November 9, 2010

Digesting the latest GOP 2012 primary poll

Public Policy Polling already has a poll out on the GOP primaries for President in 2012. POTUS '12 season has started. Not a moment too soon - Alaska is almost, nearly close to completing it's Senate vote tabulation. All of the 2010 races are almost resolved. What would we have done without the first 2012 poll?
All sarcasm aside, there's some interesting results in the poll. Here's the link;

It seems it's all a story of momentum. Mitt Romney appears to lead in the north east and California while Huckabee leads in the midwest. Geography aside, Romney leads with moderates who swung heavily in favor of the GOP this year. I'm not sold on Romney at all but at this point he would seem to be the most electable candidate for Republicans. For now.

But here's why I think it's all about momentum. The poll brings to mind the following questions:

(1) Is the independent voter swing to the GOP from this cycle going to continue swinging right (momentum) or was the swing merely back to the center? If it is back to the center that does not help Palin or other more conservative candidates.
(2) Is the Tea Party momentum over, or is the country becoming more conservative since its exposure to failed, radical progressive liberalism? In other words Tea Party momentum ending means the GOP swing to the right may also be ending.
(3) If Romney wins the early state of New Hampshire does he gain momentum or does his sizable lead allow other candidates to focus on other states instead to stop any momentum?
(4) Does any momentum for Romney right now scare any contenders out of the race entirely?
(5) Is electability enough to carry Romney through the primaries?
(6) Is the GOP brain trust (i.e. elite) going to continue to shift right in response to the Tea Party movement or just shift back to center? This might impact endorsements but that is arguably a minor factor.

Those questions and others will play into the primaries and help shape people's opinions of their voting preferences if not the candidates themselves.

I'm really not sold on Mitt Romney - his positions and his candidacy remind me of the positions of convenience akin to a Charlie Crist. In other words his positions seem to follow the momentum of where the popularity is. Certainly he is preferential to the current administration, especially with a conservative Congress. But I'm not sold yet. The same is true for Huckabee - I like him but I don't know if I like him enough to want him as a President. The good news is that it's early. Polls change. Preferences change. Just ask Harry Reid.

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