Jacob Weisberg must be a little annoyed: he wrote right after Iowa that the race was over, and Romney had won.
Anything could happen, of course, but it won’t. In the end, the GOP is overwhelmingly likely to nominate Romney because he is the most electable candidate available and at this point, no one else can beat him.
Haha! 40% of South Carolina had something to say about that, choosing Gingrich instead. Gingrich tore Romney up in the debates, and his fire-breathing if incoherent attacks on pretty much everything resonated with the base.
Some pundits marveled that Gingrich wasn’t harmed by his multiple wives and adulteries— after leading an impeachment of Clinton for adultery, he even had the hubris to attack the media for focusing on his own. But Bob Altemeyer explained this years ago. Authoritarians, though fiercely critical of moral failings, will forgive their own leaders almost anything. Gingrich has obviously moved into Our Leader mode, to be defended against the unbelieving hordes no matter what he’s done.
Exit polls, by the way, gave us the answer to whether Evangelicals could support Romney. Not really. Quite a few are bothered by Romney’s Mormonism; all they wanted was an alternative that didn’t feel like it was throwing their vote away.
Santorum did well enough at 17% to stay in the race, and he was stoked by the belated news that he won Iowa after all. It’s hard to see him going anywhere now— so ultimately his support can be added to Gingrich’s.
Gingrich is pretty much a horrible person and probably a horrible choice, but he’ll certainly keep things interesting.