You'd think Mitt Romney had a good night last night if you just looked at the numbers. He swept two very different states, one in the shrinking Rust Belt and one in the growing Southwest. He won 40 delegates and came back from a 10-point deficit to win Michigan by 3 points. If self-identified Democrats hadn't voted overwhelmingly for Santorum in an explicit bid to hurt the Republican Party, Romney would have won by 8 points, CBS News reports. But you're probably not just reading the numbers. You're reading the blogs and the newspapers, which have decided that Michigan, a "crucial test" according to everyone yesterday, didn't really count, and that Romney merely "staved off disaster," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.
Romney has faced so many "crucial tests" -- measuring his appeal to conservatives and non-wealthy whites -- he must feel like an overtested elementary school student tortured by No Child Left Behind. But now Romney faces a new "big test": Ohio. Ohio will be the final arbiter of whether Romney is, basically, good enough. But before we analyze Romney's chances in this test, let's look back a the crucial tests Romney has already passed.