Energy, not Math, on Santorum's Side

Results good enough to carry him forward ... for now
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2012 6:47 AM CST
Energy, not Math, on Santorum's Side
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to supporters at an election night party at Steubenville High School in Steubenville, Ohio, Tuesday, March 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) – Mitt Romney won six out of 10 Super Tuesday states, including the big prize of Ohio, but you won't find many pundits calling him the big winner. Instead, pundits are painting him as bruised, while Rick Santorum emerges with a good enough night to carry him forward:

  • Santorum's supporters didn't feel let down by the narrow loss in Ohio, Robert Costa at the National Review finds. The candidate "had a good night, not a great one, but his supporters have energy," he writes. "Their candidate has pep. It may not be enough to win the nomination, but it’s enough, for now, to keep fighting."

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  • The GOP race "is now a battle between a movement and mathematics," writes John Dickerson at Slate. "Santorum has the energy and support of the noisy part of the party," he writes, but Romney is likely to keep his delegate lead, "even if his victory trophies require tweezers to hold them aloft."
  • Santorum has once again received a boost from "the desire of the more conservative segments of the GOP electorate to keep Romney from clinching," notes Maggie Haberman at Politico. The rest of March and some of April is looking good for Santorum, she decides—but for him to have a real chance of winning, Newt Gingrich will have to go.
  • Last night illustrated "what sets Santorum apart from the rest of the not-Romneys," writes Ross Douthat for the New York Times. "He's had his share of blowout losses, but he’s won or performed respectably in the Mountain West, the Plains States, the Midwest, and now the South." He won't be the nominee, but we should all be at least a little impressed. "This was a candidate, after all, who entered the primary campaign with no money, no endorsements, no national following, and the baggage of his disastrous 2006 Senate re-election bid dragging behind him."
(Read more Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)

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