Scully's Corner

Thursday, 19 January 2012

If Romney wins South Carolina it sets him up for Florida victory and the nomination.

Describing politics as sexy probably isn't appropriate. However I believe if we where to do so, American politics  fits the bill and would come out on top in that regard. What got me interested in politics at a young age in the first place, was not Irish politics, but American politics. In  my opinion there is just no comparison. Irish politics generally speaking I find quite dull, though to give it its due, it has livened up a bit in recent times. The divergance in philosophy between the GOP (Grand Old Party) more commonly known as the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in America couldn't be more stark, and I think for that reason, though there are others, American politics is quite entertaining. While the power of these two great party's might indeed be waning, with 40% of the American public describing themselves as Independent, which might indicate for the most sceptical amoung us that both party's have failed the American people, it still gives the American public a proper and clearcut choice in policy between the two. There is choice between a Republican party which wants limited government, lower taxation accompanied with social conservatism, and a Democratic Party largely not opposed to government intervention, regulation, higher taxation especially for high earners and which is accompanied with social liberalism. That in my mind is a healthy choice for the electorate. It's not wishy washy, people understand where these two different party's come from, and how one diverges from the other.

This stark choice is clear yet again this election season as the Republican primary warms up. This is certainly an election the Republican can win, and they are well aware of this. They scent blood. They are well aware of the low approval rating of the current occupant of the White House, and the fact that no President has won reelection on such a high unemployment figure. Make no mistake the GOP will  make this election a referendum on Obama and the economy. If that tactic succeeds in the General I suspect Obama will be in a weak position to counter. Yes without doubt Obama inherited an economy on its knees, replacing in my opinion one of the worst Presidents in American history, but there is only so much time in which you can blame the former administration for the current state of affairs. To blame the former administration three years into your tenure as President really does not hold water. Especially when for two years, Obama had both a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.  Yes Obama has steadied the ship, unemployment has gone down, the question is, is it by enough to satify the American public and to give him another four years. In my opinion he's done a reasonable job. I'd give him top marks on foreign policy. In fairness though I think most American's were expecting much better from him. Having said that however  i'm still of the belief that President Obama is still the favorite to win reelection, but one thing is for certain. This will turn out to be a more closly contested election than 2008.

What helps Obama too is the relatively weak Republican field. If we where to be entirely honest, the only individual who could plausibly defeat Obama in 2012, is Mitt Romney. Polls continue to support this claim. Obama would defeat every other possible candidate, whereas a Romney versus Obama matchup would practically be a statictically tie, with either one of them in with a shot of victory. While the other candidates in particular Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum would rouse the Republican base, which is something Romney has very much failed to do, the Republican base won't win this election. Romney is the only Republican who could attract enough of what i'd deem centre-right Independents and even some disenchanted Reagan Democrats to vote for him, and if he could achieve that he'd win the election. The Republican base given a choice between Obama and Romney, I ultimately believe while certainly in no way comfortable with Romney as their nominee will nonetheless swallow hard and vote for him. With Iowa and New Hamshire in the bag, and a lead in South Carolina, most would have to admit that another Romney victory here will pretty much seal victory for him, even though total declared delegates would have only reached 5% of the total available at that stage. Those remaining in the field simply would struggle to be able to financially compete much longer. A South Carolina victory for Romney would guarantee a Florida win, and logically the only thing then that could really stop him is if  most of his opponents drop out of the race. Leaving either Santorum or Gingrich as the stand only candidate against Romney, would probably result in conservatives coalescing around that candidate in the hope that it would detrail Romney, which is certainly possible. In my opinion though this is Romney's to lose.


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  2. I love your writing style, Luke! Excellent article; I'm in complete agreement with it. Incidentally, it looks like Santorum actually won Iowa now; the latest numbers are in. Also, Gingrich may be a darkhorse in Florida that wins; he's getting incredibly stronger in the polls. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The Newt surge in the last week has only underlined something that has been clear from the beginning. namely that Romney has a colossal enthusiasm issue. He seems in many ways to be a Bob Dole in the making. In the main, the makes it difficult for him to win the GOP nomination since all he has going for him is "I have the most money" and "I'm the only one that appeals to the middle ground and therefore can beat Obama".

    The enthusiasm gap in his own party means that he can't rely on much enthusiasm from GOP voters in the election and his artificial lurch to the right will alienate independents who might have voted for him. The only thing in his favour is that Dems won't feel the need to come out in numbers to vote against him, which will happen with Gingrich.

    At this stage, I can't see a single GOP candidate coming close to Obama. The fact that they don't beat him in head-to-heads this far out really doesn't bode well for them.