Romney has the blues

Reading through the commentary on the Republican primaries, there is this one comment from Toby Harnden from the UK’s Daily Mail that has been noted on a number of occasions. And the related point that is made is that Santorum wins only in states and districts which are “red” zones (ie solid Republican) which will vote for whomever the Republicans nominate. Romney, however, has won solidly in states where there is a large and often majority “blue” (ie Democrat) presence. This is what Harnden wrote (via in this instance Instapundit):

Poor old Mitt Romney.

He wins six out of 10 states on Super Tuesday and a clear majority of the delegates available. He overcomes a 12-point opinion poll deficit in Ohio to narrowly beat Rick Santorum, who wins only three states.

In terms of delegates – the only measure that really counts – Romney is on 386, Santorum on 158, Newt Gingrich on 94 and Ron Paul on 60. He’s still far short of the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination, but that’s because of the proportional system introduced by the Republican party this year.

On Super Tuesday, according to RCP’s Erin McPike, he added to his vote total making it 3.2 million votes to Santorum’s 1.9 million. Thus far, he’s won 14 states to Santorum’s six, Gingrich’s two and Ron Paul’s zero.

Yet this is portrayed as Romney’s ‘worst night yet’, a ‘bad night’, as ‘winning ugly’ and his candidacy is branded ‘lethargic’. Even the most favourable takes on the Super Tuesday results stress that he hasn’t sealed the deal with conservatives, that he’s outspent his rival fourfold but is still only just beating them and that the Obama campaign is delighted with life.

So what’s going on?

What’s going on is that the narrative, as in all instances, is in the hands of the American media whose aim is to demoralise the Republican side as much as possible. For myself, the more I think about it, the less I can imagine a single person voting for Obama who did not vote for him last time, but I can imagine a major haemorrhaging amongst many of those who did. Picking a nominee who has a proven ability to win amongst those blue state constituencies has a lot of appeal. If Romney can win in Massachusetts he can win just about anywhere, and with Israel becoming the issue it is, he could even win in New York of all things.

Media Bias Update: The following story was picked up on Drudge: “Romney Scores Big Win; Press Fails to Notice”.

Mitt Romney won a crushing victory Tuesday, winning twice as many states as Rick Santorum and more that two and half times as many delegates, but his triumph is being portrayed in headlines across the nation as sign of weakness and failure.

Read the rest. This really is the problem for all Republicans in the election in November.

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31 Responses to Romney has the blues

  1. Samuel J

    What’s going on is that the narrative, as in all instances, is in the hands of the American media whose aim is to demoralise the Republican side as much as possible.

    This type of argument is used by those who think the media should be regulated and overseen by some independent council for fairness. I don’t agree with the argument – if Romney doesn’t win the election it will be because people didn’t vote for him, not because of the media.

  2. conrad

    Even if the media was biased, you might like to ask why — if you can’t get a whole bunch of extremely rich right wing guys like Rupert Murdoch on your side, there’s probably a reason for that.

  3. John A

    Hmm, I wonder if his appeal is too much to the blue states, that is, is he more leftist than dyed-in-the-wool Republican voters would like?

    Then their worry is – would there be a Tweedledum vs Tweedledee contest in November?

  4. kingsley

    Steve – call me the perennial optimist but is there some silver lining here in that still Obama doesn’t know who for sure who is opppnent is and therefore can’t sharpen his focus? Whilst the Republicans definitely know who there’s is and the longer it is just Obama out there in the spotlight with all his failings on show the better?
    Bit like the conventional political wisdom over here of not releasing your policies too early. If you take the view elections are lost not won then provided they don’t wound each other too much the longer it takes to confirm the candidate the better.

  5. JamesK

    There is only 12 states that decide the matter.

    Romney isn’t actually much better in those than Santorum.

    The Romney campaign will point out that Gingrich can’t win mathematically which is true.

    Santorum can’t either unless Gingich goes which he won’t.

    The sad fact is neither can Romney if everyobne stays in.

    Romeny’s gonna have to talk turkey with Santorum which may well happen if Gingrich turns down Santorum’s request to bow out.

    The MSM is just a covenient excuse from the GOP establishment which wants Romney.

    Of course the media want this to continue.

    The next 6 months are only gonna be speculation of who will be the VP nominee otherwise.

    The trouble is, as the one on one in Washington satellite of VA last night showed, many in the GOP don’t like Romney – and not just in the South where they really reaally don’t like him .

    Romney couldn’t even get 60% of the vote in a two man contest with Ron Paul ffs!

  6. Chris M

    Mitt would make a great president…. of Kolob.

    He can even bring in a carbon tax and save the planet.

  7. Steve Kates

    You know, Samuel J, we are obviously living in a parallel universe. What kind of statement is this?

    If Romney doesn’t win the election it will be because people didn’t vote for him, not because of the media.

    Do you not see any possible cause and effect relationship between who people vote for and the media that surrounds them? You should have a look at the extraordinarily interesting book on media bias, Left Turn, which I reviewed in Quadrant. This is from that review:

    Using some very sophisticated econometric techniques, he estimates that were the media’s bias around 50 instead, the PQ of the country would move from around 50 to around half that number to something like 20-25. That is, the population of the United States would then have views on average far more conservative than the biases exhibited in the present day by Fox News!

    That is as near a fact as I can conjure about what ought to be the most obvious problem for anyone running on the right side of the political fence. It is not, and amongst us has never been, a call to regulate the media. But if this is invisible to you, whatever remains visible must often seem difficult to understand.

  8. Big Jim

    The other media phenomenon has been the blackout of Ron Paul. My favourite line from a NYT live blogger was “Romney has won the uncontested state of Virginia with 60% against 40%.”

    A ghost?

  9. adrian

    Romney has 1.2 million more votes than Santorum, yet the biggest states of Texas, California and New York have not even voted yet. Romney has got the nomination won, yet the MSM seem to be in denial. Santorum has no money, no organisation, no hope – game over.

  10. m0nty

    Even the most favourable takes on the Super Tuesday results stress that he hasn’t sealed the deal with conservatives, that he’s outspent his rival fourfold but is still only just beating them and that the Obama campaign is delighted with life.

    Yes, this was the line run yesterday by noted leftist media conspiracists like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. When leading members of the GOP and Tea Party are saying it, you can’t blame it on the media.

  11. adrian

    this was the line run yesterday by noted leftist media conspiracists like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. When leading members of the GOP and Tea Party are saying it, you can’t blame it on the media.

    yep and palin voted for gingrich in alaska, but alaska voted for romney. gingrich came in last in alaska.

  12. jtfsoon

    http://www.borowitzreport.com/2012/03/01/in-possible-gaffe-romney-says-poor-people-taste-like-chicken/

    In what some political observers are calling a possible gaffe on the part of the former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney told a crowd gathered for a World Wrestling Entertainment event in Ohio today, “I love poor people. They taste like chicken.”

    After an awkward silence from the crowd and a smattering of boos, Mr. Romney added, “Really, you should try them someday. They go well with a nice Sancerre.”

    The GOP frontrunner’s latest faux pas came just two days after Mr. Romney’s big win in the Michigan primary, in which he narrowly defeated a mental patient in a sweater vest.

    In Michigan, Mr. Romney had spoken to workers at a GM plant, saying, “I love cars. I’m like a car. I was conceived in Michigan and my microcircuitry is from Japan.”

  13. Big Jim

    I mention Ron Paul because I am trying to reconcile his resilient 20% (despite zero media oxygen) with the last sentence of this post. On the face of it, a significant minority on the right is unenthusiastic about ‘getting Israel’s back’.

  14. JamesK

    The following story was picked up on Drudge: “Romney Scores Big Win; Press Fails to Notice”.

    This following story has been picked up by the Tea Party: “Drudge is a Romney shill and has been for a long time”

  15. Ellen of Tasmania

    “Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well.”

    (From Angelo M. Codevilla essay “America’s Ruling Class – And The Perils Of Revolution” in the July 2010 – August 2010 issue of The American Spectator)

    The people look at who is supporting Romney and they wonder if he would ever really support them. They look at his history rather than just his electioneering words and wonder if he would ever really support them. They suspect he will obey The Powers That Be/The Ruling Class, and nothing will really change. It might seem kinder to head towards the cliff at 60kmh rather than 100kmh -or SAY that you will – but once you’re over the cliff, it becomes inconsequential.

  16. Les Majesty

    Romney Scores Big Win; Press Fails to Notice

    But he didn’t score a big win. He scraped home against a pack of deadset losers.

    Take out Romney’s cash and organisation – which will be more than compensated for when he is up against Barry – and he would not have beaten Santorum.

    Let’s remember – Santorum lost PA by 16%. The guy is electoral poison, and Mitt can barely beat him.

  17. Les Majesty

    How can a soulless c___ get the blues? Don’t make sense.

  18. Les Majesty

    Shorter Kates: it’s not fair that we keep losing elections. The other side has a better message that is better communicated, and that’s cheating.

  19. C.L.

    There’s an interesting narrative shift here from the RomBots. Not too long ago, they were saying Mitt’s greatest advantage over a Palin or a Santorum or a Gingrich or a Perry was that the US love media wouldn’t reflexively poleaxe him because he was too conventional and uncontroversial. A Safe Choice.

    Surprise surprise, rope-a-dopes: the love media will persecute and undermine any and all Republicans as a matter of course. Which kind of highlights why it was important to ignore that inevitability and choose a person or principle who would enthuse the base and thereby impress a workable percentage of independents.

  20. Token

    What’s going on is that the narrative, as in all instances, is in the hands of the American media whose aim is to demoralise the Republican side as much as possible.

    Fox was set up the exploit that exact belief of Republican voters. It remains extremely profitable as such people choose to pay to get an alternate view.

    Also remember that in districts that vote for Republicans the local TV news does not reflect the NY / DC values that come through from the CNN, NYT, etc which you refer.

  21. Big Jim

    Even Sarkozy recognizes that the right is the new growth segment,
    The GOP needs to find a way to retain the Paulians and the traditional right. Or else, for reasons nicely summed up by Ellen, they will stay home or vote third party.

  22. Max Scream

    Romney has all the money so he wins.

    He doesn’t need supporters.

    Obama had supporters last time and then he ditched them in office.

    Obama win this time with Wall Street money as the right wing candidate.

  23. JamesK

    JC translations of Minor Squeal’s dimwittery is far more readable trhan the real thing.

  24. adrian

    Take out Romney’s cash and organisation – which will be more than compensated for when he is up against Barry – and he would not have beaten Santorum.

    ummmm….so Romney can never win, even when he wins because he has money and organisation. Gee…because money and organisation aren’t important…..in winning….like Obama…..que the crickets….

    remembering of course that Romney so far has 1.2 million more votes than Santorum.

  25. Fisky

    Not all is lost. This ranting extremist and Democratic icon has lost his primary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv0smG7ptcM

  26. C.L.

    Bunyip: Dead Right.

    Even from the grave, The Gipper has Obama’s guts for garters.

  27. JamesK

    The Republicans are incompetent when competing against a Dem President but when it comes to defeating conservatives candidates in primaries that’s when they get they’re act together.

    Virginia pop 8 million had 2 candidates for the GOP Primary yesterday and neither was conservative.


    1,500 Voters Turned Away From Caucuses in Washington State

    Michigan has its delegate numbers re- apportioned with a post election change of rules to favour Romney.

    What Romney can and is doing is oputspending his opponents 10-4:1 and those ads defines them dishonestly.

    So Gingrich and Santorum are liberal big government big spending Washington insiders.

    The fact that no reasonable knowing person would characterise those people that way is seemingly irrelevant

    The fact that almost all Washington insiders support or have endorsed Romney is also not canvassed.

    Romney’s opponents in 2008: Thompson, Giuliani and Huckabee to a man hate him.

    Gingrich hates him.

    How he comes back from 10 point deficits weeks out with his attack ads might have something to do with it.

    Romney – without a shadow of doubt – is the main person responsible for the unusual bitterness and viciousness and ensuing divisiveness in this campaign.

    Ellen’s point is prescient

  28. Fisky

    JamesK is an angry, bent-out-of-shape Romney hater.

  29. Samuel J

    Steve – yes, I’m denying that the media can influence public opinion. How much, no one really knows. Is it the most important factor in a number of potential and actual influences on public opinion – again, unknown.

    But let’s say that the media is the principal influence on voting.

    And let’s say that democracy demands that voters have accurate information presented to them to make an informed decision – otherwise false or biased commentary in the newspapers will result in voters casting votes different to what they would if they had unbiased commentary.

    Then you are led inexorably into the need to have an overseeing body to bring balance, fairness and accuracy to the media.

    Me, I’d prefer (correctly or not) to work on the presumption that voters are intelligent enough and to sort the wheat from the chaff. That voters are influenced by a whole host of factors, and that among these are their peers, friends, personal prejudices etc.

    Yes, the media has biased elements – maybe it is dominated by biased elements. Yes, I often get annoyed about the bias – which I think is principally left-wing, although there are elements of extremism on the other side.

    And, yes, I think it would be nice if the media had a clear distinction between news and comment – the former should consist entirely of facts and be sourced. The latter can have speculation and biases.

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