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Monday, October 08, 2012
Published January 3, 2012-Updated January 10, 2012
"Subconsciously, Mitt Romney may not be
as concerned about winning the Iowa caucuses”
Mitt Romney may not be as concerned about winning the Iowa caucuses as the other
candidates. Iowa is a state that
seems to curse almost every GOP candidate who wins the state’s caucuses.
Since 1980, there have been two out of five Republican presidential
candidates to win the Iowa caucuses, their party’s nomination, and the
presidency. Those two candidates
were former Presidents George H. Bush Sr. and George W. Bush Jr.
Romney knows he has an uphill battle and one of the things he learned
from his failed 2008 campaign is not to concentrate his efforts in one state
to the Los Angeles Times writer Seema Mehta’s article “Mitt
Romney’s under-the-radar approach to Iowa,” it cost Romney over a million
dollars to win the 2008 Iowa straw poll. Yet,
this didn’t translate into him winning the Iowa caucuses.
Mitt Romney came in second place to former Governor Mike Huckabee whose
star quickly faded after he won the Iowa caucuses. Senator John McCain came in
fourth place in Iowa, but he won his party’s nomination.
However, he lost the presidential election to then Senator Barack Obama.
And although Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll last year, Mitt
Romney wasn’t rattled. He has
seen everyone from Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, to Newt Gingrich
reach the top of the polls only to fall down.
Romney has said that he has evolved since his 2008 experience. He told Kathie Obradovich of the Des Moines Register
that “running a campaign is like raising a teenager.” He noted how a parent can’t control how his teenager turns
out, but he can give him the right upbringing to lead him down the right road.
Hence, although Romney can’t control every aspect of his campaign, he
can use certain strategies to ensure he has the outcome he wants.
Unlike his 2008 campaign, Romney is focusing more on important issues
like the economy, as well as balancing his time throughout the country and not
allowing the doubt about his Mormon religion to take his focus away from the
primary issues. So far, his
strategy has been working.
University released its poll numbers on January 2, 2011 showing Romney as the
clear front-runner in New Hampshire with 43% of the vote. In Florida, Romney’s numbers have improved.
The American Research Group released its poll numbers in November 2011
and Newt Gingrich was leading with 50% of the vote, while Mitt Romney had 19% of
the vote. According to an article
in the Tampa Bay Times, TelOpinion conducted a poll from December 15-19,
2011 and it shows Romney with 27% of the vote and Newt Gingrich with 26% of the
vote. Also, USA Today/Gallup
released a poll showing Obama and Romney in a statistical tie, with Obama having
50% of the vote and Romney having 48% of the vote.
The rising debt ceiling and fighting between Congress and the president
is contributing to voters’ antipathy. And
Romney has been able to capitalize on the voters’ doubt by honing in on
Obama’s misses with the economy. For
instance, Romney has called President Obama a “triple D president debt,
deficit, and default,” and Romney put out an ad showing Obama’s hometown,
Chicago, IL, in economic peril. Romney’s
basic message is a man whose house is in shambles will turn your house in to
shambles. As evidence, Romney points to how the president has added
another trillion-dollar debt to the deficit that hasn’t produce the necessary
results to bring the unemployment rate down below 9%.
Romney touts his work in the private and public sector as a way to
convince voters that he will use the Republican principles in order to help both
small businesses and the big business of government to work.
Whereas Obama has increased the debt, Romney wants to decrease the debt
by cutting programs that are providing the greatest strain on the economy.
As evidence of his ability to bring the economy into the black, Romney
points to his work as the CEO of Bain and Company and the 4.7% unemployment rate
Massachusetts had during his tenure as the state’s governor.
approach is allowing him to take his message to big states like Ohio, Florida,
and California, which have a larger population and electoral college than Iowa.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa has a little over 3 million
people compared to over 11 million people in Ohio, over 18 million people in
Florida, and over 55 million people in California.
As for the electoral college votes, Iowa has 6 electoral votes compared
to 18 electoral votes for Ohio, 29 electoral votes for Florida, and 55 electoral
votes for California. And with the
exception of former President Bill Clinton, every nominee since former President
Jimmy Carter who wins Florida wins the presidency.
Thus, Ohio, Florida, and California provide the best avenue for
Romney’s journey to the White House. And it is for this reason that Romney has
not been distracted by those like Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstand, who stated
that Romney has an “East Coast Mentality.”
Boston Globe writer Alex Katz’s wrote in her article “Iowa governor:
Mitt Romney’s campaign has ‘East Coast Mentality’” that Governor
Branstand was upset because Romney didn’t attend the Christian Conservative
Forum or the governor’s birthday party. The
governor believes these events provided a chance for Romney to present himself
to Iowa’s socially Conservative voting bloc and to raise money.
However, Iowa is a socially conservative Christian state that has held
Romney’s Mormon religion against him. Based
on the December 6, 2011 poll released by CBS, 34% of white Evangelical voters
will vote for Gingrich while 10% will vote for Romney.
According to The Daily Beast writer Kirsten Powers’ article
“Mitt Romney’s Mormon Problem in the Iowa Caucuses Simply Won’t Die,”
there is a skepticism about the Mormon religion that is directing the views of
the Iowa voters. In the article,
Judd Saul said, “Evangelicals won’t vote for a Mormon.”
And despite the fact that Romney is leading in the Iowa polls with 24% of
the vote, the discomfort with his religion cast doubts about his ability to win
the state. However, Romney’s mental evolution in running a campaign has
allowed him to not be rattled by social stereotypes and to remain focus with his
eyes on the prize, becoming the President of the United States.
are about numbers and probability. And
if a candidate focuses his attention on one area or group, he decreases his
chances of winning. The candidates
who are not too far left or too far right are those who have a better chance of
winning. Iowa is a far right state
and it tends to constrict the political life out of the GOP winner so to the
point that he cannot go on beyond the state.
There were only two candidates, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., who found life
after Iowa. Romney knows this and
has decided not to narrowly concentrate his time in one area and on one
group. Romney’s mental evolution
in running a campaign has allowed him to focus on more important issues like the
economy. At the national level,
this is catching voters’ attention more so than Romney explaining why he loves
the Lord more than Rick Perry. But
like athletes, politicians are superstitious and will try any mind trick in the
book to win. And considering the
fact that Romney is not a Bush, his chances of winning his party’s nomination
as well as the presidency, if he wins the Iowa caucuses, are slim to none.
So the only hope Mitt Romney has in becoming his party’s nominee and
the President of the United States is to lose Iowa.