Guest post by Mark Snyder.
Tonight looks as if it’ll be a pretty bleak night if your name isn’t Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich will win Georgia but won’t break 50 percent, and the real delegate contest will be in individual congressional districts, and Romney might be able to pick off some of those delegates. Virginia and Massachusetts are non-contests, and the fact Mitt is running only about a point behind Rick Santorum in Tennessee really spells the end to the idea that “anyone but Mitt” might run away with this.
The race up until this point has been about narrative, and it would be hard to imagine waking up to another Colorado/Minnesota/Missouri surprise. At this point, Santorum is just shooting himself in the foot, left and right; no one is willing to give Gingrich another surge because we’ve seen him fall too many times already; and Ron Paul will never appeal to more than 30 percent of the electorate. The narrative is now that Romney has repeatedly beat back his opponents with his superior money machine and organization at the state level. Even though much of that “organization” is a single office in the state, it’s still comparatively better.
So if Romney wins Massachusetts outright, a popular/delegate advantage in Ohio (bonus points if he wins by more than 5 percent), picks up some delegates in Georgia, takes all of Virginia, gets close or wins Tennessee and doesn’t get romped in Oklahoma/the caucus states, he’s going to lock this thing up in all but name. He’ll have trouble in Alabama and Mississippi, but if he does better than expected in Tennessee and Oklahoma, he might sail through the defeats unscathed because of the apparent claim of inevitability. Republican voters will start seeing the advantage he has and settle. And after that, it’s even smoother sailing.
[Continue reading Mark Snyder’s guest post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.