The calls today from conservatives across the country will be for Newt Gingrich to drop out. They're right. His ship with the leaky hull officially sank yesterday by failing to win in the area of the country where he still had a chance. It's time to move out of the way for the sake of the country.
What won't be discussed is the impossible dream of Mitt Romney also reading the writing on the wall. For 3 decades, anyone Republican who was not able to run as a conservative has lost. Many will say that GWB was not a conservative, but he ran both campaigns as such and wasn't questioned for it. Bob Dole was. John McCain was. Mitt Romney is viewed as more liberal than either of them. His credentials as a conservative will be questioned just as they were yesterday and his answers to those questions will fall short.
The aforementioned writing on the wall is that he has failed to position himself in the eyes of the voters as someone who will bring fiscally-conservative ideas to the table to fix the problems we're facing. It's extremely clear to those who understand such things that people vote based upon the effect it will have on their wallets which is why there is a constant ebb and flow in Washington between electing fiscal conservatives and liberal economic mindsets. When one side doesn't work, the other is more appealing. It's been happening that way since Jimmy Carter with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton being the only presidents viewed by the general population as having a positive effect on the economy.
The thinking from the Republican Establishment has always been sound on a surface level and ignorant once the layers are peeled back. They know that moderates and independents hold the keys to the White House, but they wrongfully believe that getting the moderate vote means putting up a moderate as their choice. It has constantly failed and they simply do not understand the mindset.
If things are going well in the economy, the incumbent always wins. If things are going poorly, the opposing party wins IF they put up a candidate who strikes people as heading in the exact opposite direction. People often forget that Bob Dole was going up against a Clinton term that was not doing so hot economically. It wasn't until his second term that things got better. Dole had an opportunity to take the White House but was unable to offer a truly-conservative face that represented the fiscal responsibility people wanted. He failed and Clinton's presidency, for all of its flaws, came out as an economic success.
Al Gore didn't capitalize on this and people were starting to doubt whether the liberal bubble economy could be sustained. They were right and elected a man they believed had the conservative chops to pick up the pieces once it broke. Unfortunately, the conservatism that Bush exuded did not translate as such economically.
All of this brings us back to Mitt Romney. His inability to wrap up the Republican nomination despite spending much more than his opponents is a clear indicator that the people do not want him in office. He may be able to buy his way into the nomination, but it should not have been this hard. If people believed in him, the money that he has spent and the attacks he has pointed at his opponents should have locked him in by now. Instead, he is limping from state to state. This is a bad sign.
Mitt Romney cannot defeat Barack Obama. If he was unable to buy his way to a second-place finish in either southern state, he will be demolished once the full force of the Obama campaign rains down upon him.
Rick Santorum offers the contrast to Obama that is required to win the general election. He has neither the organization nor the cash to defeat Romney and should have been out of the picture long ago. Fortunately for him, his conservative message has kept him in the race and has him poised to pull off the upset if America is willing to wake up and see the reality of the situation.
There is no way to compare the policies, history, or personalities of Santorum and Obama without calling them opposites. Romney, on the other hand, can be compared more closely to Obama than to his conservative opponents in the party that he supposedly represents. The results in November would be a landslide if Romney wins because he does not resonate the fiscally-conservative principles that are required to defeat an incumbent.
If logic ruled over pride and desire, the losses Romney suffered yesterday would be clear indicators that the best chance for the Republican party to take the White House would be if Romney dropped out.