The GOP nomination process should be well over, but it is not, in large part due to Romney’s failure to win in any Southern states besides the take-all Florida and Virginia. He has failed to win Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi, which should all be easy wins for a GOP frontrunner. Most ominously, Santorum currently leads in Texas.
Why ominous? The GOP has always needed the South to win since before I was born. Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, and Mississippi in particular haven’t gone blue since 1976. Tennessee went blue twice, but only for Gore.
The fact that the South is currently gaga for the Pennsylvanian Santorum, and that Gingrich still gets support, means, at least for me, that the party continues to be deeply divided. Alabama and Mississippi are ground central for white religious Republicans, and Romney failed to attract them. A brokered convention continues to be possible. This is very different divide than the one that separated Obama and Clinton supporters in ’08 – those two candidates were virtually identical compared to Romney and Santorum.