Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rubio Endorses: Is The Primary Over?

Gingrich is cut off by billionaire Sheldon Adelson and is reduced to charging fifty bucks for a photo-op with him from fans.

Santorum still has a few races he might win--but his battle strategy is reduced to playing keep-away. He also said he'd be open to the VP spot on Team Romney--who, you know, is just like Obama. Would he take Obama's VP spot? I doubt it.

Ron Paul can't win freakin' anything. No matter how hard he spins.

Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have endorsed Romney.Florida is a critical swing state.

Is this thing over?

Well, Is It?
Probably? Yeah. Statistically, it was probably over around Illinois, though. Let's break it down by candidate:

  • Pretty Hate Machine: If Gingrich really and truly hates Romney--and very, very few people really and truly hate the way Gingrich hates--he might stay in just for the spite.  At least one guy thinks Gingrich should stay in the fray, spite or not:
I think he should ignore the people telling him to get out so the party can line itself up behind the Romneybot 2.0, because the party plainly doesn't want to do that. Willard Romney is not unpopular because Newt Gingrich is still running against him. He is unpopular because, to anyone not in Willard Romney's income ionosphere, he is an unprincipled boor who speaks as though he learned English backwards and 20 minutes ago.

  • Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now: Santorum, on the other hand, has a Hillary problem. That is: why the hell would you get out when you're still winning states? Santorum would probably like to wrap this up with him as the VP--or at least still retaining dignity and cred--but he has to at least make it to Pennsylvania to do that. Sure, people have been telling him to get out--but people have been telling him that since Iowa.
“And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan, and move all the production to Wisconsin,” Romney explained. “Now, later he decided to run for Governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign, and I recall at one parade where he was going down the streets, he was lead by a band, and they had a high school band that was leading each of the candidates, and his band did not know how to play the Michigan fight song.”
“They only knew how to play the Wisconsin fight song, so every time they would start playing ‘On, Wisconsin,’ ‘On, Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop because they didn’t want people in MI to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, letting out a laugh. “None the less, I appreciate the chance to be with you this morning.”
If he keeps doing that could he, you know, actually self destruct? Like in flames? Like literal human combustion? Probably not--but he certainly isn't Mr. Popularity.
Romney’s got three challenges: comparatively weak support in core Republican groups, lower popularity than Obama’s in the political center and more Americans – about one in six – who’ve yet to form an opinion of him one way or the other.

  •  Nothing Left To Lose: And Ron Paul? He was never going to win anyway. Why should he quit now (the same argument applies to "Why not quit now"--but he's got these fans, see: if he quits they'll desert him).
What Next?
As the remaining Not-Romneys have failed to land any eviscerating blows (and, to be fair, I don't think they really tried as hard as they could) I think we'll see this thing die slowly over April. Gingrich, no matter how much he hates Romney, will be ineffective without funding. Santorum, without a game changer--which he doesn't seem to be able to produce--will get hammered in the next few states and cement his image that he's not going to win. At that point: death spiral.

For his part, Romney will continue to out-spend his opponents by a huge ratio--but the basic numbers will drop and he'll start focusing on building his anti-Obama machine.

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