Sowell examines the anti-Romney votes

Thomas Sowell‘s latest column probes the latest developments in what many pundits had expected to be Mitt Romney’s “coronation as the inevitable Republican candidate for President of the United States.”

In a sense, this year’s campaign for the Republican nomination is reminiscent of what happened back in 1940, when the big-name favorites — Senators Taft and Vandenberg, back then — were eclipsed by a lesser known candidate who seemed to come out of nowhere.

As the Republican convention that year struggled to try to come up with a majority vote for someone, a chant began in the hall and built to a crescendo: “We want Willkie! We want Willkie!”

If there is a message in the rise and fall of so many conservative Republican candidates during this year’s primary season, it seems to be today’s Republican voters saying, “We don’t want Romney! We don’t want Romney!”

Even in Colorado, where Governor Romney came closest to winning, the combined votes for Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich added up to an absolute majority against him.

After delivering bad news to Romney partisans, Sowell delivers even worse news to conservatives.

Some politicians and pundits seem to think that President Obama is vulnerable politically because of the economy in the doldrums. “It’s the economy, stupid,” has become one of the many mindless mantras of our time.

What Obama seems to understand that Republicans and many in the media do not, is that dependency on the government in hard times can translate into votes for the White House incumbent.

Growing numbers of Americans on food stamps, jobs preserved by bailouts, people living on extended unemployment payments and people behind in their mortgage payments being helped by government interventions are all potential voters for those who rescued them — even if their rescuers are the reason for hard times, in the first place.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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