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Now there are four……
I’m Mike Fitzsimmons with commentary on 920-KXLY…….
The value of the early presidential primaries lies in their ability to reduce the field of candidates. The winnowing process has reduced the field by half already since the first of the year. On January 1st there were eight candidates vying for the G.O.P. nomination. A mere 19 days later, the pack has been thinned to four. The latest to bow out of the contest was Texas Governor, Rick Perry, who was the second Republican to withdraw this week. So where does the race go from here? Tomorrow the people of South Carolina will pick a potential nominee. Right now the race could go either to Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. The polls have it withing a single point.
That means that a message is beginning to gell about Rick Santorum. He’s a fine fellow, but he’s not going to be president. Might that mean that after Saturday, this is a two-man race with a tag-along in Ron Paul? Whether Gingrich wins in South Carolina or finishes a close second to Romney, if Rick Santorum trails by some distance, I think that Gingrich can legitimately claim that he’s the conservative who has been chosen to continue the fight with Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum might do well at that point, to accept his fate and to allow the conservative banner to be carried into Florida by Newt Gingrich. I’m not sure he’ll do that right away. It may take yet another shellacking in Florida’s primary before Santorum bows out.
I don’t think the race is over, but it’s getting closer. But there’s one interesting twist in all this however….hardly any Republican delegates have been, or will be committed to any candidate after Saturday, and that’s after three state primaries. In other words, even the trailers in the race can claim that if they can get a little financial support, the contest might still be won. They can make that claim, but really, they could have all along, and G.O.P. donors haven’t been persuaded. Unless Rick Santorum makes a startling surge, it’s a two-man ball game from here on out.
With commentary on 920 – KXLY, I’m Mike Fitzsimmons
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