Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Rise of Romney

In 2008, Mitt Romney finished third in the Republican primaries behind John McCain and Mike Huckabee with 8.6% of the vote. This time around, things are looking good for Romney. A poll conducted by CNN reveals that Romney is in the lead with 23%. Trailing him is business guru turned politician Herman Cain with 20% of the vote, and Texas Governor Rick Perry who holds 14%. His campaign reports that they have raised $32 million so far. However, this is not what is truly impressive. In the third quarter Romney has raised a total of $14.16 million with the help of from around 56,000 contributors. It seems like the Governor from Massachusetts has stepped his game up another a level or two since the last time he ran for the nomination two years ago. But what has he done differently this time?

After reading these statistics, it is clear that his mistakes in 2008 have taught what not to do in his current bid for the nomination. According Erin McPike and Carl M. Cannon of in their article titled Romney Applies Lessons of 2008 to 2012 Run, "He pissed everybody off by being elite, borrowing heavily form others' ideas, and attacking every other campaign on TV or in debates. There's been none of that this time." Four years ago, Romney went out of his way to charm the press and catered to their wants by making himself available. Today his actions show that he is done being nice to reporters and has no problems giving them the cold shoulder. Former Romney aids joke about their strategy to invest money into the straw poles, which made his 2008 campaign seem strong when he won the Iowa straw pole. However, this meant nothing because he didn't win the Iowa caucus that year. As a result, he places little importance on the straw poles. He also no longer invests in expensive TV ads and has turned to less expensive web videos to draw support. In his last campaign, Romney went fishing for votes from grass-roots conservative crowd by making immigration his most important issue . Currently,  he is looking to appeal to the entire political spectrum by placing job creation at the top of his priority list.

Another thing that has resulted in his success is the current state of  our nation. In 2008, American was drained for the chaos induced from the Bush administration and craved change. Romney's business background most likely put him at a disadvantage because at this time many American's saw advocates of big business' as a source of our nation's grievances, and in particular the economy. However, four years later Romney's business experience now puts him at an advantage because many adhere to the notion that a business minded person as president would lead to our economy getting back on track. New Jersey Governer Chris Christie who had thoughts of running for the nomination has said that "Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America and we need him now."

However, this does not mean Romney is a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. His Mormon background will make it harder for him to obtain the votes from the Republican Party's influential Born-Again Christian crowd. Also, the belief that America needs a business minded person as our president has proven to be a double-edged sword for him because Herman Cain is his biggest competition. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza is breathing down his neck in the polls since he is trailing him by only 3%. Although Rick Perry's past and stumbles in debates has reduced his electability, it has given a surge to Cain's campaign and made his 9-9-9 plan look more appealing. On the flip side, his lack of political experience seems to give Romney the edge. Hopefully for Romney's sake, his political experience will prevent Cain from putting a halt to his increasing support.

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