Don’t pay attention to tonight’s contests in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota. That’s basically the word coming from the Romney camp this afternoon.Amid mediocre polling numbers in those states, Romney and his staff are attempting to downplay the importance of the three contests.
Earlier today, political director Rich Beeson released a memo saying that the campaign is focusing on future races and that the caucuses and primaries taking place in the three states tonight don’t mean much in the long run.
“It is difficult to see what Governor Romney’s opponents can do to change the dynamics of the race in February,” Beeson wrote. “No delegates will be awarded on February 7 — Colorado and Minnesota hold caucuses with nonbinding preference polls, and the Missouri primary is purely a beauty contest.”
He also said that the Romney camp is focusing on future races where many more delegates will be up for grabs.
“…the next contests are on February 28 in states where Governor Romney is strong. Arizona’s 29 delegates will be bound in a winner-take-all contest,” Beeson wrote. “Michigan, the state where Governor Romney grew up, binds 30 delegates.”
All of this is true, still it smells a little of damage control.
According to recent polling numbers, Rick Santorum has made up ground on Romney in both Colorado and Minnesota, coming within 10 points in both contests. And polls conducted by Public Policy Polling last weekend had Santorum leading Romney 45% to 34% in Missouri, though that race does not include Newt Gingrich.
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