Mitt Romney, the luckiest man on the face of the earth:
Rick Santorum is the latest Romney opponent who has failed in almost every way a candidate can fail. He has raised little money, put together no organization or even much of a campaign staff, and seemed to melt in Romney’s presence at debates. Incredibly, Santorum allowed Romney to frame the debate as centering on Santorum’s deviations from conservative orthodoxy. He is neither an inspirational grassroots firebrand nor a respected insider. He combines the nuttiness of a Michelle Bachmann with the inspiration of Buddy Roemer.
And, yet, he very nearly knocked off the prohibitive frontrunner in his quasi-home state. These Republican primaries nobody should logically be able to win are strange, but you only need to be a good candidate in relative terms, and in the land where everyone is blind the rich guy will win.
Meanwhile, I hate to spoil anyone’s fun, but when the frontrunner expands his delegate lead the odds of a brokered convention are not, in fact, increasing. And Trende’s analysis doesn’t actually make that case; he establishes that Mittens will lose more states than someone in his position should but does not credibly present a scenario where Santorum and Newt can hold him to a plurality. For example, buried at the end, “When you consider that a lot of the New England and Pacific states are winner-take-all (or some variant of that), while the Southern and Midwestern states are proportional, Romney’s path becomes clearer.” Well, yes. And it’s not as if Romney’s massive financial and organizational advantages are going to get less important as the race proceeds.