The results of the first three 2012 Republican Party primaries have to be disconcerting to their base and the party establishment. Let me preface this by saying that I support Mitt Romney.
With that out of the way, neither of the four remaining candidates have the full support of the party base. The candidates have their own base that support them for whatever reason, but as a whole, the party establishment cannot be thrilled with the results of the primary in South Carolina yesterday. Try this on for size: Newt Gingrich won every statistical category that is tracked to make sense of the results. Other than the 18 – 29 year olds who supported Ron Paul and those making over 200K annually in South Carolina that supported Mitt Romney, Newt’s victory was a slaughtering. Damn, even after the ABC News report with a former wife of Newt’s lambasting him and the female governor endorsing one of his opponents, the guy still won the vote amongst women.
Still with no clear cut favorite, the Republican Party has a major party if they want to win back the White House on November 6, 2012. But this is no new problem for them at all this political season. The least of who has been the front runner reads like a proverbial punchline of, “Are you kidding me!”.
First there was the hope that Sarah Palin would get into the race; then Michelle Bachmann being seen as the front runner; only to be followed by Rick Perry and Herman Cain. Heck, even Rick Santorum has enjoyed a moment in the sun only for people to even forget that he is still a candidate two primaries later. I mean, can anyone really see any of the aforementioned named people truly in the role of the President of the United States?
We are now past the flavor of the day cycle and the Republican Party will be doomed if they cannot find it within themselves to get behind one of the remaining candidates, or draft someone that the establishment find to be a viable alternative that is electable. The winner yesterday was in no way Newt Gingrich and the loser was the Republican Party as a whole. The big winner yesterday was President Barack Obama.
I for one am not naive to think that he is not beatable on November 6, 2012 based on who his opponent might be. Stranger things have happened in this thing called politics, but only the right type of candidate from the Republican Party will make a race out of the contest. Right now, I cannot see Newt garnering enough support from the party as a whole to be their nominee. Mitt on the other hand has to do a better job of showing that he wants the job. He did nothing more this week than pull a John Kerry at the debate on Monday and the days following which allowed Newt to bring up doubt about his candidacy to the voters of South Carolina. What followed was an electorate in South Carolina that brought what Newt was selling; hook, line and sinker and we all saw the after effects of that with the primary results yesterday.
We all understand that the results of the first three primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina are not the blueprint for the voters nationally, but the Republican Party still has got to be concerned about the lack of a clear front runner going into the second month of this election year for the highest office in the land. January 31, 2012 will be a very big day for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. Regardless of how people feel about how he amassed his wealth or what his religious convictions are, I am more than surprised that Newt’s morals (lack of) and character flaws are not more of an issue to the Republican base. The party cannot preach to the mountains about family values and morals, while having this man as their nominee to unseat the the Democratic incumbent.
That is why I say to the Republicans; party of the elephant mascot, ‘You have a problem!”.