Facing the prospect of winning only one of the three states (Colorado) voting tonight, the Romney campaign is working to frame tonight’s results as irrelevant.
“It is difficult to see what Governor Romney’s opponents can do to change the dynamics of the race in February,” writes Romney political director Rich Beeson in a memo sent out to reporters today. “No delegates will be awarded on February 7 — Colorado and Minnesota hold caucuses with nonbinding preference polls, and the Missouri primary is purely a beauty contest.”
Romney, Beeson adds, is likely to do well in Arizona and Michigan, which vote on February 28. Their delegates (29 and 30 respectively) will be bound after the primaries are held.
“The rules for the March states offer even less comfort to Governor Romney’s opponents,” Beeson writes. “With so many states and territories voting, organization and resources are key. Ours is the only campaign to be active in all of these states, and we have the resources and organization to maximize delegate totals according to each state’s rules.”
“Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum have no plan in the majority of the March states (although the Paul campaign has waged a systematic effort in a number of them),” he continues. “Governor Romney is the only candidate prepared to compete in simultaneous contests across the country.”
Beeson also took aim at Gingrich’s suggestion this weekend that he could make a comeback by sweeping the Southern state primaries.
“This is a flight of fancy and not grounded in reality,” writes Beeson.
“Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Mississippi offer a mix of proportional allocation, proportional allocation with vote thresholds, and winner-take-all by CD rules,” he adds. “The bottom line is that it will be difficult for Speaker Gingrich to take large delegate prizes from any of these states. More likely, the delegates will be split among multiple candidates.”