Santorum Has Earned The Right For This To Be A Two-Man Race

Anyone who says they predicted Rick Santorum would win both the Mississippi and Alabama primaries yesterday is either (a) lying or (b) a Santorum supporter.

But, somehow, Santorum and his makeshift campaign prevailed. This was bad news for Mitt Romney, who hoped to dispel doubts he could appeal to the base with a victory in a Deep South state.

Republicans need to clear the field so the top two candidates and their constituencies—Santorum and the right; Romney and the establishment—can have it out. If Romney is going to carry the GOP banner, he must prove he can beat Santorum straight up.

It's time Republicans begin to look beyond the primaries to November and to start to identify which candidate can beat President Obama in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia—the states on which the election likely will turn.

And for that to happen, Gingrich and Paul need to get out and give the GOP the one-on-one competition it needs.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report

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published this page in In The News 2012-03-14 16:30:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy