Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Every Denver Broncos fan enjoyed the miracle comebacks from Tim Tebow this year. But there was a moment, fairly early in the New England playoff game, where everyone knew the game was over, and that a miracle comeback was simply not going to happen.

For any Republican that doesn’t want to see Mitt Romney as the nominee to face President Obama, that moment in the GOP Primary happened Tuesday in Florida.

The race may not officially be over because there is still time left on the clock, but like the lopsided score in the second quarter of the New England game, the race is simply out of reach for anyone chasing Mitt Romney.

Florida was the last chance for Newt Gingrich to stem Romney’s momentum and turn it into his own momentum. But now since Romney made the predicted double digit win a reality, there isn’t another state on the horizon that can give Gingrich that momentum back.

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Colorado and Nevada are two of the next big stops in the GOP Primary race. Much will be made of Gingrich and Ron Paul angling for a win here in Colorado, but this is Romney’s state to lose. Like Nevada, Colorado is a key western state, and a state cut out for Romney’s background and history.

Colorado Republicans represent a great mix of the party. Libertarians, Social Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives come together in Colorado, without one group running roughshod over the other. That is a blueprint for a Romney win, like Florida was.

The other three candidates may say that they plan to run until the very end, but that’s always what you say at this stage in the race. If the Broncos are losing by four touchdowns at halftime, you wouldn’t expect John Fox to say he’s getting on the bus before the game ends, would you?

In this scenario, the final bell should toll after Super Tuesday in March. Many primaries in major states occur on the same day, and the smaller campaigns won’t have the resources to compete across the board. Romney should walk away with most if not all of the contests and at that point, it will be officially over.

Until then, Gingrich fans will claim it’s not over, Ron Paul will claim that his grassroots campaign is picking up steam and Rick Santorum will continue to remind people that he won in Iowa. But Romney voters and frankly, everyone else knows that it’s over.

We must officially wait for about a month, but like even the most loyal Broncos fans knew at halftime a couple of weeks ago, the only unknown left is the final score.

About The Blogger

– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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