The Reagan-loving Republican Party is suffering from a deep deficiency of the Gipper's sunny optimism as it fears Mitt Romney is totally doomed to lose the 2012 presidential election despite all kinds of data to the contrary. Earlier this month, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough declared, "I've yet to meet a single person in the Republican establishment who thinks Mitt Romney will win the general election this year." In March, conservative columnist George Will urged Republicans to give up on Romney and concentrate on winning the Senate. On Friday, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports that the pessimism is pervasive, "apparent in rampant discussions about which Republicans will run in 2016 - talk that obviously presupposes a loss in November -- and it’s downright glaring in private conversations with GOP officials on Capitol Hill and in consulting shops across Washington."
What's weird about all this is that not only are there all kinds of polling data showing Romney isn't doomed at all, but the thing they think doomed him, a long primary, has historically benefited candidates who went on to be elected.
First, the polls should be cheering Republicans. Gallup's tracking poll has Romney beating Obama by 48 percent to 43 percent. The Wall Street Journal's Neil King reports Obama's current lead over Romney -- 49 percent to 43 percent -- is just within its margin of error. More Americans think Romney has good ideas for fixing the economy than think Obama does. Further, King writes:
The public, by a slightly wider margin, also gave Mr. Romney higher marks over the president for an ability to change the political tone in Washington, which was one of Mr. Obama's primary campaign pledges in 2008.
(Silly voters never learn. The tone will never change! Accept this and move on.)