Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You Cannot Win If You Do Not Play

Contra Neil, I'm not really paying much attention to how the current NotRomney is faring in the Republican primary polls. Newt isn't running for President: he's running to sell books, or get a better deal from Fox News for his new TV show, or otherwise improve his ability to rake bucks on the wingnut welfare circuit. He doesn't have much of a campaign infrastructure. Large chunks of his staff quit to join the Rick Perry campaign. He's not even on the ballot in Missouri. And while crazy people who said crazy things won GOP Senate primaries in 2010, they're not faring so well in 2012. Richard Lugar, Orrin Hatch, and Olympia Snowe are all in a position to withstand any challenge from their right flank, and those challengers are having a harder time gaining traction.

Nor do I think that we should read too much "weakness" into Mitt Romney's inability to pull away from the pack of midgets challenging him for the nomination. Much of the right wing infrastructure has yet to really get behind Romney, in the same way that much of that infrastructure didn't get behind John McCain until fairly late in the 2008 election cycle. When faced with the prospect of re-electing Barack Obama, the 20-30% of Republican poll respondents will almost certainly get behind the nominee, regardless of prior apostasies.
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