So Romney pulled out a close victory in Iowa; not decisive, but a victory none the less. He didn’t want to look like he pined for it, and waited until the last moment to really pull out all the stops in his campaign for the state. But let’s all be honest: if you are running for any office, you want to win every contest on the road there, big or small. With expectations being something that has a life of its own, sinking many a candidate that did not manage it propery, Romney did well this time around. The expectations for Iowa will not hurt him, unlike his attempt in 2008.
But now, the talking heads on TV are telling us that even though he got 25% of the vote, he failed to collect the other 75%. When has this ever been the benchmark of a victory in the primaries? Santorum ALSO didn’t get “the other 75%”…does this mean 75% of the Republican Party in Iowa hates Rick Santorum too?
Let’s face it; the party as a whole wants a person who stands for their values, who can articulate those values to the rest of the country, and most of all, someone who can beat Obama 11 months from now. I personally called Santorum’s rise in popularity when Newt’s numbers started to fall; after all, who else was there? The non-Romney elements of the party have leap-frogged from candidate to candidate, without vetting them before they put their support on that person. Santorum is nothing new, in regards to his surge; just next in line. If this surge was due to his visiting all 99 counties, then the votes should have slowly started to build as Iowans got to know him. Instead, it was sudden and immediate, just like Cain and Newt before him.
The point is, people might be looking at the Romney numbers and seeing the mirror’s reflection. What I mean by this is, instead of looking at the 25% of the party that has backed Romney, perhaps more scrutiny should be placed on the leap-frog voters of the non-Romney candidates, which also amounts to about 25%. If I am right, had Santorum had a couple more days to solidify, he would have won Iowa, having the 25% that all the “surging” candidates have received from the non-Romneys, plus the 4-6% of the vote that liked him before all the attention. Ultimately, Romney doesn’t have “only 25%” of the party willing to back him; instead, there is 25% of the party who really really doesn’t want to support him, and they seem to move as a unit from candidate to candidate on their search for the perfect Reganesque Demi-god.
Common sense says that if you are voting against a candidate instead of voting for someone, the lacking enthusiasm from such an attitude will slowly suffocate the movement…as long as said candidate doesn’t stoke the flames. Romney only needs to not alienate those voters, so that when November comes around, he can get their votes. For the sake of the nation, if you believe as I do that Obama needs to go home, let’s hope we can put all of this “anyone but him” attitude aside and move on if and when Ronmey takes the nomination. After all, if Romney succeeds, and the senate falls to the Republicans as well, there will be many conservatives in Washington to hold him to what got him elected in the first place. If Romney takes the White House from Obama, then we know indeed that Romney was great for the party. The worst thing that could happen to conservatives is the knock out Romney, only to lose to Obama; saying, “At least we didn’t have that Romney guy representing us.” will sound very hollow indeed.