Politicususa.com--Obama’s reelection bid is gaining momentum, and trapped in the debacle that is the Republican primary, GOP insiders are getting pessimistic about November.
For months GOP insiders have been expecting an Obama win, but their despair has reached a new low as reported by John Heilemann in New York Magazine, "A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. "Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. "Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
How badly has the Republican Party fucked this up?
Usually, a political party uses their nominating process to build good will and positive momentum for their future standard bearer. However, the exact opposite is happening to the Republican Party in 2012. The latest Democracy Corps poll showed that the instead of helping douse the fire caused by the unpopular actions of the GOP controlled House, the Republican presidential candidates, especially Mitt Romney, have made things worse by spending tens of millions of dollars on negative advertising, and are pushing their party towards collapse.
Then there is the money problem, the Romney/Santorum proxy battle for the soul of the party is on the verge of causing major financial issues for whoever ends up being the nominee. While President Obama is raising and spending millions of dollars on his field organization for 2012, the Republican candidates are spending more money than they are taking in.
According to Nate Silver, Mitt Romney had the worst cash discrepancy in the history of FEC online records. Romney spent $12.2 more than he took in. I know what you’re thinking, but what about Romney’s Super PAC, Restore Our Future? The vaunted Mitt Romney Super PAC is also spending at a deficit clip. In January, Restore Our Future spent $7.7 more than they took in. All the 2012 GOP candidates have raised $22 million, but they have spent $37 million. Even Republican grassroots fundraising king, Ron Paul is spending more than he is taking in.
In 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton combined to spend $58.4 million in January. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and Super PACs spent $15.4 million on television ads in Florida alone. Romney’s Super PAC ended 2011 with $23.6 million in the bank. In January 2012 they spent $17 million support Romney, and $11 million in Florida alone. In South Carolina, the Republican candidates spent $13.2 million on television ads. Romney and his Super PAC spent $4.7 million.
Republicans are raising less money that the Democratic candidates did at the same point in 2008, but they are spending what they have raised at a much faster clip. If Mitt Romney doesn’t wrap up the nomination on Super Tuesday, and all indicators suggest that he won’t, it is likely that he will have to self-finance the rest of his campaign.
While Republicans continue to the fist fight mired in the muck of primary that seems to have no end, the economy is improving, and President Obama’s job approval rating is rising. Six months before this process started, Republicans thought they could beat Obama because the economy was so bad. Their only strategy for 2012 was to quickly nominate their candidate, let him hammer every day on the economy and hope that things didn’t get better before November.
Instead they have a deeply wounded an unelectable field of candidates who can’t raise money, and full blown rebellion by a party rank and file who tasted success in 2010, and see no reason why they have to give power back to the establishment. Republicans were foolish to think that they could ever put aside their conflict and unify around a candidate to take on President Obama.
The reasons why the 2012 Republican quagmire is not the same as Clinton and Obama in 2008 is that Democratic primary voters had two candidates to choose from that had similar beliefs and were both electable. There was always great potential for Democrats to unify around the winner. Republicans have none of this going for them in 2012.
What we are seeing is a political party moving towards total meltdown, or as Ed Rollins put it, "a fucking mess.” This is a party that is likely to have very little going for it come November. Whoever the nominee is will have to face a personally popular incumbent president with an improved economy to run on.
When all of the above factors are taken together, it is no surprise that Republicans are not optimistic about beating Obama and are already looking ahead to 2016. There is a lot of time until November, but Republican pessimism is on the rise in a big way concerning 2012.