It’s official: Primary fatigue has set in. Today’s contest in Illinois is the 28th primary or caucus so far, and just as the public reacted in groans after the 20th debate, folks are starting to tune out this Herman Cain and Rick Perry-less contest. We have our fond memories, of course—the Iowa caucuses dished up an exciting and tense start to the race, and the late-night culmination of Super Tuesday had its moments. But now even the suspense that kept us glued to every word Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper uttered on primary nights is fading fast—the current Real Clear Politics average has Mitt Romney up by 10 percentage points in Illinois. Even David Axelrod is putting his money on Mitt tonight. With Rick Santorum unable to build momentum from his Deep South wins last week, the Romney campaign has returned to its pre-Iowa strategy of talking smack about Obama. Although Romney, party elites, and the pundits are all back on the same page, the remaining renegade Republicans are still in it to win it—at least until the money runs dry.
The sunset of Newt Gingrich’s campaign may come sooner than he wants. He only raised $2.6 million in February, but spent $2.8 million. The campaign only has $1.54 million on hand, and $1.55 million in debt, which doesn’t portend well for the “cheerful” candidate who’s relied on money instead of votes to keep him in the race. Santorum’s in a better position—he raised $9 million last month to Romney’s $11.5 million—but with pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future ready to outspend him whenever it needs to (7 to 1 in Illinois) and April’s slew of likely wins for the former Massachusetts governor, Santorum might finally lose steam. But, at least for the next few weeks, don’t expect much to change. Stop asking, kids, and keep on your seat belts on.
So They Say
"That's a big lava lamp, congratulations."
—Mitt Romney, commenting on the decor at Google Chicago. Verdict's still out on whether he loves it.
Daily Meme: All the Voting Ladies
- Despite his best efforts, Rick Santorum hasn't upset Republican women yet.
- Maybe he can thank his wife, who says "women have nothing to fear when it comes to contraceptives" and her husband.
- Mitt Romney: “I love it that women are upset, too, that women are talking about the economy, I love that.”
- But, he doesn't love that women are also upset about birth control.
- One thing's certain, without independent and undecided women voters, Romney can't do well in the general.
- A Carnegie Mellon professor started a "Women for Newt" group.
- The RNC is trying to go on the offensive with their "Obama's War on Women" ad.
- The DNC has fired back with their own War on Women ad, explaining that women's health care costs would skyrocket if the Affordable Care Act were repealed.
What We're Writing
- Steve Erickson writes that you can blame the Tea Party for this year's lackluster bench of Republican presidential hopefuls.
- Paul Waldman points out that Newt Gingrich's campaign might not be doing well, but that doesn't mean he can't have fun.
What We're Reading
- The New York Times did a literary analysis of the Santorum canon.
- Five Thirty Eight focuses its political geography goggles on Illinois.
- Jim Messina: "I believe this is going to be a very close election, and that we have to run a good campaign to win it. And could we get beat? Absolutely."
- This Mitt Romney/Eminem mash-up you didn't know you wanted may change your life.
- Let's stop talking about brokered conventions.
- "As far as I can tell, the only big vision Romney's ever had is of himself, sitting in the Oval Office."
- When the Republican Party is in doubt, they go with the establishment candidate.
- The article Mitt Romney is afraid reporters will write tomorrow morning.
Poll of the Day
Public Policy Polling did a survey on public opinion of Mitt Romney and dogs, and it turns out that most people aren't tuned into the the Seamus Romney controversy. 51 percent of respondents had no opinion on Romney's treatment of dogs, while 29 percent held an unfavorable opinion, and 20 percent held a favorable opinion.