In a stunning series of upsets, Rick Sanitarium, or Mr. Sanctimonious as he is otherwise known, won a series of victories that threaten to upset the Romney juggernaut at the moment it was starting to gain momentum.
Largely written off in the wake of a poor showing in South Carolina, the Sanitorium campaign for all practical purposes skipped the Florida primary citing lack of money and the inability to match Romney dollar for dollar in such a large media market. Instead opting to score victories in the smaller states, the Sanitorium campaign took a page from the Obama strategy of 2008 by seeking to counterbalance the victories of the frontrunner in the large states by out organizing and winning tactical victories elsewhere. To that end Santinorium in a surprising showing won the Colorado and Minnesota state caucuses and the Missouri primary outright. With the final returns now in for the Iowa contest earlier in the year in which Mr. Sanctimonious eked out a narrow victory by a handful of votes, Rick Santorum has now won four states and can now be seen, albeit narrowly, as the marginal front-runner for the Rescumlican presidential nomination.
To add insult to injury Sanitorium took Colorado, a state handily won four years ago by Romney by a margin of 5% 40-35% with Baby Huey finishing down around 13% and Ron Paul at 12%. In Minnesota, land of Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone, not to mention Jessie Ventura, Santorum won with 44.8% of those participating with Ron Paul finishing second with 27.2% and Romney a distant third at a mere 16.9% In Missouri, a better test of strength, albeit nonbinding with no delegates at stake, Santorum carried a clear majority in a landslide scoring 55.2% to 25.3% for Romney and 12.2% for the aged Luddite from Texas.
Here is evidence of Santorum gaining strength and organizational ability but one must be a bit careful in reading the results. In the first place Santorum won delegates by caucus, a procedure involving low participation. The Missouri primary, because delegates are later to be chosen at county and state conventions later in the year, was merely a ‘beauty contest’, a straw poll as it were. For this reason the Romney campaign quite rightly poured little money and organizational effort to get out the vote. But what the campaign strategists in the Romney campaign failed to realize were the lessons of the 2008 campaign when such a strategy taken by the underdog derailed the inevitability of the nomination of Hillary Clinton. Learning nothing from history, as Rescumlican are wont to do, the Romney camp finds itself now poised to repeat mistakes of the past and be outmaneuvered on the field of battle by a much less powerful and organized political force.
How far Santinorium can ride this crest remains to be seen but he has now moved to the inside rail and has, at least momentarily, caught the front runner. Romney now faces a showdown in his home state of Michigan which could well decide the fate of the son of Brigham Young.