The Republican presidential nomination contest is dragging on because Mitt Romney is a weak front-runner—right? That's the media narrative, but in fact the 2012 race was always going to be a long slog, regardless of which candidates were running. For that we can thank changes to the electoral calendar and the campaign-finance system. Our system for nominating presidents always changes from cycle to cycle, but the changes in 2012 are particularly significant. They make this year's race echo those of decades ago, when contests started in the cold of Iowa and New Hampshire and ended in late spring and early summer, as big states like Pennsylvania, New York and California weighed in.
Kamarck, Elaine. "Romney's Not to Blame for the GOP's Primary Slog." Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2012.