Now that the dust has cleared, what did we learn on Super Tuesday? Among the biggest takeaways:
- Republicans don't love these guys: "It's almost like a bad version of Goldilocks. Nobody is just right," quips Philip Elliott of the AP. Exit polls showed that a sizable majority of voters did not "strongly" support the candidate they cast a ballot for.
- Organization only sort of matters: "Santorum should have been embarrassed in Ohio" thanks to his "shoestring, scattershot campaign," writes Elliot. But while he did lose votes by not appearing on the ballot in one county, he still ran a close race.
- Mitt Romney is a little like Galactus: They have roughly the same strategy: "Move in, absorb everything," writes Dave Weigel of Slate. "Restore our Future is his Silver Surfer, softening up the terrain and warning of doom." In both Ohio and Tennessee he swooped in late, and dominated among late deciders—remember, Santorum once led Ohio polls by 10 points. But…
- Romney has a rural problem: His Ohio map looks shockingly similar to Barack Obama's in 2008—both took high population density areas, and lost rural ones.
- Santorum needs Gingrich gone: Santorum's delegate math already looks bad, but there's absolutely no way he overtakes Romney if Gingrich is still in the race, Politico posits, so it's time "to throw elbows." That said…
- Gingrich isn't going anywhere: Even though he probably should. Other than win his home state, he was third or worse everywhere else.
- A Santorum Belt exists: Nate Silver points out something kind of neat: The states Santorum has won are all contiguous with one another, forming a chain through the nation's midsection from North Dakota down to Oklahoma and Tennessee. Check it out.
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