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It's Super Tuesday and the GOP is left with a mere survivor

Students of a middle school in Fairfax County, Virginia, were given an assignment by their teacher to find weaknesses in each of the four GOP campaigns and research how to send the information to the Obama campaign.AP

In 1966 there was a spectacular movie directed by Bruce Brown called the “Endless Summer,” viewed by many as the ultimate surfing adventure. 

The theme of the movie was to follow two California surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave. They discovered there was not just one perfect wave but many perfect waves. And what this film really did was introduce millions of people like myself to the splendor of the sport itself, surfing. 

Like most who watched, I never went near a surf board, but I will never forget the majesty of the endeavor.

Unfortunately in this campaign cycle, there is no majesty of the endeavor. 

Somewhat like “Endless Summer,” the Republican Party undertook a course of action to find the perfect candidate. And unfortunately the end result isn’t many perfect candidates, or even adequate ones, but a survivor who has been damaged by the process itself. 

The latest national polls are indicating a voter fatigue even among Republicans that may be troublesome in the fall.

Even as more Republicans are concluding that Romney will be the standard bearer against President Obama, his disapproval numbers are rising and now more voters view him negatively that positively. 

The party image is also suffering and that may have an impact on our chances of winning a majority in the Senate.

Super Tuesday should start to bring this marathon to a conclusion. 

If Mitt Romney wins Ohio and latest polls indicate that is very possible, the race is all but over. 

He will still be a long way from the 1144 delegates he needs to be nominated but his superior organization and fund raising operation and establishment support will make it extremely difficult for Santorum or Gingrich to stop him. Romney surely wins his home state of Massachusetts. 

He should easily carry Virginia (only Paul and Romney are on the ballot); his neighboring state Vermont and possibly Idaho (a big Mormon vote). 

Over the last few days, he has gained on Santorum in Tennessee and could also win there. 

That leaves only Oklahoma as a sure Santorum victory. 

Gingrich wins his home state Georgia and uses that as his rationale for continuing the race. 

Alaska’s two week long caucus is an unknown quantity but it doesn’t really matter. 

Nothing will really matter unless Ohio voters give Santorum a win. That would be perceived as showing a weakness for Romney in the Republican must win state. (No Republican has ever won without winning Ohio in the fall) If that happens, the battle goes on and the self inflicted damage will continue. 

With Santorum and Gingrich dividing the conservative base, it’s only a matter of time for the inevitable Romney machine to actually become inevitable. 

But even though Republicans are tied down, Obama’s unencumbered political machine is not and they are already dumping damaging material on Romney and will continue to do so all the way till November. 

Unlike waves, no campaign is perfect. The candidate who rides them must be able to react to the changing currents. 

So far the sea of 2012 has been rough riding and if Mitt Romney emerges victorious on Tuesday night, the process of readjusting to a fall campaign can begin in earnest. 

If not, the seas ahead will be rough. 

Unlike the “Endless Summer” movie, none of this has been pretty and few who are watching will ever describe this as a process they will want to see again!

Edward J. Rollins is a Fox News contributor. He is a former assistant to President Reagan and he managed his reelection campaign. He is a senior presidential fellow at Hofstra University and a member of the Political Consultants Hall of Fame.

Edward J. Rollins is a Fox News contributor. He is a former assistant to President Reagan and he managed his reelection campaign. He is a senior presidential fellow at Hofstra University and a member of the Political Consultants Hall of Fame.