While the results tonight in Florida may be a foregone conclusion, the aftermath still offers suspense. What will Newt do next? Will Romney now pivot to taking on Obama? How long will Obama wait before running ads against Romney to drive his negatives?
Here is my speculation. Newt will stay in as long as there are debates to give him oxygen. Mitt should figure out a way to avoid them. He should resist the pressure to debate by saying that there have been dozens of debates, and that now is the time for Republicans to unite against Obama.
Romney should use tonight as the beginning of his fall campaign, laying out a comprehensive contrast with the president.
For his part, Obama should start defining Romney as soon as his money will allow, while hoping that Newt still has some energy and money of his own to keep Romney pinned down.
Whether my conclusions are correct, or my advice sound, is uncertain. I do know we are approaching an inflection point in the race. Both Romney and Obama have important decisions to make in the coming days that will affect their pole position in the race. Gingrich also has a decision, which is how does he want to be remembered.