Alex Massie makes an interesting observation about Santorum’s victories:
His victories in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri last night, added to his performance in Iowa, show one thing is certain: outside Nevada, Mitt Romney has a problem in any state that holds a caucus.
This is interesting because it is a complete reversal of Romney’s experience four years ago. Except for Utah, Michigan, and Massachusetts (all states where Romney had strong personal and/or political ties), every state that Romney won in 2008 was a caucus state. The knock on Romney last time was that he could usually out-organize everyone at a caucus, but he had no ability to win over larger primary electorates. All of Romney’s caucus-winning last time didn’t do him much good. If you had told Romney before voting starting this year that he would have dominated two of the three meaningful primaries and lost all but one caucus, he would probably have been satisfied by that. The reason for the change is straightforward enough. Four years ago, Romney ran as the movement conservative alternative to McCain, and his support from some conservative activists and his campaign organization propelled him to success in the contests were activist support and organization can have a disproportionate effect on the outcome. Assuming that Romney can continue to win meaningful primaries by significant margins as he did in New Hampshire and Florida, he probably doesn’t have to worry if he loses a few caucuses. The more important test for Romney is how well he does in Southern primaries starting next month.