It’s because the Iowa caucuses do not pick winners as much as they eliminate losers. And the Iowa caucuses Tuesday are likely to eliminate from serious contention the only two men who might have blocked Romney’s path to victory: Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry…

“Santorum has run here like he was running for governor of Iowa,” a senior Romney aide told me Sunday evening. “He can’t replicate that in other states.”

The Romney campaign believes its game plan is working here.

“Iowa is about eliminating Gingrich and Perry without us having to spend a lot of money to do so,” the aide said. “Last time, we spent $2 million just on the [Ames] straw poll, $10 million on television and had over 30 paid staffers. This year we’ve been on TV for only a month and have not spent much on ads, we’ve have five paid staffers and we didn’t do the straw poll.”