There is a good chance Romney will NOT get the nomination if Obama’s poll numbers remain weak.
The consensus among Republican strategists is that Romney has the best chance, in fact a very good chance, of beating Obama primarily because he could appeal to independents. The consensus among the “anybody but Romney” Republican ultra-conservatives is that almost anyone has a very good chance, in fact near certainty, of beating Obama. Most of them are so convinced that Obama will lose that they are focused on the ideological purity of their candidate rather than his/her electability. The real choice for them is between the non-Romney ultra-conservatives in the race—Perry, Paul, Bachmann, Gingrich, and, especially, Cain. Obama’s weakness in the polls only strengthens their belief that a pure ultra-conservative can win. Additionally, they believe that once in office an ultra-conservative could with the stroke of an executive pen sweep away the hated Obamacare, government regulations, privatize Social Security, and do all manner of wonders that would set everything right once again.
This right-wing certainty that anyone can beat Obama is only strengthened by Obama’s continued weak job approval numbers. That may well be Obama’s salvation. An anybody-but-Romney ultra-conservative probably will be a lot easier for Obama to defeat than Romney since such a candidate will have a harder time attracting independent voters. And, Republicans are more likely to nominate just such a candidate if they believe that Obama can be easily beaten. The irony is that Obama’s low poll numbers may be working in his favor since the weaker he appears the greater the chance he will get a weak opponent rather than one with cross-over appeal like Romney.
It is something to think about.