Santorum certainly became the conservative flavor of the month the anit-Romney at just the right time.
Romney won but by only 8 votes. Essentially it was a tie. Once again Romney faces the problem of a ceiling he seems unable to break through. The 25 percent ceiling. He did better with evangelicals than last time. But there is still the problem, which the media continues to ignore, that Romney is a Mormon and many evangelicals simply will never vote for this guy. The reason is they don’t think he’s a Christian.
Santorum faces the problem of trying to define himself as something other than the far far right ideologue that he is. He also has little or no organization in the upcoming primaries and very little money. The money part will change. In fact the money part probably started changing last night. The organization part is something that will take time. Time that Santorum might not have. One thing working in his favor is that primary process is strung out over several months. The opening primaries will award delegates proportionately. Only after April (I think) does the winner take all contests kick in.
Romney will win in New Hampshire, that’s a given. In all likelihood that will be dismissed by the media because Romney is expected to win there. What is important for Romney in New Hampshire is to win really big. His goal should be to crush those that remain in the contest. He also has to turn his attention to destroying Santorum the way he destroyed Gingrich in Iowa. What I mean to say is the SuperPac that the Romney campaign has no interaction with.
Newt certainly didn’t take kindly to what happened to him in Iowa:
“We were on a path to have a real policy debate ... and then we got diverted by Romney and his negative campaign, and also Ron Paul, to some extent,” Gingrich said on MSNBC Wednesday morning. “So now we have to go back and figure out how we are going to run in an environment where clearly you have two guys who are willing to say things that are not honest, and who have millions of dollars to pay for doing so.”
I feel a little sorry for Newt but only a little. Since Newt is responsible for this type of campaigning. It started with him that idea of completely destroying an opponent. It wasn’t enough to beat someone on the issues it was important to destroy that person’s reputation. A take no prisoners scorched earth policy. Well Mr. Speaker, pay back is a bitch and now he knows what it’s like.
It will be interesting to see how things play out in the next few days.