Still, Romney's tentative foothold in the South may be all he needs. If Romney gets the nomination, there is little doubt he would win most Southern states.
Yet as the contest proceeds with Santorum and Gingrich still in the hunt, Romney doesn't have Obama's opportunity to turn his attention to independent voters. The longer the nominating contest goes, the longer Obama can have that audience much to himself.
And Romney, who has said he "won't light his hair on fire" to stir up the Republican base, could finally enter the general election with two opposing tasks before him: stirring up conservatives who preferred his primary foes and making his case to the independents and centrists who ultimately could decide the election.
EDITOR'S NOTE — Jim Kuhnhenn covers the White House for The Associated Press.
An AP News Analysis
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