In the Sound of Music, the nuns sing about the nun who doesn't quite fit into the convent, "How do you solve a problem like Maria". Well, the Republicans can be singing a similar tune today about Mitt Romney after the Iowa caucuses. The establishment favorite once again proves that after six years of campaigning he couldn't break 25%. In fact he received a few less votes than he did four years ago in Iowa.
The spin that this year was a more competitive race is nonsense. After all four years ago there was Huckabee, Thompson, McCain and Paul on the ballot. Hardly a less competitive race compared to this year's crop of candidates. In fact last night, 75% of Iowa voters signaled they rather have someone else than Romney who is a very well known character to the voters.
Despite such a dismal showing, Romney is still viewed by the commentators as the preemptive nominee at the Tampa Convention. Most likely in the larger states, such as Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Florida and California, is where Romney will really do well. However, Santorum has a built in vote of at least a solid third from the religious right no matter how little money or organization he has at his disposal. In addition, especially in he caucus states, Ron Paul will continue to obtain a strong minority vote. Finally you can count on Newt Gingrich going out for blood over the next couple of weeks given his anger at the Romney attack ads.
With proportional representation, these forces will go to the Tampa Convention with significant percentage of the delegates and will drive Romney wildly to the right at that Convention in order for him to move forward with an united party. Anyway you cut it, even if Romney wins the nomination, Iowa was very bad news for 'front-runner' You see they don't like him and yet they appear to be stuck with him.
"What do you do with a problem like a Romney?"