My commentaries also appear in www.BayouBuzz.com.
The Louisiana Republican Primary.
Rick Santorum should do well in Louisiana, and his lead over Mitt Romney in a recent poll is no surprise. Louisiana is a conservative, Republican state. Santorum is perceived as a conservative while Mitt Romney is seen as a moderate. Newt Gingrich is taking on the role of spoiler, and Ron Paul is hanging around waiting for who knows what?
A big asset for Santorum is his ability to connect with voters from the podium. He is comfortable in his own skin and sounds like he is talking from his heart while Romney seems to struggle to sound like the guy next door.
With his big wins in Alabama and Mississippi, Rick Santorum should be able to ride the wave to a Louisiana victory. But his biggest hurdle is to carry the battleground states, not just the conservative south, where the Republican nominee will beat Barack Obama anyway. Rick Santorum needs to win Louisiana and is poised to do so, but he must also win primaries in those battleground states where the real election for President will take place in November. (See www.bayoubuzz.com/buzz/latest-buzz/475807-louisiana-is-santorum-s-to-lose-in-gop-presidential-primary .)
The Future of the Republican Primary Contest.
The rest of this month and April could be a breakthrough time for the Romney campaign. Other than Louisiana and Pennsylvania, Romney is favored in every contest. Several of those contests will be winner take all where the winner of that state will win all of that state’s delegates while the two contests where Santorum is favored are proportionate contests where delegates are awarded based on the proportion of votes the candidates receive in that state. So even if Santorum wins Louisiana and Pennsylvania he must still share those delegates with Mitt Romney and possibly Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. If Romney wins Connecticut or Delaware he does not share those delegates with anyone. He takes them all. And the same is true in California, a big prize and a winner take all state.
The contest is getting to the point where Rick Santorum needs to pile up delegates while depriving Romney of delegates if he is to have a shot at the nomination, and that seems very improbable at this time.
The path for a Romney nomination is much smoother than the road for Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney is the favorite to lock up the nomination before the convention.
September to November.
No one can guarantee the outcome of the Republican contest, but party insiders had better hope that one of the candidates comes away with enough delegates to have the nomination locked up by June. The last thing the party needs is a brokered convention where no candidate has enough votes to secure the nomination prior to the convention. This would be catastrophic because back room deals will determine the nominee, and the voters will not likely stand for that.
The Republican nominee needs to begin the tough campaign against President Obama as soon as possible. Battling for the nomination past June is simply delaying the start of the real campaign and giving Barack Obama his best chance for re-election. Given the way in which the nomination process works there needs to be an early finality to the contest. And in this case such finality is likely but is not guaranteed.
The Congressional Budget Office now informs us that Obama Care will cost nearly twice as much as originally projected; and this is only the cost of the coverage itself, not the cost of implementation or other changes. In addition, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala, says it will provide coverage for 2 million fewer people than projected, and it raises taxes more than was expected. Surprise! Surprise! Another federal program that is too expensive and doesn’t do what it was supposed to do. When will we ever learn? The only people who did not know that Obama Care would not be what it was said to be were the politicians in Washington who supported it and sold the American people a pig in poke.
Remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said that Congress needed to pass Obama Care so that we could find out what was in it. Well, now we know.
The fact is that government, especially the federal government, is dysfunctional and too big. The federal government is broke. It cannot balance its budget, and now we learn that Obama Care will increase the deficit even more than first thought while raising taxes and covering fewer Americans than previously claimed. The American people cannot afford health care provided by the federal government and Obama Care must be repealed for the sake of all of us.