EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Many political analysts compare 2012′s Republican Presidential cycle to the Democrats’ go of it in 2008. Barack Obama deployed a delegate strategy while Hillary Clinton went for big state wins. It worked to Barack Obama’s favor. This year, it works for Romney.
Both took a while and had some ups and downs, but ultimately Barack Obama prevailed. 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.
The big difference between 2008 and 2012 is that in 2008, David beat Goliath. The base of the party rallied to the David who took out the machine no one thought could be taken out. In 2012, Goliath is beating David and no one ever really cheers for Goliath.
Barring a rapid Gingrich exit from the race — he cannot win outright given the states remaining, including Texas — which would suddenly reset the Santorum coalition for a one on one match against Romney, Mitt Romney is the nominee. Frankly, even if Gingrich exits, Romney will still most likely be the nominee.
He will be the nominee having lost the South, Appalachia, evangelicals, conservatives, and blue collar voters. He will go into the general election deeply distrusted by his own base while having to woo independent voters. This is not a dazzling position to be in to beat an incumbent President.
Were I Mitt Romney I’d be wondering how I spent 5.5 times as much money as Rick Santorum and barely won Ohio. I’d be wondering who on my campaign staff gets fired first. Mitt Romney has been running since 2006, has the best organization, and the most money. He won his home state of Michigan by less than 3%. He won Ohio barely after pouring in money. A win is a win is a win. But with each Romney win, he comes away even more badly bruised.
The rest of March will be just as brutal. What a mess.