Tuesday night, our nation’s first primary was won, as expected by Mitt Romney (and not Tim Tebow for that one person who actually drunk enough to believe yesterday’s post*). Not only that, Mittens finally broke the 30% poll with his 36% finish. My fellow conservatives are starting to sing the song of inevitability. I’m not buying it…yet. I may yet be forced to…and if I am forced to I will at least find that moment less difficult than holding my nose and voting for McCain…actually voting for Sarah Palin and her boss. But I still do not think it’s 100% over yet. The conventional wisdom is pretty much out the window this time. Too much has changed.
Ron Paul finished second garnering his predictable 20-25% that he will continue to receive. Ron Paul’s coalition is what it is and frankly it’s not growing. I think Ron Paul has got a great place in the GOP, and I’m glad he’s around and making young people excited about small government. He’d make a great treasury secretary or maybe even a Federal Reserve Chief. Ron Paul’s support is set.
Which brings me to my favorite joke, Jon “Grover” Huntsman. He finished third in New Hampshire after throwing his entire campaign on the line and only finished third with 17%. Given that he put all his effort into New Hampshire, and by the way half his support came from fellow wimpy moderates in an open primary state, he just doesn’t have a prayer.
Now to my candidate: Newt Gingrich came again in fourth place with 9% of the vote, beating Senator Santorum by less than 50 votes. Considering Newt didn’t push hard for New Hampshire and it was basically Romney’s state to lose, I don’t put a lot of stock in it. South Carolina is what is going to really matter for Newt. Newt’s really needs to win or at least place in South Carolina and Florida. I think he can do it. There are four debates between now and then. One of which is with friendly Fox News, instead of the gotcha Drive-By Media. Also important is that Newt’s got the money to take it to Mittens in South Carolina in Florida. It’s important that Newt is continuing to run second to Mittens in national polls of Republican voters.
The flavor of the month, Rick Santorum, finished fifth (barely). I stated after Iowa that it was going to be really difficult for Santorum to continue the retail politics that got him his second place finish in Iowa. I do think that the Vice Presidency could be a real possibility for Santorum now. (Actually, given the hit job done on Herman Cain, if the VP is going to come from the Presidential field, I believe it’s going to be either Santorum or Michelle Bachmann.) Santorum isn’t done yet, but like Gingrich, he needs to at least show in South Carolina and Florida to keep his momentum.
Finally, we’ve got Rick Perry. For a long time before I ultimately endorsed Gingrich, I strongly considered backing Perry. His plans were great, but his poor debate performances knocked him out of that possibility. Finishing last place again in New Hampshire (except for that Buddy Roemer guy, who I have only heard about because of a nice lady on Twitter who follows me who has tried to get me to support him) is quite possibly going to be the death knell for Perry. The unfortunate thing for Perry is that I don’t know if there will be a next time for him. It’s going to be eight years before we have another Republican nomination contest (because we are GOING to beat Obama), and by that point young up and comers like Bobby Jindall, Rand Paul, Nikki Haley, and of course (legitimate shivers of excitement) Marco Rubio will be ready to step onto the national stage. Perry may not have that chance. This may well be the end of Perry. There’s only one thing that can make a difference for Perry: He’s got a whole lot of money to spend. Candidates don’t drop out because they’re losing, they drop out because they run out of money.
In the end, we’re talking about 12 delegates that were decided. Twelve delegates, proportionally distributed nonetheless. Mitt got the big nut from this tree with SEVEN. There are a lot of votes to be cast still. It ain’t over, folks, and I suspect it’s not going to be over until at least April.
*Thank you for making yesterday’s spoof post the most popular post in the year plus history of this blog!