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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

No sale

Mitt Romney is going to win the war, but the GOP's Death March isn't about to stop any time soon.

Our Man Myth took Ohio, barely, thereby assuring Rick Santorum will live to fight another day after capturing Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma. And a disenchanted Republican electorate is the real story behind the Great Slog.

Republicans gamely try to compare this year to 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton slugged it out for months in an often acrimonious contest.  But the Democrats were two sides of the same coin, agreeing more often than not.

The current GOP battle is for the party's soul: the establishment backs Romney while the social conservatives are lining up behind Santorum as they did Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Donald Trump and Sarah Palin before him.

In other words --Anyone But Mitt.

The unhappiness is represented by slumping turnout to date, with all indications that last night that the trend is continuing. GOP voters in Massachusetts seemed downright bored by the "favorite son" on their ballot.

What is up, way up, is Romney spending, including a 4-1 margin that produced a 1-point Ohio win. Romney's scorched earth tactics may be helping to fuel the turnout, keeping the faithful on their hands.

The campaign now heads to the South, hardly Romney country, and despite the best efforts of party bigs calling for unity, resolution is not likely. The best example is Palin, who cast her ballot for Newt Gingrich and once again left the door ajar to speculation about a convention draft.
"Anything is possible. I don't close any doors that perhaps would be open out there, so, no, I wouldn't close that door. My plan is to be at that convention."
Romney may or may not continue to draw on deep-pocketed supporters or the largess of "independent" super PACs. But even if the money lasts, the damage to the eventual nominee will be significant.

Obama and Clinton buried the hatchet and worked together after their rough and tumble primary battle.  At this point in the GOP contest, the question is who is going to bury their hatchet into Romney when all is said and done.

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