Florida’s Republican primary was one wasted primary.
Romney won it in something hailed as a “huge win.” But is it?
Of the 4 million registered Republican voters in the state, only 1.5 million voted in the primary. The 775,000 voters for Romney gave him a very small “huge victory”; among the total of registered Republicans they amount to less than 20%. All we know that among those interested in the primary, almost half voted for Romney. But they are not a majority even among all the Republicans, let alone among the population.
Is it worth it?
A grim reality is slowly but surely dawning on Romney, and on the Republican establishment that is promoting him: Romney can not win the general elections against Obama. He can only win among the small number of die-hard Republican voters whose philosophy can be summarized as “our party right or wrong.” That’s in the primaries. But what about the general election?
Well, there are the evangelical voters. As South Carolina demonstrated, Romney won’t probably find a way to convince those to vote for him. His religion is one thing. And then, of course, is his total lack of charisma; that thing is very important for evangelicals, even if the candidate is a serial adulterer who converted to Roman Catholicism.
Then there are the Tea Partiers. The godfather of Obamacare has not much to say to them. Neither does the candidate with Goldman Sachs as his best sponsor. Neither does the East Coast establishment liberal who became a governor of Massachusetts by promising all kinds of liberal policies – and later acting on this promise. A few Tea Partiers may swing to voting for him. That’s it.
And of course, the worst part of it, the nightmare of the Republican establishment, the Ron Paul’s supporters. More and more it is becoming obvious that no Republican can win without them. They are the only ones that can create a counterbalance to the enthusiasm of what’s left of Obama’s supporters. Even FOX News pundits admit it. And high level GOP functionaries admit it; and suggest that the Republican Party allows Ron Paul a prime speaking spot at the national convention. In fact, as The Hill reported, there is a plan devised to get the Ron Paul’s supporters toe the party line (good luck with that). Long-time Republican sponsors like Jack Welch admit it. Romney himself knows it very well; he carefully avoided throwing darts at Ron Paul all the debates, hoping to win the hearts of his supporters.
But those Ron Paul’s supporters remain obstinate in their support for the man. More and more, they talk about writing him in rather than voting for whoever the establishment wants to sell to them. A young Ron Paul organizer from California said it the other day: “Our vote is not for sale.”
The Republican establishment wants to keep the momentum it gained from the Tea Party in 2010. But Romney is not the man for that. In fact, if anything, he would energize the Obama voters more than the Republican voters. He just can’t become a President, period.
So the vote of these 775,000 Republicans in Florida was completely wasted. They voted to continue the agony of the Republican Party; and probably to re-elect Obama in November, if Romney gets the Republican nomination. Romney is unelectable, and he realizes it. And so does everyone who knows what actually is going on in reality. It’s just the Republican voters who don’t get it yet.