Mitt Romney has locked in Iowa, New Hampshire, and it looks as if he will slide into first place in South Carolina this Saturday, a development that may assure him the nomination in Tampa this summer.
Unless, of course, the non-Romney faction coalesces around on conservative alternative.
Rick Perry is polling in single digits. He would do the conservative caucus of the GOP a great service if he stepped aside. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are duking it out for third place right now, while Newt Gingrich is pulling off an upset second-place showing, riding on his "Georgia Reagan Conservative" credentials, which are all but meaningless in the wake of his stipends from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Congressman Ron Paul has decided to skip Florida and concentrate on gaining support in the rest of the country. He has the means, following, and opportunity to outlast the other "conservative alternatives" throughout the rest of the primary season. If the other contenders bow out for lack of funds or enthusiasm, then perhaps the "loony libertarian" can pull of an upset, repudiating the political pundits' prognostications. Just because a candidate wins Iowa and New Hampshire does not necessarily mean that he will carry the nomination for the party.
Congressman Paul has already demonstrated that he can steadily build and momentum for the long haul. How amusing it would be for him to upset the certainty of commentators who have all but discounted Paul as a credible candidate and nominee for the GOP!