Thus Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal last Thursday: If Romney, having beaten Santorum by all of eight votes in Iowa, wins in New Hampshire, where he has a summer home and has been campaigning for six years—well, then we should all just accept the inevitability of Romney. After all, then “Romney is 2-0.” And if he’s 2-0, by whatever margins and in states with 11 electoral votes—“he becomes the prohibitive favorite” for the nomination.

Really? Well, no. But the point is to convince Santorum supporters, and those of you who might consider becoming Santorum supporters, that he has no chance, so as to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of Romney inevitability. After all, “Mr. Santorum shouldn’t kid himself; he faces huge obstacles. . . . He hasn’t had to endure withering scrutiny but will shortly. His chief opponent has tremendous organizational and financial advantages and has been through the rigors of a presidential primary race.” Rove does note with gracious condescension, “Mr. Santorum has a shot, and that’s all he could have hoped for.”

Actually, Santorum can hope to win. He has been running to win. And after what he pulled off in Iowa, it’s foolish to suggest he doesn’t have a chance to win. His Iowa performance, and his speech Tuesday night, were impressive enough to suggest to primary voters in subsequent states that they should make an effort to judge both his capacity to win and his capacity to govern.

Organizational and financial advantages often prevail. But isn’t the story of America that they don’t always determine the outcome?