Mathematically, Santorum Has Easier Road to Beat Obama than Romney

Barack Obama

Something has been really weird about this GOP primary season. It’s easy to understand why the Republican Establishment has supported Mitt Romney from the start based upon their support of previous moderates like John McCain and Bob Dole. What hasn’t been as clear is why the Obama campaign team has been working on helping Romney get the nomination through their actions (or lack of actions in many cases).

Conventional wisdom would say that it would serve the Obama campaign to prolong the GOP primary season for as long as possible, allowing the candidates to soften up each other through attacks and drain the money that will eventually be pointed at Obama. The fact that they have not started to attack frontrunner Romney in full force in hopes of casting doubts on his abilities and extending the race has been viewed as a mistake by many analysts.

It has not been a mistake. They simply noticed something that the Republican Establishment, mainstream media, and GOP voters hadn’t: Rick Santorum is more popular than Romney in swing states.

Despite public perception, the winner of the presidential election is determined by a relatively-small number of states. Fourteen states are solidly Democrat and have voted such in nearly every election since 1988. Nineteen states are solidly Republican, with Indiana being the only one that Obama was able to pull in 2008. The other 17 states are up for grabs.

Among those are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota. Assuming that Santorum wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, these are states that Obama won in 2008 that would more likely swing to Santorum (Pennsylvania is guaranteed) than they would to Romney. Romney brings New Mexico, Nevada, and Michigan.

Romney’s victory in Florida is the toss up, but Marco Rubio as the Vice President for either candidate will help win that state regardless of whether it’s Romney or Santorum. If anything, Romney might make the mistake of bringing on a more conservative VP, giving Florida to the Democrats again.

If Santorum wins the Republican states and pulls the five above plus Florida, he would only need to win the right-leaning Indiana (which Obama won in 2008) OR one of the three other swing states that George W. Bush won in 2004 (Virginia, North Carolina, or Nevada) to defeat Obama in November. Romney’s road to the White House would require more unlikely victories to become a reality.

In that scenario for Santorum, it would very likely be another case as with George W. Bush where he would receive fewer votes overall but would win the right states to take the presidency.

Mathematically speaking, Santorum is the tougher candidate against Obama. The Republican Establishment has failed once again at basic math.

The Broken System: Santorum Leads Nationally But Everything Hinges On Michigan

Santorum Over Romney

It’s an antiquated system designed before the internet and with the intention of allowing voters and delegates to see their nominees in person. It harkens to a day when trains crossed from sea to sea with candidates waving at people who were lining up just for a glimpse. Those days are behind us. The system should be as well.

The grind of the nomination process (and the state-based election system altogether) no longer make sense. Currently, Rick Santorum leads all GOP nominees in national polls, but most of those voters will not have a voice. If Michigan goes to Romney, this race has 10 days left. For people living in states who have primaries after Super Tuesday on March 6th, your votes won’t make a difference.

A win for Romney will give him the momentum he needs to wrap up the nomination. The fight will continue for a long time, possibly up to the convention, but everyone other than the hardcore supporters of each remaining candidate will lose interest.

How can someone better-represent a party’s choice but not have a chance of reaching the majority of the voters? Why is a vote in Michigan more powerful than a vote in Utah, a state that has more delegates but who has very little chance to make an impact with their primary in late June?

According to the most recent USA Today poll, Santorum is ahead of President Obama head-to-head by 3% while Romney is tied with the President. As you can see in the graphic above, Santorum also beats Romney in a nationwide poll. The fact that we still have this ludicrous system is asinine.

We have television. We have the internet. We have ways to see each candidate and have them speak to the people in each state. The primary system should be consolidated to one that makes more sense in the digital age. Standard conservative thinking is to allow the states to do what they feel like doing to select delegates, but for once we’re deviating from the norm. Regardless of who wins today, the fact that voters in Michigan are more empowered than voters in other states is absolute proof of a broken system.

“A Tale of Two Mitts” Worked for McCain in 2008. Why aren’t 2012 Candidates Doing the Same?

John McCain

In 2008, John McCain was on the outside looking in during the early months of the GOP nomination process. Rudy Giuliani was a favorite but didn’t show up until Florida.  Fred Thompson was a lump on a log during debates. Mike Huckabee faded early as well.

By this time 4 years ago, it was really down to two men: John McCain and Mitt Romney. Romney tried something that we’ve seen all-too-much of during this round – aggressive and misleading negative campaign ads. He painted McCain as a Richard Nixon clone, but it didn’t work. McCain used a series of commercials that simply took clips of Romney saying the exact opposite of what he had previously said time and time again. “A Tale of Two Mitts” helped to solidify the nomination for McCain and gave him a head start on the Democrats who were still fighting over Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Rick Santorum is attacking Romney on social issues. Ron Paul is going after his foreign policy and economic records. Newt Gingrich is painting Romney as an ineffective moderate. If any one of them would simply come out and use McCain’s tactic, hammering home the fact that Mitt Romney has never found a position that he didn’t like for now but would be willing to like later, they would hurt him much more than trying to go toe-to-toe with him as they are.

Unless Santorum pulls the upsets on Tuesday or Newt Gingrich bows out before Super Tuesday, it’s very likely that we will have the weakest GOP nominee in decades.

Here’s McCain’s technique. It worked. It would work again if the Republican candidates would only invoke it with a 2012 spin. Now’s not the time for creativity. It’s time to do what works.

You can bet that Obama’s team won’t make the same mistake the Republican candidates are making.

ABORT! Romney’s Inability To Galvanize His Own Party Is Why It’s Time to Write Him Off

Mitt Romney Abort

I was one of those people. The person in the large group at the restaurant who was last to order, mulling over the menu because nothing popped out at me and I didn’t want to make the wrong selection – that was me. With a heavy heart, I started supporting Mitt Romney when my last hope for a solid choice, Herman Cain, turned out to be a dud.

Romney was the safe bet. He could appeal to moderates. He might not have had the chops to beat Obama, but he was less-likely to say or do something that would make him outright lose to Obama. He was the veteran quarterback who couldn’t take over a game for his team but had a good record because he didn’t make many mistakes and ran an efficient offense.

Now that it’s crunch time with Michigan and Arizona around the corner, I realize the error of my thinking and I’m hopeful that the Tuesday primary states do the same thing.

Mitt Romney has zero chance of defeating Barack Obama.

I came to this conclusion over the last month during a time when Romney should be wrapping up the nomination. He hasn’t. He cannot get his own party to believe in him. His passion seems insincere at best (contrived and forced is probably a better way to put it) and his decision-making abilities are absolutely abysmal.

This was his nomination. He had everything working for him – more money, opponents with baggage, favorable states in the early primaries – but he lacks the leadership skills that Republicans and Americans in general desperately crave. The sheer fact that we’re still looking for someone better is a crystal clear indicator that he’s not the right person for the nomination.

“Landslide” doesn’t remotely approach the proper context of Obama’s victory if Romney wins the nomination.

At this point, sobering up from the drunken stupor I put myself in over wishing that Romney was more than what he really is, I can only hope for Santorum to win on Tuesday. Both Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich appeal to me more than Santorum, but Republicans allowed themselves to be bought by Romney’s campaign dollars and Santorum is the only one within striking distance. Romney was my 1st choice. He’s now my 4th (and possibly 5th). Yes, even as a relatively-conservative Republican, I am to the point to where Romney’s ineffectiveness worries me.

I’m to the point that I would rather see Obama get another term than to see Romney try to lead this country.

I (poorly) Photoshopped the image above because that’s how I feel right now. The man that had earned my vote by default a month ago is now just a crooked-mouthed politician who doesn’t deserve to be in the conversation.

Obama Wanted to Reduce Interest Paid on Federal Debt

National Debt Clock

The challenges facing Barack Obama were apparent before he took office. A month into his term, he acknowledged that the problems needed to be addressed immediately and stated that he wanted to halt the growth of the national debt, including reductions of the $250 billion in interest that were paid towards it the year before.

Since then, the numbers have continued to rise faster than he had hoped. Much faster.

Co-Chair of Romney’s Arizona Campaign Steps Down Over Accusations from Gay Lover

Paul Babeu

When it rains, it pours for the Romney campaign.

Paul Babeu, a local Arizona sheriff who was co-chair of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign team, has stepped down after accusations surfaced that he threatened deportation of a former male lover if he discussed the relationship.

The lover identified as “Jose” was allegedly asked by Babeu’s lawyer to stay silent about the relationship with the sheriff.

“All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay,” Babeu said at the news conference.

After receiving the threats, “Jose” went to Melissa Weiss-Riner, attorney, for counsel.

“Jose came to our firm because he felt he was being intimidated, and he was in fear for his life,” Weiss-Riner says. “He wanted his legal rights protected.”

Arizona is a key state for Romney with his hopes of winning in his native state of Michigan fading. He needs to win either state on March 28th to build momentum going into Super Tuesday 8 days later.

Democratic National Committee Invokes John McCain to Attack Romney’s Olympic Record

Salt Lake City Olympics

When an enemy attacks a candidate, it can be dismissed as biased. When someone on the same side of the fence challenges the decisions of a candidate, it’s newsworthy.

That’s the hope of the Democratic National Committee who released their first advertisement of the election season. In it, they negatively depict one of the aspects of Romney’s past that the candidate has been touting as a strength: his chairing of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. To drive their point home, they took the words of a former foe and turned them against the GOP front runner.

At $1.3 billion, Salt Lake City received more than double the public funding that the Atlanta Olympics 6 years earlier received. Many on both sides of the fence called it wasteful and blamed Romney for arrogantly pulling strings to “save” the Olympics from scandal and disaster. Here’s the video, which was not endorsed by either Obama or his campaign:

The 8 Most Important Days of the Republican Primary are Around the Corner

Voting Booth

There is little doubt that this has been one of the most hotly-contested roller coaster rides of a primary season in recent memory as four candidates all remain viably in the race to win the GOP candidacy. The prize: the chance to face Barack Obama. The stakes: the future of America in one of the most delicate times in history for the country.

Predictions are nearly impossible to make at this point as winners have risen right before the opening of the polls in some cases. There have already been upsets, shocks, and disruptions in the early rounds and there will likely be more during this 8-day stretch. Those who remain standing on March 7th will fight on, possibly for a while, but there’s a good chance that two of the four will have a chance and two will need to make some tough decisions about their future.

It all starts February 28th in Arizona and Michigan, mid-sized in the number of delegates they represent but extremely important in how they set the stage for the following week. In Arizona where Mitt Romney currently holds an 8% lead over Rick Santorum, the gap has been narrowing. Once a double-digit favorite and a “sure thing” in Arizona, Romney’s campaign has had to spend more time and money in Arizona to make certain that they come away with a victory before Super Tuesday.

Michigan is the other primary on February 28th and is much more up for grabs. Santorum holds a 9% lead (pdf) over Romney there, but the “Newt Factor” is less pronounced. In Arizona, Gingrich still has 15% of the Republican voters, but many may defect to Santorum if it’s clear that Gingrich can’t win. In Michigan, Gingrich is a distant 4th with 5%. Ron Paul doubles him up with 11%. For Santorum, a victory in Michigan would spark his campaign as Romney is a Michigan native.

Momentum from these two states will set the stage for a Washington caucus on March 3rd, the last stop before Super Tuesday.

Ten states are up for grabs on March 6th. The two biggest prizes are Ohio and Georgia. Ohio is solidly in Santorum’s camp (with 3 weeks left, that’s not saying much) with the conservative beating Romney 42%-24% in a recent poll. Georgia is crucial for Gingrich; a loss in the state he served for two decades would all but end his aspirations.

Virginia is the most interesting of the races because Santorum and Gingrich failed to get on the ballot. With only Paul and Romney in that race, we’ll get to see how strong the anti-Romney vote really is. A victory by Paul would be an embarrassment to the Romney campaign and a signal that his base isn’t reaching the conservatives.

Here’s how the schedule stacks up for the 8-days of GOP madness:

Super Tuesday

Romney is Declawed in Time for Santorum to Remain the Front Runner

Santorum Front Runner

It has been a whirlwind of a primary season as five candidates have held the top spot in national polling amongst likely Republican voters over the last several months. The only constant has been that Mitt Romney has never fallen below #2 and has fought of Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich through their surges.

He was recently eclipsed by Rick Santorum. This time, Romney will not be able to bash his way out of second place thanks to a perfectly-timed defection of a certain Ohio Attorney General.

Mike DeWine has been a Romney supporter for a while now, but today’s announcement did more than just represent a defection away from Romney and into Santorum’s camp. It highlighted the tactic that Romney has used throughout the campaign when threatened: attacks on the front-runner of the day.

It worked with Rick Perry (aided by poor debate performances) and would have worked on Herman Cain had his past not come back to haunt him (which many speculate Romney’s team had a hand in anyway). It destroyed Gingrich after his stunning victory in South Carolina with Romney’s team outspending the field 6-to-1 in Florida, most of which was spent taking down Gingrich.

Thanks to DeWine, Romney’s despicable methods will be called into question when he tries to do the same to Santorum.

“To be elected president, you have to do more than tear down your opponents,” DeWine said. “You have to give the American people a reason to vote for you, a reason to hope, a reason to believe that under your leadership, America will be better. Rick Santorum has done that. Sadly, Governor Romney has not.”

Every time Romney or his SuperPAC attempt to destroy their opponents, they’re adding fuel to the fire that Obama and his team are already counting on for victory. Whether it’s Santorum, Romney, Paul, or Gingrich, the eventual GOP candidate will be limping into a fight against an extremely formidable opponent. The Romney attack machine needs to be called out every time it fires up. DeWine’s comments and defection will further highlight this need.

Mitt Romney is not a Conservative

Ronald Reagan Flag

American politicians are supposed to be guided by the will of the people through an electorate that decides who will best represent their goals and fill the needs required of office. It can be said that going with what the people want is an asset and should be considered a strength. There are times, however, when personal passion and unwavering convictions are more important than the willingness to change.

Voters know this instinctively, which is why Mitt Romney hasn’t taken the commanding lead that his money and the support he receives from the Republican Establishment should be giving him. When someone’s voiced opinions change based upon the audience at the time, it means that either the opinions their voicing are false part of the time (you can’t live on both sides of any particular fence) or that the ability of a person to form opinions that make sense to them (and therefore the electorate) is missing.

Mitt Romney’s flips and flops are well documented, but that’s politics. A candidate must often put their words through a filter to fit the situation and actions tend to speak louder than words. However, there’s a statement that should disqualify Romney from ever being able to call himself a conservative. It’s one thing to change over time and become more conservative, but to go from an independent to moderate Republican and now to a conservative as he is claiming is simply not feasible. To claim to have changed that much over the years is either a lie or alarming if it’s true. America does not need a President with such weak convictions that they are able to tumble so easily.

We don’t need Mitt Romney.