Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ohio: The Status Quo


Mitt’s victory in Ohio, a state that has elected the President for the past 12 straight elections, proves two things: he is now the frontrunner in the race for his party’s Presidential nomination, but the road to formally acquiring that nomination is going to be slow and painful. In Ohio, he won, but the race was incredibly close – to the tune of a few thousand votes. This a bad omen for Camp Romney who is now in a war of attrition against the other candidates.

Every victory for Santorum, Gingrich or Paul means more emotional, political and financial capital that Romney has to invest in the primary and takes away these valuable resources from when he’ll need them the most: against the Obama reelection machine.

Amid all of this, there is a silver lining: Romney’s success among moderates and liberals. He was able to beat out Santorum by a double-digit margin. His strength here – albeit as the lesser of the evils in the Republican field – is a good sign for someone trying to appeal to this key group of voters for November.

I sometimes watch the race and think of a playground seesaw going back and forth and only two things can stop it: either one of the kids gets off or the bell rings, the kids get off. From the looks of it, no one’s getting off the seesaw and there’s still a lot of time left before recess ends.

1 comment:

Eric Boole said...

Kevin--interesting post. I particularly enjoyed your see saw analogy. You mentioned how Romney beat Santorum substantially among liberals and independents. This is obviously a good thing for him, especially if he takes it to November, but at this point Romney still has a while to go. Delegates, the actual implication of winning a primary, have been distributed proportional in Romney's two most important victories to date--Michigan and Ohio. Moreover, as this article analyzing yesterday's events points out (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/03/republican-race-0), Romney has not yet won a southern state, and only won Virginia with a slim margin. For Romney to be able to take a deep breath, he will have to figure out a way to appeal to the conservatives and evangelicals in the conservative heartland in order to make any real strides towards the presidency.