I continue to mull over in my mind how to understand the Republican Presidential Primary.
The analogy that most helps me is that of a high school dance. Mitt Romney is seeking to woo a girl to dance with him and take home. That girl is the Republican Primary electorate. They see him as pretty much spineless, clueless, passionless, and extremely unattractive. So, they continue to look at the other guys.
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So, a guy comes up and asks her to dance with him. His name is Donald Trump. And she decides to dance with him. Then, she notices how self centered and obnoxious he is.And Mitt comes up and asks her to dance with him instead of Donald. But she says no. Then, a girl that she kinds of knows as a friend comes up and asks the girl to dance with her. And at first she is having a good time. This is Michelle Bachman. However, the girl starts to realize that Michelle Bachman is quite insane and declines to dance with her again. And Mitt says, "Wouldn't you like to dance with me, for Pete's sake !" But she says no again. Then, in comes this cowboy. She has heard so much about him. He has money, good hair, and is very good looking. She is a Texan and she liked them before. However, as soon as she starts to dance with Rick Perry, she finds that he is as dumb as a bag of rocks. So, she drops him like a bad habit. And Mitt comes forward and says, "That guy is inept. You can do better. Let's dance, baby !" And she says no ! And in comes this smooth talking guy. He is kind of interesting and funny. And she dances with Herman Cain. Then, she realizes that this guy is a predator and ultimately decides against him.
Mitt returns and says, "Aren't you done with all of this foolishness ? Dance with me !"
She demurs. And on and on it goes. Next, Newt Gingrich approaches her. She dances with him. However, she finds out that he cheats on everybody.
In the end, she rejects all of the other would be suitors. And only Mitt is left.
She feels she has no choice, she must pick someone because all of the others are fatally flawed.
I underestimated the ineptness of Rick Perry thinking that the nomination was his to lose. It was, but he was so dumb that he did lose it. Cain clearly cain't win. I think most people would agree with this. There are many reasons for this and we need only pick one. The Republican establishment will never let a black man who has been credibly and repeatedly accused of sexual harassment (I find the charges credible - the details, the settlements, the sharing of the harassment with others at the time, the lack of motivation to come forward,... - in short, I believe the women), a man who has never held political office, who doesn't realize that China has been a nuclear power for many more years than I have been alive, who considers Pokemon a source of inspiration, who gets tax plans from video games (and who in any event has virtually no staff anywhere on the ground to get voters to the polls), they will never let such a person be the Republican Presidential nominee.
Let us consider the new CBS poll: Cain leads with 18 percent. Mitt has 15 percent and so does Newt Gingrich.
For the reasons above, let us remove Cain since he is not able to win.
In most polls, Mitt is ahead of Newt. Typically, Mitt's polling ranges from 20 to 25 percent. This puts him ahead of everybody else, if we exclude Cain. Eliminating Cain, he has a plurality. However, if we just added up the percentages, we would say that there is a greater chance of someone other than Mitt Romney winning.
What actually ends up happening, however, it appears is that one new challenger to Romney emerges at a time. That new challenger has so many fatal flaws that he or she drops heavily in polling. Mitt remains steady. He does not make many unforced errors or enormous gaffes. So, his polling remains steady. Eventually, after having considered all of the alternatives and having found all of them fatally flawed, the Republican primary electorate is forced to choose a man whom they abhor based upon what we have seen.
So, based upon this analogy (which admittedly has its flaws), in my opinion, it still appears that Mitt Romney wins the Republican Presidential Nomination. Now, it appears that this would have implications for the outcome of the general election.
Historically, it seems, that motivating one's voters to come out cannot be done simply by pointing out how terrible the other person is. In 2004, hatred of Bush was not enough to win the presidency for the Democratic Nominee. While tea party types will be motivated enough by their opposition to President Obama, a substantial number of Republicans will not be motivated enough to actively work for Romney, and some won't even vote. Turnout is likely to suffer for Romney and that provides some help in President Obama's reelection. While it is true that in a normal Presidential election a President would not win reelection with the economy in this condition, the reason why we are in the economic situation we face is due to the Republican party and the Republican candidates all align themselves with those failed economic policies.
I cast my first vote for a Democratic President in 2008, both in the primary and the general. I became a Democratic voter and Progressive in 2005 in graduate school. I am excited to support him again in 2012 !