It’s Still Romney’s Turn

December 26th, 2011 at 7:40 am | 16 Comments |

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Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich’s mutual failure to qualify for the Virginia ballot raises lots of questions about their long term viability, funding, and organization. But it isn’t that surprising at all for one simple reason: neither has run for President before while the two candidates who qualified, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, both have.

Indeed, since 1964, every Republican nominee except George W. Bush has previously contested the party’s nomination and Bush, of course, had his family’s political network and, probably, a boost in early polls from people who thought he was his father.

Nearly every part of the Republican primary process and, indeed, the party’s overall structure gives a massive advantage to people who have run before. The lack of super-delegates (ex officio convention delegates), for example, means that simply becoming well-known in the national media and among national figures conveys much less advantage than it does in Democratic contests. Republicans’ relatively greater reliance on low-dollar direct mail donations, likewise, means that having a well-tested list from a previous run for office conveys a fundraising advantage. Even the structure of grass roots groups on the Right conveys an advantage to those who have run before: the single greatest source of on-the-ground manpower on the Left, unions, are national organizations with top-down structures while the churches, community organizations, and tax reform groups important on the right are rarely centralized. And some right-of-center groups that have central structures–Americans for Prosperity, for example–don’t directly engage in electoral politics.

Paul and Romney, by virtue of having run before, had everything they needed to get 10,000 signatures in Virginia. The others didn’t.

The result: whatever the bumps in the road he runs into along the way, Mitt Romney remains the overwhelming favorite to secure the nomination. Quite simply, it’s his turn.

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Nanotek

    “Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich’s mutual failure to qualify for the Virginia ballot raises lots of questions about their long term viability, funding, and organization.”

    primarily competence … would they run the nation equally?

    “But it isn’t that surprising at all for one simple reason: neither has run for President before while the two candidates who qualified, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, both have.”

    Obama hadn’t run for president before and didn’t make that kind of mistake … but, admittedly, Paul and Romney are professional politicians

    “Quite simply, it’s his turn.”

    really? like a carnival ride?

  • balconesfault

    Perhaps the thing I will find most amusing as the Republicans line up to cast their ballots for Mitt Romney … is that this is the man who once had the following exchange at a campaign event:

    Question: “If none of them are, how do they plan to support this war on terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military?”

    Romney: “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected.”

    Had a Democrat ever said something like that, even 4 years ago, we’d be being treated to clips of it on a regular basis on Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh would not go a day without mentioning it.

    That the Republicans can put something like this, from one of their own, away in the closet and never mention it, simply highlights that being a member of the modern GOP requires being a hypocrite.

    • tom78212

      Like all the other rich white republicans, other people’s sons get to go to war. Other than Perry, who was a pilot in the AF when flying was just a “fun time,” all of them have taken the Dick Cheney route to hawk-ism: they had “other things to do.”

  • Houndentenor

    Excuse my ignorance, but it would seem to me that anyone who had organized a campaign before would know about the intricacies of getting on the ballot in the various states. It is a mess of different rules and standards, but then that is the campaign staff’s job, is it not? Gingrich is often dismissive of the effects of the mass resignation of his campaign staff, but it seems likely that somewhere among those resignations was someone (or several) who would have known what to do. We are used to thinking only of the person whose name appears on the ballot as the one for whom we are voting, but the reality is that it’s that person’s staff who will do the bulk of the work. If the candidate cannot put together and inspire a competent staff, that person is going to be a complete disaster once elected.

  • Graychin

    “Bush, of course, had his family’s political network and, probably, a boost in early polls from people who thought he was his father.”

    Proving once again that Fox News viewers too often are tragically misinformed.

    So now the argument for Romney is that it’s “his turn”? This would be riotously funny if it wasn’t so serious.

    A question: assuming that Romney is the nominee but gets thumped by Obama (the most likely outcome), whose “turn” is it next? Ron Paul, age 80? Newt Gingrich?

    That’s quite a political party you’ve got there – one that rigs the nomination process to exclude anyone who might break up the train of elephants, each one holding the tail of the one just ahead.

  • midwest guy

    It is good to know that the whole premise of the GOP is to allow each person (competent or incompetent) have a turn at the head of the party. Frankly, this is very helpful. I was beginning to feel that there was no rhyme or reason to the whole circus we have seen in these debates; now I have a much better understanding of the system.

    No wonder most thinking folks are simply throwing up their hands in disgust. This is not a serious party; this is a party game.

  • Mitt Romney can’t lose, right? | Saint Petersblog

    [...] Bernstein thinks Romney is sitting pretty. So does Eli Lehrer: Nearly every part of the Republican primary process and, indeed, the party’s overall [...]

  • odinkitty

    Romney’s top 3 contributors
    1. Goldman Sachs
    2. Credit Suisse Group
    3. Morgan Stanley

    Bailout anyone?

    The elitist, flip flopping Mitt Romney. The more I learn about Romney the more I can barely tell the difference between him and Obama! You know his campaign contributors are going to expect favors so expect more of the same, expect more corporate welfare!. You know what Mitt says, “Corporations are people too”!

  • JohnMcC

    Although it is still very far til the Convention the Repubs do seem destined to nominate Mr Romney. When they do the ‘TeaParty’ faction is going to have a serious moment of crisis. They will have to explain to themselves and to the country at large why they have been hapless and impotent to change their party and what do they intend to do about it. Perhaps there will be a fairly large ‘rump’ of Repubs who will leave and establish a third party. Perhaps they’ll quietly withdraw from national politics altogether and vote with their fannies by staying home on election day. Perhaps they’ll redouble their efforts and the election of ’16 will see even more rabid so-called-conservatives.

    In any case, they will have been a spectacular failure. It will be more galling when Mr Romney losses.

    My prediction is that we will see a narrative developed in the right-wing media that explains how they were stabbed in the back. The Trotskyites will be exterminated. Jacobins will take power and Mr Frum will have occaison to be glad the guillotine is out of style.

  • indy

    Romney has been campaigning for 4 years and the best he can do is 25% support? He has placed first in only 1 out of 3 of the polls since August. Obama has only one opponent in this election and it isn’t a Republican. It’s the economy.

  • Geprodis

    Romeny has no chance at all of defeating Obama. Obama will paint Romney as rich prick with no real ideas. Romney will list the failures of the Obama administration..and Obama will simply point out that he inherited Bush’s mess and he killed Osama Bin Laden.

    The Frum Forum editors love to attack Ron Paul and accuse his supporters of not seeing the reality of the man.

    The editors don’t realize they are hypocrites because they refuse to look at the reality of Romney.

    Romney looks like a President and he has a good resume…but, when you get to the actual man there are a ton of problems.

    • gmat

      “Romney looks like a President and he has a good resume…but, when you get to the actual man…”

      I’ve been trying to figure out who he reminds me of and I just got it.

      Westmoreland.

  • Nanotek

    “The Frum Forum editors love to attack Ron Paul and accuse his supporters of not seeing the reality of the man.”

    ‘useful idiots’ is their political fracking

  • SFTor1

    The Romneys, the other white meat.

  • MartinMeenagh

    Since 1964 every GOP nominee has previously contested the nomination….umm, Gerald Ford? Why forget the best of them?