So its congratulations to Rick Santorum winner of three States yesterday putting him back into the GOP nomination race. Many had felt that he was politically dead in the water after Mitt Romney's last few wins but it is never over as they say until the fat lady sings. She is still warming up in the wings.
Does Santorum's win hail a change of GOP direction or just another step on the long nominee road?
Rick Santorum is the extreme voice of the GOP. He does not pull his punches on abortion and gay rights. He appeals to the American Republican Christian voter. The conservative Conservative.That said his appeal will not be universal, even in the States. Would he make a good President? Apart from his stance on abortion and gay rights his policies seem rather slim. Perhaps it is just that these get less publicity.
In the last few days he has launched attacks on the forerunner Mitt Romney. This has done its trick. It has launched Santorum back into the spotlight. There has been no such saving grace for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. Paul especially continues to trail in the vote. There is still a long way to go though.
CNN carried breakdown of last night's, February 7, 2012, vote:
"Colorado was the most competitive state of the day, with Santorum winning 40% of the vote to 35% for Romney, 13% for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 12% for Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
After a night of returns trickling in and the lead shifting between Santorum and Romney, Colorado Republican Party chairman Ryan Call announced live on CNN that Santorum was the winner.
In Minnesota, Santorum got 45% of the vote to 27% for Paul, 17% for Romney and 11% for Gingrich, with 88% of the total counted, according to the secretary of state.
With 100% of the Missouri vote counted, Santorum had 55% to 25% for Romney and 12% for Paul, according to unofficial results. Gingrich didn't make the ballot in Missouri."
It is worth noting that voter turn out was low and that last night's votes were by no means a dead cert for Santorum. Mitt Romney is generally felt to be a moderate Conservative whilst Santorum could never be accused of that. In his victory speech Mr Santorum said, ""I don't stand here and claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama."
February 11 will be the next result in this long draw out very American vote. Then the American public have some respite before Arizona on February 28. Before then though will be another, yawn, televised debate on February 22 and of course more action on the campaign trail.
Soon it will be time to start totting up the number of delegates each nominee has won in order to spot a clear leader. For now it is still anyone's race, except perhaps Ron Paul's. But hold that thought. Didn't Paul come second in Minnesota? Yes it is any nominees race.