It's Time To Rally Around Mitt Romney Against President Barack Obama
With the announcement of the suspension of Rick Santorum’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney has just about locked in his long pursuit of leading the GOP ticket for the general election in November.
Whether right-wing conservatives like it or not, Mitt Romney can win against President Barack Obama in November.
On the one hand, Mitt Romney is not your traditional tea party conservatives’ candidate.
Traditionally, the rule of thumb for the general election is that 60% of the national vote will be split evenly along party lines. That leaves 40% of the moderate vote up for grabs for both candidates. Mitt Romney provides that appeal proven by the many conservatives who scoff at his record as Governor of Massachusetts.
Although this will prove detrimental for his turnout a la John McCain in 2008, the general election is won by the person who wins over the moderate vote.
This is not a bad thing. Americans are tired of the constant bickering and partisanship that has presented a blockade for effective legislation to get passed in this Congress.
With that being said, this election having a candidate that presents a moderate GOP alternative to President Obama is more likely to be the candidate Republicans need to win in November. While this makes many conservative voters’ enthusiasm die a little on the inside, they should now focus on the advantages of a Romney presidency versus the status quo.
Currently, Republicans hold a majority in the House, but this does little for advancing conservative principles as bills that pass with overwhelming support in a Republican-dominated House are practically DOA when sent to the liberal Democrat majority in the Senate.
Although Romney is far from a conservative activist, his credentials suggest that he wouldn’t present the opposition now coming from the current White House.
And, with his background as a businessman, Romney could provide the leadership this Congress needs to push through legislation in the Senate that has been otherwise tabled due to partisanship. Furthermore, Mitt Romney’s time as an executive for Bain Capital is an example of the sort of applicable experience specific to the most dire issue facing the country right now -- the economy.
At the same time, Romney’s success will not come without its hurdles. In order to motivate the base, and win over moderates, Romney will have to choose a vibrant running mate as John McCain did in 2008, when he picked Sarah Palin. Moreover, he’ll need to find a way to overcome the gaffes, such as “Etch-a-Sketch”-gate during the GOP presidential nomination race, and work on connecting with 18% of the vote up for grabs -- women.
After the flair-up of controversy that resulted from conservative backlash over employer-provided contraception, the GOP was faced with the long-running reputation of being the “anti-woman” party. Romney will have to continue doing damage control to bridge this cultural and gender gap if he hopes to come out the victor. Furthermore, he’ll have to mobilize the conservative base by exemplifying a sharp contrast to the current Administration. Conservatives need to be assured that he won’t be “Obama-light.”
Although it will be an uphill battle, Romney’s middle of the road record could very well lead to success in the fall if he works on his messaging, and lands the right running mate.
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Photo of Mitt Romney from AP
Photo of Obama from AP