by Qshio, Tue Mar 20, 2007 at 07:55:53 AM EDT
In almost all cases (save, notably, in New Hampshire to which he is a friendly neighbor with much higher name recognition) Romney's poll numbers weak, peaking nationally at 10%. Considering that ever-mischievous devil, good ol' Margin O'Error, it's hard to say that Romney's support warrants even serious acknowledgment, let alone coronation to frontrunner status (Edwards, I realize, has comparable national numbers, but he leads in many Iowa polls, which, as you know, is The Most Important State in the Country).
I believe that Mitt Romney's position as a top contender for the presidency is an invention of the press, and will prove ethereal as soon as any votes are cast. As I mentioned, there is a narrative being written by the media-at-large of a "three and three" battle in each party's nomination contest. While a supporting cast of Bidens, Richardsons, and Tancredos help make things colorful, the reality show we're watching is about two houses, both alike in dignity, with a triad of statespersons vying for leadership of their respective families. There truly are three frontrunners for the Democratic nomination, but there are only two Republicans who (for now!) have any serious shot to win. It is early, and the tectonics have many drifts yet to make, but the current numbers don't lie. Barring unforeseen upheavals, Romney is not going to be the nominee, and we should stop behaving as though he might.*
Why include Romney? In short, he looks good on television. While the other conservative alternatives to McCain and Giuliani like Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee are respectable and charismatic, neither have the Ken doll good looks of Romney, the prominent chin, or the low-baritone voice. Add to that with an easy-going manner (when he's not fudging another position -- more on that later) and his status as a GOP governor of a very blue state, you have someone that, one would think, ought to be a frontrunner!
But it must be clear, by now, that he is no such thing. The justification for the Romney candidacy is that he is the electable, conservative alternative to McCain and Giuliani, but with every interview and article that justification erodes. A quick scan of Romney's press will tell you a few important things...