February 26, 2012

KARR-KAITIN: Romney’s in Trouble

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If you were to tell me a few months ago that we would be on the precipice of Rick Santorum upsetting Mitt Romney, on his home turf, and sending the Romney campaign into a tailspin, I’d tell you that I have a condo on Newt Gingrich’s future moon colony I’d like to sell you. Yet here we stand, with Mr. Santorum holding a polling advantage over Mr. Romney in the state George Romney was once the governor of.

The story of the Republican primary has been the cyclical nature of “anti-Romneys.” Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and now Rick Santorum, the man who lost his senate seat by nearly 20 percent in 2006, have all tussled to unseat the former Massachusetts governor as the ‘front-runner.’

The Republican base of white, evangelical, and socially conservative voters has staunchly refused to get behind Romney, the man party elites long ago declared to be the eventual nominee.

Now the matter seems far from settled, if Rick Santorum can pull off a strong debate performance this Wednesday, and win a state Romney’s camp declared a “must win,” he might have a chance at taking down the ‘inevitable’ candidate.

Don’t write off Romney yet: while his fundraising has lagged, he remains popular with the GOP elite and retains a advantage when it comes to party endorsements, and delegates.

It is certainly possible and maybe even probable, for Mr. Romney to win the nomination if he loses Michigan. Yet, if Mr. Santorum wins, he will establish himself as the first Romney challenger with serious staying power.

Hold onto your hats, and strap your dog to your car’s roof, folks! It’s going to get bumpy!

Noah Karr Kaitin is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be reached at nkarrkaitin@cornellsun.com. The Hill is a politics blog that aims to stimulate discussion on today’s most pressing issues,  be they related to Cornell or national affairs. If you’re interested in joining the conversation, please contact thehill@cornellsun.com.

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Original Author: Noah Karr-Kaitin