This is my analysis of the SCOTUS ruling on the healthcare law, and the political implications.
Mitt Romney pulled out a win today in the Puerto Rican Republican Presidential primary. This victory added 20 delegates to his total. As of today, he has a total of 521 delegates. Rick Santorum is in second place with around 253 delegates. With 61 percent of precincts reporting, Romney hauled in 83% of the votes in Puerto Rico. This win is definitely not a surprise, given the endorsement of Republican Governor Luis Fortuno. Romney was also boosted by the statements Rick Santorum made about Puerto Rican’s learning English. The former Massachusetts Governor also came out in opposition to changing the official language in Puerto Rico as a requirement for statehood. This win puts him a little closer to the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Next up is the Illinois Primary, and Romney is hoping for a strong showing there as well. It seems as if the Romney camp is attempting to push the message that it is now time for Republicans to rally around him, and give up their support for other candidates. We will see what happens as the primary contest continues.
The results of the New Hampshire Primary were predicable…if but for a few surprises. Romney ran away with a victory tonight, taking 39.3% of all votes. Ron Paul was next with 22.9%, finishing up with former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman in 3rd with a respectable 16.9%.
In my opinion, a Romney win is slowly helping to paint a picture of what a majority of Republican voters are feeling right now. They are concerned with who can defeat the President above all at the end of the day. They have their doubts about some of Romney’s past stances and his overall conviction(as most of us do). They understand that the other candidates will not suffice, and President Obama will wipe the floor with them. The President would coast to victory if he was forced to compete against the likes of a Rick Perry, or Rick Santorum. Both the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses put to bed the assertion that the Tea Party is some how significant in its influence on this presidential contest in particular.
This may be a a stretch, but I see yet another opening for Jon Huntsman. He placed a respectable 3rd, though it took almost a singular focus on the state.If Huntsman can outlast Gingrich and Santorum, he could possibly pick up their supporters. This would then create an opportunity to forge a unified coalition with the strength to battle Romney to the finish. I still the think that Romney will take it in the end, but I predict a longer primary slog than the front runners campaign is expecting.