Romney fails to seal the deal on Super Tuesday

 
Mitt Romney in Boston. Photo: 6 March 2012 In his speech, Mitt Romney talked of going "step-by-step, door-by-door" to a victory

The results on Super Tuesday can be like the mist lifting, bringing a new clarity to our view of the race, revealing a fresh landscape.

This time the picture is almost as murky as before; the outlines are unchanged.

Four years ago on Super Tuesday, George Bush was endorsing John MCain. No-one has been anointed tonight.

Mitt Romney has inched ahead. On paper, looking at the mathematics, he is obviously the winner.

If you dropped in on this race cold, if you hadn't been following the twists and turns, you would be puzzled that anyone would question that.

But the point is he's failed to seal the deal. He has the best organisation and the most money but can't deliver a knockout blow to his rivals.

It is they who evoke passion among the people who are voting.

Rick Santorum has established himself as the main "anti-Mitt".

Rick Santorum speaks in Ohio. Photo: 6 March 2012 Rick Santorum has has to pull off some exceptional coups in the next few primaries

But he would have to pull off some exceptional coups in the next few primaries to convince people that he can win, that he can be the Republican candidate, rather than just the main repository for conservative protest votes.

Of course, Newt Gingrich would say that he's the one who is going to stun observers, and win in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

He has put himself back in the race by winning Georgia: he gets secret service protection from today, the US Government's seal of seriousness on a candidate.

He declared, "There are a lot of bunny rabbits to run through; I am the tortoise." He says the elite, the media, the establishment, the forces of Wall Street (Mitt Romney) wanted to kill him off but have failed.

It's bold talk, but he only won one state out of 10, and that was his home state. His results were unimpressive elsewhere.

Ron Paul is in a different category. He is at this stage fighting for his philosophy rather than to become president.

He took large chunks of the vote in many states and will stay in the race.

So they all battle on. Only a string of defeats for Romney seriously changes the arc of this story.

After Super Tuesday, the conviction of most commentators will be strengthened that he will in the end win: he will be the Republican candidate in the autumn to take on Barack Obama.

But when in his speech Romney talked of going "step by step, door by door", it felt like it came from the heart.

It must feel like he is crawling across an endless plain on broken glass, the mirage of eventual victory shimmering ever in the distance.

 
Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 80.

    "He [Obama] admonished his opponents and warmongers on the consequences of war"



    Somebody who's not even been a member of ROTC (let alone military) is not in a position to know what war/combat is all about.

    Let alone instruct those who do know something about it.

    [Barack Hussein, community organizer, cease and desist!]

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 79.

    44.Falco
    7th March 2012 - 12:28
    Re: 43. dgp
    Is this bunch really the best a country the size of the US can come up with.

    No, but the best and the brightest hardly ever get involved in politics.

    US' best&brightest preferring to dominate Nobel Science prize winners' list in the last 60 years.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 78.

    ColadadelCid (61),

    "... being applauded by delusional audiences of backward Bible-banging yahoos who think they are picking the next American Messiah who will convert the US into an Iran type radical theocracy ..."

    Foolish nonsense. Amusing, but still foolish nonsense.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 77.

    53. mscracker
    Translated, 'He may be a flip-flopper, but he's my flip-flopper.'
    We do far to much of this in the US, i.e. He may be a [...] but he's my/our [...]. Self censored to pass moderation. This seems to guarantee that whatever we vote for, we surely won't get it.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 76.

    14. powermeerkat
    I was going to let it pass, but 2 posters have now made the same mistake. The electoral college has nothing to do with the party infighting. They are the ones who cast the electoral votes in the real election, after the November vote.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 75.

    ref #71

    This election is going to be on Obama not on romney, i still feel confident.

    ref #60
    Sandra Fluke as Eric Boiling pointed out is a Democratic operative

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 74.

    We need a third party and we need it now. The middle of the road, where compromise and effective government live is empty. And people who kick their dogs have a higher approval rating than Congress.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 73.

    Sui: If it was good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for the rest of us?

    Personally I believe Congress should have the same health care
    as average Americans

    The question you should be asking is:
    Why didn't President Obama choose universal health care?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 72.

    Sui: How would Romney argue in his campaign that he's opposed to Obama's healthcare?

    Good question, Sui

    Well first off it tells you Romney is VERY smart if Obama is using his ideas for whole country

    Secondly Romney has said several times he is opposed to the idea of health care w/ mandate for whole country,
    but that he thinks every state should decide how to do health care individually

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 71.

    If most Republicans are still not excited about Romney - their party's likely nominee to go against Obama in November, Obama's re-election continues to look good. I was impressed by the president's news conference yesterday. He admonished his opponents and warmongers on the consequences of war and why going to war should not be casually talked about. Especially by those who will be least affected.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 70.

    69 How would Romney argue in his campaign that he's opposed to Obama's healthcare plan when it's practically the same plan he advocated and got for the people of Massachusetts? If it was good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for the rest of us? On the other hand if he doesn't argue against it, he isn't sticking with the Republican program. Either way he loses.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 69.

    Romney simply isn't like the rest of Repubs
    (of course Paul isn't either)

    Which would make it much more difficult for Dems to go against

    I couldn't help but notice Mass voted overwhelmingly for Romney

    Gingrich got less than half the vote to win Georgia

    Truthfully I think the only two who have a chance at beating Obama
    are Romney+Paul

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 68.

    The Obama campaign won't have to invent clever ads to put whomever the Republicans nominate in a bad light, all they'll have to do is replay what they've said about each other. This isn't about policy or who's most qualified, it's about egos.As many American pundits pointed out except for Paul's stance on foreign policy there isn't much light between them.What a bunch of losers.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 67.

    The fact that the left leaning media+ hard right conservatives are so against Romney is whats the most appealing about him

    Perhaps this reverse psychology is why Romney has so much support from moderates

    The Repub will get Repubs votes in Pres election- its the moderates votes in Pres election Repubs should be most concerned w/

    So in a way this is all working to Romney's advantage

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 66.

    64.LucyJ:
    How is Romney doing badly
    when he won 6 or 7 states, double of any candidate?
    No one understand why media is so harsh to Romney?"
    **
    I think Jim explained it well in#62.It's to the Democrat's advantage to show GOP weakness.Maybe the GOP can figure it out,too,otherwise it's 4 more yrs of Pres Obama.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 65.

    Winning Ohio is probably the biggest victory thus far in race
    although I truly believe every state matters

    The media portrayal of Romney
    makes me think of Michigan
    +how there were a bunch of Dems voting for Santorum
    simply b/c they think Romney has better chance to beat Obama

    Maybe left leaning media is pumping Santorum up
    in similar way

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 64.

    When I watched the media coverage last night+today
    all they talked about was Romney doing badly+
    Santorum on the rise

    How is Romney doing badly
    when he won 6 or 7 states, double of any candidate?

    No one understand why media is so harsh to Romney?

    But as my friend said, the more the media is rough to Romney
    the more determined it makes Romney want to win

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 63.

    62.Jim
    I think the media is downplaying the success of Governor Romney because they realize he is the one Republican who has a chance to win the general election and they are firmly behind reelection President Obama.
    After all it was with the help of the media he got in office in the first place"
    **
    I agree,at least as far as the liberal media's concerned.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 62.

    I think the media is downplaying the success of Governor Romney because they realize he is the one Republican who has a chance to win the general election and they are firmly behind reelection President Obama.

    After all it was with the help of the media he got in office in the first place

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 61.

    I love this as entertaiment value it has no equal. What can be funnier than watching a gang of buffoons trash talk each other while being applauded by delusional audiences of backward Bible-banging yahoos who think they are picking the next American Messiah who will convert the US into an Iran type radical theocracy. Likewise Rush Limbaugh seems to have finally shot himself in his mouth for good.

 

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