Money and Hair Beats Pomp and Bloviation
Another Republican Primary is over, and once again Mitt Romney "is the clear frontrunner" in the race to face Barack Obama in 2012.
While reasonable minds tire of the ongoing game of leap frog Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul have been playing since the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, it's hard not to be transfixed as the battle unfolds state after state.
What did we learn?
Romney received a pretty commanding lead, receiving 1.5 times as many votes as Gingrich, and more than Gingrich and Santorum combined. Since Santorum and Gingrich have been vying for the "true conservative slot", their inability to earn as much as Romney combined means they can't claim they would have won if the other candidate pulled out and endorsed them.
Florida's primary is winner-take-all, so Romney scored all 50 of Florida's delegates for the Republican National Convention. (Florida's delegate count was cut in half as a penalty for bumping up their primary.) Previous states allocate delegates based on percentages, so even when Romney lost South Carolina (and Iowa in the recount) he still received some delegates.
The next primaries in Maine and Nevada are over a month away, and there are no more scheduled Republican debates between then and now. Debates are free air-time; lacking them,
the candidate with the most money Mitt Romney will dominate local airwaves.
And turnout was down from 2008. A lack of Republican enthusiasm will be a boon to Obama in the crucial swing state that lost Al Gore the election 12 years ago.