Romney sweeps Tuesday’s primaries
If you’re Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, you’re taking a hard look this morning at whether or not you should stay in the race for the Republican nomination. Last night, Mitt Romney had a very good showing in three primaries — Maryland, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, taking some 90% of the delegates on the table.
- Romney: 49%
- Santorum: 29%
- Gingrich: 11%
- Paul: 10%
- Romney: 43%
- Santorum: 38%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 6%
- Romney: 70%
- Paul: 12%
- Gingrich: 11%
As it stands now, Romney has 655 delegates, more than half of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum is far behind with 278 delegates. Gingrich has 135. And Ron Paul, who has had a better showing that four years ago, only has 51.
It’s becoming more apparent that Romney isn’t going to be stopped at this point. And The Hill reports this morning that Santorum may go ahead and withdraw from the race before Pennsylvania, his home state, heads to the polls on April 24th. It would be a face saving move. He wouldn’t risk losing his home state to Romney, where he only holds a small lead, and he wouldn’t harm his chances in 2016 — assuming Romney doesn’t win in the fall.
In his speech last night, Romney, who has boosted by high-profile endorsements in Wisconsin, came out swinging against President Barack Obama, again showing that he has moved past his primary opponents:
In a formal speech here, the former Massachusetts governor delivered a passionate defense of America’s free enterprise system, which he said had been under attack by an administration that considered businesses as “the villain and not the solution.”
“In Barack Obama’s Government-Centered Society, the government must do more because the economy is doomed to do less,” Romney said. “When you attack business and vilify success, you will have less business and less success.”
Romney, stopping short of labeling Obama’s policies socialism, said: “President Obama is transforming America into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity. And we know where that transformation leads. There are other nations that have chosen that path and it leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt and stagnant wages. Sound familiar?”
Romney’s 24-minute address here at Lawrence University amounted to a new version of his stump speech, which he and his aides reworked from the ground up. Romney sought to place his economic prescriptions of looser regulations and lower taxes under the broader banner of American freedom and renewal.
“I’m not naïve enough to believe that free enterprise is the solution to all of our problems,” he said, “but nor am I naïve enough to doubt that it is one of the greatest forces of good this world has ever known.”
Had Romney been this forceful earlier on in the primary, maybe this thing goes a little differently and he has this race wrapped up much quicker. As you know, one reason he hasn’t been able to get conservatives firmly in his corner is because he is labeled as a moderate. But that speech was red meat to conservatives, who Romney needs to be enthusiastic about the general election in the fall.
We’ll see what happens with Santorum, but if he has any hopes to be in the game in 2016, the sooner he gets out of the race, the better his chances.