It has been a long three months since the Iowa caucuses, and the GOP has been subject to one of the most bloody battles in my lifetime. With four candidates duking it out today for regional, delegate, and potentially total contest dominance, I am left pondering the expected results, the coming contests, and the oddities that I have seen heading into this political milestone.
There are a few things that could make or break these predictions, namely how well Gingrich performs outside of the south, and how well Santorum performs in general against Romney.
Gingrich will win in his home state of Georgia. There is no doubt there. If Gingrich wins any state outside of Georgia, he will stay in the race, gobbling up delegates in the south. Watch for Newt in Tennessee. However, if Newt cannot win in TN, he will not have the momentum going forward into Alabama and Mississippi in one week... save a collapse by Santorum, which could be cause for another Gingrich rise. If he loses, and loses hard, and if Santorum turns around his misfortunes of the past week and a half, I have this feeling that Gingrich drops the bid and endorses......... Ron Paul.
Wait... did I just say Ron Paul?
I did. For two reasons. Watch Gingrich's performance in the last debate. He gave an unusual amount of praise to Paul. Read any article ro listen to any interview with Gingrich of late, and he finds a way to incorporate Paul or Paul's message... this includes Paul's foreign policy. I ignored it at first, but then found it odd that he seemed to be massaging his position to align with Paul. It is a long shot... and as long as Gingrich sees a weakness in Santorum he will stay in... but IF he does drop, I would bet $5 that it is a drop in favor of the non-Santorum anti-Romney candidate.
Santorum... who's numbers are falling, needs to survive Super Tuesday. He does that by a win in Ohio. Romney may have weakened him enough in that state, pummelling him with money. Santorum needs Ohio, he neesd Alaska, he needs Oklahoma and North Dakota. He needs his regional mid-west wins... but more importantly he needs a win in the Rust Belt. If he cannot beat Romney in Ohio, it is my prediction that Santorum begins lobbying Romney for VP or a high ranking cabinet position prior to dropping and endorsing Romney.
Happy Super Tuesday!