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February 15, 2012

The Road to Super Tuesday…

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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January turned out to be an interesting month for the Republican Presidential candidates. A correction in the Iowa caucus results and an upset in South Carolina. My thought is that we walked into February even and I feel like I’m the only person who was expecting that…

Pundits like to hear themselves talk. One flaw I find with pundits is that they’re generally on a side and therefore advocate based on that side. Even the ones that are supposed to be impartial.

Case in point: During January, most pundits and journalist were predicting Mitt Romney was locking up the nomination. In January. The most they would concede is that it was a two man race between Romney and Gingrich. I wrote that I thought it would continue to be a three man race for months to come. It is now officially a three man race: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Let’s talk about the surprises for a minute…

Santorum ended up winning Iowa because he covered/campaigned across the entire state; A state that appears to mirror his demographics. Gingrich won South Carolina because the demographics of the state match up with him perfectly. Despite heavy support for Romney from Republican power players like Chris Christie, John McCain and even the Governor, Nikki Haley, Gringrich still won.

The pundits called that wrong because they were thinking about the important people making the endorsements and forgetting that the important people are the voters. This is also how they missed the value of Rick Santorum…

In-common mistake #2 – Who’s most likely to be able to beat President Obama? Shouldn’t the focus be on who’s the best equipped to be President? Were I to moderate a debate, I would start with one caveat: Each candidate has to speak about what they would do without making reference to any other candidate or The President of the United States. They’ve spent so much time criticizing each other, I’m not sure I know why Romney, Gingrich or Santorum would be a great President.

This line of thinking is simply a continuation of congressional Republicans goal, “To make President Obama a one term President.” Misguided again. Shouldn’t they be focused on accomplishing the business of the nation? And that’s been their position for 3 years – not 3 months. That’s why they don’t have a strong candidate – they’re approach is from a negative place instead of working toward selecting and grooming the right candidate for the job.

Let’s face it – the field for Republican candidates is weak. The Republican party is divided and the three candidates represent the divisions exactly. Newt Gingrich is the tea party; Mitt Romney is a moderate Republican who doesn’t want to admit it because; Rick Santorum represents the Republican establishment, who, is now in the minority, but, ultimately making the final selection.

And now we’re approaching a game-changing primary – Michigan. The state where Romney grew up, but, no longer visits or has a home. He has four homes and none of them are in Michigan. From what I know about Michigan people, they’re loyal to people who stick with them no matter what. Romney doesn’t even visit Michigan. Now all of a sudden, when he needs them, he’s a hometown kid? Let’s see if they can see through that…

If I were a Republican Michiganite, I would not vote for Romney. I’d vote for Santorum. I think Santorum is going to win Michigan and many more. Then the party will have to choose between the lesser of two evils. Santorum vs. Romney is on…

The score going into Super Tuesday is: Romney 4, Santorum 4, Gingrich 1. Super Tuesday is March 6, 2012, involving contests in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

Romney needs to win Michigan and Gingrich needs to win Georgia. If they can’t convince voters in the states from whence they came, good luck convincing anybody.

Now that doesn’t mean one of them will drop out after Super Tuesday. Writing on the wall or not, I think they’re all too full of themselves to drop out at this point. They’re all in for the long haul on the hopes that the race will continue it’s violent fluctuations and they will end up the one on top.

As expected, Super Tuesday is pivotal in this race. It might be the deciding factor for whether the Republicans end up with a brokered convention.

Brokered convention will be the topic of our next post.

Let’s talk again after Super Tuesday…