Mitt, Newt and the electability fallacy

I’ve been reading a lot about how Mitt Romney is the inevitable GOP nominee and that the reason is that he’s the most “electable” of the bunch. I have several problems with this.

First of all, proponents of this theory cite head to head polls between the various GOP candidates and Barack Obama. Romney tends to fare better in such polls. The problem with this logic is that Mitt Romney has been running for president for more than 4 years. In 2008 he spent a boatload of money so voters know him. But whoever wins the nomination will instantly be catapulted into the spotlight and thus erase any awareness gap that may currently exist. Remember that at this stage of the 2008 campaign Barack Obama was a fringe candidate who could not beat the inevitable Hillary Clinton.

The second problem is that a lot of these head to head polls also show a very large percentage of undecided voters and that’s understandable a year out from such a match-up. It’s simply to early to make such judgements about who would win. A lot will happen during that year. And by the way, this is all contingent on these polls being accurate. One of the hardest things for a pollster to project is turnout. It’s one thing to poll registered voters but it’s another to accurately model voter turnout. For example in 2008 there was a lot young voter intensity around Barack Obama, much more than any candidate in recent memory. Nobody knows if that will be replicated in 2012 or if conservative segments of the population will have the turnout advantage because they feel aggrieved by the present administration.

Now, specifically about Romney and his supposed electability. If Romney were to be nominated he (like any other GOP nominee) would be subjected to vicious scrutiny by the media (scrutiny that they withheld in the case of Obama). All of Romney’s flip flops would be trumpeted, his stance on healthcare which is virtually identical to Obama’s would be highly publicized. Simply put, Mitt Romney is not a conservative no matter how much he tries to pass himself off as one. I believe he’s a moderate so if you think a moderate is what will win, then by all means vote for Romney. But remember that John McCain was the moderate candidate in 2008 and we all saw how that went.

Now specifically about Newt and his supposed unelectability. Like Mitt, Newt has a series of flip flops in his past, he’s taken some liberal positions in the past. He also has personal baggage to spare. But there is no doubt that Newt articulates a vision of the country that is generally much more conservative than Mitt. He has the ability to PERSUADE the American people, which is what this race is going to be about. Ronald Reagan was a seemingly unelectable candidate. He was viewed by the Republican establishment as too conservative. But he was persuasive and was the right man at the right moment.

In a column in the Weekly Standard, Jay Cost asks if Newt can capture the American center and is doubtful based on how unpopular he became during the 1990s. I’ve got news for Jay and others who would use this as an argument. We’re not in 1998 anymore. Many Americans sense that the country is in jeopardy, that our spending is out of control and the chickens are about to come home to roost. Perhaps a man who was “held responsible” and vilified for shutting down the government in an attempt to balance the budget in the 90s will be seen as quite reasonable and necessary in 2012.

4 thoughts on “Mitt, Newt and the electability fallacy”

  1. Mitt’s Romneycare is only trouble if voters decide it is. He explained that Massachusetts voters liked it and that’s why they voted for it. He explained that the democrats in his statehouse changed some things from what he had suggested. And he said that it was a state experiment and that’s what the states are for and that he would not impose anything on the country and that the first thing he would do as president is overturn Obamacare and start to privatize our Medicare program. I may have my questions about Romney, but this is not chief among them. There is a chance that the good rhetoric he is using now shows the way he will govern.
    This is a different time for the country than before. Whoever gets the nomination, and may it be the one who will serve as the most conservative, we must support that one. If we win the election, we have to rely on the tea party and a new conservative Senate and House to keep the president’s feet to the fire.
    McCain almost won with Palin. Tarp fixed that. Obama can produce his own October surprise. The left is good at that. We have to hope that truth will prevail this time and the country is ready for a change for the better and won’t be distracted by the left’s games this time.
    At the moment I am still not sure which one I want. I want the Churkendoose candidate so far. But one thing I do know for sure, eliminate Paul or Huntsman from the field and any one of the others with the conditions I stated above, would be a good president for us.
    Happily this is the most conservative set of candidates we have ever had running. Let the primary play itself out and if the msm and liberals don’t help pick our candidate, a big if, if it is only our side that chooses which one wins, we will have a good choice, I believe.

  2. Aside from the fact that Newt represents all that is wrong with the GOP, if he were to win the nomination Obama would be guaranteed 4 more years. People are tired of the same old GOP machine that exists in order to have lifelong politicians with the same old game playing. The GOP has becom DNC Lite and Newt is part of that.
    We need new life in the GOP or otherwise we are just Democrat Lite.
    Newt as well as several others are part of the “not as bad as the other guy” mentality. Because of that we are now voting for people we never would have 20 years ago. At this rate the GOP will set forth their own Obama in 20 years.

  3. pototo,

    Newt and Romney is what we got now whether you like it (or agree with it) or not and I think Newt has the knowledge and the experience to pull this country out its current mess.

    You can either vote for any of them if they get nominated or abstain from it and watch Barack Hussein Obama go on to destroy America because make no mistake about it, if he’s reelected next year that’s what will happen.

    The only lesson us Cuban-Americans have learned in our lives is that a country can be lost to the Communist/Marxist ideology and America will be no different, look what happened to the mighty Roman Empire. I have a feeling that you think America can take a second hit (and survive from it) from an Obama administration and I totally disagree with you if this is the case.

    For the last time, the election of 2012 will be the lesser of the two evils. Ronald Wilson Reagan’s soul is in heaven and his body is six feet below ground. He surely isn’t Jesus Christ, so he cannot be resurrected it.

    Marco Rubio stubbornly doesn’t want to run now so we’re left with very few choices but either one of them will be much better to our current POTUS.

    What you cannot do in the election of 2012 is abstain from voting for the GOP nominee regardless of your distaste for him because that will guarantee your complicity in reelecting Barack Hussein Obama to office.

    If we vote for the GOP nominee and he looses at least we’ll be at peace with ourselves that we were not accomplices to Barack Hussein Obama’s and George Soros’s scheme. The rest will be in God’s hands.

  4. The absolute bottom line is that we all have to unite and hold our noses in the next election and vote for the GOP nominee to deny Barack Hussein Obama the second chance to complete America’s destruction.

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