I do not, for one second, believe that Rick Santorum can defeat Mitt Romney (and, let’s be honest, nobody does except, apparently, for his own staff).
As such, Romney’s victory in Iowa is very important indeed. It means that he’s now the true frontrunner, the guy to beat.
But who can defeat him?
Rick Perry will probably get out of the race after his abysmal showing yesterday. The Texas governor had a real shot when he entered the race last year, but blew it after stumbling in several debates. Conservative voters – correctly – concluded that he is not the man to take down Obama.
And Michele Bachmann? She should’ve finished in the top three in Iowa but finished sixth and is out.
Of course there’s also the racist and anti-Semitic Ron Paul. Racist and anti-Semitic. Enough said, you’d think.
As such, Republican voters only have one person left who could defeat Romney: Newt Gingrich.
Newt, however, should’ve performed better yesterday. If he wants to have a real shot, he’ll have to pull off an upset in New Hampshire. If Romney wins there as well, it’ll be very difficult for anyone to stop him, especially because the Republican establishment will then undoubtedly call for an end to the race in South Carolina.
To conclude: After yesterday, only one man truly has a path to the nomination. His name is Mitt Romney. All the others are in the very real danger of becoming stage props, nothing more.