Suburban Women Will Save Us

From “Romney RIP — not so fast,” Glenn Thrush and Byron Tau, Politico:

Mitt Romney’s campaign seems to be collapsing like a cheap card table, but one top Democrat close to President Barack Obama had a curt warning for allies who were declaring the election all but over on Tuesday.

It ain’t over, he said, until Karl Rove sings.

“I’ll relax when Karl Rove wakes up one morning and realizes that Mitt Romney can’t win the White House, and he needs to throw all his money at other races,” the adviser told POLITICO….

“Until Rove does that, we are going to get outpaced by two to one, at least, by these super PACs. Add a couple of good debates for Romney, and the fact that he’s doing well in North Carolina, and [Paul] Ryan’s put Wisconsin in play — there’s your tight race.”

“Everybody always wonders what famous people are like behind closed doors. They wonder about Mitt Romney more than most,” said Democratic strategist Paul Begala, who said the Romney campaign has worked hard to “humanize” the candidate.

“This destroys all that,” Begala said.  “he comes across as what he is: an arrogant elitist.”

Focus groups conducted by the Obama campaign and allied groups are showing a growing movement away from Romney among suburban women, the key swing demographic in battleground states, such as Ohio, Florida and Virginia.  The words that keep cropping up…are “not sympathetic” and “doesn’t care” — a damaging tend for a Republican who needs to win over economically strapped independents.

Emphasis added.

The Newt Effect

Newt Gingrich says that he needs to stay in to stop Romney, that Santorum can’t do it alone.

But pollsters like PPP are certain that if Newt had dropped out, Santorum would have won both Michigan and Ohio, both states that he lost narrowly, but would have gotten enough Gingrich votes to change the outcome.  Think of how this race would look, think of how this race would feel, if Santorum had won Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Now it looks as if Newt might do the same thing in Illinois — get enough votes to give Mitt the win and deny Santorum again.

In many states that haven’t voted yet, Newt votes won’t turn into anti-Mitt delegates, they’ll just be lost.

From the GOP’s perspective, I’m not sure it matters all that much in November.  Santorum is stronger among blue collar voters than Mitt, but he’s a disaster with women.  So you get guys with lunch buckets and lose suburban women with Coach bags.  It’s just a different path to victory for Obama.

Both Mitt and Santorum are off-putting enough, though in different ways, that neither is a very attractive general election candidate.  Both are “other” and make us uncomfortable.

Mitt is weird.  He fits in fine drinking coffee from a china cup in a Wall Street conference room, but out in a rural diner, not so much.  Listen to him on the stump.  He sounds as if he’s addressing small children, trying to get them to like him.  He speaks slowly and doesn’t offer substance on serious issues.  People come out to see him and he recites the lyrics to the theme from the Davy Crockett show.  Although the theme from Gilligan’s Island would be more apt.

Santorum is extremely earnest, but he’s also earnestly extreme.  He was sick the day history class covered Roger Williams.  Although it’s not too late — Rick, get a copy of John Barry’s Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul.  You can be quirky about some things, but not separation of church and state.  That’s a deal breaker.