Romney’s Win In Illinois: Yet Another Reason To Root For A Brokered Convention

At this point, barring a miracle, neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum can gather enough delegates to win before the convention. All they can do is try to deny Mitt a victory and hope for a brokered convention.

People should hope that they get their wish.

Mitt won Illinois convincingly, 47% to Santorum’s 35%. However, in order to do it, he had to outspend Santorum by a ridiculous margin.

Rick Santorum’s campaign and super PAC have been outspent by a margin of 7 to 1 in the Illinois primary, with forces supporting Mitt Romney shelling out a total of about $3.7 million on the airwaves, according to a GOP media-buying source. …That amounts to a spending disparity of 21 to 1 in Romney’s favor.

In a general election, Romney will not outspend Obama 7-to-1 anywhere. In fact, he’s likely to be outspent everywhere. Additionally, his huge fund raising advantage over the other candidates in a primary isn’t going to translate to the general election. In other words, either Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or any other GOP candidate could probably raise a roughly comparable amount of money in the general to Romney.

Furthermore, Newt has a dead-on description of Mitt’s style.

I tell people (Romney’s) like a 4-foot-8 guy who wants to play center and his only technique is to shrink the others, which I think bodes very badly for a general election.

Mitt Romney’s style of campaigning is why there was the lowest turnout for a presidential primary in the past 70 years in Illinois this time around. Yet in a general election, after running a nasty, dishonest scorched earth campaign against Gingrich and Santorum, Mitt is going to have to go to their supporters, many of whom hate his guts with good reason, and he’s going to need them to donate and turn out against Obama.

It’ll be a tougher sell than a lot of people seem to assume because if Mitt captures the nomination, he may be the least deserving candidate the GOP has run in a century. He didn’t govern as a social or fiscal conservative. He’s never shown any political courage in his life and he wasn’t even a good governor in Massachusetts.

Would he be better than Obama? Sure. Would he probably govern to the left of George W. Bush or even McCain? Absolutely. Is he the right sort of man to tackle the serious challenges America is going to face over the next four years? Not even close. Is it likely that he’d regularly sell out conservatives? Yes, it is. Would he be a good President? Probably not. Again, would Mitt be better than Obama? Sure, but picking Mitt over Obama is like saying you prefer having your stomach pumped to dying of food poisoning. It’s an improvement, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a pleasant experience.

At this point, the best thing Republican voters could do is pull the lever for someone other than Mitt, root for a brokered convention, and hope that anyone who could make it out of there with the nomination would be a better, more conservative candidate than Mitt — which would likely be the case.

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