Mitt Romney was never supposed to win Iowa. For months, the political pundits kept reminding us that conservative evangelicals couldn’t vote for a Mormon former governor of Massachusetts who flip-flopped more times than John Kerry. But Romney eked out an eight-vote win on Tuesday, besting a field that had taken turns overshadowing him in the polls. And now John McCain’s endorsed the candidate. With Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich staying in the race until South Carolina—thus sapping conservative support for Rick Santorum—and Romney’s campaign finances strong, GOP elites tell Politico that the nomination is all but guaranteed. One former House Republican said, “I sort of think it’s over, right?” He added that South Carolina and Florida will be the “nails in the coffin” in clinching the nomination, just like they were for McCain.
INEVITABLE? Jewel Samad, AFP / Getty Images