Sunday, March 25, 2012

Moving On To Tampa

As subsequent primaries will increasingly demonstrate, Mitt Romney will have more
than enough delegates for a first ballot victory in Tampa in August. All but partisans
of other candidates, ideologues living in denial, and media colleagues milking an old
story for one more squirt, are moving on to the next and final stage of the
presidential election of 2012.

The next wave of endorsements will probably come (and have already begun to
come) from Republican senatorial and congressional candidates who have not yet
endorsed Mr. Romney, but who obviously have a stake in a united and strong GOP
ticket in the November campaign.

Likely now to nominate their strongest candidate for the November campaign,
especially in terms of appealing to the broadest possible general electorate, I
continue to see that the GOP has bright prospects, both for maintaining control
of the U.S. house, and winning control of the U.S. senate. This circumstance arises
not only from the weakness of support throughout the nation for the Obama
administration's record and policies, but also (and importantly) from the quality
of Republican challengers, particularly in the senate, recruited against the
numerous vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

Of course, the nominees for numerous races are yet to be determined, and the
state of the U.S. economy remains ambiguous in terms of recovery, so nothing is
etched in marble about the results in November. There does remain a path for
re-election victory for Mr. Obama, and there are circumstances in which the
Democrats could win back the U.S. house.

There will continue to be occasional residues from the nominating campaign season
over the summer. Some social conservatives will not immediately "get on board."
Some may indeed not get on board at all. There is always the possibility of third
party candidates, but the prospects of a serious one from either the left or the right
has been diminished.

A national election is serious business. There is not only the prize of residency in
the White House at stake, and control of the Congress, but also the question of
who will name and confirm future supreme court justices. Several of the present
members of the court are now very old, or ailing.

A decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare is almost certain to come before
the election, and that decision will have major impact. There was no greater issue
than this controversial legislation in the 2010 elections, and there does not
appear to have been any shift in the large majority of voters who oppose it.

We now have several weeks of contests immediately ahead until the end of June.
There will be some inevitable drama, specifically in how the remaining opponents
to Mr. Romney withdraw from the race. There will be a surprise or two, here and
there, perhaps, but the outcome (barring the usual caveats of the unforeseen) is
now clear.

On to November!

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman
All rights reserved.

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