Gingrich was the only candidate to talk at length about Iran, tying the threat to his pledge to bring the price of gasoline down to $2.50 per gallon. He said that the U.S. must tell Iran that if it shuts down the Strait of Hormuz, it will be considered an act of war and “their government will cease to exist.” Over the long-term, he said, the U.S. must achieve energy independence so it can tell China, India and Europe that “You have a problem in the Strait of Hormuz. We hope you can fix it.”
Earlier in the day, he pointed out that he is expected to win his home state by several times the margin that Romney won Michigan, where he grew up. He said that his strategy is to win Georgia and then Kansas on March 10 and Alabama and Mississippi on March 13, reasserting himself as the alternative to Romney.
Ron Paul did not win any primaries or caucuses but commentators were surprised when Virginia and Vermont could not be immediately called for Romney because of Paul’s strength in those contests. Ron Paul came in second in Virginia with about 40%, Idaho (17%), North Dakota (28%) and Vermont (25%). CNN has him with 60 delegates now.
Romney’s big win last night will tempt pundits to declare the race essentially over. Frontrunner HQ wrote before Super Tuesday’s results that it is highly improbable that one of Romney’s rivals will accumulate the 1,144 delegates necessary to win the nomination.
“The bottom line here is that Romney has enough of a delegate advantage right now and especially coming out of today’s contests that it is very unlikely that anyone will catch him, much less catch him and get to 1,114,” it writes.
If that is true, then the only remaining option is to prevent Romney from winning that number of delegates, ushering in a brokered convention that could potentially stop him. Political analyst Dick Morris believes that even a deadlock that extends the primary season would give President Obama a huge advantage. If the nominee is not decided until the convention in late August, Morris writes, then “kiss our chances of beating Obama good-bye!”
A brokered convention is still viewed as an unlikely event but based on the twists and turns of this race, the unlikely should be expected.
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