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    Dear South Carolinians: A vote for Perry or Santorum is a vote for Romney’s inevitability

    Dear South Carolinians: A vote for Perry or Santorum is a vote for Romney’s inevitability

    Quin Hillyer, who has been pretty brutal in his posts about Newt, details the reasons to doubt that Romney can beat Obama, Why Romney is Weak vs. Obama:

    Then there’s the attacks on his tenure at Bain Capital. The attacks are over-the-top and unfair. But coming from the left in a general election campaign, they will work. That’s how a weakened Ted Kennedy in a Republican year blew open a tight race against Romney and won by a landslide — by attacking Bain (and by some subtle but effective exploitation of anti-Mormon bigotry, which unfortunately and unfairly and sickeningly will probably cost Romney a point and a half from otherwise GOP voters this year as well). What’s particularly devastating here is when a candidate’s big vulnerability is in the very area he tried to, and expected to, make his biggest political strength. Romney’s main selling point has been that he is a good businessman who proved himself in the private sector; if that gets taken away, he’s toast, because his record as governor was nothing to write home about, with his only significant “achievement” being the execrable one of Romneycare. This is very much akin to what happened to John Kerry, who tried to make his major selling point his supposed military “heroism,” when the highly on-target Swift Boat attacks made that same military service into a slight net liability. You can’t win when your biggest selling point is actually a vulnerability.

    Among other things, Hillyer notes growing concern even among those favorably inclined towards Romney that he cannot overcome the Bain and other problems in a general election.

    If Mitt Romney wins in South Carolina by a substantial margin, the narrative of inevitability will gain even more momentum, and we will head towards the nomination of a candidate without giving the electability concerns a chance to mature.

    The most recent polling points towards Newt as being the only candidate with the potential to beat Romney in South Carolina.

    As discussed yesterday, Insider Advantage has Romney up 2 over Newt.  American Research Group today has Romney up 4 over Newt, and Rasmussen up 9.  In all of these polls, Santorum and Perry are far behind.

    PPP polling released a poll a few minutes ago which is consistent with these other polls.

    Mitt Romney continues to hold a modest lead in South Carolina’s Republican primary for President.  He’s at 29% to 24% for Newt Gingrich, 15% for Ron Paul, 14% for Rick Santorum, 6% for Rick Perry, 5% for Jon Huntsman, and 1% for Buddy Roemer.

    Voter in South Carolina have a choice.  Split the conservative vote among Newt, Perry and Santorum, and allow the narrative of Romney inevitability to continue before Romney’s general election problems sort themselves out.  Or coalesce around the candidate who is most competitive with Romney.

    It’s not going to be something Perry and Santorum supporters will like to hear, but reality in this primary season is what it is.  A vote for Perry or Santorum in South Carolina is a vote for Romney’s inevitability.

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    Comments



     
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    StephenMonteith | January 14, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Professor, I know YOU don’t want to hear it, but even if Newt does win in SC, he won’t win the nomination. He’s finished outside the top three in both Iowa and NH, and, according to revised numbers, Santorum beat him in both states. Looking forward, Santorum is actually on more state ballots than Gingrich is. Newt failed to get on the Missouri ballot as well, remember? Of the two of them, Santorum has the best chance of competing with Romney over the course of the primaries, so if you’re seriously anti-Romney, then Santorum is the candidate you want to back. But if this is just a pro-Newt post, then you may as well let everyone else be pro-whoever they want.

    Know why? Because it doesn’t matter. Whoever wins SC, Romney still holds a double-digit lead, over 20 points in some cases, in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and other states that vote between now and Super Tuesday. And then there’s Super Tuesday. I’m not going to tell you to abandon your vote; but seriously, stop trying to tell other people to abandon theirs. At this point, people can vote for whomever they like and it won’t make a difference.


       
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      StephenMonteith in reply to StephenMonteith. | January 14, 2012 at 2:32 am

      Oh, yeah, Ron Paul. He actually has a better chance of defeating Romney than any other candidate. I’m surprised to see myself typing it, but I suppose I always knew it was true. He got more than twenty percent and finished in the top three in both Iowa and NH, he’s running the best campaign after Romney, and he has an excited base of support. No other candidate can boast that. I should amend my earlier post to say that, if you want a serious ABR candidate, then you should vote for Ron Paul. But I know you won’t.


         
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        scottinwisconsin in reply to StephenMonteith. | January 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

        He’s raised $80,000 in the last hour. It’s fun to watch it tick up. (Somehow, I doubt Newt or Rick are tick up quite like that.)

        https://secure.ronpaul2012.com/


         
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        WarEagle82 in reply to StephenMonteith. | January 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

        Ron Paul doesn’t have a snowball’s change in H*ll of beating Romney or Obama. Ron Paul is a lunatic. Obama would love to run against Paul. The only good news is that Paul will never get the GOP nomination. The bad news is the GOP field may be the weakest in the last 30 years…


           
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          Henry Hawkins in reply to WarEagle82. | January 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          Paul himself has admitted he doesn’t see himself ever attaining the White House. He isn’t running for office, he’s just using presidential runs to further the big-L libertarian movement. Unfortunately, all these naive Paulbots conflate movement with action.

          Perhaps a resident Paulbot can tell the class how many bills Paul has sponsored? (Hundreds).

          Perhaps a resident Paulbot can tell the class how many bill has gotten past a vote in all his years in congress? (One).

          Ron Paul: All Talk


     
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    Karen Sacandy | January 14, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Here is the link to the C-Span video of Friday’s presentation by Gringrich and Rick Santorum.

    Santorum’s great closing begins around 1:11:45.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Republican2012Pre/start/0/stop/4306


     
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    jimzinsocal | January 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

    My suspicion is Romney’s showing in SC will raise more questions than answer. At somewhere between 25 and 30% and others not too far from that mark…he begins to look like a McCain candidate so far as going on to a November win.
    That alone will get republicans rethinking things. Assuming of course we read primaries as indicitive of the big picture.


     
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    Henry Hawkins | January 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The innate brittleness of the Romney ‘electability’ argument is beginning to show.


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