Let's Not Anoint Mitt Romney Just Yet When Ron Paul is Building Momentum
Ever since 2007, conservatives and demagogues have disliked presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. But with wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and now with 31% in South Carolina polls, is it finally time to get behind a “stammering, limp less, hair product receptacle with sleestak squinty eyes?”
Conservatives and Republicans think that they might have to bite the bullet and rally behind Romney because of the “anyone but Obama” mentality, but looking at this 2012 race, it is far from over.
For some candidates, the race is over. Michele Bachmann dropped out after lackluster results in Iowa. Unless something miraculous happens in South Carolina, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman may soon be throwing in the towel. For Newt Gingrich . . . well, the race was over when he started talking about moon mines. To be fair, the race was over for Newt when he was blitzed by a storm of negative attack ads. His only reason for staying in the race is his devotion to taking down Romney.
Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are exceeding everyone’s expectations, but is that enough to stop the “inevitable” nomination of Mitt Romney? In 2008 Romney garnered 25% of the vote in Iowa. In 2012, he got 25%. In 2008, Romney had over 75,000 votes with 32% in New Hampshire.
Tuesday he won the primary, gaining more than 96,000 votes and 39%. Four years ago, Romney only came up with 15% of the vote in South Carolina, but now currently polls at 31%. His wins in Iowa and New Hampshire seem to be nothing more than retaining voters he got in 2008. A win in South Carolina will be the first time Romney proves that he has a growing base of support.
Sure, winning the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary is important. No other Republican non-incumbent has ever won both. But unlike any other campaign season, 2012 is different. Every caucus and primary held before April 3rd won’t be a “winner take all primary,” but rather delegate proportioned. “Super Tuesday,” the giant spectacle that would normally decide once and for all the Republican nominee, is no longer as super as it seems. A string of second places and some occasional first place victories could still keep Paul and Santorum competitive.
However, Santorum wasted a lot of money and resources campaigning in New Hampshire – South Carolina's Primary might be this man’s only hope. Ron Paul on the other hand, has not only doubled his support in Iowa and tripled support in New Hampshire, but has also built a crazy enthusiastic movement all over the country. Unlike Newt, Perry, and Santorum, Paul actually got a spot on the Virginia primary (if you’re going to be president, you have to play the game and at least be on every primary ballot). Paul has money, and more importantly, his ideas.
Paul’s vehement disapproval of foreign intervention, government spending, and the Federal Reserve have energized youth and independent voters. In a matchup against Obama, Paul wins independents 47% to 40%. Now I am a big Ron Paul guy and I know you can’t ignore Romney's back-to-back wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, and a probable victory in South Carolina.
However, let's not count this race over - with Paul having a strong backing, conservatives being reluctant to back Romney, and a whole slew of primaries and caucuses waiting to proportionally distribute delegates.
Robert Clemmer is a college graduate and former intern. When he isn't hiking, playing mandolin or reading history, he likes to blog about current events, taxes, and politics. Questions and comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Photo of Romney from csmonitor.com
Photo of Romney from csmonitor.com