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    What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electability is wrong, Part 3

    What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electability is wrong, Part 3

    I have been almost alone in asking What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electablility is wrong?

    Among the points I have made is that current polling is not a reliable indicator because Romney has not faced the volume of attacks ads and hostility from the conservative and Republican media as has Newt, and Romney uniquely is vulnerable to Obama’s Secretaries versus Bosses campaign theme.

    Jeffrey Anderson at The Weekly Standard makes these and other points in The Case for Gingrich’s Electability:

    In fact, if one were going to design a Republican opponent tailor-made to President Obama’s liking, that opponent would be uniquely vulnerable to Obama’s main rhetorical thrust (making class-warfare arguments), uniquely unsuited to take clear aim at Obama’s least popular action as president (spearheading the passage of Obamacare), and uniquely strong in states that are unlikely to matter in the general election race. In all three of these ways, Romney is made to order for Obama — while his chief rival, Newt Gingrich, is not….

    Current polls do indeed show Romney faring better than Gingrich versus Obama, but these polls tell us very little about how things would actually play out in November. Gingrich has faced far fiercer attacks to date — both from the Washington establishment and from his rivals (who are all jockeying to become Romney’s leading competitor, rather than generally taking direct aim at Romney himself) — than Romney has. But that would change quickly if Romney were actually to become the nominee.  Moreover, in a general election campaign, the financial advantage that has afforded Romney the luxury of pummeling Gingrich with negative ads in Iowa would disappear.

    Anderson also points out that Romney’s “moderate” image simply will narrow the margin of loss in states Obama will win anyway:

    When contemplating the places on the map where Romney would provide the GOP with the greatest electoral advantages, the answer would seem to be in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast. But none of the states in those regions, save New Hampshire, would be up for grabs in a close race. Instead, Romney would merely succeed in helping the party lose the likes of California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, by more respectable margins.

    I don’t claim Romney is unelectable, but his electability is overrated.  When Romney’s electability bubble bursts, you can’t say you weren’t warned.


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    kobayashi | January 2, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Particularly for the first stage, The Primary, “Electability” and electability arguments are “A False Premise”. But then I was and continue to be a hardcore Cain voter. Think of The Virginia Primary Drama, my concerns in 2012 include that there not be a repeat of the 2008 cluster-farce.

    There are reports that at least one of the Republican campaigns includes a segment of “Operation Chaos” left wing supporters ALA


    Aitch748 | January 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

    If the media are picking Romney for us, the GOP sure seems to be cooperating in the effort.

    Let’s see if the GOP will stick up for Romney during the general election. Of course, they said very little when (to pick just one example) Sarah Palin was being accused of fomenting mass murder in Arizona.

    Henry Hawkins | January 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    The correction is not to say that Romney is unelectable, but that claims of his superior ‘electability’ are a myth. It is to point out that Romney is no more or less electable than either Gingrich or Perry. Obama is down to one single theme he can run on – class warfare. Romney is a born rich/got richer 1%-er, the ultimate Yuppie come to age. One of Obama’s greatest albatrosses is Obamacare. Romney’s greatest legislative achievement is Romneycare. Barring a Paul nomination, Romney is as good as it gets if you’re Obama.

    As we’ve seen pointed out, Romney is 1 for 3 in elections, 1 for 4 if you count his refusal to run for reelection as governor of Massachusetts. We must also remember all the primaries Romney lost on his way to losing the 2008 GOP nomination, over for him by early February 2008. All of that and the Electable One has managed exactly one victory.

    I’m all about evidence. Receiving any checkable assertion, I check the record. Told Romney is conservative, I’ve begged for evidence of it because I couldn’t find any. None forthcoming as yet. Told Romney is the electable one, I’ve asked for evidence of it or at least coherent reasoning in favor of it, because I could uncover none. None forthcoming as yet.

    When you hear or see the words electable and electability applied in support of Romney, what you are supposed to hear is inevitable, inevitable, inevitable, etc.

    This seeming GOP preselection-by-protection of Romney – despite consistent polls over the past twelve months showing that at any given moment at least 70% of Republicans do not support Romney, with multiple surges by at least four not-Romneys – is now the loudest and most often heard complaint among my Tea Party compatriots (in a rural east NC area). The GOP is alienating and angering the Tea Party by forcing on the party a candidate whose two strongest attributes, rich businessman and signer of Romneycare, play right into Obama’s weak hand, thereby strengthening it.

    To the degree that TP-ers in rural NC are typical, the GOP has an internal problem with base conservatives. They will vote for Romney over Obama, but the enthusiasm level will be somewhere below the knees. This will affect campaign donations and turnout to an unknowable degree.

    Speak not a word on ‘baggage’ – they all have baggage by the train car load. Considerations of baggage do not separate one GOP candidate from another. Even if there were a spotless Teflon candidate, the media can and will create negative baggage out of how a candidate unwraps his soda straw. (“Is it presidential to blow your soda straw across a public diner? Mika has the story, next on….”).

    Who do you want trading gotcha comebacks during debates with Obama, Romney, Perry, or Gingrich? Who do you want fielding gotcha questions from a constantly attacking media, Romney, Perry, or Gingrich? Who do you want explaining the deeper aspects of conservative policies and political philosophies, Romney, Perry, or Gingrich?

    Remember Robert Redford in The Candidate, wherein a newbie to politics actually wins a Senate election? He turns to his staff and says, “Now what?” My last consideration is what happens after the GOP candidate wins the White House? Who do you want using his experience and knowledge to translate a conservative agenda into legislative action, Romney, Perry, or Gingrich?

    Aarradin | January 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Its not just that he’s a perfect target for Obama’s demagoguery. Romney has yet to give anyone a reason to vote FOR him.

    He’s an empty suit. His positions have changed with the polls. He stands for nothing. No one is, or is going to be, excited about voting FOR Romney.

    If he’s our candidate, most of us will turn out to vote AGAINST Obama, but many will simply stay home. Just like last time when we ran McCain.

    The Tea Party is not going to turn out to vote for a man that shares none of their values. Evangelicals aren’t going to turn out to vote for a Mormon. Pro-life advocates aren’t going to turn out for a man that appointed stridently pro-abortion judges as Governor.

    Outside of the Liberal Media, just who is it that supports Mitt Romney?

    The press will support the weakest candidate on the Republican side either by saying nice things about him or by attacking stronger candidates. Once he’s nominated they will discover him to be a ravening extremist.

    And so the cycle of life in the beltway continues from Dole to McCain to Romney.

    The Republican party needs to go the way of the Whigs, and good riddance.

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