GOP Primary is Killing the Republican Party’s Chance to Win
A long primary was good for Democrats in 2008 but no such luck this time around
The Republican talking point after Super Tuesday is that “the process is working” and that a long, drawn-out primary is a good thing for the eventual nominee. The battle for the Republican nomination will supposedly toughen up the candidate for the general election to take on President Obama. But this talking point is totally wrong.
The problem with a drawn-out primary for Republicans is that, unlike the long primary Democrats endured in 2008, the GOP candidates all try to outdo each other in a full lurch to the right. When your “moderate” candidate Romney has the most conservative position on immigration in a year (and the Latino vote will determine a number of critical swing states), the GOP is in serious trouble. A long primary is not beneficial to Republicans because, while a lot of America isn’t paying attention to every minute detail, several months of gaffes piling up forces them to pay attention and what they see, couldn’t be more outside of the mainstream.
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Mitt Romney’s inability to wrap up the nomination quickly only serves to damage the eventual nominee. That nominee might be Romney, but it might not be and the battle back and forth to win news cycles and a full slate of repetitive debates with extreme rhetoric on video tape is a Democratic dream. While it’s certainly not in the bag for Democrats - not by a long shot - day in and day out of quotes about the use of birth control, self-deportation, and child janitors is sure to be edited together for the all-too-predictable bomb of campaign ads coming this Fall.
With Rick Santorum’s strong showing on Super Tuesday, he is sure to get a second look by the GOP establishment. The problem with a second look (or any look) at Rick Santorum is that he has a history, past and present, of saying completely off the wall things. Like in his first Senate campaign when he said, "What we have is [sic] moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.” Santorum has a history of the extreme rhetoric, a history that will be unearthed during this second look.
All the while Romney will be doing his very best to express real emotion to prove to the masses that he’s not an automaton who awkwardly tries to relate to average Americans and fails miserably. It’s just a matter of time before he slips up and bets someone $20,000 dollars, right? Even his wife Ann Romney isn’t able to avoid the “we are so rich we can’t relate to the rest of you” gaffe, recently saying, she doesn’t believe she’s wealthy - just totally average Ann Romney driving around in a couple of Cadillacs and $250 million in the bank, but totally not wealthy. No wonder Romney continues to perform so poorly even at this late stage. He and his wife can’t connect with voters even when they try faux humility.
It’s interesting to watch the GOP spin on this train wreck of a primary. They’re spinning so hard it almost seems like they believe this mess is good for their party. Almost.