The Romney Spin Machine

The Romney Spin Machine
The Inevitable and The Tortoise

“He’s Inevitable”

“The Math Doesn’t Work Out for Anyone Else.”

“He’s the Most Electable.”

“He has the only organization that is capable of lasting it out.”

From Tim Pawlenty, to almost everyone on CNN or Fox, to Romney officials and supporters, and to almost all pundits and bloggers, this has been the message of the last two-three weeks in favor of Mitt Romney.  In fact, Romney himself said in the last few days, “Mississippi and Alabama are the last desperate attempts of Santorum’s campaign (paraphrased).”  Other than that, I have heard very little policy articulations coming out of the Romney machine.

Well unfortunately, the grass roots of the Republican Party is not buying this spin.  Yesterday in Mississippi and Alabama, the “Inevitable Chosen One” was beaten in both Alabama and Mississippi.  Not only beaten, but he finished third even though he outspent, as usual, all three of the other candidates combined.

So, what happens, the spin machine comes out and says, “well, he got 43 delegates and Santorum  only got 38, so Romney still won the day.”  What about Gingrich’s delegates or Paul’s delegates?  They don’t count?  They don’t mean that Romney got less than half of what was out there?

Ron Paul Debate
The Potential Spoiler

The simple fact of the matter is that Mitt Romney has not won any southern state except Florida which is southern in geography only.  Because of the large northern transplant population and the large Hispanic (Cuban) population, it retains none of the characteristics of the deep south.  The spin-meisters will now say that Romney won Virginia.  Yes, that is true.  But, remember Gingrich and Santorum were not on the ballot.  And, what happened in Virginia?  Romney barely got 60% of the vote against Ron Paul, who can’t get more than 10% of the vote nowadays in most states.  Hardly anything more than a Pyrrhic victory there.

Of course, Romney did win his home state of Michigan and the ever important swing state of Ohio.  But, let’s call them both barely.  And, they were barely in a four man race.  Imagine if either Paul or Gingrich were not on the ballot in either of those states.  What do you think would have happened?  Romney would have gotten shellacked in the popular words of President Obama after seeing the 2010 election results.

And, keep in mind that Romney has a political machine and super-PAC money that is outspending everyone.  And, Romney has succeeded more in destroying the other candidates than he has in convincing the Republican electorate that he’s a Conservative and the man with the charisma and message to carry the party.

The Man in the Way of 1144. Is it personal?

So, is the aura of inevitability tarnished?  Yes.  Is Romney still probably the nominee, yes.  Oh the woes of being a Republican now.

As a result of the situation caused yesterday, Mr. Gingrich has developed a new strategy.  He will stay in the race just to keep Romney from getting to 1144.  This bodes very well for both he and Santorum assuming that one of them comes out of the convention as the nominee.  Gingrich indicated that if Romney can be kept below 1,000, the decision will be made on the floor in Tampa and he will emerge as the victor.  I don’t know if I agree with him.  I believe that if it goes to Tampa, none of the current candidates will be the nominee, but that’s a whole different story.

However, Gingrich’s argument makes some sense.  There have been many articles written by various pundits and bloggers in the past few weeks that show under the current scenario, we will not have a nominee after the final primary in Utah.  And, if you look at further splits in the proportional states where Romney gets less than 50% and if Santorum and/or Gingrich win just a few of the winner take all states, Romney will not have the magic number.

Is that feasible, yes.  Is it likely, I doubt it.  But, just a quick analysis.  Santorum and/or Gingrich will have to win Nebraska, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and maybe get a good split in Illinois.  There there is Delaware and Maryland which are almost in the Santorum, Gingrich strong areas.  Romney will probably win the remainder of the northeast and a good portion of the west.  The whole key will be what are the splits in the proportional states and who are the victors in the winner take all states.  Under the right scenario, Gingrich’s plan works.

In the meantime, the battle goes on and the Romney spin machine continues to state the mantra in the first four paragraphs above.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t say much about his positions and/or whether the electorate agrees with them.  It just say that he is electable and inevitable.

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