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With Santorum Gone, What Next?

Posted: April 11, 2012

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Attention now turns to the expected general election race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. There's talk that the contest could come down to just four states: Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign event Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign event Tuesday in Wilmington, Del. Chip Somodevilla

Some of the morning-after analyses of what Rick Santorum's exit from the Republican field means for the 2012 presidential campaign:

-- "Santorum's departure means [Mitt] Romney is finally in a position to draw to his ranks that part of the Republican electorate that until now has preferred his numerous rivals." (It's All Politics)

-- "The exit of Rick Santorum on Tuesday marks a new operational stage for Obama's Chicago-based campaign, away from the game-prepping and office-opening in battleground states to a more intense one-on-one battle against an opponent who can now focus his energies exclusively on President Barack Obama." (Politico)

-- "The focus in the presidential race now turns to how quickly and enthusiastically the party will unify behind Mr. Romney, and how free he is to turn his attention to a general-election audience." (The Wall Street Journal)

-- A Romney-Obama contest could come down to four states: Colorado, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, strategists in both parties say. (Los Angeles Times' Politics Now blog.)

-- Santorum's supporters want him to keep speaking out on conservative social issues. He's been giving clear signs that he's going to do just that. (NPR's Don Gonyea on Morning Edition.)

-- "It is fair to say [Romney] is a better candidate now because of the long and at times brutal primary campaign against tough opponents. Rick Santorum was his toughest." (Des Moines Register editorial.)

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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