It did not take long for the national pundits to crown former Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, the winner of caucuses in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado Tuesday evening. He won handily with about 55 percent of the vote in Missouri, about 45 percent support in Minnesota and just north of 40 percent in Minnesota (pun intended).
Pundits also wasted no time wondering what Santorum's wins mean, how they will affect the race for a Republican presidential nominee and whether or not he poses a real threat to front-runner Mitt Romney.
One individual compared the competition to men trying to woo a woman. Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spent most of their time talking about each other, while a guy in a sweater vest -- Santorum -- has been focusing on the woman and promising to spoil her, she said.
Others added that Santorum's perceived empathy and sincerity contrast him against Romney, who has been caught saying many different contrasting comments on many different occasions.
Especially considering Romney's trial run in 2008, and the fact he has been the media's pick from the beginning of this race, he has been thoroughly vetted by the media and potential voters. Now that Santorum is rising in the ranks, he's going to have to be prepared for the same sort of treatment.
There's more in the closet than one might think.
For example, Santorum created the Operation Good Neighbor Foundation in 2001, but the organization spent just 35.9 percent of nearly $1 million on charitable grants through 2003, less than half of the expectation to spend at least 75 percent on such causes. Similarly, only 18 percent of the America's Foundation Political Action Committee went to fund political candidates.
Members of the Tea Party movement that have been supportive of Santorum thus far have either been able to over look his work as a lobbyist and his support of a $100 million federal loan for a $750 million energy plant or are unaware of those components, in addition to $72,000 the Penn Hills School District had to pay for cyberschooling of Santorum's kids and other not-so-conservative pieces of his history.
But, reporters should be banging down the doors to get the scoop on such stories now.
At the same time, Romney is in a pickle because he can either try to pander to conservatives and continue to look like a flip-flopper, or keep his moderate approach and have difficulty distinguishing himself from Obama if and when he wins the nomination.
Romney does have the pocketbook advantage over Santorum, though, with about $54 million raised overall and 71 times more cash on hand. Yes, Tuesday night's wins are expected to pump funds into Santorum's campaign, but can he catch up enough to steal the show?
Most likely, he will raise just enough to continue to drag out the nomination process, along with Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul. Even if this drawn-out process does not lead to a brokered Republican National Convention, it will wear out the eventual nominee and weaken the odds.
So, who really won Tuesday night?
He's already sitting in the White House.