Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Willard Takes Florida


Mitt Romney won Florida decisively in Tuesday nights Republican primary largely due to inept Conservatives (go figure). See the results in the link above. There are still more Conservatives, in the South, including in the panhandle of Florida, than there are moderates. With the more Conservative wing of the party splitting their votes between Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul, Romney was allowed to coast to an easy win. Negative politics also played a part in Romney's victory. It's not clear if a Conservative could have won in a two-way race due to Romney's margin of victory, however, the contest would have been more interesting.
 
The Florida outcome will likely give the party's establishment the match-up that they wanted for the General Election. This is also the match-up that is the least favorable for Democrats. I don't put much stock in early polling, but Romney has polled very well against President Obama in key State races. Polling that is tied or close this early in the game usually indicates that the General Election will be competitive. I have mentioned several times before that this General Election will look more like 2000, and 2004 than 2008 or either of Clinton's victories. 2000 & 2004 came down to one State making a difference either way. I don't believe that this election will be quite that close, but there is a decent chance that it could play out this way again. It may come down to two states instead of one.... just a handful of electoral votes... still very close. States to watch this year will be Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Colorado. Ohio, Virgina, and Florida aren't sure things. Michigan hasn't been polling in Obama's favor with the kind of lead that is considered safe (not a good sign). Although I don't think Obama will lose Michigan. The point is, States are in play that you wouldn't expect.

If the Democrats don't come out swinging, and lose the PR war like they so often do, Romney & Co. could take advantage of DNC ineptitude and could steal a couple of States. Romney has enough money to buy his way into the White House. He has shown what he can do with advertising. I hope the Democrats are taking notes and have a better PR/media game plan to not only counter/respond, but to take the fight to Romney. If not, we could be looking at a President Romney. To me that translates into more hard times, more stupid wars, and more misplaced national priorities for years to come. Although I see Obama as the lesser of two evils... but for the most part parroting Republican positions, specifically on the issues of Israel, Iran, on military strategy, and on foreign policy more generally, he is still a far better choice, considering the lack of options. On domestic issues, I, along with most working Americans, stand to lose much more with a Romney win. The key for the Democrats will be conveying that message to voters. I should be seeing commercials right now from progressive operatives, questioning Romney's offshore accounts. But I have not seen much of anything. A bad sign. We saw what Romney did with Newt Gingrich. I know he's licking his chops right now.... Romney & Co. can't wait to go after Obama. The lack of fire from Democrats makes me wonder if they are really ready.... if they plan to fight or take a more passive approach. Obama & Co. should be painting Romney as Wall Street, and Big Business and the out of touch 1% right now. I'm just not seeing the effort from the Democrats in terms of an effective strategy.

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One of the tools that I use to follow General Elections and Senate races is the Dave Leip site. Can't live without it. Follow the General Election map, with polling data built in.




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