North Dakota: Mitt Romney's Real Triumph

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 4 2012 2:53 PM

North Dakota: Mitt Romney's Real Triumph

Sweeping all but nine delegates in yesterday's primaries was an impressive victory for Mitt Romney. The results from the low-attention North Dakota Republican convention were even more impressive. According to Minnesota's Daily Globe, "most of North Dakota’s 25 presidential convention delegates will trot off to Tampa this summer as supporters of current frontrunner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney."

How? North Dakota was Mitt Romney's big, blown Super Tuesday opportunity. Small turnout, a good result for Romney in 2008, and yet he blew it in the non-binding caucuses, coming in third place behind Santorum and Paul. The unscientific early estimate gave him 7 of 28 delegates. He's going to Tampa with twice that many -- he may have just netted as many delegates as Santorum won across all the April 3 primaries.

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This is, obviously, a problem for Santorum, related to his losses in the races that the media actually covers. If you stuck it to the establishment with your March caucus vote, and you're led to believe that your candidate can't win anymore, do you show up at the convention to vote for him again?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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