Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Can Mitt Romney Win the General Election?

It's the day before the Iowa causcuses. Things look pretty good for Mitt Romney. He seems to have weathered the Mike Huckabee surge--the Huckabee tide is clearly receding, and Mitt stands to either win or finish a close second in Iowa. Depending on which poll one believes, he is either slightly trailing or neck-in-neck with John McCain for the lead in the New Hampshire primary just six days from now.

Indeed, writes New York Times columnist David Brooks, Mitt Romney has turned himself into the "fulcrum of the Republican race." According to Brooks, "Some of his rivals are stronger among social conservatives. Others are stronger among security conservatives, but no candidate has a foot in all camps the way Romney does. No candidate offends so few, or is the acceptable choice of so many. ... He’s looking strong in Iowa and is the only candidate who can afford to lose an important state and still win the nomination."

But don't be fooled into thinking that this is a good thing, because in the opinion of David Brooks, Mitt Romney cannot possibly the general election. What is his failing? "In turning himself into an old-fashioned, orthodox Republican, he has made himself unelectable in the fall. "

That is admirably putting one's opinion out there for all to see. David Brooks believes that an "old-fashioned, orthodox Republican" can no longer win a national general election.

Underestimation of Republican chances by the liberal press in nothing new. If conventional wisdom among liberal pundits meant anything much in the real world, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would not each have served two terms as President of the United States. So when David Brooks recounts that Romney "is astoundingly unpopular among young voters," who have scarcely had a chance to get to know him, is "also quite unpopular among middle- and lower-middle class voters," "will face hostility from Hispanic voters" and also from "independent voters," one need not overly awed. Probably the only indisputable statement from Mr. Brooks is that Romney "will face great hostility in the media." Well, duh--show me an "old-fashioned, orthodox Republican" who has not faced great hostility in the media!

The true failing of Mitt Romney, in the eyes of David Brooks and the media elites, is that he is not John McCain. Still, I do not want to risk underestimating the other side by totally dismissing Mr. Brooks' column. What do our loyal Hedgehog readers believe? If Mitt Romney turns out to be the GOP Presidential nominee, can he win the general election in November?

3 Comments:

Blogger Fe2O3 said...

Well we are mere hours away from knowing if Romney's organization can move a significant number of Iowans to vote for him. Romney's run has spoken more about the power of organization and message han any candidacy I've seen for a while. Remember the message from a year ago? Romney is an unknown and has a religion problem. Well, now, his organization and message have earned him contender status and he has a likely shot at getting the nomination. As Romney continues to organize and campaign, I think his potential to succeed increases. If Romney wins the Republican nomination, his organization and message will continue to improve his chances to win the election.

Thursday, January 03, 2008 3:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Pennsygirl said...

Yes, I do believe that Mitt Romney has a chance of winning in the General Election. However, I believe that many are underestimating the popularity of Mike Huckabee with the average American. His affable personality and outside mainstream status are melding to create a candidate who remains a very serious contender for the Republican nomination in states outside of Iowa. Watch for a second place position for him in New Hampshire.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob of Alabama said...

Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have the best chances of uniting the Republican fiscal and moral conservatives to defeat the Democratic Party. However, Romney gets the edge as the most electable with his business experience to turn-around our economy, and the energy to get the job done.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:03:00 PM  

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