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For all practical purposes, Mitt Romney is the likely GOP presidential nominee especially after sweeping Maryland, D.C. and Wisconsin last night. Rick Santorum has been mathematically eliminated unless you are a diehard supporter and are counting on delegates from Gingrich and Ron Paul. Like that's gonna happen. I don't know if Rick Santorum wants to risk losing his home state of Pennsylvania. If he does that, it would hurt his chances in 2016. Even, evangelical leader Richard Land said, “I think it becomes very, very difficult to see a pathway for him to reach the nomination," he said. "At that point, I think most conservative political leaders would say, you know. We need to get behind Romney and let’s see if Romney can close the deal." The Romney endorsements remind me of how Jon Stewart characterized it when he said," It's like, 'I like Ike' would have been 'Ike's fine.' Or Reagan's 'optimistic morning in America' would have been 'yeah, it's time to get up."

President Obama certainly thinks Mitt Romney is the nominee because he wrapped the Paul Ryan budget, calling it thinly veiled social Darwinism, around the neck of Mitt Romney when he spoke to the AP gathering yesterday. President Obama wants Mitt Romney to take ownership of a budget that will eventually privatize Medicare. It will be interesting to see how much the nominee will pivot now that the tea party, white evangelicals, and established Republicans seemed to have joined forces. It might force Mitt Romney to make Paul Ryan his VP choice and then send him down to Florida to explain to those retirees, why privatizing Medicare will be in their best interest.

If the election were held today, President Obama would win because there's no possible scenario where a candidate being 18 points behind in the women's vote (largest voting bloc) and having only 14% of the Latino vote could possibly win. It's still early and traditionally, both candidates will start with 47% of the vote. Mitt Romney has to close the gap on those two voting blocs, but the president has to hope that the gasoline prices will drop. I have watched two of Mitt Romney surrogates try to defend the gender gap by saying that women are not single-issue voters, and that they are more interested in gas prices than the contraception issue. The Romney camp has to do a lot better than that because it's the GOP state legislators and governors who are alienating women with their intrusion into women’s health and sex organs and their reluctance to stand up to the harsh rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh. I think most of the country already knows that oil prices are controlled by the world market and there's very little a president can do. They stand a better chance going after the president on economic issues. President George W. Bush received a pretty good share of the woman's vote because they thought his administration could keep them safe but Mitt Romney has a strong penchant for wanting to attack Iran. The 43rd president was not as harsh in his rhetoric against illegal immigration. Mitt Romney can't pivot too much from his campaign rhetoric because that action will fit nicely on his opponent's campaign ads.

When, and if Rick Santorum bows out, we will begin the game of trying to guess who Mitt Romney will pick as his vice president. Discounting Florida, Mitt Romney has yet to win a southern state (2008 and 2012) so will he pick Marco Rubio to shore up three of his liabilities? Marco Rubio cosponsored the controversial Blunt bill, so I'm not sure he will help with the woman's vote. Senator Rubio is popular in Florida, but the Cuban vote( who normally vote Republican) is nothing like the Puerto Rican and Mexican- American vote(democratic voters)so it's unlikely he'll help Romney much. I'm pretty sure Jed Bush is pulling for Marco Rubio because that will get him out of the way for 2016.

The 2012 presidential campaign has officially begun because just when President Obama departed from the AP event; the right-wing blogosphere lit up like a Christmas tree admonishing the president for delivering a partisan speech. Welcome to seven months of partisan campaign rhetoric from both sides.