Rick Santorum may have lost the Iowa caucus by a hair’s breadth. But he clearly won the battle for sound bite of the night, his battle-cry of “game on” crisply defined the idea he wants to convey: the Republican race is still wide open – and it is now Santorum who is the major challenger to Mitt Romney.
Many commentators argue that this is a discouraging result for Romney, since it shows that the majority of the Republican Party still don’t like him much. Ed Luce makes this case persuasively. But I’m inclined to the opposite view. My guess is that Santorum will not prove to be a very strong rival to Romney, who will continue to roll relentlessly towards the nomination.