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Baine Capital Romney group portrait
That's Mitt, from his Bain days
Yeah, we know he's got the most funding, best organization and most insider endorsements. And, despite—not because of—having John (I love my life, and it shows) McCain as his new BFF, he's leading in the polls both nationally and in upcoming New Hampshire, where there will be no surprises.

Regardless, there are four very important reasons Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee:

1. Rick Santorum is unelectable

Whether it's blaming liberals for the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal or comparing homosexuality to incest, bigamy and adultery, Santorum's extreme statements have made him a guaranteed loser in a national election. No strategic-thinking Republican will support him. He's soon to find out that the support he's gotten so far is more anti-Mitt and less pro-Rick. It won't be enough because he's sharing the wealth with reasons 2, 3 and 4.

2. Newt Gingrich is a jerk

Who says so? Anyone who's worked with him. The astounding thing about Newt's collapse in national polls is that it was aided and abetted by literally countless number of people who, on record and off, say they know him, they've worked with him, and they will not support him.

3. Rick Perry is damaged goods

I won't point out how badly Perry has done when he charged unarmed into a battle of wits with his peers.... YouTube has the details in any one of the debates he participated in. I will point out that the national consensus that Perry is not ready for command is reflected in the polls, and for this year, is simply not reversible.

4. Ron Paul, libertarian, doesn't share a Republican foreign policy

His foreign policy positions make him unelectable in a Republican primary. It doesn't matter how many third place finishes he gets. I wonder if anyone will tell him?

The funny thing is that each of them by themselves, one on one, might—I say, might—have a chance simply because Romney has his own major issues with the Republican base that votes in a primary. But with each of these less than stellar candidates running against each other and splitting the non-Romney vote, Romney will sail through unimportant New hampshire and have a real shot at South Carolina. If he does well there, why should he do poorly in Florida and points beyond?

At some point, the losers are going to have to admit they really can't win. And what's the point of running if you can't win? All you do is tick off the eventual winner and make yourself a pariah. And as long as these are who Romney is running against, he'll take the prize.

Even someone as ill-informed as Michele Bachmann gets that.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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