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March 7th, 2012
 

Romney’s Not So Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney came into Super Tuesday on a five state winning streak, rising poll numbers, and a growing sense that he would be the eventual Republican nominee. While Romney was trending upward, his prime opponent, Rick Santorum, appeared to be trending downward.

Making matters worse for Santorum was that he and his Super PAC lacked the financial resources to compete with Romney after going for broke in Romney’s home state of Michigan.  Not only was Santorum outspent by Romney in every Super Tuesday contest, Newt Gingrich also outspent him in every state except for Ohio.  Still, Santorum managed to overcome those obstacles and perform well.

Romney posted quick wins in the three states he was expected to win, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia. He would later add a victory in Idaho  and ultimately Ohio to his tally.  Gingrich also posted a victory in his home state of Georgia, but failed to reach the 50 percent threshold that he predicted earlier in the week.  Santorum reeled off big victories in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and basically fought Romney to a tie in Ohio.

While Romney will promote the number of delegates he was able to add to his lead, he did not look like a candidate who was in the process of putting the nomination away.  Unlike the contests in Arizona and Michigan, Santorum’s ability to get into the win column in multiple states helps him create momentum at the time when Romney needs him to go away.

Five Takeaways from Super Tuesday

Romney Wins Ohio but Shutout in the South

Romney’s wins in Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Virginia could have been predicted months ago.  His narrow victory in Ohio staved off an embarrassing loss to Santorum after drowning the former Pennsylvania Senator in negative ads, but did nothing to show strength.  More damaging for Romney is his inability to win in the south where the race heads next week.    A Republican nominee who struggles in the south will be worrisome for GOP operatives.  Romney needs a win where he is not expected to do well, something he has yet to do in this cycle.

Gingrich Wins Georgia but Nothing Else

If you watched Gingrich’s speech last night you might have thought he won five or six contests, he didn’t.  Gingrich and his Super PAC spent a lot of money and a ton of time campaigning in his home state of Georgia.  He won, but it was expected.  In the other states he finished in either third or fourth place.  In fact, his third place finishes in and Oklahoma and Tennessee don’t give much credence to the idea that he is the strongest candidate in the south.

Rumors of Ron Paul’s Strength Are Overstated

The media keeps talking about the states that Ron Paul is expected to win, but it never materializes.  Political pundits expected Paul to win in North Dakota or Idaho, but he got routed in both.  His most impressive finish on Super Tuesday was in Virginia, where he got 41 percent of the vote.  It’s important to note that neither Gingrich nor Santorum were on the ballot there.

Santorum Wins Despite Disadvantages and Recent Stumbles

Super Tuesday could have been a disaster for Santorum, but he was able to post three impressive wins despite being outspent and beat up by negative campaign ads.  More importantly, Santorum won Oklahoma and Tennessee in a big way.  By limiting Gingrich to a victory only in his home state, Santorum remains the conservative alternative to Romney.  The Gingrich comeback is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Trouble Ahead for Romney

The calendar does not favor Romney in the days ahead.  With contests in Alabama and Mississippi next week, the Romney opposition could get big wins that will generate momentum and campaign contributions.  That spells trouble for Romney moving forward.

 

Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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