Romney looking to run up the score in Colorado
DENVER — His clear-front-runner status reaffirmed by convincing wins in Florida and Nevada last week, Mitt Romney is ramping up his campaign schedule in Colorado on the eve of Tuesday’s GOP caucuses here.
Romney, who campaigned in Colorado Springs on Saturday, cancelled a planned trip to Minnesota on Monday and added events in Colorado on Monday and Tuesday.
Romney will hold a rally in Grand Junction at 12:30 p.m. Monday and then travel to Denver for a rally at Arapahoe High School in Centennial that night at 6:30.
The campaign is also planning to spend Monday night in Boulder and likely to hold another event there Tuesday morning.
Romney, who easily won Colorado’s 2008 presidential caucus over John McCain, is an almost sure bet to win here on Tuesday.
His extra effort on the ground here isn’t about just winning, but winning big, and showing strength in a state that could be the key to defeating President Barack Obama in November.
“I believe that neither Romney or Obama can be elected president without Colorado,” said Dick Wadhams, the former Colorado GOP chairman. “So the time he spends here is much more than the precinct caucuses or the state party convention in April. It’s the November election.”
A recent Public Policy Polling poll shows Romney with a double-digit lead over Rick Santorum, who saw big crowds last week at several campaign events in Colorado.
Former Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo endorsed Santorum at one of those events.
“I can’t imagine [Romney] not winning,” Wadhams said. “I suppose the margin of winning is what we’ll be looking at. The numbers will tell the story.”
Santorum, who is looking for a strong enough finish to remain in the race amidst rising calls to quit, will campaign in Colorado on Monday as well with a speech in Golden and a rally Monday night at DU’s Cable Center.
And Newt Gingrich, who might be able to challenge Romney over the long haul if Santorum and Paul quit the race, will hold his first campaign events in Colorado on Monday with a rally and speech in Golden.