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Rick Santorum Finally Throws In The Towel; Romney Has GOP Nomination In The Bag

When (or if) Rick Santorum comes to New York next week, he'll do so as a former presidential candidate -- the former Pennsylvania senator announced this afternoon that he's suspending his campaign...finally.

"We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us, is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting," Santorum told reporters and supporters at a press conference this afternoon.

Santorum, despite a few brief surges in the polls, didn't stand much of a chance at actually winning the primary.

"If he doesn't win in Pennsylvania, it's over -- and that's only if he stays in the race," Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center For Politics, told the Voice last week. "I can't imagine anyone outside of his immediate family really thinking [Santorum] can win this thing."

As Sabato explains, the math was not on Santorum's side; of the six states heading to the polls on April 24 -- New York, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut -- Santorum only stood to gain electorates in two of them: New York and Pennsylvania. However, Sabato says, Santorum probably would only win about 20 of New York's 95 delegates -- mainly from rural, Upstate counties. By Santorum only landing about 20 delegates -- as Romney adds about 70 from New York to the 658 he already has -- the gap is widened between the two as they each try to get to the magic number of 1,144 to clinch the nomination.

Again, though, if Santorum stood any chance at all at winning the primary, he'd have had to win big in his home state of Pennsylvania, where a recent poll from Public Policy Polling shows that he trails former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney 37-percent to Romney's 42. About three weeks ago, a similar PPP poll showed Santorum leading Romney 43-percent to 25-percent. In other words, his popularity was on the decline heading into primary day.

Santorum's late departure from the race basically seals the deal for Mitt Romney to become the GOP nominee to take on Barack Obama in the November election -- Newt Gingrich already is referring to his own candidacy in the past tense, and said over the weekend he expects Romney to be the nominee. However, Gingrich is yet to officially bow out of the race -- a move intended to give the former House speaker some extra clout amongst GOPers come convention time, Sabato says.


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