Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A picture paints a 1000 words...

This map of Ohio's primary results showing precincts won by Romney (yellow) and Santorum (purple) paints a chilling picture for the GOP in the general election in the fall. At first glance it would appear that Rick Santorum won Ohio handily by carrying 69 of the 88 county precincts, but Romney won by taking 19 of the most delegate-rich precincts. Turnout in this GOP primary battle was low with only 25% of registered voters participating compared to 44.5% voting in the 2008 general election.  Primaries usually have lower voter turnout, so this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but, regardless, there are trends in the data that show Romney could face an uphill battle in November, if chosen as the GOP nominee.  

Let's dig deeper to uncover what the mainstream media is failing to report.

We first started hearing about the red-state phenomenon when President George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in 2000.  Examine the map of the United States precinct by precinct; the red (denoting a majority in the precinct voted for Bush) covered most of the map.  

But, in spite of Bush carrying such a large majority of precincts in 2000, the blue portions of the map are so densely populated that Bush barely won the election and actually lost the popular vote to Al Gore.  

Romney has had issues wooing conservatives throughout this GOP nomination process, evidenced by his lackluster performance with conservatives in each contest so far. Romney has shown not only a decreased level of support in nearly every precinct he's carried compared to the level of support he received in his 2008 bid, but turnout has been consistently low where Mitt has had success, and turnout overall has been down in most states. Some pundits are crediting Mitt's negative attack ads for the reduced voter turnout in the GOP primaries and caucuses. Obama's attack ads could likely have the same suppressing effect in the general contest. In Contrast, the precincts carried by Newt Gingrich have consistently shown improved voter turnout. Also, when you look at maps of all the states won by Romney, and, for nearly all precincts, those with the largest conservative voting block have chosen a candidate other than Romney.

Some of Romney's backers say his ability to carry these blue precincts may actually show a strength for Romney, because he will be able to win over the votes of more liberal/moderate precincts in the general election, but considering consistent low turnout in the primaries and caucuses for Romney, I am not sure that argument holds up.  Obama will surely carry all the most liberal precincts and the majority of moderate ones.  The only real path to victory in the general election in the fall is for the GOP contender to bring out enough support in more conservative precincts to off-set the numbers of votes in the more densely populated liberal/moderate precincts.  With over half the voters in the Republican party and a strong majority of conservatives voting against Romney  in the GOP nomination battle, can the GOP expect all of these voters to show up in the fall to cast their vote for the GOP if Romney is our nominee?  I have my doubts.

To further illustrate, let's take a look at the precinct-by-precinct results in 2008.  

Again, you'll note that Obama carried a minority of precincts in Ohio, but won the state with 51.2% of the vote.  I'd concede that Obama will probably have a less enthused base of support in the general election this round, but putting up a candidate that is not fully supported by the base of the GOP is very risky.  McCain suffered the same syndrome as Romney in his 2008 bid.  Conservatives were not enthusiastic for McCain and did not turn out in sufficient numbers in the red precincts to overtake Obama's lead in the densely populated blue ones. No GOP candidate has been able to win in the general without firm support of conservatives since Reagan.

Grumbling has already commenced with many Tea Party activists about a potential Romney GOP nomination.  If Romney wraps up the GOP nomination, will the Tea-Party stay within the Republican fold, or break ranks and run their own 3rd party candidate?   Many suggest the candidacy of Ross Perot in 1992 was because many conservative Republicans and more libertarian-leaning democrats were unwilling to get behind Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush.  Could we see a repeat of something like this in the fall?

I think the pundits in the media need to open their eyes and stop insisting that Romney is the most electable of the GOP contenders. Data from Mitt Romney's primary/caucus wins provides plenty of evidence to the contrary. The fervent support of Romney by the GOP establishment has disenfranchised many in the conservative base of the Republican party.  If the GOP party bosses are not careful, they may find themselves presiding over the destruction of their party and a defeat in the fall. 

1 comment:

  1. Here's 200 pages of info on Mitt Romney:

    Here's Soros saying that there's not that much difference between Mitt and Obama: