Mitt Romney has had his chance. He’s been fighting an uphill battle with tons of cash, outspending his rivals 5-1, 12-1, and other similar ratios, but he hasn’t been able to seal the deal. Mike Huckabee won Iowa spending a tiny fraction of the money Romney poured into the state.
He dumped buckets of money into New Hampshire and Florida, making massive ad buys, achieving similar results. Romney has the highest negatives of the GOP candidates. He has a low ceiling and it appears that he keeps bumping into it. This will become more apparent on Super Tuesday. The only thing keeping him afloat is his money advantage and his huge ego.
But with three candidates left (Huckabee, McCain and Romney), Mitt staying in the race has allowed McCain to rise to the top. Mitt is siphoning off some of Huckabee’s evangelical support, for complicated reasons, and is helping to ensure a McCain nomination that is quite likely to tear party unity in the GOP to shreds. Is it really worth all that?
Brett Passmore over at Race 4 2008 says no, and suggests that Mitt should drop out or at least his supporters should give Huckabee some serious consideration for the good of the Republican party. And he’s absolutely right.
Romney supporters need to get behind Mike now – Mike has the speaking abilities, the friendly demeanor, and the charm to obliterate the democratic nominee. Romney’s negatives are skyhigh and he will get killed in the general – Mike has the ability to connect with the common man. Mitt just turns him off.
Earlier, Brett also posted some interesting analysis of reaction to last night’s debate. It clearly demonstrates the problem that Romney faces. People just don’t trust the guy.
Romney, while seen as professional, failed the personality test. “Arrogant,” “phony,” “Stepford wife-ish” and “a snake” were their choice words for the former Massachusetts governor. (Although they all agreed on his good looks.)
Compare that to what was said about Mike Huckabee:
“Being a woman, [I think] Huckabee overall best understands what women Republicans or voters want, need and expect,” said Christine, a 32-year-old moderate Republican.
“He seemed more classy and more real,” agreed Pam, a 44-year-old undecided voter.
After viewing the debate, four of the women – almost half the group – said they had changed their vote from McCain to Huckabee.
But Mitt Romney and his huge campaign warchest stands in the way. By staying in and taking votes away from the likeable social conservative who connects with everyday people, Mitt is helping to ensure that John McCain runs away with the nomination. Isn’t that just a tad selfish?
Also consider for a moment a debate between the Democrat and Republican nominees.
Hillary Clinton vs…
- Romney: it might be a wash — they’re both detested by folks in both parties.
- McCain: similar results. They’re both cold Senators.
- Huckabee: Huck wins, clearly. He’s a better debater. Charm over smarm.
Barack Obama vs…
- McCain: McCain ends up on the mat, TKO.
- Romney: Mittens comes off more wooden and robotic, more machine than man, against the charismatic and animated Obama, the agent of “change.”
- Huckabee: Fireworks! It’s hard to predict who wins, but Huck has the best shot.
Mittbots must consider the following: if given the choice between only one of the following: John McCain, Mike Huckabee or the Democrat nominee, which do you choose?
If you choose McCain or the Democrat, you’re going to get 4-8 years of Clinton or Obama, a liberal Supreme Court, a ruined economy, and a surrender to the terrorists. The GOP will be in ruins.
If you refuse to choose and lose only because it’s Mitt (who can win neither the nomination nor the general election) or scorched earth, same result. Or it could be worse: President McCain and a centrist Republican Party.
It’s time to get behind Mike Huckabee, unless you want to stay on that sinking ship. Suicide or a genuine shot at victory with a real conservative, Mike Huckabee? It’s up to you. Make the right choice, Mittheads. I’m not so sure that Willard is principled enough to make it for you. So do the right thing, for party and country.
Thanks to Sam Brown for letting me contribute this guest post.