I think it’s safe to say that Mitt Romney isn’t eating cheesy grits for breakfast this morning.
Not only did Mitt Romney lose both Alabama and Mississippi last night… he came in third.
Third place. This is the man who is the presumptive front-runner for the GOP nomination.
Newt Gingrich came in second, and Rick Santorum won both states
Today, Mr. Romney’s campaign begins damage control over not just losing both states, but also underperforming his polling estimates in both states, and failing to live up to his prediction that he would “win” in Alabama at the very least.
Mr. Romney’s pleas for his competitors to get out of the race are largely falling on deaf ears now. Had he won both states, he could have claimed that he’s finally overcome.
Rick Santorum’s wins clearly display weakness in Mr. Romney’s ability to appeal to the base. Mr. Romney, again lost voters who earn less than $50k, and is yet to win a state where evangelical Christians make up more than ½ of the vote.
Additionally, only 8% of Mississippi voters viewed Mr. Romney as a “true” conservative, and only 5% did in Alabama.
Unfortunately for Mr. Santorum, Mr. Romney’s delegate lead still appears to be insurmountable. He needs to win 8 delegates for every 1 Mr. Romney wins from now on to have enough delegates to win the primary outright.
Mr. Santorum’s only hope is to force the race all the way to the GOP Convention, by preventing Mr. Romney from winning the 1144 delegates needed to win the primary. He could then try to convince the party that Mr. Romney is not a suitable frontrunner.
The other piece of big news today is that a senior advisor to Mr. Gingrich has floated the idea of Mr. Gingrich teaming up with Mr. Santorum, with Mr. Santorum being the candidate for President and Mr. Gingrich being the candidate for Vice President.
If there’s truth behind this, we could finally see the anti-Romney vote coming together.
Mr. Gingrich has seemed far less excited, in the last few weeks, about dropping his run for President than his aides have hinted at, so take this new development with a grain of sand.
All that being said, if you know any Romney supporters on campus, please gives them a hug today. They need it.