Romney already has as many delegates as every other candidate in the race COMBINED. Hunstman has two, but is no longer running; either would give Romney a majority of pledged delegates. Tomorrows primaries are in AZ (with a large Mormon population) and Romneys home state, MI, which should end the race. The former is already decided, but MI is proving surprisingly difficult for its native son, given his father rescued American Motors from bankruptcy and parlayed it into three terms as governor. The problem is MITT Romney condemned the Big Three bailout and insisted automakers should go bankrupt.
Consequently, last weeks MI polls showed Romney trailing Santorum by about 8 points. Of course, a week before the IA caucus polls showed him trailing Gingrich by about as much. What a difference a week and outspending Gingrich THIRTY TO ONE made: Santorum edging past Romney for the win (by 34 votes) made him the latest not-Romney, but Gingrichs distant fourth place finish finished HIM (even if he will not admit it.) In MI it is similar: A solid week of money-bombing has erased nearly all Santorums lead; it is now a virtual dead heat. Money cannot buy everything, but CAN buy the presidency.
The Norwegian word for "mine" is "Mitt." Who better to be the Republican presidential nominee?
Realistically, Romney never had to do better than finish a reasonable second to an ever changing series of not-Romneys. The only hope for the GOPs not-Romney base is to make the Croesus candidate spend so much on a constant barrage of ads attacking their variety show candidates that he cannot finish the race.
Super Tuesday (a week from tomorrow) will cement rather than alter the calculus with 437 proportionally awarded delegates: Romney will clean up in MA (elected him governor twice,) ID (nearly as many Mormons live beside UT as in it,) and VT (like NH, always hard to gauge, but fond of New England patricians like Romney.) Just finishing a respectable second in the Southern and other conservative states (about half a dozen) will earn him a majority of Super Tuesday delegates and make his eventual nomination that much more inevitable. That is doubly so if Gingrich holds onto GA but Santorum wins elsewhere (GA and OH are the big plums and states to watch here, since Gingrich MUST win GA to stay alive and OH is the GOPs traditional kingmaker.)
About 350 delegates will still be awarded after Super Tuesday and before April 1, but after that the GOP abandons its flirtation with proportional primaries and reverts to the "do as we say" winner take all primaries it prefers. A majority of remaining primaries are Romney friendly, especially the early ones in TX, WI, MD, DC (April 3, 253 delegates) and NY, PA, CT, RI and DE (April 24, 231 delegates.) The total is 50 more winner take all delegates than will be proportionally won on Super Tuesday; all but TX, PA and possibly WI are low hanging fruit for Romney. Then the only big election date is June 5, when CA, NJ, SD, MT and NM award 299 delegates; once again, Romney will be favored everywhere but SD. The only remaining question is whether Romney will reach a majority by then, or must await nomination in the last GOP primary: June 26 in UT, home of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Moroni would be so proud.
The real curiosity is Ron Paul. He was never a serious contender, and Romney has been the presumptive nominee since 2008. Yet Paul has practically ignored the frontrunner throughout, and excoriated each not-Romney du jour in turn. Asked, at the last GOP debate, why he called an opponent a fake, he responded "because he's a fake," which would make perfect sense directed at Romney—but the target was Santorum, the races only forthright candidate (including Obama.) When Gingrich was not-Romney apparent, Paul declared him a hypocritical draft dodger. When Rick Perry still seemed a credible not-Romney last fall, Paul condemned calling the Fed Chairman a traitor. The only thing more surreal than Perry calling someone a traitor a year after he told a press conference TX should give secession a second try is the spectacle of Ron Paul having the Feds back.
Now, some of ya'll may not be that familiar with Ron Paul, but I was born about half an hour from his Congressional District. The first year I voted in an election I made the mistake of endorsing the gold standard within earshot of a Ron Paul supporter in Austin, who quickly approached to tell me why I MUST vote for Paul. It was never going to happen, because I had long ago decided Libertarians are just Republicans honest enough to admit they think enough money puts anyone above the law, but when I saw his Ron Paul buttons I knew where that was going and why. So take my word for it when I say: Ron Paul defending the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, whose destruction is the cornerstone of his career, is the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse.
So why has the anti-establishment GOP candidate been such a dogged and effective stalking horse for the quintessential GOP candidate he ignores?
Deja vu all over again: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/ron-paul-is-mitt-romneys-best-iowa-friend/2011/12/13/gIQA82f3rO_blog.html
And, yes, I originally intended to just post one thread, but I could not in good conscience expect anyone to read a long winded disection of why, in the final analysis, what Romney truly believes (if anything) is COMPLETELY irrelevant to his eventual nomination. Especially not on top of a seven page Slate article that is far more interesting, and hopefully more insightful.
Last First in wotmania Chat
Slightly better than chocolate.
Love still can't be coerced.
Please Don't Eat the Newbies!
LoL. Be well, RAFOlk.