It Was A Good Day

Well, I wouldn't say it was an Ice Cube level good day for Mitt Romney, but it was a pretty good day. He won where he needed to, and piled up more delegates. His opponents have started to shift from claiming they can win the most delegates, to saying they might deny Romney a clean first-ballot majority. He's clearly going to end up as the nominee.

On the other hand, it does look like Romney will have to keep plugging away at it. To return to my analogy from earlier in the process, it's still too early to pull the quarterback out of the game.

With the upcoming contests in tough states for Romney -- Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas -- he'll most likely have to spend a lot of money and energy in April contests, and it's increasingly likely that he'll need to go all out in the big, expensive states of New York, Texas, and even California. That's a lot of money and messaging going into defeating Rick Santorum, instead of Barack Obama.

Yesterday could have been better for Santorum, but it could have been much worse. His hopes of sweeping the industrial north -- which he would need to actually have a chance at the nomination -- have been dashed in close losses in Michigan and Ohio. Plus, Newt Gingrich's solid Georgia victory gives him all the excuse he needs -- no matter how trivial he's been in every other recent contest -- to stay in, making it tougher for Santorum to vacuum up delegates across the South. 

But on the plus side for Santo, his victories in Oklahoma and Tennessee suggest that he, and not Newt, should remain in the driver's seat for other upcoming red states. And he is increasingly consolidating the conservative vote outside the South, which will keep him competitive with Romney in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Oh, there's also an old man running, but I've decided not to mention his name any more until he wins something.



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