Newt Gingrich says that he needs to stay in to stop Romney, that Santorum can’t do it alone.
But pollsters like PPP are certain that if Newt had dropped out, Santorum would have won both Michigan and Ohio, both states that he lost narrowly, but would have gotten enough Gingrich votes to change the outcome. Think of how this race would look, think of how this race would feel, if Santorum had won Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Now it looks as if Newt might do the same thing in Illinois — get enough votes to give Mitt the win and deny Santorum again.
In many states that haven’t voted yet, Newt votes won’t turn into anti-Mitt delegates, they’ll just be lost.
From the GOP’s perspective, I’m not sure it matters all that much in November. Santorum is stronger among blue collar voters than Mitt, but he’s a disaster with women. So you get guys with lunch buckets and lose suburban women with Coach bags. It’s just a different path to victory for Obama.
Both Mitt and Santorum are off-putting enough, though in different ways, that neither is a very attractive general election candidate. Both are “other” and make us uncomfortable.
Mitt is weird. He fits in fine drinking coffee from a china cup in a Wall Street conference room, but out in a rural diner, not so much. Listen to him on the stump. He sounds as if he’s addressing small children, trying to get them to like him. He speaks slowly and doesn’t offer substance on serious issues. People come out to see him and he recites the lyrics to the theme from the Davy Crockett show. Although the theme from Gilligan’s Island would be more apt.
Santorum is extremely earnest, but he’s also earnestly extreme. He was sick the day history class covered Roger Williams. Although it’s not too late — Rick, get a copy of John Barry’s Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul. You can be quirky about some things, but not separation of church and state. That’s a deal breaker.