WASHINGTON — The rapid-fire GOP presidential primary is about to ease into a slower pace and a more spread-out map. The shift will pose new challenges for Newt Gingrich.

February's only televised debate is three weeks away. Some primaries or caucuses will be in states with significant Mormon presences. Also voting in February is Michigan. Mitt Romney's father was governor there.

Campaigning in several states is costly.

All these factors would seem to play to Romney's advantage.