Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Put a fork in it...
Okay, the Republican primary might not be officially over, but after a much better than expected showing - and victory - in Iowa last night, Romney has all but wrapped up the nomination. The polls in Iowa show that he's still having a very difficult time connecting with the hardcore conservative voters, but that is not Romney's base, and he doesn't think he'll need them as much during the general election. In fact, he's basically been running a general election campaign during this entire primary process.
The Romney nomination, however, presents somewhat of a problem. Romney is boring. Romney is moderate. Romney is a flip-flopper. Romney is the Republican version of John Kerry in 2004. However, because of all these things, Romney has broad appeal. He doesn't excite, but his moderation makes him electable; and therein lies the problem ahead for Barack Obama and the Democrats.
If any other Republican primary candidate - short of Jon Huntsman - had won the primary battle, Barack Obama would walk away with the presidency in 2012 with no trouble. However, Romney's boring moderation makes him a candidate to be reckoned with in the general election if the economy doesn't improve between now and November 2012. If we look at history, incumbent president's with bad economies and high unemployment have had a very difficult - if not impossible - time getting re-elected. And since Romney has continued to tout his business experience, he might look like the shiny new thing in American politics, if voters think that he truly can improve their economic outlook.
In summation, we're at interesting crossroads here for Democrats; we're scared of almost every other Republican candidate besides Mitt Romney, and yet Romney is actually the most worrisome Republican to win the primary, because he has the best shot in a fledgling economy of beating Barack Obama in the general election.