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Last Night’s Returns & Romney’s needed coalition maintenance

There are two stories coming out of yesterday’s primaries and caucuses, the first which has gained the greatest currency that Rick Santorum lost the two biggest contests, the second, mentioned mostly on pro-Romney (or anti-Santorum) blogs that Mitt Romney won a plurality of the delegates.

The former Massachusetts governor cleaned up in American Samoa, winning all nine of the territory’s delegates and won a big victory in Hawai’i, running twenty points ahead of Santorum, capturing an absolute majority on the island of Oahu and narrowly losing to Ron Paul on the big island.  As a result, as John Hinderaker pointed out, Romeny “added six delegates to his lead“.  Hugh Hewitt says he netted only 5, winning 40 delegates to Santorum’s 35.

That said, Mitt Romney’s failure yessterday to build on his showing in previous Southern contests (as per Jay Cost’s analysis) indicates that he still need do some serious “coalition maintenance” (to borrow an expression Paul Gigot coined in a January edition of’s Political Diary (available by subscription) back in January).

Not quite sure what he needs to do, but it might help him to reach out to some conservatives who have been critical of his candidacy.  Should Romney win the Republican nomination, he’s going to need a fully activated, energized and operational conservative base not just to win the presidency but to help his fellow partisans in down ballot races in order to have a governing majority come next January.



  1. The Conservative base doesn’t trust Romney. How do you get trust? People look at Romney’s liberal record & it speaks for him, although he chooses to ignore his liberal record since he can’t defend it. Romney is swimming in dinosaur manure, yet he doesn’t realize it. Romney is incredulous. Just because he says something doesn’t make it so.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — March 14, 2012 @ 3:43 pm - March 14, 2012

  2. Romney seems to win in a lot of states he won’t win in November; Hawaii, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts…

    Romney only seems to be able to win by vastly outspending his opponents. Will he be able to vastly outspend Obama in the Fall campaign?

    Comment by V the K — March 14, 2012 @ 6:31 pm - March 14, 2012

  3. Romney is not helping himself with his Star Trek Borg-like comments about Conservatives eventually voting Romney since he’s the only one left:

    Romney’s arrogance & his inability to persuade the Conservative is a big problem. He cannot exist with Democrats & Independents alone. Without the base, Romney is toast. He’s not helping himself here.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — March 15, 2012 @ 10:31 am - March 15, 2012

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