Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 and is filed under Blog
The media and Republican establishment are agog with glee over Mitt Romney’s landslide victory in Florida. They will undoubtedly view the results as a sign that the Republican base has coalesced around Romney, or at the very least, deemed him a satisfactory nominee. The reality is that Romney won by default; there was no conservative challenger. Instead of attacking Romney from the right, Gingrich assailed Romney for his wealth and for his “hardline” view on illegal immigration. He also spoke of creating a lunar colony. Instead of articulating a pure conservative vision, he complained about Romney’s negative ads. Oh, and he was outspent by 65:1 on TV ads.
Bottom line: conservatism was not on the ballot in Florida. However, a glimpse into the exit polling data shows that conservatives really wish that a true conservative were on the ballot. 57% of voters expressed their desire for someone else to run for the nomination. This is not the beginning of the election cycle anymore. We are well into the primaries, and 57% is a very high number of people who would chose someone else. It’s also important to note than turnout for last night’s primary was actually lower than in 2008, a year when Republicans were largely dispirited.
At this point, there is nobody on the ballot who is articulating conservatism. The best outcome would be a scenario in which no candidate gets a majority of delegates, paving the road for a new candidate at the convention. It is quite unlikely, but it is definitely something to think about.
Moreover, the degeneration of the presidential election should serve as a motivator for all of us to work as hard as possible to elect conservatives to Congress.
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