ORLANDO, Fla. – For your home scorecard purposes, here’s where the candidates are headed after Florida.
Mitt Romney: He celebrates a likely Florida win in Tampa; tomorrow starts with a flight from Florida to Minnesota, where he campaigns in the suburban town of Eagan, and then a jaunt to Las Vegas. The semi-binding Minnesota caucus is on February 7; Nevada’s caucus is on February 4.
Rick Santorum: He watches the Florida results from campaign HQ in Las Vegas, then heads to Colorado to barnstorm, then heads back to Nevada. Colorado’s semi-binding caucus: Also on February 7, with a record of social conservatives doing good things but falling short of victory.
Ron Paul: He spends the day in Colorado, then flies to Nevada, with campaign staff promising “a complete, rigorous path-breaking” schedule.
Newt Gingrich: His “primary watch” party is in Orlando; he flies from there to Nevada, with campaign reporters buying their own rides.
The short version: Romney, Paul, and Santorum are all competing for the next three caucuses. In Nevada, in 2008, 26 percent of caucus-goers were Mormons, and 95 percent of them voted for Mitt Romney. In Colorado and Minnesota four years, Romney won easy. The upside of Santorum or Gingrich taking some of this support away – I guess it’s a big bet on “the narrative” needing to change before the primaries that actually count, Arizona and Michigan on February 28.