October 20, 2014

Santorum’s exit shortens GOP race

Now that former Senator Rick Santorum is out of the race for president, voters should expect the primary season to switch over to campaign mode. That’s the feeling of Marquette University Law School public policy professor Charles Franklin, who says Santorum’s exit on Tuesday should clear the way for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to lock-up the Republican nomination.

With the primaries that remain in other states, Franklin says Romney will most likely be able to claim the delegates necessary to win the nomination. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Ron Paul remain in the race, but Franklin says they are not considered a threat to Romney’s bid.

Franklin says Santorum’s decision was likely influenced by his loss to Romney last week in Wisconsin’s primary. He says Wisconsin ended up having “the last word on the campaign.”

Santorum had remained in the race despite a string of losses to Romney in the Midwest, leaving him with almost half as many delegates. Franklin says leaving the race now allows Santorum to bow out on his own terms and avoids dragging out the primary into a fight that could damage the chances of the eventual nominee defeating President Obama next November.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:06)