Santorum suspends his campaign

Yes! This is it.

Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.

"Suspension" is just a legal term that lets Rick Santorum continue to raise money…but his active campaign for president is over. His participation in the campaign, however, isn't. So there are still bumps ahead for the GOP.

Evidence?: this afternoon, Santorum said–for him–the campaign "was a love affair."

But, for many voters, there wasn't much to love in the war of words, all the negative TV ads, and the endless debates that pitted the GOP candidates against one another.

So, if Santorum–as he promises–continues to stand for the values he says make us America, then he may hurt (more than help) Republican efforts to unify. And now that he's certain to be the nominee, that's Mitt Romney's biggest problem: putting his party back together again.

Santorum attacked Romney on social issues, and called him "the worse possible republican to run against" President Obama.

So Romney is going to have to appeal to both Santorum's supporters and the majority of American voters, who are not right-wing.

It won't be an easy balancing act.

And Newt Gingrich? If he wants to, he can look in the mirror and see the last conservative with any possibility of beating Romney. But the math is misleading, because it suggests Gingrich has some chance to win…and–realistically–he doesn't. Here's what today means: the Republican race is over; the general election is underway, and–as we've expected for weeks–it's Romney versus Obama.

But the battle between Romney and the rest of the Republicans isn't done.

When Santorum quit today, he didn't even mention Romney's name.

It wasn't an oversight, or a mistake: it was a sign of how angry, and deeply divided, the Republicans remain.

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