Race Heads South, a Test for Romney

The Republican presidential campaign turns next to a set of Southern states that will test Mitt Romney’s ability to reach evangelical Christians and conservative Republicans, who have been slow to embrace him in a number of prior contests.

Mr. Romney’s performance in Mississippi and Alabama on March 13, and in Louisiana on March 24, could allow him to show new strength in a region where he has been badly beaten once—in South Carolina’s primary in January—and where his polling numbers until recently have been weak.

“I see Mississippi and Alabama as uphill battles for Romney,” said Henry Barbour, a Romney backer and GOP official in Mississippi, who is also a nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. “But we have an opportunity, by voting for Gov. Romney, to really help bring out the fat lady and end the nominating process.”

Wall Street Journal
3/7/12