When 2012 started I was quite excited about the Republican primaries to select their presidential candidate to face off against Barack Obama in November. To put it bluntly I have become quite bored with the contest. Perhaps that is my problem, watching American politics as a sport rather than a serious process to select a leader. Is that a fault not also found in the media?
There was something great about the first month or so, from the Iowa Caucuses to the Florida Primary, but I think the Florida Primary put any doubt to bed in any substantial way – Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee when the delegates meet in Tampa, Florida.
Virtually every week my chosen commentators have proclaimed that ‘this week is the most important in the primary process.’ It got to the point that I could tell they were laughing under their breath at their own choice. South Carolina was critical, then Florida was critical, then Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, most recently Michigan was the critical battle, and this week it is Ohio. Romney has won virtually every one of these contests. More importantly he is steadily amassing delegates.
I think the media has done a good job at ginning up the audience that these are all important primaries. My opinion remains that Republican voters, the base itself, is not convinced. A huge number of Republicans are unhappy with their slate of candidates. It makes me happy to be a New Democrat, really. Despite all the hype turnout is down state after state compared to 2008. I also heard on MSNBC that overall ratings for the elections are down.
This could very well be a consequence of only the Republicans having a contested primary. Four years ago Clinton and Obama struggled to win the final support of their party. Still, the dismal Republican field has failed to inspire Republican voters and the broader public, including junkies like me north of the border. I would hope that if Romney wins Ohio tonight the discussion about the GOP nomination dies down. Even if Santorum wins Ohio the race is still over, he has proven he is too conservative to have appeal broadly. I understand that statistically he has not won yet, but really it feels all but a formality. Though maybe tomorrow morning when I turn on the news I will hear how the ‘battle really moves on to Kansas [or perhaps Missouri], there we’ll see if Romney can finally put Santorum away.’
The New York Times has a great website for following the GOP primary, link here.