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Super Tuesday: What Ohio Says About the Leading Candidates

Rick Santorum
Photo courtesy of IowaPolitics.com/Flickr

Over the course of the next twelve hours, ten states will decide who they think best represents the Republican Party. Here are the States in play along with the number of delegates they offer: Georgia (76), Ohio (66), Tennessee (55), Virgina (46), Oklahoma (43), Massachusetts (41), Idaho (32), North Dakota (28), Alaska (24), Vermont (17). There are great sources for comparing all of the States here, but for today’s purposes I would like to isolate Ohio and discuss the flaws that this particular race points out in Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

According to Santorum, Romney has spent much more money in Ohio (12 to 1 by Santorum’s count). Santorum is still competitive because too many people in the United States, including Mitt Romney, put too much political faith in the power of money. Romney was able to build a very strong early campaign infrastructure and just like the fabled hare, sprinted ahead and took a nap. It’s good for him to learn from his mistakes now because if he competes with Obama, Romney will be the one lagging behind in spending.

18 of Ohio’s 66 delegate votes are not even available for Rick Santorum. Why? Because Santorum wasn’t able to get on the ballot in multiple congressional districts. The inability to get on the ballot everywhere is a huge setback, and shows Santorum’s major flaw: bad political infrastructure. There’s a reason why Obama, a political organizer, was able to get the masses behind him. Organization is key. Santorum has proven that he has a message that appeals to many people, but his inability to think ahead and get those people motivated is a political mistake that he can’t take back.

Both men have major campaign flaws, but as sliding polls and betting odds show: Santorum’s mistakes are likely to impact the race more than Romney’s.

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