Through the last few months we have been taken on a wild ride through conservative debate after conservative debate. Something that really strikes me about this particular election are the patterns. We see candidates rise in popularity and then fade into obscurity with no chance at a victory. Bachmann seemed like a front runner at first, but she hasn't made headlines for weeks. Perry had something going on, but too many blunders later and he's all but lost it. Currently, we're riding the Cain train, but sooner or later he'll fall too in favor of Paul or some other person (Jimmy McMillan?)
But there's one candidate that hasn't changed much since things got started: Mitt Romney. He's a bit more centrist than the main group of GOP hopefuls which makes a lot of swing voters ease up a bit. He's consistently been at or near the top of the polls and his popularity has never really faded too much. He speaks well, debates well, and has a general "politician-ey" appeal.
Given that, I'm inclined to think that Romney has all but clinched this nomination. He isn't riding a popularity wave like the others, he's the one who's stayed in the limelight. I see more photos of him on MSN than any other candidate. In the few elections that I've witnessed in my lifetime, I notice that it's easier to spot the front runners and eventual winners than you may think, and Romney is really sliding into that role. In fact, he was there from the beginning.
I think Romney has clinched the nomination already. Do you?
(Of course, this is assuming that he doesn't make any major mistakes between now and the nomination)