Does Santorum’s Showing in Iowa Guarantee That Romney is the GOP Nominee?

On last Sunday’s show, I told you that Iowa doesn’t pick winners. It picks loses. It eliminates candidates. Last night, Romney beat Santorum by 8 votes, having eliminated both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich

Im afraid that Rick Santorum is this year’s Huckabee. I like him. I was happy to see him win, but I don’t think it’s possible for him to replicate these results in a national election, and I’m not alone. From Roger Simon inPolitico:

What if the “anti-Romney” vote did coalesce around one candidate? Couldn’t Santorum come charging out of Iowa with a first-place finish and then go on to win New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada? Wouldn’t that be the end of Mitt?Almost certainly. But now tell me how Santorum pulls that off. His campaign in Iowa has been based on spending a huge amount of time here — a strategy that has failed many previous candidates — and telling Iowans how very special they are.…How many times can you reproduce that on a tight schedule in other states?“Santorum has run here like he was running for governor of Iowa,” a senior Romney aide told me Sunday evening. “He can’t replicate that in other states.”
Iowa is about eliminating Gingrich and Perry without us having to spend a lot of money to do so,” the aide said. “Last time, we spent $2 million just on the [Ames] straw poll, $10 million on television and had over 30 paid staffers. This year we’ve been on TV for only a month and have not spent much on ads, we’ve have five paid staffers and we didn’t do the straw poll.”
So, since he will probably win New Hampshire, it’s looking like Romney is the guy, which is not the result I was looking for. What say you?

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