Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Super Tuesday Did Not Reshuffle the Candidates

Results of Super Tuesday were settled on Wednesday early morning. Surprisingly, it neither brought a commanding victory for Mitt Romney nor reshuffled the GOP candidates. The race is elongated, compared to 4 years ago. Romney won Ohio over Santorum by 1%. Romney lost several states such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Georgia, and the question of his political strength remains.

I looked at the spending of candidates on Super Tuesday states. Mitt Romney won by thin margins in Ohio and Alaska, despite a commanding victory in Mormon state Idaho. He outspent the rest of the candidates, which made his victory a result of money. Romney spent $1.3 million on adds in Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts and Ohio between Jan.1 and early today, and other $3.5 million in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio and Georgia. However his rivals spent far less. Gingrich spent $900,000 in Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee without spending any money on ads. Santorum spent $257,000 in Ohio and Paul spent even less, $98,800 in Massachusetts (CNN). The slim margins show that people are still not completely certain about his electability. “Only about 2 in 10 voters in Ohio and Tennessee who were asked on Tuesday which candidate best understands the problems of average Americans named Mr. Romney; one-third said Mr. Santorum did” (New York Times).

Even though the results should not be proportional to the money spent, Romney’s not-easy victory shows that money pushed him to pass the threshold to win the states. By 11pm last night, Santorum was still leading the race in Ohio, and the ballot was still being calculated at 1am this morning in Ohio. Romney’s seemingly inevitable and much easier victories early this year has gone through a series of difficulties. For more than once, he did not or almost could not win supposedly easy victories, such as the race in Iowa. I think he should examine his campaign and try to find out why people think he is not reliable enough. Otherwise, even if he is the nominee, it will be difficult for him in the general election if people still have doubts for him.

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