Game Change: Can Mitt Romney Beat Obama?
Thanks to some big wins last night on Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is standing tall among the GOP pack with 415 delegates. Now that the GOP nomination looks like Romney's for the taking, what can he do to win the Presidency? When it comes to Mitt Romney, its important to remember that many of the attacks on him from his GOP rivals such as having been governor of a liberal state, his support of a popular health-care reform law in said liberal state, combined with his reluctance to talk about faith and social issues on the campaign trail, choosing instead to focus on economic growth—won't hurt him the same way during a general election. In fact, Romney can turn some of these perceived weaknesses into strengths in a match against President Obama, if he takes the right steps moving into the general.
Step 1: Create an effective economic message and stick to it.
As Joe Scarborough and other conservative commentators have pointed out, developing and sticking to a clear message is something Romney has struggled to do throughout the GOP primary—perhaps in part because he and his campaign staff have felt the need to constantly adjust his positions in order to appear "conservative enough" to the most conservative voters. If he can craft a strong message centered on growing the economy and creating jobs, this might help tilt swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania in his favor, where people have been hit very hard by the Great Recession.
Step 2: Reach out to women and minorities.
In addition to crafting a strong economic message in the general, Romney needs to develop some serious outreach to women and minorities, particularly Latino voters. Because he hasn't gone on quasi-rants about things like birth control pills and the separation of church and state the way his rival Rick Santorum has, or accused the current POTUS of exhibiting “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior” (whatever that means) as his rival Newt Gingrich did, Romney appears much more mainstream than his primary opponents, and he can use this to his advantage in building support among women and minorities. Additionally, holding moderate, mainstream positions on things like immigration reform, education, the environment, and touting his record on health-care reform rather than hiding from it, can also improve his chances with these key demographics. Romney should no doubt also consider a conservative Latino such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, or New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez as a potential running mate.Continued on the next page