Obviously a big win for Romney. Also, an entirely expected win for Romney, but it still has the effect of making his rivals look less and less electable. Newt Gingrich can stay in the race until the cows come home, but his candidacy now looks pathetic. His bizarre press conference–which I caught a bit of–should inspire no confidence whatsoever that Gingrich has any kind of plan to turn things around for himself. His is a Dead Campaign Lurching, and the only question is why Gingrich refuses to put his effort out of its misery. I suspect that the answer has to do with Gingrich’s clear and massive dislike of Romney, a dislike he is allowing to undermine the Republican effort in the fall against President Obama. In the event that Gingrich does succeed in undermining Republican unity, Republicans ought to make sure that they remember his disloyalty to the party, and pay him back accordingly.
One wonders why Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are remaining in the race as well. Despite his Iowa showing, Santorum appears to have no prospects whatsoever. Paul has lost every contest he has participated in, and if he happens to win any down the road, it will likely be because other candidates will not compete seriously in those contests. Unlike Gingrich, however, neither Paul not Santorum has the power to undermine Republican unity; they have been reduced to the level of cartoon characters.
UPDATE: Sheldon Adelson sees the writing on the wall, even if Gingrich does not. And Dick Armey recognizes Gingrich’s motives for staying in the race, as well as providing a nice epitaph for Gingrich’s electoral effort: “I feel bad for him. I think he’s digressed into a state of taking a second-rate campaign and turning it into a first-rate vendetta.”