If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?
January 17th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a saying in politics that goes "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."

And it looks like it's about time for the remaining Republican candidates to fall in line behind the dominant front-runner, Mitt Romney.

If Romney wins South Carolina's primary on Saturday - where he's ahead in the polls, he will have pulled off a trifecta - winning the first three nominating contests in a row.

At that point, the other candidates - Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Rick Perry - ought to think about packing their bags and heading home.

It would be a fine time for them to go the way of Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman before them.

In case they haven't noticed, Republican voters for the most part are backing Romney, as he's opened up a commanding 23 point lead in one national poll.

The new Gallup poll shows Romney with 37% support from Republicans - that's a 13 point jump in this poll since just before the Iowa caucuses.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are at 14%, Ron Paul is at 12%, Rick Perry is at a measly 5%.

Pollsters suggest that historically, the post-New Hampshire leader in national polls has gone on to win the Republican nomination. Romney is not only leading by more than 20 points, but his margin is growing.

If the other Republicans choose to stay in the race and keep beating up on Romney, they're only giving the Democrats and President Obama more material to use against Romney in the general election.

Here’s my question to you: If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • Mitt Romney • Republican Party • Republicans
soundoff (140 Responses)

    Everyone except Gingrich should withdraw. Gingrich is the only candidate who could make mincemeat out of Obama in a National Debate. It's time we had a president that was more than just good looks and smiles. Gingrich is the one Republican who can actually BEAT OBAMA!

    January 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  2. Kim , Dodge City, Kansas

    No. They need to keep beating themselves up and exposing their weaknesses. The more they scratch and claw at each other, the more we see of their racisim, greed, hypocracy,and ineptitude.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Russ in PA

    Not at all. We all need Ron Paul to continue on, fighting for our liberties and against those that intend to select another establishment politician. Choosing Romney – or Obama – simply continues the status quo: the endless spending, the endless wars, the endless devaluing of our currency. The current two party system is simply a two-headed Hydra, and will not change until we start selecting our Presidents based on values, not "electability".

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    January 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  4. Mel - Houston

    That would make common sense to the average person, however; common sense is in short suppy with conservatives.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  5. Jk from Minnesota

    I could care less whather they do or don't.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  6. Pete from Georgia

    Relax, give it time.
    The more debate we have between Republican candidates the better for America. It allows for some HONEST dialog explaining how our country is on the brink of total disaster, being run aground like the Costa Concordia cruise ship in Italy.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina decisively, should the remaining Republican candidates withdraw and support him?

    Jack, to be perfectly honest, They Should, and that's how it was done for the last 40 or 50 years. Same way in the old days, when a bully drunk picked a fight in a bar, he ended up on his rear end, outside, and that was it. In other words, the fight was over. Now Days – they want to kick you while your down, and beat you to death, after you've already been knocked out.

    But I honestly Doubt if the "Newter" Ever Supports Romney – There was way too much Blood drawn, and when that happens, he will most likely hate Romney for a long time. It most likely will take the Newter a long time to finally get over it, and NO, I don't think the Newter will forget it, for awhile.

    As far as the others, such as Ron Paul, I think he will eventually back whomever the candidate is. I predict the Perry will go back to TX, (after S.C.) and will "re-ascess" then after figuring out that his billionaire friends won't send him any more "resources" he will ride into the sunset. He will also eventually back Romney, as so will Sanitarium. But again, after Romney drew blood from the Newter, I honestly think the Newter will retaliate, in some way /shape / or form. Jack, don't you remember, when I told you to throw out the words : "nasty and ugly" ? – "Bombastic" was the word I used, and I expect it will be that way, for the next several months.

    Larry in Houston

    January 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  8. David in Tampa

    No Jack. These people are almost as much fun as watching grass grow. With the snappy repartee and a combined intellect of a pile of bricks, these guys are just what I need so I won't go play out in the freeway. If they had anything constructive to offer this nation, it ended as soon as they had to cater to the extreme right of the Republican Party and an overwhelming need for super-PAC money.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  9. Jim, Denver CO

    They probably should, but won't because the circus will continue due to the "anybody but Romney" drive by the ultra-conservative christian group in the Republican party. And their guy is Rick Santorum, he won't give up until after the convention is over.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    No. We're talking about 3 states here, after South Carolina. What about the rest of us? And a better topic would be when in the world are we going to stop electing millionaires to represent our interests. Good grief, we're stupid and ignorant and become even moreso with each election season.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  11. Tim

    Second Placed Republican candidate overall should stay in – somebody needs to narrow it down to two to capitalize on all those with negative responses to Romney. A straight up Romney versus another candidate such as Gingrich will show if Romney is best candidate or simply best of a bad list of candidates. American in Germany.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  12. Herman Portland OR

    No, the process needs to go at least to Florida. The support is going to come from the remaining in the race but just because Mitt is leading it is not over till it is over. The candidates that step down will endorse the winner and the support will come from them and the American people.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  13. Kenneth in California

    The Super PAC's will determine that.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  14. David

    Except for Ron Paul, yes.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Bill of New Mexico

    Depends on what they want.

    If they want to win in November, the Republicans need to unite–about two elections ago.

    Once, I would have voted for Romney. Not, now.

    Their revelations of their candidates' flaws has Obama looking like the less of all evils.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  16. Chris Boyer

    No, not all of the candidates should drop out. If there is one lesson we can take away from the race so far it is that a majority of the GOP are not enthusiastic about Romney. They should be given every chance to choose someone else.
    Rick Perry should drop out since he has performed very bad in all primaries so far. Santorum should also drop out. His support in Iowa will not be repeated in the less socially conservative states. For now I think Romney and Newt should go forward, both trying to win the establishment and Ron Paul should move forward as the candidate offering a very different approach. With only a three man race voters will have more time to focus on each candidate and learn more about their positions.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  17. hierofalcon

    Certainly not. States that are late in the order of primary electioneering are really tired of not having any effective say in the nomination process. Schedule a single primary election day for everyone and let the chips fall where they may! Make sure that all states actually use a balloting process open to all party members and don't let small influential groups of hidebound party elites do the choosing. Many times I would have preferred to vote for candidates that have elected to hang up their hats early. Rework the entire process. After all the debates this year, no candidate can honestly say the voters haven't heard enough to make a decision and that the time frame needs to be spread out so candidates can go around the country shaking hands. Pick a day and vote. It's good enough for the final decision – it should be good enough for the primary as well.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    tampa, fl sounds good, and why you are at it, why not just have the election today for president? why bother with the other 47 states opinions, just get the damn thing over with so we don't have to listen to endless commercials, phone calls, and snipe signs every where. show us just how rigged these elections really are, we voters are already disenchanted enough and don't believe any of these clowns will do something for us.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  19. Klatu Berata Nicto

    Absolutely not. Ron Paul is the only voice of reason in the GOP, which is ironic as he is the only "traditional" Republican of the bunch. America is tired of the endless, undeclared wars with countries on the other side of the planet. We are tired of a sagging economy and the ever growing wealth gap in this country. Essentially, we are tired of the status quo. The ONLY candidate that has a plan and to change that is Ron Paul. All the other candidates are your typical stuffed shirt, warhawk, pro-corporate schmucks. More of the same, or something actually different? Ron Paul 2012

    January 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  20. John from Alabama

    Jack: The Republicans candidates are so entertaining I hope no one drops out after South Caroliona. The Republicans are better than a 3 ringed circus. These old balding white men are real good clowns. They do have trouble juggling the truth, but with a great deal of work they might make themselves electable. The Republicans have inflated egos, which will make it impossible for them to quit.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  21. Peg from NY

    Yes, they should. A united party is what is needed to win the election. The Republicans won't, though. Too many egos.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  22. Donna Wisconsin

    I think it is the most un fathomable thing to do–to trash the other candidate and then turn around and say "thats ok. I'll support him now"! Talk about liers!!!! If they didn't agree with him two days ago, they shouldn't two days later. They call that POLITICS. I call it Talking out of both sides of your mouth!! They are no better than Flip-Flopper Romney then.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  23. Terry

    Jack, like Wolf says "it ain't over til the Fat Lady Sings" who knows what may happen? I don't think all the dirt is out yet on Mitt...Stranger things have happened in Politics and with Mitts storical demenor I'd wouldn't throw the towel in just yet.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  24. garrick

    No Jack that's like you going on vacation and Wolf taking your job,you wouldn;t just give up.we would miss your face and jokes,like we would miss the comedy they bring everyday.beleive me I need to laugh at them,their funny.

    garrick , Clearwater,Fl

    January 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  25. Jenna Roseville CA

    If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

    Last I heard we had 50 states in our union so only running in 3 states and dropping out seems a but quick to me. But we are talking about Republicans here..

    Roseville CA

    January 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  26. Steve

    No way!...in 1984 Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson chased Walter Mondale all the way to the convention and made him a much stronger candidate going into the...never mind.


    January 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  27. Jenna Roseville CA

    If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, should the other Republican candidates drop out and support him?

    Last I heard we had 50 states in our union so only running in 3 states and dropping out seems a bit quick to me. But we are talking about Republicans here..

    Roseville CA

    January 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  28. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Absolutely not. Since when does Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina represent the nations attitude? Their collective population and electoral votes are minimal. Florida will be the first state where there is a sizable population. It's absurd to assume those states represent California, New York, Illinois, or Texas' populations beliefs. Using those 3 states as the authority would be like says the first inning in baseball will determine the outcome. One never knows when there will be a Gary Hart moment.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  29. Jim, California

    Of course NOT! There will be 47 more opportunities to uncrown Slick Willard (aka Obama II).

    January 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  30. Greg McCarthy

    Jack, Even if Mitthead does win SC decisively,why should the other candidates withdraw? They would have all of their PAC money just sitting there,laying around. God Forbid they do something 'Christian-esque' with it,like help folks who truly need it just to eat as witnessed by our poverty numbers. No,they will likely pursue their own 'dream',which 'God told many of them to do.' Greg M. FL

    January 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  31. Paul - North Carolina

    It appears Ron Paul is in for the long haul. Rick Perry should have dropped out long ago. Both Gingrich and Santorum should drop out but, after some of their recent exchanges, I don't see how they could do an about face and support Romney. Of course that's what's expected of loyal Republicans and not doing so would leave them politically dead. But they are both already political zombies so . . .

    January 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  32. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Because of Bush's Supreme Court, we are playing with the wild card of Super Pacs. If it eventually comes out that Romney is one of the 1,400 millionaires paying nothing in taxes, the GOP will want to have someone in the wings. They will have anonymous billionaires like the Koch brothers legally donating literally limitless money. The government is for sale like never before.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  33. Ed from California

    No, with all the clowns running it keeps the Daily Show and the Colbert Report in business. I think that my crazy Uncle Ron just might pull it a close second w/ Santorium coming in first!! In So. Car the Dem's can vote in that primary, so Obama may beat them all. Jack, Obama is in and the GOP is going to be knocked out. The Tsunami is starting in WI, with the Walker recall.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  34. Becky in Kansas

    No....for the "Republicans. But definitely for the Democrats.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  35. Lynn, Texas Independent

    Absolutely not. I'm loving the party fighting. They look and sound more ridiculous everyday. I've never seen such a group of people who can only repeat their party's talking points, even when they are nothing but lies. Let's let the others do President Obama's job of uncovering Mitt Romney's inexperience, lies, deceit, and utter disregard for middle class Americans.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  36. ladypantsdance

    Ron Paul and his supporters can't wait for it to be a Ron Paul vs. Romney debate. A big gov't police state vs constitutional gov't, personal liberties and freedom! Bully of the world or friend to the world? Ron Paul has made it very clear he is in this race to the end. The sooner the others drop out the sooner the real debate on the future of our country can begin.

    Nick Ohley
    Bellevue Washington

    January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  37. Jayne in NH

    I don't think it matters what most of them do, but I think Mr. Paul – who is really a Libertarian and not a Republican – owes his avid followers a third party candidacy.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  38. Brad, Portland, OR

    I think the other candidates have as much right to continue to try to get the Republican nomination as Mitt Romney does. Why should they quit to help Mitt out? Why doesn't Mitt quit to help Ron Paul out?

    Besides, as Rick Perry pointed out in this weekend's debate with regard to Mitt Romney making his tax returns public, the people have the right to know if a candidate is flawed now, not in September.

    And given Mitt's reluctance to make his tax returns public, there may be something embarrassing in there. Mitt may NOT be a good candidate.

    Continuing the competitive process and continuing the debates are the way to get the best candidate for November.

    And crowning one guy the winner by acclaim before the process is over isn't the American way.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  39. Mr D

    Yes they should. He will need all the help he can get. The Republicians need to stop throwing rocks at each other and aim for Obama if they expect to get into the White House this year.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  40. Michael "C," Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It doesn't really matter. It would be a "token" support by the remaining candidates. Mitten has been campaigning for almost 5 years, and at best, is only able to get approximately 40% of the votes. He may win the GOP nomination, but the American voter will neve elect him as President. Mitten is on his way down-it is just he will just be the last one to fall!

    January 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  41. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Yes. Why drag it out longer and waste more time and money.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  42. Judy M. Bugarin

    I'm a registered Democrat but did not vote for Obama in 2008. I thought he was overly ambitious to become US President with very little experience in Senate & Community Organizer as his biggest qualification. I'll vote for Mitt Romney this year. Would makes sense if Perry, Santorum, and Gingrich drop out after South Carolina and support Mitt if Republicans really want to beat Obama. For VP, Jon Huntsman may be viable.


    January 17, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  43. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina the Republicans should quickly board a plane to Florida and cut a path to Jeb Bush's home with the intent to beg ,on bending knees , him to enter the race for the republican party's sake.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  44. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    NO Jack, as a Democrate I'm REALLY enjoying the Republicans beating on each other. hopefully Romney will be SO damaged he will not only LOSE the election BUT drag down to other Republicans running in 2012 too.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  45. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Turn out the lights the party's over. The fat lady is singing.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  46. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    That would be the smart thing to do. But ever since the Tea Party hijacked the Republican Party smarts went out the window. There are too many egos and too many partisan issues seperating them for sanity to take hold. The only adult in the group threw in the towel yesterday. For Republicans it will be spring and summer of hand wringing. For Democrats it will be a spring and summer of entertainment and glee.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  47. Pete from Florida

    Sure. Why not? Makes NO difference, as NONE of these clowns is Presidential material. Whichever one of them becomes the GOP nominee will get the right-wing whacko vote, but all nonpartisan voters with even a lick of common sense have already realized that putting a republican back in the White House would be a disaster.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  48. Jim, Cranford, NJ.

    This election will be Newt Gingrich's last hurrah; therefore he make stick around long enough to annoy even his own supporters. Santorum and Perry need to think about the next election cycle and whether staying in the race helps or hurts their future political prospects as well as those of the Republican Party. As for Ron Paul, this may well be his last campaign but it may also become the foundation of a permanent Libertarian split from the Republican Party.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  49. Dave, Orlando, FL

    What difference does it make? There is no earthly reason to reelect Obama since he has been a complete pretender to the presidency, but he will be reelected anyway. We made the same mistake eight years ago with Bush who had done inestimable damage and no good. The only difference is that we had a choice then. Today we are toast regardless of who is in the White House next year.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  50. Loren

    I always like a good political fight, but if the Republican candidates truly want to defeat Obama, then uniting behind a common candidate sooner rather than later could enhance those chances. The fact that the candidate might be Romney gives me pause, but Obama does seem to quite get the balance necessary between individual needs and government that should be maintained. Not sure if the Republicans do either, but a change is needed again.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  51. Ed from MD

    As a republican it does me no good for a republican to win if the person makes a bad president. Any who have something to say should stay in there and keep the debates going, let as much truth come out. Don't try to make it a democrats race.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  52. curiousindependent

    If they were to do so, why have more Republican primaries, why have a Republican convention, why throw the money away? Romney has plenty of skeletons in the closet so his Republican rivals won't be revealing anything new; this former Bay Stater can attest to that. Hey, conservatives can you say RINO?

    January 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  53. Pat in Michigan

    Hey what are you going to say when Herman Cain/Steven Colbert take the majority of the votes ..To answer your question .Yes they should and spare us all the pain of anymore"debates".

    January 17, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  54. Steve

    If Romney wins South Carolina, all the other candidates should drop out. Everybody is getting tired of hearing all the bickering. There's is a tee shirt out there that an old guy wears. It says; I heard it all, I seen it all, I did it all, I just can't remember it all. Anymore debates on television is worthless. Save it for another cicus, Obama vs Romney.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  55. Olga O. Pina

    Prediction: That will never happen.

    Austin, Texas

    January 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  56. Conor in Chicago

    They might as well. The fact of the matter is that every other candidate is unelectable. The Democrats could unseat Obama and field a water buffalo in the General Election and still defeat the Not-Romneys. The rest of the Republican field are essentially the Christian Taliban and no matter how loud they shout at the podium Americans do not want that sort of President.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  57. Larry -Denver

    If those remaining are smart (no guarantee they are) let Romney run and lose. Then, in 2016 they come back united with one candidate (unknown) that can win. The Dems have to find someone new as well (wont be Biden). This is 2008 all over again.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  58. Sylvia from San Diego

    No....As time goes on, we get to learn and see more about the candidates which allows us to make a more informed choice. I want the candidate that has the best chance of beating Obama to purculate to the top!

    January 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  59. bud rupert

    It's a done deal for Mr Romney and yes they should get behind him. It's interesting though Jack – with Corporatism replacing Capitalism, not just hear but around the world, one could say that if Mr. Romney is elected then George Bush will have had at least 4 terms as President. Why you ask? because nothing has or will change since the 2000/2001 election. The oil, health care and financial industries along with the global corporate elite have bought the world political systems lock, stock and barrel.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  60. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No they should not drop out even if he wins and they should not support a man that they properly call a liar. This man is more dangerous than Dick Chenney, ouch. This man has made millions by slashing apart companies and is trying to buy the Presidency or selling his soul to the ultra-rich.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  61. Nancy, Tennessee

    The pill is too bitter to swallow. Newt Gingrich will never support Romney. The rest of the pack may try to unite and see if one of them can win in Florida.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  62. Gigi Oregon

    Three states have pretty much decided that Mitt is the Republican choice to beat Obama. Money verses the people will be the game. When money buys our president we are no longer a democracy but a powerful capitalist Republic. Where a few rule and not "we the people".

    When the Republican candidates say we should down grade congress (with an 11% approval rating) and send them home. I don't see a lot of promise for the people. With the backing of the religious right for the Republican party all I see is the return of the "Dark Ages". More war, famine and pestilence for a once humble and great United states. A country where "God was Love", the Republican Party has turned Him into a god of war. Yes, send them home and may the real party of "loving their neighbor as themselves" win. It might be our only salvation.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  63. JIm (Colorado)

    They probably should do just that, won't it be fun watching Newt (my ego is bigger than this entire planet) Gingrich and Rick (Oops) Perry singing the praises of Romney after the past several weeks of continual attacks. I would imagine Newt will carry on for a while longer because his ego won't allow him to admit he is beat and that America can carry on with out him.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  64. Dave Humphreys

    You can't be serious! Only 15% of the total delegates will be awarded between now and Super Tuesday. This race is far from over.
    This is clearly a race between Paul and Romney, the only two candidates that have the money and organisation to continue past South Carolina and Florida and the only two candidates who are on all the states ballots and Paul is the only one of those two who has a solid, passionate base of support.
    Paul's supporters WILL NOT vote for Romney. He just said last night that he would have signed the indefinite detention bill if he was president! That we should just trust that he won't abuse it. That's a HUGE deal breaker! A Romney nominee equals a definite win for Obama, without a doubt.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  65. elijah from Nakuru, Kenya

    It is obvious that Rick Perry and Ron Paul would be the first to drop out, but Gingrich and Santorum should still go on to make the process exciting. I honestly can't wait to see what other campaign ads would hit the screens as these candidates go for each other.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  66. Ann from Charleston SC

    I'd prefer that the other candidates drop out and get behind Romney. I think Romney is hiding something – something having to do with how he made his fortune – and it would be better for Obama if whatever it is came out during the general election campaign rather than now.

    January 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  67. Cy Gardner

    It sounds like you're saying to Republicans: "Forget the fact that three quarters of you think this guy will make a horrible president. Forget the fact, that most of you don't want to vote for the guy and he's in YOUR party. Hold your nose and use your sacred vote to elect a guy you hate over the incumbent that you REALLY hate." That's like asking the GOP to admit that votes don't matter, voters don't matter, that money decides these races anyway and Romney can raise more money. Don't vote your conscience. Don't vote your intellect. Vote for money. It's all that matters. cy from arlington, va

    January 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  68. Billy in Louisiana

    I think they should take it as far as they can. Giving us Democrats more time to set back and enjoy the Reality T.V. they are providing for us. More popcorn anyone?

    January 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  69. Joe M

    No, because there will have only been three states which have voted at that point. Is it really just up to those three states to decide, election after election, without ever giving the rest of the country a chance to have its say?

    Also, Ron Paul, should, can, and will stay in this all the way to the convention, and I seriously doubt Obama would be able to steal any of Paul's attack lines, as they could pretty much all be applied to Obama as well.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  70. Chris

    I hope you are kidding. He would have only the tinyist fraction of the delegates necessary and no western state would have had a chance to weigh in, at all.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  71. Kathie

    too many unanswered questions about willard. where are his tax returns? what is his involvement with bain past and present? where is the proof he created all the jobs he claims instead of just raiding a company for $$$? since he questions Obama about this where is his birth certificate and college records? all willard seems to be able to do is criticize–just what is his plan(s)? willard seems intent on saying anything and spending any amount to buy an election. very very scary person!!! Plus this is the jerk who put his dog on the roof of his car for hours–talk about cold hearted!

    January 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  72. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    No-all but ONE of them should drop out and keep running AGAINST him. The longer this race goes on, the better for President Obama.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  73. Rafael Sanguily

    Ron Paul supporters will never back anyone other than Ron Paul. A vote for anyone else especially Romney would be a vote for Obama. IE more of the same... Frankly I would rather take 4 more years of Obama, than risk 8 years of Romney. At least in four years Rand could run for office.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  74. jemekia toloris

    One word Jack YES!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Guest

    I think that every candidate that is not Ron Paul should, sure. From the debates, I'm not even sure why the other ones are running against each other...they seem to agree on almost everything, and Mitt is the one with the financials to back their platform. Time to cut out the waste and get down to business!

    January 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  76. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Goodness, no, what fun would that be. Ron Paul is not going anywhere, especially if he pulls of a surprise second in South Carolina. I suspect Gingrich and Perry will leave fairly quickly, as will Santorum, given the fact that the values voters did not really coalesce, which means none of these has the infrastructure to go on very long.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  77. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York


    The deals are being struck as we speak, although seeing Newt Gingrich as HUD Secretary in a Romney Administration is even scarier than having Mitt Romney as President.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  78. Jeff In Minnesota

    One would think, but I'll bet they will not leave. None of them will go quietly, particularly Ron Paul. It still amazes me that we allow the far left and far right select our leaders. Until the primary process is changed and moderates come back into the process, we will continue to get this "circus" every four years that they call the primary season.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  79. Rex in Portland, OR

    The best thing that could happen is for all five remaining candidates to drop out. Perhaps the republican party could then find a reasonable person that stands a chance of beating Obama in November.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  80. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Yes. The object is to defeat Obama and the sooner we get started and stop the infighting, the better.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Leah

    Absolutely not! After only 3 states have had a chance to weigh in is no time to tell the rest of the country that their votes don't count. Any of them that want to and can afford to stay in should do so. Obama is not learning anything new to use against Romney through this process, so that is a complete non-issue.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  82. David From NY

    I am republican and I hope Ron Paul runs third party. This will show the people have a voice and not the ones who have the most money.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  83. dave in nashville

    I'd want to know who he picks for VP before backing out or backing him.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  84. Cy Gardner

    So, a few thousand white people in Iowa and New Hampshire decide who the nominee will be. Even though the majority of those people voted AGAINST Romney, the Republicans in the other 48 states can keep their prmary vote in their pocket because Romney got a QUARTER of the vote in Iowa. Maybe the Republicans should give up on caucuses and primaries and decide who should run the country based on an auction or a telethon? Romney won Iowa by EIGHT votes. By all means, the Republicans in 48 other states should forget trying to vote for a candidate who shares their views and values. They've been outbid, money has spoken! Election day is over. We are now a plutocracy. cy from arlington, va

    January 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  85. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Whether they should or shouldn't isn't really the question you should be asking, Jack. The question you should be asking is, will they see the writing on the ballots? I personally hope not, as it will be the Democrats' revenge for 2008, when there were TWO Democratic presidential candidates to one GOP candidate.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  86. s in fl

    You bet, Jack. And when there done, Mitt can give them all a ride home in his cartop carrier.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  87. Martha Brooks

    Heck no! Then the fun will be all over. Historically it's been the Dems in disarray, while the GOP remained smug and seemingly dignified. It's great to see them in confusion, skewering each other unmercifully.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  88. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes! Romney is more of a moderate than any republican. Obama has had three years to show us some change and hope.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  89. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Jack, I'd say it's a done deal after Florida.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  90. John

    Willard should seriously consider a third party run. Since he has a lot of money, he could fund a third party effort. Obviously, he has the support of less than half the GOP and a limited appeal to independent voters, his chances of winning as a Republican in the general election are slim. His best chance of success is to run as a third party candidate looking to take dissatisfied moderates away from Obama. That along with a third of the Republican vote, he might squeak through with a plurality of the vote. Perhaps he could resurrect the old Whig Party.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  91. Dale N.M.

    Mitt Romney or Pres.Obama or whoever the big crash is coming, I would not want to be president of the United States when it happens.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  92. marybeth, massachusetts


    No, I don't think so. The last time I checked, we haven't been invaded and had huge sections of the country annexed by the invaders. There are still 50 states plus the District of Columbia. We're only 2 weeks into the primaries, and only 2 states have had their chance to vote–Iowa (caucasus) and New Hampshire (primary). South Carolina will only be the 3rd state and 2nd primary to be held this coming Saturday. Why should the nomination be determined by these 3 states only? New Hampshire and Iowa don't even have a lot of delegates, so I should think that you (media) and the Republican party should wait until the rest of the states hold their primaries, and that's the majority of the states–47 of them.

    The election season seems long because you've made it longer. How about smartening up next time, and don't start reporting on candidates until January 2016. No debates until a week before the Iowa caucasus. This way there won't be electioneering fatigue by both the public and the media, and the media won't be tempted to declare the winner of Iowa the nominee.

    You're the rest of the country a huge disservice, and if I were a republican, I'd be mad that you (media and the party) are taking away my vote and my choices from me. I wouldn't want to be told to get in line and vote for Romney because he has the most money and can afford to continue his campaign.

    And if you get the money out of politics–then the nomination won't go to the richest candidate vs the best candidate.

    I'm not thrilled on the democratic side either–there should be someone to challenge Obama.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  93. Rick, Medina, OH


    The 'ethic' of politics has changed ... in years past, politicians pushed until they concluded they could no longer win. Then they aligned themselves behind the winner. Now, they push until they can no longer raise money, and become silent.

    Medina, OH

    January 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  94. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    All the Republicans, except maybe Ron Paul, should drop out after Florida. I have had enough of this constant pointless debates and talking points where everybody agrees. Santorum & Perry should drop out and get behind Mitt. Newt should get behind Ron Paul. And we need to move more toward our general election and the real world.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  95. garry loper

    He has not won the delegate war yet! The first to 1150 wins, and Dr. Paul will get there first.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  96. Jon

    Absolutely not! There is literally no difference of policy between Obama and Romney. Both support bank bailouts, endless wars of aggression,invasions on citizens privacy, and the INDEFINITE DETENTION

    January 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  97. Susan from Idaho

    Well they should drop out but support Obama. Ronmey is an also ran that is no better the second time around

    January 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  98. thom richer

    Should they? No. Will they? Yes. Lock step.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  99. Jon

    Absolutely not! There is literally no difference in policy between Romney and Obama. Both support bank bailouts, endless wars of aggression,invasions of privacy, corporate person hood, the police state, and the INDEFINITE DETENTION of AMERICAN CITIZENS. Real American patriots have taken a stand of conviction by support Ron Paul. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  100. AB

    When Romney wins the South Carolina primary, not if he wins, ( he will win!!), the other candidates should just hang it up and rally around him and support him. These other candidates are unelectable. Romney is the best that the Republican Party can do. The party could have done better with Huntsman, but he dropped out since he was ignored. Romney has the most money, organization and will ultimately win the nomination.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  101. Annie, Atlanta

    Though I hate how they're tearing each other apart, I think those remaining should stay in as long as they can. The exposure they've given themselves and their beliefs is priceless. Who knew so many people could lack civility, decency, empathy, humanity, and honor?

    January 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  102. Jon from Tempe, Az

    I would say Rick Perry should definitely drop out as it appears that he will not get much above 5 percent. Ron Paul I do not think should because I do not think his sole purpose there is to win the election. He is more of an educator. He wants to bring his issues to the foreforont. I think whoever between Gingrich and Santorum gets the lower number of votes should drop out so that the conservatives have a single person to fall behind. I do not think that will happen though.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  103. Robert (Texas)

    No, in the past when delegates were handed out in a winner take all fashion, it was acceptable to drop out early, but this time just like Rockefeller/Goldwater, 2 men could go to the National Convention with out enough delegates to win, and just like Rockefeller/Goldwater it will be the GOP delegates, not the media who will decide the nominee. Hopefully it will be Ron Paul.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Wayne in Maine

    All of them should do the smart thing and just drop out now, including Romney. Obama will will a second term and people are already fed up with the dirty mud slinging.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  105. Suzanne (Utah)

    What do we care about here? Of course they should drop out. We should be fighting Obama and all the things that are wrong with the current administration-not each other! Polls show Romney is the best to fight Obama. Again–what do we really care about?

    January 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  106. Viktor

    No the race should continue until Romney has 51% support from the Republican voters. At this point Romney has not said what he would do if elected. All he has planned so far is to pay no more than a 15% tax rate and to make money by manipulating weak companies.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  107. John, Texas

    I believe that republican candidates should all drop the gloves, however Mitt should do the same and hand it to Obama. It's a shame that not a single Republican candidate is convincing enough to be our next leader. Times have changed.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  108. Damien Freeze

    If all of the GOP candidates drop out and back Mitt Romney, how does that reflect on the democratic process? In effect, three states will have decided the GOP candidate for the remaining 48 (Including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). It seems to me that the vast majority of republican voters will have been disenfranchised by the GOP candidates. Of course, what else do you expect from the Republicans?

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    if mitt romney wins south carolina santorum, gingrich, and romney should drop out so ron paul can win. just because romney has the most support from a minority group like republicans doesn't mean he will win. Ron Paul gets support from all different types of people. what makes people think romney has the chops to convert enough democrats and independents, its ludicrous

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  110. Nick coelho

    What you and many others have forgotten is that the GOP primary rules were changed this cycle to elongate the process and elevate the importance of states further down the line. A win in South Carolina and even Flordia doesn't decide anything, collectively containing 5% of available delegates. Let's winnow the field down to 3 and then we'll have some fun.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  111. solomon

    yes they should, just as they lined up behind bob dole, and he is going to suffer the same faith.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  112. Alex Landi

    Mt. Shasta, CA
    Yes-the others should get behind Romney as polls show that Republican voters think he has the best chance of beating Obama. The goal is getting Obama out , not electing the most "authentic" conservative. Romney can get large numbers of swing voters that are necessary to win. I'm a conservative, and I would rather win with Romney than lose with a more conservative candidate.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  113. Ralph Hornsby

    No, they should not drop out and support him unless they want to be in his administration. Obama will get a second term anyway because Ron Paul supporters will not vote for the GOP nominee. We will write in Paul's name or vote for Gary Johnson or Buddy Roemer. Romney can't win without Paul supporters.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  114. Peter, Kansas

    If Mitt Romney wins in South Carolina, Gingrich, Santorum, and the like probably will drop out. Ron Paul will not, and his supporters won't care what damage is done to Romney. To a lot of us, there is not a real, substantive difference between a Romney and Obama. Both will spend too much, infringe out personal freedoms, and in the interest of their cronies. Ron Paul is going to stay the long haul, and it is going to be awkward.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  115. Brian (NJ)

    No one should drop out until they decide to. The media is pushing Romey as the best thing to offer and this is far from the truth. It is the people that vote, not biased media groups pushing their opinions that no one is buying anymore.
    What happened to media reporting the news and not pushing the opinions of their owners who know nothing about 99% of the voters?

    January 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  116. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    First of all, Romney tied Santorum in Iowa, according to the latest figures. So he's only won New Hampshire. Let;s face it. Only Gingrich has the ability and know-how to debate Obama.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Mary in Morgantown, WV

    Really Jack? Then why should we even have the rest of the primaries? If the media would stop leading around the American public, maybe we could have a real election; where we actually make decisions based on issues and candidates, and not what the media tells us.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Sandstone.

    "As for Romney: Why not go quadra-phonic, and shout it from the ceilings all over the USA?"

    January 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Karen, Idaho

    He barely won Iowa, owns property in New Hampshire, and had a white crowd at the debate in South Carolina. Three small wins like these does not necesarily mean the rest of the country likes him. When they declared their candidacy, the other candidates must have thought they had good enough ideas to be President. They should continue to fight for their beliefs - not follow meekly behind Romney like sheep.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  120. Ron

    Not everyone should drop out. Only Mr. Perry. The other candidates still have a message to deliver with respect to issues important to the GOP platform.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  121. Cal in CA

    Everyone can speculate or purport their version of conventional wisdom. But it would be sad if the candidates just quit after just a few states that don't represent America have weighed in. Super Tuesday isn't even here yet. And for those who think that the longer this goes on helps Obama, they are wrong. The longer there is a moving target, the longer the Republicans can filter out their best choice. If they just concede to Romney, all the Republicans have is one lying bastard and that's never going to have a chance.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  122. John-Taden, Rocksprings Wy

    Jack! The rest of the candidates withdrawing after SC would mean imposing a nominee on most other states that haven't had a chance to make their point yet. Besides, each candidate would be looking to see others withdraw and support him as the remaining Romney-Alternative, who I believe would have a pretty good chance of claiming the nomination from current frontrunner, Romney.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  123. David M

    No. If the people vote a nominee that has the corporate money and talks slick enough to possibly beat the President with even more money and talked his way to the Presidency with false promises, what makes the people think a carbon copy would change the country? Anyone willing to admit the corruption enveloping the establishment and the country should be the one nominated, not the persons associated with the corruption.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  124. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – I hope that these other idiots stay in the race until the bitter end, the better to discredit Republican policy and positions. Every objective non-partisan analysis demonstrates that it was Republican policy that brought about the crash of 2008 and that it is Republican politicians who have made the recovery from that crash the most gradual and weakest in living memory. The more they beat each other up, the better Mr Obama looks. Unfortunately, under our system, the President merely proposes and Congress actually disposes, so unless there is a Democratic sweep in the Senate it will not matter if a Republican is elected President or not. Washington is not broken, the Congress is, and it was the Republicans who broke it and keep it that way. Against that factual backdrop the Republican Presidential primary is really not important at all.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  125. Kevin K, Scottsdale AZ

    No way, Jack! The actual number of voters is such a SMALL sample size. It's NOT representative of the entire 50 United States. It's unbelievable to me that many Americans are more interested in voting for an "electable" candidate rather than actually electing THEIR candidate. More Republicans DON'T want Romney. That's what the numbers have proven so far. It's only fair to let the process play out on its own. If it takes all the way to the Republican convention in the summer, so be it. Voters will still have plenty of time to decide who their President will be even if the Republicans don't nominate until September. (P.S. I find it fascinating that Romney vs. Obama is a statistical tie. Paul vs. Obama is nearly the same. Newt vs. Obama. So we really haven't decided anything so far).

    January 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  126. Brett

    Maybe they should all drop off, including Mr. "I only pay 15% which is less the ANYONE ON THIS POLE".

    January 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  127. Ron

    No, not all should drop out. Just Mr. Perry.
    The remaining candidates still have a message to deliver as they relate to the GOP platform.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  128. Elsa Dubois

    They should but they won't. Now we wait for the revelation and confirmation of their true characters-no patriots here. Remember the gentlemanly manner Romney transitioned from competitor to supporter in 2008-that's a patriot! Country first. Those other clowns don't even know what that word is!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  129. Tom from Ebensburg, PA

    To end the race now excludes all states hereafter from active, meaningful participation in the process. Why should we then care what happens in November? Anything can happen in politics and what looks like a "sure thing" today can turn on a dime. Also, Jack, wouldn't YOU miss the drama?

    January 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  130. RobynH

    I suggest they should hold a ceromony for Mitt on March 15th,
    Where Mr. Romney can declare himself God Emperor of the Republic,
    Then all of the Roman,excuse me, Republican Senators can just let
    Nature take its course.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  131. Paul Romportl

    United we STAND...DIVIDED...the Republican party will . . . FALL ~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We have a tough battle this fall...and the Republican party better come together now ...or only blame OURSELVES as we take negative shots at each other while our Democratic teamates ...smile ear to ear!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  132. Tom Lawrence

    Why should the results of three states determine the fate of the entire nation? Does anyone actually believe that Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are representitive of the whole? It is a shame that nominations are usually determined before the majority of the country, or even the party, has an opportunity to make their voices heard. It is as though we in the other states are being told that our opinion counts for nothing.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  133. King from MA


    The answer is: No. As a Massachusetts liberal (see, I am not afraid to use the "L" word) democrat, I want the other GOP candidates to stay in the race, and beat up on Mitt Romney. This is the best "reality show" since the first Survivor show. By the way Jack, I love my ROMNEYCARE.

    King form MA

    January 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  134. Maria Dubois

    They probably should but they won't. Now we wait for the revelation and confirmation of their true characters-no patriots here. Remember the gentlemanly manner Romney transitioned from competitor to supporter in 2008-that's a patriot! Country first. Those other clowns don't even know what that word is!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  135. Robert (ME)

    NO. The voices of all fifty states should be heard. The idea that three states can decide a nomination severly dimishes the process of states rights which the candidates and the party hold dear.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  136. Penelope

    They aren't that politically savvy. Newt is to angry and the Ricks are too clueless.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  137. Maria Dubois from Minnesota

    They probablyshould but they won't. Now we wait for the revelation and confirmation of their true characters-no patriots here. Remember the gentlemanly manner Romney transitioned from competitor to supporter in 2008-that's a patriot! Country first. Those other clowns don't even know what that word is!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  138. L K Adams

    I strongly resent media personalities taking the position that the voters in the other 47 states don't matter. Stop dictating and let the voters vote!
    Houston, Texas

    January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  139. Will From Georgia

    Jack, uniting behind one candidate would make sense, however, given the current state of lunacy in politics, why would you even think they would unite over anything. Lets face it, dealing with the problems of the people of this country are so far from reality for these guys it is laughable. The republican party should dump everyone of them and start all over with people that have no political experience but real world living experience. You know, like 99% percent of the people in America.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  140. Jerry in Alaska

    That would be a GR8 BIG NO!
    Why should we accept a person that liberal media has chosen as their ONE to run against their Chosen One?
    But thanks for asking.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm |