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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ABM

All the endorsements in the world can't hide a basic fact: the Republican base supports Anyone But Mitt.

Herman Cain is the latest pretender to jump to the top, this time an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. He follows a long line of anti-Myths, including the meteor named Rick Perry, Donald Trump and straw poll winners Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.

Toss in the unrequited love affairs with Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie and Bobo the Wonder Horse and it's clear that only Sarah Palin (OK and Newt Gingrich) has as many or more detractors than Romney.

Yet Our Man Myth continues to plug along. one day this week's Christie's endorsement, followed by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The explanation is simple: while the Tea Party wing has captured the heart of the GOP, the old line party (you know the one despised by the Tea Party) sees the assortment of pretenders as political death -- unimpressive and unelectable beyond the diehards who vote in caucuses and straw polls.

Also working against Romney is the good ol' lamestream media.No, not deliberately mind you. But the MSM's addiction to polls, horse races, debates and gaffes leaves it blind to what is really happening within the nation and the GOP.

What's that? A congressional party that has placed defeating Barack Obama ahead of creating jobs and jump starting the economy. And a movement that has found a voice, if not a coherent, articulate message to object to the business of Washington.

And surprisingly for a poll-obsessed media, a blindness to one poll that carries real meaning: only 13 percent of Americans approve of Congress. As our most beloved fictional ex-chief executive @Pres_Bartlet noted: "The IRS has an approval rating of 40%."

As political scientists and consultants to losing campaigns like to point out, polls are simply snapshots in time. Romney will probably shake off the doubters and win the nomination.

But it's fair to ask the same question often heard about Obama: how motivated will the base be in going out to work and vote for Romney?

And what will an electorate bent on cleaning out Congress do to either man?

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