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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s surprise withdrawal from the GOP Presidential sweepstakes Tuesday leaves the road more or less clear for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to wrap up the nomination by June.
But Romney is not home free. Backbenchers Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul remain in the race and while neither has a chance of winning the nomination both can still be a distraction for the frontrunner as he attempts to hone his campaign strategy for the only real obstacle to his quest for the White House: Current President Barrack Obama.
Most polls show Romney losing to Obama in a head-to-head matchup and Romney needs all his focus on the incumbent President to have any chance of winning in November.
Gingrich and Paul have other ideas. Both claim to be the only real alternatives to both Romney and Obama.
The former speaker of the House calls his campaign “the last stand for conservatives,” but while Gingrich is broke and his campaign is out of steam. A Gingrich campaign check for $500 – the fee for getting on the Utah primary ballot – bounced and while Newt promises to make the check good it hadn’t happened by close of business Tuesday.
Paul claims he is “the last and real conservative alternative” left in the race but he lags far behind even the faltering Gingrich and has no mathematical chance of securing enough delegates to either win the nomination or keep Romney from getting the numbers he needs to close the deal.
Yet both Gingrich and Paul vow to remain in the race. Unlike Gingrich, Paul hoards his campaign cash. He traditionally finishes his string of unsuccessful runs for the Presidency with a sizable amount of cash left over and then moves the cash into his foundations that are – in reality – slush funds for him and his family.
“Ron Paul is in it for the money,” GOP strategist Jan Black told Capitol Hill Blue Tuesday. “Newt Gingrich remains to feed his ego. That’s all he has left. His money is gone and his campaign is finished.
(c) Copyright 2012 Capitol Hill Blue