Mitt Romney today indicated that he has been in closer communication with Newt Gingrich in recent days than with Rick Santorum:

Romney said he wasn’t surprised by Gingrich’s sentiment, expressed over the weekend on “Fox News Sunday,” that the former Massachusetts governor had all but wrapped up the GOP presidential nomination.

“It was not a surprise, he and I have spoken from time to time, and actually we have also gotten together with our wives and spoken,” Romney said. “We’re pretty open-eyed about this, as we talk about where we are at this stage. In all likelihood I will be the one that gets the delegates to become the nominee.” …

As for his closest competitor Santorum, Romney said he didn’t speak with the former Pennsylvania senator as often.

“We haven’t had as much interaction, although at each contest’s conclusion we speak with each other,” Romney said. “I call him, he calls me, we exchange congratulations. And we’ve had a chance to chat from time to time, and we continue to have a personal respect for one another.”

So, yesterday, Newt Gingrich randomly announces that he will support Mitt Romney if Romney becomes the nominee. Today, Mitt Romney says he talks more to Newt Gingrich than to Rick Santorum. It’s enough to make you wonder if the real alliance all along was a Romney-Gingrich alliance. Rick Santorum certainly thinks Gingrich steals more voters from him than from Mitt Romney. Ron Paul, meanwhile, has been in no hurry to promise that he’ll support Mitt Romney if (when?) the former Massachusetts governor becomes the nominee.

Just kidding. I don’t think the presidential primary process works quite like Survivor, as similar as it sometimes seems. Instead, I think all the candidates are considering what’s next for them. While Romney looks forward to the nomination, Rick Santorum wants to ensure he doesn’t consign himself to irrelevance with a loss in Pennsylvania, Newt Gingrich wants to ensure he’s still known as an “ideas man” in the conservative movement and Ron Paul wants to pass his movement on to his son, Rand. Fortunately for all of them, those aims aren’t exclusive of one another.