I am going to start this post by stating that this is not me writing about what I want to see. I am trying to stay impartial; at least as much as one can be.
At the time that I am writing this, Rick Santorum is poised to win big time; in the Colorado and Minnesota’s caucus and the Missouri not so traditional primary.
What does any of this mean?
Missouri’s votes are extraneous, when it comes to the delegate count: because of difficulties in the state legislature, and the Republican National Committee rules prohibiting most states from having primaries before March, to avert losing half their delegates, Missouri lawmakers agreed to hold a non-binding “beauty contest” primary in February and have the valid vote in March.
Minnesota’s delegates are also non-binding.
The consequences of Colorado and Minnesota’s caucuses and Missouri’s primary may shape public opinions about the Republican candidates, but they will likely play little role in the actual selection of the GOP nominee. Romney takes a hit in public perception, but rather than taking him of his game, it keeps him from running away with it.
Even though it has little influence on total delegate count, these results could have an effect because of what it could mean.
(You can find the finale results here.)
Romney team had already tried to lower expectations for the possible losses he would experience this month. Under a section called:
The Reality of February
“It is difficult to see what Governor Romney’s opponents can do to change the dynamics of the race in February. No delegates will be awarded on February 7 –Colorado and Minnesota hold caucuses with nonbinding preference polls, and the Missouri primary is purely a beauty contest. Except for the Maine and Wyoming nonbinding caucuses running through February, the next contests are on February 28 in states where Governor Romney is strong. Arizona’s 29 delegates will be bound in a winner-take-all contest. Michigan, the state where Governor Romney grew up, binds 30 delegates.”
The reason team Romney had put this up was because of the limited polling that was done had Rick Santorum surging in these states, giving him some badly needed momentum heading into a three-week pause in voting. Romney not only lost to Santorum, he placed third in the Minnesota Caucus. Even though Romney still is the likely nominee, the word inevitable may have to be rethought after last night.
“Conservatism is alive and well in Missouri and Minnesota!” Santorum told cheering supporters in St. Charles, Mo. Challenging his rival, he declared that on issues ranging from health care to “Wall Street bailouts, Mitt Romney has the same positions as Barack Obama.” – Rick Santorum
According to CBS chart, if delegates were rewarded to the winners, as they should be in the end, the results of these three states would give Santorum enough to pull even with Gingrich or even ahead.
“There are also 111 unpledged Republican delegates, who are Republican National Committee members, and are free to support any candidate they choose, representing 5 percent of the total number of delegates. Based on interviews with unpledged Republican delegates, CBS News estimates 11 unpledged delegates for Mitt Romney, 1 for Newt Gingrich and 1 for Rick Santorum.” – CBS
If anything, the results of these states back up what Santorum said in his speech following the Florida primary, that Newt had his chance, and that it was his turn.
Last month Gingrich stated on FOX and Friends that Santorum ought to look at the poll numbers, which show Gingrich beating Santorum, and drop out.
After watching Gingrich seemingly blow it in the last five states, Santorum very well could have this right. However, Gingrich has been down to many times to count him out, but his own words could come into play here.
It would seem that if Gingrich really thinks it is that vital to beat Romney, then he should look at the polls, and his favorability against that of Santorum’s. Just take a look at what is happening to Romney; it does not look much better for Newt; but if you want to look here (The Case for Santorum) and here (Versus Obama, Santorum Fares 8 Points Better than Romney), you may at least see why Santorum has a case that should be made.
Ben Howe said it best when he tweeted this last night.
I would like to add that since Santorum never did give Gingrich that one on one with Romney, Gingrich could just say “why should I when you didn’t do it.”