Quotes of the day
posted at 11:02 pm on March 21, 2012 by Allahpundit
“Mitt Romney is now within touching distance of the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, after being ensnared for months in a tough battle…
“‘The path to remaining competitive, for Santorum, narrowed,’ Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak told The Hill, referring to the Illinois result. ‘It was the first win Romney has had in a big state with no caveat attached. The sense of inevitability around Romney is hardening.’…
“‘Santorum now must win Louisiana, he probably must win Wisconsin and he obviously must win Pennsylvania,’ Mackowiak said. ‘That’s three must-wins in a row over four weeks.'”
“So what is the bottom line?
“Simply put: Mitt Romney is winning an overwhelming plurality in the race for votes because his core supporters – the moderates and somewhat conservatives, the suburbanites and urbanites, and the socioeconomically upscale – are the most numerous groups in the GOP electorate. However, he is still falling short of an outright majority because of sustained opposition from a sizeable bloc of Republicans: the rural vote, the socioeconomically downscale, and the very conservative. These groups moved in his direction last night, but not by enough to suggest a major shift in the overall shape of the race.
“What can possibly break the seeming deadlock? Answer: Pennsylvania.
“The demographics of the contest point to a fairly nice opportunity for Romney, with a huge number of votes up for grabs in suburban Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But it is also Santorum’s home state. If Romney wins there, game over.”
“The organization that ignited the tea party as a national mass movement gave Mitt Romney perhaps his biggest victory yet, deciding to drop its opposition to his candidacy, a top executive in the group told The Washington Times…
“‘It is a statistical fact that the numbers favor Mitt Romney,’ FreedomWorks Vice President Russ Walker told The Times on Tuesday. ‘We are dedicated to defeating Obama and electing a conservative Senate that will help Romney repeal Obamacare and address the nation’s economic and spending challenges.’…
“‘We feel it’s time to shift our attention to defeating Obama and begin the difficult task of taking back the Senate,’ Mr. Walker said. ‘No matter which Republican wins the White House, that person will need a strong reform caucus in the Senate and House to move a pro-growth economic agenda. Our goal has always been focused on building that reform caucus and winning back the Senate.'”
“[W]hatever slim chances that Mr. Santorum has would depend on going to the floor in Tampa.
“As this becomes increasingly clear to voters, they may come to see their choice as being less one between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum and more one between Mr. Romney and a brokered convention. Some of Mr. Santorum’s supporters may desert him once they view the race in those terms, making Mr. Romney’s path easier still.
“And if the nomination were to go to the convention floor, it is not clear how Mr. Santorum would expect to prevail there. Before Michigan, it was possible to envision a situation in which Mr. Romney would have the plurality of delegates but Mr. Santorum would do better by measures of popular support, like the aggregate popular vote, national polls and the number of states won. Mr. Romney now leads in all those metrics. And he has won in enough key states — including Florida, Michigan, Ohio and now Illinois — that it would be hard for one of his opponents to assert that his nomination had vetoed the will of the Republican electorate…
“The race will continue on until Mr. Romney clinches or everyone else quits, but the only real question is whether Mr. Romney could somehow beat himself.”
“Speaking to reporters after a town hall meeting in Arbutus, Md., Romney clarified an aide’s statement that he would view the start of the general election campaign like an Etch-A-Sketch, suggesting that he could adjust positions he took in a primary campaign dominated by conservatives to please a more centrist electorate in November…
“‘I’m running as a conservative Republican. I was a conservative Republican governor. I’ll be running as a conservative Republican nominee,’ he said. “The policies and positions are exactly the same.'”
Via the Daily Rushbo.