Why A Bloody Primary Could Help The GOP Win
Conventional wisdom is that the nastiness of the GOP primary is good for Obama and bad for the GOP. The reason being that it has divided the GOP party and exposed the weaknesses of all of the candidates, especially Romney.
There is some truth to that of course. The main way the primary has hurt the GOP is that it has exposed what a wuss and flip flopper Romney is. He used to be a moderate, but is now doing his best to dance with the Right Wing to cement the base behind him. It’s fairly pathetic; he’s no Tea Partier at heart. All he is doing is alienating independents and moderates by adopting Right Wing viewpoints.
While this move may help him win the nomination, it will hurt his chances in November. Conservatives will vote for the GOP nominee no matter what (short of a third party challenger). By alienating moderates and independents, Romney has set himself up to be characterized as the rich man who doesn’t care about the poor and still supports Bush-like policies (more military spending/social conservative viewpoints). Short of a tanking economy come fall, Obama is the clear favorite.
However, what will happen if the campaign gets REALLY bloody? Let’s say Santorum picks up steam again and performs very well on Super Tuesday and beyond (he’s projected to win at least Tennessee, Ohio, and Oklahoma). Between Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, there’s a very good chance Romney will not have enough delegates to win the nomination outright in the first round of balloting.
Democrats drool at the thought of a Santorum candidacy, but that appears to be a pipe dream short of a complete Romney implosion. Romney has enough delegates (along with Paul/Gingrich) that Santorum’s chance of getting a majority seem miniscule at best. Romney will likely sweep the Northeast and California, which added to his delegate count and some other victories will be enough to deny Santorum a majority (along with Paul’s and Gingrich’s delegates).
Thus, the most likely outcome of a bloody GOP primary is a hung convention….and this is potentially a very good thing for the GOP. If Romney gets close enough, it’s very likely he’ll end up the nominee anyways, even if he can’t clear a majority the first round. However, if the GOP decides the reason Romney couldn’t win enough through the primaries was due to his weaknesses, most likely a Dark Horse (not Santorum or Gingrich or Paul) will be the nominee.
The Dark Horse could very well likely be Mitch Daniels, who hasn’t supported a candidate yet. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush have also been named as potential nominees, though the Bush name is so tattered it’s hard to imagine him being the nominee.
Out of all of the potential candidates, Mitch Daniels has the strongest chance of taking out Obama. He can appeal to moderates since his focus is solely on economic more so than social issues, and Daniels also doesn’t give off that rich douchebag vibe that Romney does.
A Daniels candidacy, combined with an economic slowdown in the summer or fall, could produce a fiery GOP sweep. It would be a stark counter to the Democratic blowout win liberals have dreamed of recently, with the thought of a strengthening economy and Santorum at the top of the GOP ticket.