Jim Antle draws our attention to a Magellan poll done in New Hampshire following Monday night’s GOP debate which gives Mitt Romney a thirty-one point lead over Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.
I am underwhelmed. I don’t put much stock in those numbers. The New Hampshire Primary is eight months away. To say that Romney is going to run away with the Granite State is like saying the Cleveland Indians were going to run away the AL Central because they had a seven game lead on the Detroit Tigers on May 23rd. Well, the Tribe has lost 17 of its last 23 games and is now a game behind the Tigers in the standings.
So am I saying that Mitt Romney is the Cleveland Indians of the Republican Party?
In a manner of speaking, yes.
The road to the GOP nomination, like baseball, is a marathon, not a sprint. Romney is doing well right now. But that doesn’t mean he won’t stumble next week, next month or after Thanksgiving weekend. But unlike baseball, another competitor could enter the race and stall his momentum. Or one of the existing candidates says something clever and catches fire. Futhermore, while baseball concludes in October, the New Hampshire Primary doesn’t take place until February (just in time for spring training.) There is a huge margin for error between now and Valentine’s Day and New Hampshire voters might prove to be fickle.
Of course, if Romney does stumble it doesn’t mean he can’t pick himself back up and win in New Hampshire. He just might not win by 30 points.