DROP OUT, OR NOT

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

Af­ter do­ing the bru­tal math, some in­sist that Re­pub­li­can hopeful Mitt Rom­ney is so far ahead of his cam­paign ri­vals that he re­mains the “in­evitable can­di­date” and a shoo-in for the party’s pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. Al­ways in need of a story, how­ever, the con­trary press con­tin­ues to beat the war drums and de­clare a close race be­tween Mr. Rom­ney and Rick San­to­rum. So weary Busi­ness In­sider po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Michael Bren­dan Dougherty has news for peo­ple: “Get used to it. Rom­ney is win­ning.”

Mr. Dougherty tal­lied votes from all pre­vi­ous pri­maries and cau­cuses as the quar­tet of can­di­dates face a Mis­souri cau­cus and a Puerto Rico pri­mary this week­end and, more im­por­tant, the Illi­nois pri­mary Tues­day. Mr. Rom­ney has 3,223,633 votes, or 39 per­cent of the votes cast, and Mr. San­to­rum has 2,075,781 votes, or 25 per­cent. So, uh, get used to it.

But are Re­pub­li­can vot­ers ready to sur­ren­der the cam­paign spec­ta­cle, of­ten cov­ered as a con­tact sport by jour­nal­ists? Well, maybe not.

More num­bers to con­sider: A Bloomberg poll re­leased Thurs­day finds that 48 per­cent of Re­pub­li­can vot­ers say the trail­ing can­di­dates should stay in the race for now; 46 per­cent say they should drop out.

Vot­ers, how­ever, still ap­pear to have pro­nounced loy­al­ties. A Fox News Poll also re­leased Thurs­day re­vealed that 52 per­cent of Repub­li­cans say the race can con­tinue for months as long as “our can­di­date wins the Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.”

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