The following is from the Feb. 7, 2008, edition of The Desert News. SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson provided expertise for this story. This story was published a few hours before Mitt Romney announced he was suspending his election bid.
By Lisa Riley Roche
Deseret Morning News
Mitt Romney's bid for the White House is being seen as all but over after his Super Tuesday losses to Republican front-runner John McCain — but he's still on the campaign trail, at least for now.
Romney is scheduled to speak today at the Conservative Political Action Committee convention in Washington, D.C., then address a Republican fundraiser in Maryland, which holds its GOP primary Tuesday.
He was said to be meeting Wednesday with family and advisers about his political future and reportedly considered but dismissed the idea of announcing he was leaving the race at the CPAC convention.
However, after he won fewer states — and far fewer delegates — than McCain on Super Tuesday, political observers are giving Romney little chance of becoming his party's nominee, especially now that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is attracting more of the same conservative voters that Romney has been courting. . .
"The problem Mitt Romney had all along was with authenticity," said Matthew Wilson, a professor specializing in religion and politics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, noting voters saw him as "a little bit too slick and polished."
Wilson said it was Huckabee, not Romney, who emerged from Super Tuesday as the main challenger to McCain. Although he said Huckabee also has no chance to win the GOP nomination, he's shown he can campaign effectively with very little money.
Romney, on the other hand, is worth an estimated $350 million and has outspent his competition by investing his own money in the campaign. By the end of 2007, Romney's contributions to his race totaled $35 million.
If Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, does stay in the race, he'll likely scale back. "I suspect he will ratchet down his personal expenditures," Wilson said. "I don't think he wants to dump more of his own money into now what is a very long-shot bid."
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