Mitt Romney seems likely to cruise to a victory in the New Hampshire GOP primary -- a development that could give him the momentum to win more early contests and move himself into a position to win the GOP nomination and the right to take on President Barack Obama in November 2012.
A Washington Post article on published Friday asked if Romney was simply unstoppable, and the popular opinion among experts was the he just may be.
Romney is still the 800-pound gorilla, Mike Dennehy, a Republican consultant who ran Arizona Sen. John McCain's two winning New Hampshire campaigns, said to the Post.
Dennehy noted, though, that the Granite State has a history of wild outcomes.
No candidate in New Hampshire is untouchable in a state that has rarely, if ever, rewarded the frontrunner candidate with a victory, he told the Post.
It's not hard to see what he means - -just look at 2008. Though John McCain was leading the polls shortly before the primary, a few months earlier his campaign was considered by most to be floundering, and Romney himself was thought to be headed to the nomination. McCain won the state and that put him on the path towards the nomination.
Polls in the 2008 Democratic primary showed Barack Obama as likely to win his second contest and possibly move towards an easy nomination. This, of course, didn't happen, with Hillary Clinton winning and setting up a long battle.
So who has a chance to derail Romney's dream of a New Hampshire runaway? The person second to him in the state polls is Herman Cain, who currently polls at 27 percent to Romney's 40 percent. Cain, however, is leading Romney in the national Fox News poll, which could get more New Hampshire voters to think about him.
Then, of course, there is Rick Perry. Perry came into the race as the anti-Romney, and seemed like he could compete. Just as his poll numbers have fallen, though, he has lost some key support in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that long time Republican State Rep. Norman Major had switched his allegiance from Perry to Romney.
When I met Perry, I listened to him and he represented all the things I wanted to see accomplished, Major said to the Union Leader. He accomplished a lot in the state of Texas, but as I saw him in the debates and how he handles himself, I realized he isn't going to beat Obama.
A lot can change between now and January, but it seems like Romney is still waiting for whatever surprise may be coming to him - -if anyone wants to be that surprise.
Romney is far from untouchable here, but only if someone gets serious and challenges him, said John DiStaso, a longtime New Hampshire political reporter for the Union Leader, to The Washington Post. The question is: Have the other campaigns bought into the polls and ceded the state?