The pundits had counted him down after the first few Republican caucuses and primaries…however, Santorum did not count him self out and his showing on Tuesday says he might be right.
Rick Santorum’s clean sweep in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri on Tuesday was the latest plot twist in what was already a potboiler of a Republican presidential campaign. Does this mean the momentum is on again for Santorum? Must Romney now shift his focus from Gingrich? What happened to Ron Paul? Is the chocolate brownie at McDonald’s really that good?
Here are five things you may have learned from Santorum’s Sweep:
Minnesota rejects Romney:
Preparing for a loss the Romney campaign sent reporters a “Reality Check” memo on Tuesday morning downplaying the importance of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, correctly pointing out that delegates in the states will not be allocated until later this year.
Swing state Santorum:
Santorum has won four swing states this primary cycle: Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. Romney won three: New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada. Gingrich won South Carolina, which will be firmly in the GOP fold come November.
Low turnout, again:
Early reports show fewer voters participated in Tuesday’s primary and caucuses than in 2008. Republicans not excited about their choices?
The reaction at 1600:
“The Santorum victory in Missouri is a sign the base of the GOP doesn’t trust Mitt Romney,” the aide said. “Right now, Romney should be locking up the nomination, not losing contests. This weakness will follow him into the general election.”
Retail politics, again:
Santorum’s win in Missouri wasn’t really a surprise — Gingrich wasn’t on the ballot, Santorum had no one to have to split the conservative vote, and Romney put little into the state. Minnesota was a surprise. Colorado was a stunner, given Romney’s success in the state in 2008.
Full CNN report here.