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How Did Romney End Up Losing States He’d Won In 2008?

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM
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How Did Romney End Up Losing States He’d Won In 2008? SHARE KYLE LEIGHTON FEBRUARY 8, 2012, 10:00 AM 4340 53 The line on cable news Tuesday night to explain away the irony that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, two contests that he won in the 2008 campaign, was that back then Romney was the conservative alternative to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and that now various candidates are succeeding as the conservative alternative to Romney. That partly explains the shift in Romney’s fortunes in Minnesota and Colorado, but the larger context is that the volatile Tea Party-fueled uber-conservative GOP primary electorate of 2012 is deeply dissatisfied with Romney and continues to fish around among the available alternatives. It’s the same dynamic that ignited the big swings Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain enjoyed earlier in this cycle. There’s no ambiguity in the actual numbers: Romney got 60 percent of the vote in Colorado, tripling up 2008 Iowa caucus winner former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) at 18 percent and McCain at 13. He bested the field in Minnesota with 41 percent with McCain at 22 and Huckabee 20. Last night Romney only got 35 percent for second place in Colorado, and 17 percent as the third place finisher in Minnesota. Romney has never had a hold on the conservative bloc in the 2012 race, which has been the most volatile group within the GOP. Very conservative voters have moved from candidate to candidate, triggering brief but major surges by various candidates not named Mitt. This was the dagger for Romney’s chances in two caucus states, where the process itself favors committed conservatives. The data before Tuesday’s elections was thin, but Public Policy Polling (D) pollster Tom Jensen published some thoughts on PPP’s data, which were the only numbers from the last days before the caucus. They bore out this theme: [What] may have had an impact is how volatile the electorate in these states was. 38% of voters in Missouri, 35% in Minnesota, and 31% in Colorado said they were still open to changing their minds about who to vote for. That compares to only 21% in Nevada, 19% in Florida, 22% in South Carolina, 24% in New Hampshire, and 24% in Iowa on our final polls in those states. A lot of folks who told us they were voting for Gingrich/Romney/Paul clearly either didn’t show up or changed to Santorum in the closing stretch. Gingrich in particular did far worse than our polling had predicted and it’s possible his folks jumped ship when they saw Santorum had a much better chance at defeating Romney. The question for Romney is not that he can be a frontrunner in a crowded field — he’s proven that much — but whether a new breed of conservative voters can ever accept a candidate that smacks of the establishment. At the moment, they are literally considering all alternatives
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM
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Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM

he question for Romney is not that he can be a frontrunner in a crowded field — he’s proven that much — but whether a new breed of conservative voters can ever accept a candidate that smacks of the establishment. 


The primaries are far different from the GE and caucuses are different from primaries. I suspect MR will be the nominee and those "conservatives- hard right" will hold their collective noses and vote for him over Obama.

LOL- Romney is Obama and the GOP needs to regroup-it's showing every sign of imploding.

Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM

This is a different election than 2008. Romney didn't win Florida in 2008, but he did just a few days ago.  Time will tell...

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