How Close Was the GOP Primary?
Turns out, not that close at all.
If you go to Real Clear Politics and take a close look at the actual numbers of this primary race, you’ll reach some startling conclusions: The primary is all but over, and it wasn’t even close.
Mitt is dominating the popular vote. He’s got almost 50 percent more votes than Santorum, and he’s inching ever-closer to the combined Santorum-Gingrich total. As for delegates, he has more than all his competitors combined — and that’s in a contest dominated by proportional allocations, not winner-take-all primaries.
It’s largely been the media propping up the GOP primary, at least recently. As French notes, Santorum masterfully steered the media in the direction it wanted to go for the easy news fodder than is a presidential race: they focused on Michigan over Arizona, Ohio over the rest of the Super Tuesday states, and put a lot of the focus on easy Santorum wins (usually caucuses) with a small amount of unbound delegates.
But looking back now as the primary takes its last gasp, a Mitt win seems to have been the only possible destination. Sure, there were some moments when candidates flared up and then promptly flopped: Bachmann, Cain, Perry, and Newt especially but we still presumed Romney would be the nominee anyway. I wrote just before the New Hampshire primary that “nothing is certain but death, taxes and Romney” and I have to admit that even after Newt won South Carolina and I had my doubts, it was hard to not see Mitt as the nominee anyway.
And now here we are. Romney’s a step away from the nomination and it wasn’t even close, like we all figured from get-go.