Two for two: Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the nomination?

From USA Today:

NASHUA, N.H. – Iowa: Won by a whisker. New Hampshire: Won in a walk.

Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the Republican presidential nomination? There is time, his opponents say, although perhaps not much. To be precise, another 10 days to unleash a barrage against the front-runner and persuade conservatives to coalesce around an alternative who then could carry the South Carolina primary.

On Tuesday night, though, the confetti cannons were being fired at Romney’s victory party. He achieved what no non-incumbent Republican has ever done: win both the Iowa caucuses, dominated by evangelical Christians, and the New Hampshire primary, with its live-free-or-die independents.

“Thank you, New Hampshire,” Romney told an exuberant victory party. “You know, tonight we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.”

After watching one rival after another soar and then crash, the slow and steady candidate prevailed in this year’s opening contests — and succeeded in the state where his presidential ambitions crumbled four years ago as Arizona Sen. John McCain surged from behind to defeat him.

If he also manages to win the Palmetto State on Jan. 21 — scoring what South Carolina GOP strategist Chip Felkel admiringly calls “the trifecta” — supporters and opponents say the former Massachusetts governor credibly could claim to be the presumptive Republican presidential nomination.

. . . .

The Romney camp is braced for what one top strategist called “a war” in South Carolina, a state known for its bruising primary politics. The TV ads and two debates are likely to be the harshest to date

A majority of voters in New Hampshire said Romney would be the strongest general-election candidate, and he was seen as broadly acceptable.

. . . .

Nationally, he is showing growing strength. In the daily Gallup Poll, he has ticked up to 30% for the first time; Gingrich is second at 18%. That puts history on Romney’s side: Since 1976, the candidate who led nationally after the New Hampshire primary has won the nomination.

What’s more, Romney is the only candidate whom a majority of both conservative and moderate Republicans see as an “acceptable” nominee, according to a Gallup Poll taken Thursday through Sunday.

. . . .

The next goal for Team Romney: a Trifecta.

Perry’s Vetting Results in Romney’s Phone Ringing Off the Hook

Texas Governor Rick Perry's signature gesture...

Now that Rick Perry’s debate vetting is divorcing him from some disgruntled conservatives, voters are taking a new look at Mitt Romney:

Thanks to Perry, Romney Phones “Ringing off the Hook

By Emily Friedman
Sept 27, 2021

Several sources close to the [Romney] campaign told ABC News that there has been a noticeable peak in interest since last week’s debate in Orlando, during which GOP frontrunner Rick Perry garnered an onslaught of criticism for his floundering performance.

One top fundraiser said his phone has been “ringing off the hook” in the past few days.

But in addition to rallying the enthusiasm of their base, Romney sources say that donors are opening their pocketbooks in the wake of Perry’s debate performance.

I think that one of the things that’s pretty remarkable is the change that really took place after [the debate],” said Ambassador John Rood, Romney’s Florida finance co-chair. “I’ve never seen such a change in fortune like I saw after the debate.”

“There were obviously many people watching closely to determine where they were going to go this election,” Rood added. ”The debate had a big influence on who these people were going to support.”

Revival comes as Mitt Romney shows ol’ pluck

By Joe Battenfeld
Monday, September 26, 2021

Remember what the pundits were saying about Mitt Romney a few weeks ago? Too wishy-washy. Too boring. Tea Party hates him. Take a shovel and bury him.

Well, guess what? Mitt’s not dead. In fact, he’s back on track to win the GOP nomination. And the guy who was supposed to be beating him, Rick Perry, is about to get the nap time he so obviously needs. The only organization that’s choked worse than the Perry campaign this September is the Red Sox [team stats].

Romney’s revival should not come as a surprise to Massachusetts voters who knew him before he decided to run for president. In the 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney was engaged, forceful and a very tough debater who held his own under grilling by the late Tim Russert. And who can forget then-Gov. Romney publicly dressing down Turnpike chief Matt Amorello after the Big Dig tunnel collapse? Romney was so mad his hair actually fell out of place.

Now Republican voters are finally seeing the old Mitt again, thanks to Perry. The Texas governor has turned Romney from cautious front-runner to scrappy underdog. After Perry’s self-destruction in the last debate, Romney should demand nightly debates — preferably after 9 p.m., when the Texas governor gets sleepy.

Romney has also turned around his campaign with some good strategic moves, such as ignoring — or at least pretending to ignore — those silly straw polls. Anyone who thinks that Herman Cain’s “stunning” victory in Florida proves anything must have grapefruit on the brain. Many of those Cain supporters were obviously expecting free pizza.

Romney’s re-emergence — and Perry’s rapid decline — is also bad news for President Obama, who now faces the prospect of running against a Republican who can win over moderate and independent voters.[...]

(emphasis added to articles)

► Jayde Wyatt

Bloomberg Natl Poll: Romney Closing Gap Among GOP, Ahead of Obama

We knew he would begin to close the gap…

A new Bloomberg National Poll shows Mitt Romney is chipping away at Rick Perry’s lead - with Perry narrowly ahead. And, general election voters prefer Romney.

Republicans give Rick Perry frontrunner status in their party’s presidential primary race even as warning signs flash over his ability to win support in the general election.

The Texas governor is the preferred choice of 26 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney places second at 22 percent, while all of the other Republican candidates get less than 10 percent.

Rick Perry - 26 %
Mitt Romney - 22 %
Michele Bachmann - 9 %
Sarah Palin - 8 %
Ron Paul - 8 %
Newt Gingrich - 4 %
Herman Cain - 4 %
Rick Santorum - 2 %
Jon Huntsman - 1 %

Obama Match-Up

In a hypothetical general election matchup, Perry trails President Barack Obama among the poll’s entire sample, 49 percent to 40 percent, about twice the deficit for Romney.

Among respondents who said they are likely to vote in 2012, a group that is hard to discern 14 months before the election, Romney leads Obama, 48 percent to 45 percent.
A proposal from Romney, the co-founder of Boston-based private-equity firm Bain Capital LLC, to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest income for individuals making $200,000 or less per year is supported by 60 percent of Americans. Even among Democrats, 43 percent say it’s a good idea.

Romney was the only Republican tested in the poll who was viewed more favorably than unfavorably by all respondents.

(emphasis added)

For further details, click here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Bill O’Reilly & David Letterman Discuss Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin

Mitt Romney’s and Sarah Palin’s names surfaced in an exchange between Bill O’Reilly and David Letterman on Letterman’s tv show the other night. The following is video of the discussion (the exchange starts at the 2:00 minute mark):

LETTERMAN: What do you think? Would you vote for Mitt Romney, sir?

O’REILLY: Yeah, I think I might. It depends…. on what he’s going to run on, but he is the front-runner right now.

LETTERMAN: He’s the front-runner?

O’REILLY: I believe so.

LETTERMAN: Now here we have a string of folks who could be considered candidates — all work for your company, Fox News. Part-time governor Sarah Palin?

O’REILLY: Viable. She can raise the money.

LETTERMAN: Yes, but she’s not going to. You and I both know she’s not going to.

O’REILLY: She’s not going to raise the money?

LETTERMAN: No, she can raise money. That’s what she’s good at, but she’s not going to run.

O’REILLY: Why do you say that?

LETTERMAN: Because she knows, she went through a pretty ugly experience with John McCain. She knows that the second a person puts her hand on the Bible and takes the oath of office, the stock starts to drop. There’s just nothing you can do about it.

O’REILLY: I disagree.

LETTERMAN: And her brand would be damaged.

O’REILLY: I disagree. I think Sarah Palin knows she can win some early primaries, she can raise the money…

LETTERMAN: … no, not going to do it.

O’REILLY: And if she doesn’t see some competition standing in the way, she might give it a go.

LETTERMAN: Believe me, I wish she would.

O’REILLY: Why do you wish she would?

LETTERMAN: Because I think it would be entertaining.

O’REILLY: Sure, absolutely true. Big ratings for you and me.

Mitt Romney Most Capable 'Shellacker' of 2012 GOP Hopefuls

Just as the dems are trying to recover from the midterm ‘shellacking’, Republicans are gearing up to extend that shellacking all the way to the White House. Chris Cillizza, from the “The Fix“, reminds us who the most capable ‘shellacker’ is in his latest presidential power ranking line-up. Mitt Romney maintains the top position as most influential leader within the Republican party heading into the 2012 primaries.

“These rankings come from conversations with a variety of Republican strategists — those aligned with potential candidates and those not — as well as an analysis of fundraising potential, quality of staff, name identification, organizational ability and natural on-the-stump talent.

Top Influential Republicans and Possible 2012 Contenders

Here is what he had to say about Mitt Romney:

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, spent the entire 2008 cycle trying to win over skeptics with a be-everywhere-do-everything, Energizer Bunny sort of approach to the presidential race. His style in advance of the 2012 race has been strikingly different; Romney has picked his issues — economic ones, mostly — carefully and avoided wading into every fight with President Obama or intraparty squabble. The goal seems clear: to make Romney look like the adult in the room. And, to date, it’s worked well — establishing him as a candidate of serious purposes who won’t be distracted by the shiny objects thrown in front of him. Romney also has, by far, the most intricate and able political and financial organization in the race — a machine that can instantly be turned on whenever he decides to announce for president. Challenges remain, most notably explaining to Republican primary voters why the healthcare bill he passed in Massachusetts is different from what Congress passed earlier this year.

Here is some video analysis:

@ Yahoo! Video

h/t: Right Wingnut

Here is the full list of those that made the top ten:
1. Mitt Romney 2. Sarah Palin 3. Tim Pawlenty 4. Haley Barbour 5. John Thune
6. Newt Gingrich 7. Mitch Daniels 8. Mike Huckabee 9. Mike Pence 10. Marco Rubio

*The top five are pictured up above in order of their rank.