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Peter is right about the movement in the nation polls.  From one perspective, Romney gaining 28 points on Santorum is two weeks is just nuts.  It isn’t like Santorum has been revealed to be a cannibal serial killer or a microscope has discovered Romney’s principles.  We’ve lots of these wild swings of opinion in the Republican race.  The early swings made sense.  Most people, even people who were interested in the Republican primaires, weren’t paying much attention and didn’t know much about the candidates.  But it has been almost two months since Iowa and, in that time, we’ve had a Romney and Santorum surge (to parity with Gingrich for Santorum and the lead for Romney), a Gingrich surge, another Romney surge, a second Santorum surge and third Romney surge.  That’s just in the national polls.   I’m not betting against another Santorum surge.  Why can’t Republican voters even come close to making up their minds?

Over at NRO, Reihan Salam asked Yuval Levin about why this year’s election is so important.  Levin responded that, if we  if we go another four years with Obamacare  unrepealed and Medicare unreformed, it gets much more difficult to reform health care and entitlement policy.  There is always hope, but time is on the side of social democracy on these issues.  That isn’t even getting into the damge that could be done if Obama replaced one of the five non-liberal Supreme Court Justices.  And meanwhile, we just had a debate focused on earmarks, and who voted for earmarks in the Senate and who only requested earmarks as governor.  Romney likes these kinds of in-the-weeds symbolic fights.   It makes his opponents look bad and takes people’s minds off his own lack of principles.  Meanwhile, Santorum can’t stay out of his own way for more than a week at a time and Gingrich is still a disgrace.   Maybe the wild swings in the polls have a logic to them.  Maybe Republican primary voters sense that the stakes are very high and that the choices on offer are inadequate to the moment.   


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