Is it over for Santorum?

February 28, 2012

Election Day. Michigan and Arizona. Despite my lack of a direct stake in today’s outcome, I can’t shake some excitement. I am like a retired racehorse who hears the distant call to the starting gate and remembers.

So mark down today’s post to that nervous exuberance that afflicts consultants when the actual voting begins and continues until it is finished. One side-effect: mood swings. One minute you’ve won; the next you’re finished. Then back to victory, and so on, until every ounce of adrenaline has been pumped.(If Secretariat had an abnormally large heart, my guess is most campaign consultants have outsized adrenal glands.)

My vicarious version of this: Rick Santorum is finished. Just yesterday I said I thought the race would drag on and on regardless, but today I am thinking that Santorum is finally collapsing. Like Ed, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a worse performance than in his recent days. He makes Nixon look like a happy warrior. Attacking John Kennedy and then doubling down on the attack on George Stephanopoulos’s show was truly amazing. The polls, which have his negatives skyrocketing and his lead nationally and in Michigan evaporating, may not yet have caught his full collapse.

So there. I have taken two almost opposite positions in less than 24 hours. Santorum is finished, and Mitt Romney can begin his end-game. Or the race will drag on, and Romney will become weaker and weaker. One of me could be right.

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