Home > General > State of the Race: Romney with Clear Path to Victory

State of the Race: Romney with Clear Path to Victory

With a win in Iowa, is the race over? On one hand, the “establishment” says it is, while the anti-Romney crowd says know way. Realistically, it is very difficult to see a scenario where Romney is not the nominee. Here’s why:

Momentum: Momentum is key in the nominating process, and Romney has most of it (followed by Santorum with some of it) and Gingrich (the frontrunner since November) has absolutely none of it. Romney was never supposed to win Iowa. He didn’t even try to win Iowa until the final few weeks and realized he had a shot. He only spent a little over $1 million and very little time there, less than 1/2 the time as the nearest contender, and less than 1/5 the time as Santorum. Iowa was suppose to select the clear “anti-Romney” – supposedly Newt – and Romney was going to finish behind Paul. None of that happened. Now, Romney rides a solid week into New Hampshire, where in a recent Suffolk Poll (take the day of and after Iowa), Romney had a higher percentage of votes in the state than Paul, Newt, Santorum, Perry, and Huntsman combined. So yes, even if Santorum (or Newt) were to get every single vote from the other anti-Romney’s, he would still lose Iowa.

The other bad news on the momentum front for the anti-Romney’s is, with a clear victory in New Hampshire, and with Paul likely finishing second, both Santorum and Newt will fail to create any separation from each other. Romney will be riding on 3 weeks with 2 important victories, while Newt and Santorum will be staking what is left on South Carolina. It seems they are refusing to go after each other, which doesn’t help either one since they are both each others competition. Polling had Romney close in a 2 way race in South Carolina. Add momentum and a 3rd entrant (plus Perry will be spending what he has left there), and PPP reported that Romney has a double-digit lead on Newt Santorum in South Carolina.

The Newt-Santorum battle will likely be unresolved by South Carolina. While some movement has been towards Santorum, he will be quickly vetted and already has some major problems. A video is now circulating where he blasts the Tea Party for wanting to change the way the Tea Party wants to change the GOP, specifically on earmarks and spending. In a separate issue where he talked about “black” people on welfare he is now bizarrely trying to claim he said “blah people.” In other words, Newt-Santorum will be fighting for second in South Carolina.

A Romney win in South Carolina is seeming increasingly likely. Obviously he will be riding on a wave of victories, and will be fighting against two poorly funded and unorganized candidates (and one well-funded candidate in Perry). Voters still view Romney as most able to beat Obama, and many times that over-rides a sense of who they like the best.

From South Carolina, it’s a 10-day sprint to Florida. Neither Newt nor Santorum can afford to do much in Florida right now. If Newt tops Santorum in the state (either finishing first or second) that would leave a split decision between him and Santorum. Neither will get out of the race, and they could again split the vote in Florida. If Santorum wins, he doesn’t have the organization to fund an operation in Florida in any event, and Florida is very expensive to compete in.

Figure that Romney is always one state ahead. He is in South Carolina right now while Santorum and Newt are unwisely wasting time in New Hampshire. What’s worse, is by wasting time and trying to knock Romney down, by failing it only makes Romney seem even stronger. If they would have left New Hampshire to Huntsman and Paul to battle over and lose, they could have easily dismissed the inevitable Romney win as a win in a state of RINO’s where he is supposed to win. Santorum already made a tactical error in this regarding by making the point that Reagan lost Iowa but won New Hampshire. Coveting the NH primary that will go to Romney helps Romney that much more.

February will be Romney territory. He should breeze through Nevada and Michigan (the two notable swing states on the list) and can afford to run ads in the other smaller states going at the time. Whoever is still in the race (Newt/Santorum) will have trouble trying to organize in all of the little states in between.

In March, on Super Tuesday, 10 states will be ready to go to caucus. Romney will have money to spend in all ten of them. Newt, Santorum, and Perry won’t even be on the Virginia ballot, the 12th largest state, and the 4th largest delegate count of the day. Absent a win in South Carolina or Florida, will they even have the funds to compete in half of the states?

The bottom line is this: Romney knows a knock-out punch can be delivered in South Carolina, even though many deniers will stand on the roof tops and yell about the few number of delegates that have been awarded to that point. It doesn’t matter. Money dries up fast when you keep losing. And money keeps coming in when you keep winning. Romney popped into Iowa at the last minute because he saw he could win, he did, and picked up a state he never should have won. South Carolina is deemed the other state he shouldn’t win. He can afford to spend a lot of money in South Carolina, and he will.

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Categories: General
  1. January 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

    The country needs the strength and common sense of a certain lady from Wasilla Ak.
    Just sayin.

    • Nick
      January 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      Agreed!

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