I get that a large portion of the Republican base doesn't like Mitt Romney, and have been flopping around looking for an alternative. I get that, I really do. But at this stage in the game, it's amazing to me that they are so willing to risk throwing the election away.
I also get that Gingrich and Santorum would likely be toast by now, if they didn't have bajillionaire buddies tossing millions their way, or rather in the direction of their supportive Super PACs. What I don't get is why these wealthy people are still throwing their money at candidates who clearly have no chance of winning the nomination.
The allure of a fight at the convention is something I can understand too. As far as I'm concerned, it would make for some grand entertainment, and would sure sell a bunch of papers.
But what I don't get is why people keep bringing up Jeb Bush as a potential late entrant. I get Chris Christie...but Jeb Bush?!? The Republicans that are thinking about that possibility really aren't considering the continuing grime that a large majority of the general populace sees on that last name of his. If they want to nominate someone new, pick someone like Christie, who has independent appeal and is largely unscathed on the national stage.
In more understandable news, the voters in Ohio have freed longtime Democratic Congressman, and two-time presidential (sideshow) candidate, Dennis Kucinich from the confines of Washington. His district was mashed together with a certain Marcy Kaptur, also a Democrat, who beat him in the primary there. He is now free to sit on a slew of left wing organizations' boards, and perhaps continue his oddball presidential attempts as the Green Party candidate one day. I won't miss him, his politics, or the tired mentions of his hot wife and UFO sighting.
But back to Romney...
As I write this, the results are still coming in from Alaska, although Romney is currently sporting a three point lead, with 68 percent reporting.
Newt Gingrich won convincingly in his home state of Georgia by about 22 points. As is his pattern, he's busy mystifying his naive followers into buying some strange tale of how he still has a chance to pull this off.
Ron Paul didn't win any states. The Paulie zealots will somehow manage to dream up a fiction of their own, to twist this into a victory—they're pros at moving the goal posts to define victory—perhaps pointing to how they got about 40 percent in Virginia. This is true, but only because it's the state where Gingrich and Santorum were so disorganized that they weren't even on the ballot.
Rick Santorum actually won three states, and came close in Ohio. This is where the rubber hits the road, and the argument against Romney starts to fall apart. Santorum won North Dakota by about 12 points, Tennessee by about nine, and Oklahoma by about six. Good for Rickie, but when you take a step back to look at the bigger picture, and compare it to Mitt's performance, it just makes it very hard to take Santorum seriously.
Mitt Romney crushed the competition in his home state. Whereas Newt won by 22 in Georgia, Romney won by a whopping sixty points in Massachusetts. The most important state was, of course Ohio, and Romney pulled that one out by one point. He won in Idaho by about 50 points, and Vermont by 14.
So let's get this straight: Ron Paul isn't going away, and can't win even straight up against Romney; Gingrich can only win in his home state, and even there only by 22; Santorum is pulling out some states, but his margins are narrower than Romneys are; and Romney is way ahead in every measurable way, especially delegates and money.
Yet the Republican party wants to squander the chance to win the election by keeping up the circular firing squad, and listening to advice from train wrecks like Sarah Palin, who would love nothing more than to be a kingmaker at the convention come August.
A few days ago I came across a video of Howard Kurtz mirroring a point I made a few days before that. He and I agree that Obama is eminently beatable. He's got a lead in the polls right now, but once Romney comes out of the primary and can start working on swing voters, and start attacking Obama instead of defending himself, everything could change. Those aforementioned bajillionaires that're fighting amongst themselves in the GOP race now will get together and collect nine digits worth of money to spend on the worst and loudest political attack machine we've seen in modern history. No matter what you want to think, that will have an effect. This race is very much winnable for the Republicans, and yet Santorum, Paul, and Gingrich only seem to care about extending a campaign they have to know will not lead them to the nomination.
Democrats are usually the party that shoots themselves in the foot, grasping defeat from the mouth of victory, but this year, it's the Republicans that seem dead set on doing so. Kurtz and I also agree that there are far too many variables that could shift between now and the first Tuesday in November to make any sort of remotely accurate prediction, but one thing is certain: this bruising primary doesn't help the GOP at all.