Last night's big winner was Mitt Romney. I know a lot of conservatives were kind of down but if you want to get technical he won six but Santorum won three. If you want to get even more technical Mitt Romney was suppose to have an even better night than he did. Remember the media and the Republican establishment told us he's got wind at his back from Arizona and Michigan. Karl Rove said Romney would win Ohio by a large margin; we were told he would win Tennessee. Mark Levin was right by the way these Bush guys and gal (Nicole Wallace) are really pushing Romney and its beyond what reality would suggest. For example as I said above Karl Rove said Romney would win Ohio by a large margin despite the polls telling a different story and despite of course last night's result which had Romney winning the Buckeye state by barely one percentage point over Rick Santorum.
Though Mitt Romney has the delegate lead the upcoming races don't bode well for him. Kansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Guam, US Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. Now of those states I count three Romney victories for certain (Guam, US Virgin Islands, and Hawaii), two solid victories for Rick Santorum (Kansas, Missouri) and three for Newt Gingrich (Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana). So the idea that Romney's just going to sail is not only inaccurate but the primary map just doesn't support that view. If Santorum wins Missouri and Kansas which he'll be favored to win at least one of those, Missouri by a significant margin, he'll notch a majority of the 80 total delegates at stake. Newt will be favored to sweep the south but don't be surprised if Santorum plays well in Alabama.
It's becoming increasingly clear that Mitt Romney can only win in the west and on the east coast. The only two Midwestern states he won (Ohio and Michigan) he won by less than three percentage points despite Rick Santorum essentially sacking himself in the polls beforehand. Even when Rick Santorum missteps somehow Romney can't seem to capitalize on Santorum's flops in a big way. Furthermore Rick Santorum continues to show bounce back ability where he gets into trouble and yet he over performs on election night.
Beyond the next set of primaries you have a combination of Santorum and Romney states. You have Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Illinois, Puerto Rico, Maryland, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, Delaware, and Connecticut. In other words, this is going to go on for quite some time. As for Newt Gingrich when his southern strategy calls for more southern states that just aren't there anymore it'll be interesting to see how he goes forward.
Looking at the final stretch after early April the map breakdown for the first time in I don't know how long seems to favor both Romney and Santorum on a pretty equal split. There's a mixture of western and Midwestern states and you could argue how the rest of this favors either candidate to be quite honest. Newt's final stand is Arkansas should he survive until then. They vote on the 22nd of May and if he has a reason votes wise to hang around when that day comes he could be favored. However of the anti-Romney wing Santorum remains the most likely to give Mitt a lot of problems until the final bell.
Santorum won North Dakota big so it's likely he'll win South Dakota. There's also Kentucky which means Santorum will have to fend off Ron Paul. Montana, Nebraska, West Virginia, Texas, and maybe North Carolina look like a foregone conclusion as lock states for Santorum. Despite Ron Paul being from Texas and Newt Gingrich having the support of the governor, last poll I read showed Santorum enjoying a sizable lead there.
So this thing is far from done and I don't much care what Chuck Todd said about waking up early and breaking down the primary map three times and it just so happens that all three conclusions pointed to a much smoother sail for Romney and a rough ride for Santorum. I don't care if Karl Rove has his little nerdy white dry erase board because you know he's pro-Romney anyway so anything he concludes will conveniently favor Romney over Santorum as well.
But know this conservatives and Tea Partiers, as we head into late April and throughout the month of May expect the establishment in Washington to try and silence us and knock out Rick Santorum. Even if he has a sizable number of delegates they're gonna try and unite against him and strong arm him out of the race. As a former Hillary supporter I know firsthand what an establishment can do when they want contested primaries to be over with. They screwed Hillary Clinton in Florida and Michigan because they decided it was time for her to shut up and get in line. You already heard the Bushites like Air Fleischer and again with Nicole Wallace on Morning Joe start to talk about the party uniting behind Romney soon. They know they can't go to Santorum and convince him to leave so they will start to relay this message of "unification" by constantly talking about getting in line behind Romney because it's important that we turn our focus on Obama.