In 2008, Mitt Romney bested John McCain in both the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses by huge margins, and was part of a three-way split in Missouri. Just a week ago he lost all three. So what’s different in 2012?
The fundamental difference between the current race for the Republican nomination and the 2008 version is that Romney is viewed as the “least conservative” of the field – vs. 2008, when McCain held (or at least shared) that title. The result? Romney has had a harder time attracting conservatives, and many of them have spent the better part of the last year trying on other candidates.
Given Santorum’s recent wins, and his new status atop some national GOP polls, it should be a validation of his strategy to stay focused on conservative issues. For Romney and Gingrich, it should remind them that they need to lay off of attacking each other and get back to the issues. Everyone knows that both of them (and a good many of their supporters) think that the other is suspect. Some think both of them are. Some even have suspicions about Santorum. But, baring divine intervention, one of them will be the Republican nominee, and as they say in NASCAR, “you’ve got to run with what you brought to the track”. read more »