The Big Conversation:
Rick Santorum's departure has officially dashed any hopes of a competitive Texas primary, but the ramifications of his exit don't end at the top of the ballot.
Santorum abruptly dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, ending a candidacy that had emerged for a time as the most viable conservative alternative to that of front-runner Mitt Romney, who had amassed a delegate lead that many had deemed insurmountable.
The former Pennsylvania senator's exit effectively ends the Republican nominating process, though in his speech Santorum stopped short of endorsing Romney. "While this presidential race ...