What happened last night was probably the best political theater an observer could hope for. The see-saw battle for the nomination was manifest more than ever before, thanks to some crazy momentum swings and back-and-forth, high stakes struggles:
First, Romney wins Virginia after his main rivals failed to make the ballot (Gingrich, it should be noted, gets Georgia, but no surprise there). He also does well in Vermont, and absolutely dominates his home state of Massachusetts. But in all important Ohio, it’s too close to call.
The night drags on as Santorum returns fire by taking Oklahoma and Tennessee. What’s more, he widens his lead in Ohio, a state that Romney has to win! Watching the votes come in from Ohio at home on the couch, I was genuinely afraid the Romney would get embarrassed in a big way. He was also sliding down in the standings in North Dakota, which gets called for Santorum as well.
Now the night seems to be going Santorum’s way. But Romney regains some footing when Idaho joins his column. That’s nice, but all eyes are still on Ohio… with just about 15% of the vote left to be counted, Santorum has a more-than-10,000-vote-strong lead!
But slowly the ballots from all-important Hamilton County start coming in. Romney goes from 36 to 37%. He’s tied with Santorum! Then, with just a few thousand votes left to be counted, he takes the lead. Ohio will go for Romney, though by an extremely narrow margin. Ohio, Ohio, Ohio… the electoral bellweather, the state that every Republican must win to get the White House. After a knock-out, drag-out fight that went till the end, Ohio went for Romney. The call was official around midnight. An embarrassment and electoral disaster for the Romney campaign was averted – or, as Santorum would like to believe, merely postponed.
Due to the fact that I have rugby tonight, I won’t be able to give you my full take on what the events of last night mean. But I leave you in capable hands: I like what this article has to say. Check it out, and let me know how you feel in the comments!