With the Gingrich surge in the polls and impending campaign expansion, Team Romney could conceivable find itself on the losing end of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination fight. John Harwood at The New York Times has more:
But the confidence of Romney supporters has been shaken. For the first time since the nomination field became set in late summer, “it is possible” that Mr. Romney could lose, said Vin Weber, a Republican former congressman from Minnesota.
Team Romney so far has been soothed by the flaws of his rivals. None can match Mr. Romney’s combination of resume, presidential bearing, campaign experience, financing and organization.
Mr. Romney’s staff numbers around 80 — less than half its size four years ago, but enough for the arcane tasks of fielding delegate slates, securing ballot access, planning events and amassing endorsements. It includes roughly a dozen fund-raising aides, who coordinate with regional finance consultants and a volunteer national finance team.
Mr. Gingrich’s organization, beyond himself and his wife, Callista, has been tiny. He is now scrambling to expand it, while counting on online social networks and other modern communications tools to create the political equivalent of a flash mob.
“In the Internet age, it’s possible there will be a lot of self-organization,” said Joe Gaylord, a longtime confidant of Mr. Gingrich. “Newt believes that.”
Can it work in the Iowa caucuses, which by reputation demand that successful campaigns guide supporters to protracted midwinter meetings in schools, firehouses and church basements? Can it convert popular support into nominating delegates in a fast-moving gantlet of primaries?
Team Romney can only hope not.