The always intelligent Nate Silver at the New York Times raises doubts about the theory that Mitt Romney is essentially unacceptable to the vast majority of Republican primary voters, and that his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire were simply the result of the conservative vote being split among Gingrich, Santorum and Perry.
Silver is half-right: Many Republicans will support whoever is the eventual nominee and while they may prefer someone other than Romney, they will climb on board his bandwagon if he continues to rack up victories.
But, if you have been watching FOX News, you know that several conservatives and especially evangelicals are laying down their markers, indicating that while they could enthusiastically embrace a Gingrich or Santorum candidacy, Mr. Romney still has some work to do if he is to persuade them to come on board. What this means is that even if Romney knocks out the competition in South Carolina and Florida, he cannot entirely focus on winning the general election until he has secured his base. That said, there is nothing like being the only guy who can beat Obama to help secure the base.