Last night Mitt Romney won a decisive victory in the Florida Republican Primary. A few things we can glean from this:
It’s the Economy Stupid
Exit polls cited the economy as the number one factor influencing voters. Romney was seen as the candidate most likely to be able to turn things around.
Ad Wars and the Effect of Carpet-bombing Negativity
Ninety-two percent of all ads were negative according to CNN. Just like the weather, everyone complains about negative ads but nobody ever does anything. Negative ads are used because they are said to work. Yet, it’s also said that people vote their hopes, not their fears. Disillusioned voters generally stay home. For the Republicans to reverse the Hope and Change catastrophe of the last three years, they need a candidate who can put forth a positive vision. Negativity towards Obama without optimism for life after him will not serve the GOP candidate well.
Money and the Winner-Take-All States
The point of having a winner take all primary is to compel candidates to contest the state vigorously and to have the outcome decided on the broadest issues affecting the state’s residents. But is that what happened? As stated earlier, the economy was the number one issue and Romney was seen as the best man for that job. But did money skew the campaigns to the point where that conclusion was inevitable? Romney came in with a huge revenue advantage and spent, spent, spent. Instead of hotly contesting Romney’s claim on the state, candidates with limited resources and little chance of finishing first (Santorum and Paul) moved on to other states. So one might conclude that Romney’s war chest undermined Florida’s desire to be hotly contested. While as a Federalist, I wouldn’t recommend going to proportional delegates was a way of correcting that problem, I reiterate that weighted voting would assure that the sum total of the delegates go to the people’s choice, not necessarily the “inevitable” winner.
Was Florida Winner-Take-All After All?
It seems there are GOP rules that no state’s primary can be winner-take-all until April. Florida broke the rules, but strangely enough, nobody complained in advance. (Probably because the GOP punished Florida by stripping them of half their delegates for moving the primary up, and are not likely to pile on by ordering them how to dispense the fifty remaining. Especially not with the convention scheduled for Tampa.) But his hasn’t stopped Newt Gingrich from filing a grievance, hoping to get a share of delegates in proportion to his second place finish. If the Party compels Florida to dole out their delegates that way, it will be a boon to Gingrich and a blow to Romney, who also had Iowa wrested from his win column. Inevitable? Hmm. On the other hand, Gingrich risks looking like a sore loser and, especially if his gripe goes nowhere, risks diminishing his stature further. Which leads us to…
Gingrich’s Fatal Flaws
It’s clear the Rick Santorum was correct when he said the Speaker himself became an issue and that led to his decline at the polls. But it seems poor Newt can’t help himself. At the conclusion of his speech last night, he told supporters he would “pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor,” in the fight for the White House. Putting aside the level of sanctity attached to the honor of a serial adulterer and censured Congressman, the notion that Newt is somehow risking his life in the pursuit of the Presidency is over the top. He was quoting the final line of the Declaration of Independence, signed by men who were putting themselves at mortal risk. If caught, they’d have been hanged as traitors to the mad King George. Lastly, Gingrich, relying on donations to fill his campaign coffers, is risking not a thin dime of his fortune. What he is risking is his remaining credibility when he makes grandiose comparisons, which far from honoring the geniuses who founded this nation, diminishes them and himself.
And most importantly…
Why Isn’t Anyone Mentioning Denver as a Potential Destination for Peyton Manning?
It’s becoming clearer every day that Peyton Manning’s career with the Indianapolis Colts is over. If he continues his NFL career (a big if at this point) it will be for another team. To my mind, Denver is the perfect spot. Tim Tebow needs a tremendous amount of work if he’s ever going to be a real NFL QB, and who better to learn from than Manning? Manning gets a team on the rise, which managed a division title and a playoff win. That’s a better situation than exists in any of the other franchises rumored to be interested. And he’d be working for John Elway. ‘Nuf sed?