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Mitt Romney: American idiot?

by Joel Abrahams September 25, 2012
Mitt Romney: American idiot?

On Monday, American Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made off-the-cuff remarks at a secretly taped California fundraiser that raised a lot of eyebrows on multiple key issues.

In the video, he claimed Palestinians had “no interest whatsoever” in a two-state peace process. He also also claimed that 47 per cent of all Americans “believe they are victims,” and will vote for President Barack Obama no matter what.

“My job is not to worry about them,” Romney stated. “I’ll never convince them.”

One of Romney’s most dooming flaws in his campaign is the perception of insulation; this is a man who lives his private life vastly different than the rest of the American public, but also seems to make little genuine effort to connect with groups he may have slim chances of winning over. But what would be the point in campaigning in demographic regions where you’re sure to lose by a landslide?

Look back to the campaign of George W. Bush; many credit his success on the fact that he would campaign in poor, inner-city neighbourhoods around Philadelphia, Miami and other large, typically-democratic cities.

Although these events mostly served as a mere photo opportunity, the media coverage of him would dig into the hearts of the suburban, middle-class and politically independent families inside of those same cities to successfully counter the thrashing a normal Republican candidate might usually suffer.

Romney’s team, universally described as one of the most inept in modern American history, has failed to target those audiences, and it’s showing in the polls. In the most recent polls, the first after his remarks were made public, Obama is trouncing Romney in several key states, but two states in specific, spell doom for Romney’s campaign: Ohio and Florida.

These two states make up a total of 47 electoral delegates—almost 10 per cent of the national total. Fox News’ most recent poll (a poll that tends to lean conservative) has Obama up in Ohio with 49 per cent compared a mere 42 per cent for Romney. The same Fox News poll has Obama up at 49 per cent in Florida, against Romney’s 45 per cent.

There really is no way of understating this; if the election were held for Ohio and Florida a day early and Obama were to win both states, this election would be over. It would take some sort of abnormal political miracle for Romney to lose Florida and Ohio, and still take the White House.

He would need to win every other swing state in contention, which is looking nearly impossible, since he is down six points in North Carolina (once written off by many Democrats as President Obama took a stand in support of same-sex marriage a couple months ago), by 12 points in Pennsylvania, and even by a point in Missouri, usually considered Republican territory according to Rasmussen Reports.

So how does this translate into real life opinions of average swing voters?

“I’ve definitely noticed between those of my friends who tend to be more Republican-leaning, they haven’t been showing as much vocal support [for Romney] as they once were,” said Alex Jordan, a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Colorado has recently been another hotly contested swing state, yet Romney has managed to stay relatively strong, leading Obama by two points.

If Romney hopes to take the White House, he’s going to need to undergo a few major changes. An overhaul of campaign staff, revitalized targeting of ads, and trying to get the country to personally embrace the candidate—getting out “More Mitt,” as they commonly refer to it, does nothing if the American public won’t even consider him for the White House based on his inflammatory remarks.

So maybe Romney was right after all. Maybe he was doomed from the beginning, but now it’s becoming clearer, that it’s nothing more than the fault of his closed-minded opinions and big mouth.

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