Last night was rough for Mitt Romney.
In addition to losing Missouri's "beauty contest," he came in third in Minnesota and lost Colorado, a state he expected to win handily—after all, he carried the state with 60 percent of the vote in 2008.
That comes on top of new polling that confirms Democrats are more excited about the November elections than Republicans. That can't be good for the Republican Party's prospects—or Romneyland's in particular.
But the past months have proved that it shouldn't be surprising that enthusiasm is cratering for the GOP and for Romney. Primary voters have been confronted with a field of deeply flawed candidates who offer nothing new and who want to double down on the failed economic policies that tanked our economy in 2008.
And GOP primary voters and general-election independents are now turning away from their party's frontrunner, Romney, a candidate who will say anything to get elected—so much so that he cannot be trusted to lead. His private-sector experience has rapidly gone from a plus to a liability: Laying off people and bankrupting companies to line your own pockets is not what Americans think when they think of free enterprise.
Boston, you have a problem.
But don't take it from us. Here's a sample of what they're saying.
Jon Ward wrote in the Huffington Post today:
"It was a very bad night for Mitt Romney Tuesday, no matter which way you sliced it, another harsh blow undermining his argument that he is the strongest Republican candidate for president.
"It happened in Iowa on Jan. 3. It happened Jan. 22 in South Carolina. And on Tuesday night, Romney was again rejected by a large portion of the Republican electorate, this time in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. …
"No amount of spinning by the Romney campaign about delegate counts could obscure what the night made crystal clear: their candidate remains unable to excite passion in the GOP and remains a long way from closing the deal with voters."
Taegan Goddard at Political Wire wrote:
"An emerging theme is that Mitt Romney can't win any state unless he's able to hammer his opponents with negative ads."
And Talking Points Memo's Benjy Sarlin tweeted:
@BenjySarlin: So while Missouri doesn't count, not a good sign that 100,000+ Republicans came out just to say they don't want Romney