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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Suppositious Sweep! The Conjectural Conquest! The Scoreless Win!



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In the Wednesday morning edition of the Morning Jolt, a look at talk of Occupy DC raising a ruckus at CPAC, pro-life Democrats regretting their Obamacare votes, speculation about the reliability of the unemployment-rate numbers, and of course . . . The Night of Santorum’s Huge Wins That Don’t Actually Count for Any Delegates.

Unbridled Passions at Those Nonbinding Caucuses and Primary

Congratulations to Rick Santorum; any time you get the headlines “SANTORUM WINS MISSOURI PRIMARY,” “SANTORUM WINS MINNESOTA CAUCUS,” and “SANTORUM WINS COLORADO CAUCUS,” it’s good news, even if you did not, technically, win any delegates in the process.

And who knows, perhaps this is just what Santorum needed.

But from where I sit, the ties that bind . . . are apparently necessary to sustain any campaign drama. Santorum began the night with three committed delegates; he finished the night with three committed delegates.

Still, these are some monster results: 40.2 percent in Colorado, 44.8 percent in Minnesota, an astounding 55.2 percent in Missouri.

Robert George noticed, “The winner tonight is a Catholic conservative who’s made ObamneyCare critique his KEY issue. And Obama has given him pure gold w/HHS decision.”

“”Freedom…..religious freedom…. supply-side growth. Great combo from #RickSantorum. Helluva night for him,” raved Larry Kudlow.

Perhaps Santorum’s best line: “I’m not the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I’m the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

Early in the evening, Newt Gingrich was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, who asked about the former Speaker not appearing on the ballot, and Gingrich’s point — that today’s primary was “almost an accident of the state legislature” — was entirely convincing, plausible, and surprisingly accurate.

In some ways, the Romney campaign took the night off. As the Minnesota caucus began, Jim Acosta of CNN noticed, “Quiet night so far from Team Romney. No emails on sked, endorsements, or surrogate attacks on rivals in about five hours.”

Of course, judging by his share of the vote, you could argue Romney supporters took the night off, too.

One somewhat surprising no-show in Minnesota last night: “One of Minnesota’s most prominent Republicans isn’t participating in the North Star State’s caucuses Tuesday. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who dropped her own bid for the White House in January, said on CNN she was unable to get home because of votes in Congress. Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Bachmann said she wished she could be in Minnesota caucusing.”


Tags: Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rick Santorum


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