It’s impossible to watch or read analysis of the 2012 presidential race without hearing a pundit’s take on how certain candidates are more electable than others. While it is true, the electability of the current Republican candidates differs depending on the person. There is an argument to be made, not just by liberals and moderates in the media, but by conservatives as well that Mitt Romney is the most electable.
Romney is the most “electable” candidate. This is not because every other Republican candidate is either a dunce or a radical, like many would have you believe. Romney is electable because he is extremely polished. He has executive experience in both government and business. When your candidate is running on the platform of getting America back to work, it might help if he knows how American enterprise actually works.
It is easy to go through each and every candidate and assess their individual strengths and weaknesses, and it has been done over and over by the media. Gingrich has too much baggage, Santorum is too radical, and Perry reminds people of George W. Bush. We’ve heard all of these arguments, and it would really help the Republican cause if its own people would stop beating each other up so much.
It’s interesting that we never see the Democrats in similar domestic disputes. While the primary race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama did get fairly heated, the criticisms were never as harsh as the ones directed at Republicans by Republicans. It would serve the GOP well to emphasize the major strengths each candidate has, because there are plenty. From Santorum’s social conservative appeal, to Perry’s track record of job creation to the fact that Newt Gingrich oozes policy intellect.
The idea that Mitt Romney is the only candidate that can beat Obama isn’t quite right. To believe that no other candidate can beat him is to underestimate the anger that festers amongst the American populace about the dire economic situation the country now finds itself in. Credible polling data shows Romney virtually tied with Obama if an election were held today, and shows the rest of the Republican pack trailing Obama anywhere from 7 to 14 percentage points, this is not an accurate reflection of what a general election would actually look like.
Polling data can be extremely deceiving. It is interesting to note that Obama’s support hardly ever changes when stacked up against each respective Republican candidate. However, the percentage of support for each Republican candidate fluctuates, which means that many people are simply not favoring either of them, likely because they still don’t know much about the Republican candidate in question. The sum of the percentage support for Obama versus each of the candidates never adds up to 100 percent. “Undecided” always makes up a sizable chunk.
While all of this may have made the already confusing polling data even more mind boggling, the fact that 22% of the electorate thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction should prove that there are enough people ticked off to make a Democrat victory in 2012 extremely difficult.
President Obama will try to attack Republicans, and may even bribe voters for support by means of a giant mortgage refinancing scheme that would serve as a second stimulus. He may promise illegal immigrants complete amnesty to get their vote. He will do whatever he needs to do to get back to his 2008 popularity levels. But what he won’t do is defend his record, because there isn’t much to defend. While he deems his health care reform necessary, most of the country doesn’t. While he thinks his stimulus package has created jobs, he may find out that not only is it making it more likely that working people will lose their job, it is also making it more likely that he will lose his.
The chattering class continues to insist that most of the Republican candidates for President are unelectable, and that the mighty Obama is unbeatable. Do we not forget that these are the same crowds that claimed Ronald Reagan could never become President of the United States? It’s interesting how much faith we put in people who are more often than not wrong about everything they predict. Could it be that it isn’t a prediction, but rather a trap? A trap that makes conservatives believe their chances are slim, when in reality they have an opportunity to defeat the man who was once called the Messiah by these very experts?
Simply put: there is only one man who is unelectable in 2012, and that is the President of the United States.