Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucuses Results: Romney isn’t better than Santorum?

Keywords or Terms: Mitt Romney (First); Rick Santorum (Second); Ron Paul (Third); Newt Gingrich (Forth), Rick Perry (Fifth); Michelle Bachmann (Sixth); Huntsman (Seventh); Social Issue; Born-Again Evangelical Christians; Mormonism; Iowa; New Hampshire; South Carolina; Florida

For more than four years, Mitt Romney campaigned for the office of the Presidency, yet he came just slightly ahead of Rick Santorum as one of the Republicans seeking that highest office in the land. The conversation today could have focused on the performance of a unique candidate in the Iowa Republican primary and a documentation of hard data, but the time is not yet ripe to talk about that. What is upper most at this time, is to reiterate some questions again: Is Santorum the counter weight to Romney? Will Rick Santorum draw Romney into a Social debate on Abortion and other respective issues that Santorum has made part of the basis of his candidacy? Is Santorum the answer from the Born-Again Evangelical Christians to Mormon Mitt Romney? The answers to these questions may be provided in the coming months; but what we know from Iowa Caucuses is that the Republican flag bearer is hardly settled at this time.

It seemed it was a virtual tie for a long time between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on primary results across Iowa; however, late data has shown that a rematch in New Hampshire Primary may help Republicans get their bearing better than Iowa. And if not, maybe the primary results from South Carolina or Florida primaries will shed more light on which of the Republican aspirants will get to carry the Republican flag. With 99% Iowa precincts reporting, here is the break down of the result:  Rick Santorum (30, 007 – 25%); Mitt Romney (30,015 – 25%); Ron Paul (26,219 – 21%); Newt Gingrich (16,251 – 13%); Rick Perry (12.592 -10%); Michelle Bachmann (6070 – 5%); and Huntsman ( 744 – 1%). Although Santorum may be at a disadvantage in going on because of the size of his campaign war chest, it is likely this result is a positive sign for Republicans who seek an alternative to Mitt Romney. What may the result mean for others who could hardly care about Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum?

The first message from the Iowa caucuses is that mainstream Republicans in the heartland of America are still looking for that ideal candidate that will replace Mitt Romney. Second, the Born-Again Evangelical Christians find it difficult to vote for Mormon Mitt Romney. Is religion a very important variable in American Politics; or, has the nation actually buried that bias with JFK?  Are Social issues more or less relevant in modern day Republican nomination process?  Is there really a paucity of Reaganomics Republicans who can take the mantle to fight for the so touted Republican ideals? The complex problem surrounding the economy is number one for many Americans; however, does a campaign strictly based on the question of job creation or social issues translate into votes against President Obama? Can Rick Santorum put together  grassroots support in South Carolina and Florida to flush down Mitt Romney? Will another candidate from the old conservative wing of the Republican Party rise to throw a huge wrench into the puzzle?

We have seen in the past when an obscure candidate in States' primaries, jump in front out of nowhere, challenging the status-quo or probably the front-runner candidate, the process of nomination becomes more fascinating and the public may enter into a state of despair over who is likely to be the flag bearer. Iowa’s Republicans answered some rather muddy questions and some of them are: 1) Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann are not ready for prime time Presidential campaign and nomination process; 2) Mud slinging campaign tactics can bring out a tough meanness in a presidential aspirant – ask Newt what he thinks about Mitt after the Iowa caucuses?; 3) Ron Paul is a little bit too extreme for many Republicans, if not the whole of America; 5) Rick Santorum re-asserts the conviction that retail politics, face-to-face campaigns, down to the door steps of the voters do produce essential results – though time and labor intensive, retail politics is the real deal! Come tomorrow, we may get some candidates dropping out of the nomination process, while others will choose to move ahead. Today's result emphatically shows that the process of nomination for the highest office as construed by Iowans, works

Within the next few months, blood-letting among the Republican aspirants will offer the Democrats the opportunity to see how voters perceive either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum as viable candidate for the highest office in the land? Republicans are being told that the old rules hardly apply anymore. Where the winning candidates are not exactly what the hard core Godfathers of the party are looking for, change or hiccups may develop in the nomination process; and, this may spell other challenges for the party and insiders regarding who becomes the party's flag bearer in a general election? Six months from now, the myth may explode, but until then, we are all left with the realities of what the Iowa primary has or are forcing the Godfathers in the Republican Party to deal with? The results from the Iowa caucuses may be cuddled by some very hard core supporters of Mitt Romney; however, there is a huge faction of Republicans who don’t want Mitt Romney to be the nominee and who will insist that an alternative candidate steps in to deal with what seem to be an impending nightmare. By October 2012, the difficult experience of ascertaining what Iowa's true result actually means will have been settled and the battle for the oval office begin. Hopefully, Republicans will have their somewhat consensus party flag bearer, by then.

Democrats need to understand that the Iowa caucuses results are actually good news. Here are Republicans quite unsure if they actually want their front runner or not; or, whether they would rather wait for results from other State’s primaries or caucuses to stand firm on their party’s flag bearer. If Republicans want to generate good favor, they may as well go along with whoever of the candidates that seem to be garnering the necessary fellowship to be the flag bearer; or as some put it: “the likely Republican candidate that can unseat President Obama.” Intra-party acrimony will do the Republicans no good after the bad blood between Mitt and Newt from the way the former ran his campaign in Iowa; or, how the Mitt Romney’s or Ron Paul’s PAC ran the mudslinging bonanza that probably skewed the result towards specific candidates.

Democrats must set up a triage to determine who is going to be the Republican flag bearer. Democrats must take from the lesson of Candidate Obama’s 2008 nomination as the flag bearer for their party. If Democrats want to infer from the Republican’s Iowa’s caucuses result, the choice of the party’s Godfathers may not end up being the flag bearer for the Party in the general election. Further, the front runner in any primary is beatable by other aspirants; and, the fact that a presumptive candidate may loose or given the run for his or her money, is not only plausible, it must be expected. To develop a strategy that will address the not so perfect state caucus results from Iowa, where the first or winning candidate only led the second candidate by 8 votes, will be challenging but will be interesting for all political gurus. Everyday henceforth, Democrats must now believe that they have a better chance than yesterday, as the winning and plausible Republican nominees are known to have said things like, Corporations are also people and Obama always sided with America's enemies? Haba, A treasonable President, Mr. Santorum?

Obama’s campaign team do not need to develop a campaign strategy that counters Mitt Romney argument for his candidacy for the office; rather, a broad based campaign strategy that anticipates another candidate like Rick Santorum or any other Republican. The answer to the question who is President Obama likely to face from the Republican Party maybe challenging for now; however, in another three months we will get a clearer view of what is coming before us. State primaries or caucus may not provide quick answer to the question of who is likely to be the opposition candidate. Voters at primaries or caucuses tend to junk or embrace a candidate depending on what ensues from debates and subsequent state’s primary results. No candidate must rest on his oars, as the battle for Party’s nomination hardly emerges, until the fat lady sings; in other words, as Yogi said: It is not over until it is over! Goodnight.
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