GOP PRIMARY | Romney the Great White House Hope

Syndicated

NOTE: During the night, former Senator Rick Santorum joined the ranks of lackluster support for presumptive Republican nominee former Gov. Mitt Romney sending out a midnight email titled "Governor Romney." The New York Times notes the blase endorsement.

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If we're all just little people inside big peoples' bodies, then there's a lot of Republicans too chicken to fight Barack Obama after school.

Primary after primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers wins and yet, he's still at odds with leadership within his own party. But it's high time the GOP gets hip to one very important and undeniable fact: Romney's their great White House hope for 2012.

Yet, even as one-time opponent former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke on CBS's Face the Nation" in support of Romney's candidacy, he remarked: "Compared to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is a solid conservative. As far as I'm concerned, I've endorsed him."

 

April 4, 2012 - Broomall, PA, U.S - SPENCER DANCE, 10, of West Chester, PA, hands a placard to Republican Presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY for an autorgraph after a campaign rally at the Iron Shop. (Credit Image: © Mark Makela/ZUMAPRESS.com)

 

Such misdirected messaging must give David Axelrod a tingle in a special place.

On Tuesday, should Romney lock up North Carolina, Indiana and West Virginia, he could snag another 100 delegates to the 867 already in the bag.

The Republican nominee needs 1,144 delegates to avoid a brokered convention in August, which he could attain by picking up the remaining and collecting the rest from drop-outs.

Slow and steady wins the race. Or does it?

Just a year ago, it looked as though President Obama faced a tough road to re-election.

His once famous brand of "hope" and "change" looked to be on the ropes. The sickly economy, dead job growth and intergallatic debt combined smelled like a dead, rotting re-election campaign.

Yet the conversation took a sharp, divisive turn -- contraception, ultrasounds, abortion, gay marriage -- inviting would-be fringe Republican candidates with weak operations (former Senator Rick Santorum) to muck up the works.

The tailspin's not entirely over, but finally, public opinion polling supports what strategists knew from the start - money talks.

Obama's job approval ratings have likewise sagged. According to Gallup, his job approval ratings were in the 60 percent range in early 2009. But the most recent poll results show it's below an indifferent 50 percent.

Despite those cheerful odds in Romney's favor, he got one tough road ahead especially as he campaigns in states with rebounding economies.

But even when you put all the good ingredients into the bowl, he's still facing some bullies on the playground. Consider this little doozy of an endorsement from a Romney "supporter:"

 

"I think the process has narrowed down and we've got a chance to hear all the candidates and all the debate," said Jonathan Barnett, an RNC member from Arkansas who serves in the state Legislature. "Really, he's pretty much the only one left standing. It's time to get on board." 

 

With friends like that guy...

Being the "only one left standing" might be a viable strategy for dog catcher, but not for president.

I've seen every indication from the party that it hopes to win and based on public polling, it seems very possible. However, shooting itself in the foot with divisive language won't get the job done for the GOP - no matter how calculating the inner circle maybe over at Team Romney.

Bottom line: The GOP stands a real chance of winning the White House. The hierarchy's strategy must re-inforce solidarity in support of Romney's image positives and help erase doubts in the minds of voters. Republicans could create some authentic buzz before August about the presumptive nominee, especially as The Romney Veepstakes continues to make news.

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Erica Holloway is a BlogHer contributing editor and principal of Galvanized Strategies, a San Diego-based public relations firm. Contact her at erica (at) galvanizedstrategies (dot) com or follow her @erica_holloway.

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