Days of Change

Mitt Romney Ran a Terrible Campaign | January 2, 2018

It may be more accurate to write that Romney ran a terrible national campaign. In the 2012 primaries, Romney won early with 52% of the primary vote and carried 42 states. In 2016, Trump won 41 states and 45% of the vote. However, Trump beat Romney soundly in total votes, 14 million to 10 million. Authentic contests can be very exciting.

Incumbency is tough to beat, but the Romney campaign made mistakes in the way they deployed ads, their reliance of sketchy technology and ignoring the base in the general election. Trump did much of the opposite. He used the free resource of Twitter, augmented technology with old fashioned rallies and talked about issues like fair trade and border security that had become non-issues for many leaders in both parties.

When it comes to statewide office, it’s a different ballgame. Mitt Romney was able to become governor of Massachusetts, not an easy feat in a more liberal state. In 2012, he got nearly 3/4 of the vote of Utah while Donald Trump couldn’t even get 50% (Trump still won because Evan McMullin was a spoiler). This is important today.

Orrin Hatch announced he would not run for reelection in the Senate. The rumor for a while has been that Mitt Romney would like to run for that seat. Romney is a Mormon, a plus in Utah, as well as being the man who made the Salt Lake City Olympics profitable. Plus, his status as a “NeverTrumper” will not negatively impact him in the only state where Evan McMullin polled in double digits.

Even if I find it amusing when Trump has to face reality, Trump opponents in the GOP tend to find themselves without a constituency. Does Romney plan to be part of a Swamp Caucus bent on stopping border security and dismantling Obamacare? I suspect he will be as about as effective with that as he was with the 2012 campaign.



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