Mitt Romney's campaign people have been busying themselves today by downplaying the importance of tonight's caucuses and pedantically reminding journalists that "Colorado and Minnesota hold caucuses with non-binding preference polls, and the Missouri primary is purely a beauty contest," the sentiment of which, I'm certain, is much-appreciated in all three states. ("Oh, those people's opinions? They don't matter." "Thanks!")
But this really brings up a puzzling question: Why would Ol' Steamroller Romney want to knock the air out of a bunch of non-binding beauty contests? I don't recall him doing anything of the sort prior to the non-binding Mr. Iowa pageant? Or, for that matter, immediately after the non-binding Mr. Iowa pageant, when everybody still thought he got to keep the tiara.
Come to think of it, it may have something to do with this…
Rick Santorum could be headed for a big day in today's contests in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Missouri looks like a probable win for Santorum. He's at 45% there to 32% for Mitt Romney and 19% for Paul. Minnesota provides an opportunity for a win as well. Currently he has a small advantage with 33% to 24% for Romney, 22% for Newt Gingrich, and 20% for Ron Paul. And Santorum should get a second place finish in Colorado, where Romney appears to be the likely winner. The standings there are Romney at 37%, Santorum at 27%, Gingrich at 21%, and Paul at 13%…
There are three groups Santorum's winning in all three of these states: Tea Partiers, Evangelicals, and those describing themselves as 'very conservative.' Those were groups that had previously been in Gingrich's column, but it appears right leaning Republican voters are shifting toward Santorum as their primary alternative to Romney. If Santorum does pick up 2 wins and a 2nd place finish tomorrow that trend is likely to be accelerated.
I'm kind of torn about this. I mean, yes, on the one hand, it'd be nice to see l'il ol' Ricky S. get to wear the sparkly tiara for a night. Especially since he was robbed of that opportunity after his Iowa win.
But it's like the prom scene at the end of Carrie. You just know there's a bucket of pig's blood up in the rafters, waiting to fall on his head.
And then, well, we're all gonna laugh at him.*
* In a perfect part, I'd prefer to just skip right to this part.
Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Polls, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum