Based on the primary contests so far, that sinking feeling has popped up. Perhaps a brokered convention is not such a bad idea, eliminating what appear to be a collection of flawed choices. It’s looking more and more as if a new face who has avoided the current circular firing squad may be required to actually beat Mr. Obama. Beating Mr. Obama comes into greater question with each passing contest. Pundits who just a few months ago contended that a tomato can could defeat the president might want to consider actually having that second thought they skipped over.
Republicans and Conservatives who are not familiar with the vast networks of the left and the mobilization capabilities they posses, could end up inside the tomato can; trapped there for another four years.
Romney continues to make tragically rookie mistakes where a conservatively based analysis would keep him in the clear. It appears that his first instinct is not to see questions through a conservative lens. The ‘don’t care for the poor’ comment could have been replaced with “my economic plan would focus on the middle class and by doing so would create greater opportunity for the poor allowing them to join the middle class.” The historical numbers based on Fed statistics support that contention. Or he could have committed to expanding the middle class, simple! The answer is; ‘a rising tide raises all the boats’. That was his answer.
Romney and Gingrich must have the Obama Chicago campaign headquarters dancing in the streets. The President need not worry about mobilizing his base; Mitt and Newt will do it for him. The Democratic campaign staff will not have to struggle to find an advertising message, their challenge will be picking from the multitudes of stuff they already have in hand. Mitt and Newt will, to appearances, continue to provide them with all the sound bites they need. It’s not hard to visualize video from the gaff file followed by a simple message; “is this, the insensitive bastard you want in the White House?”
Being in Florida during the run up to the primary, the deluge of negative ads was nothing short of inescapable and amazing. To the casual voter the subliminal messages must have been; all of these guys are, pick one; morally bankrupt, corrupt, politically opportunistic, incapable of the truth or tragically inconsistent. Interestingly, on Sunday night Ron Paul ran half hour videos on second tier cable outlets, there were brilliant. For the first 10 minutes you were not even sure you were looking at a political statement. It was slick, powerful and positive; proving that a positive message can be delivered. The counter point to Newt and Mitt was inescapable.
Assuming that Newt, Rick and Ron have the wherewithal to stay in the race and that each has the opportunity to pick up a victory here and there; the path to a first ballot victory could be in question.
Romney’s polling demonstrates a comprehensive ‘connection gap’. There is no excitement surrounding a march to inevitability. Romney negatives are rising, conservative credentials are in justifiable question and an aura of disconnectedness exists that is hard to ignore. It will become increasingly easy for primary voters to tune Mitt out or decide to deliver a message by voting for a candidate they’re not really committed to. No good can come of that.
Newt is unelectable; he will blow up! He will make himself look angry and small; his constant complaints about Romney’s money and his inherent negativism make him look that way now. What will the Gingrich reaction be to the Obama machine’s money and attacks? He cannot seem to raise significant small and medium size donations now. Will that change? Is there a committed base he can look to? That is also in serious question.
Santorum must fight it out with Newt. It’s the same circular firing squad just a bit smaller.
Ron Paul is delivering an important message; he won’t be there at the end.
A scenario is easily constructed that leads this entire process into June, if the process get’s that far it is also possible to construct a scenario where no one is in a position to claim a first ballot nomination. Then what?
Paul Ryan? Mitch Daniels? John Thune? Jeb Bush? A brokered convention potentially sets the stage for a candidate that has not suffered the slings and arrows of what has turned out to be a nasty primary process. It also sends Democrats scrambling. It creates the potential for fresh messaging from a fresh face. A candidate, as the result of a brokered convention, allows the focus to rest on the President, not the wounds of existing candidates.
Assuming the negativity continues and current candidates continue to damage each other in the way that they are; do Republicans end up with someone who can win or just walking wounded on the way to defeat? Rhetorical answer; ‘very possible!’