Posts Tagged ‘Thomas B. Edsall’

“Mitt Romney, who a month ago believed his victories in Iowa and New Hampshire were bought and paid for, is now scrambling to remain competitive in both states, continuing to outspend his adversaries by a wide margin, saturating the Iowa and New Hampshire airwaves with anti-Huckabee and anti-McCain commercials,” writes Thomas B. Edsall in an article for Huffpo titled Mitt Romney Down for the Count?

From a purely business point of view the past four weeks have marked an extraordinary setback for the Romney campaign.

Since January 1, 2007, the former Massachusetts governor has spent well in excess of $80 million, including at least $17.4 million of his own money, paying media fees in excess of $30 million, salaries of roughly $16 million, and consulting payments of more than $15 million.

This is a string upon which we have harped for months. Most recently here and here:

Back to Edsall:

Among Romney’s costly innovations this year has been putting more than 80 local conservative leaders in key states on his campaign payroll, in what amounts to a 21st Century revival of “walk-around money.”

Interesting. We would like to know who?—which “conservative leaders? What “conservative” leaders sold themselves to the Romneys? We already know a few of their names.

Back to Edsall:

For a long time – through the summer and well into November — the Romney “early state” strategy aimed at winning Iowa and New Hampshire looked as if it had paid off in spades.

From August 26 to November 27, Romney led in 26 straight polls in Iowa, sometimes by as much as 23 points. In New Hampshire, Romney saw his advantage grow to 15 points in mid-December.

Since those halcyon days, however, Romney has fallen into second place in Iowa, running roughly four points behind former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. In New Hampshire, Romney’s double digit lead has steadily eroded, while John McCain, who was trailing by 11 to 18 points at the start of December, has surged to within 3.5 percentage points.

Romney, in the assessment of most political analysts, can still pull it out. But even after accommodating social issue conservatives by abandoning his formerly moderate stance on such cultural/moral matters as gay rights and abortion, Romney finds himself struggling to convince voters that he is a legitimate conservative while simultaneously ripping into the ideological credentials of his competitors …

Romney is still losing ground on this front:

Rasmussen Reports: “Romney is now viewed as politically conservative by 38% of Republican voters and moderate or liberal by 43%—Those figures reflect an eight-point decline in the number seeing him as conservative and a ten-point increase in the number seeing him as moderate or liberal”

Edsall recounts Romney’s non-endorsements: No newspaper has endorsed him while the more liberal Concord Monitor and the conservative NH Union Leader have un-endorsed the hapless candidate.

Back to Edsall:

… Strategically, the problem for the relatively bland Romney created by both editorials is that they feed into one of his key weaknesses, a sense among voters that they do not know what he stands for.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times asked Republican voters, “Regardless of your choice for president, who do you think has been best at saying what they believe, rather than saying what they think the voters want to hear: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson?” Romney, at 8 percent, trailed the field, with Huckabee leading at 20 percent, Giuliani at 18, Thompson at 15 and McCain at 13.

Desperate to regain his advantage, Romney has sent out a mass emailing of a news story from a marginal, conservative web site that described McCain as having “a vicious, out-of-control temper;” Thompson as “sour looking” and as burdened by “a lazy streak;” Mike Huckabee as a politician known for “nastiness…bigotry…serial ethics violations and misuse of funds;” and Giuliani as the man who appointed a police commissioner later “indicted for dealings involving figures with ties to the Mafia.”

On television, Romney is sending two different messages to Iowa and New Hampshire …

… Today, however, in a sign of the dangers Romney faces, he put up a sharply negative ad …

The emphases are ours, all ours.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.