Newest Rasmussen poll now shows Obama up 51% to 42% over Romney in Virginia. Meanwhile, Rasmussen's latest poll shows GOP Senator George Allen up 46% to 44% over his Democratic Oppponent. Why is Romney trailing Senator George Allen by 11%? Why is Allen up 2, while Romney is down 9?
Senator George Allen was Senator from 2000 - 2006 and voted down-the-line with Bush and the GOP establishment. Allen voted every year in office for pay increase above what President Bush proposed for federal employees, as part of a GOP Congress that did so. George Allen, simply put, enjoys the support of the winning majority of voters who but McDonnel and Bush in office. Will he win, I don't know. Will his race be close -- yes.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has decided to hold a policy possition that is anathama in the Commonwealth of Virginia -- the idea that federal employees are overpaid. Over 250,000 Virginia voters are federal employees. They have wives, husbands, families, and there are private sector businesses that relay on the support of federal employees to stay open. In most of the country they are not a powerful voting block; Virginia is the exception. Mitt Romney's plans to cut federal pay and benefits will cost him Virginia. That alone makes winning impossible.
Romney's Virginia mistake is akin to Al Gore's mistake in West Virginia. West Virginia voted Democrat year after year. Then Gore made a single, clear mistake. He got scared of Nader. Gore's fear of Nader resulted in Gore running hard left on the environment. This lost him West Virginia and the election. Romney is making the same mistake. Romney is afriad of the right, and so he is running on a possition that any sane person knows is unwinnable in Virginia.
Virginia is not the only state that Romney is making mistakes in. Sure, no mistake is as bad as Romney's Virginia write-off, but others are very bad. For example:
- Romney is taking possitions that are unpopular with latinos such as his sometimes possition of setting English as an official language and requiring people learn English. Although he flips and flops on this and other issues, they hurt him. His possition is right of McCains, and well right of Bush's. It is hard to see how Romney can win FL without Hispanics. CO, NM, and other states also have must-win hispanic populations. Romney is hurting himself in a number of states by pandering to the base.
- Unions. Bush sought the union vote daily. He worked hard to build relationships with the teamsters and with many unions. Romney has chosen sides against them; a stupid choice. A smart nominee would work to win over unions unhappy with Obama; that is what a president dones. A losing candidate does not. Romney is base pandering at the expense of November.
- Teachers and other state employees. In years past motherhood and apple pie were considered good. In today's politics teachers/education and social security/welfare are the great goods of society. 100 years ago, a good politician would talk about pregnant women making apple pie; that was the American dream. Now, the American dream is a minority, female student with a computer in a classroom, and an old family getting social security and other welfare checks to pay for them to travel around the world. Romney's support of massivily unpopular legislation in Ohio to take union rights from state employees was stupid, and how he did it was worse. Romney could have said that he supports state employees having the exact same union rights as federal employees -- aka none. But, rather than say it creatvily, Romney came out first saying it was a state issue -- a good answer. Then, flip flopping. The flip-flop was horrible. Romney has no reason to alienate the 62% of Ohio voters who do not agree with him, nor the 20+% of Ohio workers who work for Ohio's state government. His mistakes on these issues is hurting him through out the rust belt.
Romney continues to fight to win the GOP nomination. It is not late March, and is unlikely Romney will win the nomination before April at the very earliest. He may lose. But what advantage is it to him to win the nomination, but lose the election.
Some may believe that the GOP, and Romney, help the cause by running as far right as possible and getting ideas out. That is only true if folks hear and agree with the ideas. Let's look at what the GOP's ideas are:
- Paul Ryan's budget does not balance the budget in 30+ years. That is hardly putting forward fiscal responsibility. No GOP budget plan -- except Paul's -- comes close to balancing the budget. The only effect of these missguided GOP plans -- including Romney's plans -- is to lose support. When voters see that the GOP's plan does nothing to fix the debt. When voters see that the GOP's plan basically involves making no real cuts to welfare or defense, they only see a paper man. Voters want services to other people cut, and taxes other people pay raised.
- The GOP's arguements that unions are bad have only resulted in a string of public rebukes. In Ohio, the GOP lost the vote with 62% voting against us. That is not a win, that is a lose in every way.
- In Wisconsin, Scott Walker is facing a recall vote. If he loses that -- and odds are he will -- it will serve as a complete rejection of what he implemented and will set the GOP back 20 years in his state.
- The GOP in 2008 ran McCain and doubled down on Iraq. McCain lost and Iraq is over. Afghanistan ending. McCain was the candidate with the furthest right possition on Iraq, and his loss showed the rejection of that possition.
Walter Mondale ran in 1984 promising to raise taxes. Interestingly, like Mondale said, Reagan raised taxes in his 2nd term. Mondale said the truth, but the lesson learned from Reagan beating Mondale is never for a politician to say he will raise taxes. In 1988 Dukakis said he was a liberal, he lost. No democratic president since has called himself a liberal. It works both ways.
Romney's the weakest of the existing GOP candidates (except Paul), and his only path to victory is to run center, which means to move left on every issue. The etch-a-sketch is what he needs to do. Otherwise, Obama 2nd term will make his 1st term look like an era of conservative government.