Why Is This Man Smiling?

Lauren Fleishman for TIME

How much damage has Mitt Romney suffered while grinding along his ugly path toward the GOP nomination? No less an authority than former First Lady Barbara Bush, who has plenty of experience with Republican rough-and-tumble, pronounced this "the worst campaign I've ever seen in my life," and her assessment was greeted by a friendly audience in Texas with a storm of applause. There is widespread fear among Establishment Republicans--and widespread hope among Democrats--that Romney is limping toward the Tampa convention severely weakened by debates over contraception, immigration and religion--issues far from the radar screen of voters overwhelmingly focused on the economy.

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