The Democratic firm Public Policy Polling is touting a new poll in various states showing that Mitt Romney has weaker favorability ratings than his Republican rivals. This doesn't surprise me, but it doesn't change my view that given his competition, Romney is still the frontrunner for the nomination. The problem is that even though conservatives -- for good reason -- are skeptical about Romney, to beat him, they'll have to rally around another candidate. Otherwise, the conservatives will just split their vote up in a crowded field and Romney will be the last man standing, just like John McCain in 2008. It's true that in a followup, PPP noted that the electorate in 2012 is trending more conservative than the one that nominated McCain. But that still doesn't answer the question -- who is going to beat Romney? Tim Pawlenty? Sarah Palin? Newt Gingrich? Mike Huckabee? As long as conservatives are fighting over the answer to that question, Romney can sneak in. And this would be highly problematic, because as I've written before, a Romney nomination would kill the movement to repeal ObamaCare.
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