Although the volatility of the polls during the Republican primary season indicates that anything could happen, the reality is that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the likely nominee to face Barack Obama in November. The reason is much more than the mere fact that he won big in New Hampshire yesterday. It's the money. The big money.
But first it is important to understand Romney from a purely traditional conservative point of view. He is no real conservative in the traditional sense but a Republican from the old eastern liberal establishment cabal in the tradition of Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, and Henry Kissinger. This is in stark contrast to Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and modern conservatives such as Jim DeMint.
Since 1976 establishment Republicans have not fared well in Presidential campaigns. Ford lost to Carter in 1976. Reagan beat the establishment elites who opposed him in 1980 and went on to beat Carter in a landslide that year. Four years later he beat Mondale in an even larger landslide.