But maybe it didn't need to be a good night. Popular vote or no, contest after contest, Romney is regularly grinding out that winning margin of delegates. He gained more on Super Tuesday than anybody else. Yeah, he didn't win what he should've. Yeah, he looks weak in a lot of ways. But he's making progress by the only decisive metric. And as any good consultant will tell you: if only one metric matters, the guy leading on that measure is the winner—or is on his way to being the winner sooner or later.
For three years, Republicans have been telling themselves that President Obama was a joke, a loser, a nothing—anybody could beat him. And so they have felt emboldened to cast their primary votes for ... anybody.
There's a lot of questioning about why Romney can't "close the deal." But maybe we should equally wonder, why GOP voters refuse to understand how complex and difficult the deal is.
So much for all those exit polls about the importance of electability.
In Ohio, Mitt is crushing Santorum among Catholics. Santorum is winning evangelicals by 16 points. Give the state (and America!) credit for this: at least we're all radically post-sectarian.
My wife Danielle years ago proposed a constitutional amendment: Americans should be able to vote for First Lady on a separate ballot line. If so, Ann Romney would already have won the Republican nomination in a landslide ...
Has the Republican Party gone on strike?
Tonight's message: Outside the Federalist heartland and the peculiar Virginia ballot, Republicans won't accept Mitt Romney. Against such a weak field, for Romney to be battling to carry Ohio is deeply, deeply ominous.
The donors all made up their minds months ago. The rank-and-file are refusing.
This is shaping up as a scary night for those who think that Mitt Romney is the only conceivable Republican nominee in 2012. The Republican Party does not agree. Not winning Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma ... that's troubling. There's still no path for anybody else to the Republican nomination. But ouch, ouch, ouch, what a bumpy path for the guy it's going to have to be.