There aren’t a lot of people who give Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich a real chance of winning the GOP nomination. There are a lot of rumblings about Ron Paul and it is true that his campaign events are drawing in the crowds, but they usually do. The trouble is, those crowds don’t seem to translate into votes at the voting booth. The five Republican primaries today could be a test to see if the GOP race is really done, or if there could be more excitement down the road. No one I know seriously believes anyone but Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee.
The GOP primaries today are in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. Jamie Dupree has a good breakdown of the contests and how the delegates will be awarded and a little insight about the race.
While Mitt Romney has been deemed the Republican frontrunner in the wake of Rick Santorum’s decision to drop out of the GOP race for the White House, Tuesday is the first chance for Romney to prove that in five different primaries.
In other words, if Romney sweeps Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island – along with most of the delegates – that’s what he is supposed to do.
But, if Romney stumbles, with Ron Paul and/or Newt Gingrich holding his vote totals and delegate numbers down, then there will be Rumblings of Trouble on the GOP side.
It will be interesting to see how this shapes up. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, there is still plenty of excitement about Ron Paul. Here in Oklahoma, it has been reported that Paul supporters have been able to win some of the district conventions. Is it possible that he will have enough delegates to win considerable support at the state convention? I can’t answer that, but I expect Ron Paul to be in the race until the end, until Mitt Romney formally has enough delegates locked up.
Romney could go a long way in that direction by sweeping all five primaries being held today. That could be especially true if he does so in grand fashion. If his vote totals are held in check by either Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich, then he may have to turn his attention from Barack Obama, back to his two remaining primary opponents. If not, then the aura of inevitability will grow brighter around the campaign of Mitt Romney. He could effectively end the GOP nomination race today.
UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that Mitt Romney has easily won all five of the primaries being held today. This is good news for the Romney campaign and may very well snuff out any speculation about Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul still being in the running for the GOP nomination.