If you have spent any time lately on Conservative websites, you have probably noticed in the comments sections what appears to be an organized effort by supporters of Mitt “The Legacy” Romney to attempt to convince Conservatives that the Republican primary is a fait d’accompli.
Fuhgeddaboutit, they write. It’s a done deal.
The number of Romney supporters who have suddenly flooded these sites are reminiscent of the return of the seven-year locusts.
There’s just one problem with that. He’s only won 2 states. We’re just getting started.
Even if Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, does well enough in South Carolina on Jan. 21 and Florida on Jan. 31 to retain front-runner status, new party rules that distribute delegates in proportion to the vote in later states may prolong the campaign. Some Republicans fear this will weaken the ultimate nominee. Ron Paul has signaled that he intends to compete for a share of convention delegates in small caucus states over the next couple of months.
South Carolina polls have placed Romney at the head of the pack, in front of Rick Santorum and Gingrich, by an average of 10 points. The last time he faced voters in South Carolina, in the 2008 presidential nominating contest, Romney placed fourth, behind John McCain, who won, and Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson, who came in second and third.
Romney must do a lot better this time to prove to conservatives around the country that he can perform well in Southern Bible Belt states, not just in the Midwest and moderate New England.
Highlighting the importance of South Carolina as the first major conservative test: No Republican candidate has won the party nomination since 1980 without winning the South Carolina primary.
Winning there would keep Romney on a strong trajectory heading to the Florida primary; placing second in a state where 70 percent of poll respondents are weekly churchgoers, many of them evangelical Christians, would also be respectable for the first Mormon in US history challenging strongly for the White House. But, respectable or not, a second-place finish for Romney would mean that the winner becomes a viable alternative to him. That could prolong the race and cause him problems down the road.
Sorry, Mittens. There is more to the country than New England.
Welcome to the South, Bubba. The Conservative South. In fact, the whole country’s still mostly Conservative:
Political ideology in the U.S. held steady in 2011, with 40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This marks the third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.
The percentage of Americans calling themselves “moderate” has gradually diminished in the U.S. since it was 43% in 1992. That is the year Gallup started routinely measuring ideology with the current question. It fell to 39% in 2002 and has been 35% since 2010. At the same time, the country became more politically polarized, with the percentages of Americans calling themselves either “conservative” or “liberal” each increasing.
Gallup measures political ideology by asking Americans to say whether their political views are very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, or very liberal. Relatively few Americans identify with either extreme on this scale, although 2 in 10 Republicans self-identify as very conservative — double the proportion of Democrats calling themselves very liberal.
…The majority of Republicans say they are either very conservative or conservative, but the total proportion of conservatives grew 10 percentage points between 2002 and 2010, from 62% to 72%. At the same time, the percentage of moderates fell from 31% to 23%. Relatively few Republicans say they are liberal — just 4% in 2011. Republicans’ ideology largely held at the 2010 levels in 2011.
I conducted a web search using bing.com in an effort to see how my fellow Southerners felt about “The Legacy”. All I could find was articles written by non-Southerners concerned that we ig’nant inter-marrying rednecks would not vote for “Mittens” because he’s a Mormon.
Reality Check, Boys and Girls: Mitt’s Mormonism does not bother Southerners as much as his flip-floppin’ political ideology. You see, down here, a man’s word is his bond. That’s one reason that trade unions are not as prevalent in the South as they are in other regions. Major business negotiations are oft-times settled in the South with a handshake.
So, how can we support “The Legacy” when we don’t know what he stands for, from one day to the next?
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Obama earning 44% support to Romney’s 41%. Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, while eight percent (8%) are undecided.
If Romney is the great Republican Nominee that his locust-like internet troops proclaim him to be, shouldn’t he be absolutely burying the worst president Americans can remember in a landslide of popularity?
Or, judging from the results of Gallup’s Political Ideology Survey, is the reality of the situation, the simple fact that America is still a Center-Right country, and not, despite the protestations of the G.O.P. Elite up in the Northeastern Corridor, a Center-Center country?
Hmmmmm. It’s a possibility.