Romney’s momentum . . .

All aboard! Next stop: Tampa.

. . . appears to have picked up considerably since his wins in Michigan and Arizona. Though, there’s some consternation on the right over the way the Michigan delegates have been apportioned. It seems Team Mitt finagled the rules in such a way that wound up awarding him an at-large delegate that should have been given to Rick Santorum. And, of course, Rick Santorum and his supporters are none too happy about it.

A former Michigan state AG WHO SUPPORTS ROMNEY, Mike Cox, also blasts the stealing of the delegate…. Gen’l COunsel of Mich GOP who actually writes the rules also opposed the theft…..

If Romney team has ANY integrity, AND any PR sense, they will ask the Mich Party to recant and go back to the former understanding. A single delegate isn’t worth dirty pool like this, and isn’t worth the PR black eye that should attach to those who use such strong-arm, insider tactics…..

The problem with Quin’s analysis here is that, while Team Mitt may be utterly lacking in integrity, they have plenty of PR sense. They’re well aware of how it looks to Santorum’s and Newt’s supporters. It’s just that they don’t give a damn how they feel. What they care about is how undecided voters feel, and the simple (if sad) fact of the matter is that they know those undecideds don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to the process by which Michigan’s at-large delegates are apportioned.

In fact, it’s not at all hard to envision a scenario wherein Team Mitt, gathered in the proverbial smoke-filled room somewhere in Detroit, got their heads together around the question, “What would be the best way to bait Rick Santorum into whining about a process-related matter that causes normal people’s eyes to glaze over?” BINGO!

One of the biggest turn-offs among undecided primary voters — which correlate very tightly with very low-information voters whose eyes glaze over at process-related debates — is politicians carping and mewling over election outcomes. As they see it, the people voted, one guy won and the other guys lost: Get over it and move on.

“No, no, no,” Santorum and his supporters protest. “Nobody likes it when people cheat. Even the lowest-information voters hate it when people take unfair advantage of the process.”

Well, perhaps that’s the case. But, when you boil the Michigan results down to their bare essence, you see that Mitt Romney narrowly won the state and that the only reason Rick Santorum finished as close in the vote totals as he did was due to some mischief-making among Democrats cynically trying to influence the outcome. As “normal people” see it, if Mitt Romney won Michigan, then he ought to be awarded more delegates than Rick Santorum, even if it amounts to him being award one at-large delegate that otherwise would have been given to Santorum.

And by insisting that this back-room deal is a grave injustice that undermines the integrity of the electoral process, Rick Santorum plays directly into Team Mitt’s hands by cementing his image as a whiner — an image that dogged him in the early stages of the primary race and kept him in the low single digits until the conservative press rallied to drag him into the top tier just as the Iowa caucuses were getting underway.

And, of course, this is the worst possible time for Santorum to play to type. The numbers coming out of Ohio show that Mitt has largely erased the lead the Pennsylvania senator held just a week ago. According to Rasmussen:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Primary Voters in Ohio, taken last night, shows former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum attracting 33% of the vote and Mitt Romney earning 31%. That’s a significant tightening of the race.Two weeks ago, Santorum led Romney by 18 percentage points.

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Romney’s gains in Ohio mirror his surge nationwide following victories Tuesday in the Arizona and Michigan primaries. The former Massachusetts governor now leads Santorumamong Likely GOP Primary voters nationwide by a 40% to 24% margin.

Regardless of who they support, 70% of GOP primary voters in Ohio now expect Romney will win the party’s nomination. Only 16% believe Santorum will emerge victorious.

Forty-five percent (45%) see Romney as the strongest general election candidate against President Obama. Twenty-five percent (25%) see Santorum as the strongest potential challenger, and 16% believe Gingrich will be the best.

Given a choice, 49% in Ohio say it’s more important to find a candidate who can beat Obama, while 42% prefer someone who does the best job representing Republican values. Santorum leads by 27 among those who are looking for someone to represent GOP values, while Romney leads by 19 among those who see electability as most important.

There really doesn’t seem to be much Rick Santorum can do to change things at this point. He may have no other choice than to raise hell and point fingers at Romney in an attempt to paint him as a big-money, Rockefeller Republican working in cahoots with the GOP Establishment to buy the nomination by rigging the outcome to the disadvantage his less-moneyed competitors. But that’s going to be a tough case to make after Santorum essentially begged left-wing Democrats to run to the polls for him, using robocalls featuring the kind of class warfare rhetoric you’d normally expect to hear from Michael Moore and his acolytes.

So, unless there’s something huge in the works to bring the Romney Machine to a grinding halt very soon, he’s looking pretty much unstoppable at this point. The train has left the station and Mitt Romney looks to be the locomotive. At this point, Santorum is probably better off thinking about what he can do to maximize his chances of being the caboose.

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3 Responses to Romney’s momentum . . .

  1. Patrish says:

    If Mitt Romney DOES end up being the GOP nominee then it is my wish that conservatives will come together and vote AGAINST Obama. I have been astonished by the amount of posters on another site that insist they will stay home in November if Romney is the nominee. I hope they can come to their senses and do what they can to defeat Obama. Even if Romney wasn’t my choice this time — You can bet I will vote for the GOP nominee just as I always have. My two cents.

    BTW, Walt — I really cared for the “video” portion of Detroit Diesel. The music, well … not my style. Anyway, the video of the old passenger trains remind me of my youth. Thanks.

    • Walt says:

      Glad you enjoyed the video, Patrish.

      Truth is, I suspect most people aren’t that thrilled with the vast majority of my musical selections, but I’m just impish enough to inflict them upon my readership regardless. ;)

  2. retire05 says:

    It bothers me [a lot] that people vote for someone depending on “electability.” Everyone is electable. Or that people in Ohio would say “Well, hell, if Michigan thinks A is the guy, then I guess I do, too.” It is the Lemming Theory. Just go along with the crowd.

    There is nothing about either Romney or Santorum that should appeal to voters in the South. Both are Northern in philosophy, and that ain’t good for the South. Too long we have been forced to accept a candidate that doesn’t represent us because of a few states. Who the hell in Savannah cares what someone in Ames thinks? Why should I make follow along with voters in Michigan and Ohio, knowing their states are unmitigated disasters financially? Obviously, their policies involve bankruptcy since that is where Michigan is headed.

    Look at the primaries themselves. They are designed to allow the northern states (most all failing) to pick a candidate. And that is going to continue as long as the primary system is set up the way it is, as punishment to southern states. Why not have the first primary in Texas, with its 155 delegates, and let the candidates have a real shot at the golden ring right out of the box?

    As it stands now, no one candidate will have the required 1,144 delegates at the end of Super Tuesday. It will not be settled. And so it will drag on, as the Democrats try desparately to shove the Texas primary back into June, to make sure that we don’t get a say.

    Well, Rick Perry is still on the Texas ballot, and he will get my vote. As to the general election, it all depends on do I want a RINO that will shaft me, or do I just not care who shafts me since I am going to get shafted, one way or another?