January 4, 2012

THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM HAS NO MEMORY:

Media Hype About Mitt Romney's Iowa Showing Is Wrong (Peter Beinart Jan 3, 2012, Daily Beast)

Huh? Iowa is such a bad state for Romney, dominated as it is by Christian-right activists who have long distrusted him, that he considered not even competing there. He's much stronger in New Hampshire, where economic conservatives predominate, and in the big states where what you need is gobs of money. For Romney, a three-way tie for first place in Iowa is manna from heaven. It's especially lovely because the two people he's tied with--Rick Santorum and Ron Paul--probably can't win the nomination. Santorum has no money and has hardly faced a negative ad. Paul is loathed by virtually the entire GOP establishment.

To understand how well Romney has done, consider his success against the bigger-name conservatives. If anyone had told pundits a year ago that Romney would win four times as much support as Michele Bachmann in Iowa, or six months ago that he'd get two and a half times as much support as Rick Perry, or one month ago that he'd get double the support of Newt Gingrich, they would have been astonished. Now commentators are suggesting he didn't do well enough.

Republican presidential history is littered with moderate frontrunners who got creamed in Iowa--George H.W. Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008--and still won the nomination. 

Posted by at January 4, 2012 7:28 AM
  

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