Romney fails to seal the deal with Republicans

As the Republican presidential contest moves to Illinois, Mitt Romney finds his campaign parked squarely at the corner of perception and reality. The perception: despite massive spending and a broad-based organization, Romney has failed to seal the deal with Republicans, most recently after finishing third in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday. He struggles with a conservative GOP core that doesn't trust him from his tenure as governor of liberal Massachusetts.

The reality: Romney holds a 2-to-1 lead over Rick Santorum in the convention-nominating delegate count and he will continue to amass more delegates as long as the former Pennsylvania senator and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich split the conservative, anti-Romney vote, informs Kansas City Star.

Romney in turn dismissed the former Pennsylvania senator as a "lightweight" as far as the economy is concerned. He also rebutted suggestions that he can't appeal to core conservatives. "You don't win a million more votes than anyone else in this race by just appealing to high-income Americans," Romney said on Fox News. "Some who are very conservative may not be in my camp, but they will be when I become the nominee, when I face Barack Obama."

After two days in New York fund-raising, Romney travels Friday to Puerto Rico, where 20 delegates are at stake in Sunday's primary - more than the number up for grabs in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary in January. Newt Gingrich, despite losing twice in the South, a region he hoped to own in the race, showed no sign of abandoning his fading campaign, according to Philadelphia Inquirer.

CNN's current estimate gives Romney 498 delegates, and Santorum 239 delegates. The other two candidates in the race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, both trail by large margins, with 139 and 69 delegates, respectively. A candidate needs 1,144 to secure the GOP nomination.

Beeson said the margin between Romney and Santorum would prove impossible to overcome. Speaking on CNN Tuesday, Santorum campaign Chief Strategist John Brabender said Romney's math argument wouldn't continue to hold up if he continues to lose big voting contests, reports WCVB-TV.

Unlike Romney, Sotomayor wasn't raised the entitled child of a business executive and governor. She was raised by a widow and lived in public housing.
 No one can change the facts of their birth. Nevertheless, Romney's stiffness and many gaffes peg him as an elitist par excellence, giving voters reason to wonder if he can relate to people born to less privilege.

In the caucuses so far, he has done one very well with upper-crust voters, people who maybe could make a $10,000 bet, as Romney proposed during an early debate. It's possible that campaign flatulence like the anti-Sotomayor ad helped put Romney over the top in Ohio. After all, you can fool some of the people some of the time. But by maligning a public figure with real depth and complexity, Romney's operatives invited thinking people to ponder the essentially hollow character of the Republican frontrunner, says Kansas City Star.

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Author`s name Editorial Team