Romney Could Cinch It This Month
If he wins SC, Florida, turn out the lights
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2012 7:55 AM CST
Mitt Romney listens as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley introduces him before a campaign event Friday in Conway, S.C.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(Newser) – The Washington Post says the Romney campaign is "quietly shifting gears" toward a new goal: Lock up the nomination by the end of January. The scenario: Cruise as expected Tuesday in New Hampshire, then rack up wins in South Carolina on Jan. 21 and in Florida on Jan. 31. "If Romney wins the first four states, he’ll be the de facto nominee of the party,” says former John McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. (The story quotes others, also unaffiliated with the Romney camp, saying much the same.)

Toward that end, the campaign is rolling out big money and big endorsements in South Carolina, where polls have him in front—Time/CNN has him up 37% to 19% on Santorum, though Rasmussen sees a narrower lead. The campaign—which is publicly dismissing talk of a quick lockdown of the nomination—also has begun a heavy ad blitz in Florida.
 

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