Romney’s Michigan Wake-up Call

Mitt Romney's Michigan win (Gerald Herbert/AP)

“We won by enough.”  This time.  Michigan may yet be in the blue column come this November election.  Consider that Mitt Romney won the State by three percentage points against a fellow Republican competitor, who four months ago, even this author was calling on to leave the race.  Not a great showing.

I’m already over the fact that Mitt Romney can’t really relate to the ordinary man and woman on the street, and I wish he’d stop trying.  Then maybe he can keep his foot out of his mouth.  Romney’s a CEO running for President.  He looks it, acts it.  He is who he is.  Ann, please talk to him and tell him that if he wants to connect with John Doe and Jane Smith, you’ll do the heavy lifting.

But with humor aside, it’s time for Romney, as he heads next into Ohio and prepares for Super Tuesday, to take a step back and do a major reassessment of his campaign, his message and how to proceed for the rest of the 2012 election cycle if he wants to win in November.  Because at this point, the margin is a very sharp razor thin.

Unlike some other Conservative commentators and bloggers, I’m not ready to proverbially ‘throw in the towel’, but there’s been a sinking feeling in my stomach for months now.  I’ve written in other posts how the Republicans, in general, have been out-maneuvered at every point, on every issue by the Democrats.

It’s rather sad to think that if Barack Obama is defeated in November, it will be by his own mistakes, rather than by the strength and message of the Republican nominee.

Romney, unfortunately, is walking a fine line within his own party.  The Conservative base is in flux flitting from one candidate to another in their “anyone but Romney” quest.  And yet it’s this base, that is going to form the foundation, or not, for a Romney victory.  He needs their turnout, and he needs to connect with them and their leaders better than he’s done in the past.  The question is though, can he?  Is there anything that he can say to convince the hard cores like Erick Erickson, editor of RedState, who’s already convinced and is convincing thousands of his readers that Obama will be re-elected.

Romney’s bigger problem is message.  The economy may be better, or may be worse, in November, but that should not be the principal reason that he asks for our vote.  He has to articulate a compelling vision on all fronts of what an America will be like under a Romney administration versus the continuation of Obama’s.  Romney’s after polling data shows in Arizona and Michigan that he has support across demographic groups, because most people who voted for Romney over Santorum believe that he is best equipped to beat Obama in the general election.  That’s the good news for Romney, but he can’t carry good news into the general election.

Michigan sent Romney a wake-up call yesterday, and if he not only listens, but acts, his comment “we won by enough” may be prescient in November.




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