A couple of month ago I suggested that Mitt Romney may be plotting a path to the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination that avoids the South, where he has little chance of winning -- or more broadly, what I've called a "Bllue State strategy." My circumstantial evidence included his book tour, which included very few stops in Southern states; his decision to skip the Southern Republican Leadership Conference; and his PAC, which in 2009 contributed mostly to candidates in blue states outside the South.
Today I can add to that circumstantial evidence. Romney's Free and Strong America PAC has filed its 1st quarter 2010 FEC report, and it shows over $50,000 in candidate contributions to 20 candidates -- only one of whom is in a Southern state: Mick Mulvaney, running for Congress in South Carolina, who received $2500.
However, if you include Missouri -- a border-South state that went just barely to McCain in '08 -- there's a different story. Romney's PAC gave $10,000 to four candidates there.
The rest went to candidates in California, Arizona, Illinois, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. (Plus $29 to someone in Vermont.)
Just reading tea leaves, of course, but so far those leaves all suggest Romney's conceding the South.