Tuesday’s presidential primaries/caucuses in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota provided good news for Rick Santorum and bad news for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
Here are Politico’s
seven takeaways from the outcome.
1. Boston, we have a problem
Romney remains the front-runner. But losing three races in a night, when he was expected to win two just a few days ago, put the kibosh on any talk of inevitability.
2. Santorum pressed the reset button with gusto
His campaign had been left for dead in recent days. Now he must prove that he can fight off Gingrich and sustain his strength in states that skew more moderate.
3. The absence of cash on the airwaves played a role
These were the first states where Romney didn’t launch a massive ad campaign. That may have cost him. But the good news for Romney is that he has plenty of cash to spend ahead.
4. Romney 2008 vs. Romney 2012 is a bad narrative for Mitt
Romney won Colorado and Minnesota in 2008 running as a conservative. But he’s the moderate this time around and that may continue to hurt him among the GOP base.
5. Paging Newt Gingrich
Gingrich was a non-factor Tuesday. It will be difficult for him to regain momentum given that his cash is pretty much gone and there are no debates until Feb. 22.
6. Ron Paul’s caucus strategy is taking on water
He has failed to match expectations in recent caucuses. It’s difficult for Paul to argue he’s relevant when he hasn’t won a primary/caucus yet. And that may never come.
7. Low turnout is becoming a storyline
Voter turnout slumped from 2008 in Nevada, Florida and all three of Tuesday’s races. That may be a reflection of the lack of enthusiasm for Romney and may change come general election time.
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