Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney won the Florida primary handily with 46% of the vote to Newt Gingrich’s 32%. Rick Santorum got 13% of the tally while Ron Paul got only 7%.
Romney has regained the momentum that he lost in his big defeat in the South Carolina contest and is expected to do well in many of the February primaries. He is moving toward the Republican nomination, according to many projections.
Romney was aided by so-called Super PACs which are a new phenomenon in which independent advocacy groups run political ads on behalf of or against a candidate.
They are not limited in the amount of money that they can raise or spend. In short a multi-billionaire could spend a billion dollars of his own money running ads on behalf of a single candidate or issue.
Super PACs can be run by individuals, by businesses, by labor unions or by interest groups. A candidate, however, cannot have any contact with the Super PAC or coordinate the message in the Super PAC ad.
Super PACs can be problematic, however. For instance a Super PAC ran a controversial anti-Romney ad on behalf of Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire. But the ad had misleading information, according to Romney forces. Thus Super PACs are like the Wild West of political advertising.
Super PACs are new. They were legitimized in the famous Citizens United case which was decided by the Supreme Court in 2010. The decision said that corporations, labor unions, interest groups and individuals can fund independent political action groups to run ads for or against candidates in an election.
Democrats vociferously opposed the decision because liberals already have labor unions and the Media Left operating as agents – free of charge – for the Democrat party and do not want corporations, conservative interest groups and private citizens to have the right to put out messages, even when paid for, that might favor Republicans.
Watch for the explosion in independent Super PAC ads throughout the 2012 campaign, ads that are completely out of the control of the candidates. And don’t think that Democrats will benefit any less from the new law than Republicans; they even could benefit more. Because labor unions are included in the Supreme Court’s decision and unions are virtually 100% Democrat, while many major corporations like General Electric and Google already favor Obama, along with millions of smaller businesses across America.
Romney’s win in Florida came as more Republicans and conservatives are coming to believe that Obama’s opponents should rally behind one figure and that Romney is probably going to be the nominee, although this certainly is not yet a sure thing.
Gingrich is promising to fight all the way to the convention but was bloodied in Florida. Anti-Gingrich commentators mounted a coordinated assault on the former House speaker over his record and his character right before the primary. Gingrich also was far outspent by pro-Romney forces in Florida by as much as 5 to 1, according to several news sources.
And now many Republicans and conservatives believe that Romney is the candidate who can beat Barack Obama. And they do not want to see any more conflict in the Republican primaries that would hurt the party in the general election.
This is not likely to happen, however. Gingrich is angry, aroused and defiant. And this is not good news for Republicans. More bickering only gives the Democrats more ammunition when the focus should be on Obama’s failed policies.
There is no ideal candidate for conservatives. Michele Bachmann has dropped out as has Texas governor Rick Perry. Former US senator Rick Santorum is being questioned over his past positions in voting for Bush’s Medicare expansion and for pro-union legislation.
But now the media and the public are increasingly seeing Romney as the GOP candidate. Meanwhile Obama’s failed record is burned into America’s psyche. Obama is very weak; he is Jimmy Carter. And if Romney is smart, he will run hard against Obama like Ronald Reagan did against Carter. And the sooner the primaries are settled, the quicker Romney can focus on Obama.
Some polls show Romney already beating Obama, especially in crucial states. This shows how weak Obama is.
From the start, many contended that Romney was going to be the nominee. Romney ran in 2008, lost, and is now running again. This is the Reagan model. Romney is showing that he is in for the long run. This is important.
But Romney faces many questions over his liberal past. And while many say Romney is not conservative enough, he has matured and he has changed some of his positions over those he held 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. Consider the following conservative pluses for Romney:
*Romney’s business experience at Bain Capital and in saving the 2002 Winter Olympics will appeal to voters at the ballot box in November despite the Democrats’ class warfare strategy. Meanwhile Obama just appointed a Bain alumni as director of the White House’s own Office of Management and Budget. This mutes the Bain issue for Democrats.
*Romney has talked tough about using executive orders on Day One of a Romney administration to offer waivers to states for ObamaCare and to roll back Obama enviro regs.
*Romney wants major tax and entitlement reforms.
*He appeals to the Establishment Wing of the Republican party while his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness sounds like Reagan. He talks tough about the idea that America must lead the world.
*Romney is pro-growth. After another defeat for the Keystone oil pipeline, he said: “President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing. He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base.” This is good strong language. This sounds like Ronald Reagan talking about Jimmy Carter.
*He supports a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Romney has signed a pledge to oppose same-sex marriage on a number of specific fronts including a promise to appoint federal judges who don’t see a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and a vow to support the Defense of Marriage Act, which is already law.
*Romney says that Roe v Wade was wrongly decided and would support overturning it.
*Romney even has said that he would deport Barack Obama’s African uncle from Massachusetts where he has been charged with immigration violations.
*Romney has routinely slammed Obama in harsh terms about his policies, his golf etc. This is something that he must do to win. If you remember McCain was afraid to criticize Obama in 2008. This is one reason why McCain is not president today.
Now here is an excerpt from gallup.com on January 12, 2012:
PRINCETON, NJ — Political ideology in the U.S. held steady in 2011, with 40% of Americans continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This marks the third straight year that conservatives have outnumbered moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives.
This Gallup poll points toward a Republican victory for the White House in 2012. And with the House and Senate both likely to be in Republican hands after the 2012 election conservatives can begin repairing the nation with the majority behind us.
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