Romney: the voters of Iowa are hick-rube religious bigots
“PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday attributed a big part of his Iowa loss to the fact his main competitor had an established base of evangelical support, which turned out in force,” writes Thomas Burr of the Salt Lake Tribune in an article titled Romney attributes Iowa loss to faith
Romney, who has worked to overcome fears about voters backing him as a Mormon, took only a fifth of evangelical voters who turned out to caucus in the first test of the presidential race. Republican rival Mike Huckabee, a Baptist-preacher-turned-politician, took nearly half of that category of voters, according to entrance polls.
The Romney campaign credited a large turnout by evangelical voters – many of whom see Mormons as heretical – for Huckabee’s victory.
“Mike had a terrific base as a minister – drew on that base, got a great deal of support, it was a wonderful strategy that he pursued effectively,” Romney told reporters Friday in New Hampshire where he was fighting for a victory in that state’s first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday.
Romney said he came into Iowa an unknown governor of Massachusetts, the “bluest of the blue states,” and campaigned hard to educate voters about what he stands for. But that, apparently, wasn’t enough as Huckabee trounced Romney 34 percent to 25 percent.
“Had I been a Baptist minister, I perhaps could have chosen a different path, but that wasn’t the path that’s available to me,” Romney said. “He took one that was available to him, worked it extremely well, turned out people extremely well and I congratulate him on a well-run campaign.” […]
This self-pitying, “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam“ Romney-rant is beneath comment. Well, almost. In another post we wrote
An emerging “fixed point” now conditioning and organizing the discussion is the notion that voters want “change.” (By “fixed point” we mean a point of convergence or common assumption emerging in the popular account.)
Another emerging fixed point is that Iowa decided for Gov. Huckabee because of anti-Mormon bias etc. This is as wrongheaded as it is condescending. Here would be the counterpoint:
Medved: “[Gov. Huckabee’s] powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican—[one] who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back—[Gov Huckabee is] hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate of media caricature”
More counterpoint from Patrick Ruffini in a Townhall.com blog burst titled Iowa Shows Passion & Energy Matter:
[…] As I wrote on December 11:
[Huckabee’s] success is not about ideology, but identity. For his voters, he’s a Christian first, and a conservative second. Attacking him on conventional conservative issues won’t undermine his core support because it has nothing to do with being a conservative.
Ruffini’s point on its face supports Romney’s bitter complaint. But Ruffini continues:
Huckabee won women 40-26% (and men just 29-26%). He won voters under $30,000 by about 2 to 1. Cross those two, take away the Republican filter, and you’re talking about a general election constituency that is at least 2-to-1 Democratic. These are not people that conventional primary campaigns are designed to reach. These are the Republican voters the furthest away from National Review, other elite conservative media, and websites like this one. It’s easy to see just how the analysts missed the boat on this one […]
[…] Conventional organization may matter less in an era of high-stakes, high-turnout elections. Romney’s Iowa chair Doug Gross was quoted as saying that 80,000 was their “magic number” for overall turnout. It’s easy to see why. With 26,000 Romney votes, that would have been good for 32.5% and a win — about the same percentage they got at Ames (where turnout was historically low).
The Romney campaign was an efficient machine that knew who its voters were and turned them out. The problem is that Mike Huckabee’s momentum brought in new voters off the beaten path — more Evangelicals, more women, people lower on the income ladder. Think about this: In the 2000 Caucuses, only 37% described themselves as “religious right.” This year, 60% described themselves as “Evangelical Christians.” That’s an imperfect comparison, but the universe of Evangelical voters almost certainly expanded this year […]
Conclusion: the fixed point emerging in support of Iowa is the new GOP coalition, a coalition based on a renewed conservative movement that the elite conservative media failed to even register in their opinions and analyses.
Or where they did register it, they either dismissed it or ridiculed it.
Sadly, the new elite liberal media is the old elite conservative media.
P.S. Always remember: effective politicians NEVER, EVER BLAME THE VOTERS.