The results of the Super Tuesday contests provided just enough positive reinforcement to each GOP candidate to convince them to continue the race and stretch out the Republican presidential race for months.
Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed
that Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, picked up 22 delegates Tuesday night and 41 percent of the vote in Virginia; Newt Gingrich won Georgia; and Rick Santorum took three states.
Romney won six of the 10 Super Tuesday states and upped his delegate total to 415, more than one-third of the 1,144 needed for the nomination. Santorum is second in the delegate race with 176, followed by Gingrich with 105 and Paul with 47.
“Every Republican running for president got something on Super Tuesday,” Rove wrote in the Journal. “ Not all they wanted, but enough to convince themselves to carry on, making it likely the GOP race goes on for months, not weeks.”
Rove notes that the next contests in Mississippi and Alabama may be unkind to Romney because the states are dominated by evangelicals and strong conservatives. However, since the states award delegates proportionally Romney will not leave empty handed.
“And unlike his opponents, Mr. Romney has the organization and resources to fight on every front, engage in every contest, and weather rough days,” Rove wrote in the Journal. “He appears ready to grind out a victory—and well-positioned to win the presidency.”
Despite “the supposed damage the lengthy primary season is doing to the GOP candidates, Team Obama is worried.” Rove writes that the economic recovery is weak and voters are reluctant to give Obama much credit for recent good economic news.
“Every primary takes a short-term toll on the nominee, who emerges bruised and battered, but often stronger,” he wrote. “That was the case four years ago and may be the case this year as well.
“Given a choice between a rambunctious primary and an awful economic record, I'd take the former. So would Mitt Romney. And I'm guessing, so would Barack Obama.”
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