If Rick Santorum loses tomorrow, it will be largely because he blew it. By winning Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado, he had earned the right to be the Romney alternative. All he had to do was to be reassuring and poised, stick to the GOP basics that he knows by heart and do a couple of things to enhance his stature.

Instead, he inexplicably belittled the notion of a president thinking more Americans going to college is a good thing, and he gratuitously kicked JFK over his plea for religious tolerance when his Catholicism was under attack in 1960.

What if Santorum had done the exact opposite? What if he had said, the Obama economy is diminishing the chances of more young Americans being able to afford college? What if he had embraced JFK’s graceful reassurance that he would honor the separation of church and state and the sanctity of freedom of religion?  

I don’t think I have ever seen another candidate so mistakenly head in the opposite direction of where common sense should have compelled him to go.

Can Santorum still win a race after having shot himself in both feet? It’s possible, but these wounds will linger. If he wins Michigan, he will start Wednesday morning on the defensive. Under these circumstances, a win can't be decisive.