Mitt's single-digit landslide, and Newt's singularly focused revenge

Romney can no longer avoid the fury of his desperate rivals. This weekend in New Hampshire, they'll pile on the frontrunner like never before

Robert Shrum

How about that Romney landslide? It turned out that in Iowa, the Mitt did fit — by two hands worth of votes, minus the thumbs. On paid media alone, Romney spent approximately $113 per vote and Rick Santorum spent just $1.65. The Romney campaign dared, and lost while winning. If Mitt had racked up a convincing margin, he would have been on a glide path to the GOP nomination. Instead, he won by a mere eight votes.

Now, in two weekend debates just hours apart in New Hampshire, he's headed into a demolition derby — and for the first time, the other drivers on the track will all be targeting Romney. His opponents probably can't deprive Mitt of a semi-home state victory, but they could let the air out of his overinflated standing in the polls in the Granite State, strengthen the conservative resistance to his contrived candidacy, weaken him for South Carolina and Florida, and manage to drag out the entire GOP race. Even if Mitt finishes first, he may sputter across the finish line.

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