Newt Gingrich, a few weeks after Rick Santorum announced he was throwing in the towel, recently let it be known this week that he was withdrawing from his race for the GOP nomination and would endorse Romney, although I haven't been following the story closely enough to see if he has officially made that announcement. This leaves Ron Paul as the only candidate left in the race who hasn't ended in primary campaign and it has clear from the delegate count that he has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination this year. This also makes it inevitable that Romney will win the GOP nomination on the first round at the Republican National Convention this summer.
The only question left in the GOP primary and caucus process in 2012 is how Romney will choose as his running mate, something he now had a free hand to do with only the impact of his choice on his general election prospects in mind, in the absence of any remaining viable primary season competition.
History has tended to show that the running mate choice doesn't matter much electorally, at least outside the home state of the running mater, but the history books do bother to record who is chosen.
Romney's real problem, however, really has nothing to do with the primary process or his choice of running mate. For now, the economy seems to be recovering. And, even little bit that the economy improves between now and the start of the general election season in the fall hurts Romney's chances vis-a-vis President Obama. If that recover stumbles in the next few months, President Obama is in trouble. If the recovery gathers stream, President Obama may cruise to a landslide victory.