The Republican primaries show that the GOP is still looking for Superman to beat President Obama, with Rick Santorum winning all 3 Caucuses in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. In case anyone is counting, Rick Santorum has now won 4 states to Romney’s 3 states. Heavily supported by Evangelicals, Santorum stunningly pulled out an upset victory in Colorado, winning 40 % to Romney’s 35%–a state where Romney handily won in 2008 with 60% of the vote.
Even the Republicans and particularly Romney are learning that 2012 will not be the same as 2008. And as for that enthusiasm gap, it exists in the Republican party where low voter turnout has been the norm throughout the primaries –so far. Santorum has propelled himself to the chief conservative rival alternative to Romney. And Newt Gingrich was non-existent with his dismal performance in all states. He didn’t even qualify in Missouri. I guess the Herman Cain endorsement didn’t help Newt Gingrich. And that goes ditto for Romney with the Donald Trump endorsement. Whatever the reason, now Rick Santorum has bragging rights over Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
In Minnesota Santorum outpaced his closest rival, Ron Paul with 45% of the vote compared to 27% for Ron Paul. In 2008 Romney won Minnesota by 19 points. In 2012, Romney came in a distant third with 17% of the vote. Newt Gingrich fared even worse, bringing up the rear with 11%.
The “show me state” of Missouri showed Santorum a big win with 55% of the voters going for him. That outpaced Romney by twice his amount. Romney came in with 25% of the vote. Paul finished third with 12%. And Romney was a “DNF” –did not finish as he failed to qualify.
Another chapter is concluded in the book of “GOP- Looking for Superman”. The ending is still not known. We are hardly through the middle of the book. And it’s a slow reading book. It’s even slower for the Republican establishment who never expected this book reading. Conservative blogger Erick Erickson summed up says it best for the GOP establishment when he said that he would rather have the “sweet meteor of death than any of the candidates left in the race.”
Debbie Hines is a lawyer, former prosecutor and legal /political commentator appearing in national and local media including CNN, the Michael Eric Dyson Show, XM Sirius radio, NBC , ABC and CBS -Washington, DC affiliates, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She founded LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. She also writes for the Huffington Post.