As much as I’m sure it grieves establishment Republicans there will not be a coronation for Mitt Romney.  No not yet.  After just two contests you by the talk of the establishment and the media would think that it is in the bag, but the rules have changed.  Super PACs have allowed candidates, like Newt Gingrich, to stay in the race when ordinarily they would have dropped out by now.

It’s allowing candidates to snipe at his questionable record… his involvement in Bain Capital and how many jobs did he actually create?… forcing Romney to respond.  Gingrich blasts him on his abortion record, as do others.

No this allows questions to be raised… can’t have that.  Candidates like Gingrich will just remind voters of all of asinine things Romney has said running ads like the one below:

 

Then reminding us about other blasts from the past.

Pundits claim he won Iowa, no he tied in Iowa.  He only won 17 counties compared to Rick Santorum’s 62.  The victory’s was Santorum’s.  His victory in New Hampshire is the first time since running for President back in 2008 that he has actually met expectations.  And we are to coronate this man?

He may be more comfortable in South Carolina than his last visit, but South Carolina is far from being locked up.  Right now in South Carolina you have based on the most recent polling a three person race between Romney, Santorum and Gingrich.  Gingrich and Santorum are either 2 or 3rd based on the poll.  In the RCP average Romney’s lead is 9 points.  That isn’t insurmountable as South Carolinians begin to coalesce around a candidate.  Gingrich right now is polling well, but I predict he will underperform his polling.  Other than ads he doesn’t have much going for him.  While negative ads will hurt Romney it is unlikely they will help Gingrich either.  Gingrich doesn’t have the organization in South Carolina like Santorum does.

If Santorum emerges victorious out of South Carolina it will shake up the Florida Primary especially if candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry drop out.  Even though polls in Florida have tilted heavily for Romney, we’ve seen quickly polling can go up and down.

So no coronation for Romney.  He needs to earn the nomination first, but as people learn more about his record and weaknesses in a campaign against Obama that will become much, much more difficult.

Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

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