Rick Santorum Ends His Campaign…

Former Senator Rick Santorum ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination today, stating that after “prayer and thought” he decided he was unable to continue his bid for the White House. This was entirely expected news, as Mr. Santorum cancelled his planned events for yesterday and this morning and instead held one event this afternoon that turned out to be his decision to extricate himself from the race. It was also expected due to the undeniable improbability of his chances of actually winning the nomination. Front-runner Mitt Romney currently has more than twice the delegates Mr. Santorum has and is well past the half-way mark to get the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination.

 

There were certainly plenty of other factors that forced Mr. Santorum’s hand. His three year old daughter Bella and her illness (Trisomy 18) is something that he and his wife constantly have to monitor, and doing this from the campaign trail was surely daunting for the entire family. Bella’s recent hospitalization this past weekend was widely reported and Mr. Santorum took four days off from his campaign to visit her in a Virginia hospital. It was also the first indicator that Mr. Santorum might relinquish his quest for the nomination before the primary of his home state of Pennsylvania on the 24th, despite earlier claims that he would not concede anytime soon. Mr. Santorum has previously stated that providing the necessary care for his daughter amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and his campaign was already in debt due to a lack of fundraising. By comparison, Mr. Romney was prepared to spend millions of dollars in ads for the upcoming primary in Pennsylvania.

 

Speaking of which, the upcoming primary in Pennsylvania was also a likely factor in Mr. Santorum’s decision to end his presidential aspirations. As previously reported, Mr. Santorum lost three primaries last week, including a pivotal race in Wisconsin. These losses not only increased the plurality of support for Mr. Romney’s campaign (in both popularity and delegates), but also the inevitability of his chances at winning the nomination. In fact, the inevitability became so apparent that shortly after the primaries last week, the polls in Mr. Santorum’s home state had drastically changed from as little as three weeks prior, indicating that although Pennsylvanians like their former Senator, they did not view him as the likely nominee. Mr. Santorum would have been faced with repeating a humiliating loss in his home state (he lost to current Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. by 18 points in 2008). Adding to that loss would be four other likely defeats that day, as New York (which awards 95 delegates), Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut were already seen as very favorable to Mr. Romney.

 

There is no doubt that Mr. Santorum proved to be Mr. Romney’s most formidable challenger. He won 11 states in two separate regions of the country and was likely to win at least three or four other states in May. It is unclear at the moment whether voters in those states (Texas, North Carolina, and West Virginia) will continue to defy the Republican establishment and vote for former Speaker Newt Gingrich. There is a chance that voters will succumb to the likelihood of Mr. Romney as the nominee and bring him to the necessary delegates as quickly as possible, despite their preference for another candidate. After all, it is very late in the game and Mr. Gingrich currently only has 135 delegates from his victories in South Carolina and his home state of Georgia. Regardless, it is now official that Mr. Romney will win the nomination; the only question is whether he reaches 1,144 delegates in late May or early June.

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