Romney isn’t closing this out. Yesterday saw a primary in Missouri (well a non binding beauty contest really) and two caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota.
Santorum has taken Minnesota and Missouri comfortably. Romney was banking on Colorado. Here Nate compares his 2008 and 2012 performances. Broadly he’s at 60% of his 2008 level and things are looking close there.
Fox News is reporting Colorado in real time. At 5.30am our time, with 46% of precincts reporting Santorum and Romney were in a virtual tie, 37% to 36% in Santorum’s favour.
However that finally pans out it’s Santorum’s night. From the New York Times
With his unexpected victories, Mr. Santorum was also suddenly presenting new competition to Newt Gingrich as the chief alternative to Mr. Romney, the front-runner.
His performance added another twist to an unruly nominating contest that has seen Republican voters veering among candidates and refusing to coalesce behind anyone. It came just three days after Mr. Romney scored back-to-back victories in Florida and Nevada that had led to predictions that he was finally on a straight march to the nomination.
Newt Gingrich the King maker? Hmmm I don’t think he’s a quitter.
On a process issue the increasing tendency for states to award delegates proportionally makes winning early difficult. With the kind of results we are seeing the late August Tampa convention itself could determine the outcome.
Any observations from the US?
P.S. At 6.00am our time Colorado is trending toward Santorum.
P.P.S. At 6.21am Santorum wins Colorado.