No matter what happens tonight in the Iowa caucus, a week from now it will be all about Mitt Romney. After Iowa comes the New Hampshire primary and the winner there is now practically a foregone conclusion. According to Suffolk New Hampshire tracking polling Romney currently has more than twice as much support as anything other candidate. This is basically the same massive head Romney has held for months. From Suffolk:
The poll shows Romney leading with 43 percent of the vote – up 2 points from a day earlier, followed by Ron Paul (17 percent), Jon Huntsman (9 percent), and Newt Gingrich (8 percent), while another 7 percent was split among GOP hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Fifteen percent remain undecided.
In addition, Romney’s support in New Hamshire is very firm. According to the poll 73 percent of his supporters say they are unlikely to change their minds. Unless there is a major scandal Romney is likely to hold his large share of the vote, while Ron Paul is also guaranteed to at least get a significant percentage from his devoted base.
What this means is that even if a single candidate (like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry) managed to gather the support of all the other remaining candidates and win over the vast majority of the undecideds, they would still come short of beating Romney in New Hampshire.
Don’t be surprised if the media starts turning its attention to South Carolina rather quickly after Iowa, because there is so little suspense about how completely Romney will dominate New Hampshire.