Rick’s Big Night Rains on Mitt’s Inevitability Parade, But Can Rick Win?

About a week ago, a conservative friend appeared concerned, and by “concerned,” I mean the way I imagine he’d look if he got notice of an audit from the IRS, over the state of the current GOP Presidential field. He told me that he got bummed out after a recent conversation with his engineer son, who like most of us, wants only one thing for Christmas this year: the defeat of the first Alinskyite, race-baiting Marxist currently occupying the Oval Office whose destructive policies are taking this country over a cliff. According to my friend, his son said something like the following: “What the heck is going on? How in the world can we win? I mean, this process never ends, and this Santorum guy is ‘nuts.’ What’s going to happen?” Good question then, and even better question today, after Mitt Romney placed third in both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries.

Time didn’t permit me to ask him at the time what he meant when he said “Santorum is nuts,” but later he explained that his son was unhappy with Santorum “mainly because of the contraception issue that Santorum keeps talking about instead of what my son believes to be much more important issues such as the economy and jobs.  I feel the same way as we can’t get sucked into the libs trying to redefine this election in terms of women’s issues.  We most focus on the deplorable job this idiot in the White House is doing.” I haven’t endorsed any candidate yet, but I suspect that Santorum supporters would respond by saying (1) that accusing him of emphasizing the issue of contraception is like accusing the United States of aggression against Japan in 1942. Obama’s scheming campaign operatives cooked up this whole silly “contraception” non-controversy, and enlisted George Stephanapolous to get the ball rolling at the New Hampshire debate on January 7. Then, having creating a phony “crisis,” they sought to exploit it to enhance the Dear Reader’s sinking political fortunes by incessantly asking the Republican candidates ridiculous questions about states outlawing contraception and (2) Santorum doesn’t spend most of his time talking about contraception. He talks a lot about bringing back manufacturing to this country, and he has been talking about the tremendous danger posed by Iran for years. He does talk about social issues, in part because he is a devout Catholic. There’s another reason, though, and it’s more important for electoral purposes. He recognizes that the idea that the notion of being “socially liberal,” as in pro-abortion, indifferent about the importance of the traditional family v. so-called “marriage equality,” and in step with the secular popular culture, and “fiscally conservative” at the same time is a childish fantasy. If this moronic Sandra Fluke episode proved anything, it’s that. Our country is broke, and our economy is stagnant, yet Obama and his big-government buddies think that someone other than Ms. Fluke, a 30 year-old arrested development case, should pay for her birth control products. So, the traditional family and the traditional values that come with it are essential to stop the hemorrhaging of money that comes with the Nanny state. With the family intact, there’s a lot less need for Obama’s food stamps, Medicaid and the rest of the goodies he wants to use to create a dependent class of voters.

I don’t think my friend or his son would disagree with that latter point, but I think that they fear, like many of you, that the average distracted voter won’t connect those dots and  will allow the Lame Stream Media to define Santorum as a crazed religious fanatic who wants all women barefoot and pregnant (even though his wife is both a nurse and an attorney), and that droves of enraged women will storm the polls to vote for democrats. There’s no question that the LSM will try every trick in the book to get Pres. Sham WOW (Walks on Water) re-elected, but here’s the thing: it doesn’t seem to be working. From Commentary, citing the New York Times most recent poll:

In the head-to-head matchups, Mr. Obama also maintained much of the advantage he had built in the last year among important constituencies, including women, although he lost some support among women over the past month, even as the debate raged over birth control insurance coverage.

Mr. Obama appears to be retaining much of his gains among important demographic groups, erasing inroads that Republicans made in 2010, especially among women. But his falling approval rating in the last month extended to his handling of both the economy and foreign policy, the poll found.

“He lost some support among women” is apparently the New York Times’ nice way of saying Obama’s approval rating dropped 12 points among women during the past month, from 53 percent to 41 percent. Needless to say, the Democratic Party’s “war on women” rhetoric doesn’t seem to be working:

 

In recent weeks, there has been much debate over the government’s role in guaranteeing insurance coverage for contraception, including for those who work for religious organizations. The poll found that women were split as to whether health insurance plans should cover the costs of birth control and whether employers with religious objections should be able to opt out.

Mitt’s supporters keep trotting out their math-based argument, talking about their delegate lead and the number of states he’s won, as if to say to Santorum and Gingrich, “you guys have no chance. you should just quit now.” The problem is that they are also saying that to Republican voters, who no matter how much Mitt spends, and how many delegates he accumulates, are not convinced. Mitt is coming off like the guy who tells the girl, “Stop this foolishness. You’ve had your fun. Now it’s time to settle down, and you know I’m the guy.” The next sound he hears is the tires screeching as she speeds to freedom.

Math definitely counts, but perhaps passion counts more. Can Rick win? I believe he can, and at least one recent poll suggests he’d have a better chance than Romney to do so. In addition, Dana Milbank thinks Mitt is inevitable, which should give any of his supporters pause.

Illinois will be decisive. If Mitt doesn’t win here, all bets are off.

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