As you already know, today is Super Tuesday for the Republican Presidential Primary Contest. Over ten states vote today, including my state, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unfortunately, we only have Ron Paul and Mitt Romney on the ballot.
Essentially, Virginia voters get to answer this question: Would you rather lose to Barack Obama with a Barry Goldwater or would you like to lose to Barack Obama with the typical George H. W. Bush/Bob Dole/John McCain moderate that will never be able to lock down evangelicals and independents.
Mr. Romney is almost assuredly going to win the nomination, that is why I cast a not-Romney vote by going to the polls and casting an empty ballot. It is important for Virginia to demonstrate three things to the national party.
1.) Voters are engaged in this race. We are paying attention. So much so, that we show up to vote on election day;
2.) Mitt Romney is an unacceptable standard bearer; and
3.) There is no surge for Ron Paul. Meaning, a more powerful message to send than voting for Ron Paul, is high republican turnout that also demonstrates how unacceptable Romney is to the base. Many people will be voting for Ron Paul today as a protest. But that doesn’t get the message across. They’ll surmise that democrats voted for Paul. In the end, Romney will beat Paul here and no one will listen. Our lack of enthusiasm needs to come across.
I realize that everyone is getting on board with Mitt Romney at this point, it is the easy thing to do. But I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that this isn’t just about the fact that Romney isn’t a conservative. This is about the fact that he cannot, cannot, cannot beat Barack Obama.
In our lifetime, we have never seen a moderate republican take the White House. It doesn’t happen. There are two reasons why. First, he is a General without an army. Romney has picked up all of his wins in places like Massachusetts and Michigan and New Hampshire. None of these states are going red in November, rendering them meaningless in electoral voting. Likewise, look at his support in the South. Are any activists in your community supporting Romney or are his supporters made up of the casual voters that have never knocked on doors? You can’t win without an enthusiastic base.
Second, the largest misconception in American politics is that middle voters are “independents.” This suggests that we have a large swath of the electorate that truly follows the races and is well informed, but just can’t figure out whether they are republican or democrat until they “know who the candidates are.”
Does anyone believe that some voters are just so informed that they can’t figure out which one to vote for?
The reality is that independent voters are in fact, sheeple voters. They are followers. They follow the most exciting candidate. They want to be on board with the winner. They look at the two bases of support and they judge whether the base believes in their candidate. If a party is excited about their candidate, the sheeple will follow. But, I can guarantee that “independents” will not follow republicans based on a strategy of, “sure Romney has no political integrity, but Barack Obama passed healthcare reform!” It isn’t a winning strategy. Romney will lose to Obama.
Romney will lose in Pennsylvania.
Romney will lose in Ohio.
Romney will likely lose in Florida.
Romney may even lose in Virginia and his home state of Michigan.
The presidential race will be called before the polls close on the west coast. All of this talk about Romney as the likeliest to beat Obama? Out the window.
So, while some people may believe casting an empty ballot is wasted or casting a vote for Ron Paul is idiotic, the party needs to be alerted to the desperate times we are facing. While no one ever likes to say it, a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for Obama’s second term.