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BLITZER'S BLOG: Tough contests ahead for Romney
March 8th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Tough contests ahead for Romney

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - The next few Republican presidential contests probably won’t bring very much good news for front-runner Mitt Romney.

Rick Santorum is expected to do well in the Kansas caucuses on Saturday. Santorum and Newt Gingrich probably get a lot of votes in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries next Tuesday.

I suppose Romney could find an opening in the GOP caucuses in Hawaii that same day, although Ron Paul’s supporters are working very hard to perhaps make that his first victory in the campaign.

The next major contest where Romney is likely to put in a strong showing in the March 20 primary in Illinois.

That will be followed by several states where Romney also should do well: Maryland and Wisconsin on April 3; Connecticut, Delaware, New York and Rhode Island on April 24.

I assume Santorum will perform well on April 24 in his home state of Pennsylvania, but I wouldn’t rule out Romney’s chances there. Santorum did lose his Senate re-election bid by double digits back in 2006 to Democrat Bob Casey.

All this assumes that this contest will continue for some time. I now suspect it will.

Gingrich needs to do well in Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday; otherwise, the handwriting will be on the wall for him. If he loses in those states, I don’t think he will realistically be able to continue until the May 29 primary in Texas - a state he thinks he potentially can win given Gov. Rick Perry’s endorsement.

I was surprised that Gingrich canceled his planned visit this week to Kansas to focus on the Deep South, apparently emboldened by his wins in South Carolina and Georgia.

Four years ago, the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama fight didn’t end until June. The same could happen on the Republican side this time as well.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

RELATED STORY: GOP spotlight turns to Mississippi, Alabama

Filed under: Situation Room
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. ourjungle

    Here is a great plan....lets send the Washington insiders back to Washington, especially the one that has been campaigning to get our focus off the Recession. The Recession.....does anyone remember the Recession? Our Nation is crawling out of a devastating Recession,and the Washington insiders don't seem to be focused on the deplorable Economy Instead, these Washington insiders have been rolling out the tried,and true " I'm holier then tho" theme,followed by a good milking of our deep spiritual feelings.These Washington insiders are spending multi-millions tooting their horns about their moses high ground...which will not bring our Nation one step closer to fixing the broken Economy,nor create one Job. It is this Washington insider mind set,that has caused out Nation to take past roads to economic ruin. Yes, lets send these Washington insiders back,so that we,and our children can continue to suffer economic hardship for generations.

    March 10, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  2. tim12

    i think it is the math. santorum has to get 67% to win. that will be hard for him to o. newt needs to stay in to deflect some of the votes.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  3. Church

    Michele Bachmann? Why don't we just scrape the bottom of the barrel?
    And Joshua, please don't equate CNN with the bias that exudes from Faux News.
    Just compare the way CNN covers a story with Faux News' specious rhetoric about the same story.
    CNN: "Good news! Today the unemployment rate went down to 8%."
    Faux News: "Today, the Obama Administration fixed the numbers to make it look like the unemployment rate went down."

    March 9, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  4. Randi

    Mitt Romney is soft-spoken family man, who started a business and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business. His firm began a very successful management style and "applying consulting expertise to the companies it invested in became widely copied within the private equity industry." (Wikipedia)

    Mitt Romney was hired as the CEO and President of the Salt Lake Organizing Committe for the 2002 Olympics. He took it out of a financial disaster and turned it into a $40 million success. The surplus was used to start the Utah Athletic Association.

    Mitt Romney also as Governor came into office facing a $3 billion deficit, which he closed."Romney then pushed the state legislature to roll back the state income tax from 5.3% to 5.0% (Massachusetts has a flat income tax). He also proposed a "tax-free shopping day", a property tax relief for Seniors, and a manufacturing tax credit. Unemployment fell from 5.6 to 4.7 percent." (Wikipedia)

    This is a big country, and there are a lot of businesses, a lot of people, and a lot of problems, it is going to take someone with extensive business experience to turn the economy around. We cannot continue as we are, there are too many contingencies for disasters–hurricanes, tornados, fires and floods that could cripple us with just one disaster. Mitt Romney has a gift for handling finances. He is genuine. He is a devoted family man and a man of faith.

    March 9, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Robert

      Completely agree with everything you say. I voted or Obama but will definately vote for Mitt. Our national debt of $17 trillion is disgrace. Both sides at fault, but Obama ignored his own committee's recommendations after 1 year of work. Quickly running out of time an Obama cares most about hs re-election.

      March 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  5. Satberry

    Which Willard are you referring to,because there are so many I can not keep a count of them.lmao

    March 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  6. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Romney flip flops trying to proof he is conservative so to please the GOP and the tea party, but he just dose not come out very strong because flip flop when he talks. The other thing is his father was born in Mexico I think this make him a Mexican/American no GOP or tea party will support a Hispanic!

    March 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  7. Jack Be Humble

    Romney is a moderate, compared to the rest of the field. But at the same time, he remains a republican.

    If he becomes president, Moderates will work with him. But liberal Democrats won't. And Conservative Republicans won't. So we may end up with another do-nothing congress butting heads with a president they hate. I haven't liked the consequences of that since 2008, and I am not looking forward to it happening again.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Yes

    the lib cnn media makes it a big deal that Mitt might struggle in the south. That is insignificant He will sweep the south in the general. What scares them is that Mitt can win in states like Maine, NH, mIchigan, ohio, iowa, penn., minnesota, wisconsin,

    March 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  9. John

    I can't believe how people can support Santorum. He's Dan Quayle with a sweater vest and a few extra IQ points.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  10. robert

    Everyone knows Romney has problems within the conservative base, which i am a part of. but he also has a problem with the young. My son who is 19 and has taking a gap year to explore australia telsl me that all his friends are for either Ron Paul or Newt. Not one has mentioned Romney, and he has many friends all over the US attending colleges. He wants to be a jornalist someday so he has been into the process and talking to many people. He also tells me many say they will vote for Obama if Romney wins. I also talk to alot of people, none say they will vote for Obama but they say if Romney is the nominee they will stay home, and i believe them. Most stated as a matter of principal they will not do it. And knowing these people when they say there is no way they will vote for him they mean it, and i do too. Why does the GOP think that people will rally around this guy. I have been saying i can not wait to get rid of Obama since he was sworn in and there is no way i will vote for Romney. I think the GOP better wake up or there will be 4 more yrs of Obama. Many of my friends are saying you have to vote for Romney, and i tell them i will think about it, but there is no way. I can not in good faith do that. sorry

    March 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  11. Lynn Otting

    Romney communicates conservative values by memorization. He has no ideas that he truly believes, so rather than argue a position, he ridicules his opponent. He can’t run ads promoting his achievements for the advancement of conservatism, so he runs misleading and inaccurate ads condemning his opponent’s achievements. Even though, Republicans want to view the Bain Company as capitalism at its best; I seriously doubt most average voters will think making billions of dollars in profit at the expense of closing small town manufacturing companies is anything but capitalism at its worst. Do Republicans really think Romney will get the support of Americans who are frustrated with not having a job and who are angry about having no extra money? He is the perfect candidate for his tax the elite one percent campaign.

    We need someone who can most effectively explain what the Obama administration has been doing and do so in an effective political way. Who can best articulate and attack the left for their nutty policies and viewpoints? Some people may not like Newt but this election will not be a popularity contest. Voters need to be informed and Newt is the best one to explain what has been going wrong and why Obama cannot be trusted with the future. Some will point out Newt’s flawed conservative record but he fought for years and moved the ball further than any candidate in modern history. That is why I support Newt.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  12. Briton

    GOP still fighting to choose the least unelectable?

    March 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  13. ltinny

    In order for Romney to win, he should just scrap this year and come back in 2016..

    OBAMA 2012:)

    March 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  14. Joseph Smith

    The White Horse Prophecy (look it up) will be realized and the USA will be RULED by the LDS Church... the Mormons think it's their destiny to run the US through theocracy

    March 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • souptwins

      That says a Mormon will preserve the Constitution. I'm good with that since part of the Constitution is the separation of church and state. Perhaps it's correct in saying the "Constitution will hang by a thread". Not sure that describes our current day but it may.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  15. Steve

    CNN, same guys that had the headline monday night "CNN Predicts 3 states for Romney 3 for Santorum!" Clearly the people to watch to staty ahead of the info curve in this election.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  16. mochica

    I understand why the top 1% would vote Republican. They will pay even less in taxes and their business will have more freedom to exploit its workers and pollute the planet. What boggles my mind is how there are members of the working poor who vote Republican because of their religious fanaticism, xenophobia, and/or lack of education. If you work for a living and are not enjoying the interest that is growing on your investment funds, you should not vote Republican.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • lindypop

      Mochica: you nailed it. In fact, if everyone in this country voted in their economic best interest, we would never have a republican President. In fact, we wouldn't have a single republican senator. We'd probably have a small number of republicans in the House – those who represent very wealthy communities such as Beverly Hills.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  17. WobblyOne

    Santorum cannot even get a majority of Catholics to vote for him. He is not electable. Gingrich and Paul are mired in mud. Romney will be the GOP candidate and he will go down in defeat as the Republican House majority takes a big hit.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • P. N

      I totally agree with you. The president has been trying to bring outsourced jobs back to America and hopefully he will be able to achieve it with his second term. Once our economy improves, the national debt will be gradually reduced. Mitt is a good GOP's moderate candidate but has less chances to defeat this incumbent amid the employment picture is now getting better.

      March 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  18. John Kelley

    I believe Newt Gingrich should stay in through the convention to insure Romney gets the nomination. There are greater issues than who will win the nomination, however. As bland as Romney is, he is far better than the man, Santorum, who wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater. How Santorum speaks about past Supreme Court decisions, ie, Griswold; how he speaks about the separation of Church and State; and his very strong ties with the Vatican concern me as a American and historian.
    If Santorum were President he would have to represent all Americans and I do not think that is possible. Secondly, Cultural Historian and Catholic Garry Wills was quoted in a Feb 26, 2012 article that Santorum was not a Catholic but a Papist.
    Our country has many problems and two of these Republican candidates do not offer solutions but rant about our cultural with no solutions on the economy. These are serious times and on the Republican side I see extreme, but meager solutions. I'm voting for Obama, but these are worrisome times.

    March 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  19. Hector Del Valle

    Why CNN discriminates againts the US territories??? There are delegates to be fought for here!!! For example, Puerto rico celebrates its Republican primary on march 18 with 20 delegates at stake...What is wrong, CNN?

    March 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  20. Katty

    I wish all news media could wise-up and accept the fact there are those of us that are excited about having a President Romney in the White House...obviously there are more of us wanting a victory for Romney that any of the other candidates.....we are tired of the news media downplaying our preference and ignoring how we feel.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Dave

      I am very excited to have Romney as our next President. Romney is by far the best candidate. He is intelligent and has a record of success in business, with the Olympics and as Governor. He does not have the soiled background like Gringrich, and he doesn't pretend to be a conservative like Santorum (who loves earmarks and works with unions and Michael Moore to get democrats to vote for him). Romney has also raised more money than other candidates (which will be important to run against Obama). Also, Romney polls better against the president than the others. Finally, Romney has more votes, states and delegates than the others. The choice is obvious for those who want to see the facts.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • migeli

        Mitt is a fine America who keeps all his money in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.And he is not one bit concerned about the poor or the middleclass,so there!Besides his wife has a Cadillac for each foot.

        March 11, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  21. brody02

    Even though the GOP doesn't like Romney most know the rest of the field in the party is too wacky to win the national election.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  22. jerry5555

    (CNN Cherry picks the comments. This is the fourth comment I am trying to post a comment and they will not publish it. They will allow all the liberals to post as they please, but when I state CNN's bias they just don't allow it to be posted.)

    Yeah, Wolf, you'll have the public believe that Romney has no chance to win, even though the delegate numbers show his is doing great. Typical CNN bias - Just like Soledad O'brien was bias in that new interview regarding the new Obama tape...

    March 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  23. RudyG

    if Romney swept all of the contests ahead CNN would still be predicting a rough time ahead for him. If it's not interesting, MAKE it interesting! They need to help Obama divert as much attention away from the way things really are as possible. Millions of people out of work and Wolf Blitzer is focused on Romney. That's the way it's going to be until the Summer!

    March 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  24. ObamaJoe

    Michael Bachmann is his only hope,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,who can represent conservative as Sanatorium,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, who can bridge Christian and Mormon,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,who can also bring a piece of cake to Tea Party ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Come ,,,,,,,Mitt ,,,,,,,,,,,,you are wasting your time and money fighting with other GOP candidate,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    get Michael and get it done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • brody02

      Don't get Bachmann back in the picture.We need a decade of rest after Palin.It would be a landsldie for Obama with that ticket.

      March 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  25. Josh

    It is surprising that anyone would vote for the Gaybasher Santorum. This just shows that homophobia and anti-Antisemitism still exist in the United States and in such large amounts.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  26. ObamaJoe

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he cannot be a great leader,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    ,,,,,,,,,,it's so obvious : without Michael Bachmann he cannot seal his nominee quickly,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    March 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  27. Lee

    I bet with Romney's organization, he will get all 27 delgates up for grabs in Guam, the Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands on the 10th; more than he is likely to get in Kansas that day. Then on the 13th, watch for Romney to take Samoa's 9 delgates and most of Hawaii's 20. Much better than he is likely to do in Alabama and Mississippi on the same day. I'd be doing some island hoping in the sun if I were Mitt. Delegates are delagates!!

    March 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • gerald schwartz

      the territories will vote overwhelmingly for romney.He is closer to the mainstream and has a chance aganst Obama.

      March 9, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  28. Debby

    You keep saying that and yet he wins.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  29. Lee

    Hawaii is kind of like Wyoming. A state with a caucus that is overshadowed by other contests, and some pockets of Mormons who will vote for Mitt. Don't count on Ron Paul to do so well. He was supposed to win Alaska and North Dakota, but didn't do that well at all in either.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  30. joshua

    In order for Romnet to get elected, he has to over come the constant on slaught from the liberal main stream media. And the bias of people like Soledad O'Brien, Dana Bash and Gloria Borger who should be paid for what they do to help Obama.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • brody02

      Fox News and Rush make it even in the press.What the GOP needs to do is treat the rest of the country like they do the rich,white,male 1%.

      March 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • The Truth

      They sound objective to me. Perhaps you can't handle the truth listening to Fox all the time.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Joseph Smith

      And you should pay someone to teach you how to spell. Another genious Mormon in the Romney camp...AWESOME!

      March 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
      • Joseph Smith

        And yes joshua, I spelled "genius" in your honor.

        March 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • vic , nashville ,tn

      Blaming the media won’t help Romney,
      To win the nomination Romney has to win Romney first, Romney has to be Romney first
      Real Romney lost in the campaign trail

      March 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

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