Look at all of those states lining up their primaries on Feb. 5. Wow. Even the Governator decided to get Cali a piece of that action: “We want Callee-fornee-uns to have their voices heard.” Well, that’s great.

But will they really matter? When you’ve got California, New York, Illinois and about 17 other states all voting on the same day, NOBODY is going to have the kind of money it will take to play in all of those expensive media markets. And as for campaigning, I guess the candidates will make a few airport stops, but does that really change anything (other than maybe causing a few more headaches for air travelers trying to get to their gate)?

There seem to be two likely scenarios that will play out, and neither one involves Feb. 5 being the decisive date of the primaries. The first, and far more likely scenario, is that the early states (Iowa, N.H., S.C., Nevada and now maybe Florida) still will decide the race. You’ll almost certainly see the candidates dump their money in those states, so they wouldn’t have much left to spend on Feb. 5 anyway, and the candidate who emerges from those contests (in either party) as the frontrunner going into Feb. 5 will be rubber-stamped thanks to the free media coverage that comes with winning.

A considerably less likely scenario would be for no clear frontrunner to emerge from the early contests, and therefore the outcomes of the Feb. 5 races could be all over the map (so to speak). That would mean that the states who waited for Feb. 9 or perhaps even later could end up being decisive.

Again, that second scenario has to be considered far less likely than the first — just watch where the candidates place their bets. But the least likely possibility seems to be that the voting mobs on Feb. 5 will determine who the nominees will be. Sorry, Ah-nold — now hurry up and make “Terminator 4” already, would ya?

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