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Santorum Sweeps

As of today, Rick Santorum officially has no more delegates than he had yesterday. That said, as CNN is just now this moment calling Colorado for Santorum in a stunning upset, his clean sweep of the states who voted/caucused today is a stunning rebuke to both Romney’s purported march through February and Newt Gingrich’s position as the favored not-Romney candidate.

Santorum’s performance was impressive in each state, vastly outperforming his position in the polls, which had him losing by 9 points in Colorado (he won by 5) and winning by only 9 in Minnesota (he won by 18). It is hard to tell who got clobbered worse – Romney, who fell all the way to third in Minnesota, or Gingrich, who finished well behind the flailing Romney in every state. Newt Gingrich didn’t even bother to give a speech tonight, which was probably a good idea if Romney’s shell-shocked and confused concession was any indication of what we could have expected. Although Santorum didn’t get any official delegates tonight, he certainly has bought himself one heck of a news cycle, and has in one day sucked the oxygen out of virtually every other campaign with the stunning results tonight.

For about the 9th or 10th time during this news cycle, the race has fundamentally changed its structure. For the first time I can recall, we are less than a month away from Super Tuesday and no one has any idea what is going to happen. Right now the question becomes whether Rick Santorum can get himself the money and organization to make this last beyond this week and into expensive contests in the larger states. One thing is for sure – this thing is a long way from over.

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