August 31, 2011
HOLLOW TO THE CORE:
Romney's "Core Constituency" (Jonathan V. Last, August 29, 2011)
Let's revisit Romney's campaigns:
1994: MA Senate Republican primary: Romney 82%, John Lakian 18%
1994: MA Senate general election: Ted Kennedy 58%, Romney 41%
2002: MA Gubernatorial Republican primary: Romney runs unopposed
2002: MA Gubernatorial general election: Romney 50%, Shannon O'Brien 45%
2006: MA Gubernatorial primary: trailing in polls for the general election to Deval Patrick--a guy who'd never run for anything before--Romney declines to seek reelection. I'll count this as a loss; you might be more charitable.
2007: Presidential primaries: I won't go state-by-state, but here's the breakdown: Romney won only three states where the vote was a straight-up primary. Each of these wins was in a place where he had enormous legacy advantages: Michigan, where his father had been governor; Massachusetts, where he had been governor; and Utah, which is overwhelmingly Mormon. (He also won 8 caucus states, though the organizing rules there are much less indicative of electoral strength.)
On other side of the ledger, Romney lost primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, California, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland. (He also lost a bunch of caucus states, but we won't count those against him since we're discounting his caucus wins.)
Which means that in the 2008 cycle he went 3-16.
Combine that with the rest of his runs and you get a 17-year career average of 5-18. I don't think you could find any other figure in politics who has run this far below the Mendoza line and still managed to get taken seriously as a presidential candidate. In fact, the only reason Romney gets taken seriously is his money. Strip away the $500M treasure room and the willingness to blow large chunks of his kids' inheritance, and he's Ron Paul without the ideological moorings and grassroots support.
But I'd argue that his electoral prospects are even worse than they look from his won-loss record.
He should have stopped being taken seriously when he Palined the people of MA. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2011 6:49 AM