For Romney, the full focus is now on Obama and November

Republican Presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney declares victory in the Wisconsin presidential primary, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

For all practical purposes, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney captured the Republican nomination for President Tuesday, sweeping primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia and passing the halfway point in securing the delegates needed for nomination.

Having dispatched a multitude of on-again, off-again pretenders to the GOP throne, Romney can now turn his attention from opponents of his own party and focus on the increasingly difficult challenge of trying to dispatch an incumbent President who will have more money, better organization and broader appeal than any of the Republicans he vanquished.

Barack Obama will be a tougher opponent than anyone Romney has faced to date,” GOP strategist Jan Black tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “Romney will most likely emerge from the GOP convention as the underdog in the general election.  That’s unfamiliar territory for him.”

Although none of the three remaining opponents to Romney for the GOP nod show any indication of getting out of the race, the contest for the nomination is effectively over.  The GOP establishment stands firmly behind Romney and exit polls show even tea party-inclined votes and moving over to him.

“I can live with Romney,” says tea party supporter Andie Litchfield of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  “I can’t live with Obama and if Romney can beat him I’ll go with Mitt.”

While enthusiasm for Romney is muted among mainstream Republican voters, they appear willing to accept the inevitable and go with the flow.  Their attitude is “he’s not the best but he’s what we’ve got.”

The problem for Republicans was that the best candidate for the job – if there is one – is not in the race for the nomination this year.  Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and others touted as best for the job are sitting out 2012, leaving the race to a second tier of candidates that even the most optimistic of GOP strategists admit may be doomed to serve as a sacrificial lamb to a weak incumbent President who should be ripe for defeat.

“If Obama wins re-election, and at this point it looks like he will, he can thank a fractured, dysfunctional GOP for giving it to him,” grumbles one veteran GOP consultant.

Still, Republicans can hope that a fragile economy recovery collapses, unemployment remains high and gas prices continue to rise to fuel voter anger against Obama.  But struggling Americans might have trouble identifying with a moneyed GOP candidate who has never known hunger, unemployment or difficulty meeting a mortgage payment.

“Romney faces an uphill fight, there’s no doubt about that,” says Alan Blackwell, a GOP media producer, “but a lot of things can change between now and November.”

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3 Responses to "For Romney, the full focus is now on Obama and November"

  1. Sandy Price  April 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I cannot see any possible way that Gov. Romney can beat President Obama in any race. He might have been able to achieve better numbers had his party decided to represent the Republican base of men like Reagan and even Bush 41 but the party itself slipped into an impossible agenda of degrading far too many Americans.

    Thinking women, gays and terminally ill seniors will never opt for this new Christian-driven agenda of prohibitions. So many Americans are thoughtless sheep and simply want these elections to go away and stop interfering with their television programs. Television is the national drug with only a handfull of us who want the individual to shine, think and act against this collective groupee nature that developed since the television became the center of our world.

  2. Jim B.  April 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Well said, Sandy! Even Rev. Pat Robertson in one of his most lucid moments talked about Repubs reaching too far to the right…

    “You appeal to the narrow base. And they’ll applaud the daylights out of what you’re saying, and then you hit the general election and they say ‘no way.’ The Democrat, whoever it is, is going to just play these statements to the hilt. They’ve got to stop this. It’s just so counterproductive. Well, if they want to lose, this is the game for losers.”

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/10/26/141715841/pat-robertson-decries-social-cons-for-pushing-gop-candidates-to-extremes

    RE: TV…You’re probably right about it being the opiate of the American people, and unfortunately or fortunately, I have to say I’ll be in a super-drugged high when AMC airs the last season of “Breaking Bad” in July. :)

  3. griff  April 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I don’t remember who said it first, but he was right…we’re all socialists now.

    Democrat. Republican. It matters not one whit.

    America is dead. I cringe every day when I think about how far we have strayed from our roots, out heritage.

    Does any one know our true history? How it all began? I think not.

    Because if you did, you wouldn’t stand for any of this theatre.

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