There is no joy today as Mitt-ville becomes Mud-ville after Rick Santorum swept Mitt Romney in all three Republican elections Tuesday. The former Pennsylvania senator won both caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, as well as the ′beauty contest′ primary in Missouri. Perhaps the most shocking assessment of the evening was the fact that Romney lost sizable amounts of support in each state from when he ran in 2008. Turn out was substantially lower in all three states, indicating that while the GOP Establishment might like Mitt Romney, the rank and file Republicans in the real world outside the Beltway consider him to be a paper rooster. So what happened and why?

santorum sweeps romney

Oh, the humanity of it all! Romney′s campaign looked like the Hindenburg disaster. Here is a rundown on yesterday′s results:

Missouri fell first with Santorum winning 55% to Romney′s 25%. Ron Paul got just 12% and Newt Gingrich was not on the ballot. Then Minnesota was next with Santorum clobbering Romney 45% to 17%. Ron Paul actually came in second with 27% of the vote. Gingrich finished fourth with just 11%. Then came Colorado.. Santorum won with 40% over Romney′s 35%. Gingrich finished third with 13% and Ron Paul was fourth with 12%.

So why did Rick Santorum win all three elections? A combination of elements contributed to the results. First, Santorum was the least tainted after a nasty dogfight between Romney and Gingrich in Florida. Mitt may have won in Florida, but he won ugly, carpet bombing Gingrich with some 13,000 negative TV ads compared to only 200 aired by Newt. Romney′s favorables have been declining nationwide since then.

Secondly, Santorum has been the ′social conservative′ choice pretty much since Day One. Outside events played well for him, the perfect timing for such issues like the Obama war on the Catholic Church over contraceptives and Obama-Care mandates. Yesterday′s ruling in California by the 9th District Federal Court throwing out the ban on same-sex marriage also may have played a role. Plus last week′s Planned Parenthood flap about breast cancer screening. Santorum has also been highly outspoken and consistent about the potential of Iran developing nuclear weapons and attacking Israel with them.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has been a one-note candidate and off-key at that. Emphasizing his alleged business experience as being best for dealing with the economy, Romney long ago released a lengthy, 59-point plan which nobody really takes seriously. At best it tweaks some federal regulations and tax code. Unlike proposals from other candidates who call for sweeping changes such as a flat tax. With some economists believing that the economy is improving and unemployment rates appearing to fall, Romney′s main issue may be evaporating. His continued support for Romney-Care, which is the basis for Obama-Care, and his flip-flops on other social issues like abortion and gay marriage just make him too Liberal for too many Conservatives.

The low turn out in all three elections yesterday are the beginning of a pattern centered squarely on Mitt Romney and his inability to ′close the deal′ with Republicans and Conservatives. Take Missouri, where Romney finished third in 2008 with 29% and a total vote count of about 172,000. Mitt finished second with just 25% and a vote total of less than 64,000. In Minnesota, Romney won in 2008 with over 41% and nearly 26,000 votes. In 2012, he finished third with 17% and barely 8,000 votes. Colorado, a key swing state, Romney won handily in 2008 with 60% and over 42,000 votes. In 2012 he finished second with 35% and less than 23,000 votes.

Mitt Romney has been running for president for about six years now. Sure, he has money and an organization, but he has no real message and is not creating any enthusiasm. Instead we have diminishing returns as the nation begins to see just how dull and pointless he is. New polls are also now cutting into his last refuge as being considered the best candidate to compete against Barack Obama. One shows him only doing one percent better than Gingrich and still losing to Obama by eight points.

The wheels are coming off the Mitt Romney campaign as Rick Santorum swept all three Republican contests yesterday. Santorum easily won the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses for 2012 and clobbered Romney senseless in a no-delegate Missouri primary. Aside from a caucus in Maine which ends on Saturday that nobody really cares about, other than Ron Paul, attention now shifts to primaries in Michigan and Arizona just before the six-state bonanza on Super Tuesday on March 6. Newt Gingrich is already working those states for March, since deciding not to compete in yesterday′s elections nor in the rest of the February schedule. This leaves the door wide open for Rick Santorum to challenge Mitt Romney. Look out, Rick, because you will be carpet bombed by the Romney machine next!