Mitt Romney Poised For String of Victories

A win in Florida would catapult Romney into favorable territory.

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Mitt Romney could be headed for even more success in the next round of Republican nominating contests if he wins the Republican presidential primary in Florida tomorrow as expected.

Romney has surged to a lead of from eight to 16 points over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his main rival, in the latest polls on the strength of two strong debate performances by Romney last week and a continuing barrage of negative TV ads against Gingrich. But the next contests offer Romney fertile ground to strengthen his position even further. They are in caucus states, where organization is key. What it takes to win there is a grass-roots effort based on identifying supporters, getting them to the caucuses, and making sure they are organized well enough to dominate the proceedings, which are essentially neighborhood meetings where the delegate selection process begins.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Mitt Romney.]

Romney is the only candidate who has a nation-wide organization and a very strong financial base, which puts Gingrich and the other GOP candidates, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, at a disadvantage.

The next contests are the caucuses in Nevada and Maine on Saturday, and caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota February 7. Missouri holds a non-binding primary on February 7.

After that are the Republican primaries in Arizona and Michigan on February 28. Romney has the endorsement of GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, which should help him there, and he has long-time ties to Michigan, where his father was governor.

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