A bad night for the GOP frontrunners


Mitt Romney’s win in his native Michigan was supposed to be a given just a few weeks ago. But yesterday’s close call reinforces the perception that Romney is not yet connecting with the party base. His observation that he’d gotten “just enough” support was accurate, but his closing speech did nothing to stir the base as we near Super Tuesday on March 6.

The tightly fought contest with Rick Santorum has been costly to the Romney camp. Financial resources were spent in what should have been an easy win in Michigan and Romney’s explanations regarding his opposition to the auto bailout failed to resonate with the state’s voters. Barack Obama, seizing on the opportunity that Romney gave him on the auto bailout, visited Michigan and actually made gains in voter approval, with Michigan appearing likely to remain Democratic in November.

Arizona with its “winner takes all” delegate system did give Romney some bragging rights, but little momentum for next Tuesday. This will make the Ohio primary of Super Tuesday a likely replay of the Michigan contest. Santorum knows this, and he will try to stage an upset similar to the Iowa caucuses in early January. His lead in the Ohio polls with just one week to go indicates that the race will be close.

Santorum, coming off three victories a couple of weeks ago, appeared to have the momentum to pull a Michigan upset. A poor debate performance, a needless reference to JFK’s 1960 speech on the separation of Church and State, and calling Obama a “snob” for encouraging young people to pursue higher education all contributed to his collapse. Santorum came across as a polarizing and divisive figure. True, his sincerity appears more genuine than Romney’s, but his rhetoric is off-putting for some crucial constituencies, such as women. He may yet pull an upset in Ohio and do well in southern states, but his closing in Michigan showed he was not ready for primetime.

On Super Tuesday, seven states and three caucuses will be in play. Each of the four candidates has the potential to win some significant contests—Newt Gringrich in Georgia, and maybe Tennessee; Ron Paul in the caucus states, where his ground game is suited to this type of contest; Rick Santorum in Ohio in a replay of his Michigan showdown with Romney; and Romney could once again regain the inevitability if he wins Ohio and some southern states. All in all, however, Super Tuesday, with its 419 delegates at stake, will not be as decisive as once thought.

The race may yet be a protracted crawl toward the 1,144 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. Romney’s failure to win big in Michigan robs him of momentum for Super Tuesday, and Santorum’s lack of message discipline in the last week now makes less attractive as a potential nominee. This is why Tuesday may turn out to have been a lose-lose night for the Republican Party.


A bad night for the GOP frontrunners

  1. I really don’t know how else to put this – John Parisella you are an absolute moron. That toupee of yours doesn’t mask your stupidity any more than it can mask your probable baldness.

    Romney won 44/59 delegates last night. He increased his share of the vote in both states, winning Arizona (by far the more important state) in a landslide.

    If you look at futures markets, Romney has the same projected probability of winning the GOP nomination as Obama did in late April/early March. See:

    If you look at the delegate count thus far (using CNN’s numbers) Romney leads Santorum 171-52. 
    He is also likely to win most of the upcoming winner-take-all races. Santorum is also running out of caucus states, where he has done far better than in primary states (30% of the vote vs. 23% of the vote). If there is to be a convention, Romney doesn’t just need to lose, he needs to lose states really badly. It is really hard to catch up in a mostly proportional race – Santorum will need 11 wins around the size of his victory in Minnesota to match Romney. He also needs to increase his numbers seriously, or else he will lose winner-take-all races in California, New Jersey, etc. 

    I think you may even be a bigger hack than Wherry, and he’s basically a professional twitter feed. 

    • hosertohoosier why don’t you leave the ad hominen attacks at home – geez grow up will you?

  2. “Romney’s failure to win big in Michigan robs him of momentum for Super Tuesday…”

    Dude??  I’m not much of a Romney fan, but he’s just sewn up the nomination.  

    The only explanation I can think of for this bizarre read of Romney’s situation is that (1) the ultimate conclusion of every article has to be that the Republicans are doing badly, and (2) the Parisella doctrine of recent months while non-Romneys have successively surged has always been that the Republicans were doing badly because Romney was doing badly.  Ergo, I suppose, it must now be true that Romney is still doing badly because otherwise a priori principle (1) above might be cast into question.

    • “The only explanation I can think of for this bizarre read of Romney’s situation is that … ”

      If I remember correctly, Parisella was a volunteer for Obama’s campaign in 2007/08 and was president of Quebec marketing/communications/pr firm. Parisella is using his dark art techniques to try and help Obama campaign. Just think of Parisella as Baghdad Bob and he makes more sense.

  3. Parisella – Spoken like a true liberal MSM hack. There is probably a real good future for you over at pmsnbc

  4. Looks like another bad night for Romney. He won the Wyoming caucus (26 delegates, vs. 30 in Michigan), but he didn’t win over 90% of the vote. We now have compelling proof that the GOP primary will last so long that the Republicans won’t have a candidate by the election. Thus, because of the tea party, there will be a thousand year reign for the Democrats. 

    Oh to be a pundit, where wrong predictions and faulty reasoning are forgotten, as each day brings with it new pastures for the same old bs. 

    • Romney will win nomination maybe .That is not the point , dumbass.Let us hope we can draft Chris Christie. I disagree on this piece but Romney spin is not better. He is not improving. Wrong horse. Need a broked convention to win in NOv. Maybe Sarah ?

      • First, that is the point I am contending with Parisella, though I do also think A. Romney is an average nominee and B. the nominee matters less than you think.
        Convention putsches are extremely dangerous, particularly now that people expect primaries to be democratic. Even in the old days convention putsches tended to produce rifts, as happened to the Dems in 1968 and moreso to the GOP in 1912.

        Imagine what would happen to the Democrats if, for instance, Hillary had taken it to the convention and say, Al Gore emerged as a compromise candidate there. The Democrats would lose black voters for a generation, over the “stolen nomination”. How do you think Mormons will react to an effort to do the same? What about moderate Republicans that actually like Romney?

        And Chris Christie is not the white knight you think he is (though I like him, and think he may eventually make a solid candidate). For one, he hasn’t been vetted nationally the way Romney has been. See how you like him after the thousandth attack ad. Recent polls looking at the impact of Christie as VP on Romney’s chances of winning New Jersey suggest that the governor isn’t much help. Also, if Romney’s problem is winning over the conservative base, I’m not sure putting somebody that supports gun control, civil unions and abortion in some cases while opposing jail-time for drug-users is the best alternative.

        • Andy Card says it should be Jeb Bush . I can go with that . Look Parisella is right on Romney . Stop the spin . Even you admit he is average . so winning against a weak field is no accomplishment . So ok with no Christie . But drop Romney . Look for someone else . Unfortunately , blogger Paricella is right on Romney and that crowd.So Jeb ?he can beat BO.

  5. Hillary conceeded to Obama in June, with only a couple hundred delegates separating them.  June.  Four months later than now.  By a tiny margin.

    The left leaning media’s meme that there must be a clear winner by February lest the GOP be considered to have a weak candidate is Orwellian in nature.

    It’s getting difficult to discern Liberal  talking points from media “analysis”.  Frankly it’s sad.  I suspect they know better, but they just can’t help themselves. 

    • I actually agree with you … to a point.

      The difference is that Hilary was considered the frontrunner and establishment candidate while Obama was the “insurgent candidacy.”  There was no way Hillary (or Bill) was going to going to concede until there was no other option.

      We’ll all see come Super Tuesday.  However, in the meantime Romney can’t quite seem to seal the deal (although he is gaining some traction).

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