Yesterday, Mitt Romney has had a bit of an embarrassment although the news media has again declared him a big winner with gushing hyperbole, as though these last two weeks when nobody campaigned against him were a time of testing. We have already seen that Mitt Romney owns the largest share of news outlets covering this campaign and influences the rest, although the public must be getting a trifle uneasy about all the times they've been told that Romney has finally won this thing for good, starting with Iowa last December. CNN even hid the Santorum percentages in their coverage, showing only Romney, Gingrich, and Paul totals last night.
Still, considering Romney faced no real opposition in the northeast primaries, his showing was dismal. 56% in Delaware, 58% in Pennsylvania, probably less than 60% in New York (the news people apparently stopped counting at 77% of the vote when he had 62%, so one imagines his end total will drop), and higher numbers only in Rhode Island and Connecticut. This means that Romney is still more than 300 delegates short of what he needs for the nomination (by some counts 400 short). That means the earliest he could "wrap up" the nomination is May 29 unless Gingrich and Santorum release their delegates for him, and it is not a foregone conclusion that the delegates would go to Romney. Indeed, Romney might not be able to wrap it up until Utah on June 8.
Even more interesting, Rick Santorum had bowed out two weeks ago but received from 6 percent to 18 percent in the different states, suggesting that these votes were protest votes, a very high number. Ron Paul also showed great strength, getting 16% of New York's incomplete tabulation.
That doesn't mean Romney stopped pandering for votes. In liberal New York, he managed to get the endorsement of gay porn producer Michael Lucas.
Ordinarily, one might expect that be viewed as an insult by Romney's base, but Romney seems to think he can win gay votes by appointing openly gay Richard Grenell as a "foreign policy spokesman." That caused outrage on the right, but not in the northeast, where the primary was.
That does not mean, however, that Romney would be gay tolerant, although somebody has been planting "hints" that the Mormon leaders in Salt Lake City are "thinking" about dropping their opposition to gays. Since they are all over 80 and many still resent the use of the word "gay" to refer to "homosexuals," that is not going to happen. They didn't spend millions to stop gay marriage in every state, and aren't currently involved in trying to stop it in Maryland, in order to drop that identity issue for Mitt Romney's benefit.
As always, it is merely a political calculation that they could get a few votes here or there, that determined this mini deception campaign. However, Ron Paul's huge support in New York suggests it was completely ineffective.