Politics & Policy

The Primary Slog

(Bryan Snyder/Reuters/Newscom)

Governor Mitt Romney continues to lead in the race for the Republican nomination, but his progress is painful and slow. He fairly consistently loses evangelicals, voters who describe themselves as “very conservative,” and low- and middle-income voters, while doing well among the affluent and those who describe themselves as “somewhat conservative.” The state-by-state results have largely reflected how many of each group can be found in each place. He is comfortably ahead in the delegate count, and it is hard to see anyone passing him. But it is not at all clear that he can win a majority of delegates. If he wins the nomination, having Obama on the ballot against him will help him win over some of the groups that are now cool to him. But his trouble with blue-collar voters will not be so easily fixed.

#ad#Senator Rick Santorum has done remarkably well given his disorganized and lightly funded campaign. But that disorganization is one of the reasons he is unlikely to get the nomination — he has not even filed a full slate of delegates for the upcoming Illinois contest — and ought to worry Republicans if he does. Santorum, if nominated, would have to build a national organization essentially from scratch.

Speaker Newt Gingrich has won only two contests, in his home state of Georgia and in neighboring South Carolina. A regional campaign would be hopeless enough; his is now a sub-regional one. His continued presence in the race almost certainly helps Romney, the candidate he most despises. He is a man of many talents and accomplishments, but the longer he stays in the race the more he risks looking pathetic.

The nomination remains very much worth having, even if the contest has caused many voters to look unfavorably on the frontrunner, Romney. Democrats have sought to demoralize the Republicans by saying their man is a lock. He does indeed have a high floor of support — a higher one than Jimmy Carter did, for example. But his job-approval numbers are weak, and dismal on the economy and health care. His major legislative victories, the stimulus and Obamacare, remain unpopular. Most people tell pollsters they want a smaller government. Whichever candidate the Republicans finally choose, Romney or Santorum, will have plenty to work with.

The Editors — The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Kat Timpf Chased Out of Brooklyn Bar

Fox News personality and National Review contributor Kat Timpf was forced to leave a bar in Brooklyn over the weekend after a woman she had never met became enraged upon learning she worked in conservative media. Timpf, who has twice previously been harassed while socializing in New York City, first described ... Read More
Film & TV

The Dan Crenshaw Moment

Given the spirit of our times, things could have gone so differently. On November 3, when Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson mocked Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw’s eye patch, saying he looked like a “hit man in a porno movie” — then adding, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever” — it was a ... Read More
U.S.

The Present American Revolution

The revolution of 1776 sought to turn a colony of Great Britain into a new independent republic based on constitutionally protected freedom. It succeeded with the creation of the United States. The failed revolution of 1861, by a slave-owning South declaring its independence from the Union, sought to bifurcate ... Read More
Elections

Florida’s Shame, and Ours

Conspiracy theories are bad for civic life. So are conspiracies. I wonder if there is one mentally normal adult walking these fruited plains -- even the most craven, abject, brain-dead partisan Democrat -- who believes that what has been going on in Broward County, Fla., is anything other than a brazen ... Read More
Elections

There’s No ‘Neo-Jim Crow’ in Georgia

In the overtime of the 2018 elections, the Left can’t decide whether it opposes casting doubt on election results or insists on it. In the case of the Georgia gubernatorial election, narrowly lost by African-American activist Stacey Abrams, it’s unquestionably the latter. A cottage industry has grown up ... Read More
Economy & Business

Virginia Gives Away the Store to Amazon

Amazon’s deal with the Virginia state government to put part of their new headquarters in Crystal City is now official, and the details are dribbling out. Just about all of them are bad. Begin with the otherworldly claim that “regional and local transit systems have significant unused capacity, even during ... Read More