There's a lot of talk about the weakness of the Romney candidacy - he's got the money, the organization, this is his second crack at the nomination, yet he still doesn't have wide support from the GOP voters. Many people are talking about the "Romney ceiling" of 25%, and the fact that the GOP electorate has kicked the tires on essentially every single candidate as evidence that the party is unhappy about the Romney inevitability. Check out this article in the National Review Online by Michael Walsh. Walsh declares that Romney will lose the general if nominated. John Podhorezt's quote from the Walsh piece is pretty interesting: "The results last night (Iowa) make it clear that Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history, scoring fewer caucus votes in Iowa in 2012 than he received in 2008."
That seems like it is true, and I want it to be true. But the part that makes me scratch my head is that while there is evidence to support that claim, there is evidence to contradict it as well. Romney is a bit fluffy, yes - I want to believe that. But Romney is going to be the first candidate in a long time to win both Iowa and NH. Also, new polling reveals that Romney has double digit leads in NH and SC. Three wins at the front of the race would mean high times for the Romney campaign -- who would stop that momentum? So we're looking at the weakest candidate in recent political memory who is also steamrolling through the nomination like Calvin Johnson against the East Chattanooga State secondary. How would one square those opposite narratives?
Here's how I would square it -- They're both right. Romney is a weak candidate. In his career he's been floppin' and flappin' all over the ideological spectrum like a pregnant pigeon stuck in a storm drain. He's weak because he hasn't taken a strong stand on the issues near and dear to the GOP base. But think about it - what does that tell you about the rest of the field?!? The fact that this "weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history" is thoroughly dominating the early calendar tells you what you need to know about the remaining candidates. And don't get confused - if Romney wins all of those contests, he is DOMINATING. He's going to win in double digi's in NH, and possibly double digi's in SC. There's a lot of kerfuffel about Romney's weakness' and electoral misfires on MSNBC and similar outlets. That's spin - he's kinda rollin'. It's a headscratcher.