Skip to comments.December 27 2011: 7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney’s Electability Is A Myth
Posted on 04/30/2012 3:16:31 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
Mitt Romney was a moderate governor in Massachusetts with an unimpressive record of governance. He left office with an approval rating in the thirties and his signature achievement, Romneycare, was a Hurricane Katrina style disaster for the state. Since thats the case, its fair to ask what a Republican whos not conservative and cant even carry his own state brings to the table for GOP primary voters. The answer is always the same: Mitt Romney is supposed to be the most electable candidate. This is a baffling argument because many people just seem to assume its true, despite the plethora of evidence to the contrary.
1) People just dont like Mitt: The entire GOP primary process so far has consisted of Republican voters desperately trying to find an alternative to Mitt Romney. Doesnt it say something that GOP primary voters have, at one time or another, preferred Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and now even Ron Paul (In Iowa) to Mitt Romney?
To some people, this is a plus. They think that if conservatives dont like Mitt Romney, that means moderates will like him. This misunderstands how the process of attracting independent voters works in a presidential race. While its true the swayable moderates dont want to support a candidate they view as an extremist, they also dont just automatically gravitate towards the most moderate candidate. To the contrary, independent voters tend to be moved by the excitement of the candidates base (See John McCain vs. Barack Obama for an example of how this works). This is how a very conservative candidate like Ronald Reagan could win landslide victories. He avoided being labeled an extremist as Goldwater was; yet his supporters were incredibly enthusiastic and moderates responded to it.
Lets be perfectly honest: Mitt Romney excites no one except for Mormons, political consultants, and Jennifer Rubin. To everybody else on the right, Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama would be a lesser of two evils election where wed grudgingly back Mitt because we wouldnt lose as badly with him in the White House as we would with Obama. Thats not the sort of thing that gets people fired up to make phone calls, canvass neighborhoods, or even put up I heart Mitt signs in their yards.
2) Hes a proven political loser: Theres a reason Mitt Romney has been able to say that hes not a career politician. Its because hes not very good at politics. He lost to Ted Kennedy in 1994. Although he did win the governorship of Massachusetts in 2002, he did it without cracking 50% of the vote. Worse yet, he left office as the 48th most popular governor in America and would have lost if he had run again in 2006. Then, to top that off, he failed to capture the GOP nomination in 2008. This time around, despite having almost every advantage over what many people consider to be a weak field of candidates, Romney is still desperately struggling. Choosing Romney as the GOP nominee after running up that sort of track record would be like promoting a first baseman hitting .225 in AAA to the majors.
3) Running weak in the southern states: Barack Obama won North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida in 2008 and you can be sure that he will be targeting all three of those states again. This is a problem for Romney because he would be much less likely than either Gingrich or Perry to carry any of those states. Moderate northern Republicans have consistently performed poorly in the south and Romney wont be any exception. That was certainly the case in 2008 when both McCain and Huckabee dominated Romney in primaries across the south. Mitt didnt win a single primary in a southern state and although he finished second in Florida, he wasnt even competitive in North Carolina or Virginia. Since losing any one of those states could be enough to hand the election to Obama in a close race, Mitts weakness there is no small matter.
4) His advantages disappear in a general election: Its actually amazing that Mitt Romney isnt lapping the whole field by 50 points because he has every advantage. Mitt has been running for President longer than the other contenders. He has more money and a better organization than the other candidates. The party establishment and inside the beltway media are firmly in his corner. Thats why the other nominees have been absolutely savaged while Romney, like John McCain before him, has been allowed to skate through the primaries without receiving serious scrutiny.
Yet, every one of those advantages disappears if he becomes the nominee. Suddenly Obama will be the more experienced candidate in the race for the presidency. He will also have more money and a better organization than Mitt. Moreover, in a general election, the establishment and beltway media will be aligned against Romney, not for him. Suddenly, Romney will go from getting a free pass to being public enemy #1 for the entire mainstream media.
If you took all those advantages away from Romney in the GOP primary, hed be fighting with Jon Huntsman to stay out of last place. So, what happens when hes the nominee and suddenly, all the pillars that have barely kept him propped up in SECOND place so far are suddenly removed? It may not be pretty.
5) Bain Capital: Mitt Romney became rich working for Bain Capital. This has been a plus for Romney in the Republican primaries where the grassroots tend to be dominated by people who love capitalism and the free market. However, in a year when Obama will be running a populist campaign and Occupy Wall Street is demonizing the 1%, Mitt Romney will be a TAILOR MADE villain for them. Did you know that Bain Capital gutted companies and made a lot of money, in part, by laying off a lot of poor and middle class Americans? Do you know that Bain Capital got a federal bailout and Mitt Romney made lots of money off of it?
The way the company was rescued was with a federal bailout of $10 million, the ad says. The rest of us had to absorb the loss Romney? He and others made $4 million in this deal. Mitt Romney: Maybe hes just against government when it helps working men and women.
The facts of the Bain & Co. turnaround are a little more complicated, but a Boston Globe report from 1994 confirms that Bain saw several million dollars in loans forgiven by the FDIC, which had taken over Bains failed creditor, the Bank of New England.
Did you know Ted Kennedy beat Romney in 1994 by hammering Mitt relentlessly on his time at Bain Capital? No wonder. The ads write themselves.
Imagine pictures of dilapidated, long since closed factories. They trot out scruffy looking workers talking about how bad life has been since Mitt Romney crushed their dreams and cost them their jobs. Then they show a clip of Mitt making his $10,000 bet and posing with money in his clothes. All Mitt needs is a monocle and a sniveling Waylon Smithers type character to follow him around shining his shoes to make him into the prototypical bad guy the Democrats are trying to create.
Now, the point of this isnt to say that what Mitt did at Bain Capital was dishonorable. It certainly wasnt. To the contrary, as a conservative, I find his work in the private sector to be just about the only thing he has going for him. But, people should realize that in a general election, Mitts time at Bain Capital will probably end up being somewhere between a small asset and a large liability, depending on which side does a better job of defining it.
6) The Mormon Factor: This is a sensitive topic; so I am going to handle it much, much more gently than Hollywood and the mainstream media will if Mitt gets the nomination. Mormons do believe in Jesus Christ, the Mormon Church does a lot of good work, the ones Ive met seem to be good people, and two of my best friends are Mormons. That being said, Mormons are not considered to be a mainstream Christian religion in large swathes of the country. There will be Protestants who will have deep reservations about voting a Mormon into the White House because theyll be afraid it will help promote what they believe to be a false religion. There have also been a number of polls that show that significant numbers of Americans wont vote for a Mormon as President.
Just look at a couple of the more recent polls and consider how much of an impact this issue could have in a close election.
The poll found 67 percent of Americans want the president to be Christian and 52 percent said they consider Mormons to be Christian. Twenty-two percent of those polled said they dont think Mormons are Christians and 26 percent are unsure.
I do believe they are moral people, but again there is a difference between being moral and being saved, Linda Dameron, an evangelical Republican in Independence, Mo., told the Tribune.
More than 40 percent of Americans would be uncomfortable with a Mormon as president, according to a new survey that also suggests that as more white evangelical voters have learned White House hopeful Mitt Romney is Mormon, the less they like him.
A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute released late Monday also shows that nearly half of white evangelical Protestant voters a key demographic in the Republican primary race dont believe that Mormonism is a Christian faith, and about two-thirds of adults say the LDS faith is somewhat or very different than their own.
You should also keep in mind that if Mitt Romney gets the nomination, Hollywood and the mainstream media will conduct a vicious, months long hate campaign against the Mormon Church. They will take every opportunity to make Mormons look weird, racist, kooky, scary, and different. Would this be a decisive factor? Id like to say no, but by the time all is said and done, its very easy to see Romney potentially losing hundreds of thousands of votes across the country because of his religion.
7) Hes a flip-flopper. Maybe my memory is failing me, but didnt George Bush beat John Kerrys brains in with the flip flopper charge back in 2004? So now, just eight years later, the GOP is going to run someone that even our own side agrees is a flip-flopper right out of the gate? Romney doesnt even handle the charge well. When Brett Baier at Fox pointed out the obvious, Romneys response was to get huffy and deny that he was flip flopping, which is kind of like Lady Gaga denying that she likes to get attention. If Mitt cant even handle run-of-the-mill questions from FOX NEWS about his flip flopping, what makes anyone think he can deal with the rest of the press in a general election?
There are a lot of issues with trying to run a candidate who doesnt seem to have any core principles. It makes it impossible for his supporters to get excited about him because you cant fall in love with a weathervane. Even worse, since politicians tend to be such liars anyway and you know Romney has no firm beliefs, its very easy for everyone to assume the worst. Democrats will feel that Romney will be a right wing death-beast. Republicans will think that Romney will screw them over. Independents wont know what to believe, which will make the hundreds of millions that Obama will spend on attack ads particularly effective. Ronald Reagan famously said the GOP needed a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors. Thats particularly relevant when it comes to Mitt Romney who has proven to be a pasty grey pile of formless mush.
The question I have is this, will the upcoming May Day or May 1st OWS protests end up helping Romney get elected by default?
Even if we liked him it wouldn’t make any difference. He’s just the willing idiot the GOP put up to lose to Obama. They have no intent of facing the wrath of liberals for beating Obama.
Write in Harold Stassen.
Maybe I’ll write in Joe Walsh.
I’ll probably vote for Virgil Goode and pray that plenty of other 3rd party and write in voters show up to save the downticket races from the Romney effect.
Oh good Lord! LOL!
Haven't seen THAT name in a while.
I'll stick with Virgil Goode, Constitution Party.
“Maybe Ill write in Joe Walsh.”
Excellent! Joe would get my vote.
Probably help him, since he is sympathetic with the cause (I mean he is forever referring to the 1%ers) and taxing the rich who don’t pay their fair share.
SoCon: Why do you keep publishing this? It’s from 2011 and really repetitive.
I’m with you on the anti Romney thing but let’s get some new material.
You convinced me. Obama all the way.
This election isn’t about Romney, it’s about Obama. I think a whole lotta people will be voting against Barry.
Well, OF COURSE we'll be voting against Barry!
You mean Joe ‘let’s ban guns’ Walsh?
I agree with what Rush said the other day. I have a feeling people are so fed up with this regime they'll even vote for the Mittster.
There is the famous quote from a NYC Manhattenite who professed shock at Richard Nixon's victory in 1968. “I don't know a single person” who voted for him,” she said.
Conservatives may be making the same mistake with Romney.
Beating Obama is going to be a very hard thing to do we are going to need to either get as many ex Obama voters on board to vote against the guy they voted for in 2008, or keep them at home to not vote by not motivating or scaring them to vote for Obama again, if we want to beat Obama in 2012.
Conservatives may not think that Romney can be elected, but that is a mistake. Romney may just peel off enough Independents and the 21st Century version of “The Reagan Democrats” on top of the traditional Republican constituencies to beat Obama.
These independent and crossover Democrats would have a much harder voting for Gingrich or Santorum than they would for Romney. Gingrich and Santorum also piss off a lot of swing voters, which may be enough to motivate them to come out and vote for Obama a second time instead of just staying home and not voting.
Beating Obama is the most important political task in the last century because if he is elected for a second term he will be able to complete his agenda and forever change the US government in a profoundly negative fashion.
Any conservative who does not get behind Romney is going to regret their decision because the changes Obama will make in his second term will be irreversible.
Romney is going to win by building a broad based coalition of voters who are fed up with Obama and the direction he is taking the country.
Conservatives who refuse to join the Romney coalition and especially those who choose to make Romney an unnecessary enemy will rightly have no voice in a Romney Administration if Romney is elected.
Perhaps it is time for Conservatives close ranks to step up to the plate and work hard to get Romney elected to make sure they have a seat at the table in any Romney Administration. Otherwise Conservative may find themselves marginalized if Romney wins.
FWIW, Romney may have filp -flopped on many issues over the years, BUT- he has a good track record of following through on what policies he has promised voters he would follow if he were elected once he was elected.
I don't care what he said to get elected in Massachusetts, I am more interested in what he is saying to get elected for President. Aside from his inexplicable support of Global Warming, he seems to be heading in the right direction, he just needs Conservative pressure to help keep pushing him in the right direction, especially on Judges.
Just a thought
But between Obama and Romney, I have to take Romney. The country can't take four more years of this.
A vote for Virgil Goode is a vote for Obama.
Obama is going to get steamrolled in November and you apparently are one of the few that hasn’t figured it out yet. Romney is irrelevant as this entire election will be a referendum on Obama’s record. Nothing more, nothing less. For the first time in his life, the Kenyan has a record.
Tomorrow’s OWS’s protests could very well be the gift that gets Romney in by default.
As Governor of Mass, Romney pushed conservatism about as far as possible as any Governor of that radically liberal and massively corrupt state could accomplish.That' may not be saying much in absolute terms, but for practical purposes it's a huge win for Romney. It's amazing he was even able to get elected in the first place.
Massachusetts elected Deval Patrick as Governor to replace Romney and Patrick has screwed up the state worse than previous Democrat Governors, all of whom are a hard act to follow when it comes to corruption and incompetence.
Obama is 10 times worse than Deval Patrick at his worst. Obama is seriously trying to institute what passes for as close to dictatorship as is possible in the United States.
The threat of giving Obama a second term to consolidate his push to undermine American democracy and impose a Marxist based form of government pales before anything Romney would even dream of at his worst.
And that's a fact
Conservatives now need to become a great enough force for Romney's election that he will have to promise to govern as conservatively as possible, to renounce the Global Warming Cap and Trade scam, to support pro life policiesand Judges, and to promise to appoint Judges who will follow the Constitution to get their votes and win the election.
That is kind of how the American political system works. What kind of influence will Conservatives have in a Romney Administration if they proclaim him their sworn enemy.
Why are we still shooting on this side of the fence? We’ve had over a full year of internal war for someone to step up to lead the charge to topple Obama. Now that this phase is over, why are we still trying to weaken our side.
And let me say to all those who are whining about Romney being the only one left standing. It was due to the two remaining ‘conservatives’ who could not get together and support one or the other to stop Romney because their egos were more important, so they decided they had to run their campaigns into the ground and let Romney walk in.
The Alternative is a Failed Commie Marxist and your point is?
Where do we go from here? We go to the polls and we vote for Romney, then after he loses we send all of our savings and money to the Obama Government and they will send us what they think we need.
Obama is not running against Romney. Obama is running against the economy, and he is going to lose to the economy. Romney only profits from Obama’s loss. In a good economy for Obama’s re-election, then yes, Romney would be unelectable.
The overwhelming majority of the morons in Massachusetts agree 100% with those positions and would not elect anyone who did take those positions.
You can't do squat if you are not elected and Romney pushed the edge of the envelope for conservative policies as far as possible in Massachusetts, which is not much.
For the record, most of Romney's current positions for running as a national Presidential candidate are much different than the ones you list, so to some extent they are disingenuous.
As Governor, Romney followed through with his promises regardless of his personal views on the issue so there is a good chance he will follow through with his “new” positions and promises - even though they are diametrically opposed to his earlier positions.
Have you forgotten that even Ronaldus Magnus was once the head of the Screen Actor's Guild, the very left wing actors union and was also a very ardent Democrat who became the greatest American President of the 20th Century.
Both Reagan and Romney have learned how deal with left wing Democrats from hard won experience
Love your tag line!
I absolutely agree with you that the key question is “Where do we go from here?”
Supporting Romney serves the goal of beating Obama, as others in this thread have noted. The trouble is that that’s a short-term goal. The longer-term effect of conservative support for Romney is to encourage, strengthen, and even entrench the RINOs.
Voting third party promotes the long-term goal of giving voters a conservative alternative, because it makes clear to Republican Party leadership that the path to victory is the Reaganite path.
Even if we’re stuck with Romney as the nominee in 2012, do you want to be stuck with him again in 2016?
Obama is the gift that gets Romney in by default.
Romney, at best, is a finger waving of “I can’t and we cannot” as a Republican. He should get out of the way. Things need to move and he is not moving out the way.
Democrates have the stupidest policies, but, at least, when push comes to shove, their “moderate” guys get out the freaking way for law modifiers.
However, with Romney, I think we got some kind of antigun nut stalinist like Bloomberg.