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Last night, Mitt Romney won Arizona by 21 points and his home state of Michigan by 3. We all had our fun trying to figure out ways he could end up losing this thing, but it’s time for us in the reality-based community to stop pretending: Mitt Romney will be the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate.

I am as guilty of anyone at performing the mental gymnastics that were required to somehow turn Newt “love ‘em and leave ‘em” Gingrich or the Frothy One into plausible winners of the nomination, but after last night, anyone peddling a horse race at this stage probably has stock in the track.

That Santorum was able to lose Michigan to a guy who argued for letting Detroit go bankrupt is just testament to his awfulness as a candidate. Attacking JFK over separation of church and state? Contraception is not okay? All Santorum had to do was to keep pounding the message that he delivered in his Iowa victory speech and he could have won easily. But, like Bono said, he has political Tourette’s.

This isn’t to say that Romney is a good candidate. He’s not. He’s terrible. But he does have the money and the organization and he will win this thing.

Case in point: in Ohio, where Santorum currently has a sizable lead over Romney in the polls, Santorum hasn’t bothered to secure delegates in three of the districts. So even if he wins Ohio, there are 9 of the 66 total delegates that are completely off the table for him.

Want more? Okay, how’s this: go try to find how Santorum is doing in polls in Virginia. Can you find any polls that include Santorum? That’s not a rhetorical question; I honestly don’t know, because I don’t care. And the reason I don’t care is because Santorum didn’t bother to collect the signatures necessary to get on the ballot in Virginia. Romney will win that state.

Santorum is running a pretty good amateur campaign, but the key word is amateur. Romney is running a terrible professional campaign, and will win.

So if you tune into your favorite cable news station and they are earnestly talking about how important Super Tuesday is, or Mini Super Tuesday, or Not Quite Super Tuesday, or whatever, they aren’t talking about importance to the candidates and their chances of securing the nomination; they’re talking about how important those days could be to their ratings.

Now, having said all that, is it possible that Mitt Romney could still lose this? Sure. Nothing is settled until it’s all over. But is it likely? No. At all? No. Intrade currently has Romney trading at 83% to win the nomination and I think that’s low.

I’m willing to listen to scenarios where Romney loses the nomination, but at this point, in my mind, the burden of proof has shifted. You need to show some pretty compelling evidence for me to even consider it.

Those of us who call ourselves “liberals” or “progressives” or just “not crazy” need to face the reality that neither Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich nor even Ron Paul is going to save us from the hard work required to keep a sane, competent, and pragmatic president in the White House. The opponent will be Romney. The election will probably be much closer than it should be. We need to get to work.

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Comment Preferences

  •  no one ever said otherwise (8+ / 0-)

    all anyone cared about was prolonging the primary and romney's agony.

    My goal is to make the world safe for anarchy. - 4Freedom

    by Cedwyn on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:21:36 AM PST

  •  Romney the next Reagan? (0+ / 0-)

    I really am starting to worry about  this.
    Romney is old
    Governor from a 'liberal" state.
    Several tries at running
    Both clueless
    Both NOT taken seriously
    Both were wished for by the dems

    I was going to write a diary about mitt is the new reagan and didnt. no one reads my diaries anyway. Getting depressed again

    •  Obama .NE. Carter (6+ / 0-)

      Obama is a much, much better campaigner.

      Killed Bin Laden, didn't have Iran rescue blow up in his face.

      Repubs have not  been able to make the economy into a "malaise" for Obama: they were so doctrinaire on taxes and budget that they at least partially own the problem.

      A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

      by A Mad Mad World on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:29:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are probably right. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and obama is a better politician than carter

      •  Although People are a LOT Worse Off Today (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Mad Mad World, live1

        than under Carter. (Some particular demographics excepted.)

        Even though he was thrown out to a large degree because of his economy, one term of Carter created more jobs than all 3 Bush terms combined.

        But there's no new magic fairy dust economic theory for Republicans to offer in this era, and many more people have experienced the outcome of conservative policies that had barely been glimpsed in Carter's time.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:08:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reagan was charasmatic and likeable (4+ / 0-)

      Romney is stiff as a board.  

      Don't underestimate the importance in an election of people thinking you're able to connect with them.  Romney doesn't have that quality.  The President does.

      •  I always found Reagan creepy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shahryar, live1

        But much of the country did really like him.

        A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

        by A Mad Mad World on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:41:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He Has Zero Ability to Connect With 40% of the (0+ / 0-)

        electorate to any degree whatsoever, because of race and 2 generations of propaganda, which is still a rare situation in our history.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:10:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I always found Reagan to be completely hateful. (0+ / 0-)

        I am always astounded when he is held up as a paragon.  While he was president, my husband said, "If this guy does what he wants, ppl like us (totally middle class) are going to be using soup kitchens".

        Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

        by Smoh on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 02:34:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, But So What? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Mad Mad World, Catte Nappe

    Robo-Willard couldn't break 50% Republican support in Arizona with all those Mormons...?

    And he pulled out a squeaker in his home state, even after His Frothy Mix-ness yet again made a tasty meal of his own foot by saying that Kennedy's support of the First Amendment made him want to throw up-- and thereby losing a big chunk of Republican Catholics?! Robo-Willard can't beat this idiot by now?!?!?

    The longer this incredibly painful, excruciating primary process goes on, the more bloodied Robo-Willard gets. The DNC and the Obama campaign are getting volumes of opposition research for free-- and all they have to do is follow Gingrich's or Ron Paul's or His Frothy Mix-ness' campaign material.

    Now, if people can concentrate on the downticket races and get some real Democrats elected in the House and Senate, we've got a chance to reverse all the damage the Republicans are doing to our country...!

    -8.75,-8.00. "Liberal" ain't a dirty word. "Indifferent" IS. Our enemies want us dead. WE WILL VANQUISH THEM.

    by CajunBoyLgb on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:27:40 AM PST

  •  No, missing the point! (4+ / 0-)

    There are two important points that require attention:

    First, it's very important to keep Santorum "on camera" for a bit more. (Hopeless in the long run, but we could add a month!) He can convince young women of the very real threat of a GOP-run government to their health and their freedom, and that of their daughters.

    And second, we are costing Romney a bundle of money, and moving forward it may even be his own. Cost him more and more and more. He spent twice what Santorum did in Michigan in order to split the delegates with him.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:29:06 AM PST

    •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

      Because the Republicans have imposed upon themselves complete Stepford Wives purity, any GOP candidate is highly connected with his party's positions in a way someone like Dubya was not (no compassionate conservatives around here).

      Santorum and the Virginia rapist legislature are now blaring advertisements for the Republican brand, and independents aren't buying.

      A definition is the enclosing of a wilderness of ideas within a wall of words -- Samuel Butler

      by A Mad Mad World on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:47:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not suggesting... (0+ / 0-)

      that we don't keep Santorum on camera, although Operation Hilarity didn't really pan out too well.

      I'm saying that we need to be realistic about who the nominee will be. It will be Romney, and we need to be prepared for that.

      Feel free to continue mucking with GOP primaries all you want, but: 1) I don't think it makes a huge difference, 2) that time is probably better spent working directly for Obama.

      My $.02

      •  Working for Obama and a new SCOTUS (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with your priorities, but I work with a lot of young women who are in "lala land" regarding the importance of their personal rights. I want everyone in this community to realize that we need to SPEAK to young people about personal privacy in the FACEBOOK generation.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by MrMichaelMT on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 06:02:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The nomination is Romney's to lose (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which judging by history, is usually when he loses it.

    He will still most likely be the nominee. But when he has frontrunner status, he's usually at his worst.  This thing will go on for quite a while longer.

  •  When they finally pick one of their clowns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Mad Mad World, Deep Texan

    from the car, I can't wait to see the Presidential debates.

    Obama would be well suited to defer every question to his opponent. Just let him talk and see what comes out.

    My new favorite RIGHT WING website: It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

    by pucklady on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 11:39:10 AM PST

  •  OK. (0+ / 0-)
    I’m willing to listen to scenarios where Romney loses the nomination
    Newt gets out before Super Tuesday.
    •  He won't, but even if he did, Romney still wins. (0+ / 0-)

      Santorum simply doesn't have the organization to win. Doesn't have a full slate of delegates in Ohio, not on the ballot in Virginia. He can't do it.

    •  Well... (0+ / 0-)
      We need to get to work.
      There has been plenty of work to be done yesterday and now, today, that is independent of whoever is nominated by the Republicans.

      It is also still too early to declare Romney the winner.  The delegate count in the Michigan battle?  Tied 15-15.  The delegate count between Romney and Santorum for the Super Tuesday contests is also going to be close to a tie.  Santorum is looking strong in a number of states and Romney needs his sweep of Virginia and those 3 Ohio CDs in order to make up for losses elsewhere.

      At the conclusion of Super Tuesday one third of the nomination process will be done (as determined by  delegate votes).  Then over the next 3 weeks the bigger states are IL (69), MO (52), LA (46) AL (40), KS (40), MS (40).

      Santorum will do well in those states.  Gingrich and Paul are going to do their thing.  Then by April 1 Romney will be in the position with less than half the delegates to yet be decided but he'll need a large percentage of them to squeak by.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:30:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that is 6 days from now (0+ / 0-)

      not gonna happen

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      Real journalists know that lies do not bring "balance" to truth! (h/t elwior)

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 02:44:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Global Corporate Air War Against Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    begins the minute the nomination is settled.

    Every day we can postpone that is a good day for humanity.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:11:54 PM PST

  •  The problem with all this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Romney is inevitable talk is DELEGATES. How could Romney's campaign stand up and say that it won Michigan when it could only split the number of delegates with the looney Santorum? The bottom line is delegates, and Romney is going to have to do far better if he isn't going to wind up far short of the number of delegates needed to win the GOP nomination.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 12:42:33 PM PST

  •  I think pretty much all of us knew that (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think I've seen much expectation that Santorum, or Gingrich, or (Hahahha) Paul would ever be the candidate. But a worse for wear Romney, with less money and more gaffes on record is a much more...desirable....opponent.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 01:32:49 PM PST

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