Okay naysayerstime to pile on.
Mitt Romney has won, again. A political hat trick is his latest coup. Virginia, Maryland and the ever-important Midwestern prize of cheese heads doling out a whopping 42 delegates have crowned Romney their king. That is at least, until November when Dems will chime in with gusto.
Romney's delegate total will likely put him over 600 and more than halfway home to the elusive 1,144 mark.
Yet the talking heads, the know-it-alls and above all, agenda-driven critics will decide the headline is not his trio of wins but instead, a glaring sense of apathy from voters who still aren't really on board.
They'll harp on the fact that his wins were expected, that he outspent Santorum 4-to-1 in Wisconsin or that Santorum wasn't even on the ballot in D.C. so of course Mitt would win. By the way, that's a glaring problem with Santorum's organizational structure that has haunted him before and will rear its ugly head over and over.
I'm beginning to think Romney could win the White House and still be excused by critics as President only because it was the least enthused electorate in history or some other derivation of the disgruntled blogger.
Don't get me wrong. There is clearly a level of disinterest among voters whose support for Romney is really more anti-Obama than pro-Mitt.
However, as I've written after almost every one of these contests: a win is a win, even when it's not a sexy win.
If you can grant me that, we'll move on to my next subject. If not, I'm guessing you just checked to see what your 871 best friends on Facebook are up to.
So, loyal TCT readers who are still with me: let the three weeks of weird begin.
I say that because it's 21 days before our next contests which are dominated by voting in the Northeast and most notably, Pennsylvania (or in Rick Santorum's case, the Alamo).
Romney should fare well in most of those states and is within striking distance in Pa.
That's a problem for Santo's hopes. The native son is leading in a new poll in Pennsylvania by 6 points but he should be up bigger and he'd better shore up those numbers quickly. Any opening will directly correlate to Mitt Romney's (or rather, his Super PAC's) wallet. They will put on a full court press in the Keystone state where the delegates would be nice but the optics of beating Santorum in his home state would provide a possibly crushing blow.
"We're going to launch a full scale attack," said Santorum's spokeswoman when asked how they'll handle the pivotal swing state.
Santorum, in his speech after getting swept said, "we have now reached the point where it's half time. Only half the delegates in this process have been selected and who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?"
Yes his rah-rah speech warranted some cheers and enthusiastic applause but is he just tilting at windmills?
You have to wonder if there's a chance Santorum might consider getting out *before* Pennsylvania votes, especially is the tea leaves begin to predict an unfortunate outcome.
There's no way he'd want to end on a "Gore-note" (losing one's home state and having that be the albatross that hangs around the neck of one's political legacy). I likened it to his Alamo but history will tell you pride doesn't always result in victory.
It was no accident that Tuesday night during his speech Mitt Romney listed Pennsylvania first when trying to rally voters in the 5 upcoming states.
This will be a brutal battle.
Over the next three weeks, expect the unexpected. Desperate attacks from all sides. Stepped up rhetoric aimed at and coming from the White House, Romney treating this like a general election, Santorum treating it like a last standall of these can and will play out in some form and idle time means room for errors and erratic behavior.
Mitt Romney's final words Tuesday night were designed to inspire. "We have a sacred duty to restore the promise of America. And we will do it. We will do it because we believe in America. Join me in the next step toward that destination of Nov. 6, when across America we can give a sigh of relief," Romney said. "Join me and take another step every day until Nov. 6."But translated, what they really meant were: "I'm a shark that's eating daily. I'm getting bigger and stronger and hungrier. I am beginning to smell more than just a few drops of blood in the water. Santorum, you'd better swim---fast!"
Like I said, get ready for a weird three weeks.
Mark my words, Texas will be important.