Holy crap! Rick Santorum SWEEPS Missouri, Colorado, and Minnesota yesterday? So much for the inevitability of a Romney nomination. It still seems unlikely that someone other than Romney wins, but with the Iowa recount results, Santorum shockingly now has 4 states in the bag. Not bad for a guy who was a complete afterthought until about a week before the Iowa caucuses.
What it mainly shows is just how incredibly weak the GOP field is, and the general distaste the GOP seems to have for even their own candidates. Turnout was low in all three states yesterday. There’s a LOT of hate directed towards Obama from the right. Nothing new there, since the GOP conservative base seems to have based their entire political strategy on hate (thanks for that, Rush). But they’ve shockingly been unable to focus their dislike of Obama in this race. GOP voters just aren’t happy with the field, they aren’t motivated to come out and vote, they aren’t currently motivated to rally around the GOP flag and come up with a coherent theme or strategy for the fall election.
The big loser…obviously Mitt. When it comes right down to it, it seems like Romney’s biggest issue is that people just don’t like him. His wealth, his bungling answers when talking about the poor, about his taxes and wealth, etc., certainly haven’t done him any favors, not in an economy where so many working class folks are struggling. Fair or not, there’s also seemingly been some air of cockiness about Romney. But as the GOP race has shown, it seems every time Romney establishes his “inevitability” as the GOP candidate, voters in the next state knock him back down to earth.
Again the real winner in all of this is Obama. Romney is the only candidate who really has a chance against Obama. Santorum was booted out of his own state in a landslide in his last election, and he certainly has a lot of political ghosts in the closet. While a campaign theme of “I’m the most extreme conservative” may have some success in the GOP primaries, it’s not going to fly in the general election against Obama.
It seems like the Republicans were banking on only 2 issues for the fall election…1) the ‘We Hate Obama’ theme, and 2) the ‘Our Economy Sucks’ theme. As the economy continues to improve, as unemployment continues to drop, Republicans are losing point #2 as a rallying cry. Point #1? Given the apparent lack of excitement and participation in the primary and caucuses yesterday, even the right’s hatred of Obama right now doesn’t seem to be enough to rally the troops. Poor Mitt. Poor GOP. The stars all seemed lined up for an Obama defeat this fall, until the last couple of months. But the GOP has nobody to blame but themselves, for fielding quite possibly the worst slate of presidential candidates that any party race has ever seen.