The results are in and as expected Mitt Romney carried the day in both Michigan and Arizona. Out west he ran away with the contest carrying 47% of the vote and winning all of the delegates. In Michigan he struggled to a narrow victory over Rick Santorum 41% to 38%. To illustrate how close it really was Santorum was awarded the same number of delegates as Romney from what is arguably Mitt's home state.
The same problems plagued him there that have in the past. He carried those who consider themselves moderates, those who think electability is the most important factor, and surprise, surprise, the wealthy. Santorum carried the middle class, union households and, in what has to be the most disturbing demographic for the Mittster, those democrats who switched over and voted in the republican primary. It is going to be increasingly tough for Romney to claim he can beat Obama if democrats are flocking to Santorum in the primaries.
To eke out the win Romney and his Super Pac pals had to out spend Santorum two to one. The campaign and supportive Super Pacs blew $4 million dollars on advertising as opposed to the Santorum people who spent $2 million. That $4mil gained him only fifteen delegates although it probably stemmed the tide of unease and out right panic bubbling deep in the gut of the republican establishment.
Romney now holds 145 delegates to Santorum's 82. Gingrich, who must make a move soon or fold his cards sits at 29. Ron Paul's exercise in futility puts him in a distant fourth place with 18.
Saturday March 3 Washington holds caucuses with 43 delegates up for grabs. That begins a two week span in which nearly 650 delegates will be selected. The time to put up, or shut up has finally arrived. By the 17th of March if Romney doesn't hold a commanding lead the nightmare scenario of a brokered convention will begin to loom large on the horizon.
To stay even marginally relevant Gingrich must win Georgia, Tennessee and possibly someplace like Oklahoma. That will prime him for further gains the following week in Alabama and Mississippi. Winning those states will leave him a regional candidate, the confederacy's boy, but it will at least keep him in the race. In what could be a fatal error, he failed to make the ballot in Virginia.
Santorum is going to have to convince a lot of Southern Baptists that his brand of Christianity is compatible with theirs, but luckily for him that job will be even tougher, if not impossible, for Romney.
The thinking here is that Washington, Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma are up for grabs. The following week Hawaii will be too. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam also hold caucuses with only minimal numbers of delegates in play, but in this election cycle not even one can be tossed aside.
No, this thing didn't end in Michigan and Arizona. If it doesn't end by the time Missouri holds its caucuses there will be much rending of cloth and an epidemic of ulcers. Maalox and scotch cocktails will be widely abused and tablets of ativan will be eaten as if they were M&Ms.
Finally in other news, as readers can tell by the new ad placements on the blog I sold out. Yes, it is time to try to cash in on the endeavor. Everyone does eventually and now seemed the right time for me. If the Ron Paul campaign is going to slip me a little coin to post an ad, who am I to deny them. You won't see MSNBC, or CNN turning down someones money just because they don't agree with them. Capitalism, fast food, cheap vodka and good cigars. It is the American way.
After all, none of us are communists.