February Is Romney’s Month

If Mitt Romney wins in Florida, he will likely sweep the month of February and have a clear path to the nomination. Romney’s people have doubtless been using their influence at the state level to line up friendly states for February caucuses and primaries. Now he is in a position to sweep the table if he wins in Florida.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, after the Florida primary, comes Nevada, a heavily Mormon state that Romney carried four years ago. On the same day, Maine will begin a weeklong process of caucuses. Romney should win this New England state easily.

Then, one week after Florida, on Feb. 7, Colorado and Minnesota hold their caucuses. Romney won both states in 2008, and he’ll have a built-in advantage in any caucus state since he has had the money and organization for almost a year that Newt Gingrich can only dream about.

Three weeks later, on Feb. 28, Michigan and Arizona vote. Michigan was, of course, Mitt’s father, George’s, home state, where he ably served as governor, and Mitt carried it four years ago by a good margin, even after he had faltered in New Hampshire one week before. And Arizona has a large Mormon population, and Romney should win there as well.

And there is only one debate in February, so Gingrich will be without his forte — winning debates — to animate his cause.

So … if Gingrich wins in Florida, he can survive the Romney sweep in February and still win the nomination. But if he loses in Florida, he faces defeat after defeat throughout the month, and it’s hard to see how he could win at that point.

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