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Mitt Romney Wins Three Primaries

Posted on the 04 April 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Mitt Romney wins three primaries, but Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum refuse to bow to Republican pressure to drop out

Mitt Romney: Poised for victory? Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via flickr

Mitt Romney swept the Wisconsin, Maryland and District of Columbia Republican presidential primaries on Tuesday night. The result has fed the media narrative of Romney as the “inevitable” GOP candidate to face President Barack Obama in November – a state of affairs the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign has been trying to regain after a disappointing Super Tuesday earlier in the year.

Romney is still short of the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination ahead of the Republican convention in Tampa in August. But the establishment favorite still has more delegates than remaining candidates Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul combined, according to the latest estimates. With a string of high-profile endorsements, overflowing campaign coffers, recent primary victories and favourable states going to the polls in April, Romney looks like a lock for the Republican nomination. President Obama’s campaign has already launched an ad accusing the GOP frontrunner of colluding with “Big Oil”.

It’s just a shame nobody appears to have told the other Republican candidates.

Santorum and Gingrich to fight on. Social conservative Rick Santorum, who was not on the ballot in Washington DC, remained defiant after the result, slamming the Republican establishment for attempting to push a “moderate” candidate: “Time and time again the Republican establishment and aristocracy have shoved down the throats of the Republican party and people across this country moderate Republicans because of course we have to win by getting people in the middle,” said Santorum, reported The Guardian. Once-surging Santorum pointed out that the GOP contest is only halfway through, and looked ahead to the primary in Pennsylvania, the state he represented in the US Senate for over a decade. And former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who has scaled back his campaign but vowed to continue, was similarly intransigent: “The Washington establishment wants to declare this race over, but I am committed to carrying the banner of bold conservative colors all the way to Tampa to ensure the Republican Party never abandons the timeless conservative principles of Ronald Reagan and the Contract with America,” said Gingrich, according to The Hill.

Good news for Mitt Romney: KISS frontman Gene Simmons has expressed regret for voting for Barack Obama in the last election and has named Romney as the stronger presidential candidate for 2012, reported Mediaite.

Narrow appeal. Part of Santorum’s problem is that he hasn’t managed to broaden his base during the nomination race, wrote Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast: “He has carried states where evangelical voters make up a majority and lost contests where they are a minority.” A disappointing result in Pennsylvania would be “humiliating” for the social conservative, and giving the rising “Mittmentum”, this is a real possibility. The media is now focusing mainly on who Romney would pick as a running mate, rather than whether any other candidate has a shot at the nomination: “Many of the questions to Santorum now revolve around some version of “why aren’t you dropping out?’” Kurtz said.

Watch Rick Santorum’s speech after losing the latest three primaries. Is the former Pennsylvania senator deluded or determined?

Time to look to November. “It’s understandable that Santorum would want a chance to run in his home state later this month. But last night’s votes are likely to dent his poll numbers there. And the party has already started running out of patience,” wrote Maggie Haberman at Politico. However, Santorum could still act as a “spoiler”, damaging Romney’s chances against Obama by drawing out the contest: “While Santorum is essentially out of time, he still can bleed Romney to some extent for weeks if he chooses to stay in.” Haberman said that the key challenge for Romney is now to “reintroduce himself” to voters if is to have a chance of beating Obama.

Mitt Romney may not have locked down the Republican presidential nomination, but that hasn’t stopped him criticising incumbent President Barack Obama in anticipation of a win. The Christian Science Monitor published a run-down of Romney’s top five Obama critiques.

Gender gap. Looking ahead to the November presidential election, Linda Feldman argued at The Christian Science Monitor that the greatest challenge facing the GOP is the female vote. “Men and women have diverged in every presidential race since 1980,” said Feldman; currently, Obama leads Romney on female voters but the two are tied with male voters. “If Obama is to win, he will need a big women’s vote to offset an expected deficit in the men’s vote,” Feldman wrote – and the Republican Party haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory recently over women’s issues, with hardline stances over birth control and abortion, not helped by Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Slutgate’ scandal.

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