In this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll, Republican insiders overwhelmingly said that Mitt Romney would be the candidate who will most liley win the nomination in 2012. Democratic insiders agree:
"Romney keeps holding steady while the rest of the field takes turns getting hot and flaming out," said one Democratic strategist. "Tortoise to all the other hares."Another suggested Republicans would eventually come around. "While Romney certainly isn't a tea party favorite at the moment, by November they will have fallen in 'like' with him given that the alternative is Obama."Some Democrats identified Romney's perceived moderation as an asset in the general election. "Everyone else gets our base out in droves," said one. "If Romney can get the Republican base out, he'll win. He'll appeal to independents and some disillusioned Democrats.""Independent suburban voters are more likely to support Romney," agreed another.Other Democrats echoed their Republican counterparts who see Romney winning by default. "He can talk and chew gum at the same time," said one, "which puts him way ahead of the other candidates."
And the Democratic insiders are correct. Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who can appeal to a broad base of people beyond conservatives. Not only does he get support from conservatives, but Independents, moderates, and some Democrats.
This has been Romney's strategy from the beginning. He has begun this 2012 race by focusing on the long game of unseating Barack Obama while other 2012 candidates are merely focused on the immediate goal of winning the GOP nomination. He's let people know that going to play the well known of tacking right during the primaries and then moving back to the center for the general election. Mitt Romney has been committed to playing the center and as a result has an early start in building that broad base of support he needs to defeat Barak Obama.
It appears that Mitt Romney's stategy is working since there have been several polls in various states that have Romney defeating Obama if the elections where held today. What's even more important is that many of these polls were taken in crucial states that Obama needs if he wishes to be reelected.
For voters, we also need to focus on the long game. We should not be concerned with who will be the GOP nominee. That is just being focused on the short game. We should be thinking about which candidate is the best person to make Obama a one term president. The answer is becoming increasingly clear: Mitt Romney is the only Republican among the 2012 candidates who can defeat Barak Obama in the elections.