Is the Florida primary the Republican Party’s Waterloo?

It was a great win for Mitt Romney in Florida but at what cost? He adhered to the von Clausewitz theory of war that overwhelming force delivers overwhelming victory.

The suave former governor from Massachusetts with the Tyrone Power looks and the voice of a suburban Kareoke wannabe, won 42 per cent of the 1.7 million Republican votes cast in the state. He demolished his nearest opponent, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, with a $17 million fusillade of negative advertising.

Drilling down in the results, the GOP turnout was 15 per cent less than in 2008. Some pundits suggested that the personal negative ad spots coming from both sides, turned off a number of Republican voters. In the rural and small media markets throughout the state, Romney‘s ad barrage didn’t work, as Gingrich became the beneficiary.

If this is to be the trend of the Republican presidential nomination campaign, then it is predictable that the vast majority of independent voters will be turned off when the general election campaign starts after Labor Day.

The great divide within the Republican Party has given the establishment many sleepless nights.

They have two candidates who have the staying power to get the nomination next August in Tampa. One is Newt Gingrich, the loquacious gifted speaker, whose strategy is to bring the conservative core voters together. It’s a daunting task as the core includes social conservatives, evangelical conservatives, the Tea party adherents and the National Rifle Association. Just thought they should be included.

Mitt Romney has an image problem that paints him as a rich elitist, with a personality that excludes warmth and congeniality. Some serious questions have been raised about how he made his money, where he stashed it, and how he only pays 13.4 per cent in taxes on his income admitted to be more than $54,000 a day. He will be dogged with his off-the-cuff remarks about firing people, letting the auto industry die and turning off Hispanics with his drastic immigrant policies including dismissal of the Dream Act to allow Cuban Americans to visit relatives in Cuba.

This two-week campaign of negativity will not be quickly forgotten. Nor will the average voter be impressed with the millions spent to win a primary by both leading candidates. Too many Americans are suffering without jobs and meager support to have sympathy with this elitist party.

The sources of all this money comes mainly from very rich Americans, determined to buy their way into power. The names of those donors must be revealed. Unfortunately, the source of funding, estimated to be $24 million spent in January ‘s Florida GOP primary, will not be revealed until later this month.

The big question for the Republican pointy-heads is: “ How will it play in Peoria?”

To paraphrase Churchill: This is not the end of the beginning; it is the beginning of the end.

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1 Comment

Filed under Between the Lines

One response to “Is the Florida primary the Republican Party’s Waterloo?

  1. Craig Chamberlain

    The GOP will have a lot of work ahead of itself reconnecting with Americans given the way the nomination candidates have lost their way chasing after that “significant” Tea Party vote. The party establishment, perhaps even most of the rank and file must be feeling as though they are immobilized passengers in a car accelerating towards a wall.

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