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Rick Grimaldi: A Southern Comfort

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3/15/12 – by Rick Grimaldi

So it appears that we are about to discover the true effects of Newt Gingrich’s famed “Southern Strategy” to rise from the dead once again and reclaim his former place on the anti-Romney throne. Unfortunately for the former Speaker, and coincidentally for the current anti-Romney King, Senator Rick Santorum, the strategy looks as though it will continue to hold both men down rather than crown a new king.

Tuesday, March 13th, four more primaries and caucuses will be held throughout the United States. Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii, and American Samoa will account for 119 new delegates in the fray that many in the GOP are concerned has been going on for a bit too long.

With Newt’s aggressive push into Alabama and Mississippi, he finds himself at the top of the most recent polls, but only within the margin of error over Romney, who also leads Santorum by only a few points. Because these two states are not “winner-take-all,” the three candidates will need to share the 90 delegates and could end up splitting them at near equal amounts.

This means that Hawaii, where Romney leads his nearest competitor by 16 points, and its 20 delegates becomes all the more important to claim victory that night. The headlines may still read that Romney has a “southern state problem” on Wednesday morning, but he will still be that much closer to a mathematically certain capture of the Republican nomination. It appears that Gingrich’s “Southern Strategy” will not only keep Mitt Romney alive, but keep the northerner on top.

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