Romney has huge advantages coming into South Carolina. He won the first two nominating contests, has plenty of money to spend and has the backing of much of the party’s establishment, including the state’s governor. They see Romney as the candidate most likely to defeat Obama and want to avoid a long, potentially damaging nomination fight.
Romney’s opponents have been unable to coalesce behind a single rival in the six-man race. The candidates with presumably the best prospects in the conservative southern state — Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry — all fared poorly in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
"I don’t want to be overconfident," Romney said Wednesday. But increasingly, he was talking about his plans for challenging Obama in November, not his primary foes of the moment.