Mitt mitigates expectations for today

posted at 5:25 pm on February 7, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Ed asked earlier whether today could be a big day for Rick Santorum. The question could just as easily be phrased: Could today be Mitt Romney’s small day? The Romney campaign itself senses that it’s likely to face at least one loss tonight — probably in Missouri, probably to Santorum — and has sought to tamp down expectations accordingly.

In a memo released by the campaign this morning, Romney political director Rich Beeson reminded readers that the contests today produce no delegates to the nominating convention.

“[T]here is no way for any nominee to win first place in every single contest — John McCain lost 19 states in 2008, and we expect our opponents to notch a few wins too,” the second paragraph of the memo states.

The remainder of the document — topped with the subject line “The Road Ahead — A Reality Check” — bears no hint of nervousness, though. With an emphasis on Romney’s organizational strength, Beeson outlines the former Massachusetts governor’s path to the nomination:

Speaker Gingrich’s and Senator Santorum’s campaigns have resource challenges. The remaining February states may not be kind to them, and their hopes for a comeback in March may be very difficult and based on an incomplete understanding of the delegate selection rules. Even “success” in a few states will not mean collecting enough delegates to win the nomination.

In contrast, Governor Romney will be competing across the country and collecting delegates in state after state, even if other candidates pick up some wins. This is exactly the sort of methodical, long-haul campaign we planned for, and we are well on the way to victory.

That Romney has begun to take notice of Rick Santorum through surrogates like Tim Pawlenty shows that Romney still sees Santorum as a threat, especially in the middle states — but the overall thrust of the memo underscores a reality about presidential campaigns that is easy to forget in the excitement of debates and early states: Organization does matter, and Romney — alone of the current candidates — has been running for president for at least four years. A drawn-out race will favor him, and, in the end, each candidate’s delegate count does matter more than any symbolic show of support in Iowa, Missouri or elsewhere. Santorum stands a very real chance of unseating Newt Gingrich as the leading not-Romney today — but Romney is still the only Romney. That is, he’s still the only candidate who has been the frontrunner more often than not. Beeson is right: Romney can afford to lose one or two states today, no sweat. At this point, a small day for Romney is a big day for Santorum or Gingrich — in both senses of that sentence. What Santorum or Gingrich have to hype, Romney can do with or without. Iowa and South Carolina aside, might Mitt Romney be inevitable after all?


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As I stated, today’s events won’t matter to either Romney or Newt. Santorum will get ZERO delegate and will still trail both candidates in AZ (next primary that allocates delegates) and OH.
Newt and Ron Paul aren’t going anywhere and will still lead Rick in delegates. After AZ, all this will be forgotten.

Tonight is Beauty Contest night for the Beauty Contest candidate Santorum.

jules on February 7, 2012 at 7:15 PM

^^

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

He’s done everything humanly possible to put his commitment to ending ObamaCare beyond doubt. From making it a prominent point of his jobs plan which he published at the start of his campaign to declaring it at just about every speech he makes. There is no way that he could get away with not following through, even if he wanted to. If he assumed the office and didn’t, he’d be tarred, feathered and run out of town on rail. And he wouldn’t want to, because he has made it plain that he is fully in favor of having the states compete and serve as laboratories of experimentation.

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I’m not pretending anything hollow, santorum is the clear conservative choice in this election…..by miles.

I’m a conservative (borderline libertarian).

Would I vote Romney if he get’s the nod – of course…but I’m not going to “pretend” he’s a conservative.

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Point is, Santorum might be a conservative (depending on your personal definition), but definitely not a consistent one.

Support who you like, but I suggest taking a good long look under the hood before signing on the dotted line.

Hollowpoint on February 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Newt has had a poor showing, and LOW TURNOUT or he would have won by now. Santorums turn out is depressed too…it’s sad. If there people would turnout, turnout would be above average!!!

Fleuries on February 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Just a FYI. As it was in SC, in the counties that Gingrich carried in Florida, voter turnout was higher than it was in 2008. In the counties that Romney carried, the turnout was lower. Source

Flora Duh on February 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Mistakes by the media on Mitt, tonight on Special Report, A.B. Stoddard said that Mitt Romney was in favor of a morning after pill voted on by the legislature. That was incorrect, it was a veto with an over ride by the legislature.

since I live in mass. I agree the posters from out side MA have no idea how difficult it is for a Republican governor with a democratic legislature when you don’t have enough republicans to sustain veto.

they blame Romney for every negative thing that happened in ma.

gerrym51 on February 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Flora Duh on February 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Flora Duh= if Romneys the nominee will you vote for him.

My opinion is just having Obama with a chance to be re-elected will get out the vote.

gerrym51 on February 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Hope you’re right amigo…..he’s got momentum, deep pockets and no moral issues with using “the dark side” (slinging mud at fellow Repubs) through surrogates and PAC’s….it’s looking pretty good for mitt right now.

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Let’s just say that if I’m wrong and he doesn’t do all he can to repeal ObamaCare, then I’ll bring the feathers :-)

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Support who you like, but I suggest taking a good long look under the hood before signing on the dotted line.

Hollowpoint on February 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Probably moot anyway….but I’d still love to see a Santorum surge…..if for no other reason than to pull Romney right.

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:29 PM

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

LMAO – Deal.

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Flora Duh= if Romneys the nominee will you vote for him.

My opinion is just having Obama with a chance to be re-elected will get out the vote.

gerrym51 on February 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I’ll crawl over broken glass. But I won’t do it naked.

btw, “they blame Romney for every negative thing that happened in ma”

Not true. I would never blame Governor Romney for Ted Kennedy. :-)

Flora Duh on February 7, 2012 at 7:34 PM

There is no way that he could get away with not following through, even if he wanted to.

MJBrutus on February 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Are you being sarcastic here? Vote for Romney in spite of RomneyCare if you must. But, no one can be naiive enough to expect Romney to repeal ObamaCare while touting RomneyCare as his greatest political achievement? Believing a politician’s campaign promises when all his previous actions in office have been the exact opposite?

I refuse to believe anyone politically savvy enough to post regularly at HotAir would buy that.

sauldalinsky on February 7, 2012 at 7:43 PM

I’ll crawl over broken glass. But I won’t do it naked.

Flora Duh on February 7, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Anthony Weiner would…..but that’s a typical Friday Night for him.

Tim_CA on February 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM

John McCain lost 19 states in 2008

You might want to find a different benchmark, buddy.

Organization does matter, and Romney — alone of the current candidates — has been running for president for at least four years.

And the voters don’t want him much more now than they did 4 years ago.

ddrintn on February 7, 2012 at 9:14 PM

But, no one can be naiive enough to expect Romney to repeal ObamaCare while touting RomneyCare as his greatest political achievement? Believing a politician’s campaign promises when all his previous actions in office have been the exact opposite?

I refuse to believe anyone politically savvy enough to post regularly at HotAir would buy that.

sauldalinsky on February 7, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Have you ever heard of the tenth amendment? Federalism? States rights?

csdeven on February 7, 2012 at 10:31 PM

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