Thursday, February 7, 2008

Why Mitt Romney Lost the Nomination: Religion

I hoped that I would not ever have to write this blog, but I always knew that it would happen. Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency ended today after he could not overcome two things: first, the reason most Republicans nationally say why they did not support him, his inconsistency on important issues; and second, his religion was anathema to those who could not overcome the first reason.

It started going downhill last Spring, when the first videos and articles from 1994 and beyond came out, showing his incredible flip-flop. It got worse in December when Romney himself injected his religion into the debate when he could have just kept his mouth shut about it. But the final blow came when Governor Mike Huckabee knowingly and intentionally inserted his little question in the Times magazine interview. That’s what broke the camel’s back in Iowa, and Romney couldn’t recover in South Carolina, Florida, or nearly anywhere else. Too many Republicans would say they would not like his inconsistency, but it served as a genteel covering for religious intolerance.

I knew when Romney started this quest that I would have to tell everyone I knew that the current makeup of the Republican party would not accept a Mormon as their presidential nominee; it is true that he was a flawed, unprincipled Republican, but he was still a Mormon. I hope this teaches Mormon Republicans a lesson: for the past 30 or so years, the national Republican party used Mormons for their votes, didn’t give them much in return, and wouldn’t let a Mormon lead their party.

I hope that Utah Republicans and Republican-leaning unaffiliateds will realize this betrayal and start thinking about voting for Democrats, both nationally and locally. Some of this could have started happening by the relatively large turnout in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. However, I am not putting any money down on that hope.


Tuth in Politics said...

I think he actually lost it because voters could see that he was spewing rhetoric and wasn't be true to what he really believes. That and the fact that he ran the most negative campaign of all the GOP candidates.

Captain Spyglass said...

I had this same argument with my Brother down in Draper. I told him that Romney had no chance winning the GOP nomination for President. Romney's National Numbers really never changed. True he received media attention (35 million buys attention) but the reality is the over 60 voters are still biased against Mormons. Things will be different in two cycles.

WP said...

The Democratic tent is a large one, room enough for Mormons that find their reservation with the R party was given to someone else.

Nick said...

I wasn't too surprised to see that the Republican party has just as much religious intolerance as the Dems; it just depends on which religion is the pariah.

I think most Utah Republicans will still vote for the party nominee come November, but I for one won't forget Huckabee's slander (and he knew exactly what he was doing), or the comments made by McCain's mother, and how nobody from the party called them on it (yeah, I know, McCain can't be held responsible for his mother's views, but seeing how he was raised sure made me wonder).