New Hampshire: A Win or a Repudiation?

The Best Mitt Can Do?

Here’s the truth, and there’s no getting around it: Mitt Romney won in New Hampshire with an unimpressive 37% of the vote.  This is roughly the same percentage of the New Hampshire population that is in favor of Obamacare.  Almost half of the voters in today’s primary in New Hampshire weren’t even registered Republicans, since the Granite State holds open primaries.  Meanwhile, Ron Paul finished around 24%, and Huntsman pulled roughly 17%.  What this tells me, and what it should tell you is that Mitt Romney is not yet a viable national candidate, and may never be.  That he can lose such a large percentage to the others in moderate New Hampshire merely reinforces the point. Rather than a great victory, this is a repudiation of Romney’s supposed electability.  The reality you ought to grasp in the wake of Romney’s underwhelming victory is that this race is far from over, whatever the media hype to the contrary may claim.

For Romney to secure the nomination, he must begin to break the 40% margin, and he must do it soon.  If he fails to make that threshold in South Carolina, there’s almost no way he will beat Obama.  Going into Florida, Romney must not merely be the victor, but a solid front-runner.  New Hampshire is a poor approximation of a bell-weather state in the Republican primaries, and it should be remembered that its greatest value is a public relations victory for the winner.    Expect to hear and read a lot of happy talk about “Mitt’s momentum,” but just know that momentum in politics is more fleeting than candidates’ positions, especially Romney’s.

Already, the media is running with the theme that this means Romney has all but locked it up.  I want you to think about this carefully: An election that counted fewer total votes than there are residents in my own semi-rural county in Texas now speaks on behalf of the nation’s Republicans? I don’t think so, and neither should you.  Why should the course of the country be determined by a small and politically moderate state like New Hampshire, by an election in which roughly half the voters were not even registered Republicans?

Ladies and gentlemen, please remember that this primary contest in New Hampshire was supplemented in the Romney camp by a number of Obama supporters with nothing else to do this year.  Also remember that Obama’s supporters know, as do you, that Romney is perhaps the weakest Republican he might face. This wasn’t so much a victory for Romney as an embarrassment for him, although the spin-meisters will never tell you that truth. He should have won this state with 40-45%, and the fact that he couldn’t do so merely means that the whole notion of his alleged “electability” is nonsense.  Just as you might consider the New Hampshire primary a victory of the non-Romney over Romney, you can expect the same results in just ten short months: If we put this guy up against Obama in November, we lose.



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7 Responses to New Hampshire: A Win or a Repudiation?

  1. Morgan says:

    Jon Huntsman's 3rd place finish was a disappointment, in my opinion, considering he spent seven months campaigning there (and appeared at 170 public events) only to finish as he did. Newt Gingrich's finish (whether it's 4th or 5th) has also been a disappointment, there's no getting around that, and he can thank his attack on Romney's involvement in Bain Capital for that.

    Perry's finish doesn't matter much as his focus since Iowa has been on South Carolina; if he doesn't do at least better than Huntsman in New Hampshire, that's it for his campaign (in my opinion). Romney's win isn't much as most of us aren't surprised when a candidate wins in a neighboring state, but if Romney can win South Carolina next week, that will be the first sign of an actual momentum in his favor. That's it for my 2¢ on the primaries at the moment.

  2. kilt1iron says:

    Perry needs to connect with South Carolinians … and GOTV for T.E.A. Party folks

  3. mimsborne says:

    Ron Paul won roughly 1/2 of the votes of 18-29 year old's, while Romney picked up only 1/5 of these. I think it is a good sign of America's future if 1/2 the young people are willing to vote for the oldest candidate in exchange for a smaller less-intrusive government.

  4. carbonyes says:

    Let's see how South Carolina plays out. That may also determine whether a new candidate may consider entering the fray, for time will be running out if that decision is delayed or a ground swell doesn't come forth to lift him or her up.

  5. W_Hart says:

    Mitt Romney is not a viable candidate. I agree 100%. He is a cookie-cutter candidate with an MBA. The American voting public is tired of both.
    We have watched them destroy our nation for too long. We are tired of their lies. We are tired of feathering their nests, and fighting their wars.
    Ron Paul is our candidate, and this is why.

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