It is said of Republicans they don’t fall in love, they fall in line.
And the collapsing presidential primary calendar is forcing them to fall in line sooner than later.
And in New Hampshire, they’ll fall in line behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Nothing has kept Romney from his appointed rounds as leader of the GOP pack since the University of New Hampshire Survey Center has been keeping track in 2009.
Not Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann who came on in June then melted like a Sno-Cone in the summer heat. Not Texas Gov. Rick Perry who soured like cottage cheese left on the kitchen counter.
And not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who wouldn’t be forced to join the GOP fray, and not former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who became tiresome as she flirted and teased the electorate about a run.
Nor is it likely to change in time to influence a primary that could very well be held in a couple of short months.
Think of it.
Originally, it was thought that the 2012 first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary would be held on Tuesday, February 14.
Now, we could very well be going to the polls in December … as in December 2011 … as in this December which is just a couple of months away.
All thanks to Florida for forcing everyone else’s hand because of its insistence that its primary be held on Jan. 31.
Republicans have been casting about looking for someone to love thinking they had all the time in the world.
But with their political clock going into hyper-Daylight Savings Time mode, they will quickly have to start coalescing behind someone they can at least like and put up against President Barack Obama.
It’s not so much a question of who will win New Hampshire.
Unless there is a titanic, cataclysmic, historic change of fortune — a la the Boston Red Sox — Romney will win the New Hampshire primary.
The question is who will finish second, thus establishing themselves as the real deal in the contests that follow.
Businessman Herman Cain? He’s currently No. 2 behind Romney in the survey center’s most recent polling.
But we’ve seen No. 2’s fade before — cue Michelle Bachmann.
Texas congressman Ron Paul? He No. 3 in the UNH poll and is in it for the long haul.
The upcoming primary should also serve to cull the herd.
It may finally convince the likes of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (2 percent), former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (less than 1 percent), and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer (also below 1 percent) to pack up, save themselves some money, and go home.
The lines are forming and in New Hampshire they formed behind Romney as they have been for quite some time.
Paul Briand is an editor/blogger for the non-partisan, no-profit Live Free or Die Association. See the LFDA’s complete coverage of the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary here.