A few random musings on Super Tuesday. I wish I had time for something longer and more substantive, but this will have to do — for now.

The double standard on what constitutes a win is becoming tough to ignore. Whether Santorum wins or loses by a slim margin, it’s somehow a win for him. But for Romney, narrow wins are all losses.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the media fighting Romney and not wanting him to be the nominee. The theory being that the media fears he’d be a more formidable horse against Obama, so they’d rather bang him around and hope someone else emerges. If nothing else, he’d be damaged goods in the fall.

I just don’t see it. The media wants the longest race possible, and why wouldn’t they? Ratings are profits and this has been a very profitable race so far. Debates have generally scored big ratings and the result nights have been must-see-TV. What political junkie wasn’t tuned into the results in Ohio Tuesday night?

Have you ever looked at the ratings of a baseball playoff game that’s tied in the ninth, or better yet, goes into extra innings? The ratings go off the charts. When a team sweeps an NBA Finals or World Series, networks bemoan the lost revenue of missed games and missed eyeballs.

That’s what we’re seeing right now. The media wants a long race, they want a Super Bowl to hit overtime, they want a contested primary that runs into Tampa. They crave Game 7.

The media narrative has incredible control over shaping the election. How can they extend the race? By telling us how unpalatable Romney is to republicans, despite the fact that he’s won 14 of 23 states and has a commanding delegate lead.

Yes, I know these numbers are subject to state conventions, but not enough to overcome these gaps. The Associated Press’ estimate puts Romney at 415 delegates, to Santorum’s 176, with Gingrich and Paul at 105 and 47, respectively.

Because so many of the remaining states are proportional allocation, Romney can finish second and keep Santorum and Gingrich from the closing the gap.

ABR commenters on this site and others point to Romney’s difficulty “closing the deal.” Can’t the same be said for Santorum and Gingrich? Santorum led by healthy double digits in Michigan and Ohio and failed to close the deal, losing both.

These same ABRbots will tell you Romney only won because he had more money. Yes, more money to shine a brighter light on the differences between his candidacy and theirs. You know who else has a lot of dough? Obama and the DNC.

If anything, Romney’s money-propelled wins should be Exhibit A for why republicans need a well-financed candidate to battle Obama in the fall. All that red, white and blue talk of how money doesn’t win elections belongs in Disney movies, not 2012 America.

Is money everything? No, just ask the formerly cash-flush Rick Perry. But does money move the needle? You tell me, Mr. Ohiofloridamichigan.

And what of Newt? He’s won 2 states. Two. Somehow he sees a path to the nomination? The only path left for the former speaker should be straight to Anytime Fitness.

If Romney is confident he can win man-to-man against Santorum, why not call for Newt to drop-out? And why is Santorum being so squishy about it? The two men should issue a joint statement calling for Newt to withdraw on the basis that the party deserves a showdown between the two leading horses.

It will never happen because Romney enjoys seeing the two men siphon votes from one another. But it would be a game changer, a tremendous show of confidence. “You want me one-on-one, Rick? Let’s do it.”

Finally, I genuinely feel sorry for Ron Paul supporters. This was their year. They weren’t going to win the nomination, of course, but they were going to win some states, amass a sizable delegate haul, and make noise at the convention.

There’s been noise, all right, but only at their rallies. He’s the man with the most energetic supporters. He’s the guy who could organize a hands-across-North Dakota rally with no awkward gaps.

But he’s also the horse with zero wins. Nada. And please don’t point to Maine or Iowa, states where you think he could eventually come out with more delegates. You need a win. A real win. And if you can’t win in the states you so heavily targeted already, then where?

There has been an on-again-off-again argument on PD about what the word “viable” means. Some argued that Romney wasn’t “viable” because he wasn’t conservative enough, implemented Romneycare, etc. etc. etc.

But at this point it’s pretty clear: “viable” means you have a very heathy delegate lead, you’ve won more states than the others combined and you’re still outraising the competition.

Cain was viable? Really? Bachmann? For real? Paul? Fo’ shizzle!

I understand the ABRbot position. You want a pure conservative, you want someone who came from the womb with the Constitution memorized and a Tea Party tattoo. But here’s the rub: there is no such thing. With the exception, perhaps, of Paul, every ABR candidate has serious flaws on their “true conservative” resume.

I’ve been saying for years that Romney would be the 2012 nominee and my position is unchanged. You might say Romney wouldn’t be your first choice, maybe not even your second, but you can only vote for the names on the ballot, and Romney remains the best hope for republicans to beat Obama.

Comments