Matter Over Mind
Mitt Romney should have wrapped up the Republican nomination a long time ago. He has an enormous organizational advantage, the endorsement of a great majority of the Republican party establishment, and a huge money advantage in money raised by his campaign and his superPAC; yet, Romney is fighting for his political life in his birth state against Rick Santorum who was barely a second tier candidate back in the fall of last year.
A couple of things to be noted before I continue: 1) I am supporting Rick Santorum’s candidacy; 2) I am not paid for my opinion or for my stream of consciousness writing (who would want to pay for this anyway); and 3) I am a student of politics, and while I do not pretend to know everything about it, I do have a take or two to occasionally share through my posts.
There has been a lot of pundits who have written about and reported on the lack of connection between Romney and blue collar voters especially in the mid-west. While those views have some truth, the real problem which is the foundation of the Romney’s disconnect is not malice on the part of Romney, but rather that Romney is over-thinking it and not feeling it.
Politics has always been about the heart and passion of the candidate seen through the actions (or proposed actions) of the policies that are promised to be enacted. Romney is trying to provide the meat (of beating Obama) without delivering on the sizzle (of why he should be the one who beats him). In 2008, Hillary Clinton had the same advantages of money and organization against Barack Obama and we saw how that played out; the emotion of Change overwhelmed the precision of Clinton’s organization.
I do not think Mitt Romney will win in Michigan tomorrow or the Republican nomination because he simply does not understand what matters to regular everyday people.
Winning the Presidency is an exercise of Matter over Mind. If you can find out what matters to people, then you can win their minds so that they will vote for you. Voters are people who are exercising their choice on an emotional level. Hope in 1992 and Change in 2008 energized the Democratic base to win national elections. Romney’s inability to connect to what matters to people is his downfall; if Santorum, Gingrich or Paul has any chance of beating Obama in the fall, they better learn from Romney’s mistake.