Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Ohio Problem

We’ve all heard the axiom, “as goes Ohio, so goes the nation”. In fact, no Republican has ever won the Presidency without winning Ohio. And for this year’s GOP presidential primary, Ohio is the top prize in what is turning out to be a critical Super Tuesday on March 6th.

In fact, just yesterday analyst Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics identified Ohio as the key state between a Romney runaway and the possibility of a brokered convention.
So the viability of a three-way split probably comes down to Ohio, which has a fair number of evangelicals, though not to the degree that Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia do. Santorum has some strengths he can draw on in the Buckeye State, as his blue-collar message could play well even among Republicans there. If he wins, it means that we probably do have a deeply divided GOP, with Gingrich taking the anti-Romney vote in the South, and Santorum taking the anti-Romney vote in the Midwest.
So with Ohio holding such incredible importance to Mitt Romney’s hopes of becoming President, why is he betraying the very Ohio conservatives he needs to assure victory?

Let me explain.

As many of you may have read already, Ohio Republicans are currently in the midst of a major power struggle between moderate Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine and Governor John Kasich, Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, and other conservative elected officials.

Conservatives are up in arms against DeWine for a number of offenses, such as actively working against Governor Kasich in the mainstream media, by working to divert fundraisers away from Kasich near the end of his close battle against incumbent Gov. Strickland in 2010, lying to contributors, outright shunning members of the Tea Party in Ohio, and most recently, blatantly abusing and violating the Party’s own bylaws in order to prevent Tea Party candidates from getting seated on the State Central Committee.

So how does this all connect to Romney?

Brett Buerck, widely known among Ohio political activists for his scandal plagued career, is now back as one of Mitt Romney’s point men in organizing Ohio. Buerck is also known as ORP Chairman DeWine’s closest consultant on Party politics. Finally, Romney’s sole appearance in Ohio during this entire campaign season was months ago when he appeared arm-in-arm with DeWine in southeast Ohio and proceeded to flip flop against Kasich’s government union reform bill, all at the recommendation of DeWine.

In other words, Romney is counting on Buerck and DeWine to lead him to victory in Ohio.

Make no mistake. Conservatives and Tea Party members are actively engaged in Ohio state politics. With such an intense focus on Ohio’s GOP primary, there is no doubt they’ll play a huge part in who ends up with Ohio’s massive number of delegates on Super Tuesday.

By working with Buerck and DeWine , Romney is making it crystal clear where he stands when it comes to wooing Ohio’s conservative base. In fact, by allowing Buerck and DeWine to lead his Ohio effort, Romney is effectively aligning himself against the very people he needs if he wants to win the nomination and the general election in November.

Ohio is well known among national political strategists as being the home of a bevy of quality political hacks. There are throngs of men and women with a strong history of leading congressional and statewide candidates to victory. In other words, Romney has no requirement to rely so heavily on state organizers with such sordid stories as DeWine and Buerck. He can easily look elsewhere and avoid the danger of giving the middle finger to Ohio conservatives and Tea Party members.

If he wants to win the Presidency, that is...


  1. It's becoming clear that the only candidate that Tea Partiers should get behind is Santorium, in my opinion. Newt has burned too many bridges, Paul has no clue on foreign policy, and Mitt won't even try to act like he cares about the Tea Party. I was for Newt, now I am behind Santorium.

    Early voting is open, Modern, when will your bus come pick me up and take me to my voting location, or do you guys only do that for democrat voters? How much money do you pass out on the early voting busses?

    1. You can't even spell his last name right. It's Santorum. And as far as foreign policy goes, Paul sits on the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs. Because of the intel he receives with this position, he has a much better clue about foreign affairs than any of the other 3 who base their foreign policy on what the media tells them. Research Ron Paul before you go around saying he has no clue.

  2. Mitts problem is that he is the Republican version of John Kerry, he changes his position based on how the wind blows, and he will probably meet the same fate as Kerry

  3. Four candidates, each with substantial segments of a badly divided party both committed, and opposed, to their candidacies.

    As things now stand, none can win a majority of their party, let alone a plurality of the national vote.

    The GOP's best hope -- its ONLY hope -- is an open convention. Stay tuned.

  4. Anyone see Palin's CPAC speech? WOW!!!

  5. In an open convention, who is the great consensus pick supposed to be? The only one I can think of who hits the "conservative enough for the conservatives" and "sane enough for the moderates" is Pawlenty, and he washed out of the primaries based on total public indifference.

  6. That the dewine family holds both elected office in Ohio as a supposed (R) and chairs the party in the state is about as much as you need to know about the current state of the dead elephant party, particularly here in Ohio. Were there any justice, Mike and Kevin would be the first ones into the barrel of tar.


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