Romney’s Super Tuesday: a partial victory
Mitt Romney ensured a close victory in Ohio yesterday night against rival Rick Santorum on the Republican presidential nominating contest’s most important night.
Super Tuesday awarded Mr. Romney the contests in six states out of ten: Ohio, Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Alaska, while Mr. Santorum prevailed in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee; in Georgia, Gingrich won his first primary since South Carolina’s January contest.
But Romney’s margin of victory was uncomfortably slim in Ohio, the biggest prize of the night. The state has a truly symbolic importance for Republicans, because no Republican nominee has ever become president without winning the crucial swing state in a general election.
Unlike previous presidential nomination contests, this year’s results failed to anoint a nominee. Romney moved closer to the 1,144 delegates needed to win the party’s nomination, but a strong showing by Santorum underscored the front-runner’s continued inability to win over large majority of the Republican base.
Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and multi-millionaire businessman, has been having a surprising series of winning polls in recent weeks.
But former Pennsylvania Senator Santorum, a devout Catholic who opposes abortion and gay marriage, and who bills himself as the true conservative in the race, has sought to exploit lingering doubts among some conservatives about Mr. Romney, a Mormon who governed in a liberal state.
Yesterday night, just before the vote in Ohio, Santorum said: “We’re going to win a few. We’re going to lose a few.”
“Tonight we are counting up the delegates for the convention and counting down the days until November”, Romney told his supporters in Massachusetts.
Despite Super Tuesday not having delivered a decisive verdict, it moved Romney closer to the Republican nomination. Massachusetts’ governor strong organization and robust fundraising make him decisively the favourite presidential candidate to face President Barack Obama in November.
In recent years, the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses have often settled the Republican race. But this year’s campaign is likely to continue until April or May, or perhaps until the last contest on 26th June.