Can Mitt Romney win an open Republican convention?
In the long GOP primary race to the White House, Mitt Romney has been touted from the start as the inevitable nominee. But voters don't seem to agree and for the first time in decades, the Republicans may be facing an open or 'brokered' convention.
The eventual Republican presidential nominee has to have 1,144 delegates to win. If no single candidate wins enough individual state primaries to gather enough delegates, the nominating process becomes a stage for trading delegates between candidates, until one person gets enough to reach the magic number.
By all accounts, Romney should have won by now, but he hasn't and there are a lot of reasons for that. For one, many Republican supporters don't think he's conservative enough. On the other hand, polls suggest that a more radical right-wing candidate like Rick Santorum, would have a much harder time beating Barack Obama because the country as a whole is more moderate.
If American voters prefer a more moderate candidate, then why haven't they rallied around Romney?
There are not a lot of specific hard cold facts to explain Romney's lukewarm support. His general lack of appeal is more of a mishmash of things that just turn people off, not the least of which is his enormous wealth.
“Mitt Romney’s the richest presidential candidate since billionaire Ross Perot 20 years ago, but that only tells part of the story...” according to The Democratic Daily.
As for the “other part,” well that depends on where you are on the economic food chain. In the primary's that Romney has won, the bulk of his votes have come from people with incomes over $100,000, and the numbers rise with wealth level, according to MSNBC News data.
However, since most politicians these days are millionaires, why should Romney's money make any difference to voters?
The answer come from Romney's own mouth.
When asked by a reporter if he followed NASCAR, Romney said, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."
Translation to the average voter: I have so much money I don't even bother to watch the races.
Then there was the “corporations are people” remark, and “ I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”
Neither sends a message of compassion for the problems facing working class Americans, which is where the bulk of the electorate lives.
If Romney had said NASCAR was a great sport and left it at that, it might have left a better imprint in the minds of voters.
Defending corporations in the midst of a foreclosure crisis that has left millions of Americans homeless may get a handful of radicals riled up, but the rest of the country sees Wall Street as using the 2008 mortgage market collapse to get a government handout that they soon turned into record profits.
Telling the American public that you like “firing people” when the national unemployment rate is over 9% is insensitive, at best.
Romney may have movie star good looks and perfect hair, but it takes more than that to win votes.
A lot of people just don't like Mitt Romney because he comes off as trying too hard to get the one thing his money can't buy; the trust of American voters and the confidence of the Republican Party.
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