And the Republican Race Drags on

Three states get to decide who they would like to nominate as the Republican challenger this Tuesday; and Mitt Romney is expected to win all three. This will push him over the half way mark and have him in a strong position going into the six primaries that are to be held on April 24th. A strong indicator of the expectation that he will be the Republican nominee is the fact that President Obama has for the first time targeted Mr. Romney directly in a speech he gave on Tuesday on the controversial Republican budget plan. This is something that the President rarely did till now, letting the Republicans duke it out amongst themselves.

President Obama stressed those aspects of the budget proposed by Republicans that will make huge cuts in Medicaid and other programs for the poor and elderly while keeping taxes low; saying that this is a budget that the fabulously wealthy Mr. Romney whole heartedly endorses calling it ‘marvelous’ and hoping that it is put before him on his first day as President (if and when that happens).

The expectation that the Presidential fight will be between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is further evidenced by a shift in the focus of attack by the Romney camp, who have begun to address the President more often than their Republican rivals. Mr. Romney has been steadily attacking the President on rising oil prices as well as his handling of Iran and its nuclear aspirations.

Though Mr. Romney is acting like the presumptive nominee and is even polling ahead in Rick Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania by a narrow margin (he is 16 points ahead of Mr. Santorum nationally according to a Gallup poll), the fight is far from won. Mr. Santorum is trusted by the conservative base of the Republican Party, who are suspicious of Mr. Romney’s liberal record as the Governor of Massachusetts and may do well in May when more conservative states get to vote. It is possible but unlikely that Mr. Santorum wins enough votes to win the nomination outright at this point, but he could still stage an upset by getting enough nominees to necessitate a Brokered Convention pushing a final decision out to August and resulting in a very short time to woo the nation in a race to the White House for whoever wins the nomination in the end.

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