Mitt Romney got virtually all that he needed out of the New Hampshire primary last night, putting himself on track to claim the Republican presidential nomination.
At the same time, he seems to generate little to no enthusiasm.
As he moves on to South Carolina with his opposition badly splintered and running out of time to stop him, the question becomes whether anyone can actually do it.
With a strong third in Iowa and a strong second in New Hampshire, Ron Paul outperforms all the other anti-Romneys. Yet mainstream media outlets write him off.
This becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy as people are less inclined to vote for someone they are TOLD can’t win, rather than casting ballots on conviction.
Can the electorate coalesce possibly around Paul? Will Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum leap back into contention? If not, Mitt way run away with this thing by default.
Somewhat ironically, the principal motivator in many voters’ decision to pull the lever for Romney is his perceived ability to beat President Obama in November.
At the same time, many Democrats feel Obama is best positioned to defeat Romney than other candidates and he is actually their preferred opponent of choice.
Will South Carolina deliver a surprise January 21, with Florida to follow? Or will Mitt coast into the GOP convention with an endless string of pluralities and no energy?