Mitt Romney hopes to end race early, but has he been tested?

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Mitt Romney “is preparing a broad strategy after Iowa’s caucuses tonight, apparently hoping to close out the GOP presidential contest before the calendar turns to February,” The Fix reports.

The Washington Post reports Romney “will head to South Carolina later this week, a sign he is prepared to fight in a state that has been less than hospitable to him since 2008. And a GOP source tells The Fix that Romney’s campaign is going up with an ad buy in Florida starting tomorrow. (New Hampshire is set to hold a primary on Jan. 10 followed by South Carolina on Jan. 21 and Florida on Jan. 31.)”

The AP looks at the implications of Mitt Romney’s “surprisingly easy rise to the top of Iowa presidential polls.”

“Romney has run a smart, nearly mistake-free campaign so far. But his string of luck and efficiency might have a dark lining. He hasn’t been forced to hone incisive answers to tough questions certain to rise in debates if he faces only one or two remaining GOP opponents, or Obama.”

Holly Bailey: “Mitt Romney has long been considered the front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, but if he wins Iowa’s caucuses on Tuesday, it will be partly because of one extraordinary fact: Not one of his Republican rivals ran a negative TV ad against him in the state.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.