A good night for Santorum.
For the past three weeks, Newt Gingrich has been calling on Rick Santorum to quit the race in order to unite conservatives behind a Romney alternative.
In Missouri and Minnesota on Tuesday, conservatives got a look at what a one-on-one between Santorum and Romney might look like. That picture should be discomfiting to Romney. The scenario was on particular display in Missouri, where Gingrich did not bother to get on the ballot. One-on-one against a vastly better funded Romney, Santorum trounced the presumptive frontrunner, winning every county in the state as of this writing.
Santorum’s challenge remains huge. He lacks even a fraction of the funding enjoyed by Romney. The votes Tuesday were non-binding, meaning that Santorum gained precisely zero delegates.
But the narrative changed in Santorum’s favor Tuesday, as GOP voters got a chance to see in clear relief what a mano a mano challenge to Romney might look like.