Friday, 8 February 2008

Mitt Romney drops out of the race

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massechusetts, dropped out of the race to be the GOP nomination for the presidency yesterday. I'm surprised he didn't stay until the end of the race, even though it looked even more likely that John McCain would win. He said this on the night of Super Tuesday:
"We're going to battle, go all the way to the convention, win this thing, and get to the White House"
So you can understand why I'm surprised!

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, he made the following statement:
"This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters – many of you right here in this room – have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

I will continue to stand for conservative principles. I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism."
So, he will continue to be active in campaigning for what he thinks is right - fair enough. This could mean that he goes for another term as governor of Massechusetts. He might even end up trying to get a place at Capitol Hill (either the House of Representatives or the Senate).

What is interesting is that he didn't explicitly endorse anyone. At the moment, the remaining GOP candidates are John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. It's clear that he won't support McCain (see my last post), so it's likely that if he were to actively support someone, it would be Huckabee (there's an evangelical connection). Romney's endorsement could be a big boost for the campaign.

Romney's performance in the primaries
StatePlaceVote %Delegates
New York2280
New Jersey2280
South Carolina4150
New Hampshire2324

Romney's performance in the caucuses
StatePlaceVote %Delegates
North Dakota1368
West Virginia2470
As you can tell, he did do well (especially in the caucuses) and won in some areas where there are a substantial number of delegates available. The reason he is so far behind John McCain is because he didn't win in the states where it was possible to get 50 or more.

So, why didn't he do better? One reason is that some people found it difficult to believe him as some of his stances have changed over the years. People said that he was only doing this to attract 'social conservatives'. The other candidates called him 'inconsistent':
"Romney, in his appeals to voters, never overcame charges that he had flip-flopped his way through his political career -- on abortion, gay rights and other issues of importance to those he was hoping to win over."
A lot of people didn't like his negative campaigning either:

I've always thought you should focus on your policies, why they would be good for the country and also why they would improve the current situation. If a candidate is asked to comment on the differences between him/her and any others in the running, that should be the only time where you go negative.

Anyway, now that he's out of the picture, the winner of the Republican nomination will be in a stronger position. That can only be a good thing for them at general election time.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: Mitt Romney, Election, USA, Politics