Super Tuesday's Impact on the Race

Matthew Dodd looks at Rick Santorum's strong showing against Mitt Romney.
11:09 | 03/06/12

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Transcript for Super Tuesday's Impact on the Race
-- -- nights like this dynamic because all the expectations I think going in. Go out the window when you have a prolonged evening like this -- results in twelve have to win you'll keep going on. He now has been this close enough -- like that does does does does the conventional -- shift here that Mitt Romney had. The -- -- even if he eats out this Ohio victory that he needed to shut this. I think that I think Mitt Romney definitely had a weaker night and I think. Admit I'm -- -- had a stronger night and they expected and Mitt Romney and weaker night and expected and I think it's directed dynamics of these days going into it. If a week ago or five days ago you had said this result of their -- term folks roll their -- -- bad bad for us. But throughout the day as this developed. -- -- -- actually a good night even if he ends up losing Ohio a good night for Rick Santorum to me what it means as Rick Santorum is in this race -- June. He's not getting out of this race is a potential -- the number of other these contests going ahead he Sally happened in Tennessee is that you guys you know talked about. I think this is a good night for Rick Santorum. So what does he do with all -- this momentum that he goes in and he could do. That the states coming up. Next week -- over the weekend Kansas Alabama and Kansas Mike Huckabee won Kansas killing Kansas elastic in my company run he'll probably and Alabama and Mississippi you'll probably put together a series of victories. And he'll gain some momentum. As we all know the delegate math is almost impossible for him. And even and a bad night for Mitt Romney he -- delegate lead. But I think what he's been approved as is that he can -- Make weekend weekend weekend we can Mitt Romney along the way by the time he and his process he wants people who say can we really nominate this guy. Is doing this for person and it I know none of us are getting -- into -- -- to respond now but if if you weren't. What as you're watching him what do you think he wants as the end game in this I think you have to you know Rick Santorum for all of. Can -- give some credit this guys -- now one in the midwest. He's one -- the west and he's one in the south he's actually. Demonstrated as -- -- -- demographic and geographic strength is anybody in the street he's perform much better than Mike Huckabee did. Last time and so I think he's in this race now I think in his head he thinks that if he can keep that rock below 1144. -- the potential if he wins out. And starts winning going forward to be the nominee. OK but as recently as this week you this weekend on -- -- You said that Mitt Romney is the likely nominee here -- -- think happened tonight. To make you think that Mitt Romney which -- -- you didn't always necessarily think this process but. That did anything make you change dramatically that -- -- any less likely of the nominee tonight. I think it. He's probably not less likely of the nominee but it's probably much more complicated process to get to be that nominee after tonight so then that's my next question. What does -- robbed and now he so desperately wants to focus on the president and and Begin this one on one conversation. I thought I saw -- -- little -- it's it's like the five stages of grief and I think seeking to acceptance tonight about how long of a race this is going to be. And yet he still he needs to change -- something to be able to keep Santorum. Further and further -- Dziena and what yet. This is one of the things in the campaign when you're involved in -- campaign as one of the things. And the argument will always goes in this way somebody comes -- says strategically we need to make adjustments in this and the -- if we just keep it going keep it going keep it on tactically. And they're gonna send to all of us excel spreadsheets and with the delegate math and all of that. I don't think. I think they need to make some fundamental strategic changes in this. They need to sort of take a look and say how we've been presenting Mitt Romney and what are we doing in hasn't been the right thing I don't think they'll do that I think they're gonna go back to a series of tactical things. They're gonna say how many pieces of direct mail can we send out. What -- the number adds we can do what is the math look like -- endorsements again I think there and continue on this tactical incremental approach and it's it's gonna cost this process to go. All the way did you. But that -- they have a choice I mean this is a candidate frank and that candidate has strengths and -- has weaknesses. We know what his weaknesses are witches system. Real seeming inability to connect with folks -- to get that -- -- So is there any other path for him to take other than just grind it -- wind delegate at a time. I think they need to go back and say listen this is -- this guy is he's a business guy he's a business he's the CEO. You get put put him back innocent. Put him basically say this is who the guy is he's not going to be warming up he's not gonna get -- honestly this is who is present PowerPoint charts or whatever happened to -- Just be the guy he wasn't the agency that's who I am -- the fixer. I'm a fixture on the business picture -- if you want somebody inspirational and all that kind of stuff for you want to regular guys into army -- inspirational guy Barack Obama. Saying he don't think he's been telling what he's been doing he's been he's been counter programs up all the way he doesn't says on this guy and then he shows up in jeans and to address like you have just like you. He got to get out of that and become the business and stay like. For somebody knows how to Wear jeans. How -- -- and I I tell people this a bunch when -- talked about running. -- give a PowerPoint presentation in 2006 he was governor still. A conservative think -- in Washington on -- to reform and and battling the teachers union Massachusetts. It was one of the most compelling moments I've ever seen the public he mastered his subject material he gave this entire output is to think sexy too quick to -- -- formal. Command. Of PM and what was presenting at a weight that I did not seem the only presidential campaign in a way that I didn't have not -- -- -- president it. And I know that confidence like that is not sexy in the we're confident that like that's when Dukakis -- -- you. But there is something that would be appealing to voters to see -- candidate totally it is natural happened that's. -- and David yu ye hear about the fundamental problem the fundamental problem is that he's not he's not like the working class guys that there gals out there. The problem is that he comes across this and that in authentic are genuine and every time he does all these things to try to make them something he's not it sends a signal of -- we can't trust -- based -- who is. If you would kissed that guy. That got it -- all of us that's again that's -- -- he's kind of boring and all that but at least he's confident knows what he's doing. He would get at least finally convey and authentic sanctum at the voters haven't seen. That the one tough honored. He should become the go back that person I -- added that the governor of Michigan that was his messages I'm dirty and when you listen to him speak I mean it's quite remarkable everything about him comes across as Mary writes so Rick Santorum now. He goes now into this weekend with a lot of of wind at his back. This guy -- -- -- noticed this by the way our high tech and seeing I think in this Newt Gingrich still. Provides he he provides a roadblock though for Rick Santorum in terms of delegates able to gain and he still split up that very conservative vote that evangelical -- I agree with that but I think that when you look out the vote totals outside. I think but what's gonna happen with Newt Gingrich is he's gonna slowly has supports gonna slowly diminish and I think the voters are gonna figure out this is a two person race. If we cast a vote for Newt Gingrich -- waste to Nevada gets -- slowly. Slowly happen as you said the stages of grief for Mitt Romney. He's probably filing -- the stage of acceptance. I think Newt Gingrich has been campaigning in the state of denial for a period of time and he may continue to campaign -- stated now. But I -- them what's gonna happen is that voters are gonna start saying listen this really is Rick Santorum if Rick Santorum wins Kansas and -- a couple of states -- really nowhere for Newt Gingrich to go. He may not have the capacity to get out this mentally or whatever it happens to be emotionally. But I think what the voters in its filing in -- become at some point soon a two person race. This is question. Posted George Diane earlier in the region with them about this I know this. The Obama campaign and the folks the White House are loving this protracted race they -- doing damage to the party's brand they they are very pleased with how this is going. But you sensed from the President's -- if president today you sense from their campaign they are ready and eager to Begin a one on one conversation and start. Framing their narrative -- that stark contrast. -- this fall is there any. Negative side for them this protracted Republican race it should they be as happy as they artists and on the front lines -- do they need to to somehow start. Introducing the president -- -- a conversation that he's not yet. I think the only negative downside for them which -- had a tendency to happen with this White House and sometimes other White House says is they can get a little arrogant. And they can get a feel protective of like their own thing we're Smart we're all and that's when you make mistakes when -- -- midst of a campaign fighting you're going -- back to Wear this when you. You do you operate your best news. But I think they. Could make some mistakes and arrogance on I think -- great Republicans where they're doing and then they do something I think they'd rather be in that battle so they don't do that. But you take a look at this Mitt -- may end -- if -- the delegate map -- -- the weakest Republican nominee in a generation and so they regrets rather have that. They do have to be careful about arrogance that they -- -- and we can't wait for the him and then make a mistake. Right so what -- the party bigwigs due tomorrow morning because they do not want this to drag out much longer either. I don't know if they're -- -- in this is the establishment -- more George will's been telling us now for some time Republican establishment. But do people start standing up tomorrow do we see John Boehner do we see their money Jeb Bush say. It's been really fun guys. -- it's nice but it's over so. This is hurting not just our nominee but turning our brand apart -- Republican Party brand and -- could hurt him -- I think even if he was able to convince them that do that it's not gonna stop this process from -- part of this is a party. That has to a large degree become the party that nominated that which in Delaware and nominated -- -- that was so incompetent they couldn't beat Harry Reid the majority it was totally vulnerable. This is a party that's now in charge of itself -- the establishment anymore I said earlier this is like the establishment is like dean warmer. And their animal house is in charge of the election cycle now and that's where we are today and you doesn't matter who comes up and says I think it actually inherent -- Adverse. Front and they say what I don't ebitda edited it to you guys have been doing this for a lot of work yup this is what. To me. The hope -- making about the Tea Party we've watched this should be a surprise to us like we watched the Tea Party -- -- -- 2009 we watched I would fueled ton of energy into the Republican Party in 28 and. Helps -- 63 new house member it. It to congress and and take the majority so we saw this happening inside -- -- we all talked about. Well this is going to be -- -- the -- felt that presidential race. What the Tea Party in I was there -- didn't hear that they were able to political analysts around but they had enough to -- -- as you're saying. Take the establishment of the equation and we give the eventual nominee. The and you and you have what -- -- the problem that has gotten into the Republicans now you have all that going and then you have this very weak front runner. -- and huge part of the Republican Party just does not -- you have this you know that that fraternity in charge of campus. With a very weak front runner and that combination has brought us what we have --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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