Super Tuesday – Has Romney Secured the Republican Nomination?
In the aftermath of Super Tuesday’s Republican primaries, it is clear that Mitt Romney is still the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. Romney was able to secure six wins out of the ten state contests, but in only three of those wins was he able to top the 50% mark. Romney was also able to secure a majority of the delegates from the Super Tuesday contests but not an overwhelming number of these delegates.
Romney still has the upper hand for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and it is still somewhat unlikely that any of the other three Republican candidates can stop Romney from a first ballot win in Tampa next August. However, after Super Tuesday’s underwhelming performance by Mitt Romney, it’s still possible that no candidate will secure an overall majority of 1144 delegates prior to the start of the Republican Convention.
Let’s review the results from Super Tuesday in terms of voting percentages:
The almost final results (Ohio is still counting) suggest that Rick Santorum still presents an obstacle to Romney’s smooth ride to the convention. Rick Santorum had three clear primary wins in North Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. In addition, he was in a virtual tie with Romney in Ohio, losing by less than 1 %. Except for Georgia and Vermont, Santorum came in second in all of the other primaries where he did not win.
The final delegate tallies showed Romney winning slightly over 200 delegates on Super Tuesday giving him approximately 411 delegates out of the 738 delegates chosen so far1. He needs 1144 towards his goal of securing the Republican Nomination on the first ballot. So far Romney has about 56% of the delegates selected so far. However, the next three major primaries in Kansas, Alabama and Mississippi should prove quite tough for Romney as these states contain some of the most fervent conservative Republican voters. I fully expect Romney’s share of the elected totals to diminish after next Tuesday.
Can Romney Win in November?
This is the big question that every political pundit and observer is attempting to answer. Two major political pundits have recently come out completely on opposite sides. Dick Morris flatly predicts that Republicans will win the presidency easily and carry the House and Senate with that victory in the Presidential election. Morris goes so far as to actually predict that Republicans will win 10 additional Senate seats in 2012. George Will, on the other hand, has completely given up on any Republican’s ability to beat Barack Obama. Will goes so far as to say that the Republicans should abandon their quest for the presidency and throw all of their efforts and resources into retaining the House of Representatives and into winning the Senate. That’s quite a divergence of opinion. I think it will be extremely difficult for Romney to win the White House this year, for the following reasons:
- History is not on the side of the Republicans this time. A second term is rarely denied to a sitting president, especially when a president of one party is completing his first term after the other party had held the office for two or more terms.
- No one has yet nailed down the Republican nomination. If Romney and the Republicans have any chance of defeating Obama, they need to start now in bringing out the heavy artillery against Obama, which should start to have an effect on his poll numbers. As long as Republicans are fighting with each other, that will not happen.
- Presidents usually win 2nd terms if the economy is in good shape or is moving from bad to good. At this point, it appears that the economic winds are blowing in Obama’s favor, as the economic indicators get better and better each month. Of course, this trend may change and this frail economy can reverse course at any time.
- Obama is personally well liked. A majority of the American people would like to keep him as president. Most American voters do not understand, nor necessarily agree, that Obama is performing badly. If the economy is moving in the right direction as we approach election day, Obama will be re-elected.
- Republicans counting on gas prices to stay high will very likely be disappointed. It is likely, but not certain, that as the summer driving season emerges, gas prices at the pump will go up. And clearly, Obama has some vulnerability on this issue. However, I expect that gas prices will start receding by the end of the summer, and Obama will take credit for those decreases.
- Obama’s polling has been improving consistently against all of the Republican candidates as the Republican presidential contest drags on. This is happening for two reasons – the continuing improvements in the economic numbers and the constant negative barrage of ads against all of the Republican candidates by their competitors.
- Finally, Obama has most of the print and television media on his side. They are virtual campaign surrogates for him. Just look at the reaction to the recent flap about free contraceptives. Here we have a young sexually active woman going to one of the most prestigious laws schools in the country, stating that she should be entitled to free contraceptives, and the media has so twisted this story that a majority of Americans (especially women) agree with her.
If Romney can’t win, who can? It may be time for Republicans to reassess this presidential race. I believe that the notion that this election is only about the economy and that Romney is the only candidate that can win is a false notion. Republicans need some new issues with which to beat Obama, and Mitt Romney is not the candidate to bring these issues to the presidential campaign.
If the economy will not be the overriding issue by next November, here are a few other suggested issues that Republicans can run on:
- Let’s start talking about ObamaCare again! Americans oppose ObamaCare in large numbers. Americans were given a startling preview of the evils of ObamaCare when the president and the Secretary of HHS abruptly passed an order demanding all employers provide free contraceptives and abortion pills as part of the health insurance rules, even though this vigorously opposed by the Catholic Church.
- Let’s start talking about future Supreme Court appointments!. The thin conservative majority on the Court is getting old. We can expect retirements, and possibly deaths, and Obama will have those appointments to hand out. Do Americans want a Supreme Court run by liberals like Elena Kagan and Sonya Sotomayor?
- Let’s start talking about the enormous debt that Obama is running up! Most Americans are very concerned and want to see concrete budget action to reduce the national debt.
- Let’s start talking about the Federal Reserve and the enormous inflation that is coming as a result of Ben Bernanke’s money printing operation. Americans are not conversant with these issues and Republicans besides Ron Paul need to be addressing them.
- Let’s start educating the American public on the United Nation’s Agenda 21 and the Obama administration’s support for this United Nations undertaking. Agenda 21 is an overall plan by the UN to foster a world government, redistribute wealth from the richer to the poorer countries and to ultimately eliminate private property. Most Americans no nothing about this and the candidates are not talking about it.
- And finally, let’s start talking about the U.S. Constitution and Obama’s casual disregard for that document. From ObamaCare, his Czars, his unconstitutional recess appointments and his governing by executive orders, Obama is in the process of trashing the U.S. Constitution.
I think the right candidates to talk about these issues in the presidential race are Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. At this point, it appears that Rick Santorum has the best chance to change the tenor of the Republican race for the nomination. I can only hope that Rick Santorum will start to focus to the above issues and will not continue to get mired down in religious and personal matters that are of little interest to the majority of American voters.
1The exact number of delegates is an estimate based on at large allocations and estimates for caucus states.