#NHprimary: The “inevitability factor” and Mitt Romney

Posted by: ST on January 10, 2012 at 7:18 pm

The polls close in most places in New Hampshire at 7 Eastern time, with the remaining in a different time zone closing at 8 Eastern time. Nate Silver’s live-blogging the primary so make sure to stay tuned to him for updates, commentary, speculation, etc.

Mitt Romney, as we all know, finished in a virtual tie with Rick Santorum in Iowa. And as I’ve noted before, Romney has polled solidly in New Hampshire for months now, maintaining double digit leads the whole way. My prediction is that he’ll come out the winner tonight and that it will be announced by the MSM not long after 8 pm. Exit polls are showing that among late deciding voters, 29% went to him. The next highest number, 24% of late deciders, went for Huntsman.

Shockingly enough, in the redder than red state of South Carolina, Romney is in the lead going into the South Carolina primary, which is on January 21. Months ago, I was telling friends everywhere that there was no way in the world Romney would get the nomination, what with the conservative base being fired up at trying to get Obama out of office, and fed up with what some call “establishment Republicans” like Romney. But more and more, I’m reading not just about the “electability” factor but also the “inevitability” factor – that is, once a candidate starts winning and continues winning, voters who haven’t yet had their respective primaries begin to feel that whatever candidate is winning the most is the “inevitable” candidate, and will either not vote in their primary out of a sense of resignation or will go just to say they went – and vote for the “inevitable” candidate.

It’s early still, obviously, but the momentum looks in these early stages to be headed in Mitt’s direction. I like Perry, but he’s made so many mistakes on the campaign trail at this point that not enough people are paying attention to his actual record, while many who are are not comfortable with some aspects of it (key: immigration). Newt seemed to be surging towards the end of the year last year, but has been flailing as of late the deeper people delve into his record. Santorum is known as the “social issues candidate” and that’s about it. Paul is Paul (’nuff said). And Huntsman? He may have a strong showing tonight in NH but he’s not polling well anywhere else that I’ve seen.

As I wrote on Twitter earlier, I HATE the so-called “inevitability” factor when it comes to the nom. process. The process is to let the voters, not the mainstream media (who are loving trying to pick our candidate this year- as usual), decide – even if and when it comes down to the final states (as was the case with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama). At same time, I don’t want things dragged out with the eventual nominee being battered to the point that it makes him easy prey for our demagogue President and his followers. Make sense?

What are your thoughts about the possibility of Mitt becoming our nominee? Would you vote for him in the general if the unthinkable (him winning the nomination) happened?

Related depressing reading:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

12 Responses to “#NHprimary: The “inevitability factor” and Mitt Romney”

Comments

  1. WMP52 says:

    I have no problem voting for Mitt Romney. We are never going to be happy with all of the positions of a candidate, but electability is huge, whether people like it or not. It will be the job of the electorate to keep him in line and by all means, electing a Republicant Senate will help immeasurably.

  2. Phineas says:

    What are your thoughts about the possibility of Mitt becoming our nominee? Would you vote for him in the general if the unthinkable (him winning the nomination) happened?

    Sure, without a second thought. As much as I think he’s a shift with the wind pragmatist, and as much as I prefer a small-government conservative such as Perry, Romney would still be much better than Obama. (For starters, we’d have a president who didn’t actively dislike his own country.) People who scream they won’t vote for Romney and that there’s no effective difference between him and Obama are engaging in political nihilism.

    One thing to bear in mind: we simply cannot bear another four years of Obama. SCOTUS appointments, the abuse of the regulatory powers of the presidency, the gutting of our military, the push for European-style Socialism… on every issue, leaving him in office is much more dangerous than voting for Romney.

    Again, if Romney is the nominee, I won’t be happy, but I’ll vote for him and work to get him elected. In the meantime, I also concentrate on getting as conservative a congress as possible elected, something that will give Mitt the pragmatist incentive to veer Right.

  3. ST says:

    100% with you, Phineas.

  4. Jimmie says:

    What are your thoughts about the possibility of Mitt becoming our nominee? Would you vote for him in the general if the unthinkable (him winning the nomination) happened?

    More and more I don’t think I will. The GOP has given us a string of tepid, big-goverment professional politicians for longer than I’ve been alive that was broken only by Ronald Reagan and only because Reagan broke the string himself in a way that the GOP could not resist. At some point, we have to make it known that we conservatives will not flip a lever for whatever half-rotten ham sandwich the profressional Republicans shove in front of us. All we really have is our votes and I’m less inclined to simply give it to them because they fly the Republican flag.

    I’m aware that this opens me up to the “but Barack Obama will be worse” argument. That is the argument that gets us conservatives every election. Barack Obama would be worse. John Kerry would be worse. Al Gore would be worse. Bill Clinton would be worse. Michael Dukakis would be worse. Walter Mondale would be worse. Jimmy Carter would be worse. George McGovern would be worse. Hubert Humphrey would be worse.

    Well of course they would be worse, because the Democratic Party *always* nominates a progressive Democrat. That does not mean we must accept a “moderate” Republican in return. This is what the GOP does to us every time. Instead of offering their very best, most conservative option, they open with a compromise — a moderate offer — and get negotiated down to someone like Mitt Romney or George Bush or Bob Dole.

    At what point do we stop accepting what the professional Republican class says we must accept?

  5. Great White Rat says:

    electability is huge

    In 2004, the Democrats settled on Kerry because he was “electable”. We heard the same thing about Bob Dole in 1996, and about McCain in 2008. They were all the most “electable” candidate. How’d those choices work out?

    On the other hand, I’m old enough to remember when we were told that our greatest 20th century president, Ronald Reagan, was too conservative and couldn’t possibly be elected.

    When you’re talking about Republicans, “electable” is a euphemism for “squishy soft liberal”. It means, basically, that the candidate is not a conservative and relies on the Beltway-spawned idea that Americans somehow will not vote for someone who is an unapologetic conservative. Nonsense. That theory hasn’t been tested lately. Neither party has nominated a conservative presidential candidate since 1984.

    If the “electable” Republican wins, he will be under pressure to show how “bipartisan” he is. We’ll see him give the Democrats only half of everything they want. In other words, we’ll go down the road to hell in second gear instead of 5th gear. Big deal….the destination is the same.

    I’m inclined to agree with Jimmie on this one. Four years of Romney won’t improve the current situation much, for reasons I’ve just explained. But in a perverse way, four more years of Obama might finally get the point across that liberalism – regardless of which party practices it – is a failed philosophy.

    Don’t interpret that to mean I’m voting for Obama. The only way that will happen is if I’m dead by Election Day and the Dems do their normal graveyard vote harvesting. But I won’t be donating to the Romney campaign and I will be thinking long and hard about whether to pull that lever or not.

  6. Great White Rat says:

    Further to “electability”, two weeks ago John Hawkins cited seven reasons why that argument doesn’t hold water. I don’t agree with his reason #6, but he has some strong arguments for the others.

  7. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    Four years of Romney won’t improve the current situation much, for reasons I’ve just explained. But in a perverse way, four more years of Obama might finally get the point across that liberalism – regardless of which party practices it – is a failed philosophy.

    Exactly. Those who argue that Romney will somehow magically be better than Obama rarely if ever provide evidence to back up that claim. I am unimpressed with Romney’s campaign speeches and promises, since they have flip-flopped dramatically over the past few years. Romney’s record as governor (and especially his bizarre defense of RomneyCare) is a damning indicator of his nanny-state mindset and the clearest warning we will ever get of just how badly he would manage the country as President.

  8. Extirpaters says:

    The goal is to have a liberal candidate from either party, so no matter which party wins we get a liberal.

  9. Phineas says:

    Jimmie:

    At what point do we stop accepting what the professional Republican class says we must accept?

    Who’s doing that? Last I checked, the voters in each state choose from among the candidates on the ballot. And American voters tend to be a stiff-necked lot who don’t like being told whom to pick. (Witness the number of Democrats (arguably the majority) who voted for Hillary over Obama in the ’08 primaries. He was clearly the Establishment choice on their end of the field, yet she went to the last day.)

    ST’s question is about Romney as a second-choice: I argue that he is an acceptable second choice precisely because, as a pragmatist problem-solver, a conservative Congress and a resounding 2012 election win will drag him Right. He’ll go that way because he knows he’ll face 2016 primary challenges from Rubio and Rand Paul(at least) if he doesn’t. And on the empirical evidence that progressive solutions don’t work.

    With regard to several comments in this thread, I can’t agree with anyone who says some variation of “maybe four more years of Obama would be a healthy thing for conservatives.” No. Not. At. All.

    Barack Obama is the Socialists’ “Trojan Horse.” The changes he is introducing, if allowed to take place, will have bureaucratic inertia on their side and, as time passes, will be almost impossible to undo. He understands this and is banking on it, which is why he is willing to sacrifice his administration to the risk of only one term. Our one shot to genuinely undo the damage he and the progressives have done is to make him a one-termer and put in a Republican president and a conservative Congress — and then pressure them like mad to keep their promises.

    You know me: I’m a small government conservative on most issues and prefer Rick Perry, who isn’t likely to get the nomination. (sob!) But to say in any way that a second Obama term may be preferable to a Romney win is to play with fire.

    And I guarantee you we’ll get irretrievably burned if Obama is reelected.

    Note: My one exception is a Ron Paul nomination. If that were to happen, I urge you to look for the drunk, crying guy voting for himself in Los Angeles. That will be me.

  10. Michael Teuber says:

    A party, or a country, whose electorate selects its leader based on which candidate they believe other voters will choose, no longer deserves the election of its own government.

    Translation, ABR, Gingrich, Paul, Santorum, Perry. I can deal with fate but not the little things. Huntsman is the little Romney that brings total Obamanation.

    If Romney is the nominee, I will write in Sarah Palin, otherwise Cthulhu, or as a last resort the Libertarian.

  11. Drew the Infidel says:

    I would vote for Jack the Ripper before Obhammud. I don’t care who the GOP nominee is, I’ll never vote Commiecrat again, ever!

  12. CZ says:

    Count me in with WMP52.

    Mitt happens. He will be the nominee and he will beat B.O.. We could do much (Huntsman) worse. Time to get over it.

    Work hard in your own state to turn over control of the senate. Dump Hairy Reed. That’s what counts most.