Romney’s Democratic Playbook on How to Steal Elections
In every contested primary so far, there are two patterns that have emerged. 1) If the race is close, the media will not call the winner for the conservative candidate against Romney. So far, it has happened to Santorum twice in Iowa and Michigan and Paul once in Maine. 2) If the race is extremely close, the establishment has tried to swing the decision for Mitt Romney. The most egregious case, of course, was the overt cheating in Michigan that changed the rules from a tie of delegates to a win for Romney.
In Ohio, NBC just announced with 85% of the vote in, Santorum is up about 3,000 votes – if that is the margin at 11 p.m. – I can pretty much tell you what will be the lead story at 12 a.m. – Romney will be declared the winner. Why? The Republican establishment has invested far too much in Romney’s candidacy to let the upstart conservative / Tea Party wing of the party to mess up their golden boy.
However, if tonight in Ohio goes the way of Michigan, I think it backfires on the establishment. The fact that Santorum has done so well tonight is a direct reflection on how conservatives view Mitt Romney – he is spoiled little rich boy with a silver spoon in his mouth. I think Romney mad a tactical mistake by allowing his surrogates to steal one delegate. In making the deal, and winning a state that already had voted, Romney cost himself the one shred of credibility he had left. In simple terms, he cheated. Even in 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went through a grueling six month primary marathon neither one tried to manipulate arcane party rules to alter the outcome of a primary, yet that is exactly what Romney did in Michigan.
In the county map of Ohio, another pattern emerges, Romney last all of the rural counties in Maryland while winning the 10 or so urban counties near Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo – all of these areas vote heavily Democrat in general elections. We will see if Romney and his folks take a page out of the Democrat playbook that Republcans complain about every year – waiting until the middle of the night to manufacture votes in urban areas for a narrow statewide win.