Edging Toward the Inevitable
Whether your response is excited, angered or tepid (ahem), Mitt Romney won 6 out of 10 primaries/caucuses last night, including the supposed bellweather, rust-belt state of Ohio. Though the latter was close, he still won it. Yet, as avowed Romney-supporter (some would say shill) Jennifer Rubin writes, you would think that Romney lost by winning (addendum–others have noted this too).
When all the nails were bitten in Ohio and all the votes counted from Massachusetts to Alaska, Mitt Romney had won six of 10 Super Tuesday contests (including all three of those states) and jumped to a commanding lead in the delegate count. Romney now leads with 415 delegates to 176 for Rick Santorum. Romney narrowly won Ohio, which before Tuesday was dubbed the must-win state for both him and Santorum, and picked up wins in every region of the country except the Deep South.
It is only in a media environment in which so many pundits are rooting for the pummeling to continue in the GOP could this be characterized as “failing to close the deal” or evidence of weakness by Romney. Unlike every other GOP nominating contest, the standard for this year appears to be that Romney should and must win virtually every state other than his opponents’ birthplaces.
She also points out that the 4 states that didn’t go Romney’s way–Georgia (Gingrich’s home state), Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota–are all reliably Republican regardless of who wins the GOP nomination. So, yes, he squeaked it out in Ohio, but, like he did in Michigan, he won in a swing state that will be crucial in November.