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Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a primary night party at the Steubenville High School Gymnasium on March 6, 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio.
Last night’s primary and caucus elections in 10 states didn’t clear up who would be the Republican nominee for president so much as keep the waters just as muddy as they have been.
Mitt Romney took home the win in 6 states including his home state of Massachusetts, Virginia and Vermont, adding a couple of hundred to his delegate lead. Rick Santorum may not have won in as many states but he took home some southern biggies in Oklahoma, Tennessee. Santorum also gave Romney a run for his money in Ohio, a state that wasn’t called until early this morning with Romney winning by just one percentage point.
So was Romney really the big winner last night? Or do Santorum’s wins give him enough momentum to get to the conventions? Gingrich and Ron Paul show no signs of dropping out, what will their role be in upcoming contests? And, does a longer nominating process help or hurt the eventual candidate in the national election?
Karen Kasler, Columbus Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Senior Fellow, School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California and the political analyst for KNBC, Los Angeles.
Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC and adjunct faculty at USC Annenberg School