So it is fitting, in a way, that after two big losses in the latest Republican primaries on Tuesday night, the main pitch for Romney's campaign is now, basically, mathematical probability. The former Massachusetts governor finished third in Mississippi, behind Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, with 30 percent of the vote. And he was headed for a third-place finish in Alabama, with 29 percent of the vote.
The double-barreled setback was unexpected in Mississippi, reflecting neither polling numbers nor the expectations that Romney's campaign was setting in the days leading up to the vote. And in the aftermath, Romney's aides were left with unemotional appeals for why the primary remained very much his alone.
"Mathematically we are fast approaching the point where it is going to be a virtual impossibility" for opponents to win enough delegates, Romney's top spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom told CNN.
Wow, that's a compelling campaign message. Inspire me again, Mitt. Please.