Even before the recent rise of Mike Huckabee, Rasmussen Reports had been including a sentence in many of their poll results, saying (and this is a rough quote) “It is easy to explain why none of the current GOP frontrunners will win the nomination, and yet, it is almost certain that one of them will.” Now, with less than two weeks left until the voting begins in Iowa, I believe that a reasonable (and perhaps more than reasonable) case can be made as to why Mitt Romney willwin the nomination. This is not a guarantee, or even a prediction (I will not be making either, out of fear of jinxing the whole thing.), it is simply a number of reasons why Romney is currently best positioned. Lets look at a few:
1) Two Routes to the Nomination –Every other candidate besides Mitt Romney is running with only path to the nomination. For Huckabee, it is to win in Iowa and build momentum. For John McCain, it is to upset in New Hampshire, and rely on the positive press to bring in a cash and supporters. For Giuliani, it is to survive the beating he is likely to take in the early states, win Florida, and hope his support holds for Super Tuesday. Romney, on the other hand, now has two paths to the nomination. His original strategy is still there, to win in Iowa, and then run the table with the early states, giving him huge amounts of momentum to win on Super Tuesday. The other path has developed over the past couple of weeks, and wouldn’t exist without the Huck-a-boom that many thought could derail Romney. The second way for Romney to win the nomination is to take second in Iowa, and become the anti-Huckabee – splitting the early states and then winning a majority on Super Tuesday. Love him or hate him, Huckabee scares the heck out of many Conservatives, and if he wins Iowa, many will be looking for the man most able to beat Him. By coming in second in IA, and continuing to hold a lead in NH, Romney is best positioned to be that man.
2) Romney is becoming a “compromise” candidate –Romney is probably the most Conservative candidate in the GOP race right now, but he is quickly becoming the “compromise candidate” – though in a way far different from what has been seen in the past. Rather than certain groups making sacrifices to find an acceptable nominee, Romney has drawn so much support because he can give almost everyone in the GOP what they are looking for. Social Conservative, Defense Conservatives, and Fiscal Conservatives can all find comfort in Romney’s positions. His background should be reassuring to everyone from Wall Street executives to Mothers in middle America. Romney’s Conservative positions are more than acceptable to most GOP voters, while his experience and competence has help to ease concerns of some moderates. If people start looking for a candidate who does not pose a danger to the GOP coalition, and who does not have serious problems on certain issues, Romney will be that candidate.
3) Organization – Having a strong organization can be critical, particularly in the early state of Iowa, where the winner is determined by a caucus rather than a primary. Turnout for the caucuses is surprisingly low – with only about 5% of the population attending the events for each party. That means that even a couple thousand votes can swing the results in completely opposite directions. Romney’s financial and organization structure in IA (among other places), will ensure that he can not only run ad campaigns as primary day nears, but also help drive his supporters to the polls. Romney’s strength in this area could go a long way in overcoming most, if not all, of the current 6% deficit in IA, and, as discussed above, a win in Iowa could hand Romney the nomination before the end of next month.
Comments welcome, feel free to add your own analysis.