Super Tuesday offered a chance for Mitt Romney to finally secure the Republican nomination. It didn't happen, despite narrowly winning the all-important Ohio contest. Here's a round-up of the Super Tuesday results:
Mitt Romney won the crucial Ohio race, but it was neck-and-neck with his top contender Rick Santorum. Romney beat Santorum by a slim 1% margin, further proof of anti-Romney sentiment. This win was much less impactful than if Santorum had been the one to eek out a victory, especially in light of other key losses. But the former Governor did manage to win his other "home" state, Massachusetts, with a resounding 72% of the vote. Vermont, Alaska, and Idaho also fell his way. Virginia should have been a solid win for Romney, but comes with a heavy asterisk: Romney and Rep. Ron Paul were the only two candidates on the ballot. Romney earned 60% of the vote, but Paul's 40% again shows the public's timidity when it comes to their trust of " two-Cadillac " Romney.
Rick Santorum, by most counts, had a great night. He may not have won Ohio, but he came close, and it stands to reason if Newt Gingrich now drops out , Santorum will pick up most of the anti-Romney supporters. But what made Santorum's night particularly noticeable were his wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, showing he still has the key evangelical vote. Santorum, however, is still having trouble garnering attention from more moderate republicans with his wild, dangerous social issues campaign. He has tried repeatedly to shift the message of this election from the economy to social issues. It worked in Tennessee last night and could be crucial for wins in the southern primaries next week.
Newt Gingrich had a terrible night. He won Georgia, his home state, a surprise to no one, but failed to make an impact anywhere else on the board. He might have shown strong in Virginia, but he wasn't on the ballot, and his campaign is hurting financially. He needs wins in the next couple of weeks in key southern states: the Missouri and Kansas caucuses, as well as Alabama and Mississippi. However, Santorum is polling high in those states and it doesn't look likely that Gingrich will muster enough votes for a victory. More reason the Santorum camp is urging Gingrich to drop out .
Ron Paul suffered a harsh blow on Tuesday night. He did well in Virginia, but didn't persuade republicans that he can beat Romney head-to-head. In North Dakota, Vermont, and Alaska, he also performed well, but failed to win any of the decisions. He managed only 9.3% of the vote in Ohio, and only picked up 21 delegates. Paul has a strong backing, but it looks like he'll never get the delegates needed for the nomination.
President Obama was perhaps the biggest winner of Super Tuesday. Republican voters are so un-energized and dissatisfied with their nominees that, come November it will be difficult for conservative operatives to rally behind just one person. Romney did inch closer to the nomination to face off against Obama this fall, but Romney is still not generating any kind of excitement from the republican base. This reinforces the fact that Obama's reelection is in his own hands and he may just cruise to victory.~ Jason Owen with TJ Walker at AmericanLP