Santorum Delivers but Non-Binding Results Offer Little

I say offers little but in reality Romney has more to lose than Santorum does to gain. The contests in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado were all non-binding, which means it was nothing more than a beauty contest as no delegates will be awarded to Santorum. But the trifecta — there’s always a but — means the race will be extended.

Politico

Santorum, who faded quickly after his narrow win in Iowa last month, now has his best and almost certainly last chance to show that he can compete at the same level as Romney and Newt Gingrich. In a month his campaign hoped to use as an opportunity to outflank Gingrich on the right and establish himself as the primary alternative to Romney, Santorum is on his way to accomplishing both goals.

There is a catch, however: Santorum still needs to prove that he can hold and sustain political momentum on a grand scale. The trick is maintaining his forward motion as the primary process expands to truly national proportions and stretches Santorum’s already-taxed resources and organization thinner than ever.

Still though, this raises questions about Romney’s appeal outside of the more high profile states where money and media is essential. Consider this: Romney’s campaign is looking a lot like Hillary Clinton‘s. They won the same key states early in the contest and Clinton later lost to Obama off the well beaten path in other states. It was death from a thousand cuts. I’m not saying the same results are likely, I’m only saying the on again-off again surges Romney is battling against is expressive to conservative feelings and misgivings. I said not likely, but it should be considered a possibility.
NYT

The results on Tuesday shook the political world, which appeared to once again make the mistake of believing the Republican race for the presidency was finally set on a stable trajectory. But it was an open question whether the defeats were a momentary embarrassment or a prolonged setback for Mr. Romney.The triple result amounted to a stinging denial of Mr. Romney’s candidacy from three states where Republicanism is defined by the evangelicals and Tea Party adherents he has struggled to court this year.

His disappointing night notwithstanding, Mr. Romney goes into the next round of primaries and caucuses much better financed than his opponents in what will be much more of a nationwide campaign, capped off by the 11 Super Tuesday competitions on March 6. But the enthusiasm in the race is no longer his alone; his front-runner’s label appears to have lost its shine.

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