Santorum recently announced that he was suspending his campaign. On his website, he addressed this in an article entitled A Message from Rick and Karen: Thank You. Santorum discusses his recently born daughter Bella, who has pneumonia, and thanks voters for their help and support. The article explains that the campaign is in debt, which is pointed as the main reason his campaign is not continuing. Santorum wants the campaign to continue, but cannot at this point. He is still reaching out to voters for support in donations. According to The New York Times article Santorum Offers his Plans, but First, a Debt, he was more than $900,000 in debt in February, and he has not yet revealed how much debt has piled on since then.
Now that Santorum has dropped out as a Republican candidate for the presidency, Romney is acting as though he has already gotten the delegates he needs. There is a reason he is acting this way. There is a link to the delegate tally in my last post. Currently, Romney has 684 delegates, Gingrich has 136, and Ron Paul has 60. Romney has a significant lead over the other candidates.
I found this chart from The Washington Post Which Candidate was Talked About Most this Week?
CANDIDATE TWITTER MENTIONS MEDIA MENTIONS
Though Romney has 684 out of the 1,144 needed to win the Republican nomination, he is far ahead of his competition. He is mentioned a lot on social media sites such as twitter, and is mentioned a lot by the media as well. Obama gets more media mentions because he is already president. Romney is mentioned even more than Obama on twitter, which is important to his campaign. Pearl has been covering the content of the nominees’ twitter messages, and how what has impacted their campaigns. Now that Santorum has suspended his campaign, Romney definitely has the spotlight, and has motivation to act as if he has won the nomination already.
Now that he has confidence that he has gained enough speed to be the republican candidate, Romney is focusing more on attacking Obama.
An episode of Saturday Night Live discusses Romney’s strategy to attack Obama. Romney has been criticizing Obama, especially in terms of economics. He is doing this for many reasons. One is that Romney wants to win, and in order to do so, he wants to point out flaws in his opposition. Also, he wants to challenge Obama to show that though he has been confronted about his views possibly being too liberal, that he is conservative enough for republican voters. To tie these ideas together, republican voters would not vote for a president who they do not find able to improve the economy. According to an article on the msnbc website, Romney gave a speech about what Obama will and will not say in his acceptance speech if elected. In his speech, Romney said “What you won’t hear at that convention is that for the last 38 months, unemployment has been above 8 percent, that we’ve had 24 million Americans that are out of work, stopped looking for work, or underemployed.” He argued that Obama has not been improving the economy. Romney is focusing on how he will turn around the economy. He has Moms Drive the Economy bumper stickers. He also has a section called Jobs and Economic Growth, which discusses his general plans for jobs and the economy, and then has sections for the economy and jobs in terms of taxes, spending, energy, regulation, labor, human capital and trade. The tax section includes a section called “what’s at stake,” “Obama’s failure,” and “Mitt’s Plan.” This section shows that he is specifically pinpointing Obama as an opponent. He is not attacking Paul, Gingrich or Santorum, but Obama instead.
Romney is not only attacking Obama, but attempting to spread word of his message as much as he can. He is doing so on his website and other forms of social media. He is also, trying to visit as many groups of people as possible. Philip Rucker from The Washington Post explains in his article entitled Romney tries to ‘bracket’ Obama, plans ‘prebuttal’ speech in Charlotte that Romney is attempting to follow the strategy that “to beat a sitting president, you first have to chase him around the country.” In fact, Romney is made fun of in an episode of Saturday Night Live, for attempting to gain support from groups all over the country that he is not really on the same page with. This relates to my last blog post, which discusses whether candidates are connecting with the public. Saturday Night Live appears to be implying, as my interviewee in my last post did, that Romney is not connecting with the public as well as he could be.
If Santorum has taught us one thing it is that anything can happen in times like these. Santorum was gaining a lot of speed after having little support at the beginning of his campaign, and seemed to have the best chance at beating Romney as the “conservative alternative”. Even after making multiple mistakes such as insulting the speech about the separation of church and state. He had even been gaining speed with social media sites, as Ryan explains in her last article Last Facebook Words from Santorum, Who Will Take Over Dominating Social Media? If all that wasn’t surprising enough, he recently dropped out after all of this progress. So, anything is possible. Now I will discuss the other candidates, and their chances of catching up.
So what will it take for Gingrich to gain more speed? He is fairly active on twitter and has the least amount of twitter mentions out of all the candidates. He will also need to attract more media attention. Though he is ahead of Ron Paul, he still needs to step up his game. He might serve as a replacement for Santorum as a more conservative option, but he has been inconsistent. He certainly is trying to appear as the conservative alternative, advertising himself as the “the last conservative standing.” He has also not been able to connect with voters like Romney and Santorum. Only time will tell whether Gingrich can climb and challenge Romney to the degree Santorum did. Even Santorum was trailing Romney by a significant amount with 262 delegates, which was less than half of what was needed to match Romney.
What would it take for Ron Paul to catch up? In my honest opinion, it would take a lot. He has a little over 11 percent the amount of delegates Romney has, and less than half the amount Gingrich has.
In conclusion, I believe Romney has a very good chance of winning the candidacy, but there is still ability for some turnaround in Gingrich’s campaign.