Gallup and Rasmussen find that Mitt Romney has surged ahead of Rick Santorum in the national polls, and other surveys find that Senator Santorum’s lead in Ohio has fallen into the low single digits, “margin-of-error” range.
Charles Krauthammer thinks Mitt Romney is very lucky.
The GOP electorate (with some Independents thrown in and despite some mischief from Democrats) has been sorting through the options and returning again and again to Romney as the best nominee. MSMers like to disparage the GOP field, but it was broad and full of good men and a woman, and Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich remain as able opponents of Governor Romney. The last ten months or so has been a very long road with many hurdles for the remaining candidates, and the process has made Romney a much better candidate, though some of the weeks have been bruising.
Some backers of other candidates are angry and some bitter, but the process is working and the president remains very vulnerable and especially in the swing states that will decide the election.
Anyone who looks at the USA Today Gallup map of a week ago has to know this, and wild predictions either way are just absurd. The GOP’s move towards Romney –Tuesday’s decisive win in “must-win Arizona” and sufficient win in “must win” Michigan after his decisive win in “must-win” Florida and “must-win” New Hampshire– is a reflection of the collective judgment registered by millions of voters that Romney is the best general election candidate for the biggest “must win” of them all, the face off with the president. Conservative critics, both the important one and the inconsequential ones, are grinding various axes for various reasons, but the reality is that the president is beatable, and the consequences of not beating him are so extraordinarily bad that the GOP as a whole, and the entire center-right spectrum will rally to Mitt Romney if he is the nominee because the good of the country requires it.
The move towards Romney is broad and almost certainly irreversible, but also a small “d” democratic one, not a jam down by Beltway elites or a coup by super pacs. GOP voters want very much to win, are very energized, and will work around the clock to save the country from four more years of the most incompetent and also most fiercely ideological president of modern times.