|Rhett Butler ... Slade Gorton ... men, real and fictional (you decide) ... with Harlequin Romance names and strong, manly jaws. Could Mitt Romney (nee Willard, but how romantic is that...?) join this pantheon of cheesy goodness?
Let's go to the polls...
The latest ABC/WaPo poll (Rasmussen is for suckers) shows the Mittster with incredible staying power, even with his Mormonic baggage.
Romney has a healthy lead in New Hampshire, with 37 percent (the highest I've seen any Republican score in any poll to date). And despite the fact that a whopping 6 in 10 voters served say they could still change their minds, Romney's lead is remarkable in that he leads in almost every category -- he's seen as having campaigned the hardest (50% say that), and he's trusted by most to handle the economy (44% to Rudy's 19%), the deficit (38% to Rudy's 18%), healthcare (37% to Rudy's 13%), taxes (37-17), abortion and gay civil unions (even with the flip-flop he's at 34% to 16% for Rudy and just 11% for Huckabee and 10% for McCain), immigration (even with the newly fired help from Tijuana, he's up 34-19 over NY Snidely Whiplash...) and, Rudy's gonna hate this, he ties with Rudy for trust on Iraq (though McCain beats them both at 36%). The only place Rudy beates Mitt in terms of trust by NH Republicans is on terrorism, where Snidely ties with McCain at 31% and Mitt gets 17%.
And while Mitt gets dealt with by Huckabee in Iowa among religious conservatives, he beats the Huckster across the board with religious voters in New Hampshire. The lesson may be that Republicans in New Hampshire are an entirely different sort than the religous nuts ... I mean conservates... of Iowa (where 80% of Republicans actually think GWB is doing a fine job as president...)
The bad news for Huck is that he may well win Iowa, but he will face a Mitt-style roadblock in the following state. How that plays out when the gang heads back to the Bible Belt (SC) remains to be seen. And if Mitt and Huck split the first three contests, will that open the door for Snidely in Florida?
The GOP race is actually more interesting in some ways than the sniping, griping, back-biting Democrat race. These old, white men are really running a contest, made the more fascinating by the fact that they're running a race in which NONE of them are actually well liked by their constituents. They're essentially battling to be the least unacceptable.
More on the poll from ABC News here.
And we await the responses of the GOPers on Iran's surprising lack of nukes, and president's apparent stalls, or lies, about them ...
We also await Mitt's big religon speech...
And the Huckster faces new problems over a controversial prisoner release in Arkansas. The HuffPo did the digging...
Labels: 2008, ABC News, polls, Republicans