Political analyst and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen tells Newsmax that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum must not only win his home state later this month, but he must also “demonstrate some strength” in the four other electoral battles being waged on the same day to have a chance of defeating front-runner Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination.
“If Santorum wins Pennsylvania it will still be almost impossible arithmetically for the results to be anything other than Mitt Romney as the nominee,” Schoen said in an exclusive interview Tuesday night. “It will however, prolong the inevitable probably into June.”
Voters in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, along with Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and New York go to the polls on April 24.
“It is a must win, but unless Santorum demonstrates some strength in the states that will be voting on the 24th along with Pennsylvania, it isn’t going to make much difference,” insisted Schoen. “I don’t believe Rick Santorum will win any state other than Pennsylvania. And Pennsylvania is one that I would say, based on what I saw tonight — and what I’ve seen previously — will likely go to Mitt Romney.”
Schoen believes that Santorum’s triple losses to Romney in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia on Tuesday were indicative of a larger problem with voters.
“The evangelicals, the very conservative voters, the tea party — all went with Mitt Romney,” according to Schoen.
Meanwhile, Santorum has failed to capitalize on early leads. “The polls in Pennsylvania are 5 to 6 points for Rick Santorum. What we’ve been seeing in Ohio, Michigan — and now Wisconsin — is Santorum leads turn into Romney victories,” Schoen said. “And with the entire Republican establishment now effectively behind Mitt Romney, you can expect that Mitt Romney will probably win Pennsylvania as well.”
Meanwhile, Schoen acknowledged that Santorum plans to press on, which is indicative of a continued division within the party.
“It’s not like the wounds are healed. It’s not like the contest is over. Listening to Rick Santorum tonight suggested to me that he hasn’t gotten the message, but rest assured the train has finally left the station,” according to Schoen.
Even so, Romney will have his work cut out for him to defeat President Barack Obama in the general election, Schoen added.
“Mitt Romney is now inevitable,” Schoen observed “It isn’t clear he is electable.”
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