Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Florida Goes to Romney

Mitt Romney scored a convincing victory in the most populous, most diverse, most nationally important (electorally) state yet contested in the Republican Primary.  A double-digit win, the victory gives Romney all 50 of Florida's delegates due to its "winner take all" format.  A couple of key take-aways:

1.  This was a resounding victory, broad-based and convincing--yet not without concerns.  Gingrich did well in that part of Florida that looks most like "the South" (Florabama), and Romney needs to pick up his game in the South if he is to shake Gingrich and Santorum.

2.  The next month is a relatively quiet one in the race--with contests (both primaries and caucuses) in  Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington---all of which precede "Super Tuesday" on 6 March.  Ron Paul is likely to do well in the caucus states, and his support will hurt Gingrich more than Romney.  I expect Romney to win most--if not all--of the contests between now and Super Tuesday.  Missouri's primary concerns me most right now--though it will not award any delegates (I know--dumb. There is a caucus a month later to do that).  Gingrich isn't on the ballot there (whoops), and Santorum could make a serious stand. 

3.  Super Tuesday isn't going to be as Super as Gingrich's folks probably hope.  The states contested then are AL, GA, ID, MA, ND, OH, OK, TN, VT and VA.  Gingrich will win GA, and maybe AL--but that's it.  This is the day the matter could get settled, and if Romney does well in Alabama, it will be settled.

4.  Romney's victory speech last night made the same point about the primary battles that I've been making all along--whoever wins the nomination will be a better candidate for having gone through the process.  Even the most ardent Mitt-hater MUST acknowledge that he and his organization responded effectively to Newt's surge in SC. 

5.  Stand by today for the sorry postmortems from the Gingrich campaign about how Romney "carpet bombed" him with negative ads leveraging his massive financial war chest.  Guess what?  Romney did the same thing in SC and got his ass kicked.  That wasn't what made the difference in Florida--Gingrich's sorry performance in the debates and Romney's improvements as a candidate were the difference. 

I hear from my more piqued Conservative friends the tired refrain that if Romney is the candidate, they'll just stay home in November. This the silly talk of children.  Rather than vote for the candidate that BETTER represents their interests, they'll stay home and contribute to the candidate they desperately want out of office out of spite.   They point to losses by Dole, Bush (the Elder), and Ford as evidence that when the Party nominates "the establishment" candidate, we lose, while hanging their entire argument on the victories of the era's most transcendent politician--Ronald Reagan--as evidence of their case.  Putting aside for the moment the fact that two of those "establishment candidates" happened to be a sitting Presidents, they conveniently forget the landslide loss the Party suffered in 1964 when it nominated the conservative icon Barry Goldwater.  They also conveniently forget that George Bush the Younger was HARDLY the most conservative candidate in the field in 2000, and by 2004 had to a large extent disappointed many conservatives with his performance in office. 

We have an opportunity here folks, to knock Barack Obama out of office.  It's time to stop the silly talk and let our process work until we have a candidate who best represents the electoral interests of the largest part of our party.  There is serious work to do, and wishing for a conservative messiah to come along isn't going to get that work done. 


Anonymous said...

I feel just the opposite. If Romney is not the candidate I will sit at home. A so called "true conservative" is not electable. The sitting President won because independent voters went for him. If the GOP cannot convince those voters to vote for their candidate the GOP will lose.

"The Hammer" said...

Well I ain't staying home. I'd vote for Pol Pot if he were running against Obama.

Look, as CW said, none of these guys are RR so get over it. If Romney is the man then Goddamnit Romney is the man. Give him some money and get your ass out there to vote.

CCE said...

While not completely on point, here's Romney's chance to win over some of the less conservative Catholic vote.

Geoff said...

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