Just under a year ago, Mitt Romney was looking at what promised to be a rough evening in Tampa, the same city where he will formally accept his party’s presidential nomination this week.
At the time, that prize seemed to be slipping from his grasp. Polls showed Romney badly trailing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a late entry into the race who was a matinee idol of the right. And the rowdy crowd that had gathered for a tea party-sponsored debate at the Florida State Fairgrounds was clearly in the mood for a rumble.