I’ve said it before. And it is now painfully apparent that Republican primary voters have cycled through almost every candidate who’s running for the nomination, and they will eventually settle on Mitt. Yes, it’s possible for Jon Huntsman to have his bump, although even if he doubled his support he’d only be polling at 4%. Rick Santorum? Again, it’s possible, but just how is he different from Rick Perry? Or, perhaps more importantly, how is he the same as Rick Perry? Here’s how: both will lose.
And Mitt? Well, he just picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, which solidifies his position in an important southern state that votes in January, even though Haley’s support is causing her problems with the local Tea Party voters.
But how do we really know that Romney is heading towards the nomination?
Intrade. That’s right. The online trading market and prediction website showed that Mitt gained almost 10 points overnight, while Newt’s number plummeted from 38 to 18. Note to Newt: When the capitalists are bailing on you, it’s time to lobby for an ambassadorship to an island with hefty security. Even worse, he’s now behind Herman Cain(!). Ouch. Of course, these numbers could change tomorrow, but I wouldn’t expect a dramatic turnaround for any of the candidates in the field.
Romney might not win the Iowa caucuses and it won’t hurt him unless he falls to fourth place. He’ll win in New Hampshire, and by then a few of the candidates will have dropped out and thrown their support behind “the eventual nominee’” who will be Romney. Conservatives will have to either grin and bear him or stay home on election day, but that will only help Barack Obama, and we all know that helping the president is just not in the GOP’s DNA.
It might be February before Gingrich’s campaign issues a DNR order, but that day will come, sooner rather than later. Then the real campaign can begin.
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