Mitt Romney as the GOP’s nominee in 2016 may seem surprising, considering the fact that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the top two candidates currently in the primary race. While political pundits have predicted that Trump’s shelf life has passed its expiration date with his absurd comments about immigrants, Muslims and women, there isn’t any sign that he is going to go away soon.
It was announced yesterday that the GOP could have a brokered convention in 2016, due to the fact that if Trump translates his poll numbers into primary wins, the party would be otherwise forced into accepting him as the nominee.
This has led to rumors and suggestions that the GOP should draft the loser of the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney, to run – perhaps in order to protect other Republican candidates down the ballot.
The notion of a dramatic, eleventh-hour bid for the nomination by Romney has been floated in the political press several times over the past year, often prompting eye-rolls and sarcastic jokes on Twitter. There are plenty of reasons to question the plan’s viability. The likelihood of a contested convention remains low, and even if it happens, Romney could resist the draft efforts. What’s more, current convention rules dictate that a candidate needs a majority of delegates in each of eight different states to be considered for the nomination — something Mormon support alone is unlikely to provide. And, of course, there’s the fact that Romney has already lost a general election once, and has reportedly acknowledged that he would have a difficult time beating Clinton.
But Romney loyalists say all bets will be off if the first ballot vote at next year’s convention fails to produce a nominee, arguing their candidate’s sense of duty will ultimately win out. (Source)
This idea seems far-fetched, but considering the current field of Republican contenders, Mitt Romney would be a more viable and moderate nominee for the GOP against either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Ted Cruz is less vocal with his extremist ideas than Trump is, but he’s certainly not a moderate by any stretch of the imagination. Marco Rubio is polling in third, and his ideas like undoing marriage equality or LGBT protections are every bit as extreme. John Kasich was initially seen as a reasonable candidate who could make headway in a field full of unlikable candidates, but he’s failed to gain much traction either.
The Republican Party has veered so dramatically far to the right that a person who hasn’t proposed banning people from this country based on their religion would seem like the breath of fresh air the GOP needs, even if it’s just recycled from 2012.
Mitt Romney wouldn’t be likely to win, but his candidacy might not motivate voters to turn out in force across the country as they would to vote against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz – as well as other GOP candidates down the ballot. Republicans have at least 5 members of the Senate who are up for reelection who are vulnerable.
If a polarizing figure like Trump is the Republican nominee, they could also lose control of the Senate and seats in the House as well. That would undo years of work the party has done to establish dominance, and the GOP would rather take one loss in the presidential race instead of many across the board.
The idea does seem like a long shot, but it makes a lot of sense politically considering that Trump is going to cost the GOP the election regardless of whether he’s the nominee or runs as an independent. In other words, Mitt Romney could be asked to, once again, take one for the team – just like his good buddy Paul Ryan in the House.
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