We’ve been saying that the Republican nomination is effectively over, barring a major scandal, Romney has no serious challenger. But the contests roll on. Here’s what you need to know.
1) The results are non-binding. Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses today. They won’t actually select delegates to the Republican convention until later this year. Missouri’s primary is also functionally, a straw poll.
2) Newt Gingrich isn’t on the ballot in Missouri.
3) Partly because Gingrich isn’t a factor, Rick Santorum could win Missouri and in the very conservative Minnesota, where he leads Romney in pre-contest polling by 10 points.
4) If Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich want to get any headlines at all, they really need to overperform or make close second place finishes.
4) Romney won Colorado four years ago and if he doesn’t win it tonight then suddenly this week becomes a bad week tonight.
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