The significance of Mitt Romney's big wins in Arizona and Michigan is debated in a symposium over at NationalReview.com. Along with the Weekly Standard's Jay Cost, I think it is hard to see anyone but Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee. More to the point, I am of the view that the race for the GOP nomination is effectively decided. Not over, just decided.
My GOP-BCS rankings --this is the second edition-- put Romney in an overwhelming position at the top of the field because he has won the big blue state primaries of New Hampshire, Florida, and now Michigan. He also won the primary in the key state of Arizona, a must win for the GOP in the fall and likely to be contested by the president. It was a victory for Romney and by a huge margin.
These are what are called "quality wins" by the BCS gurus when college football teams are being ranked as opposed to would-be opponents of the president, but the concept carries. Romney has won where the GOP nominee needs to win in the fall, under the conditions which will prevail in the fall.
Rick Santorum set up his title shot very nicely with wins in the caucus states of Colorado and Minnesota and in the non-binding Missouri beauty contest, but like triumphs over small conference, early season opponents in college football, the GOP-BCS rankings don't count these for much, though they matter more than Newt's sole win in the South Carolina primary, a state that any of the GOP contenders would carry handily in November.
No matter how you slice it, Romney has won where and when he needed to win, and has developed the organization and raised the cash to carry the campaign to the president.
Which is exactly where it needs to go now. That is why Team Romney is making a push for virtual volunteers and small donors at www.MittRomney.com, to begin to build the organization needed to stay abreast of the president through the summer.
Expect GOP fatigue with the intra-party jousting to help Romney along next week to wins in Ohio and elsewhere in the country. The desire to "get on with it" is growing and crowding out patience with the anti-Romney activists. There are indeed die-hard anti-Romneys, and some of them are very good men and women who just don't think the former Massachusetts governor is reliably conservative enough.
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