Iowa has always had one of the most interesting styles of voting during the nomination process, and the attention it gets each election cycle is remarkable. We spend months leading up to the race with our heads spinning over which polls to trust and who’s the front runner at the moment the news feeds last updated. However, until this point, no meaningful votes are actually cast.
How people are received in Iowa is not always the greatest indicator of who the front runner will ultimately end up being, but it is the beginning of the elimination process that begins to narrow down the field. People who don’t rank well in Iowa have trouble later on. A narrow field is Mitt Romney’s worst night mare. Up to this point what we are really seeing is a bunch of people who dislike Romney split between Santorum, Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann. With Bachmann being the first to drop out, Romney will start to notice that his numbers are not going to fare well for him.
Nearly all analysis of the polls have shown that Mitt is at the pinnacle of his support right now and as the divided opposition becomes more united around a smaller selection of candidates, Romney will fall behind. This is evidenced by Romney’s vicious campaign against Newt Gingrich in Iowa. Yes the millions of dollars in negative attack ads significantly weakened Newt’s poll numbers, the people who defected from Newt did not run to Romney. It was Santorum who saw much of the boost from it.
There’s eventually going to be a point where Mitt Romney’s attack ads stop working. It’s fairly easy for Romney to hurt a candidate’s poll numbers when the field is still large, because you see an increasing likelihood that supporters will run to another alternative. When you put Romney head-to-head with someone like Rick Santorum; however, Romney will have an extraordinarily difficult time proving to republicans that he is more conservative. First of all it’s factually not correct. Yes, Rick has some shortfalls in his track record, but he isn’t responsible for the biggest entitlement program ever enacted by the governor of a state. It’s not like Rick became governor in a very liberal state with democrat party endorsements, in fact with democrats doing ads on his behalf!. I also don’t think Rick openly campaigned as a “progressive” like Romney did.
The fact of the matter is, Mitt Romney’s presidential run 4 years ago was the first time he even pretended to be a conservative. There is no conservative record Mitt Romney can tout because it doesn’t exist. It’s a progressive, liberal, big government record. When conservatives stand for limited government, they don’t just mean the federal government! The state governments shouldn’t be allowed to get out of hand either, and Massachusetts clearly did at the hands of a Mitt Romney governorship. I’ve been saying for quite a while now that limited government is about establishing a proper BALANCE of power. That way no one area whether it be our society or our government can be allowed to turn things into an effectual tyranny.
I still have a long time before I ultimately have the opportunity to cast a vote for my primary here in Connecticut. I’m not here to endorse a candidate for you or instruct you who to vote for, in fact I am prepared to fully support whoever ends up being the nominee to run against Barack Obama. I will say this: If your goal is to find the best conservative to run against Barack Obama in the general election, then you are gravely mistaken if Mitt Romney is your number one choice.