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What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electability is wrong?

What if everything we have been told about Mitt Romney’s electability is wrong?

From The Razor (h/t SoccerDad), a brutal takedown of Mitt Romney followed by a “he’s electable” endorsement, The Case for Mitt Romney:

I don’t like Mitt Romney. I think he’s almost a walking cliche of the smooth talking, Country Club Republican. I think he’s about as authentic as a Coach bag bought on a New York City street corner kiosk, and as sincere as the voice one hears when calling a bank saying “Your call is important to us. Please hold.” I’ll even admit to being so shallow I don’t like his first name. Mitt. Newt. Reince. Why do people with weird first names gravitate to the GOP anyway?

I vehemently disagree with his signature health care reform and his position on anthropogenic global warming. I think governing the state of Massachusetts for one term doesn’t provide one with enough experience to govern the entire country for the same amount of time. While he may not be a RINO, he’s in a species that is a close relative. I have spoken to conservatives who will not vote for Romney no matter what. They hate the Republican establishment almost as much as they do the Democrats, and view Romney as the establishment candidate just as McCain was in 2008 and Bush in 2000. I know that as soon as the GOP settles on him as its standard bearer, the Democrats are going to go absolutely nuts on Romney, attacking everything from his “fat cat” background at Bain Capital to his cultish Mormon faith (how many Mormons are in the Democratic party besides Harry Reid?) I expect that we will soon see the nastiest presidential campaign that we have ever witnessed, and President Obama is going to turn Mitt Romney into a pinata.

Okay, you convinced me, Romney’s not our guy.  Now convince me why he should be:

But as much as I dislike Mitt Romney, I know that he will survive the onslaught and land just as many attacks on Obama as he takes. I have watched him carefully this election cycle and so far he has withstood the blows from his competitors far better than the other Republican candidates have….. And that is the first reason why I will support Mitt Romney if he is selected by the GOP.

Electability. It’s Romney’s main argument:

“The only Republican who is currently showing a tie or occasionally a victory relative to the president is me,” Romney said during a town hall-style conference call with a few thousand Iowa Republicans on Wednesday.

“I’ve been able to attract a larger degree of support from independent voters than have my other Republican colleagues,” Romney said, adding: “This may sound a little overconfident, but I honestly believe I’m the only guy on the stage who has a real good chance of defeating President Obama.”

Okay, but what if he’s not really more electable?  What if even some early nudging (it’s not been hammering yet) drives down his numbers?  Like this poll shows:

President Obama has opened up a six-point lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. This is the widest gap between the two men since mid-August.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Obama earning 44 percent support from Likely Voters, while Romney receives 38 percent of the vote. Ten percent (10 percent) prefers some other candidate, and another eight percent (8 percent) are not sure.

Romney and the president have been neck-and-neck for nearly two months, separated by two points or less in a series of surveys

If the best argument you can make for a candidate you do not like is electability, maybe you haven’t made much of an argument at all.  Particularly for a candidate who has not survived the onslaught before.

Update:  More thoughts on Romney’s electability by a diarist at Redstate who sees Romney’s Bain & Co. background (and infamous money shot) as an insurmountable problem in a general election.

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Comments

It’s quite obvious from the MSM, that Obama wants to run against Romney, as much as, Nixon wanted to run against McGovern. In fact, they have pretty much used the same tactics.
The ‘Establishment’ knows that Romney will not rock the boat, when we have entered into an era where the boat not only needs to be rocked, it needs to be sunk.

I think that the above analysis is pretty spot on.

If the democrats go in for underhanded attacks, I would hope that the Republicans would be smart enough to go after Obama’s Chicago mob ties. The whole current administration carries a stench of organized crime!

And… I believe that Romney would be a capable debater to take on Obama who becomes helpless without his accompanying teleprompter…

A lot can happen in the next 11 months, and I’ll never say never, but I am utterly loathe to pull the lever for McRomney. I swore NEVER AGAIN! after McCain. I despise both political parties, and I do NOT trust polls.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to Kitty. | November 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I used to have that attitude, too.

    But I’ve since decided I have to vote for whomever the GOP nominee is simply because I don’t want the judicial system contaminated with more of Obama’s activist judicial nominees. Obama’s already named two SCOTUS members who will be trying their damnest to drag the country left for the next 40 years (assuming they stay healthy).

    Conservative Justices Kennedy and Scalia are both 75. Their health could begin to deteriorate any day. If they become incapacitated and Obama has to name replacements for them both, it will change the power of SCOTUS. And since he’ll name young ideologues, it will be a permanent shift for 40 years.

    Sure, it’s possible a GOP president will nominate another Stevens or Souter. I don’t think he’ll intentionally do so, though. Both Souter and Stevens were thought to be conservative when they were nominated. With a GOP president, we’ll at least stand a chance that they’ll nominate a conservative Justice. However, we KNOW FOR A FACT that Obama will want to nominate liberal activist Justices.

    And it’s not just the SCOTUS. It’s the entire federal judiciary.

    Althouse linked to this NYT story showing that the liberal ABA has found 7.5% of Obama’s judicial appointments “not qualified” – compared to only 2% of the nominees made by both Bush and Clinton.

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/11/aba-has-found-14-of-185-of-obamas.html

    And we’ve seen that the spinelss Senate Republicans usually rubber stamp Obama’s nominees even though Senate Democrats fought hard against many of Bush’s nominees.

The commenter Random Blowhard (The Case For…) nailed him as “Mitt Romney the weathervane RINO.”

I know hard core democrats who are disenchanted with Obama, tell me they would vote for Newt. Newt is a nostalgia candidate, with solid intellectual credits. No democrat has told me they would vote for Romney. Once Newt gets on the stage and destroys Obama in the debate, he will be a goner. People say Debates don’t matter, which is true when the candidates don’t matter, but back in the election of 80, when Reagan destroyed Carter it was the debates that enabled Reagan to do so.

    javau in reply to imfine. | November 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    m barone had great post about the diffrences in present primaries to those in the past. the new importance of debates was one of the three differences he highlighted. more than anything i think many in the punditocracy base their analyses on obselete models.

Romney’s MIDDLE name is Mitt.
His FIRST name is…(wait for it)…
WILLARD !

iftheres only one argument for and many against what happens when that one argument for is shot down. the conception that the elite have of independents and the one they base their opinions and operations on are wrong. they think of independents as skittish ignoramuses that will run to a marxist autocrat at the first sign of trouble. rush was right about this. these independents can see unemployment figures etc with their own eyes. rushs revision of the buckley rule is correct nominate the most conservative candidate period. leave the electability variable out.

Look at Ohio. Obama in ’08 received about the same number of votes as Kerry did in ’04. McCain received far fewer than Bush did. Why? Because we are talking about *Republican* voters.

Romney will have the same problem. To people who say he would be better than Obama, I reply that we’ll never know. Romney can’t win.

Republicans who buy into the arguments of Democrats are known as losers.

So says your friendly, neighborhood Liberal.

I think it is telling that the MSM has not wasted a second on exposing Mitt’s manifold weaknesses. They don’t want his weaknesses scrutinized until he wins the nomination.

We have seen brutal attacks on every other candidate, save Mitt. Clearly, Obama and the MSM are holding their powder and will hit Mitt when it best suits their purpose. There will be no end to the “October surprises” should Mitt be nominated.

Mitt is likely to be the least “electable” candidate in the end.

It’s not just conservatives who will not mark a ballot for Willard Mitties. We are Indies, ex Democrats, fiscally conservative. We are registered Republicans, to be able to vote in primaries. We will never mark a ballot for FllippityFlopper. And we know others of our “ilk” who will not either. Evah. Nevah. Amen.

    dmacleo in reply to gabilange. | November 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    thats me.
    obama wins, we collapse fairly fast.
    romney wins we collapse a little slower.
    if romney is the candidate I go for the fast collapse (will vote a write in) so we can get it over with and start over.
    people can call me whatever they want, but the gop has been told this stuff by many and if they ignore it its THEIR fault.
    if gop does not want to listen to its voters, its voters won’t listen to it.
    I will not cast my vote as political strategy and always have voted my principles.
    we placed the gop on notice in 2010, and if the rovians feel they are safe and can minimize us they can try.
    they will fail.

I’ve said a thousand times I will vote for the kid from the eTrade commercial over B Hussein Obama. That being said I have some standards.

If the Republican nominee is Gingrich or Perry I will support them with money and probably my time, then I will vote for him.

If the nominee is Romney I will walk into the voting booth (probably after a drink…I will need it and I will always have the excuse) and vote against Obama.

If Huntsman or Ron Paul gets it…I will walk into the voting booth with a few in me, write in the name of a decent candidate and then find the nearest bar so I can cry and get drunk. The United States is over.

The way I look at it is that with Romney I know there is absolutely no way we would ever see anything close to a balanced budget under his administration.

Newt, on the other hand, has credibility. The chance it would happen may be small, but its within the realm of possibilities.

“I have watched him carefully this election cycle and so far he has withstood the blows from his competitors far better than the other Republican candidates have…”

Romney avoids exposure. He’s trying to be the last one standing. The MSM is content to allow him to hide…for now. This observation is utter nonsense. The election is the GOP’s for the taking, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to put forth some effort to get it. Being the non-Obama isn’t enough, any more than being the non-Mitt isn’t going to be enough to gain the party’s nomination.

I’m afraid we’re going to head into the spring with a two-way tie between Mitt and Newt, with Paul occupying the spoiler seat. We don’t need any deal-making in this process, we need a clear candidate with a clear message to represent and motivate the base as well as attract the undecideds (who are the ones who decide all elections, sad as that is).

Look at the RCP page of all the 2012 matchups and you will see why any assumption that Obama will be beaten easily is just plain delusional. Line after line describes the result of poll after poll in which Obama wins, generally by 5 to 10 points.

The one departure from that pattern is Obama v. Romney. In the cluster of a dozen or so polls taken during November, Romney edges out Obama in several and nips at Obama’s heels in several more, giving Obama an average lead of less than two percent (while Obama also remains well under the 50 percent generally regarded as the point of danger for any incumbent).

Now, the pattern may change. Newt’s recent surge may lead him not only to a more welcome reception on the right in the primaries but also to more serious consideration by swing voters looking toward November. Also, Romney may fade as the race gets tougher. And Obama may recover to the extent that he can beat all comers. Who knows? I don’t.

But one thing that it really is very silly — silly is the only proper word for it — is not to acknowledge
that viewed from the standpoint of a year out and based on the evidence we have, Romney has a better chance of beating Obama than anyone else in the GOP field.

    Jaydee77 in reply to JEBurke. | November 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    While that may be true now, I would argue that most of the polling overweights the Dem side of the equation by 4-7% compared to 2008 exit data. And thats not even figuring into account for a less enthusiastic voting block for Obama this time around.

      JEBurke in reply to Jaydee77. | November 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Maybe so, but even more silly than ignoring the polls you have is imagining polls you don’t have.

      Anyway, if Romney runs RELATIVELY stronger against Obama than any other prospective GOP candidate, then the point stands even if the polls sampled more Republicans and fewer Dems.

        JayDick in reply to JEBurke. | November 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

        First, I would vote for Romney over Obama in a heartbeat.

        Second, I don’t think the polls are very reliable at this point in predicting who might win the general election. However, they are the only objective measures available and you can’t ignore them.

        Third, using more subjective measures, I think Newt and Romney are pretty close as far a their ability to beat Obama. However, I think Newt might be more skilled at responding to leftist attacks and in confronting Obama with all the falsehoods he and the left have put forth. He would devastate Obama in a debate; that is so clear that Obama shouldn’t even consider debating him if he is the nominee. Romney would probably do OK against Obama in a debate too, but not as well as Newt.

    G Joubert in reply to JEBurke. | November 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Flawed models. The left side of the electorate including minorities was totally jazzed in 2008. They’re depressed now. Next year Obama is not going to get the massive turnouts he got last time. If anybody is jazzed, it’s the voters who want Obama gone.

      JEBurke in reply to G Joubert. | November 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

      Maybe. But the reason most polling outfits are surveying registered voters, not likely voters, is because it is a year away from the election. If you think you know what will make voters “likely” now, you should take your crystal ball to the stock market.

a problem with our elite betters is that theyre sore losers. if mitt wins nomination most of us will have a drink hold our nose and pull the lever. in my view our elit better are sore losers. they didnt get their mike castle and they didnt get their guy in nevada and we never hearthe end of it. as an example of elite behavior look at crist and how he acted. angelo codevilla had the elite pegged. democrat or repub theyre basically the same. they are spoiled children used to getting their way.

I doubt Mitt Romney will win any significant primaries.

I think any of the Republican candidates would be much, much better than Obama. But, Obama really must go.

As to which Republican is most likely to accomplish that, I think it’s pretty close between Romney and Gingrich, but I think Gingrich might have an edge. Despite the professor’s quotes about Romney, I think Gingrich would respond even better to the inevitable attacks from the left. I can’t see any of the other Republican candidates having a strong chance against Obama.

“I have watched him carefully this election cycle and so far he has withstood the blows from his competitors far better than the other Republican candidates have…”

Blows? What blows?

Romney hasn’t been hit with anything yet. The Alinsky-Journolist media are saving that for later.

The inevitability myth is very insidious. It has become so widely accepted, some fear attacking Romney for fear of attacking Obama’s “inevitable” opponent.

Recent SC polling showed Romney all the way down in 4th place. It repeats a familiar pattern with him, he can’t carry the South. He did not in 2008 and probably won’t again.

No nominee has won the oval office with just a NE-Midwest strategy. There are not enough EV’s anymore to make that a viable option.

    RightKlik in reply to drdog09. | November 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    That’s a very important point. Notwithstanding this blog, the heart of the GOP is not in New England. I don’t understand how a one-term governor from Massachusetts (with very low approval ratings at the end of his term) can expect to unify the Republican Party and go on to beat Obama.

    Democrat or Republican, pols from Massachusetts don’t reflect the values of most Americans.

    John Kerry’s charisma + the technocratic wonkiness of Michael Dukakis + GOP pedigree = Mitt Romney.

    And we’re seriously thinking about nominating this guy?

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | November 26, 2011 at 1:17 am

I’m sorry, but I disdain that word electability, period, as it is not accurate in the meaning and very essence of a Democratic system of Governance.. It is used for political assassination of a candidate, to poison that person in the minds of the voters, to either vote, or not to vote for someone. Anyone at any time, can chose to run for elected office, and be elected to office, as that is the system of Democracy, and not the system of delegated prognostic pundits and political hacks, for them to determine, period.!!!

Would you consider Hitler unelectable.. Well, he was never elected in a majority of 50% of the voters, or over.. but he did get 37% of the votes, which was the largest of all the other candidates. at the time..

Now, with that being said, would I vote for Romney, NO I would not, but not because he is not electable, but because he is fake conservative, who is a crony capitalist republican party RINO, who is a compulsive liar, a flip-flopper, and does not understand why he is wrong in so many ways, and on so many issues.. He has not been, and will not be, vetted by the liberal MSM.. as well as challenged by the Republican Party establishment elites.. Even though he has already admitted he deleted all of his e-mails as Gov. of Mass.. which means he has much to hide.. and he already has admitted to denying access to his documents and files, as Gov. via, the FOI Act.. etc, and so on..

Romney is also clueless about the dangers of the world, especially that of Islam, and their fanatical religious nutjob clerics, ayatollahs, emirs, and the paramilitary terrorists, that exploit that religion’s intolerance and hatred of non-islamic muslisms, zionists, and Jews.. for their radical hate mongering jihadist purposes.. as Romney already stated he believed that the terrorists jihadists, were different from the religion of Islam.. please.. how naive and clueless can he be.. Let alone what he would do about Iran and the nuclear threat they pose to Israel, and the middle east..

Then there’s Romney’s indecision on the issue of what to do about illegal aliens already here in the country, which in comparison to Newt, who has already stated his position on what, and how to handle it.. whether you liked it or not.. Newt was decisive and took a decisive position, which makes Newt look like a Presidential leader with answers, and not like a wishy washy, slick willy, crony politician. And yet the liberal MSM press, says nothing.. Let alone the conservative media press..

Romney is a compulsive congenital liar, and has about as much trustworthiness, as Obama, and is basically an Obama facsimile.. In fact, Romney is the exact political replica of Obama, except for his race, and an “R” next to his name on the ballot.

    So, in the general election in which Romney was the Republican nominee, would you vote for Obama or just stay home? Either is a vote for Obama.

    Mr. Obama will thank you.

StephenMonteith | November 26, 2011 at 1:34 am

First, I’ve never been a believer in “electability”. When I first started supporting Mitt Romney (back in the spring of 2007), his numbers were in the single digits, mostly due to low name recognition. (By the way, apparently about half the country still doesn’t know who he is, but that’s a discussion for another time.) You’re not supposed to pick the candidate who has the best chance to win; if we did that, then we’d all be voting for President Obama. You pick the candidate who Should win. The only exception is in cases like presidential elections where spoilers like Ross Perot, who have No chance of winning, do nothing but ensure the worst candidate is elected.

Second, if electability IS important, then Romney is still the best candidate on the GOP’s side. Not only is everyone else doing worse against the president, but Romney is actually beating the president in several very important swing states. You of all people should know that the electoral college, not the popular vote, decides the presidency, and right now, the electoral math favors Romney in Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and many other places.

Third, as I believe I mentioned in another post, Romney’s low numbers are not coming from independents, who Will decide the election; they’re coming from conservatives who still hold out hope that, if enough of them say they won’t vote for Romney, even if Barack Obama is the alternative, then he won’t get the nomination. Trust me, when Romney actually becomes the nominee and the cold, hard stare of reality grinds into the faces of “true patriots”, they’ll start to rally. Michael Medved, in a recent WSJ article, pointed out that John McCain didn’t do badly among conservatives, as the false narrative goes; in fact, he did better among conservatives than even Reagan did in his first election. Romney will do at least as well as McCain did on the Right, and the Middle will abandon the president in droves once they’re given the chance to elect someone who’s had not only four years balancing budgets as governor, but twenty-five years creating jobs in the private sector.

    TeaPartyPatriot4ever in reply to StephenMonteith. | November 26, 2011 at 2:10 am

    If Romney gets the Nomination, then I will not vote, period. Unless we have a third major political party Tea Party candidate, which I see very much happening, if Romney gets the nomination..

    Sorry, but I will never vote for that lying State Socialized Medicine loving crony republican party mush RINO, if he were the last crony mush republican RINO on earth, period. And if you think the rest of the Constitutional Tea Party folks would vote for Romeny, think again..

Where is the enthusiasm for McRomney? Where are the cheering crowds for this guy? The name ROMNEY is not generating huge traffic for bloggers. I haven’t read how people will crawl over broken glass to vote for this guy.

Meanwhile on Friday, Gingrich spoke “to nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Naples Hilton….The event, which was moved from another location to the hotel to accommodate more people, was so crowded that some people left when they found out that they would have to listen to him from an adjacent room.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/25/2518837/hundreds-turn-out-for-gingrich.html

This is why the polls mean nothing to me.

    JEBurke in reply to Kitty. | November 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    They don’t have to crawl over broken glass. They just have to go to their polling place and check the right box

I’ve been saying forever that Romney is right out of central casting. He’s a ridiculous cliche of a beltway schmoozer.

Dole. McCain. Romney. Where do they find these sleazeballs?

Mike Shedlock wrote on TownHall.com:

“The simple fact of the matter is: it does not matter much if you vote for Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama. Both will destroy the country. Both support wars. Both will spend the country into the ground (but perhaps in different ways).”

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2011/11/26/not_your_grandfathers_republican_party;_obama_and_romney_nearly_the_same/page/full/

StephenMonteith | November 30, 2011 at 5:15 am

Here’s something. Apparently, if Romney is nominated, then he will beat or tie Obama for well over the required 270 electoral votes needed to become president. If Gingrich is nominated, then Obama will win in the biggest landslide since ’84. http://race42012.com/2011/11/29/electoral-college-romney-or-gingrich-vs-obama/

    StephenMonteith in reply to StephenMonteith. | November 30, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Even if you move all the states where Newt is within three points of Obama in the polls over to Gingrich’s column, he’d still lose by at least a hundred electoral votes. If you care about electability (and you must, or you wouldn’t be posting this at all), then know the path to a Republican president does NOT involve nominating Gingrich.

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