Analysis of 2nd Qtr Financial Reports – How Did the Candidates Do?

fec-logoThere are many narratives and side-stories involved in the race for the White House. Alone, each of these diversions are relatively insignificant, but together they paint the big picture which helps one clarify the true state of the race. Fundraising numbers are a major part of this story telling. They can reveal a lot about who has support, who is gaining traction, and whose campaign is slipping away from them. Voters donate money to primary campaigns for a number of reasons, but I believe the two greatest catalysts that bring out the donors are: One, the donor believes in the cause or the candidate, and two, the donor believes the candidate is best suited to defeated the competition. One is especially glad to donate when their motives include both of those criteria.

The 2nd quarter fundraising numbers for candidates seeking the presidency were published by the FEC little over a week ago and, as they have done in the past, the numbers tell stories. Below are some numbers I’ve compiled from the FEC filings along with some of my unprofessional, but sincere, analysis.

Notes on the table: “Large donations” equal $200 or more, small equals less than $200. On the FEC report they are labeled as “itemized” and “unitemized”, because names of donors and amounts are not reported if they are less than $200 per individual for the election cycle. In the “other” category I have included all donations from other committees as well as any refunds or rebates they received. “Refunds” includes all money given back to donors, usually because of exceeding donor limits. I reduce this before giving the total raised because for Obama is a whopping $600K. “Dispersed” is basically all money paid out by the campaign for operations, money that has been spent but not yet paid is included in the “debt” column.

The 2nd Quarter numbers:
Click here to continue reading

Romney’s New Video ‘College Grads – Where are the Jobs?’ Highlights Plight of Core Obama Supporters

Mitt Romney’s latest ‘Obama Isn’t Working‘ video showcases the plight of college graduates scouring the nation for few-and-far-between jobs. It points out the rough job challenges facing core Obama supporters – young Americans.

E.J. Dionne, from the Taunton Daily Gazette, points out how Romney is much more in touch with what voters care about:

Romney’s Lesson for Obama

The headline read, “Romney for President Launches New Web Video: Obama Isn’t Working: Where are the Jobs?”

The video spoke to the difficulties that new college graduates are having finding work in a brutal job market. This bit of campaign propaganda went straight at the core of President Obama’s political base — young Americans who volunteered for him by the tens of thousands in 2008 and powered him to victory in state after state. If joblessness disillusions enough of those voters, the president will be in trouble.

Romney’s exercise was just a passing bit of politics unlikely to make many waves in an environment obsessed with debt and fears of betrayal among conservatives and liberals alike. But it was hugely instructive.

The Romney video was more in touch with what voters are worried about than anything going on inside our famous Beltway. Consider a Gallup Poll released last week. Asked what was the most important problem facing the country, 31 percent of Americans said the economy and an additional 27 percent specifically said unemployment and jobs, for a total of 58 percent. Only 16 percent listed the deficit or the debt.

[…] Romney is campaigning on the electorate’s animating issue. It’s a nice division of labor for the GOP. Obama is caught up in the tea party’s priorities. Romney isn’t. It’s upside-down politics.

Then there is Romney himself. The conventional wisdom is that he is a weak front-runner, short of support from a Republican establishment that should be rallying around him. […] The interest in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s probable candidacy reflects a hunger on the Republican side for more choices.

Yet Perry will also prove to be a flawed candidate who is far to the right of the country. And on one front, he will enter the race with the worst of both worlds. With his Texas swagger, he will remind those who don’t like George W. Bush of George W. Bush. But many supporters and confidantes of the former president don’t like Rick Perry at all, regarding him as a lightweight who has turned on his patron.

(emphasis added)
To read more, click here.

View Romney’s latest video here.

After nearly three years of Obama and after his $787 BILLION failed stimulus plan, unemployment has grown from 7.8% to 9.2%. These figures (which aren’t bumps in the road) don’t reflect the underemployed and those who have given up on finding a job in the Obama economy.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Wins Straw Poll at the Ohio’s Annual GOP Dinner

ohio map

Ohio GOP Greets Governor Romney with Good News

The six hundred attendees at Ohio’s annual GOP dinner participated in a straw poll for their preferred 2012 GOP candidate. The winner – Mitt Romney, with 25%. If Romney is well liked in the Buckeye State that would be welcome news for the Romney campaign as no Republican has ever won the white house without winning Ohio in the general election, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Poll results:
25% Romney
16% Pawlenty
15% Bachmann
14% Perry (write-in)
9% Paul
5% Cain
5% Santorum
3% Gingrich
2% Huntsman
6% All other write-in combined.

Greeting from Ohio, Governor Romney.

I’m especially impressed Gov. Romney won this straw poll considering he isn’t actively competing in any of the straw polls. For Mitt to do as well as he did at CPAC when other campaigns were spending money trying to win the straw poll and then for Mitt to win this one in Ohio speaks volumes.

New Polls Show Romney As Best Candidate to Go Against Obama, Romney Pulls into Virtual Tie

Rasmussen reported on Wednesday:

In a very early look at Election 2012, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are essentially even.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows Romney attracting 43% of the vote while Obama earns support from 42%. In April, Obama held a five-point edge over Romney.

The news continues to get better for Romney. Public Policy Poll’s most recent survey also puts Mitt up by a point against Obama:

For the first time since last July Barack Obama does not lead Mitt Romney in PPP’s monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race. Romney has now pulled into a tie with the President at 45%.

Obama’s approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. There are 2 things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16% of Democrats are unhappy with the job he’s doing while only 10% of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.

Romney takes advantage of those 2 points of weakness for Obama. He leads the President by 9 points with independents at 46-37. And he earns more crossover support, getting 13% of the Democratic vote while only 8% of Republicans are behind Obama.

Further analysis by PPP concludes that the already wide electability gap between Romney and the rest of the GOP field is widening, and that Obama faces an uphill battle against those who are currently undecided:

An extremely wide electability gap has developed between Romney and all the rest of the Republican candidates. Everyone else we tested trails Obama by at least as much as John McCain’s 2008 margin of defeat and in most cases more. Obama’s up 7 on Michele Bachmann at 48-41, 9 against Tim Pawlenty at 48-39, 12 versus Herman Cain at 48-36, and as usual has his largest lead in a match up with Sarah Palin at 53-37.

Here’s an important note on all of this early 2012 polling though: Obama’s numbers are worse than they appear to be on the surface. The vast majority of the undecideds in all of these match ups disapprove of the job Obama’s doing but aren’t committing to a candidate yet while they wait to see how the Republican field shakes out. Here’s an idea of where these various match ups might stand once all voters have made up their minds:

-In the Obama/Romney head to head 21% of undecideds approve of Obama and 61% disapprove. If you allocate them based on their approval/disapprove of Obama, Romney would lead 52-48.

These two polls provide further evidence that Obama is losing hemorrhaging the support of independents and undecided voters, and that they are conversely warming up to Mitt Romney – I suspect this is due to his laser-like focus on the number one issue on people’s minds today: jobs. There is still a lot of time left, but it’s comforting to know that if the election were held today it’s likely Mitt Romney would be the victor.

Obama has never really taken the economy seriously. His actions, such as promising to veto the cut, cap and balance bill (even though it gets 2-1 approval in polls), show that he is out of touch with the American job seeker and is not qualified to lead lead the nation. Each day Romney continues to look more and more presidential as he makes the economy, unemployment and the national debt his singular focus of concern.

Obama is not working. Mitt Romney for President!

OUCH: Hours Before His Townhall at U of MD, Romney Slams Obama with New Web Video

Wow. I’m glad I woke up early enough to catch this lil’ gem on twitter this morning.

With another superbly-produced, timely web video the Romney camp shows once again that it has the tact and wherewithal to take Obama head-on. This time, the video preempts an Obama town hall, set to take place at the University of Maryland today.

Please watch and share your thoughts:

UPDATE by Jayde – As a follow-up and additional confirmation to Gov Romney’s excellent series of ‘OBAMA ISN’T WORKING’ videos, hear what Howard Davidowitz (CEO of Davidowitz & Associates) had to say yesterday about the Obama Depression:

Return of Mass Layoffs a Grim Sign for U.S. Workers

Putting pressure on an already lousy job market, the mass layoff is making a comeback. In the past week, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Borders announced a combined 23,000 in job cuts. (See: Another Retailer Bites the Dust: Borders Doomed by Amazon Deal, Davidowitz Says)

Those announcements follow 41,432 in planned cuts in June, up 11.6% from May and 5.3% vs. a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Meanwhile, state and local governments have cut 142,000 jobs this year […] and Wall Street is braced for another round of cutbacks. This week, Goldman Sachs announced plans to let go 1000 fixed-income traders.

If these trends continue, we may soon be talking about losses in the monthly employment data — not just disappointing growth, says Howard Davidowitz, CEO of Davidowitz & Associates.

“Everything in business is confidence,” Davidowitz says. “You lose confidence and businesses can’t deal with that [and] who could have confidence with what’s going on in Washington?”

UPDATE 2 by Jayde – The closing of Borders Books

South Carolina Extends Southern Hospitality to Ann Romney

Ann Romney's visit to South Carolina today enabled her to meet Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hartley. Mayor Hartley has endorsed Mitt Romney. ('Photo Of The Day' from July 21, 2011

Ann Romney was treated to gracious southern hospitality yesterday and today as she made the campaign rounds in South Carolina for her husband, Mitt Romney. Throughout the two days of events, she shared insights into the personal life and character of her husband, Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.

Yesterday, Mrs. Romney attended a luncheon at Truffles restaurant in Bluffton. Invited guests included members of the Republican Club of Southern Beaufort County, the Sun City Republican Club, the Hilton Head Island Republican Club, and the Beaufort County Republican Party.

Ann Romney picks Bluffton to start campaigning

Ann Romney made her first campaign appearance anywhere in the nation for her husband, Mitt Romney’s, 2012 presidential campaign bid on Wednesday in Bluffton.
“This is her first stop, her first event of the year, the first one nationally — right out of the gate,” said David Raad, the Romney campaign’s South Carolina director.

Her talk focused largely on the character of her husband of 42 years, how they handled her multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 1998, and their strong family of five sons and daughters-in-law and 16 grandchildren.

She said it’s a good thing for presidential aspirants “to be successful in their personal life … and that’s what I can talk about.

“When Mitt was a young traveling business consultant, he was away a lot and it was very hard for him because he wanted to be home more than anything. I’ll never forget how he would make Herculean efforts to be back just for a night.”

She said other moments in life brought difficult decisions.
“It’s been quite a journey, and now it’s time for Mitt and I to be traveling across the country” and spread a “message that we love this country and that were we’re concerned — that we know our way of life and sometimes maybe even our freedoms may be in peril.

She said she wants her grandchildren to be able to grow up in the country like she did.
“It’s going to be a monumental election,” she said.

“In my heart of hearts, I really believe Mitt will be the nominee,” she said. “There’s some great people running, and they’ll do OK, but Mitt’s gonna win,” she said, drawing applause.
She said her husband will stand out on the top issue. “I think people will be concerned about is jobs and the economy … That’s what he knows. That’s what he’s proven to be very successful at.”

Along with his experience as governor and in private business, where as an investor he has launched and rebuilt companies, he brings his background as running the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, she said.

Ann Romney concluded by referring to her husband’s business success:

We need his golden touch right now. We need a turnaround. And why not go with the guy who does turnarounds and knows how to do it well.

I’m here to encourage you to think about him as the South Carolina primary will be coming up ….

He really will be a fine president and a wonderful addition. I think you will all be very proud of him.”

Continue reading here.

Romney leads the pack of Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina and Iowa polls.


Jerry Hallman, chairman of the Beaufort County Republican Party, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the visit. Hallman’s son worked for the Olympics when Romney took over.

I like Mitt Romney a lot,” Hallman said, “and I think she’s right in that he has what we need right now.”

After the Bluffton luncheon, Mrs. Romney was treated to a reception sponsored by the Charleston-area National Federation of Republican Women in the North Charleston City Hall.

Today, Mrs. Romney met with voters at Magnolia’s Restaurant in Myrtle Beach. While there she was greeted by Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hartley. *Mayor Hartley has announced her support for Mitt Romney.

* Mitt Romney Announces Support of SC Elected Official

July 20, 2011
Boston, MA – Mitt Romney today won the support of the Mayor of North Myrtle Beach, Marilyn Hatley.

I am proud to have the support of Mayor Hatley,” said Mitt Romney. “She will be a vital member of my team in South Carolina as I campaign to reverse President Obama’s failed policies and bring jobs back to South Carolina.”

“President Obama’s policies have been failures for South Carolina and the rest of the country,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. “Rather than lead us toward economic recovery, President Obama has made job creation more difficult for small business owners. Mitt Romney has a proven record of job creation as governor and in the private sector. He is the right man at this extraordinary time to lead our country toward economic recovery.”

Background On Mayor Marilyn Hatley:

Marilyn Hatley Is In Her Third Term As Mayor Of North Myrtle Beach. Hatley has worked on the North Myrtle Beach Woman’s Club and other charitable organizations in the North Myrtle Beach area. In addition to her duties as Mayor, Hatley is the owner of Visible Designs, Inc., a hair salon.

(emphasis added to articles)

It is wonderful to read of Ann Romney’s busy schedule in South Carolina. It’s a general consensus that she is one of Mitt’s greatest assets!

UPDATE: New photo of Ann…
(Love the patriotic spirit evidenced by the fashions of some of the ladies!)

Ann Romney speaks at a reception sponsored by the National Federation of Republican Women at the North Charleston City Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. July 20, 2011

Mrs. Romney has posted additional photos on her Facebook page.

► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Campaign Releases New Video: Mitt on the Road in New Hampshire

A new video from the Romney campaign…

Mitt on the Road: North Country (in New Hampshire)

It’s pretty obvious how much Mitt loves scenic New Hampshire and that he’s completely dedicated to seeing JOBS abound – not just for northern residents of The Granite State – but for all Americans.

A bit of interesting reading…

Pawlenty ad appropriates Romney thematic

Obama Legacy May Be Withering American Dream

Poll: Weakened Obama would lose vote today

► Jayde Wyatt

Los Angeles, CA: Romney Press Conference Highlights Misery of the Obama Economy

Mitt Romney speaks before a crowd at a mostly-empty shopping center in Los Angeles, CA. July 20, 2011 (Photo by Reed Saxon / AP)

With the desolate, shuttered stores of the Valley Plaza Shopping Center (N. Hollywood) in the background, Mitt Romney held a press conference today in Los Angeles, CA. He highlighted Obama’s audacity of indifference regarding the economy and California’s 11.7% unemployment rate. The event was livestreamed by Politico.

President Obama, During An April Visit To Los Angeles: “We Have Made Extraordinary Progress Over The Last Two And A Half Years…

We can go down the list. But we also know we’ve still got a lot more work to do. We’ve just started, and we’ve got a lot more work to do.”

“I Don’t Want You To Lose Sight Of How Much We’ve Gotten Done. What We’ve Done Here Has Been Historic, And We’re Only A Quarter Of The Way Through.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks in Los Angeles, CA, 4/22/11)

Then-Senator Obama In September 2008, When The Most Recent Jobless Rate In California Was 7.5%: “We Can’t Afford Four More Years Of This So-Called ‘Progress.’” OBAMA: “We have the highest unemployment rate in five years. Home values have plummeted. It’s harder to save and it’s harder to retire. Those are the day-to-day challenges that people have. We can’t afford four more years of this so-called ‘progress.’” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks In Dover, NH, 9/12/08)

Few Places In America Are More “Stressed Out” Than California, A State Suffering From Rampant Unemployment And A Struggling Economy:

• California’s 11.7% Unemployment Rate Is Second-Highest In The Nation And Is One-Fifth Higher Than When President Obama Took Office. In January 2009, the unemployment rate in California was 9.7%. The rate had increased to 11.7% by May 2011, an increase of 20% from January 2009 levels. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,, 7/19/11)

• The Number Of Unemployed Californians Has Increased By 20% Since President Obama Took Office. Over 350,000 more Californians are unemployed today than in January 2009. Currently, more than 2.1 million Californians are out of a job. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,, 7/19/11)

• Under President Obama, California’s Labor Force Has Fallen By More Than 200,000 And The State Has Lost Half A Million Payroll Jobs. California’s labor force has contracted by an estimated 225,000 workers since January 2009. Over the same timeframe, the state has shed an estimated 497,100 nonfarm payroll jobs. (Bureau of Labor Statistics,, 7/19/11)

• California Ranked 48th In The Country In Personal Income Growth In The First Quarter Of 2011. (Bureau of Economic Analysis,, 6/22/11)

• Retail Gas Prices In California Are Roughly 80% Higher Than When President Obama Took Office. The average retail price per gallon for all grades/formulations in California was $3.826 for the week of July 11, 2011. For the week of January 19, 2009, the average price in California was $2.11. (Energy Information Administration,, 7/19/11)

CONTINUE reading here.

With a background of 25 years experience working in the private sector, Romney easily pointed out seven points to get the economy working again:

[President Obama] didn’t focus on the economy.He delegated the stimulus to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and they may have had less experience in the economy than he had.” ~ Mitt Romney

Additional photos may be viewed here.


► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney’s Tele-Town Hall: Connects with 10,000 Iowans

With a few touches on a phone screen, Mitt Romney connected with 10,000 Iowans…

Residents of The Hawkeye State received a phone call from Romney on July 17th inviting them to participate in a tele-town hall. Participants were part of a half-hour phone conversation where The Gov took unscreened questions (his usual modus operandi), revealed that Ann, his wife, would be campaigning with him in Iowa, stated that the Iowa State Fair was on his calendar (August), and expressed his appreciation for the residents of Iowa.

When the call ended, Romney indicated there would be another…

Presumptive national front-runner Mitt Romney has visited Iowa just once this year to meet personally with Iowa Republicans, but he talked with nearly 10,000 of them last night by telephone.

Romney promised to come for the Iowa State Fair in August, and added, “you won’t be seeing too little of us.”

One of the questions in the ongoing story line of the 2012 race is how hard Romney will campaign in Iowa, where he invested heavily in time and money four years ago but finished a disappointing second in the Iowa caucuses. He is opting against competing in the Republican straw poll here Aug. 13.

The tele-town hall meeting, the first in Iowa this election cycle, and his comments to listeners indicate he’s not writing off the state, just not running at full sprint here yet.
On Monday night, the campaign cold-called tens of thousands of Iowa Republicans’ residences, and 9,820 people opted to listen in for some or all of the half-hour call.

A moderator asked participants to press 1 on their telephone keypads if Romney could count on them for support in the Iowa caucuses; to press 2 if they’d like to volunteer in their local campaign headquarters; and to press 0 to ask a question.

The participants asked questions, without screening, about how he’d lower gas prices, simplify the tax code, shrink government and improve trade.

Three of the eight listeners who squeezed in a question probed Romney about his strategies: How can you do better against the Democrats than Republican nominee John McCain did four years ago? Will you be someone who tackles President Barack Obama head-on without being “afraid of race or other things”?

And: Why aren’t you participating in the Ames straw poll?

Romney explained that he is opting out of all straw polls – in Iowa, Florida, Michigan and elsewhere.

“We said, you know, resources, money, is hard to come by. We want to use the money we have to win the caucuses, to win the primaries, to win the conventions, to be able to get delegates and become the nominee,” he said.

Romney said he respects the straw poll process, and “nothing should be read into our lack of participation in the straw poll other than we want to do as well as we possibly can in the real contest that selects the delegates.”

He added that Iowans will see him in the Aug. 11 Republican debate here and at the Iowa State Fair. “…My wife and I will be campaigning in Iowa,” he said. “You won’t be seeing too little of us.”

(my emphasis)

Mitt Romney will attend the Iowa State Fair. August 2011

Read the full report here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Fox & Friends Ainsley Earhardt’s Un-American Statement: “Romney Not a Christian”

The panel on Fox and Friends this morning ( FOX News) consisted of Dave Briggs, Ainsely Earhardt, and Clayton Morris. The conversation turned to discussing Rick Perry’s fundraising capabilities when Earhardt dropped a shocker…


Earhardt: “Well, the Christian coalition, I think, he [Perry] could get a lot of money from that…

Briggs interrupts: “Big time!”

Earhardt continues: “because Romney obviously not being a Christian… Rick Perry, he…”

Briggs interrupts: “Oh, yeah!”

Earhardt continues: “he’s [Perry] always on talk shows, on Christian talk shows. He has days of prayer in Texas…”

Briggs: “Next month in Houston…”

Are Ainsely Earhardt and Dave Briggs ignorant regarding Article VI of the United States Constitution? Do they think they know better than those early American patriots – our Founding Fathers – who dedicated their lives and fortunes and sacred honor to free themselves from a religiously oppressive government?

No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

From U.S. Constitution online:

Some of the first colonists of the nation for which the Constitution was written had been seeking to escape religious persecution. The constitutions of several of the states prohibited public support of religion (though some did explicitly support or demand adherence to Christianity). Above all, the many varying sects of Christianity in America required that to be fair to all, there could be preference to none. It would have been disgraceful for anyone to wish to leave the United States because of religious persecution. So the authors decided it best to keep the government out of religion. This is not to say that the United States was not or is not a religious nation. Religion plays a big role in the everyday life of Americans, then and now. But what the authors were striving for is tolerance… something I fear contemporary Americans are lacking.

(emphasis added)

Earhardt’s comment was bigoted (yes, bigoted) and outrageous. The enthusiastic chiming in of Dave Briggs was equally repulsive. The very idea that the United States of America could return to rule by ‘religious clique’ is reprehensible and un-American. Romney’s faith is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They believe in Jesus.

Romney supporters know this election must be about the very serious issues that face our nation. Let FOX News hear from you (often!). Send emails to: and You may phone FOX at 1-888-369-4762. Leave comments on Earhardt’s Facebook page here.

Resource reading:

Article VI Blog
Evangelicals for Mitt

UPDATE: Additional articles
From Hal Boyd –Deseret News

Attempts to contact Fox News regarding Earhardt’s remarks have not yet been returned.

July 18, 2011 The Christian Post
Fox News Host: Mitt Romney Not a Christian

“Let’s face it; Romney simply doesn’t have a consistent worldview and much of what he does believe is contrary to the conservative and Christian worldview,” states an open letter being circulated on July 14, according to Michigan Messenger. Some prominent religious right leaders, including Gary Glenn of the American Family Association’s Michigan chapter, have signed the letter.

“That (Romney’s faith) might be fine for someone running for city council, but he’s running for the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world. To accept his multiple conversions as authentic and then give him the keys to the White House would be foolish. At this critical time in American history, we need a leader more than ever who has spent a lifetime defending and promoting conservative principles. The last thing we need is someone whose ideology abruptly shifted only after he and his consultants decided to prepare him for his first Presidential campaign,” it adds.

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, pastor and author Mark Driscoll said Christian leaders needed to be careful about publicly supporting candidates lest they “turn out to be not that moral.” Driscoll said he could understand the struggle Christians would have considering Romney for president. “He supports our values; he doesn’t worship our God

The American Family Association (AFA) has teamed up with Rick Perry to sponsor his upcoming prayer rally in Texas.

July 18, 2011 The Washington Post
Mormon Mitt Romney not ‘Christian,’ says Fox News host

The question of whether or not Mormons are considered ‘Christians’ is sensitive and controversial. It is also consequential for Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Hunstman[…]

(Read further for details on the ‘Christian’ tack the Pawlenty campaign has taken.)

July 18, 2011 The Washington Post
Romney’s religion a barrier to Republican nod, Cain says

Mr. Cain on Monday became the first of Mr. Romney’s nine declared and potential nomination rivals to say publicly and explicitly something long whispered: namely, that the former Massachusetts governor’s Mormonism is an obstacle too big to overcome in the most solidly Republican region in the country. The South has a high concentration of evangelical Protestants, many of whom doubt the legitimacy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

► Jayde Wyatt