Shouldn't it be obvious by now? This is a race of two and a half candidates. Much as former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum would like it to be a two-candidate competition for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, it is not. And while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich believes that it is a three person race, it is not that either.
Scroll down - Santorum threat to Romney ahead with Etch-a-Sketch gaffe & Romney flip-lops -See flip-flop video links
Gingrich --besides the Alabama and Mississippi races, has been stuck in the seven to 15 percentage zone. His returns in all the other recent primaries bear that out:
14.4 percent in Kansas
10.9 percent in Hawaii
8.0 percent in Illinois
(Remember that Gingrich did not even have the organization for getting into the Missouri contest; and Puerto Rico saw Gingrich getting an even weaker return, two percent.)
The former Confederate states provide the exception to the rule of Gingrich mired below 15 percent in the primaries or caucuses. The Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi contests were in the to 23.9 to 31.2 percent range. So, with Gingrich's 15.9 percent share of the vote in yesterday's Louisiana primary, this was a precipitous defeat.
Crushing defeat for Romney
Furthermore, the Louisiana results were terrific for Santorum and terrible for Romney. Santorum took the entire state, save for one county, Orleans County, the one with the state's largest city, New Orleans. With Santorum's win of 49.0 percent of the vote, the Louisiana win was his third greatest victory yet since the Missouri contests with 55.2 percent of the vote. and Kansas with 51.2 percent. Romney was over 20 percentage points behind Santorum in Louisiana with 27.0 percent.
With either reference click on the state contests on the 2012 table for the links to the addresses for the 2012 primary returns.
THESE WILL BE SANTORUM'S NEXT VICTORIES & HOW WILL VOTERS REACT TO MITT'S FLIP-FLOPS?:
One cannot help but think that longtime Romney campaign advisor Eric Fehrnstrom's Wednesday March 21 gaffe that Romney will switch his positions in the general election campaign with President Obama like Etch-a--Sketch will play poorly with authentic conservative voters.
“Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”4/3, a Tuesday: Wisconsin primary
4/24, a Tuesday: Pennsylvania, aside from the northeastern (Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island) primaries losses to Romney
(And Romney's victories in New York, Connecticut and Delaware will not be that total. For upstate New York is much like the conservative regions of Pennsylvania and unlike any area in New England. See maps of these results from 2002 or 2004; and Connecticut is the state in which Republicans ion 2010 chose flaky World Wrestling Entertainment entrepreneur Linda McMahon for their Senatorial nominee, and Delaware is the state that gave us even flakier not ready for prime time Christine O'Donnell as its 2010 Senatorial nominee. So there will be big percentages for Santorum in those states. With the proportional distribution of delegates in these states the Romney victories will not mean a thorough sweep of the delegates, for Santorum will take his fair share with the proportionality rules.
This statement, combined with Romney's record of flip-flops in transitioning from Massachusetts to the national stage, will further caste doubt on his real plans for governing. See this set of videos of Romney's public statements on issues ranging from abortion to Contract for America, gay marriage and gun control. Youtube video of Romney speaking in support of Massachusetts' gun control laws. Youtube compilation of Romney flip-flops, "Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush." "That's what we did in Massachusetts. That is, we put together an [health care insurance] exchange. The president's copying that idea. I'm glad to hear that." On global warming: "I believe that the world is getting warmer. I believe that humans are contribute to that.")
5/8, a Tuesday: Indiana, West Virginia primaries
5/15, a Tuesday: Nebraska primary
*Multiple choice exam on Mitt Romney positions on social and economic issues:
5/22, a Tuesday: Arkansas, Kentucky primaries