My Couch Stacy McCain’s future bed in Fitchburg 12:12 AM
I’m looking at the screen and seeing a difference of under 50 votes between Rick ($500,000 spent in Iowa) Santorum and Mitt (10 Million spent in Iowa) Romney. (Those figures per MSNBC) Rick Santorum gives begins his speech as we wait to find out who will actually win in Iowa.
For the last several days we have been told that no matter what happens in Iowa Mitt Romney wins if he finishes 1st to 3rd. (and as I’m typing he has taken a 41 vote lead with 2% left to report.) To call it a Pyrrhic victory if he manages to win it will be an understatement.
Mitt Romney has every possible advantage, 4 years of campaigning, a huge war chest, the backing of the GOP establishment and the aura of inevitability and yet, in the state of Iowa after 4 years of campaigning he can’t break 25% of the vote.
One of the arguments that the Romney people are constantly making is he is the most electable, let me tell you what Iowa tells me, Electable my ***!
A lot of this is his own fault, he base strategy of “ignoring” Iowa was a sound one. As long as the perception was he was only tangentially playing in Iowa (no matter how false it was) a finish in the top 3 would have been spun as a victory doing better than expected, however once Gingrich began his freefall Romney figured he would go in for the kill. This was the only strategic mistake he has made since the start of the campaign.
Instead he went in strong and as I type trails by 5 votes. This is what 10 million dollars buys you? A dead heat with a man who had no money to speak of?
Even worse news for the Romney campaign than the Santorum surge were the speeches by Gingrich and Perry.
Gingrich indicated from his speech that he will be on the offensive, and Perry suggested that he might cut his losses. That combination along with Michelle Bachmann’s horrible finish means disaster for Romney.
One of the reasons why Romney has not spent time courting conservatives is they he understands that they aren’t interested in him, as long as Perry, Bachmann and Santorum were dividing the conservative vote, Romney could cruise to victory after victory with 25-30% racking up wins to create the aura of invincibility.
With Bachmann and perhaps Perry out that is a pool of conservatives who are tailor-made for Rick Santorum over Mitt Romney.
Add to that a Newt Gingrich who blames Romney for his collapse. If Newt decides to go after Romney in retaliation, and I suspect he will this adds up to the perfect storm.
Mitt is going to win NH Big but Santorum is going to end up at least 4th (Paul and Huntsman boosted by the independents and liberals) and if Perry and Bachmann are gone before we get to the south Santorum has every possibility of beating Romney like a drum, particularly since his victories will bring the funds needed to compete which will produce more victories and generate more funds.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if Romney is the nominee I will have no problem voting for him over Obama, but lets ask the question: If you are a GOP candidate running for congress against Obamacare do you really want the author of Romneycare at the top of your ticket? Do you want to be asked why you support the author of Romneycare while running against Obamacare? I don’t think so.
Romney has one easy win ahead of him in NH, but after that he’s going to have a fight on his hands and Rick Santorum is going to be the man to give it to him. Or as Stacy McCain would put it, Vanuatu here I come!
Update: Can’t spell at 1 a.m. fixed title
Update 2: how contrived is Romney? After dissing Santorum’s victory Erick Erickson revealed that after Santorum’s speech Romney’s guys took down the teleprompter and he gave a speech he gave earlier today, for God’s sake it sounds like Obama lite without the Greek columns.
Update 4: Instalanche Thanks glenn and an important update that people should note:
South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Tuesday accused Republican Mitt Romney of shifting to the extreme Right to try to win the Iowa caucuses.
Sounding a Democratic theme for this election year, Wasserman Schultz said Romney’s attempts to pander to conservatives will come back to haunt.
“Over the last year, Romney has scrambled to get to the right of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum – and in a state with some of the most stalwart conservatives in the Republican nominating process,” Wasserman Schultz said at a press conference. “Romney’s showing can be attributed to his right-wing vision for America.”
and here is the “moderate voice“:
The unrelenting extremism of the Iowa field, from the candidates’ absurd stands on issues that matter to middle class voters to an oblique racism when it comes to Obama himself has forced Romney to tack ever harder to the right. It will take the biggest flip-flop of them all for Romney to reposition himself as a moderate and not the sell-out that he has become if he gets the nomination because otherwise he doesn’t stand a chance.
and That is the key comment, no matter who the GOP nominates the democrats will paint him as a “right wing extremest racist” So why nominate a person that is going to run off the conservative vote the GOP needs to win?
And PLEASE don’t give me the “anti-Gay” stuff with Santorum, not only is it false, but the extreme left will play Romney’s Mormonism as anti-gay against him huge.
I still think Romney would beat Obama, but I’d feel a lot more comfortable about 2012 with Santorum at the top than him.
1. It keeps the division of the Tea party vote, particularly in the south so Romney can win southern states with 30% of the vote.
2. Perry will be going after Santorum with reckless abandon allowing Romney’s hands to remain clean as Santorum is savaged
3. It keeps Santorum from becoming the official “anti-Romney
With Bachmann out Perry rises to my 2nd choice with Gingrich 3rd but