Democrats have a hard time figuring out the way Republicans go about picking their presidential candidates.
The reason is it's totally different.
Democrats tend to go with their heart and gut. They see a candidate like Jack Kennedy or Bill Clinton or Barack Obama and they feel something inside them that says "go with 'this' guy!" and that's it.
It doesn't always work out so well, of course. George McGovern got blown away. Jimmy Carter didn't turn out to have the political chops. The same with others. But it always seemed like a good idea at the time.
Republicans are different. They pick their nominees more methodically. They like to see the guy run around the track a few times before they place their bets.
Nixon had ran and lost, and then lost for governor. Reagan had lost twice, in '68, again in '76. Bush lost in '80, Dole in '80 and again in '88 before getting the nod in '96. McCain got his face bashed in in 2000 before finally crossing the finish line in Oh-eight.
So as you watch the slow movement of Iowa caucus voters to good ole Romney, you're looking at that old love of the familiar and voting for the one whose turn has come.
If they pick Romney this year, a guy who's run and been beaten before, it will be as primordial as a school of salmon heading up river to spawn.