In my pre-New Hampshire post last week I noted commentary from Jacob Weisberg to the effect that journalists have a vested interest in prolonging the sense of uncertainty about the GOP primaries.
As I write this BBC correspondent Mark Mardell is emphasising that winning New Hampshire doesn’t mean Romney has won the nomination. Thanks for that Mark.
But whilst South Carolina is undoubtedly a different and more difficult prospect, Romney has a serious head of steam and by refusing to drop out the NonRoms are making things impossible for each other (a nice example of the prisoners’ dilemma, no?).
And remember this: Romney’s margin of victory in New Hampshire was bigger than previous New Hampshire primary victors even if his finishing total was similar, and Mitt did better than every other candidate amongst voters describing themselves as ‘very conservative’. Likewise, Rom had twice as much support from Tea Party voters than any other candidate. (Check out Ari Melber’s typically helpful ‘behind the poll results‘ post for more.)
Feels to me that Republicans have – and will – decided to vote with their head rather than their hearts. Let’s just hope that in the process of tearing chunks off each other, with Romney feeling the pain as much as anyone, the actual election will be less tight than it seems it might.