Not surprisingly, Republican robot candidate Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary last night. Through a mixture of relentless ambition and stacks of GOP cash, Romney took a commanding lead, making him the very clear favorite going forward. From the NY Times:
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Mitt Romney swept to victory in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, turning back a ferocious assault from rivals who sought to disqualify him in the eyes of conservatives, in a contest that failed to anoint a strong opponent to slow his march to the Republican nomination.
Mr. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, won by a double-digit margin, a validation of his strategy to use his neighboring state to cement his standing as the front-runner. The candidates who had hoped to use the primary to emerge as his leading rival fared poorly, leaving a fractured Republican opposition.
Superficially, this is great for Romney, but the numbers do not bode well for him in the long run. Romney won Iowa by 8 votes, and only secured New Hampshire by getting just under 40% of the vote. What does this say about Romney as a candidate?
It means no one really cares about him.
In the general election, not only does Romney face the near impossible task of matching Obama for personal popularity, but he faces the brutal reality that Republicans are not motivated to go out and vote for him. Romney will most likely win the GOP primaries as he has the Bush machine lined up behind him. But he won't be enough to take on Obama's formidable organizational capabilities and unprecedented ability to raise cash.
In some ways, it's sad to see someone as banal and deluded as Romney run for President. He genuinely believes he is the man for the job and he is willing to embarrass himself on a national stage to fulfill his ambitions. Romney will say literally anything and spend any amount of money to get the nomination signalling he really believes he can win. The truth is, he can't and he's about to find out the hard way.