Romney’s fundamental problem is this: He’s been unable so far to win over conservatives in a conservative state. And if he’s unable to beat Gingrich and Rick Santorum in South Carolina -- both of whom have their shortcomings -- it would send a flashing warning signal to party leaders. What’s more, it would produce chatter, fair or not, that the party needs to find someone else, just as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is set to deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union on Tuesday night.Someone else? Ron Fournier started up with this today, too. I guess I need to remind everyone that as of now, filing deadlines have already passed for primaries in states that have about 885 delegates, which is just a bit shy of 40% of all delegates (I think there have been a few changes since the article I was relying on for these numbers was written, but not enough to matter, and they could be in either direction). And counting: another 100 delegates will pass the filing deadline by the end of the month.
It's all just silly. The idea that the frontrunner has to win every single state just doesn't correspond to the 40-year history of the process, and the idea that a couple of good or lousy days in the polls means anything beyond that has been disproved more times than I can count over the last ten months. But, you know, if you think Newt Gingrich can win the nomination, make your case: as little a chance as I think he has, it certainly must be better than anyone who isn't in the fight as of now.