The strategy eschews big states and concentrates on smaller states where the delegate selection processes favor conservatives. They include Colorado, a caucus state, West Virginia, Alaska (which is why Romney mentioned McCain’s support for ANWR drilling last night), and Oklahoma and Georgia, two states where delegates can be extracted from congressional districts.
And it involves, not surprisingly, an direct appeal to conservatives:
The McCain formula for success worked in a divided field when conservatives was fractured, but even a small coalescence of conservatives around Gov. Romney would reveal his support as a coalition too small to win the nomination of the Republican party.
Conservatives, self-identified Republicans, and voters who approve of President Bush are likely to be majorities of the electorate in all of the February 5th states. It is therefore easy to see how we defeat McCain in a two-main race by focusing on traditional Republican primary voters.
We still have an uphill battle in front of us—the mainstream media is ready to anoint John McCain and he will have advantages in many states from running for president for the past eight years— but Gov. Romney has a clear path to victory on February 5th and beyond.
The problem is that there’s a barrier standing in that path by the name of Mike Huckabee. As long as he’s in the race, it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, for Romney to convincingly turn this into a two-person race with him as the conservative standard bearer. More importantly, there may not be enough time left for him to do anything at all.