Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Campaign 2012: Everyone Hates Mitt Romney

If for nothing else, the campaign to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States has been entertaining for one major reason: the Republicans are looking for someone, anyone, to beat Mitt Romney. 

As the runner-up in the 2008 Presidential election, Romney has spent the past four years polishing, and preparing for this run for the Presidency.  And it shows: Romney looks better, speaks clearer, and avoids a lot of the weird moments that plagued his earlier campaign.  He even has a good response to flip-flopping, "In the private sector, if you don’t change your view when the facts change, you’ll get fired for being stupid."  Damn. . .that's a pretty good line.

But if you look at the polls, you see all sorts of candidates rise and fall - Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain - but Romney's numbers remain the same.  He polls consistently at around 20%.  Now, in politics, when you poll at one number for an extended period of time, you have what I call hard support.  Your supporters are going to support you no matter what. But, and this is what I find interesting, this kind of hard support doesn't normally show up this early in the campaign.  Normally, voters are still trying to get to know the candidates, and feel them out.  And so you expect fluctuations.

Instead, what we're seeing is wild fluctuations in support behind various candidates, and a constant look for the next GOP savior (most recently, Chris Christie of New Jersey).  That only makes sense with an electorate where 20% support Mitt Romney, 10% support Ron Paul, and the other 70% have no clue who to vote for, but it sure as hell isn't going to be Mitt Romney or Ron Paul.  All in all, a very interesting race. 

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