uphill battle against a well-oiled Romney political machine and these mistakes are proving to be very costly." - CNN

Gingrich is just clinging on after his victory in his home state, Georgia

Gingrich May 2011"Despite Gingrich's triumphalist speech in Atlanta and his vow to soldier on, his rationale to remain in the Republican race just became slimmer. Gingrich will pocket a large share of the delegates in Georgia by nearly doubling Romney's vote total there, but his failure to beat Santorum in Oklahoma and Tennessee undercut his push to once again emerge as the singular conservative alternative to Romney." - CNN

Ron Paul's time is running thin after continued failure to win

Paul Ron Close Up"Paul’s best shot at finally scoring a win, after a much-ballyhooed caucus-driven strategy, was supposed to be in North Dakota, where anyone could vote. Instead, Santorum was the surprise winner there. Paul also came up short in Alaska and Idaho... Paul’s media coverage has already fallen off considerably as his delegate-slog plan has failed to net him anything close to a competitive margin... But, just as Howard Dean was unable to do in 2004, Paul has not managed to translate that energy into actual votes." - Politico

The almost-endorsement: Sarah Palin votes for Gingrich in Alaska

Palin Sarah"Sarah Palin revealed... that she voted for Newt Gingrich in Alaska's caucuses on Tuesday. "Newt is whom I chose up here in Alaska to best represent the ideas that many Alaskans want to see, the preferred presidential candidate in this area. That's who I cast my vote for," Palin said." - CNN

Other primaries took place last night: The Tea Party claimed a scalp...

"In OH-2, Representative Jean Schmidt was defeated in a stunning upset by conservative challenger Brad Wenstrup.  She is the first of those who voted for the debt ceiling deal to go down in a primary." - RedState

...Joe the Plumber won his primary in Pennsylvania...

"The Toledo-area plumber defeated Steve Kraus, a Sandusky real estate agent, early Wednesday to grab the GOP nomination in Ohio's 9th Congressional District. He faces an uphill climb in the fall against veteran U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who won the Democratic primary." - AP

...And pro-life activist Randall Terry wins Democrat primaries against Obama in Oklahoma

Obama Unhappy"Obama collected the most votes in the Oklahoma Democratic primary, but lost in 15 counties... Obama won 57 percent of the vote. Four other candidates combined for 43 percent of the vote, including anti-abortion activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry who received 18 percent of the vote. According to Democratic Party rules, Terry is eligible for a delegate since he won more than 15 percent of the statewide vote." - AP

Allen West on VP chatter: I’m willing and ready to serve in whatever capacity - Hot Air

Obama embraces K Street - Dana Milbank

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