Blog Posts, In The News, Op-Eds

Romney Closes In On The Nomination

Well, FINALLY, there is no doubt about it — the Republican Party nominee will be Mitt Romney. Last night he picked up three victories — Washington, D.C., Maryland and Wisconsin. His delegate haul puts him more than halfway toward getting the 1,144 delegates he needs to triumph in Tampa.

Yet, despite last night’s trifecta, there is still no doubt that Republican voters remain unenthused about Romney. Women aren’t excited about him. Fiscal conservatives aren’t excited about him. Social conservatives aren’t excited about him. Evangelicals aren’t excited about him. Luckily for Romney, with the exception of evangelicals, these voters are less enamored of his opponents and seem resigned to a Romney victory. Even two-thirds of Rick Santorum’s supporters believe Romney will win the GOP nod.

Santorum remains Romney’s most dogged opponent. But it appears that he cannot win outside of the South, which contains a higher percentage of evangelicals. If in three weeks Romney can win Pennsylvania, Santorum’s home state, the famed fat lady will start singing.
Although Romney’s 5 percent margin in Wisconsin was modest, it was decisive. He won by 20 percentage points in Maryland. His victory was even bigger in the District of Columbia, though Santorum was not on the ballot there.

Romney is winning because he is dominating the demographic game. He is winning among men and women, all but “very conservative” voters, non-evangelicals and most income groups. In Wisconsin, Santorum barely won evangelicals and tied among middle-income voters, while Romney even carried both groups in Maryland. Perhaps more surprising, Romney also won among Tea Party supporters and low-income voters.

Newt Gingrich is now an afterthought. He trailed Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) in both Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., and barely ran ahead of the libertarian iconoclast in Maryland. In Wisconsin, the former House Speaker collected just 6.1 percent of the vote. Gingrich lost every major demographic group to Paul in Wisconsin and did only slightly better in Maryland.

Many Republicans fear that they are about to field a weak candidate in November. But he appears to be the least weak of the bunch. And with a slowly recovering economy, President Obama will have to mount a hard-fought campaign. This will be a very interesting general election! Game on!

No comments yet.

Add your response