John Hood isn’t the only writing about the likelihood of a Mitt Romney victory in the Republican presidential race. The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost tackles that theme as well in his latest “Morning Jay” update.
I’m not going to weigh in on the “real Romney” today. Instead, I want to focus on Romney’s substantial strategic advantages in the upcoming nomination battle, which might very well give him a leg up. And the fact that people question his true conservatism is hardly a disqualifier from the GOP nomination, if history is any guide. After all, people questioned the beliefs of George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain, and they all won the nomination.
A big reason why is that the nomination process is not a litmus test wherein the true conservatives make the final call. Instead, it’s an election just like any other – where relatively uninformed, non-ideological voters in the center make the ultimate decision. Sure, these swing Republicans are more conservative than the swing voters in the general election – but they’re still not what you would call conservative. The candidate who can appeal to them is the one who wins – and to do that, it takes something more than ideological purity.
Romney has that going for him.
Cost goes on to document three advantages for Romney: There is nobody to his left, he has money, and he’s likely to fare well in what Cost labels a “Mormon corridor.”