With Wisconsin over, Newt and Santorum should go - Macleans.ca
 

With Wisconsin over, Newt and Santorum should go

Reality will soon catch up to Romney’s opponents in the Republican primaries


 

The general consensus in U.S. Republican circles (outside of the usual pundit spin) is that the primary season did little to advance the GOP cause. Last autumn, a generic Republican candidate was generally ahead of President Obama in matchup polls.

This Tuesday, Romney won three races and most importantly, Wisconsin. Now we know Mitt Romney’s win in the GOP nomination contest is inevitable, yet his unfavorables are currently at 50 per cent compared to 32 per cent favorables in a recent Washington Post NBC poll. A gender gap of 18 per cent in favor of Obama has also developed. And lest we forget: Hispanic voters are at 14 per cent support for Romney.

With Romney’s win in Wisconsin, we should expect an earlier withdrawal of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich from the race than was anticipated a few weeks ago. Ron Paul, the Libertarian standard bearer, may stay in the contest but he is a negligible factor. Recent signals from both Santorum and Gingrich indicate that they would be willing to serve in a Romney administration. Meanwhile, Romney is picking up endorsements from establishment Republicans by the handful. Should Santorum and Gingrich stay the course, they would demonstrate a lack of judgment. And that will make them less attractive to Romney down the road.

However, reality will soon catch up to Romney’s opponents. Money still plays a major role in U.S. politics and will actually increase in the months ahead. Here Romney maintains a significant edge. Gingrich has lost his principal benefactor and recently fired his principal campaign director. The outlook for him is greater campaign debt and becoming more marginal than he already is.

Santorum is no longer trashing Romney to the same extent, and says he would consider the Vice Presidential nod with Romney. Santorum has proven to be an effective campaigner, but his views are clearly out of the mainstream and in the minority within the Republican party. The best he can do is drive Romney’s unfavorables higher. Not a good prospect if you want a future in the GOP.

So we can expect Romney to be confirmed much earlier than was anticipated a few days ago. This may not be good news for Obama, who prefers a longer Republican race. In addition, Obama is wrestling with higher gas prices, a fragile recovery, and approval figures in the 40s. The earlier it becomes a two-person race between Obama and Romney, with a nearly 50-50 type electorate, and unlimited access to huge amounts of money, the more this race will be polarizing and tight this autumn. This is the wish of the Republican establishment.

Finally, Romney may have proven to be a weaker candidate on the hustings than was originally thought, but his current GOP opponents have far greater liabilities. Romney has been merciless in his attacks on Santorum and Gingrich. He owes them little right now. An early withdrawal could be enough for him to begin gravitating to the centre (remember the ‘Etch a Sketch’ metaphor), and thus become even more competitive against Obama in the presidential showdown next November. Time for Santorum and Gingrich to go.


 

With Wisconsin over, Newt and Santorum should go

  1. Considering the mess they’ve made of their party, Repubs may as well concede right now and then they can ALL leave.

    • Romney trails Obama, on average, by 4 points in matchup polls ( 
      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html ), and that is with significant disadvantages that Romney will be able to minimize by November. 

      During the primary campaign, Romney can’t pivot to the centre, and his party is going to be more divided. As Romney wraps up the primary, however, his opponents will start endorsing him, as the party unites behind the nominee. This will also help give Romney political cover to paint himself as the centrist he is in his heart. Moreover, Romney hasn’t been able to target the general electorate in a strategic way yet – instead spending money on primary voters (who would elect a dog, if it was Republican) in primary states that will be irrelevant in November. 

      I would still bet on Obama winning in November (and have, actually), since the status quo leans in his direction. However, it would be ridiculous to call the election a foregone conclusion. If you actually believe it is, Emily, then I would advise you to invest in a futures market. If you are correct, you can make 39 cents on the dollar by buying this contract:

      http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=743474 

      •  Little late for Romney’s etch-a-sketch trick….and yes, unless a miracle happens for Romney, Obama will have a second term.

        Repubs shoulda thought of that before they came out as anti-science, anti-intellectual and anti-women.

        • So how do you explain matchup polls with Romney in striking distance of Obama, and futures market contracts (which are based on people putting their money where there mouth is) giving Romney a fair (~40%) chance of winning? What do you see that they don’t? 

          PS: since when has being anti-science and anti-intellectual been a disadvantage in US elections?

          •  Heh….well while I’ll agree that Americans are generally morons…I’ve seen dozens of polls in recent months….and they show everything possible.

            However, most of them give Obama the edge….and since he hasn’t done anything ‘wrong’, and is generally considered capable….while even Repubs don’t like Romney…Obama has the edge.

            So unless some disaster befalls Obama….or Romney comes up with something brilliant that everybody loves….odds are, Obama has a second term.

          • I might consider you to be far to the left and you might consider me to be far to the right, but that doesn’t mean that either one of us are morons. We simply chase life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from different directions.

          •  @1d5cea8a40cbacd467bfd5617e5dde72:disqus

            Well no, I’m nowhere near the left…or the right for that matter….and I pursue knowledge and reason, not some phrase from a US declaration in the 1700s

    • Less of a problem to make a mess of the party than it is to make a mess of the entire country (Obama). The Republicans WILL unite behind the Nominee and unite to defeat the man that has become the worst president this country has ever known.
      Romney would not be my first choice, but I will support him simply because I think that the least effective Republican President and Congress would be light years better than Obama.
      No President and administration has done more to divide the people of this country than Obama. This is not by accident. I sincerely believe that Obama’s actions (threatening the Supreme Court, Trayvon Martin, redistribution of wealth, ObamaCare, out of control spending etc. ) is the result of a concerted effort to do away with the Republic as we know it.

      •  Yes, well not everybody is a teabagger like yourself.

      • Worst president ever known? LOL

        How does Obama’s healthcare initiative differ from Romney’s state version? You know, besides the latter being the model for the former? LOL

        And given that the global economic crash started under George Bush and was the culmination of his decade of deregulation, are you seriously going to suggest that it’s Obama’s fault?

        You partisans are so ridiculous with your blindered faith.

  2. Dr. Paul consistently attracts much larger crowds than the others. I don’t think he’s ‘a negligible factor.’ His supporters work harder than the others to become delegates.

  3. From the standpoint of their own interests, Newt and Santorum should stay in the race, particularly Newt. Neither candidate has any hope of winning in 2012, however, there are considerable advantages to hacking it out. 

    1. The longer they stay in, the more they can strengthen their organization within the GOP, which is useful for a 2016 run, or to influence the party in the future. 
    2. Either candidate can command a much higher price for endorsing Romney while still in the race than out of it. Even with a majority of delegates, Romney is going to want a unified convention. Plus it benefits Romney to be able to pivot to the general election early. Why would Newt or Santorum give something like that up for free?
    3. Neither Newt nor Santorum benefit from a Romney victory in 2012. Such an outcome would probably preclude either from running in 2016. 
    4. As long as they are in the race, Gingrich and Santorum get free publicity. For Gingrich that means a forum to sell his crappy books, for Santorum, it is basically an audition for a show on Fox. 
    5. Historically, the second place finisher in GOP primaries one year, is the nominee in the next election cycle* (Reagan 2nd in 1976, H W Bush 2nd in 1980, Dole 2nd in 1988, McCain in 2000, Romney in 2008)
    6. It is a heck of a lot easier to raise money when you are still a candidate.

    There are two reasons for either candidate to drop out.
    1. They risk annoying party elites, for weakening the nominee. However, this hasn’t mattered that much in practice in the past. Hillary Clinton is in a stringer position than ever, owing in a large part to her dragging out the 2008 race, for instance,
    2. Candidates may go broke, as Newt Gingrich has. However, they can always campaign on the cheap, and exchange their exit from the race for help from the eventual nominee. 

    *The only one it doesn’t work for is Buchanan who was second in 1992 and 1996. However, he was a very distant second.

  4. I believe Newt and Santorum should stick around, so that they bruise each to the last bone. If you’re obviously a republican, then maybe it’s the time to thrown in the towels.