After a decisive win (but no knockout) for Mitt Romney in the Nevada caucus on the weekend, the GOP's primary road show today votes in Colorado, Minnesota, and Mississippi -- with Romney expected to drub Newt Gingrich in two of the three.
Judging from polls, it's only in Minnesota where Gingrich seems to have a chance. But with him, you never know. Romney has a comfortable edge in Colorado, and Gingrich has nose-dived in Mississippi.
Today is the first of seven Republican primaries or caucuses to be held in February, and after winning in a breeze in Nevada, February looks good for Romney.
Put another way, Nevada was a drubbing for Gingrich.
Romney more than doubled Gingrich's vote (48 per cent to 23 per cent) and it's possible Romney will also win the seven in February to be the GOP candidate in the presidential election in November.
What is keeping Gingrich in the race? Stubbornness? Vengefulness? Delusion?
To some, the most surprising thing about Nevada was the surge of Ron Paul who, although going nowhere, surged to 18 per cent of the vote and eclipsed Rick Santorum's 11 per cent.
A libertarian, Paul is the most refreshing and entertaining candidate in the race, and probably the most candid. In some ways the most down-to-earth sensible.
Some Republican strategists -- like Dick Morris -- think the longer Gingrich stays in the race, the greater Barack Obama's chances are to be re-elected. Negative ads among Republicans are future ammunition for Democrats.
GOP wizards wish internal acrimony and sniping would end and that Republicans rally behind the guy who clearly seems the popular choice, even though he may have flaws.
On paper, Romney seems a perfect candidate -- no hint of scandal, no big surprises, someone who is competent at everything he gets involved in, who doesn't panic, is ineffably courteous.
Not a lot of colour to the guy, but flamboyance can be a detriment -- look at Donald Trump, the essence of flamboyance. While you might buy a condo from him, would you want him running your country?
It could be argued that all the GOP infighting has sharpened Romney's style. He now has more edge, fights back, and has proved adept with quips and counterpunching. These are all assets he'll need in the campaign against Obama.
Obama's cancelling -- or delaying -- the Keystone XL pipeline that Canada thought was a done deal, indicates how uneasy Obama is about his noisy left-wing support. He seems fearful of jeopardizing the support of the sandal-wearers and tree-huggers (to use irreverent imagery) if he went ahead with the pipeline. A case of (im)pure politics.
There's little doubt if he's re-elected, Obama will signal go-ahead with the pipeline. Then it'll be decision time for Canada. A pipeline to the Pacific coast to supply China is something that should make Americans wonder what their president is risking.
In the upcoming caucuses and primaries (Maine's caucus is underway now until Feb.11) it should be easy for Romney. Guam's caucus is on Feb.18, followed by primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28 -- both of which are rich prospects for Romney, and something of a wasteland for Gingrich.
So by Super Tuesday, March 6, when 10 states vote, it should be clear to even Newt Gingrich that the GOP presidential candidate will not be the guy who sends daughters by his first wife to explain to everyone why the second wife is lying about the third wife.