Mitt Romney's 'electability' against Obama key to Iowa caucuses
Mitt Romney is mostly ignoring his GOP rivals, concentrating instead on challenging Barack Obama. It's part of his general election strategy, designed to show Republicans in Iowa and elsewhere that he'd be most 'electable' next November.
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And while many conservatives see Gingrich as potentially the best debater to face the President once the nominating dust settles, the former House Speaker is fading fast, and many of those once drawn to him are turning to Romney.Skip to next paragraph
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“He’s one of my top two – him and Newt,” retired school principal Pat Sheets told the Washington Post at a coffee shop in Muscatine, Iowa. “We aren’t sure if Newt can win…. I think Romney is the person most likely to beat Obama – and, in my opinion, that’s the top objective. Newt has a lot of baggage. I like what Newt says, but I don’t want to waste my vote on somebody who can’t actually win.”
“We need to be able to nominate a candidate who we can not only be proud of, but will be able to sustain the kind of attacks that the Obama machine is going to throw at our candidate – somebody who’s tested, somebody who is not prone to gaffes and somebody who we can be proud of to win over independent voters and has a track record of doing it,” Illinois state Rep. Aaron Schock said in introducing Romney in Muscatine. “And that, in our race, is Governor Romney.”
“The only reason I’m supporting Romney is because he can win the election,” mobile home park owner Tim McCleary told the Post. “The sad reality is I’m a fairly conservative person, but you have to send them out east.”
Still, there are conservative holdouts continuing to insist that Romney is not electable.
Among them: He’s running weak in southern states; his record running Bain Capital; his Mormon religion; “he’s a proven political loser” having lost a US Senate race to Ted Kennedy and left office as Massachusetts governor with very low ratings.
“Mitt Romney was a moderate governor in Massachusetts with an unimpressive record of governance,” Hawkins writes. “He left office with an approval rating in the thirties and his signature achievement, Romneycare, was a Hurricane Katrina style disaster for the state. Since that’s the case, it’s fair to ask what a Republican who’s not conservative and can’t even carry his own state brings to the table for GOP primary voters.”
So far, however, that seems to be a minority view. The evidence on the ground in Iowa and elsewhere shows Romney’s campaign gaining strength as the nominating race finally enters the period when Republicans start choosing their champion to run against Obama.