Mitt Romney Won by the Skin of His Teeth

Mitt Romney’s "squeak-by win" on Super Tuesday reflects his party's lack of confidence in him, writes American Prospect blogger Jamelle Bouie.

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GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney (Getty Images)

American Prospect blogger Jamelle Bouie says that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's incredibly ugly victory on Super Tuesday means that his party still isn’t buying what he's selling. That means he still has a long row to hoe.

Mitt Romney’s Super Tuesday wasn’t a disaster, but you’d be hard-pressed to call it good, either. The primaries he won decisively -- Massachusetts, Virginia, Vermont, and Idaho -- were ones where he held an overwhelming advantage; either he was governor, or he was in friendly territory, or he was one of two candidates on the ballot. The states he lost were also expected, on account of their deep conservatism and religiosity. Georgia went to Newt Gingrich, while Rick Santorum picked up wins in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakota.

Of course, Ohio is where Romney focused his attention, in an attempt to knock Santorum off of his game and out of the race. He missed his mark by a wide shot. Romney barely managed to secure a win in Ohio, picking up the Buckeye State with a lead of 1 percentage point -- roughly 12,000 votes. If you look at a map of the results, what you’ll see is a sea of Santorum supporters, with a few islands of Romney holdouts; these are the urban centers, which by the end of the night went for Romney in huge numbers, giving him a small but insurmountable margin of victory.

The good news for Romney is that he will walk away from Super Tuesday with a solid majority of delegates thanks to his campaign organization in Ohio -- which is what happens when you have a professional campaign team that knows the rules of the road -- and lopsided victories in Massachusetts and Idaho. Indeed, there’s nothing about this night that changes the math for his campaign: With the most endorsements, the most money, and the most support from the party’s institutions, he is still on his way to the Republican presidential nomination.

Read Jamelle Bouie's entire blog entry at the American Prospect.

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