Why Romney needs Santorum to exit race now

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First Read: “In his Q&A with the newspaper editors yesterday, Romney expressed his desire for the GOP primary season to come to an end — ASAP… And this is now Romney’s immediate challenge: How does he convince Rick Santorum to get out, preferably before the April 24 Pennsylvania primary?”

“Consider: If Santorum remains in the race, and if Romney wants to win Pennsylvania, Team Romney is going to have to go negative (as we saw in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin), and that will only drive up Romney’s own negatives, as well as make it harder to unify the party for the general. But if the Romney campaign doesn’t go negative, it’s very possible to see how Santorum ends up winning in Pennsylvania — and possibly some of the later contests in May (North Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas). And for Romney, having the inevitable nominee lose primary races is never a good thing. Given these two scenarios, convincing Santorum to get out now is probably their preferred. But how do they achieve that?”

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.