When it comes to the GOP Presidential Primary some are ready to hand the nomination to former Governor Mitt Romney. Not so fast.
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings” goes the old saw about how long an opera lasts. We are now in the very first minutes of the GOP soap opera, and half of the punditry is looking for the exits. Most of them are putting a dress on Mitt, though in reality Newt fits the bill better. Seriously – it this over or only just beginning?
Mitt is the dominant force so far even though he consistently polls at 25%. That would indicate that 75% of the GOP voters would prefer someone else. That is also borne out in the frantic game of whack-a-mole being played as challengers to Romney are give their fifteen minutes of fame. A smaller field would be a problem for Romney, as conservatives coalesce around the alternative choice.
For Mitt to lock this up, he would need to take not only Iowa and New Hampshire (done), but South Carolina (which is Perry country, and Newt is expected to do well) and Florida (which will feed off of the South Carolina results). Then comes Super Tuesday, which will distribute victories to anyone left standing. The truth is that Mitt, Newt, Perry and probably Santorum will all remain viable until well into February. As to the rest, they will be gone by then – except for Ron Paul who will stick it out just to be a thorn in the side of the rest of the candidates.
So if the electoral map doesn’t sort this out early, do the candidates? Mitt is the guy we came to the dance with. He’s the next guy in line, and the GOP has a long tradition of giving the next guy the job. The problem this time is that the GOP voters are looking for love and not feeling it. If Mitt is going to take this, and he can’t win fast, he has to win long. The long strategy doesn’t work well for him though because as candidates drop off, the race will come down to a two-man – Romney and the not-Romney. We believe that the not-Romney wins this battle.
So the question is should the non-Romney candidates pick one of themselves to rally around with the others dropping out?
There has been a call for the conservative candidates to pick among themselves who the not-Romney will be. We find that to be a bad idea. The process is doing what it is supposed to do – build stronger candidates for the general election. If our candidates can’t handle the nomination process, they will never survive what President Obama lets loose on them. The nomination is not a gift. It must be earned.
An interesting perspective as the primary process moves to South Carolina.
- Where Mitt Romney and the GOP Field Go After New Hampshire (usnews.com)
- Santorum: GOP presidential race isn’t over with SC primary (thehill.com)
- Will Mitt Romney Win By Default? (thehollywoodgossip.com)