Mitt Romney has won big in Illinois. He has an early cumulative vote greater than the total of his three "major" opponents. Mr. Romney has nearly 88,000 votes, compared to less than 60,000 votes total for Msrs. Santorum, Paul and Gingrich, who are polling that order in Illinois.
After recent defeats from Kansas to Mississippi and Alabama, Mr. Romney has reappeared as the Inevitable Nominee. If his three major opponents quit the race tomorrow (improbable) and managed to throw all their delegates against Mr. Romney (impossible) they would barely reach his candidate total.
In late March it is getting to be late in the straw poll/non-binding caucus/primary season to continue counting money taken in to the campaigns as the primary indicator of voter appeal. Mr. Obama outpaced any of his GOP challengers in fund raising in the first quarter and he is not yet running an active campaign.
No, now it is delegate season and Mr. Romney is pulling away from the pack. His upward movement in more sludge than surge but he is ahead and seems destined to stay that way.
Mr. Romney's latest dilemma comes from within his own party, if you think he is a Republican, for a Real Live Republican, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has ridden out of the corral with guns blazing, bringing with him a budget proposal squarely aimed at medicare.
The Republican nominee will eventually have to run against Mr. Obama, fresh and rested, and what promises to be a draconian financial proposal put out by the GOP before the party platform writers gets a chance to dip their collective quill.
Mr. Romney may wish he had stayed in bed.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.