My first reaction: I stayed up too late. Where the f**k is my COFFEE?!
Okay, sorry about that. I'm edgy.
I live-blogged most of the states here, in case you want to see my play-by-play.
What a night, right? What I initially thought would be a Super Tuesday Sweep for Mitt Romney turned out to be a kind-of-sweep for Romney.
Mitt Romney won the bulk of the states; Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, and a narrow victory in Ohio. Rick Santorum captured Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Tennessee. Newt Gingrich won only his "home-state" of Georgia. Ron Paul did not win any states, but did pick up about 23 delegates last night.
The over-arching meme today will be that Santorum really took a bite out of Romney's momentum. The squeaker in Ohio has many-a-liberal screeching with glee, whilst many-a-conservative pulling at the collar of their shirt.
Our in-house, ever-faithful Mitt Romney supporter texted me first thing this morning regarding the Ohio results:
Holy crap that was too closeClose. Indeed.
Look, I think that Mitt Romney has this thing locked-up. I don't see any delegate math that shows Santorum (or, Gingrich or Paul for that matter) winning the nomination.
That said, I also think that Romney is having difficulty with getting the Republican base -- particularly in sourthern states -- excited. Last night Romney lost Tennessee -- which on it's face isn't news. Santorum played well there. But Tennessee is not a die-hard, deep south red state like Alabama or Mississippi -- and Romney lost Tennessee by nearly 10 percentage points. That does not bode well for the former Governor of Massachusetts going into the Bible Belt south.
Santorum, on the other hand, should be feeling good today. Sure, he didn't win Ohio -- which seemed to be the only contest about which the pundits were concerned -- but he did get a very strong silver medal there. This, in addition to his other wins in Tennessee (see above comments), Oklahoma and North Dakota. I think that Santorum's campaign is probably feeling something of a boost, especially given that the next primary contests are in states where his Evangelical message will play very strongly.
Newt Gingrich won his home state, and gave a very self-centered speech to his supporters, but my guess is that Gingrich will bow out of the race in the next seven-to-ten days. I cannot see him continuing to hang on much longer.
Ron Paul will stick it out as long as he and his campaign can afford to do so (ahem). Remember, I don't think that Paul's goal is to win the nomination...