The history has been that Romney does not gain momentum after a big win. He tends to get pummeled in the next state. NH led to Newt winning SC. FL led to Rick’s hat trick. The trend is that a win by one of the other guys leads to a huge Romney attack ad blitz winning him the next state, and then the next states swinging back to a conservative. With Rick damaged, that conservative could be Newt.
I still think people should vote for Rick in MI and AZ since Newt has already conceded those states and in the long run, we may need Rick to share his delegates with Newt so they can win at the convention. Super Tuesday is when it will be time to go Newt-clear again.
Shouldn't this be, "With Rick damaged, and Newt damaged worse, that conservative would be who?"
It’s not going to happen. You still don’t understand the nature of Santorum’s supporters.
Sure, Rick picked up some support from Newt and some of that could move back (I expect Gingrich to get near 20%, in the tracking poll but not much over that).
What you don’t understand though is that a large chunk of Santorum supporters are prior Bachmann, Cain, Perry folks that viewed Rick as the last acceptable choice. Many of these people don’t view Newt as a viable conservative alternative to Romney because Newt lacks Trust and likeability. Outside of the South, I see no place where Newt would have success in a 1 on 1 against Romney.
Additionally, what little support Santorum has among Seniors, Hispanics, and females, those 3 groups (outside of the Southern States) will almost all go to Romney if Santorum loses them.