If you are a member of the “Anyone but Romney” crowd and say, “If Romney is the nominee I will stay home,” then keep reading, this post is for you. Because on November 6, 2012, there is now a 67.9% chance you will have to follow through on that threat.
Intrade, the respected prediction market, now wages that Romney has a 67.9% chance of being the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Perry, by contrast, lags behind at 12.4% and Cain is at 9%. (All these numbers are subject to change rather quickly.)
Romney’s chances at 67.9% is a seismic shift from the ancient political times of mid-August, 2011, when I wrote a Tatler piece about Intrade giving Perry a 31.8% chance of topping the GOP ticket, besting Romney at 30%. This “win” for Perry combined with his warp speed trajectory was especially noteworthy along with my final line — Keep your eyes on Intrade for the “market knows.”
So, consider that Intrade “knows” Romney has a 67.9% chance of winning the nomination but, according to the latest Real Clear Politics poll averages, only 23.9% of GOP primary voters support him. And now since Romney is virtually tied with Herman Cain at 23.4% that means the former Massachusetts governor has a huge political problem.
And here is how Romney can position himself to help solve that problem.
If one considers Real Clear Politics poll averages to be a credible source, then in a general election match-up Romney trails Obama 45.1% to 45.8%, meaning they are virtually tied together in a death struggle.
But what this really means is that with a Romney vs. Obama contest the GOP has the best chance of winning back the White House, taking the Senate, securing even stronger margins in the House and best of all, the future opportunity to keep a conservative balance in the Supreme Court with a new appointee or two.
With this big picture thinking, those disgruntled Republicans who insist on staying home or those who say they will hold their nose and vote for Romney but will not work for him, are all very short-sighted.
Instead, all eyes should be on the prize of Romney’s potential as the winner takes all branches, that now in polling reality, only a Romney nomination truly offers. The Romney campaign should strongly position itself to appeal to conservatives on this level. Especially if you buy the argument that 2012 is the last chance to right our ship of state, after 8 full years of Obama.
But for those voters who will not listen to reason and still insist on staying home if Romney tops the ticket, it would be wise to consult Real Clear Politics poll averages. For here, everyone except Romney loses big in a general election match-up against Obama. (RCP Average 9/22-10/15)
Romney 45.1% vs. Obama 45.8% Obama by 0.7%
Perry 41.7% vs. Obama 49.1%
Cain 40.3% vs. Obama 47.0%
Gingrich 36.5% vs. Obama 49.5%
Paul 41.4% vs. Obama 47.6%
Bachmann 37.6% vs. Obama 51.8%
Huntsman 38% vs. Obama 47%
Santorum 34% vs. Obama 45%
NOTE: Rasmussen today released a poll showing Cain beating Obama by two points. That poll is figured into Cain’s numbers shown above.
After looking at these percentages, any Republican who thinks Obama is going to be easy to defeat has their head in the sand. However, Intrade now gives Obama a 46% chance of winning re-election (down from 50% in August), but watch this number closely because it could easily climb back to 50% or higher because he is the president and incumbency has its advantages.
Example A: Obama just raised $70 million in the last quarter compared to $14 million for Romney and $17 million for Perry.
And why is money so important for President Obama right now?
Example B: In the battle-ground state of Virginia, a must-win-back state for the GOP in 2012, a Republican political operative involved in what will be Virginia’s highly contested, high-profile US Senate race, told me that Obama for America already has 29 paid staffers on the ground working that state, and the election is still a year away.
One can only imagine how many jobs Obama will create with his Obama for America campaign job expansion program in 2012. And with a campaign fund stimulus projected at close to $1 billion, Obama for America employees might actually lower the unemployment rate in several battle-ground states.
Which points to the political reality that the faster the GOP can unite around one candidate, who various polls show can defeat Obama, the faster Republicans can “community organize” themselves against Obama for America.
So if you are one of the “I will stay home if Romney is nominated” crowd, please consider the grand prize of all branches of government that Republicans united under Romney could potentially win or be able to appoint judges to, if he heads the 2012 ticket.
Romney’s nomination is inevitable precisely because “Romney for America” is recognized as having the best chance to defeat the Campaigner in Chief in betting games and in general election polls.
Then our one term president can feel free to create his new organization aptly named “Obama in Retirement.”