Rick Santorum as expected won the Louisiana Republican primary going away, bolstered by big margins among evangelicals and very conservative voters. Yawn. There are 10 reasons why this doesn’t matter at all.
1. Mitt Romney won more than 25 percent of the votes and will therefore split the delegates. The most likely split would give Santorum 10 delegates and Romney five. Santorum will therefore gain the equivalent of half of the delegates from the Northern Mariana Islands, whose nine delegates went to Romney.
2. Romney still leads by about 300 delegates . With 568 delegates to Santorum’s 273 Romney, Romney needs only 576 more delegates, about 46 percent of the remaining delegates. Santorum would need to win about 70 percent, and that just isn’t going to happen.
3. April 3 has winner-take-all contests in Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Romney leads big in the latest Wisconsin polling and should easily take the District, where Santorum failed to get on the ballot, and Maryland.
4. Romney is consolidating his standing nationally. In a tough media week Romney actually soared in the national Gallup tracking poll and now leads by 16 points.
5. Louisiana hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1996. Romney will carry the state easily in the general election.
6. Louisiana Democrats don’t even like the president all that much. He lost several parishes in the Democratic primary.
7. The media treated this as a non-event. On an evening on which former vice president Dick Cheney had a heart transplant and two of the four NCAA Elite Eight basketball games were played, Louisiana’s primary was hardly the top news story of the day.
8. In California 172 delegates are at stake. “Romney won 42 percent of registered Republican voters, with his closest rival, Rick Santorum, trailing by 19 points, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.”
9. April 24. On that date New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware hold primaries. Romney is very likely to win four of these.