All the primaries matter. And Mitt is currently carrying the most delegates. However, if you look at the types of people who live in the areas where the primaries have already been taken and the voting laws of the areas, you see that the most conservative states have yet to have their primaries.
The Carolinas, Texas, etc. Meanwhile, the republicans that lean the most liberal have had their elections (Michigan, New Hampshire, etc) and McCain is losing even with them.
Another bench mark one could use is:
What candidate is the media touting? McCain. Why? Probably because he is most like them, that is to say, he’s the most liberal of the conservative candidates and thus, the one they are hoping the conservatives elect.
What candidate is the media slandering most? Romney. Why? probably because he is the most conservative of the candidates with the best ability to win the hearts of conservatives. Thus, Romney is most likely the candidate that the media fears most.
Let’s not forget that McCain was the media’s favorite for the republicans in 1999 and 2000 as well before George Bush beat him by being more conservative. That’s part of the problem with the liberal states holding primaries before conservative states, as well, they tend to skew the results a little. (People inherently want to jump on the band wagon of the winner, if the blue states go heavily for one guy or another, the red states may follow suit.)
And then, let’s also not forget the laundry list of initiatives that McCain has spearheaded and voted for. The conservatives of the corn belt and the conservatives of the west and south have not forgotten and because of them, while he may be able to make in-roads with the other side, he is unelectable by those conservatives as well.
There’s a reason I think we need a strong conservative for leadership. Not some wishy washy pansy who will crawl to the other side of the aisle and try to build a “team.” President Bush has taught us that building a “team” means doing whatever the other party wants (which he pretty much has, except for surrendering in Iraq in 2004) and taking all the blame when things go wrong.
Look what the democrats have done since they took Congress. They have done whatever THEY want and nothing the minority party wanted, no team building. Meanwhile, they have passed the buck and the blame for all the failures and tried to convince us that 2007 was all Bush’s fault.
Do we want another Bush (AKA McCain?) or do we want another Reagan/Bush Sr. (AKA Romney or Thompson?)