The Cheesy-Grits Southern Strategy worked for Romney
Just a quick update on the Republican primaries during the last week in less than 400 words.

All in all, there were eight contests to be won, and all talk is about Santorum winning momentum. From one point of view that seems obvious. He won the big three: Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi.
But let us dissect briefly what really happened, and what it means.

Let’s concentrate on the Southern states, because that’s where Romney had something to prove. The rest of the country – with a few exceptions – already gave him a vote of confidence.

Let me give you three statistics by Public Policy Polling that gives you a feeling for the Republican voters in Alabama: 45% claim to be very conservative, and 68% are evangelical. So far so good, but here come two amazing stats: 42% think Obama is a Muslim fundamentalist, and a whopping 21% think interracial marriage should be illegal.
Enough said, you get the picture about the voters in Alabama. Enter Mitt Romney, “East Coast Moderate”.
But shockingly, he did well. He drove a strategy of making people like him – hardly any policy, and all referenced to “cheesy grits” and friendly “hello, y’all” ‘s.
That way, he managed to improve on his last showings in Tennessee and Georgia, and picked up 29% in Alabama, and 30% in Mississippi.
That’s big news, people. Why? Because it shows that even the most staunch Republican states are beginning to see the signs. And slowly but surely they are getting in line behind Mitt Romney.

Secondly, and most importantly: what about the delegates?
Santorum won three primaries, and granted, they were the most important ones. But that does not mean that he actually got anywhere with the delegate count. If we look at the actual count in the eight contests of the week, the winner in my mind is once again Mitt Romney.
Is Santorum really catching up? Statistically, yes, he is catching up. But barely. In fact, with these three “big wins” in his pocket – wins that cost a lot of resources, financially and emotionally – he managed to steal 11 delegates on Romney.
Gingrich, the self-proclaimed Southern conservative poised for a big comeback, lost 32 delegates. And Ron Paul, only getting one delegate in these contests, lost 52 delegates on the front runner.

So in fact, if you take away the search for a big headline, Romney has cemented his lead. He fought hard and defended himself well enough in the South, so that he can look toward the Republican convention with confidence.