In the end, it comes down to the voters

From Robert Stacy McCain:

Mitt Romney Wins Nevada Caucuses; Gingrich Blames Mormons for His Loss

Posted on February 5, 2012 |

The questions now becomes very serious: “Can he be stopped? And is so, by whom?” But first, the news:

Mitt Romney won Nevada’s GOP caucuses by a wide margin Saturday, a victory that was long expected and helps further his campaign’s argument that he is the inevitable nominee.
Romney held a big lead in early voting results, and The Associated Press and TV networks projected him to win when the last caucus locations closed.

Results of the caucuses were ridiculously slow. As of 2:30 a.m. ET, only 45% of precincts had reported and the results were:

Romney ……………. 43%
Gingrich …………… 26%
Paul …………………. 18%
Santorum …………. 13%

We will have to wait and see what the final numbers are, but at this stage it appears once again — as in Florida — that the combined votes of Gingrich and Santorum are not equal to Romney’s total. And this undermines Gingrich’s oft-repeated claim that his problem is that Santorum won’t quit and “coalesce” with him.

Instead, it could be argued that the problem is so many conservatives were persuaded to put all their eggs into Newt’s flawed basket. Ginger Gibson of Politico reported Friday on the hapless “mess” of Gingrich’s campaign in Nevada. This was an embarrassment for a candidate whose “super PAC” has received millions of dollars from Vegas kingpin Sheldon Adelson. It wasn’t merely that Gingrich lost, but that he ran such a conspicuously shoddy campaign in Adelson’s home state.

Much more at the link.

The esteemed Mr McCain continues to note the former Speaker’s whining about his loss, and basically making excuses for not winning. “It is a very heavily Mormon state,” Mr Gingrich said, referring to Mr Romney’s religion. Your editor has predicted that, if former Governor Romney wins the Republican nomination, the Democrats would subtly — and not so subtly — be “reminding” the voters that Mr Romney is a Mormon; what the editor failed to predict was that some of Mr Romney’s Republican rivals would do the same thing. The Lonely Conservative wrote:

But in case you missed it, Newt Gingrich gave an angry speech. He even brought up Mormons. At this point, I’m all for anyone but Newt. The guy is nuts.

Nuts? Perhaps not. Angry? Yeah, he does seem to be that.

There are plenty of other places to read about Mr Romney’s victory and the reactions of his rivals: Patterico’s Pontifications, American Power, and The Pirate’s Cove, just to mention conservative sites. But my question is slightly different: Mr Gingrich is complaining about the Republican “establishment” being for Mr Romney, yet Governor Romney is leading not because of the “establishment,” whatever that is, but because he’s gone out and campaigned for and won more votes than his opponents.1 As a former Representative, who won ten elections to Congress, a former Speaker of the House, and the man who did more than any other to lead the Republicans to their 1994 election victories, Mr Gingrich ought to know, as well as anyone in the country, that you obtain electoral office by winning elections, and that you win elections by getting the most votes. In the end, it all comes down to the voters, and thus far the voters have given Mitt Romney over a quarter million more votes than they’ve given to Newt Gingrich.
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  1. Total votes through five primary and caucus states: Mitt Romney, 1,081,529; Newt Gingrich, 821,496; Rick Santorum, 380853; and Ron Paul, 282,631. The Nevada vote count is incomplete; the totals given reflect the 71% of the vote that has been counted and reported.

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