Keep those gloves on, Mitt.
How much closer does this bring Romney to being the Republican nominee? Can any of his rivals realistically stop him in South Carolina, Florida or beyond? And which of them is the most likely to drop out?
My Answer: Romney won by barely the numbers he had to get to look like a real winner in his almost-home state. But he did what he needed to do and barring a self-immolating mistake will stay just enough ahead of the pack to become the Republican nominee.
It’s unclear to me why people (read, “media”) continue not to take Paul seriously, despite his strong showings in New Hampshire and Iowa. Many of his ideas are likely to prevail within the party even if he does not, and that could give Romney major heartburn in a general election. Paul is likely to stay in just to make this happen.
Huntsman made the showing he needed, but he can forget about the Southern states. Not only do they not speak Mandarin, but his positions are way too sensible to break double digits in bright red Evangelical territory. He’ll leave after South Carolina with his head high and probably a chance at another ambassadorship in the offing.
Newt will get increasingly full of pious baloney. Still, he knows the South and won’t bolt the race until he’d have to sell some of Calista’s Tiffany jewels to stay in.
Santorum rightfully got his nose rubbed in the dirt despite–or maybe because of–claiming to be the Jesus candidate. He has passionate acolytes in South Carolina, making it likely he’ll make a last ditch effort to rise from the near-dead.
So all in all, with Perry back for South Carolina, it looks like another bruising battle there and maybe on to Florida.
Here’s the link to my original post on Politico…
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