Well, it's the morning after. The Louisiana primaries are over.
And you can tell everyone was expecting great things from this.
I've read the Sunday finals of the newspapers. The upcoming Supreme Court hearing on Obamacare is front page news and the talk of the op-ed pages. The Chicago Tribune didn't even mention the Louisana results on the front section of the paper, not even a "Turn to this page to read about it!" blurb. You have to go to the second section to find anything about it, and then it only occupies the top half of the front page, nothing further. That's still better than the Sun Times, which didn't mention it at all. And for the Sunday paper, which has the largest readership of any day of the week. Way to contribute to an informed democracy, you dipshits.
Well, I guess it falls to me to pick up the slack here. Isn't it sad that, if you want news, you need to turn to an unpaid blogger with an unnatural fascination for this shit? But I digress. So let's break down what is happening.
Louisiana is a proportional vote state. Santorum was expected to win. He did. He got ten delegates. Romney got five. Newtie and Ron Paul didn't get any. So, you know, no surprises here. Actually, there's a little surprise, and it's that Santorum didn't squash Romney like a grape. Once again, while he did win, he didn't end the sentence with an exclamation point but a period.
During the week, a group of Romney advisers had themselves a little meet-up in Boston. Among them were Mike Leavitt (former gov of Utah, home of the Vatican City of the Mormons), Bob White (longtime Romney aide), Ron Kaufman (senior adviser to the Romney campaign), Katie Biber (general counsel for the Romney campaign), Rich Beeson (political director of the Romney campaign), and Todd Cranney (deputy political director of the Romney campaign).
Folks, here's cast iron proof that my theory I advanced in the last Capitol Gains segment is dead on the money -- the meeting was about making sure the delegates Romney has won don't switch, what the rules are regarding EACH state's delegate selection process is, and how they might be able to nab some of the delegates from the other candidates. In other words, Romney is now preparing for Santorum to try contesting the election and is digging trenches.
Santorum knows his little gambit has been exposed. You could tell by the more casual air in his victory rally. It didn't have anywhere near the hyperbole and fight that his speech after the Illinois primary had, and he lost that state. It's a problem because, before now, Santorum was working his scheme unopposed. Now, Romney is fighting on his turf, and things just got a lot more difficult. Santorum is also dismissing the delegate counts in which Romney has more than twice the delegates he has as "Romney math" (...wat?) and ignoring that, for the first time, a Republican candidate is polling with over 40% support of Republican voters, and it's Romney.
Santorum's window of opportunity for hijacking the nomination process is closing quickly. He needed a huge, decisive win in Louisiana just to keep his Plan B attack alive. This puts it on life support. April is a month that heavily favors Romney. The next primaries are April 3 in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington DC. DC is a lock for Romney, Santorum didn't even make the ballot there. What. An. Ass. Maryland is practically in Romney's pocket. Wisconsin is in play. Santorum was leading there until the Illinois primary, and now Romney is firmly in the lead. After that, things are quiet until April 24. New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware have their primaries. Both candidates are relatively local to the area, so this is going to be a taffy pull. The edge goes to Romney since the areas a less rural (Romney's weakest demographic) and more upscale (his strength), and this is reflected in the recent change in Romney's stumping -- he's not trying so hard to validate himself against Santorum and Newtie's criticism and is focusing more on Obama. If Santorum cannot pull out sizable chunks from the states other than Pennsylvania (which he repped and was Senator for), Plan B goes on ice.
The con is on. Place your bets.