Another three Republican presidential primary contests took place last night, and boy howdy! That Wisconsin one sure was a nailbiter, kinda sorta! Wowee, nothing like a close horse race, and … no, no, no. I can’t do it. No rational person could possibly be interested in the Republican nominating process anymore. Mexican-American presidential candidate Mitt Romney crushed the competition in Maryland and D.C., and pulled out Wisconsin by about five points. All three are winner-take-all primaries, but that’s “winner take all” in each district as well as some statewide. So, in Wisconsin, crazed Judeo-Christian hairshirt Rick Santorum managed to haul in a half dozen or so delegates due to wins in a few districts. But Romney got at least 83 delegates last night, probably more once all the counting is done, and is positioned well for the April 24 contests, when moderate-friendly territories New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island all take to the polls. Pennsylvania also votes that day, but a close Santorum victory there will not ameliorate the landslide of delegates coming Romney’s way.
This thing is over. Has been for some time, really. The only people still interested in the horse race are people like Wolf Blitzer, whose hoarse gravitas drones throughout each and every election night, a fitting voice-over to a dull and dreary affair. So let’s just end this already. Doughy once-frontrunner (twice over) Newt Gingrich never had much cachet outside the deep South, and even there, he practically had to throw on a white sheet and wave the Stars and Bars to win. And Ron Paul, well, why even mention the name? The leap that most of the pundits and prognosticators have yet to make is that Santorum belongs in this same political dustbin.
The Republican candidate for president will be a man who was for mandates before he was against them; reiterates in no uncertain terms that corporations are people; has to explain at rallies that, no, his faith does not require that he consider miscegenation a sin; and has more money than Croesus in a time when the wealthy are generally looked upon as a cross between Darth Vader and Ebenezer Scrooge. As a businessman, he was going to run on turning the economy around, but that annoying economy wouldn’t wait for him. Now, he’s stuck complaining about the price of gas — a price that will likely, as it almost always does, rise through the summer and then fall, just in time for the November election.
It is going to be a long, brutal show, and at this point I’m utterly unconvinced that Romney can win. What states with big electoral numbers can Romney take that Obama won in 2008? Ohio? Obama’s up by eight points in the latest poll, which expands on his previous lead. Pennsylvania? Obama’s up by three. Florida? Believe it or not, the latest poll, from Quinnipiac, has Obama up by seven. These numbers would not be unassailable if the economy were not improving, if we were still bogged down in an unending war in Iraq, if Obama had not kept most of his major election promises. But it is improving, we have left Iraq, and Obama has governed from a centrist position that has outraged the left (see: healthcare debate, Guantanamo, targeted assassination of American citizens abroad, etc.) and, while of course not making him any friends on the right, has at least muted their criticism. Romney has few openings, and the price of gas is not enough.