Mitt Romney won three primaries on Tuesday night, all but sealing the Republican nomination. The former Massachusetts governor won contests in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Wisconsin. The latter state was viewed as Rick Santorum’s last stand in his bid to prevent Romney from reaching the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. After making a remarkable comeback to become the prime competitor to Mitt Romney, it appears Santorum will fall short.
Santorum has stressed that he plans to go on, even though his path to victory is virtually nonexistent. On April 24 his home state of Pennsylvania will hold its primary, and Santorum is hoping to gain some momentum there. It will likely be difficult to win even that state, because the narrative in the media is going to be that Romney now has the race locked up. Once the media begins pushing that message, it is hard to over come it.
Romney quickly attempted to pivot towards the general election in his speech following his victories. He contrasted himself with President Obama by saying he wished to build an opportunity society as opposed to the president’s desire to build a government centered society. Given his background in business, Romney is sure to pound home these themes over the course of the next few months.
President Obama took shots at Romney and most of the Republican party in a speech at an Associated Press luncheon this afternoon. The president slammed the Paul Ryan budget plan that was recently passed by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. He also tore into trickle down economics as a failed policy of the past. That economic theory is what Mitt Romney, and most conservatives, follow. Expect to hear that battle waged from now until election day.
The true campaign season is now set to begin. With the Citizens United Supreme Court decision opening up PACs to unlimited donations, this is going to be the most expensive presidential campaign ever. It also figures to be the ugliest, and President Obama is more despised by his opposition than any president in recent memory. The level of partisan hatred in this country has been growing ever since Bill Clinton took office. It is at a fever pitch now. Mud slinging does not begin to describe the election war we are about to witness. These candidates will be lobbing tactical nukes before it is all said and done.