Polls Put Romney Back in His Place
After Obama's successes on health care and immigration, the GOP candidate's appeal is shrinking.
This places Romney in a precarious position, since a debate over universal health care only serves to highlight his most significant flip-flop of all. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney supported and signed what Tim Pawlenty once called "Obamneycare."
This is surely a point that Obama won't ignore in their upcoming debates, and it weakens Romney's past tagline of "repeal and replace." Especially after the conservative-leaning court sided with Obama on the issue, the only question for Romney will be "Replace with what?" That's not a question for which Romney has a viable answer.
B(l)ack to Reality: Obama's Winning Coalition
As one may expect, all polls showed Obama getting a lift from African Americans, Latinos, younger voters and women. The Republican attacks on female reproductive rights have not boded well. Neither has the anti-Latino rhetoric espoused by GOP operatives.
In refusing to differentiate himself from the far right and by openly associating with Birthers like Donald Trump -- as well as failing to denounce Rush Limbaugh's offensive statements about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke and Ted Nugent's viscerally violent comments about President Obama -- Romney has displayed an inept character and lack of political posture or backbone. His willingness to appease a racist and misogynist constituency only proves that he's not a man interested in representing the broader electorate.
Romney's only chances now lie with GOP attempts to disenfranchise minorities through newly enforced voter-ID laws and an incessant effort by conservatives to pour limitless amounts of money into the Romney campaign and anti-Obama super PACs. These are largely led by the billionaire Koch brothers and Bush adviser-turned-GOP rainmaker Karl Rove.
Rove has already raised $30 million through American Crossroads, the PAC he established after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. The Kochs have vowed $400 million or more and are on course to fulfill their promise through a network of wealthy donors, many of whom are Wall Street moguls that have abandoned Obama in his efforts to reform the country's financial and mortgage markets and create a more equitable tax code.
But even with multimillions being spent in key swing districts, the latest poll numbers reflect a pro-Obama nation -- one in which money buys neither love nor likability. Romney must find a new way to connect with voters or else he'll march steadily on to a November defeat. Either way, health care, immigration and a changing racial and ethnic demographic may put a dent in Romney's chances to claim the White House.
Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing regularly on MSNBC, Al-Jazeera and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.