The Republican Primary - Now It Is a Two Man Race - Rick Santorum and Mitt RomneyWhen the dust settled and the last of the pundits finished their columns and blogs this morning, it was clear that the Republican primary has been and now continues to be a two man race. Mitt Romney, the front runner and heir apparent according to the Washington-New York-Boston Beltway, defeated Ron Paul in Virginia and easily won Vermont and Massachusetts. According to the last glance in Ohio, he had eked out a razor slim victory after outspending his opponents as much as six to one. His 38 per cent win meant that 62 pr cent of the Republicans who voted do not want him as the nominee. Romney has still not sealed the deal and his inability to close can only raise more questions as to what he truly believes and how he can connect with the average Republican voter. He did improve his position as the candidate who could defeat Obama and among those who voted for him, it is clear that was the main reason for even considering him.
Rick Santorum continues to impress with victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota. his campaign excites the passions of those who act the role of true believers. His campaign shows signs of greater sophistication. However his lead in Ohio disappeared when the Romney machine went to work over the weekend. While he must be pleased with his performance, he cannot help but be frustrated on what could have been a clear victory but for the Newt contingency. hose states next on the list give him a great opportunity to prove he has the ability to take it all the way to the convention.
As for Newt, he needs to realize tat he continued presence in the race will only serve to help Mitt Romney. This is the same Mitt Romney that Newt battled and lost to in Florida in a contest that became pretty ugly. And there is no love lost between the Governor and the Speaker.
So why does Newt continue?
If he thinks that he can pull something out over the next month, he is sadly mistaken. He iwll not be the consensus candidate in a brokered convention. He is not going to win. Republicans do not think he can beat Obama. He has too much baggage. And while he has helped frame the issues and sometimes put the media on its heels, it is time to end his race. He could wait before endorsing anyone, though an endorsement of Rick's candidacy would insure him a role in the future and perhaps a cabinet post of some kind. But he needs to realize that for the good of the party, now is the time for him to announce that he is suspending the race.
Rick Santorum is the only candidate who can challenge Obama on Obama care. He is the only candidate who can appeal to blue collar and Reagan Democrat voters. He can focus not only on the economy and jobs but also the threats in the Middle East. Finally he reminds us that liberty is at stake. He paints a compelling picture of why we must stop the encroaching federal government which will overshadow everything we do if we do not stop it now.
Rick Santorum can go toe to toe with Obama. First he needs to go toe to toe with Romney. Then the Republican party can see his metal and who is indeed the best man to challenge Barack Obama.