Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There is No Primary This Week – Some Random Thoughts on the Republican Race

And the General Election – If We Ever Get Around to It

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary and nobody except Rick Santorum really cares.  The result showed once again that Mr. Romney is not the favorite in the deep South, but it doesn’t matter.  The deep South will vote Republican, unless Fidel Castro is the GOP nominee, and that does not look all that likely at this time.

Jeffrey Phelps for The New York Times
Rick Santorum with his daughter Sarah Maria
 on Sunday at a rally in Racine, Wis.
He said that if he was nominated,
he would be able to defeat President Obama.

Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum are both getting a little bitter, which is what happens when candidates losing a race have taken their chances of winning too seriously.  Mr. Gingrich got into the race to promote the Gingrich brand, and Mr. Santorum entered to preach his particular morality to the nation.  When they started neither expected to win and when for a brief moment they were taken seriously and at least given a chance to win, however unlikely, both became enamored with their candidacies. 

As a result the disappointment at the way things have turned out is showing that neither of these two gentlemen really have the temperament for high office.  Mr. Gingrich reacted badly from his defeat in Florida and Mr. Santorum apparently still feels that the Republican convention will reject Mr. Romney and select himself.  Now he’s getting a little mad at the press, as well he should.  When they accurately report what he says he just doesn’t come off all that well.

One has to wonder just how many hundreds of millions of dollars outside groups supporting Mr. Romney and attacking the President will spend in the general election.  Equally uncertain is how long it will take the Obama team to realize the importance and impact of that.  The guess here is $400 million and never.

The chances of the Democrats taking back the House are almost nil.  Gerrymandering and the shift of seats to Republican areas as a result of the 2010 Census means it is far more likely the Republicans will gain seats than lose them. 

The chances of the Democrats holding the Senate are not nil, but very low.  The idea that Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic Senator and Governor  can win in Nebraska is political fantasy.  Nebraska and North Dakota will switch, and Democrats are defending so many other tight races that it is highly likely they will lose enough to lose the Senate.

In the event the Republicans do gain seats in the House and take the Senate, look for them to declare victory in the fall elections even if they lose to Mr. Obama.  Then look for government to be even more ineffective in 2013 than it is now.  Yes, we know that a difficult accomplishment, to envision.

North Carolina is the last good chance for Mr. Romney to score a victory in a traditional southern state.  Look for him to make a major effort there even if the race is generally considered over by their May 8 primary.

People who foresee Mr. Romney having difficulty uniting Republicans in the fall do not understand the depth and degree of hatred Republicans have for Mr. Obama.  That will unite them, much the way that the same degree of hatred against Mr. Bush in 2008 united and motivated Democrats. 

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