Analysis and reaction to Mitt Romney’s wins in D.C., Maryland & Wisconsin

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Mitt Romney has won the Maryland Republican presidential primary, the Washington Post reports.

Romney also won in Washington, D.C. where Rick Santorum didn’t even qualify for the ballot. CBS News project Romney won in Wisconsin, completing his trifecta.

There is now a three week lull before the next GOP primaries.

Here is a compilation of analysis and reaction:

Matt Drudge, next to a banner picture of Santorum: “Maybe enough delegates by 2016?”

Jay Cost makes it all sound desperate:

 “Santorum’s strategy moving forward now mirrors Newt Gingrich’s from a few weeks ago: hope that a decisive win in his home state gives his campaign a jumpstart. If that plays out, Santorum could theoretically match Romney’s claim by asserting that he won the late contests and thus best represents the current sentiment of the party, similar to the arguments of Ronald Reagan in 1976 and Ted Kennedy in 1980…[This] is plausible but exceedingly unlikely to pan out.”

Hugh Hewitt repeats:

“The race for the GOP nomination is still over. It has been over since Florida. There was no chance that the GOP was not going to nominate the winner of the Sunshine State primary as it is one of the two  “absolutely must-have” states in the fall.”

William Krisol argues Santorum is entitled to stay in the race, but:

“…it’s probably time for him to do what Mike Huckabee did in similar circumstances in 2008-basically to stop attacking the almost inevitable nominee, and instead to adjust his own message going forward to a positive and issues-based one.”

Jonathan Martin says it’s really, truly over:

“That doesn’t mean Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich will quit. But such an intense and personal back-and-forth between the two eventual opponents relegates them to the sidelines. … By opening fire on Romney, Obama is doing his part to bring the primary to a close. The White House and Chicago have clearly calculated that they must start defining Romney now for a broader audience – even if that means hastening the end of a hard-edged nomination fight that has sent the former Massachusetts governor’s favorable numbers plummeting.”

John J. Miller sums it up nicely:

“Rick Santorum now faces a choice: He can be the guy who ran an amazing campaign, confounded the expectations of just about everyone, and came in second — or he can be the loser who didn’t know when to quit.”

Romney supporter via Mike Allen:

“Governor Romney is the nominee of the Republican Party. He’s running for president of the United States. Defeating the president is his sole focus, because he has defeated Senator Santorum. … Somebody needs to tell Senator Santorum this isn’t golf. Having a lower score isn’t better.”

Larry Sabato believes Santorum can now lose by winning:

“Yes, Santorum can win some May primaries in favorable territory, but to what end? Stepping aside is a classic case of winning by losing. If he perseveres in a candidacy, it might be a case of losing by winning.”

Andrew Sullivan writes how the exit polls from Wisconsin paint a very familiar picture:

‘Ron Paul won the under-30s again. Romney’s strength is still among seniors. He lost to Santorum again in the lowest income bracket, under $30,000, but Romney did better than usual among those without a college degree (i.e. he actually narrowly won that demographic). But … drum roll, please … Romney still lost the white evangelical vote to Santorum by 39 – 41. A low turnout among these voters may have been responsible for Romney’s solid win. Catholics preferred Romney to Santorum – again. The mega-rich convert to Catholicism, Gingrich, came in last among Catholics.”

Amy Walter will have none of this:

“It is done. Fini. The fat lady has sung. The GOP primary is over. Yes, Rick Santorum can keep bowling for votes. He can call tonight ‘halftime’ as he did [Tuesday night] in a speech in Mars, Pennsylvania and vow to plow on ahead. Heck, he can even win the Pennsylvania primary on April 24th. But, it won’t matter.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.