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[ Posted Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 – 19:57 UTC ]

[Program Note: Sorry for the short column today, busy researching, and also putting together tomorrow's Obama Poll Watch column. Wanted to wait until Florida returns were in, as well.]

Mitt Romney, after having a good week, also had a very good night in Florida tonight. With most of the ballots counted, it looks like Mitt will score roughly a 15-point victory over Newt Gingrich. Romney is being described in the media once again as the "frontrunner" and he moves into the February primary calendar riding a real wave of "Mittmentum."

OK, sorry about that, but I just couldn't resist.

The contests next month -- many of which will be caucuses -- don't seem to pose any enormous threats for Romney, either. First up, four days hence, is Nevada. While Nevada caucuses, it has a very high proportion of Republican voters who happen to also be Mormon (it is, after all, right next to Utah). Ron Paul may actually do well here, too, as Nevada is a very libertarian type of state (see: gambling and prostitution laws). Libertarianism is strong throughout the Mountain West, so look for Paul to make a big push in Nevada.

The first multi-state election day happens a week from today, when Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri vote. The first two are anyone's guess at this point, but Newt Gingrich neglected to get on the ballot in Missouri -- whoops! -- so that looks like an easy Romney pickup. Two smaller contests follow, in Maine and the Northern Marianas, and then the pre-Super Tuesday stretch ends with Arizona and Michigan both on February 28th, and Washington state on the third of March. Michigan should be a Romney stronghold, since his dad was once not only governor but also ran a car company (American Motors).

All in all, it's looking like whether Newt Gingrich wants to admit it yet or not, by Super Tuesday this race will likely be pretty much over. Of course, this year, predictions of such a nature have certainly had a way of turning out wrong, but it's safe to say that Mitt Romney is feeling pretty good about things right about now.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


7 Comments on “Mittmentum!”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think this Florida primary will be become better known for Gingrich's acceptance than for who actually won it.

    Talk about alternate history. Maybe Newt is working on a new novel - one in which he wins the Republican nomination and goes on to ...

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...acceptance speech, that is.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    Haven't heard his speech, just a brief excerpt. I did laugh at the "46 states to go!" signs, though. Newt's not going quietly into that good night, it seems...


  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    You must watch it in its entirety. It was priceless.

    Newt Gingrich, I am coming to understand, is an extremely interesting character.

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Liz -

    I will seek it out!

    Newtie's been interesting for a long time. As in the Chinese "may you live in interesting times" curse...



  6. [6] 
    dsws wrote:

    My guess is that Newt will fold very soon.

    Not only did Romney beat Gingrich by a meets-expectations margin: he also came within spitting distance of an actual majority.

  7. [7] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    I don't know. When you're facing a sitting president whose got about a Billion bucks to spend, 46% in a state you've got to win doesn't seem that big a win.

    Especially when 7% and 13% (Paul, Santorum) are quite likely to sit this one out.

    Interesting times, indeed.

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