Romney Clinches Nomination, Paul Undeterred
It’s official: Mitt Romney is the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. The presumptive-nominee captured nearly 1 million votes in the Texas primary last night and as a result, won enough delegates to surpass the 1,144 required to clinch the nomination. The victory cemented Romney’s position as President Obama’s principal challenger in November, and his victory brings to a close (for the most part) a tumultuous Republican primary season.
Throughout the campaign, Romney has been the most consistent performer in the Republican field. In nearly every voter poll since August, he’s either been in the lead or in a close second. In addition, he’s received delegates from every state and has won every major swing-state contest (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia).
Although I’d like to continue talking about Romney’s victory, I can’t ignore claims from Ron Paul supporters that the “race isn’t over”. I would like to, but sadly, I must address it. The hope that Paul’s supporters have is preposterous at best. Even if Paul were able to convince 1,144 delegates to change their allegiances, this action would fracture the Party and destroy the GOP’s chance to take back the Presidency.
As of now, Ron Paul and his supporters seem perfectly content to send Barack Obama back to the White House in November. For some reason, they think that when Republicans cast 6 million votes for Romney and 1 million votes for Paul, the voters want Paul to be their candidate. I’m still at a loss trying to find the logic in that argument.
If the people wanted Ron Paul, they would have voted for him. With this in mind, it shocks me that his supporters believe the Party will unite around their candidate if he’s elected. In fact, it would be quite the opposite. If such a move were to succeed, the Party would fracture. There are many people in the GOP, including a number of conservatives, who don’t agree with the radical anti-government rhetoric coming from Paul’s campaign. Thus, his attempts to steal delegates from Romney and seize a nomination that is not his to seize could effectively cripple Republicans’ ability to defeat Obama in November. The 6 million people who voted for Romney aren’t going to automatically switch to Ron Paul just because he’s the Republican candidate. Instead, many of them will stay home or vote for someone else.
Don’t get me wrong. There are things that Ron Paul says and supports that I like (overall, his debt plan is pretty strong). However, there are many things I don’t like (i.e. his plans for extremely small government, immigration, and the restructuring of our financial institutions). My biggest concern here is twofold: First, I believe Romney is the stronger candidate, and that Paul could not defeat Obama in November. Second, Romney has the lion’s share of Republican support, support that wouldn’t easily vote for Congressman Paul. As such, the schism that would follow a Paul victory would essentially ruin our chance to take back the White House.
Ron Paul’s attempt to undermine the will of the people isn’t going to bring the Party closer together. Instead, we would be fractured going into November and Barack Obama would handily win a second term. As such, I urge Ron Paul, once again, to give up and accept the fact that Americans don’t want him to be their President.