Saturday, February 18, 2012

The GOP: Santorum, Romney or Gingrich

Unfortunately, the GOP contest has gone a lot longer than I would have predicted last September.  You may remember that I posted that it would be Perry or Romney.

We are navigating on very uncharted waters.  I can't recall the last time that a GOP primary was this nasty.  You have to go back to Pres Ford and Gov Reagan back in '76 or maybe Sen Dole & VP Bush in '88.

The GOP lost '76 & won in '80.  

In '76, Pres Ford could not overcome Watergate but still came within a few votes of winning election.  

In '88, VP Bush rode to victory on the back of Pres Reagan's popularity, or the closest thing to a 3rd Reagan term that the voters could vote for.

In both cases, the tough primary made the GOP nominee into a better candidate.  The tough primary fight forced the candidate to answer questions or deal with issues before the voters went to vote in November.


My guess is that the same thing will happen in '12.  I can see how Romney has benefited from having to campaign and sell himself.  You can say the same about Santorum. 


Finally, don't be surprised if Romney-Santorum ends up as the ticket.  It happened to Reagan and Bush in 1980.


We spoke with Barry Casselman about the primary on Friday:



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